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Collision avoidance systems will reverse spike in traffic deaths

Advanced collision avoidance technologies in cars will soon make roads in New Jersey and elsewhere much safer, according to a new analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This will reverse the increase in U.S. traffic fatality numbers that has occurred over the past seven years.

Federal statistics show that U.S. car crashes have spiked by 3 to 4 percent each year since 2011, leading to a total increase of 30 percent. The increase has been blamed on higher employment rates, an uptick in annual miles driven, cellphone-related distracted driving and increasing marijuana legalization. This is backed up by studies showing that cellphone ownership nearly doubled between 2011 and 2016 and police-reported crashes spiked by 5 percent in states that legalized marijuana.

Despite these sobering numbers, Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts that advanced collision avoidance technologies will soon begin reversing the trend and reduce traffic accidents between 20 and 30 percent by the 2030s. Advanced collision avoidance technologies include rear parking sensors, forward collision warning systems, automatic emergency braking systems, lane departure warning systems and blind spot monitoring. Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show these systems can reduce accidents by up to 40 percent.

Car accidents often cause catastrophic injuries and even death. When a car crash is caused by another driver, injured victims have the right to pursue justice in civil court. An attorney might assess a victim's claim and help file a personal injury lawsuit in court. If successful, this type of suit could help a victim obtain a settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages and more. An attorney may also represent the family of a deceased victim and file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. This type of claim might help the family obtain financial compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship and other crash-related damages.

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