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Car Accidents Are Costly Affairs

If there’s one thing that defines the modern world, it might just be cars. While things like radio, television, the telephone, and the Internet have all had a tremendous impact on the world, the automobile is up there with the printing press and the invention of the wheel in terms of historic impact upon the world. Cars let people go from where they are to where they want or need to be, and they do so in an enclosed environment protected from the elements, which didn’t happen when riding horseback or traveling on foot.

Cars let people get to work places other than where they live, so society has urbanized into major cities instead of patchworks of many farms or shops. It’s also enabled travel long distance so people can see more of the world and go on vacations, taking road trips. Still, for all the conveniences cars provide, they do come with risk, as car accidents can happen on any road, at any time.

Cars are notoriously safer than they used to be, as car accidents used to claim the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year. However, advances in safety technology and manufacturing have made cars far less deadly. The requirement of seat belts and laws mandating their use, along with other public safety awareness campaigns, have dropped the number of annual fatalities quite a bit.

Having said that, it’s still necessary to practice safe driving. Always obey local traffic signs and laws, drive slower when it’s dark or inclement weather, and keep your vehicle in safe working order. Make sure all passengers have their seatbelts on, and consider driving with locked doors, as this reduces the chance of fatality in an accident by roughly 50 percent or more. Keep your fluid levels optimal, and tires at the right pressure. Get your vehicle maintenance on schedule.

Also make sure you are insured. Even if you do not cause an accident, your insurance can cover you if something happens to you, especially if the other person is not insured, or if you just don’t know who did it.

When you go car shopping, pay attention to safety test ratings from objective and independent associations, such as Consumer Reports. Third-party nonprofit groups routinely list which cars are the safest ones to be in an accident with, even though you hope to never be in one.

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