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The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Car Accidents

November 09, 2015

A new study is shedding light on a previously overlooked correlation between socioeconomic status and fatal car accidents. Overall, traffic fatalities have decreased across the United States in recent years. This represents a major victory for safe driving regulators and automobile innovations. However, these figures obscure an inequality—poorer Americans are more likely to die in car crashes today than more affluent ones.

A study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that improvements in road safety have not been shared by everyone. The largest declines in road fatalities are among the educated. For those 25 and older with less than a high school education, traffic fatality rates have actually increased over time, in spite of the overall national trend towards fewer fatal accidents.

Those With Less Education are More Likely to Own Older Vehicles

There are several factors that explain why the less educated are more likely to be involved in fatal accidents. These individuals are not more dangerous drivers; rather, a variety of factors places them at an increased risk of fatal accidents.

One major consideration is the age and safety features of vehicles owned by those with a college education and those without. Those that fall into a poorer socioeconomic status are more likely to own older cars with lower crash test ratings. Such vehicles will often lack crucial safety features found in most newer vehicles today, such as side airbags, rear cameras and automatic warnings. Most of these newer features will take decades to trickle down to the less well off, and, in the meantime, automakers will continue to release more advanced vehicles.

Environmental Factors Also Impact Fatal Crash Rates

There are several additional environmental factors that impact the number of fatal accidents in poorer areas. The number of trauma centers is fewer in poor and rural communities, impacting the healthcare that people receive in the aftermath of a crash. Poor areas themselves also often have conditions that make roads unsafe, such as a lack of crosswalks, speed bumps, and the like.

Seek Assistance if You Are Injured in a Car Accident

Those who are injured in an auto accident should seek the assistance of a licensed car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can assist you in obtaining the compensation you need following the accident, increasing your chances of obtaining quality medical care and getting back to work sooner. While it is unfortunate that fatal accident rates are impacted by socioeconomic status, accident victims of any income level are entitled to the same types of damages as anyone else following an automobile accident caused by another person or party.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 39 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!

If you injured in an automobile accident, contact the Georgia Automobile Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our firm is dedicated to assisting those injured in all manner of traffic accidents across Georgia and in the Southeast and we bring over 39 years of experience to your car accident case. The sooner you act after your injury, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.

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