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Pickups safer than some other vehicle types, study shows

New Jersey residents who drive pickups, SUVs and minivans may be safer than motorists in some other types of vehicles, according to a new study. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that per million pickups registered, there were 26 driver fatalities. This was below the average of 30 driver fatalities per million registered vehicles and well below the figure for cars of 39 fatalities per million.

While some models, such as the Jeep Cherokee 4WD, had no driver deaths and others, such as the Frontier Crew Cab short bed 2WD, fared poorly, these figures can be somewhat misleading. Passenger deaths were not counted, and for inclusion, it was necessary for vehicles to have 100,000 registration years. For some vehicle models, there was simply not enough data.

Statistics show that in 2015, traffic fatalities went up 7 percent from the previous year. This could be in part attributable to a stronger economy as people tend to be out on the road more when they have more money. It is anticipated that autonomous vehicles may reduce fatality rates when they become more commonplace. In the meantime, manufacturers are increasingly including autonomous safety features on vehicles such as automatic braking and lane-keeping equipment.

No matter what type of vehicles are involved, an auto accident can be devastating. In addition to physical injury, there may be mental and financial consequences as well. An accident victim may need to replace a vehicle or be unable to return to work. If another driver is at fault in the accident, the injured person may negotiate for compensation. If the compensation offered is too low, the injured victim might want to file a lawsuit.

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