1Beatrice, NE- Most Americans–consumers that is–are thrilled with lower gas prices, reaching lows not seen in years. Consumer spending is up and the auto industry is seeing sales spike. One average a person can save close to $22 each time they fill up their tank. But as thrilled as Americans are about their cheap gas, there is a downside: traffic accidents!
When gas prices are high, motorists drive less and take steps to reduce how much gas they use. They gradually accelerate, travel at slower speeds and consolidate trips so they can save in gas.
There have been a number of studies that looked at the correlation between gas prices and traffic accidents with the most recent originating from the Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center.
For that study, which was conducted in 2011, researcher Guangqing Chi, an assistant professor of sociology MSU, examined Mississippi crash data between 2004 and 2008. Chi’s study, published in the Journal of Safety Research and Accident Analysis and Prevention looked at the effects of gas prices in fatal accidents in the long and short term.
Chi found that over the long-term as gas prices increased the number of traffic accidents decreased. According to the study, an 1 percent increase in gas prices over a 12-month period corresponded with a 0.16 percent decrease in monthly auto crashes.
Researchers also found a correlation between the age and sex of motorists and their likelihood of being involved in traffic accident. Chi concluded that higher gas prices impact younger drivers—those under 25—more and fewer are killed in traffic accidents.
“We argue that higher gasoline prices discourage driving and in particular reduce driving in the risk-seeking younger population, which in turn leads to higher traffic safety. The results show that gasoline prices have stronger effects on reducing less severe crashes and negligible effects on reducing fatal crashes at the monthly level,” Chi wrote in the paper.
So, if we understand that lower gas prices leads to more traffic accidents we can take steps to prevent a deadly or injurious accident. We can drive the speed limit, avoid distractions, and pay careful attention to the actions of other motorists.
A severe car accident can leave a victim suffering and deeply in debt. They can incur a range of injuries and in many cases their injuries can be fatal. When an accident is caused by another person’s negligence, the victim or victims expect that careless motorist to cover their accident-related expenses.
If you do happen to be involved in a car accident, caused by another motorist, you should contact a Beatrice accident attorney to see if you qualify for compensation.
Suffering a serious or life-changing injury of losing a loved one can wear a person and their families down. They have plenty to worry about without having to fight just to get the compensation they deserve. Instead of taking that fight on themselves, an accident victim or their surviving family members can turn to one of our accident attorneys serving Nebraska to fight on their behalf.

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