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Studies find drivers overestimate their skills

Many Ohio motorists may think they are excellent drivers, but research shows that while this view is common, it is often unsupported. For decades, research has found that people tend to think their driving is above average regardless of their record.

The original study interviewed people who were in the hospital following a traffic accident in which they were driving, most often one in which they hit a non-moving object so hard that their cars turned over. Police had determined that most of them were responsible for the accident. However, they rated themselves highly as drivers and no differently from a control group that was not involved in an accident.

Another study looked at Swedish and American drivers. While both groups tended to rate themselves highly, American drivers were more overconfident although Sweden has half the fatality rate for motor vehicle accidents.

Certain factors increase the likelihood of an accident. Teenage drivers are the most dangerous. Even drivers who are 80 and older only have about one-third the accident rate of 16-year-olds. The safest age group is people who are 60 to 69. Minnesota, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are the safest states while most of the states with the most deaths per miles driven are in the South with the exception of Alaska. South Carolina is the most dangerous.

Common causes of motor vehicle accidents include texting and driving, driving while drowsy and speeding. These accidents may not always involve fatalities, but they could involve serious or even permanent injuries. People who are in a motor vehicle accident may want to contact an attorney. While the driver who caused the accident is usually liable for the injured person's expenses, everything from how the accident happen to whether it caused the person's injuries may be disputed, and an attorney may be able to advise on how to proceed.

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