New Mexico residents who are considering getting a new car may be interested to know that late-model vehicles are becoming significantly safer. This is according to the most recent calculations released by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

The ongoing drop in the death rate is attributed to enhanced safety technology and vehicle designs. IIHS researchers determined in a related study that specific alterations, such as new safety features and better structural designs, were most responsible for the drop in the fatality risk during the years 1993 through 2006. The vehicle changes also contributed to declines in risk after 2006; although, there were additional contributing factors, like the weakened economy. Researchers say that there were 7,700 fewer driver deaths in 2012 than there would have been if vehicles had remained the same since 1985.

When the rates are examined based on the make and model of vehicles, those numbers also indicate that improvement is occurring at a fast pace. For 2011 models, the number of driver fatalities per million registered vehicle years up to 2012 was 28. This was a significant drop from the 48 that was reported for automobile models from 2008 and 2009.

According to an IIHS representative, the results from the agency’s vehicle ratings program show that crash test performances are consistently improving. The most recent death rates indicate that the real-life crash results and improving as well.

A personal injury attorney may work to obtain financial compensation for clients who have sustained injuries in car accidents caused by negligent drivers. Compensation could cover pain and suffering, medical expenses and rehabilitation.