Does it make sense to you that more people would receive injuries from car accidents in poor areas, than in wealthy ones? It didn’t to me, until I was introduced to a new paper published by medical researchers in Canada. According to the research, which appears in the May 2012 issue of American Journal of Public Health, there is a clear connection between injurious car accidents and the general wealth of the area where the crash occurred.

The reasons for this connection may not be what you think. Based upon evidence gathered from thousands of car accidents at thousands of intersections in Montreal, Canada, as well as census data, researchers were able to group the accident intersections according to the average household income in the area of town where the intersections were located. Researchers found:

  • The average vehicle traffic at intersections in poorer areas was 2.4 times greater than in wealthier neighborhoods.
  • A much larger percent of intersection in poorer neighborhoods included a major highway or roadway.
  • Poorer neighborhoods had nearly twice the number of four-way stops than wealthier neighborhoods. (Four-way stops are the site of more accidents with injuries than other intersections.)
  • Intersections in poorer neighborhoods are equally more dangerous than wealthy neighborhoods for bicyclists and pedestrians — they get injured a lot more in crashes on the poorer side of town.

As the research suggests, it appears that the greater traffic volume and the geometry of the roads in poorer neighborhoods contribute to the incidence of more injuries — not the socioeconomic condition of the injured motorist, himself.

As an Orlando car accident attorney who has been handling Florida motor vehicle accident cases for nearly 20 years, and without looking back at a list of cases I’ve handled over the years, I would suppose that my own experience is that I have handled more cases for working people than I have for Central Florida’s most affluent. But I never really stopped to wonder why. This new research seems to provide an excellent, science-based explanation for it.
It will be interesting to see what the cynics, who have often spouted off about poor people bringing accident claims and looking for “jackpot justice”, will have to say about this research.

If you have questions about an Orlando or Central Florida car accident claim or case — regardless of whether you are rich, poor, or somewhere in between — call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-644-4444.  Or, order a FREE copy of Kim’s book of car accident pointers, Asleep At The Wheel

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