Virtually everyone who lives paycheck-to-paycheck knows how hard it can be just to get from one place to another. When times are tough, public transportation is often the answer.
Sometimes the struggle to put enough money together for a personal vehicle seems worth the convenience of a faster commute. On top of that, add to the saving grace of being able to pick the kids up from daycare before being charged even more.
Yet, not all cars are equal. Two factors that influence a vehicle’s value are manufacturing date and mileage. As a result, the most affordable vehicles tend to have more safety concerns. But is socioeconomic status relative to crash risk?
Driving’s financial strain on disadvantage
After sacrificing to get a vehicle, driving while poor can create additional financial setbacks. Certain zip codes may increase insurance premiums, and license suspension is a possibility when the ability to pay a traffic citation goes out the window.
Yet, salary doesn’t just determine how difficult it is to get a set of wheels. Income also affects safety.
How could education dictate traffic risk?
Technological advancements introduced within the past 20 years provide vehicle safety features that likely seemed impossible through the ‘90s. Still, these elements only protect those who can afford them.
Studies suggest uneducated drivers are more likely to die in a crash than those who have a degree and, therefore, earn more money. Why?
Individuals in a higher income tax bracket are more likely to:
- Purchase vehicles with the newest safety features
- Live in areas where quality medical care is readily available
- Have vehicle repairs completed, when necessary
Plus, it’s nicer neighborhoods that tend to have well-maintained roads.
It’s unfortunate that education level or income-earning potential can correlate with one’s risk on the road. However, seeking compensation after suffering accident injuries is a right available to all.