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Person driving but not touching the steering wheel. Distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving and reckless driving are the top four causes of accidents. If we could eliminate these and other driver-related factors, the number of accidents would significantly drop. (Photo: Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock)

When cars were invented, horses were replaced by engines; saddles were replaced by seats; and reins were replaced by a steering wheel and foot pedals. There were no seat belts, safety bumpers, anti-lock brakes or other safety equipment. Windshields were optional. The Model T had a top speed of 40-45 miles per hour, which — considering the lack of safety equipment — was pretty fast.

That was more than 100 years ago. Technology has progressed through the years, from seat belts to safety bumpers, to anti-lock brakes, airbags and a host of other safety features. More recent innovations include forward-collision warning and lane departure assist, among others. Even though vehicles today have so many safety features, there are still more than 38,000 vehicle-related fatalities on American roads every year. The number of injuries where medical attention is sought is roughly 4.8 million.

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Christine G. Barlow, CPCU

Christine G. Barlow, CPCU, is Managing Editor of FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation, a division of National Underwriter Company and ALM. Christine has over twenty-five years’ experience in the insurance industry, beginning as a claims adjuster then working as an underwriter and underwriting supervisor handling personal lines. Before joining FC&S, Christine worked as an Underwriting Supervisor for Maryland Auto Insurance Fund, and as Senior Underwriter/Underwriter for companies Montgomery Mutual, Old American, Charter Group, and Nationwide. The publications Christine has written or edited include Personal Lines Unlocked: The Key to Personal Lines Underwriting, Personal Lines Endorsements Coverage Guide, Commercial Flood Insurance Coverage Guide, Personal Flood Insurance Coverage Guide, Homeowners Personal Lines Coverage Guide 5th Edition, Personal Umbrella Coverage Guide 2nd Edition, and Condominium Coverage Guide 2nd Edition, all published by the National Underwriter Company. Christine regularly writes for Claims Magazine and National Underwriter Magazine. Christine regularly presents and moderates webinars on a variety of topics and is an experienced presenter. Christine graduated cum laude from Towson University, Maryland, with a degree in Sociology/Psychology with a concentration in Gerontology.

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