The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 3,166 fatalities due to distracted driving in 2017. More and more drivers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. are using smartphones and in-vehicle technology while on the road. While these are distracting activities, they are not the only examples. It's important to recognize distraction in some of its seemingly innocuous forms.
Car accidents can lead to severe injuries and lifelong disabilities. Every year, thousands of people throughout Pennsylvania are injured in motor vehicle collisions, most of which could have been prevented by careful driving or following the rules of the road. Indeed, car crash fatalities are the No. 1 cause of death for individuals between the ages of 2 and 34. Some factors that can contribute to crashes include mechanical problems, road issues, wildlife and poor weather.
Volvo Cars has announced a plan to install new technology in its vehicles that would prevent drunk driving crashes. Starting in the early 2020s, it will use in-vehicle cameras and sensors to observe driver behavior and check for any indications of intoxication or distraction. Volvo owners in Pennsylvania may want to know more.
Distracted driving, whether caused by phone use or by talking with other passengers, is a major problem in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. A vehicle going 55 mph will cross the length of a football field in five seconds, and the average text takes about the same amount of time to read. This shows how dangerous driver inattention can be.
Many of the passenger vehicles on sale in Pennsylvania and around the country are available with automatic braking and forward impact warning systems. This technology is primarily designed to prevent rear-end collisions, and crash testing has revealed it to be extremely capable. A team of researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety wanted to find out how well automatic braking systems work in the real world. Their findings seem to support the view that this technology can prevent thousands of accidents and injuries each year.
Many Pennsylvania drivers are aware of certain intersections that are prone to serious car crashes. In some places, roads with speed limits of up to 55 mph can come together with only a stop sign connecting them. These junction points can see serious car accidents that often cause severe injuries or even death. The danger posed by these kinds of intersections is exacerbated when people travel at night or when visibility in the area is obstructed due to vegetation or weather conditions.
Teen drivers in Pennsylvania may be most likely to cause car accidents in the first several months after they receive their driver's licenses. With a learner's permit, a teen driver can only operate a vehicle with another adult driver in the car. However, once these teens receive licenses of their own, they are free to drive on their own. During the first three months of solo driving, newly licensed teens are eight times more likely to have a car accident or experience a near miss in comparison to their last three months of driving accompanied with a permit.
New research has led to certain predictions about the fate of auto insurance companies in an age of driverless cars. Pennsylvania residents may be interested to hear some of these because such an age seems to be coming. A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance states that the insurance industry will likely experience a gradual shift in the type of products it offers.
Some Pennsylvania motorists may have heard about the death of a pedestrian in March 2018 after being hit by a self-driving Uber car. In Tempe, Arizona, where the accident occurred, the police chief said that the car was likely not at fault in the accident, but a professor at Arizona State University says there is a flaw in how autonomous vehicles are being taught to drive. According to him, teaching them to drive like humans means they will make the same errors that human drivers make.
Being in a car accident is a stressful and frustrating experience under the best of circumstances. Anyone involved in a crash could understandably be in a rush to put the experience in the mirror as quickly as possible. Pennsylvania residents should exercise patience before signing any settlement documents related to potential injury claims even if they feel fine right after the incident. Some potentially serious injuries do not make themselves obvious in the immediate aftermath of a wreck and can take weeks to properly diagnose.