No matter how long anyone has been driving, they have likely been in an accident. In America, car crashes are a lot more common than you’d think. According to a noted driving statistics website, 6 million car crashes occur in the United States every year. This adds up to 2 million injuries and 32,850 fatalities each year.
Everyone has been guilty at some point of checking their phone, doing their makeup or eating behind the wheel. However, any glances or diversions off the road can cause an accident. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nine people a day are killed on U.S. roads due to the negligence of distracted drivers. In many states, authorities often find themselves cracking down more on distracted driving than drunk driving.
The recent crash outside of Walker made the local news for a good reason. A rider on a Harley Davidson traveling westbound on LA Hwy 1024 East of Hwy. 449 crashed head-on into a Chevrolet Tahoe that was traveling east. According to news reports, the driver of the SUV crossed over the center line, causing fatal injuries in the rider but no harm to himself. The crash occurred at 5 p.m. and the driver was checked for impairment but did not appear to be intoxicated at the time of the accident. The results of the test have not been announced.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 783 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2017. The agency’s most recent data shows those deaths accounted for 2.1% of all traffic deaths, and 75% of those fatal crashes occurred in urban areas.
Safety advocates warn that a Department of Transportation plan to loosen rules over the number of hours a truck driver can work may put all drivers at higher risk on U.S. highways. The Associated Press reports the trucking industry has long fought to see the federal guidelines relaxed with help from the current administration.
A driver of a commercial pick-up truck pulling a flatbed trailer made a fatal error on June 21 when he allowed his vehicle to veer across the yellow line and into the oncoming lane occupied by ten motorcyclists. Seven in the group, known as the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, subsequently died and left two others injured.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is looking to ease restrictions on the number of hours that truck drivers can work in a workday. Taking its lead from a Trump administration that has a close relationship with the trucking industry, the governing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would make it legal for truck drivers to drive longer than the mandated 11 hours after ten consecutive hours off duty. There is also a call to eliminate a 30-minute rest period if a driver is on duty for eight straight hours.
Parents and the safety conscious have been told for decades that the safest place in the car was the back seat. However, years of focus on the front seat have changed things. Along with the usual array of airbags, there are also features like seat belts that tighten before impact and loosen if sensors (called load limiters) deem the belt to be burdened to the point where it could cause additional injury. These changes are prompting reevaluations of front seat safety versus back seat safety.
Roundabouts are becoming increasingly common here in the U.S. after decades of use in Europe. Many celebrate their implementation of these circular intersections because they keep traffic moving rather than sitting at red lights or stop signs. Some think that there an improvement in the aesthetic beauty of the intersection, which often will have a garden or green space in the center.
The issue of distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions, so it is no surprise that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has declared April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It seems that an observant driver need not look too long before coming across a fellow driver staring down at their laps where their device is located at either a stop light or more troublingly in a moving vehicle.