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 |  Oct 17 2011, 12:45 PM

Here are some sobering study results that may shock parents – teen drivers are most likely to cause a car accident within their first month of unsupervised driving.

The study, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found that teenage drivers are 50 percent more likely to get into a car crash in their first month of driving than after a year of driving by themselves. It also goes on to show that these drivers are twice as likely to get into an accident during the first month than after two years of driving experience.

To compile this information, AAA mounted cameras in the cars of 38 teenage drivers in North Carolina. Footage followed teen drivers as they learned to drive with their parents as well as their first six months of driving solo.

From the data collected, 57 percent of the accidents that were caused in the first month of driving happened because teens were driving too fast, weren’t paying attention, or failed to yield to other cars. Researchers also found that in the first few months of driving, teens got into quite a few left-hand turn crashes while trying to navigate across traffic, which suggests that young drivers could use more practice with it comes to certain driving maneuvers.

After driving with their parents, the footage showed that the teen drivers’ driving behavior changed drastically. While they had their learner’s permits, teens stuck to the same routes, but once they got their full licences, these drivers started taking new routes and displaying bad driving habits such as texting, running red lights, or socializing with passengers.

[Source: Motor Trend]

 

 |  Jun 18 2010, 2:56 PM

As time goes on and innovations are being implemented to existing safety products, you’d think that they would get, well, safer. But that might not be the case when it comes to the newest type of airbag, as a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows.

Raising all kinds of questions about airbags that were required in vehicles from 2004 to 2008, this IIHS study says that they may actually place drivers who wear their seat belts at a greater risk of death.

This research is based on statistical analysis of 3,600 driver and front-seat passenger deaths that were the result of frontal crashes between 2004 and 2007. While it found that the newest type of airbags helped unbelted people about the same as older airbags, belted drivers had a 21 percent greater chance of dying.

“It is possible that the systems are not making the right decisions,” said David Zuby, Senior Vice President for Vehicle Research at the IIHS. “Under previous requirements, air bags didn’t need to be quite so sophisticated.”

Even though the study didn’t come up with reasons why belted drivers are at greater risk, safety experts are throwing out a few explanations. The one that holds the most validity is that automakers design airbags for unbelted drivers, as they are required to test for this percentage of the driving population – even though 80 percent of drivers wear seat belts.

This research was presented in January at a convention of auto engineers, but hasn’t received widespread attention. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the organization that regulates air bags, met with the researchers and carmakers in March but hasn’t commented on the study, stating they had not had time to fully review it.

[Source: Kicking Tires]

 |  May 31 2010, 12:49 PM

Drivers who text have just met their worst enemy – the United Nations. In an attempt to end distracted driving, the United Nations has launched a new campaign aimed to stop texting while driving.

This new program, named “Global Call to Action on Ending Distracted Driving,” has plenty of supporters in high places, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  The program, which is available in all languages, focuses on driving safety and putting down the cell phone. There’s also a Facebook page you can join where you can support the cause.

Accidents caused by distracted driving are on the rise – in fact, between 80-90 percent of accidents are caused by driver behavior like distracted driving. Other interesting stats from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that 1.2 million people die on the roads each year and another 20-50 million are injured. WHO also projects that by 2030 crash fatalities will become the 5th leading cause of death, surpassing HIV/AIDS, cancer, violence, and diabetes. There are currently 600 million cars on the road and 4.6 billion cell phone subscriptions.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

 |  May 28 2010, 10:45 AM

scary-car-accident-stats

We all know the dangers associated with driving a vehicle, but that doesn’t mean we’re ever going to give them up. But have you ever stopped to really think about the numbers behind the car accidents and what they really add up to or are you afraid they may just scare you off the road? Thanks to AutoInsurance, car accident stats can be digested in the form of an informative and easy to read infographic.

It’s kind of a sobering thought that one-third of all accidental deaths in the U.S. per year involve cars, even with all of the improvements car manufacturers have made to protect us if an accident should occur. Did you know that someone in the U.S. dies in a car accident every 15 minutes? You’ll find this stat and others like it below in the infographic after the jump:

[Source: Auto Insurance for Autoblog.com]
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