Distracted driving fatalities decreased slightly in 2012 according to the latest fatality analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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Collisions with deer in the U.S. fell 3.5 percent according to State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance.
For the first time in seven years, the number of fatalities on U.S. roadways increased 5.3 percent last year to 34,080 deaths, according to preliminary data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Despite smaller, lighter cars being safer than they used to be, bigger and heavier vehicles still offer more protection in crashes.
This winter season, are you worried about the driving habits of other drivers, or the weather affecting your car’s driving characteristics?
Snow and ice on the road can make for a slippery drive home, and the snowflakes falling from the sky can limit your visibility, so it’s no wonder that there’s a definite increase in insurance claims once winter starts.
Your car is at a standstill, your heart is racing, if you’ve just been in an accident, chances are you’re a little shook up. Take a deep breath. There are a few things to go over when you get into an accident, especially if another driver is involved.
Early estimates of 2011 traffic fatalities have the figure at 32,310 people, the lowest since 1949 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that most car accidents that occur because a driver mistakenly hits the gas pedal instead of the brakes involve older female drivers in parking lots.
Apparently, almost two-thirds of drivers involved in this type of accident were female, and occurred more frequently with drivers over the age of 76 and under the age of 20. But guys, you aren’t off the hook – when looking at all types of crashes, 60 percent of drivers involved are male.
Despite all the new technologies going into vehicles to help make them safer, speeding-related fatalities have not declined in almost 30 years according to a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
Speeding-related accidents make up about one-third of all traffic deaths each year, with over 10,000 fatalities reported in 2010 alone. This is despite a 57-percent increase in drivers wearing seatbelts (in fatal accidents) and a 24-percent decrease in alcohol-impared drivers involved in fatal crashes.
Very little has been done to improve state laws on speeding since 2005, according to the GHSA. Seven states have even increased their speed limits with some going as high as 85-mph. Only two of the 50 states surveyed have increased their fines for speeding while only three states have an excessive speed classification. In total, 11 states have implemented an aggressive driver law, but only one of those added it since 2005.
A 1995 repeal on the national speed limit has resulted in an overall increase of 3-percent in fatalities according to a 2009 study in American Journal of Public Health. The long-term effects of the 1995 appeal estimates that over 12,000 deaths can be attributed to an increase in speed limits on the roads.
For those who have been commuting daily since the mid-to-late ’90s there has been a decrease in law enforcement on freeways, while the vast majority of drivers employ a “keep up with traffic” rate of speed.
The GHSA report has issued recommendations to the states and NHTSA to help address the speeding problem:
- Look into speed concerns through aggressive driving enforcement, since the public believes it’s a more serious threat to safety.
- Target speed enforcement in school and work zones, as this has higher public support and viewed as less controversial.
- Sponsor a national high-visibility enforcement campaign and support public awareness efforts to address speeding and aggressive driving.
- Promote best practices in automated enforcement strategies. Only 14 states allow automated speed enforcement and only two allow it everywhere in the state.
- Sponsor a National Forum on Speeding and Aggressive Driving to bring experts together to develop a plan and share information.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Listening to your tunes while you walk to your destination may make the exercise more enjoyable, but it’s also dangerous. A new study shows that as the popularity of personal music devices has grown, so has the amount of deaths and injuries from resulting crashes.
According to research conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, the number of pedestrian injuries that occurred while listening to iPods and MP3 devices with headphones on has more than tripled in the past six years. “Everybody is aware of the risk of cellphones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears,” said Richard Lichenstein, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Looking at 116 accident cases from 2004 to 2011 where pedestrians were struck by vehicles while listening to personal music devices, 70 percent of pedestrians were killed and more than two-thirds of those involved were males under 30 years old. And it really didn’t make much of a difference when drivers tried to warn pedestrians by honking their horn – it still lead to fatalities in nearly three-quarters of cases studied.
The study finds that the rising occurrences of these types of accidents correspond to the popularity of iPods and MP3 players. The lesson for today – turn them off while you’re enjoying the fresh air. Do you listen to your iPod while walking? If so, will you turn it off now that you know about how many accidents occur because pedestrians can’t hear what’s going on around them? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Source: USA Today]
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]
How safe is your city to drive in? You can find out how your city fared in Allstate Insurance Company’s seventh annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report.” This report uses Allstate’s claim data to rank America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to see which ones have the safest drivers.
For the second year in a row, Fort Collins, Colorado comes out in first place. If you’re a driver in Fort Collins, you can expect to get into a car accident every 14 years – that’s 28.6 percent less likely than the national average of 10 years.
“We want to recognize the city of Fort Collins for again being the safest driving city in America, and we salute all of America’s safe drivers, who help make our communities better places to live, work and raise families,” said Mike Roche, executive vice president, Allstate’s Claim Organization.
Taking the last place spot for a third year in a row is Washington, D.C. Other cities that placed near the bottom of the list include Baltimore, Maryland, Los Angeles, California and Newark, New Jersey.
Did your city make it into the top 10? Find out after the jump.
Have you ever wondered what the safest cities in the U.S. to drive in? Allstate has done the research and ranked the country’s 200 largest cities and how safe they are to drive in.
Based on the likelihood of drivers to get into an accident, this annual report determines the locations that boast the best drivers. Taking this year’s top honor is Fort Collins, Colorado – congrats on having the safest drivers! Fort Collins came in second last year, following Sioux Falls, South Dakota – a city, interestingly enough, that had a really bad year, falling 17 places to number 18 (yikes!).
According to Allstate’s report, drivers in Fort Collins will get into an accident on average every 14.5 years. That makes them 31.2 percent less likely than the national average to call in a claim.
And now you’re wondering what cities to steer clear of. At the bottom of the bunch include Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C. and Glendale, California. The nation’s capitol captured bragging rights to the last place, with drivers expected to get into a claimable accident every 5.1 years. Coming in right behind them is Baltimore, Maryland, where drivers likely to experience one accident every 5.6 years.
There’s a video to accompany the report that you can watch after the jump.
On Sunday, June 20th, Hernando County, Florida resident Christopher Bishop was inspecting the underbelly of his Ford F-150 for oil and fluid leaks. However, before crawling underneath, Bishop, 43, had left the driver’s door open and the transmission in neutral. At the time, his pet, a hyperactive Bulldog named Tassey was also roaming around free while Bishop was underneath the truck. Suddenly, Tassey bounded into the front seat of the pickup and started jumping around, enough in fact to bang the truck into gear, causing it roll forward and over the left side of Bishop’s body as he lay underneath.
According to a police report filed by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Bishop was able to get up, jump into the F-150 and stop it before it hit the fence next to his mobile home. He managed to shut the truck off and go inside his house, but after several hours of severe pain, finally placed a call to the hospital and was dispatched to Pasco Regional with non life threatening injuries. Asked why he waited so long to seek medical assistance, Bishop replied, “I don’t like doctors.”
[Source: St. Petersburg Times]
We guess that the standards “Don’t make me come back there” or “If you don’t shut up, I will turn this car around” just aren’t cutting it anymore. Drivers need some new empty threats, because a study has found that kids fighting in the back of a vehicle can impair the driver’s skills as much as alcohol consumed to the legal driving limit.
The study, which was conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) found that that when kids were kicking and screaming in the back of the car, drivers’ reactions times slowed by an average of 13%. That’s the percentage of drivers who had drunk the 80mg/100ml legal limit for alcohol (maybe they needed a couple of drinks to drown out all the crying and screaming). The delay in reaction added four meters (around 13 feet) to stopping distances when traveling at highway speeds.
And kids fighting also had some other effects on driving skills. Research found that back-seat squabbles led to 40 percent more instances of hard braking, and increased stress levels by nearly a third. And when you put these two factors together, you’ve got a car accident in the making.
Senior TRL researcher Dr Nick Reed said: “There was a noticeable impairment to driving caused simply by the noise of arguing children. Precautions should be taken.” We’re guessing that one of those precautions could include doing this.
[Source: Ride Lust]
Count your blessings (and the extra cash in your wallet) if you’re planning on buying car insurance in the very near future. Start shopping around, because in the next few weeks, insurance rates are going to be the lowest they’ve been in more than two years.
Let’s look at the numbers. In April, the lowest average annual rate for car insurance dropped from $1,812 to $1,798 in May. Back in May of 2009, the average rate was $1,871.
“This is great news for the growing number of savvy drivers shopping and comparing car insurance quotes,” says Rob Klapper, CEO, insurance.com. “They know there is always a chance to save big because rates constantly change for various reasons – from events in the driver’s personal life, like buying a home or having a birthday, to fluctuations in the insurance market.”
But drivers should remember to look at the other side of the coin as well. According to Klapper, a disconcerting fact is the type of coverage being chosen is a factor that’s driving rates lower.
“We’re seeing more and more drivers choosing minimum coverage or liability-only coverage when they shop and compare quotes,” says Klapper. “It makes sense, since many people are on tight budgets in this down economy and car insurance is one of the easiest places to save money. But, inevitably, this trend only adds to a growing group of underinsured drivers on the road.”
Drivers don’t always look at the big picture – they often see the lower dollar amounts and base their decision on that factor alone. You should always think to what could happen if you were to ever get into a serious accident, which can result in medical expenses that exceed an underinsured driver’s policy limits. What’s left on the bill at the end of the day, you’ve got to pony up the difference – and it can get pricey. And let’s not even get started on what could happen if you were found at fault in regards to an accident and your insurance couldn’t back you up. Insurance.com always recommends drivers buy coverage that matches your financial risk.
[Source: Cars For Girls]