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 |  May 29 2014, 7:56 PM


Would you believe that the economic costs of motor vehicle crashes are nearly $900 per person living in the U.S.?

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 |  Mar 09 2012, 8:32 AM

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:

States should:

  • 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.

NHTSA should:

  • 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.
And for the fuel efficient-conscious, speeding naturally causes your fuel efficiency to decrease. In some cases, it could be drastic on the freeway with a 10-mph increase resulting in a drop of 5-mpg in fuel economy. Think about that next time you’re trying to get to your destination a mere three minutes faster by speeding 10-mph over the limit.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

 |  Oct 19 2011, 6:45 PM

Sometimes a negative can really be a positive. Take the Blackberry outage that had users scrambling for a way to communicate earlier this week. It turns out that traffic accidents and fatalities fell drastically during that time period.

The three-day Blackberry service interruption and its effect on driving were especially evident in the Middle East. The National, a local English-language newspaper, reported that in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, accidents fell by 20 to 40 per cent.

“The roads became much safer when Blackberry stopped working,” said Brig. Gen. Hussein Al Harethi, director of the Abu Dhabi police traffic department.

In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, police said they noticed a significant decline in traffic accidents. The drivers most likely to be involved in distracted driving accidents are young men, and traffic accidents fell 20 per cent in Dubai and 40 per cent in Abu Dhabi. Even better news – there were no traffic fatalities during this time. Both countries have recently launched crackdowns on cell phone usage while driving, so this unplanned experiment couldn’t have happened at a better time.

It may take a few weeks to find out what the service interruption’s impact was on driving habits and accidents in other countries around the world.

[Source: Toronto Star]