After last year's Houston Chronicle investigation, "Out of Control," local law enforcements have responded with the establishment of a regional task force to better patrol the roads. The article identified that "more than 600 motorists, passengers and pedestrians die every year in traffic collisions often caused by drivers who are speeding, driving while intoxicated or distracted and often on poorly designed roads", ranking Houston roads among the nation's deadliest. The article also criticized local law enforcements for their lack of a comprehensive strategy to lower the number of traffic accidents, and even lowering the number of enforcements in certain regions where fatal accidents rose. However, Harris County Sherriff Ed Gonzales is hopeful that the creation of the new task group which aims to crack down on traffic violations and unsafe drivers will help keep the roads safer for Houstonians. Sherriff Ed Gonzales stated that "we want to make sure we're visible and not just performing spot enforcement, and make it more sustainable."
Every day, millions of drivers nationwide pass through intersections with stop lights, but how often do those drivers consider the possible danger posed by drivers running red lights? In 2016 alone, 811 people were killed in crashes that involved red-light running. Other reports show deaths from running a red light increased 17% nationwide between 2012 and 2016. From 2011 to 2015, an average of 719 people died each year in red-light running crashes, averaging to about 60 fatalities per month in red-light running crashes, or about 2 people per day dying from red-light running. Additional to the human costs are the financial costs of red-light running, which totaled $390 million last year alone due to red-light running fatalities.
A $10 million lawsuit was filed against the city of Tempe, Arizona after a woman was killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle. The suit states that the Arizona suburb created a dangerous situation by installing a brick pathway across the median where people were not allowed to cross the road. Essentially, city officials paved a walkway for jaywalkers. The suit seeks $5 million in damages each for the surviving husband and daughter of the 49-year-old woman killed in the collision. While the city's spokesperson could not comment directly on the case, she has stated that the suburb has since landscaped the median in place of the walkway.
A Seattle, Washington jury awarded $123 million to victims and their families of a 2015 Ride the Ducks crash which resulted in the death of five people and injured more than 60 people. The trial lasted approximately four months against the manufacturer of a popular Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle and the company responsible for operating the vehicles.
A Toyota Corolla sedan was rear ended by a Dodge Ram pickup truck towing a flatbed trailer. After the collision, a 6-year-old girl who was in the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the sedan and a 12-year-old passenger were hospitalized.
A rising tide lifts all boats. But will the autonomous vehicle revolution lift everyone in our transportation system? It depends, according to a recent report published by The Greenlining Institute, an Oakland based public policy advocacy organization. The report, titled "Autonomous Vehicle Heaven or Hell? Creating A Transportation Revolution that Benefits All" provides an in-depth analysis of the benefits, costs, policy issues, and solutions for the self-driving industry becoming a mainstay in our rapidly changing society. In the last decade, the rapid development of self-driving technology and autonomous vehicles has introduced a new set of rules for the road.
For decades Detroit, Michigan, has been dubbed the epicenter of automotive innovation. In fact, more than 70 percent of U.S. automotive R&D occurs in Michigan. Currently, Michigan ranks number one in the nation in connected and automated vehicle projects. With more than 2,500 mobility-related patents awarded in Michigan over the past five years, the state continues to lead the industry in autonomous technology innovation. Consequently, it is no surprise that Detroit hosts the annual North America International Auto Show (NAIAS), which serves as the global stage for companies to debut new vehicles and innovations in automotive technology.
Recently, a local task force was formed in response to a 2017 article in the Houston Chronicle which found that Houston is home to the nation's most dangerous roads. According to the article, more than 600 motorists, passengers, and pedestrians are killed every year in traffic collisions. The majority of these fatal accidents involved driver inattention, driving while intoxicated, and speeding. The Chronicle's investigation found that a lack of a comprehensive strategy to address the issue may be partly to blame. In response, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez called for the formation of a regional task force to better patrol roads. The task force was designed to crack down on traffic violations and unsafe driving practices, with the goal of promoting safe driving and reducing the number of serious motor vehicle accidents that occur on Houston area roads each year.
A jury awarded a South Carolina man $13 million. The man suffered severe injuries, including broken bones and brain damage, when his vehicle was struck by a train. Lawyers for the plaintiff argued BNSF Railway was negligent by failing to cut down trees on its right of way.
Earlier this month, a California appeals court held that Apple Inc. was not liable for a fatal automobile accident involving a driver who was using the FaceTime application on his iPhone at the time of the crash. The accident occurred on December 24, 2014 on Interstate 35W in Denton County, Texas. Bethany and James Modisette along with their two daughters were stopped on the highway due to police activity when Garret Wilhelm crashed into the Modisette's vehicle at a high rate of speed. Wilhelm reportedly told police that he was using the FaceTime application on his Apple iPhone 6 Plus at the time of the collision. The entire Modisette family sustained injuries and one of the daughters, aged five, subsequently died in the hospital.