According to a recent report by The National Safety Council, preliminary traffic fatality data from March 2020 shows that as Americans began driving less and covering fewer miles, the emptier roads became more lethal. Researchers compiled traffic fatality data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Researchers reported an eight percent decrease in the overall number of fatalities in March 2020 compared to March 2019. The number of miles driven also decreased by 18.6 percent compared to the previous year. However, the death rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven was 1.22 in March, up from 1.07 in March 2019. This represents a 14 percent increase in fatality rates per miles driven in March compared to March 2019.
Posts tagged "distracted driving"
Recent data shows that in comparing car crashes from March of 2019 to January and February of 2020, the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) found that serious injuries in car crashes have increased by 20 percent. The spike in serious injuries is extra concerning considering the total number of crashes that have occurred are actually down by 20 percent.
According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, multiple systems that are designed to make driving safer and easier are actually creating a greater risk of crashing. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers, who conducted the study in collaboration with AAA, assessed video of actual driving behaviors and found that adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist technology systems were among the list of car safety systems that may lead to distracted driving. Adaptive cruise control helps drivers maintain a safe following distance on the highway by automatically accelerating or slowly down without the driver's help. Lane-keeping assist technology helps drivers stay in their lane by gently tugging the wheel when the car starts to drift out of lane. Both safety systems require the driver to remain alert and keep their hands on the wheel. When used correctly, these systems are designed to make roadways safer. However, researchers found that some drivers do not properly use or understand partially automated systems.
Car manufacturers are adding all kinds of bells and whistles to their vehicles. Some are touting safety features while others are simply for aesthetics and to make the vehicles seem cooler, fancier, and more technologically advanced.
Since 2000, over 67,000 people have died on Texas roads. There has not been any slowing down in this trend of fatalities as the daily average is approximately 10 deaths per day. Studies and statistics on this trend show that at least 90% of all of these fatalities were preventable and that fatalities occur both in metro and rural areas across Texas at high rates.
Over the last decade, the number of Americans killed while walking increased by 35%, and 2016 was the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1990. According to the "Pedestrian Danger Index," created by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition, Texas is ranked as the eighth most dangerous state for pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 619 pedestrian fatalities in Texas during 2018.
There is an epidemic on American roads because more people are being killed as a result of drivers running red lights. In 2017 alone, at least 939 people were killed because of a driver who blew through a red light, according to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study. That figure has been increasing since 2012. What this means is that at least two people are killed every day at the hands of drivers running red lights.
According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA), 939 people lost their lives in 2017 from drivers speeding through red lights. That number has continuously increased since 2009. The study also revealed that many Americans admittedly disregard red lights and nearly one in three confessed to running a red light within the thirty day period preceding their interview. The fatalities included drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
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."
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.