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.
Posts tagged "distracted driving accident"
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."
In 2017, Gabriela Torga, then 23 years old, was driving just after 5:00 in the morning when she veered from the left lane to the right shoulder. She overcorrected, slid counter-clockwise, hit the median and then slammed into a tree. She did not survive the crash. No one can definitively say whether Ms. Torga's cell phone was connected to the crash, but police say when the accident occurred, her phone was on and open to SnapChat and she was driving 55 mph in a 45 zone.
Pedestrian fatalities have risen 46 percent since 2009 while overall traffic fatalities are up only 11 percent. Many experts agree that distraction is a factor in pedestrian crashes and that combating both distracted driving and walking would help reduce the number of incidents, injuries, and deaths.