Houston area roads still suffered a significantly high number of deaths in 2019 and will likely pass 2018's total. A recent study examined the greater Houston area consisting of Harris County and the seven adjacent counties. In these counties, local police, prosecutors, and transportation officials had taken several new steps to address the causes contributing to the high number of deaths. As of now, this has not yet reduced the number of deaths, but officials believe the efforts are helping.
A Tampa, Florida jury awarded more than $200 million to a woman and her young child as the result of being injured by a drunk driver. The automobile collision left the woman and her then unborn child with debilitating permanent injuries.
This past year, an Illinois Court of Appeals upheld a $54 million jury verdict that was rendered against an 18-wheeler driver and trucking company for causing a collision that resulted in serious injuries.
Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, recently disclosed that 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on its U.S. rides last year as part of its long-awaited safety study. In the safety study, Uber said it recorded 235 instances of rape last year and thousands of reports of assault involving unwanted touching, kissing, or attempted rape. The safety study also examined other safety categories such as motor-vehicle deaths and violent crimes, with Uber reporting 107 motor-vehicle fatalities and 19 fatal physical assaults. Uber reported that it conducted the safety study to show transparency and to improve its services for both riders and drivers.
A crashed into two vehicles in the early morning hours of Saturday, December 7, 2019. The accident occurred on I-95 in Norwalk, Connecticut and involved a Connecticut State Police cruiser that was stopped to assist a disabled motorist. The lights of the police cruiser were activated and flares were placed in the roadway, but the driver of the Tesla Model 3 did not see them because the vehicle was set to autopilot while the driver checked on his dog in the backseat.
On Saturday morning, two pedestrians were killed by a driver who reportedly failed to stay in a single lane traveling southbound on I-45.
According to the United States Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,560 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents on United States roadways during 2018, marking the second consecutive year that motor vehicle fatalities declined. The decrease in fatal traffic accidents comes even as more people drove in 2018. Of the categories assessed, speeding was the most predominant factor, accounting for 9,378 of the total fatalities. Fatalities decreased in almost all categories with the exception of crashes involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and large trucks. The largest decline was seen in fatal motor vehicle accidents involving children ages fourteen and younger. From 2017 to 2018, pedestrian fatalities increased by three percent to 6,283, representing the most pedestrian deaths since 1990. The number of bicyclist deaths increased by more than six percent from 2017, accounting for 857 of the fatalities reported in 2018. Large-truck occupant deaths increased approximately one percent from 2017. The Texas Department of Transportation also reported a 5.84 percent decline in fatal motor vehicle accidents from 2017 to 2018. However, there were no fatality-free days on Texas roadways in 2018.
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.
General Motors is recalling more than 650,000 trucks and SUVs because a software error can activate these vehicles' brake systems, leading to car accidents. This recall covers the 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2015-2020 Chevrolet Suburban, 2015-2020 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2014-2018 GMC Sierra 1500, and 2015-2020 GMC Yukon models. In total, the problem is estimated to affect approximately 638,000 GM vehicles.
According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the last full year numbers are available and show the number of people killed due to someone driving through a red light reached 939 in 2017. This is a 31% increase from a low of 715 in 2009. The study tracked anyone who was killed, which includes the driver, passengers, people in another vehicle or people outside of a vehicle.