Intoxicated drivers cause serious and sometimes deadly car accidents in California every year. A new bipartisan bill circulating the U.S. Congress seeks to develop and require technology within vehicles that would prevent ignition by drivers who have consumed alcohol. The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019 calls on automakers to install alcohol detection systems in all new vehicles by 2024. Lawmakers believe that the law would prevent approximately 7,000 deaths every year.
Opioids cause psychomotor and cognitive impairment, so those who take opioids and drive raise their risk for a car crash. In California and across the U.S., the opioid crisis is contributing to car crash rates, but there is debate as to whether rates are rising. One study shows that while 2% of crash initiators had opioids in their system in 1993, that percentage was 7.1% in 2016. On the other hand, fewer opioid prescriptions are being written.
Drivers in California may be aware of the dangers of distracted driving and yet do nothing about it. It can become second nature to call, text and use in-vehicle technology behind the wheel. On the other hand, many drivers don't even realize that eating, drinking, talking with passengers and changing radio stations can constitute distractions. Distracted driving crashes lead to an average of nine deaths and 100 injuries every day in this country.
Drowsy driving is a major hazard on roads in California and across the country. Unfortunately, the problem becomes worse when daylight saving time ends each year, according to traffic safety advocates.
Those who are driving on California roadways should make sure that they keep their focus on the road at all times. In 2018, there were an estimated 40,000 traffic fatalities in America caused by accidents involving distracted or drunk drivers. Mechanical problems with a vehicle and aggressive driving can also play a role in an accident. Therefore, it is important that drivers have their cars inspected on a regular basis either on their own or with the help of a professional.
California motorists may have noticed several high-profile road rage incidents in the news lately, including the story of a Wisconsin woman who was shot dead while trying to teach her teen son to drive. Unfortunately, these incidents are not isolated.
Semi-autonomous vehicle technology meant to prevent accidents remains dependent on drivers paying attention. Technology, like Tesla's autopilot or automatic emergency brakes, relies on sensors, cameras and software to interpret traffic and take corrective actions. Although the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recognizes the potential of driver-assistive technology to reduce crash rates, the technology has not become completely dependable. To stop drivers in California from assuming a false sense of safety, automakers have built systems to monitor driver engagement.
For three consecutive years, from 2016 to 2018, the number of roadway deaths in California and across the U.S. has exceeded 40,000. There are a number of factors that must be considered before the real reason for a crash can be determined. According to the National Safety Council, there are 23 such factors. Unfortunately, a recent NSC study found that no state captures all 23 of these factors in its police reports.
A report released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that California drivers are not as likely to talk on their phones while behind the wheel as they once were. However, they are more likely to be using their phones in other distracting ways. The study compared data gathered during observational surveys in 2014 and 2018. Researchers watched drivers at stoplights or while driving by and noted how many were using their phones. They also gathered information on how the phones were being used.
If drivers in California are careful and follow traffic laws, they can reduce their risk for an accident. In the U.S., car crashes kill thousands of people every year, and most of them are due to human error. The following are some of the most common errors that lead to accidents.