Many California motorist are wary about self-driving cars, and for good reason, as several serious accidents have been linked to them. In May 2016, a driver who had his Tesla Model S on Autopilot died when the vehicle collided with a truck. In March 2018, a self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona struck and killed a pedestrian.
Texting while driving is banned in California and many other states across the country. Still, distracted driving continues to be a serious threat to roadway safety, taking thousands of lives and injuring many more people every year. As a result, legislators in one state are considering technology that could allow police to determine whether a driver was using his or her cellphone at the time of a crash. This would mark the first time a state has allowed this currently untested technology to be actively used by law enforcement to determine responsibility for a crash.
Drivers in California and around the country need to get enough sleep in order to safely operate their vehicles. Unfortunately, daylight saving time cuts into the sleep time of many drivers, making it more likely they could get into a crash, according to researchers from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Although traffic deaths declined in California and throughout the country last year, they still topped 40,000 for the third straight year. This was according to the National Safety Council. It was also reported that serious injuries were up 1 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. Driver distraction is cited as a key reason why traffic fatalities are so common. Since 2008, infotainment systems and smartphones have grown in popularity.
In California, a recent study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated that more drivers are using their cellphones to read and send emails in lieu of talking. In addition, drivers are texting messages and performing other miscellaneous actions on their cellphones. Although the percentage of drivers using hand-held phones has declined, the number of distracted drivers has increased. According to the author of the study, people are becoming more distracted while driving their vehicles.
In California, car accident rates have surged over the past seven years. The trend has occurred across the U.S. Since 2011, accidents have increased by 30 percent. Experts attribute the rise in car accidents to several factors, including an improved economy, distracted driving and the legalization of marijuana in some states such as California.
For many, winter brings to mind memories of the holidays or cozy evenings by a fire. Unfortunately, another big part of winter is inclement weather. Sleet, snow, and ice are a major cause for vehicle accidents during winter months. Thankfully, there are many ways that California drivers can keep themselves safe during rough weather.
For people in California and across the country, fatal risks could come from unexpected places. The leading cause of death for Americans age 44 and under is accidental injury. In 2016 alone, 61,749 people were killed in unintentional incidents, a figure almost twice that of the combined death toll of heart disease and cancer. While there are a number of everyday dangers that can prove deadly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that motor vehicle accidents and unintentional poisoning were the most common causes of death.
California residents who use their own vehicles for work purposes may find themselves being distracted by texts and phone calls while behind the wheel. As the mobile workforce is increasingly becoming connected, this is not surprising. Nevertheless, it is still a dangerous trend. Motus, the vehicle management workforce company, has some interesting things to say about these hazards in its 2018 Distracted Driving Report.
Traffic lights and stop signs depend on drivers in California obeying the signals or judging traffic correctly before entering an intersection. When drivers fail to do the right things, accidents causing serious injuries and fatalities sometimes result. Roundabouts, however, have emerged as an effective method for transportation officials to improve safety at the intersections of rural highways. Roundabouts slow traffic and only require people to check to the left as they navigate the intersection. The shape of the roundabouts physically forces vehicles to slow down and reduces the severity of wrecks when they do happen.