The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a report on distracted driving that should prove interesting to many in West Virginia. Researchers focused on two surveys from 2014 and 2018; in these, drivers in four Northern Virginia communities were observed for distracted behavior while approaching or stopped at red lights. While distracted driving rates did not change much in that period, the ways that drivers were distracted did.
Back in April 2018, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a position statement in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine regarding the safety risks of the ridesharing industry. Ridesharing drivers in West Virginia, as elsewhere in the U.S., typically work during extended periods of wakefulness like the late nights and early mornings. This can be due to low fare and salary incentives combined with a feeling that sleep is unimportant.
A recent study sponsored by AAA focused on increasing levels of driver distraction tied to newer motor vehicle infotainment systems. These systems are more and more common on West Virginia roadways. Researchers examined 30 systems installed in 2017 model cars and found that none of them required only low levels of demand on the drivers. Rather, seven systems made moderate demands, eleven made high demands and twelve made very high demands of drivers.
Drivers and passengers in West Virginia may be concerned with how they can reduce the risk of severe injury in case of a car accident. While wearing a seat belt may not prevent people from experiencing dangerous injuries to internal organs like the liver, it can help to lessen the severity of injury and the risk of a fatal outcome. Every year, around 2 million people across the country are taken to the emergency room as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash. The personal trauma of these accidents is significant as are the financial and social costs: Treatment for these injuries costs the healthcare system almost $1 trillion every year.
Injuries impacting ligaments, tendons or muscles are usually referred to as soft tissue injuries. They can have a significant impact on accident victims in West Virginia and throughout the country. In many cases, individuals won't feel the impact of such an injury for hours or days after the crash occurs. Symptoms may include bleeding, swelling and pain where the injury occurred. If a person experiences whiplash, he or she may feel soreness or stiffness in the head and neck.
In its 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the World Health Organization ranked traffic-related deaths as the eighth leading cause of death in the world as well as the leading cause of death among those aged 5 to 29. The highest number of traffic deaths are in Africa and Southeast Asia. People in low-income countries triple their risk for a fatal traffic crash. West Virginia residents may want to know what's being done about this trend.
To stay safe in winter, drivers need to take the following into account. First of all, they have to make sure their vehicle is properly winterized. A mechanic could easily check components like the battery, spark plugs, brakes, ignition and fuel filters as well as inspect the tires for wear or underinflation. Drivers should maintain their gas tank at above half full and should avoid using cruise control and the parking brake in winter weather.
Most West Virginia drivers think of hazardous driving conditions as those involving inclement weather such as slick road conditions caused by rain, snow or ice or lack of visibility due to precipitation or fog. Bright sunlight, however, is seldom thought to pose a risk of hazard, but statistics tell another story. The period of time during the day when a motorist drives directly into the rising or setting sun creates visibility problems and consequently a higher risk of a vehicle crash.
Winter brings rain, freezing rain and snow to West Virginia, and the slick roads increase the chances of motor vehicle accidents. When people have to travel on wet, icy or snowy roads, they can adopt strategies that could help them maintain control of their vehicles and avoid crashes.
AAA Northeast has some safety tips to give for those who plan to party or have their children trick-or-treat for Halloween. West Virginia residents can benefit from the tips as well. After all, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most Halloween drunk driving deaths occur between 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and 6 a.m. on Nov. 1.