The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reported that it is developing a new and upgraded crash test focusing on the effects of side crashes. West Virginia drivers should know that this test will likely be launched in 2020. The updates to the side testing include a higher impact speed and a heavier movable barrier.
Distracted driving is a problem on many roads in West Virginia and throughout the country. It's estimated that about nine people die in accidents that were caused by distracted drivers each day in the U.S., and approximately 100 individuals are injured in accidents involving distracted drivers daily. The financial impact of distracted drivers on society is around $40 million annually. This puts distracted driving almost on par financially with the impact caused by those who drive under the influence.
Ice, winter storms and poor road conditions lead to over 2,000 road fatalities in West Virginia and across the United States each year. Staying safe on the roads during winter means preparation and vigilance while driving.
Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in West Virginia and across the country according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To combat the problem, more automakers are adding automatic emergency braking systems to their new vehicles. However, consumer advocates say the systems don't always perform as advertised, especially at night.
In AAA's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, 96% of drivers acknowledged that drowsy driving is extremely dangerous, yet 27% admitted to doing it at least once in the past 30 days. Drowsy driving is a factor in some 328,000 crashes every year, and the National Sleep Foundation links it to a yearly average of 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries throughout West Virginia and the rest of the U.S.
West Virginia residents may be relieved to hear that deaths caused by car accidents declined for the second straight year in 2018. While the total of 36,560 deaths nationwide is still staggering, it represents a 2.4% decline over the previous year. Statistics in 2017 also declined slightly after a significant increase that accompanied the national recovery after the 2008-2009 financial crisis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this positive movement is continuing. In the first half of 2019, traffic deaths are down by another 3.4%. In addition, the number of people killed per total miles driven has dropped dramatically since the early 1970s.
Teenagers in West Virginia are more likely to drive while distracted and be in auto accidents, according to study data released for Teen Driver Safety Week. It may come as no surprise that teens are more prone to crashes, especially because they are inexperienced drivers and still learning to deal with emergency situations that can arise on the road. While distracted driving has garnered a good deal of public attention, many teens do not realize the dangerous effects of driving while surfing the web or texting a friend. Inexperienced drivers in particular may be ill-equipped to determine when the road demands their complete attention.
Roundabouts are relatively rare in West Virginia and across the United States, which means that many American drivers still find them confusing. However, statistics show that they are much safer than four-way stops.
West Virginia passengers riding in newer model pickup trucks are more likely to be injured or killed in crashes than drivers, according to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In fact, researchers found that most 2018 two-row pickups included in the study had difficulty maintaining their structure when struck on the front-right corner.
With 2018 seeing an estimated 40,000 fatalities and 4.5 million injuries due to car crashes, it's more important than ever for drivers to be safe on the road. There are five tips that some experts will give as a start, and they are summarized below.