The U.S. government wants to eliminate all traffic fatalities in West Virginia and across the U.S. within the next 30 years, according to an initiative announced by the Department of Transportation on Oct. 5. The plan was created in response to a 7.2 percent increase in U.S. traffic deaths last year.
Authorities say that an investigation is underway following a fatal accident on Sept. 18 that claimed the lives of two people from West Virginia. According to media sources, the deadly collision took place in the neighboring state of Ohio at approximately 8:55 p.m. with personnel from the Washington County sheriff's office and Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Department responding to the scene.
Technology could help older West Virginia drivers travel more safely in the future. Smart car features help drivers steer away from obstacles, brake during an emergency and avoid collisions. Some technological innovations alert drivers to the presence of another vehicle or person in their blind spot, while others alert the driver to a vehicle stopped up ahead. These innovations are often built into many newer vehicles and offered as optional amenities in others.
West Virginia motorists may want to be more alert on the roads after reading some statistics that have been released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. According to the NHTSA, 2015 saw a 7.2 percent jump in fatalities compared to the previous year. In total, some 35,092 people died on the roads. The nation's transportation secretary put out a call for scientists and specialists to perform additional research and analysis of the problem.
In August 2016, a driver in China recorded footage of his Model S scraping another vehicle that was on a road's shoulder. However, Tesla responded by saying that the accident was the driver's fault as his hands weren't on the wheel when the crash occurred and that he had his head down at times. Drivers are warned ahead of time that the automatic steering feature is designed to assist them.
West Virginia residents might be surprised to learn that roughly 5,000 people died in 2015 because of a drowsy driver, according to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The report also noted that the there is not enough information to show the full extent of this dilemma.
With the ability to communicate via cellphone on social media platforms, there is an ever-growing enticement for West Virginia motorists to engage in these distractions while behind the wheel. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that on a daily basis around the country, more than a thousand individuals are hurt and eight die because of a car accident caused by a distracted driver.
Despite significant progress in lowering the fatality rates for car accidents in West Virginia and across the U.S., a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, establishes that much work needs to be done. The report, released on July 6, compares the U.S. fatality rates to those of 19 other wealthy countries, including the UK, Sweden, Japan and others.
Some West Virginia residents may be unaware that 59-year-old James Halsell Jr., a former NASA astronaut, has been charged with murder following a fatal car accident in Alabama. The incident took place on June 6, and authorities say that speed and alcohol played a role in the crash. Halsell was released from custody after posting a $150,000 bail.
A woman filed a lawsuit in Mercer Circuit Court alleging that another driver's negligent behaviors led to injuries suffered in a car crash. In June 2014, the woman was driving west on Morrison Street in Princeton when she was rear ended by another vehicle. The plaintiff claimed that she was hit when she slowed to yield for another driver and the driver in the car behind her didn't stop.