Car accidents cause many injuries and deaths in West Virginia every year. Unfortunately, traffic signals and speed limits are not enough to stop negligent drivers from causing serious collisions. Experts suggest that roundabouts may save lives and be more effective than traffic lights at preventing serious accidents.
When summer days in West Virginia wind down, kids go back to school and major holidays loom ahead on the calendar. These forces increase traffic, especially with the addition of school buses, bicyclists and pedestrians. Hazards can pop up in urban, suburban or rural environments, and safe drivers observe best practices in all situations.
On Aug. 7, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety warned drivers in West Virginia and elsewhere that Tesla, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo vehicles can be dangerous when operated in semi-autonomous mode. The agency encouraged drivers to use extreme caution when placing their car or truck under semi-automated control.
Nationwide Insurance has released some driving tips that West Virginia drivers may find useful as they spend time on the road. Driving safely should always be the primary concern of any driver behind the wheel, and practicing safe driving skills all the time can help people avoid car accidents. The main safety tips pointed out by Nationwide are to focus on the task of driving, drive defensively, practice safety and make a plan that allows for safe driving.
Teen drivers in West Virginia should be aware of the risks they run both before and after they obtain their license. A study conducted by the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University has shown that teens have a higher risk for crashes and near-misses with other vehicles after they start to drive alone.
People in West Virginia may have been more at risk from being on the road on Aug. 2 than any other day of the year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, between 2012 and 2016, more than 500 people died in car accidents on this day.
According to a new study by the Society for Risk Analysis, women are more likely to drive distracted than men. Females are just one of four driver groups that researchers determined are more prone to distractions while behind the wheel. Since those who text and drive are six times more like to be involved in car accidents, West Virginia motorists may be interested in the study.
West Virginia residents and others who drive while impaired, while drowsy or while distracted increase their risk of getting into an accident. According to the CDC, more than 32,000 people are killed because of motor vehicle accidents. Another two million are injured in such incidents. If a person is tired while behind the wheel, that driver should pull over and take a quick nap. Opening windows or talking with passengers may also help keep a driver awake and alert.
West Virginia drivers who own a more recent vehicle probably benefit from various safety features like collision avoidance systems and automatic emergency braking. However, accidents are possible so long as there is the human factor behind the wheel. Not only that, but some vehicle models are inherently safer than others, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.
West Virginia residents may be familiar with some of the predictions that have been made about the future of auto insurance in an age of driverless cars. A 2016 Morgan Stanley report predicts a sudden decline for the industry, estimating that by 2040, it will contract to 20 percent of its current size. However, new research predicts a different outcome.