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.
According to the American Automobile Association, there will be 37.5 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles from home between June 30 and July 4. However, this period of time can be among the most dangerous to be on the road. Drunk driving during the Fourth of July holiday accounted for 40 percent of all traffic deaths between 2007 and 2011. West Virginia motorists might want to know that there are around 200 traffic deaths throughout the nation during the holiday period.
Many West Virginia drivers may be thinking of buying a new SUV this year. However, studies show that some of these vehicles protect passengers better than others.
While new technology is largely to blame for the increase in distracted drivers across West Virginia, it may also provide the means for reducing this number. Several devices are on the market that could keep drivers from becoming distracted, though the lack of marketing may not make them well known.
Advanced auto safety technologies are supposed to make roads in West Virginia and across the United States safer. However, a string of crashes involving Tesla's AutoPilot feature suggests that these technologies are making drivers dangerously complacent.