60 percent of adults in the U.S. claim that they have engaged in drowsy driving before. Of those, a third even fell asleep behind the wheel. Drivers in West Virginia should be aware that there are serious consequences to driving while sleepy. First of all, the effects of sleep deprivation can mimic those of drunkenness.
West Virginia residents who are involved in car accidents may experience liver injuries. According to researchers, wearing a seat belt cannot prevent such an injury from occurring. However, wearing a seat belt could reduce the severity of a liver injury, which could increase the chances that a person lives after a collision. A review of 51,202 people found that those who had severe liver injuries were two times more likely to die compared to those with only mild or moderate injuries.
While some West Virginia residents may rely on rideshare companies to get around town, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine noted that there were some inherent safety risks that may be prevalent in the industry. Ultimately, they reported that the drivers who worked for the ridesharing companies as independent contractors may be at risk for driving while drowsy.
New data from app developer Drivemode has shown that the afternoon rush hour, specifically between 3pm and 7pm, is the peak time for drivers to text. While New Yorkers text more during this time period than any other drivers, those in West Virginia should still be concerned because texting while driving is so widespread.
When West Virginia drivers get behind the wheel, around 36 percent of their fellow drivers are using a handheld cellphone according to statistics released by safe driving app Everdrive. The app tracks the driving practices of users on the road with their permission. The app's research found that drivers in the South are most likely to make use of their phones while driving; Mississippi leads the nation with 47 percent phone usage. Other nearby states such as Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida followed closely behind.
Rain and snow may make driving dangerous, but they're not the only types of hazardous weather. In the early morning and late afternoon, drivers in West Virginia can find themselves being blinded by the sun's rays. This compromising of vision can increase one's chances of getting in a car accident.
West Virginia drivers who daydream while behind the wheel might be more dangerous than those who use cell phones while driving, according to a study by Erie Insurance. Despite the attention paid to the dangers of being distracted by smartphones, boredom and inattention may still cause more accidents.
Drivers in West Virginia may be aware that distracted driving is a hazard. However, they might not realize just how pervasive it's becoming. A recent survey showed that 63 percent of drivers fear distracted drivers more than they do intoxicated drivers. The number of DUI-related deaths is a third of what it used to be three decades ago, but distracted driving deaths are on the rise.
Many drivers in West Virginia may wonder what type of impact developing technologies like autonomous cars could have on highway safety. While many people are excited about the technology due to its potential to regulate traffic and cut down on car accidents, many individuals worry about the decision-making capabilities of self-driving cars as well as the potential for software bugs or mechanical errors. However, one professor says that the biggest potential danger autonomous vehicles pose comes not from their robotic nature but rather from the role that humans play in designing and programming them.
A new study investigating behavior and attitudes regarding U.S. drivers concluded that distraction due to mobile devices has increased greatly since 2013. Ironically, the same surveyed motorists reported that they consider distracted driving as a serious road hazard. In fact, there is a large consensus amongst those polled that distracted driving is a serious threat to drivers in West Virginia and across the country.