Car accidents are an all too common occurrence in West Virginia, and when they don't end in death, they can still result in serious injuries. Some drivers may even develop PTSD, or a fear of driving, following an accident. It's a good idea for drivers to be aware of the types of injuries that they can sustain in a car accident.
The muscles, tendons and ligaments compose the soft tissues of the body, and they can easily be injured by any sudden, uncontrollable movements. These injuries usually fall under sprains, contusions, strains and tears. Auto accidents are the most frequent cause of soft tissue damage because the impact, followed by the braking of the car and bracing of the body, forces the tissue to stretch.
Drivers in West Virginia who are concerned about road safety may be interested to learn that a new technology in vehicles is reducing the occurrence of back-up crashes. Only 5 percent of new vehicles that are being manufactured have rear automatic braking, which is associated with a 62 percent reduction in the number of reported back crashes in vehicles that are equipped with the technology. When the automatic braking technology is used in conjunction with rear-view sensors and cameras, there is a 78 percent drop in the number of reverse crashes.
On Feb. 6, the Governors Highway Safety Association issued a report outlining ways that road safety could be improved in West Virginia and across the United States. The purpose of the report, "State Strategies to Reduce Highway and Traffic Fatalities and Injuries: A Road Map for States," is to increase awareness about traffic safety and recommend strategies that state governors can use to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities.
Distracted driving is something that people in West Virginia and across the country often hear about. Though it's usually associated with cell phone use, new car technologies -- from GPS systems to video players -- are also creating dashboard distractions. However, technology could also offer some solutions to the problem of distracted driving. Consumer Reports investigated some new safety applications that are aimed at preventing distracted driving and making everyone safer on the road.
West Virginia residents who smoke pot may want to think twice before they get behind the wheel. Smoking pot can impair one's ability to drive safely and lead to car accidents.
Completely autonomous vehicles are still far in the future, so West Virginia motorists should consider what technologies are available here and now that can help them stay safe. Thankfully, there's plenty to consider, especially with the way that advanced driver assistance systems have been developing.
Residents of West Virginia are probably aware that with the legalization of marijuana in many jurisdictions, and with the nation's current opioid crisis, there is a greater risk for accidents due to drugged driving. Among U.S. workers, urine tests have detected an increase in amphetamine, marijuana, and heroin annually for the past five years.
In West Virginia and across the U.S., speeding has been causing more and more fatalities. This is according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board, which found that speeding accounted for 31 percent of all roadway deaths in America from 2005 to 2014. Speeding-related accidents amounted to about 112,580 deaths. For comparison, the study noted that 112,948 people died during that same period in drunk driving accidents.
West Virginia's fatal car crash rate is higher than the national average and higher than that of nearby states, according to federal statistics. Traffic safety experts say that multiple factors contribute to the problem.