West Virginia residents may have heard about the deadly limo crash in New York that was widely covered in October. All 18 passengers in the limousine, the driver and two pedestrians were killed in the crash. The group was heading to a surprise birthday party from a brewery when the crash occurred.
On October 3, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data that showed that motor vehicle accident fatalities in West Virginia and around the country fell slightly in 2017. This is news that will likely be welcomed by road safety advocates who were concerned when road death figures rose alarmingly in both 2015 and 2016. NHTSA used data from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System to compile the report. It is a database of traffic accident statistics based on police reports and accident investigations.
Virtually all West Virginia workers are exposed to various hazards throughout the day that could lead to slip-and-fall accidents. A majority of such accidents involve falls from the same level, falls caused by ice or snow and falls from a different level. Workers could also fall from stairs, slip on liquids or fall into openings. Then there are slips where victims almost fall but catch themselves.
Research shows that most drivers tend to overestimate their driving abilities. This is true of drivers all over the world, but it is especially true of those in West Virginia and around the country.
A report released by Motus, a vehicle management platform, indicates that the rate of car accidents has increased significantly alongside the rate of smartphone use. In its 2018 Distracted Driving Report, the company says smartphone ownership grew to 77 percent in 2017 from just 55 percent in 2013. During that same period, the number of car crashes in West Virginia and across the country rose to 6.4 million from 5.7 million. That represents a 12.3 percent increase.
West Virginia has a rainy season like every other state, which poses several challenges on the road. One of the dangers that drivers must always be alert for is hydroplaning, where a vehicle slides or slips uncontrollably over a wet surface. The thin layer of water that develops between a vehicle's tire and the road could become thicker, making the tires lose traction.
West Virginia residents, especially those who are thinking about purchasing a new car, should know that current safety tech is cutting down on the number of backup crashes. While backup collisions are only one type of accident, the fact remains that they can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities, particularly among children.
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.