The Travelers Companies surveyed more than 2,000 consumers and executives about distracted driving for its 2019 Travelers Risk Index, and it has discovered the most common forms of distraction as well as the most common reasons for them. West Virginia residents may not be surprised that texting and sending emails was the number one distracting activity (44 percent). This was followed by social media use (23 percent), recording videos or taking pictures (22 percent) and online shopping (15 percent).
Many West Virginia residents choose medium or full-sized two-row pickup trucks because they offer an attractive combination of durability, hauling capability and space, but a recent series of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that vehicles like the Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Colorado may not be as safe for passengers as their rugged reputations suggest. After propelling the right-front corners of several pickup trucks into an obstacle at normal driving speeds, only the Nissan Titan, Dodge Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 earned a rating of good for passenger protection.
West Virginia readers understand that texting while driving is dangerous. In order to reduce the risk of accidents, Nevada legislators are considering a bill that allows authorities to use technology that tests a driver's cellphone to see if he or she was texting just before a car accident. New York lawmakers failed to pass a similar bill in 2017.
The narrow lanes of highway work zones make them a dangerous area. All too often drivers will speed through them, not only raising the risk for a crash but also increasing the severity of their injuries when a crash occurs. West Virginia residents should know that previous studies on crash risk in highway work zones have relied on crash reports, which do not contain the most detailed information on driver behavior. One new study, though, is different.
A fatal car accident in Virginia left one teenage girl dead and one woman seriously injured. The auto accident took place in the early afternoon at approximately 1:05 p.m. Only one vehicle was involved in the collision.
West Virginia residents should know that losing one hour of sleep for daylight saving time can have consequences on the road. Namely, motorists will be more likely to drive in a drowsy state of mind. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that missing one or two of the suggested seven hours of sleep within a 24-hour period can roughly double the risk for a car crash.
People in West Virginia face serious threats from drunk drivers on the roads. Drunk driving is implicated in thousands of serious car accidents each year, including many fatal crashes. As a result, people may be very concerned about how they can spot drunk drivers and avoid them on the road. There are a number of signs that can indicate that someone is intoxicated behind the wheel. For example, sometimes people can even see a driver imbibing alcohol behind the wheel. There are other telltale signs in the way a driver operates the car. For example, a drunk driver may swerve in and out of a lane, stop at random times, fail to respond to traffic signal changes or even drive down the road in the wrong direction.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a report on distracted driving that should prove interesting to many in West Virginia. Researchers focused on two surveys from 2014 and 2018; in these, drivers in four Northern Virginia communities were observed for distracted behavior while approaching or stopped at red lights. While distracted driving rates did not change much in that period, the ways that drivers were distracted did.
Back in April 2018, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a position statement in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine regarding the safety risks of the ridesharing industry. Ridesharing drivers in West Virginia, as elsewhere in the U.S., typically work during extended periods of wakefulness like the late nights and early mornings. This can be due to low fare and salary incentives combined with a feeling that sleep is unimportant.
A recent study sponsored by AAA focused on increasing levels of driver distraction tied to newer motor vehicle infotainment systems. These systems are more and more common on West Virginia roadways. Researchers examined 30 systems installed in 2017 model cars and found that none of them required only low levels of demand on the drivers. Rather, seven systems made moderate demands, eleven made high demands and twelve made very high demands of drivers.