With the ability to communicate via cellphone on social media platforms, there is an ever-growing enticement for West Virginia motorists to engage in these distractions while behind the wheel. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that on a daily basis around the country, more than a thousand individuals are hurt and eight die because of a car accident caused by a distracted driver.
Despite significant progress in lowering the fatality rates for car accidents in West Virginia and across the U.S., a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, establishes that much work needs to be done. The report, released on July 6, compares the U.S. fatality rates to those of 19 other wealthy countries, including the UK, Sweden, Japan and others.
Some West Virginia residents may be unaware that 59-year-old James Halsell Jr., a former NASA astronaut, has been charged with murder following a fatal car accident in Alabama. The incident took place on June 6, and authorities say that speed and alcohol played a role in the crash. Halsell was released from custody after posting a $150,000 bail.
A woman filed a lawsuit in Mercer Circuit Court alleging that another driver's negligent behaviors led to injuries suffered in a car crash. In June 2014, the woman was driving west on Morrison Street in Princeton when she was rear ended by another vehicle. The plaintiff claimed that she was hit when she slowed to yield for another driver and the driver in the car behind her didn't stop.
Some West Virginia residents may have figured that the health of the nation's economy has a significant bearing on road safety. Road traffic accident injuries and fatalities fell in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, but lower energy prices and consistent economic growth have since led to higher traffic levels and a sharp rise in the number of crashes. According to data from the National Safety Council, road fatalities were up by 14 percent and injuries were up by 30 percent between January and June 2015 compared with the first six months of 2014.
Parents of teenagers in West Virginia may want to be aware of a report about teen drivers and injury accident statistics. The report was released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in May 2015, but the data is still relevant.
On May 13, an accident that occurred on U.S. 119 in West Virginia caused four people to become seriously injured. Authorities stated that one of the vehicles that was involved in the crash appeared to be stolen.
West Virginia residents who follow politics might not be familiar with Ann Day but have probably heard of her sister, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The Day family and others in Arizona are mourning the loss of former state senator Ann Day after she was killed in a motor vehicle accident May 7.
West Virginia residents may be aware that some bold claims have been made about the impact that autonomous vehicle technology and self-driving cars will have on road safety. A senior Volvo executive recently said that the Swedish car maker hopes to virtually eliminate fatalities in its vehicles by 2020, and companies like Tesla and Google point to accident statistics revealing that the vast majority of auto crashes involve human error of one sort or another.
Issues such as texting and driving have resulted in a major movement to minimize the use of smartphones while on the roads in West Virginia and across the nation. However, some of the technologies that have been developed to facilitate safer communications on the road do not necessarily eliminate distractions. The fact that these technologies have been incorporated into the dashboards of many vehicles causes numerous drivers to believe that their use is safe. However, these technologies are targeted more at the convenience of the driver than at safety.