West Virginia drivers may not be aware that they could significantly reduce their chances of a car crash by simply turning on their headlights in the daytime. Several studies have confirmed that the use of daytime headlights increases visibility and cuts down on car accidents. Because of this, some traffic safety advocates are pushing for legislation mandating the use of headlights during daylight hours.
Most accidents that take place in America occur within 25 miles of a person's home. This is partially because a West Virginia motorist might relax more when driving in familiar surroundings. It is also largely because most driving that a person does is relatively close to home. In many cases, people may go into autopilot when driving in familiar surroundings, which means they are relying more on muscle memory than actual technique.
The fall season in West Virginia brings many changes to the environment and daily lives of residents. Fall foliage, kids returning to school and changes in the weather can all combine to make driving a suddenly different experience for those who are used to the summer. Motorists should remember a few things to stay safe on the roads in the fall.
Although it is anticipated that autonomous vehicles will be safer, it may be a number of years before West Virginia drivers have the opportunity to purchase one. Despite optimistic predictions from industry insiders, several hurdles must be overcome before the cars will be widely available.
Sleepy motorists on West Virginia roads may soon be kept awake by an electronic device designed to vibrate and deliver shocks to a driver who is nodding off behind the whee. Drowsiness is actually one of the biggest threats on the road, and sleepy drivers cause thousands of fatal accidents each year around the country.
It was reported on July 25 that a West Virginia man filed a lawsuit against a transportation company after he alleged that an employee of the company caused an accident. The man also named the driver of the Hiteland Transportation truck as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Road travel is becoming more hazardous in West Virginia and around the country. Traffic accident deaths increased by 7 percent in 2015 after falling steadily for many years, and data released by the National Safety Council on Feb. 15 reveals that the nation's roads were even more deadly in 2016. The safety advocacy organization reports that motor vehicle accidents in the United States claimed 40,200 lives and cost the economy $432.5 billion in 2016, and some road safety experts say that legislators and law enforcement are not doing enough to keep road users safe.
Deaths on the road in West Virginia and across the country could be an additional risk after speed-limit increases, says a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The institute says that increasing speed limits over the past 20 years have taken 33,000 lives in auto crashes.
West Virginia has not been restricted in its ability to set motor vehicle speed limits since the full repeal of the National Maximum Speed Limit by the U.S. Congress. A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that tracked increases in speed limits and the number of traffic fatalities found an association between faster traffic and the number of people who die in wrecks.
The trend of lower driver death rates that began in the 1970s may be coming to an end, and motorists in West Virginia and other states may want to take note. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the risk of dying in an accident while operating a late-model vehicle increased in 2015. Preliminary reports indicate that the toll will be higher for 2016 as well.