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AAA finds drivers overestimate the power of car safety tech

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that many drivers in West Virginia and across the U.S. are relying too heavily on their car safety features like blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. While car safety features can, according to federal estimates, reduce the number of car crashes by 40 percent and crash-related deaths by 30 percent, they can still backfire when drivers do not understand their limitations.

The problem with overconfidence behind the wheel

As a general rule, motorists in West Virginia and throughout the country feel as if they are good drivers. In fact, Americans tend to be even more confident about their abilities than those in other countries. One study found that about 90 percent of Americans thought that they were above average in terms of driving safely. The same study found that a little more than 75 percent of Swedes felt the same way.

Traffic circles can reduce injury crash numbers

When people in West Virginia drive on rural roads, they could encounter some very dangerous intersections. Despite the fact that these roads see relatively little traffic, the crashes that occur there can be serious for a number of reasons. These roads are commonly joined by only stop signs. However, they can have speed limits as high as 55 mph.

Study suggests distracted driving is a multigenerational problem

Millennials and Gen Zers in West Virginia and other parts of the country routinely are accused of being the group of drivers most likely to be distracted while behind the wheel. However, a Harris Poll study conducted with a leading car manufacturer suggests drivers in other generations may be just as likely to not be entirely focused on the road when driving. The results, based on two separate 2,000-subject studies, show that 90 percent of all individuals surveyed agree that there are more possible driver distractions today than what was common just five years ago.

Study shows safety issues with assisted driving systems

According to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, cars and trucks with electronic driver assist systems could potentially steer into parked vehicles or other hazards on the road. The report, which looked at vehicles manufactured by Tesla, BMW, Volvo and Mercedes, showed that assisted driving systems could both save lives and cause accidents. The chief research officer of the study stated that it's imperative for drivers in West Virginia using these systems to pay attention to the road at all times.

How drivers in West Virginia can avoid accidents

Drivers can do many things to reduce their risk for an auto accident, but it must begin before they get on the road. Vehicle maintenance is key because it improves steering, handling and acceleration. Good tires and brakes are especially important because they reduce stopping distance.

Newly licensed teens may be risky drivers

Teen drivers in West Virginia and across the country may be at their most dangerous to themselves and others on the road in the first months after obtaining their driver's licenses, according to one study. When teens have a learner's permit, they are required to be accompanied in the car by a parent or other adult. However, once they receive their licenses, they are able to drive alone. This shift from accompanied to solo driving can be more difficult than anticipated.

Study shows injuries more common in small vehicle accidents

Since the last recession, the rise in the number of vehicles on West Virginia roads has climbed along with the economy. The higher number of drivers has also lead to a higher number of injury claims made to insurance carriers. Researchers have used recent data to determine which makes and models are most frequently involved in car crashes with injuries.

How insurance may fare in an age of driverless cars

Experts have made predictions already about how the auto insurance industry will fare in an age of fully autonomous cars. Drivers in West Virginia may be interested to know that newer research differs from older in suggesting a less dire future for the industry. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has issued a report stating that the industry will likely evolve rather than disappear.

Introduction of new tech could reduce distracted driving

Recently, the National Safety Council surveyed drivers across West Virginia and the rest of the U.S. asking what they would do if their car or phone came pre-set with the ability to block communications while they were on the road. Out of 2,400 respondents, 55 percent said they would keep the blocking technology on while 23 percent said they would deactivate it. This gives hope that many drivers would take advantage of such technology once it's on the market.

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