Some West Virginia motorists might be engaging in distracting behaviors while behind the wheel even if they disapprove of them. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found in a survey that almost 50 percent more drivers said they talked on a cellphone fairly often or regularly while they were driving compared to those who were asked a similar question in a 2013 survey. However, even though almost half said they had used handheld phones, more than half said they believed talking on the phone while driving was a serious safety issue.
Drivers in West Virginia may be wondering just what can be done to improve road safety conditions. After all, traffic fatalities are now on the rise again after several years of decline. In 2016, there was a nationwide total of 37,461 traffic fatalities, which was 5.6 percent more than the previous year. The increase was felt by 39 states in 2016.
Drivers in West Virginia and across the United States may be avoiding collisions and staying safer on the roadways due to automotive warning technologies. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that systems like lane departure warnings or blind spot alerts can play a major role in cutting down the number of car crashes, particularly those that cause injuries. The IIHS study looked at over 5,000 car accidents in 2015 of the type that these systems are intended to prevent.
Experts believe that distracted driving may be a cause in the rise in traffic fatalities across West Virginia and the rest of the nation. Smartphones have proven to be one of the most frequent sources of distraction, with 52 percent of users stating in a Consumer Reports survey that they have texted, sent emails, browsed the Internet, and watched videos while behind the wheel.
While drunk driving receives a lot of media attention for the risks it poses, West Virginia motorists have reason to be concerned about another form of driving under the influence - drugged driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working to draw attention to this type of reckless behavior.
For people in West Virginia and across the United States, it's always reasonable to be concerned about a car accident when getting behind the wheel. Every year, over 60 million collisions happen across the country, and numbers have grown in both 2015 and 2016, showing signs of an escalating trend. Car accidents aren't only damaging to property; they can cause serious personal injuries or even death. This means that reducing or eliminating auto accidents is of major concern to researchers and engineers, many of whom study the causes of crashes in order to develop strategies for reducing the number of preventable injuries and accidents.
Residents of West Virginia should know that the smartphone-based game, Pokémon Go, could be just as much of a factor in distracted driving as texting, talking on the phone and other actions. Although the game's popularity has been waning, millions of people still play it, and reports still come in of players injuring themselves or others because of it.
Many families in West Virginia gathered together for a special Thanksgiving meal, but it was a dangerous time to travel. The long Thanksgiving weekend creates a spike in traffic fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been tasked with writing the safety regulations for self-driving vehicles. This comes as the result of a bill passed by the Senate Commerce Committee in October, which also grants exemptions for up to 80,000 self-driving vehicles that automakers deploy each year within the next three years. However, there are some roadblocks, so drivers in West Virginia may have to wait several more years before getting their hands on a driverless car.
Most West Virginia residents will experience a car accident at some point in their lives. While most car accidents only cause minor injuries and property damage, car accidents are a common cause of death among all age groups in the United States. Car accidents in 2016 were at a nine-year high despite advanced safety features in newer vehicles.