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Posts Tagged ‘traffic deaths’

Infotainment Systems on Par With Cell Phones for Distracted Driving

Study reveals cars already have plenty of things to distract drivers.

by on Oct.05, 2017

Newer infotainment systems often require drivers to avert their eyes from the roads, leading to more dangerous driving.

For so long, researchers have focused on how cellular phones facilitate a variety of distracted driving behaviors, such as texting and driving. A new study now shows that vehicles themselves can be a distraction.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report suggesting that the latest infotainment systems in new vehicle promote distracted driving behaviors and on a scale greater than cell phones.

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Fatal crashes are on the rise in the U.S., and distracted driving is a major reason for the increase, the foundation believes. Deaths involving distracted driving jumped 8.8% to 3,477 in 2015, the latest year in which statistics were available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (more…)

Rural America Less Likely to Buckle Up, More Likely to Die in Car Crash

Study shows unbelted occupants account for half of deaths.

by on Sep.22, 2017

Front occupants are twice as likely to die in a crash if there's someone unbelted in back.

While seat belt usage rates in the United States are – and have been – above 90% for more than a decade, there is still a “problem” area: rural America.

According to a new study from Centers for Disease Control, America’s most rural counties had motor-vehicle death rates 3 to 10 times higher than those in the most urban counties, largely due to a lack of seatbelt use.

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“We know seat belts save lives,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “These findings remind us that no matter what kind of road you are traveling on, it is important for everyone to buckle up every time on every trip.” (more…)

Small Car Driver Risks on the Rise, Study Shows

Drivers of compacts more likely to die than larger vehicles.

by on May.26, 2017

The Hyundai Accent is one of the more dangerous cars on the road today, if involved in a collision, a new study shows.

Drivers of small cars have long known that they are at greater risk when involved in collisions with larger vehicles. However, the risk is increasing, according to a new study.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report suggests that traffic fatality rates are on the rise overall, but noted that of the top 10 vehicles involved in fatal crashes, five are minicars and three are small cars. The vehicle at the top of the list if the Hyundai Accent.

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Despite the increase in the overall rate, the worst vehicles actually saw some improvement. The 2014 Hyundai Accent’s death rate of 104 compares with 120 for the 2011 Accent. The worst vehicle among the 2011 models was the Kia Rio with a rate of 149. The 2014 Rio’s death rate is 102. (more…)

Independence Day Weekend Expected to Set New Fatality Record

NHTSA looking a ways to cut trend of rising traffic deaths.

by on Jul.05, 2016

After years of declines, highway fatalities were up 7.7% 2015 – the second year in a row for an increase – leaving officials to figure how to solve the problem.

While final figures have yet to be tallied, safety experts were forecasting the July 4 weekend would see an increase over last year’s fatality and injury totals.

In fact, the National Safety Council predicted as many as 409 Americans would be killed on this country’s roadways during the long weekend, and another 49,500 injured. If proven to be true, they’ll be the highest numbers since 2008.

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On average, there are 37% more highway fatalities on July 4 than the average July day, according to a study of federal accident data. And when traffic increases, so does the death toll, according to the NSC. (more…)

NHTSA Says Traffic Fatalities on the Rise in 2015

More miles logged offsetting improved safety equipment.

by on Sep.01, 2015

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said he won't let up on automakers in a push for safety.

New vehicles in the U.S. are the safest vehicles ever built, but the country’s highways are seeing the highest fatality rates in nearly a decade and that has safety officials scrambling to figure out what to do about it.

Despite more cars and trucks than ever being equipped with collision prevention equipment and vehicles designed to crash in ways to better protect vehicle occupants, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced U.S. traffic deaths jumped 9.5% to an estimated 7,500 during the first quarter of 2015.

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Part of the increase is being blamed on the fact that due to an improved economy spurred by low gas prices, Americans are driving more. Miles logged are up 3.9% during the same period, but that doesn’t account for everything, according to safety experts. (more…)

Worldwide Road Deaths Decline in 2014

Fatalities drop 54 percent for car occupants.

by on May.27, 2015

Despite scenes like this one, traffic fatalities around the globe are falling, according to the International Transportation Forum.

Road deaths continued falling in 2014 in many parts of the world, according to latest data compiled by the International Transport Forum, which studied data from more than two dozen countries in Europe, East Asia and the Americas as well as Australia.

Moreover, while substantial overall fatality reductions have been achieved since the year 2000, the pace of improvement for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, is lower than for car occupants, according to the International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) organized by the ITF.

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While fatalities among car occupants were reduced by 54% between 2000 and 2013, decreases were only 36% for pedestrians, 35% for cyclists and 22% for motorcyclists. As a consequence in many countries, road safety priorities have recently shifted from motorized rural traffic to vulnerable road users in urban areas, the ITF noted. (more…)

Teenagers Driving Old Cars: A Deadly Combination

Older vehicles feature fewer safety technologies and lower crashworthiness.

by on Dec.31, 2014

The 2005 Saab 9-3 is one of the safest and least expensive vehicles for teen drivers, according to IIHS.

The fact that teen drivers die at significantly higher rates than other age groups isn’t a surprise to most; however, one of the reasons may be a bit of a revelation: old cars.

It’s often assumed that teenage fatalities involving vehicles – the top reason for teenage fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is car crashes – can be attributable to a dangerous combination of poor driving habits and a lack of experience behind the wheel.

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However, teenagers also typically drive older vehicles that often lack the safety technologies that could offset some of their inexperience. It’s when that decade-old car or truck gets added to the mix that dangerous can become deadly. (more…)

New Study Shows Backup Cameras Save Lives

Adds support for proposed regulations requiring the devices.

by on Mar.13, 2014

A proposed rule requiring backup cameras on all vehicles is likely to be approved on the heels of a new study showing their effectiveness.

A new study adds strong support to a proposed rule that would require backup cameras on new cars and trucks. It shows the cameras are far more effective at spotting children and other obstacles than less sophisticated parking sensors – or drivers using their mirrors.

Backup cameras are already found on many of the latest cars, trucks and crossovers, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has repeatedly delayed announcing formal rules that would make them mandatory – something Congress and President Bush authorized in 2007. That’s despite NHTSA’s own estimate that the devices could save as many as 200 lives a year – including a large number of children under the age of five – inadvertently run over when motorists back up.

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“Right now, cameras appear to be the most promising technology for addressing this particularly tragic type of crash, which frequently claims the lives of young children in the driveways of their own homes,” said David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducted the new study. (more…)

Pedestrian Deaths Drop Sharply

Reverses recent upward trend.

by on Mar.05, 2014

Efforts to reduce pedestrian deaths are working as the number in 2013 dropped. Honda's pedestrian detection system is one more attempt to improve safety.

The number of pedestrians killed on U.S. roads dropped sharply during the first half of 2013, according to a new report, reversing a three-year upward trend.

The decline was a notable 8.7%, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, or GHSA, for a total of 1,985 pedestrians killed in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. By comparison, 2,175 were killed during the first half of 2012. After dipping between 2006 and 2009, pedestrian fatalities had risen by 15% between 2010 and 2012.

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“The preliminary findings are good news, but it’s too soon to celebrate,” said Kendell Poole, GHSA chairman and director of the Tennessee Office of Highway Safety. “With distraction an increasing issue for both pedestrians and motorists, pedestrian safety continues to be a priority in many areas of the country.” (more…)

U-M Study Claims U.S. Drivers More Dangerous than Europeans

More likely to die from cancer, heart disease in America.

by on Feb.20, 2014

The areas shaded in red are the most dangerous places to drive in the world based on World Health Organization data.

Most drivers in the United States believe they’re pretty good behind the wheel. And if you compare the number of deaths by car accidents with those of cancer or heart disease, they’re right.

However, once the numbers get compared to other countries around the world, U.S. drivers don’t fare quite as well, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

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Worldwide, there is an average of 18 auto fatalities per 100,000 people. The U.S. is actually better than the average at just 14 deaths, but compared to other industrialized nations, the number’s not all that impressive. (more…)