Halloween is one of the most dangerous days for traffic crashes. The National Highway Traffic Administration reports that holiday drunk driving fatalities reach their peak between 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and 6 a.m. on Nov. 1. Drunk driving was to blame for 44 percent of the fatal traffic crashes that occurred during this 12-hour period from 2012 to 2016. Louisiana residents should therefore consider the following tips to ensure a safe All Hallows' Eve.
Louisiana readers may have heard that there were fewer overall traffic fatalities in 2017 than there were in 2016. However, according to a new government report, there was an increase in the number of traffic deaths caused by large trucks.
Louisiana parents concerned about giving car keys to their teenage children may take a page from the book of neighboring Texas. The Texas Reality Education for Drivers program is a drivers' education supplement aimed at teens who are unsafe drivers. Besides traditional elements like lectures, videos and discussions, the program incorporates more interactive and reality-based components. According to a Baylor University study, these components are especially helpful in raising risk awareness.
Though they're several states apart, Louisiana motorists may be interested in something that North Carolina residents know: roundabouts in rural areas save lives. That state began installing roundabouts out in the country after a 21-year-old pregnant woman was killed in an intersection by a driver who ran a stop sign.
Much has been said and written in Louisiana and around the country in recent years about the impact that autonomous automobile safety systems and self-driving cars will have on road safety. Some experts say that this technology will eliminate the human error that causes the overwhelming majority of motor vehicle accidents and save thousands of lives each year, but a study released recently by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that current autonomous systems are far from reliable and a great deal more development and testing is needed.
Many auto accidents in Louisiana are caused by human error, which makes them preventable. If drivers consider the following tips, they can drastically reduce their risks for a crash. The first is to avoid all distracting behaviors while on the road; this includes all cell phone use, eating, putting on makeup, reading, reaching into the backseat and adjusting the audio system. Having a large number of passengers can also lead drivers to engage in distracting conversations.
Drowsy driving is a greater problem than many Louisiana residents might think. In 2018, AAA reported that the number of crashes involving drowsy drivers is actually eight times higher than federal estimates indicate. In a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adults admitted to driving drowsy, and 37 percent admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel.
Talking on the phone while driving can double the risk for an accident, and texting while driving will increase that risk by six times. Drivers in Louisiana are probably aware that distracted driving is becoming a major issue; they themselves may engage in it. Unfortunately, many people are not aware that phone use behind the wheel is dangerous.
Louisiana residents may have heard of the dire predictions that are being made concerning driverless cars and the insurance industry. Back in 2016, a report from Morgan Stanley estimated that the industry would contract to about 20 percent of its current size by the year 2040. However, new research and the recent spate of accidents involving autonomous vehicles both suggest a more gradual and less drastic change.
According to the US Department of Transportation, 37,150 people died on America's roads in 2017. This is a 10 percent increase of the fatality rates from 2014, and researchers across the nation believe that distracted driving is a major factor. Louisiana drivers should know about a recent AAA analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Utah. The results show that there are different levels of distraction depending on the type of technology used.