The volume of traffic accidents at intersections are not only becoming more common but are also resulting in more serious injuries and fatalities. An intersection is the crossing over of two roads with cars traveling in different directions at the same time. Ordinarily, accidents that occur in an intersection are the result of one driver failing to yield to traffic, due to violating a law or ignoring a traffic sign or signal, among other things. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that almost half of the automobile accidents that occur each year involved a driver failing to yield … Read the rest
Effective immediately, it is a primary traffic offense for drivers to use handheld electronic devices for activities such as texting while a vehicle is in motion, thereby giving law enforcement the power to stop drivers solely for engaging in this activity. Before this law, it was illegal for drivers to use handheld electronic devices while their vehicle was in motion, but it was a secondary traffic offense — meaning a driver had to be stopped for another violation in order to receive a ticket. The monetary penalty for a violation of this law continues to be a fine of up … Read the rest
Last Friday, June 3, Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a new law that prohibits texting behind the wheel. Under the new law, which takes effect in September 2011, violators will face a minimum fine of $100. The new law is designed to strengthen a 2009 Maine law that more generally prohibited distracted driving but was felt not insufficient to deal with the huge safety risk of texting while driving. In Nevada, a bill that bans any non-hands-free use of a cell phone while driving passed through the State Senate and Assembly on June 4th and is now awaiting the governor’s … Read the rest
New York drivers ranked last in the 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test. The test found that nearly 1 in 5 licensed drivers roughly 38 million Americans would not pass a written drivers test exam if taken today. Kansas drivers ranked first in the nation (82.3 percent average score); New York drivers ranked last (70 percent average score). The national average score decreased to 76.2 percent from 76.6 percent in 2009.
The results were reported by state, age and sex. Some specific questions involving safe following distances and yellow lights posed particular difficulty. Seventy-three percent of drivers could not properly … Read the rest
Nearly 6,000 people were killed and a half-million were injured in vehicle crashes in 2008 connected to driver distraction, including texting, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Presently, 25 states make it unlawful to text message while driving, with Wisconsin’s law just signed by the governor.
New York is another of the 25 states, pursuant to section 1225-d of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, which became effective November 1, 2009. Using a cell phone while driving a vehicle that is in motion has been illegal in New York since December 1, 2001 (VTL 1225-c).
Although the result of texting … Read the rest
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, killing more than 5,000 each year. More than 7,000 people nationwide were killed in crashes involving teen drivers in 2007, government data show. More than 3,000 of these deaths were teen drivers, and more than 250,000 teen drivers were injured. Two articles in the October 2009 edition of Pediatrics magazine offer advice to parents to help reduce teen driving accidents.
First, do not give your teen his or own car. Second, be involved and authoritative; give clear driving safety rules and offer support. The studies show that it’s not … Read the rest
This past summer a bill was introduced in the United States Senate to require states to adopt federally set minimum penalties for writing, sending, or reading text messages while driving. The bill requires states to pass laws prohibiting text messaging or forfeit 25 percent of highway financing, which would amount to losing hundreds of millions in federal transportation funds. States would have two years to comply and could recover lost funds once they passed acceptable laws.
A companion bill has been introduced in the House. The Senate bill is called the Alert Drivers Act of 2009 and is also known … Read the rest
Naturalistic driving studies that record drivers (through continuous video and kinematic sensors in participants personal vehicles) in actual driving situations are a scientific method to study driver behavior in real-world driving conditions in the presence of real-world daily pressures. In contrast, a driving simulator is not actual driving – driving simulators engage participants in tracking tasks in a laboratory. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) conducted several large-scale, naturalistic driving studies that continuously observed drivers for more than 6 million miles of driving.
While the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study confirmed the tremendous driver distraction associated with text messaging, the results … Read the rest
While driving on the highways in the New York metropolitan area, have you noticed that when the overhead highway electronic traffic signs have no traffic jams to report, they warn that only hands-free devices can legally be used? While happy to not have to deal with a traffic jam, who knew that this seemingly friendly advice was false – that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) withheld data showing that drivers talking on their cell phones experience the same potentially deadly distraction whether they are using a handheld device or hands-free technology.
Records obtained by consumer advocacy groups Public … Read the rest
Cell phones are known to distract motor vehicle drivers to the point that their safety is jeopardized and an accident may occur. But what about whether cell phones might also distract child pedestrians? A study of effect of cell phone use on pediatric pedestrian injury risk suggests that cell phones distract pre-adolescent children while crossing streets. While distracted, children were less attentive to traffic; left less safe time between their crossing and the next arriving vehicle; experienced more collisions and close calls with oncoming traffic; and waited longer before beginning to cross the street.
Seventy-seven children aged 10 to … Read the rest