The opioid crisis has come to impact the nation's roadways. From 1993 to 2016, the number of drivers who were deemed at fault for a crash and found with opioids in their system went from 2% to 7.1%. Residents of Pennsylvania should know that in fatal two-car accidents, the responsible driver is two times likelier to test positive for opioids than the other driver.
Pennsylvania residents should know that there are three types of distractions they can experience while driving: cognitive, visual and manual distractions. While calling, texting and using in-vehicle technology can raise the risk for a crash, the same goes for activities like eating, changing the radio station and talking with passengers. Distracted driving crashes kill nine people and injure at least 100 every day in the U.S.
Oct. 20 to 26, 2019, was designated as Teen Driver Safety Week. Coinciding with this event, researchers from Michigan State University published the results of a study involving teen drivers and the distractions they are prone to. Parents in Pennsylvania will want to take note and warn their teens about the danger of distracted driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that aggressive driving incidents that lead to fatal automobile accidents have increased significantly in New Jersey and across the country. One survey about aggressive driving found that 80 percent of the respondents admitted to being angry on the road, and drivers reported honking, yelling and tailgating on purpose.
Truck drivers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are allowed to work for 14 hours per day and drive for up to 11 per day. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is looking for ways to give drivers more flexibility as to how they perform their duties. This is in spite of the fact that driver fatigue has been cited as a safety concern by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Pennsylvania drivers may be interested to learn that the advancing technology that's being put into vehicles may make driving more difficult or challenging for older people. In many cases, the new technology results in distracted driving that increases crash risks.
Human error is the main contributing factor in the majority of motor vehicle accidents that occur in Pennsylvania. A large number of these accidents are considered minor, and there is minimal damage. However, thousands of more serious accidents lead to fatalities every year.
One reason that commercial trucking accidents may occur in Pennsylvania is improperly maintained vehicles. The trucks travel many miles every day, which results in significant wear and tear. It is the responsibility of the maintenance crews, drivers and trucking companies to ensure that the fleet is well-maintained. Cracked windshields or some other equipment failure can result in accidents.
Pennsylvania parents and teens may be particularly concerned about roadway safety in the summer. Because young people are out of school and involved in an array of parties and activities, car accidents may pose even more of a threat than usual. Teen drivers already face a higher risk of car crashes due to a number of factors, including their inexperience behind the wheel and the higher likelihood of distraction from electronic devices or from other friends in the vehicle. This risk grows during the summer.
Though the CDC recommends that everyone sleep at least seven hours each night, many are neglecting this and getting behind the wheel. Residents of Pennsylvania should know that drowsy driving is a widespread trend. Nearly one-third of respondents to a AAA survey admitted that in the past month, they drove in such a tired state that they could hardly open their eyes.