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Springfield Virginia Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

Bright sunlight can pose a risk of auto crashes

People in Virginia may find it challenging to drive in bright sunlight, and some may operate their cars negligently despite poor visibility, leading to serious accidents and injuries. The glare of oncoming sun can be linked to traffic problems in the morning and the afternoon, but there are actions that people can take to protect themselves and others on the road from dangerous situations.

Good sunglasses can be critical to safely driving in strong sun glare. They can reduce UV rays to a driver's eyes as well as dull excessive glare. In addition, the car sun visors are there for a reason. It can be important to position them as best as possible to block incoming sunlight through the front windshield or side windows. Because they are built-in equipment, they should not block a driver's vision of the road ahead. Window tinting can also mitigate the effects of bright sunlight, but it's important to verify state laws before moving forward with tint film. Some states prohibit vehicle windows that are overly dark or blackened.

A push to end distracted driving

In Virginia and other states throughout the country, the number of traffic fatalities has gone up in recent years. However, legislation passed in Georgia and other states shows that governments are taking the problem seriously. Laws passed in Georgia and Rhode Island prohibit drivers from using their phones while a car is in motion. According to TrueMotion, distracted driving was down in both of those states after hands-free laws were passed.

In Georgia, there was a 22 percent reduction in the amount of texting and app use among drivers in the first month after that state's law passed. According to the governor of Georgia, reducing traffic fatalities by 20 percent could save 260 people each year. As of September 2018, there was a 14 percent drop in traffic fatalities in Georgia. The results from Georgia's efforts have increased the amount of interest in other states for similar laws.

Could race affect your chances of dying in a motorcycle crash?

In our society, racial minorities face discrimination on the job, on the street and elsewhere in their lives. But one startling statistic from a Johns Hopkins University study shows another shocking disparity: Black motorcyclists have a higher chance of dying in a crash than their white counterparts.

Legal cannabis linked to increase in car crashes

As people in Virginia and across the country debate the legalization of recreational marijuana, some have wondered if motor vehicle laws are keeping up with the times. Cannabis legalization has led to more people driving under the influence. This issue is especially complicated since there is little clear guidance about how much cannabis is too much to allow a person to drive safely. One study indicates that there's good reason for concern about how roadway safety could be affected by marijuana legalization.

The National Transportation Safety Authority released a report saying that more drivers across the country are impaired by drugs. It cited a Texas motor vehicle crash in 2017 that killed 12 people, saying that a man who hit the bus was under the influence of sedatives and marijuana. Given the opiate crisis and the rise in prescription drug abuse, many drug-related crashes aren't caused by cannabis. Still, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety noted that states with legalized marijuana have more car crashes overall.

Groups call for mandatory crash avoidance tech on large trucks

Virginia residents who are concerned about truck safety may wonder if crash avoidance systems could help in any way. While such systems can certainly reduce the number of crashes, they are currently not mandated for commercial trucks. A report given by The Kansas City Star, the findings of which have received the attention of several members of Congress, says that they should be.

The Star brought up federal data showing that there were 4,3000 people killed in large truck accidents: a 28 percent increase from 2009. It then called out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to propose any regulations that take advantage of crash avoidance technology.

NHTSA's 2017 data shows rise in large truck crash deaths

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a new report on 2017 crash trends based on data from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. What Virginia residents should know is that in a year that saw a decline in all segments of car crash deaths, the number of people who died in large truck crashes increased dramatically.

The total number of people killed in car crashes went down by 1.8 percent from 37,806 to 37,133. Passenger vehicle, motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths dropped by 1.4, 3.1 and 1.7 percent, respectively. Bicyclist deaths saw the greatest decrease (8.1 percent), and speeding-related deaths also went down considerably (5.6 percent).

Study finds drivers over-reliant on car safety systems

If Virginia drivers are like most Americans, they are overestimating the abilities of their vehicle's advanced safety technologies. As a result, they could be at risk for causing a serious accident, according to a new study.

Advanced safety technologies like blind spot monitoring systems, adaptive cruise control and automatic braking systems have become increasingly common in new vehicles. However, according to researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, most drivers don't fully understand the limitations of these systems and become over-reliant on them as a result.

Steps you can take to avoid distraction behind the wheel

Distracted driving has gone from a niche issue to a major concern for all drivers on the road. People have chosen to drive distracted for as long as motor vehicles have existed, but mobile technology makes distraction easier and more tempting than ever before.

Our culture, in many ways, supports instant gratification and constant contact. People have a hard time staying disconnected, even for the duration of their daily commute. Many people even experience addiction related to their smart devices.

More mobile workers are getting in distracted driving crashes

According to a new report, mobile workers in Virginia could be getting in more distracted driving-related car accidents. Not surprisingly, smartphone use while driving is behind the trend.

Researchers from Motus, a Boston-based vehicle management and reimbursement platform, analyzed company data and found that smartphone use among mobile workers increased from 55 percent in 2013 to 77 percent in 2017. During the same five-year period, the number of U.S. car crashes jumped from 5.7 million to 6.4 million, which represents a spike of 12.3 percent. Researchers also found that mobile workers are on the road 49 percent more than average Americans, and the average mobile employee logs approximately 1,200 distracted miles each year.

Driving safely in the rainy months

Motorists in Virginia should take extra care to be safe on the roads during the rainy season, which begins at the end of June and ends in September. Rain, thunderstorms and hail can create hazardous conditions on the road, some of which can result in hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle skids or slides on a wet surface. When a vehicle is hydroplaning, its tires are in contact with more water than they can properly handle. A thin layer of water is formed between the road and tires as the pressure at the front of the tires shoves the water underneath the tires.

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