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Pedestrian fatalities increasingly involve SUVs

Pedestrians in Virginia may be in greater danger from SUVs than from other types of vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Overall, pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. In 2016, they were at their highest number since 1990. From 2009 to 2016, the years studied by the IIHS, they were up in all circumstances, but SUVs hit and killed pedestrians at an average annual increase that was 3 percent higher than all the other types of vehicles combined.

Teens with new driver's licenses can be dangerous

Teen drivers in Virginia may be more likely to cause car accidents in the first few months after they get their driver's licenses, according to one recent study. Conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Virginia Tech, the study placed dashcams inside teen drivers' cars to monitor the drivers and the roads. Software was installed to check acceleration and braking. All participants were monitored from the time they received their learner's permits until the end of their first year as licensed drivers. While teens have learner's permits, they must be accompanied by an adult when driving, but they can drive alone once they receive their licenses.

Top risks for distraction while driving

Virginia drivers who drive while drowsy, with children in the car, while using a cellphone or while angry may be more likely to have an accident. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have looked into each of those causes and some possible solutions.

Study finds females more likely to be distracted drivers

The Society for Risk Analysis has published a study showing that women are more likely than men to use their mobile phones while behind the wheel. Virginia residents may want to know about the details of this study as phone use is one of the most prevalent forms of distraction for drivers. While talking on the phone doubles the risk for a car crash, texting and driving increases the risk by sixfold.

Truck driver fatigue in Virginia

Road safety experts say that fatigue plays a role in at least 100,000 motor vehicle accidents every year around the country. Drowsiness is an especially pressing concern in the logistics sector because commercial vehicles weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and can cause catastrophic damage when they crash. The competitive and time-sensitive nature of the industry often compounds the dangers by putting great pressure on truck drivers to complete their journeys quickly.

Drivers more distracted by cellphones during the summer

Drivers in Virginia and elsewhere are more likely to be distracted by their cellphones during the summer according to a recent analysis by TrueMotion. As a result of the data, the Travelers Institute is warning drivers to keep their eyes on the road while going on summer vacations and road trips. In June, the Travelers Institute and TrueMotion partnered to present a symposium on distracted driving in Washington, D.C.

Drugged driving involved in fatal crashes

When people in Virginia get behind the wheel, they may be worried about the threat of drunk driving from others on the road. However, recent statistics indicate that drug-impaired driving could present an even greater threat to safety. According to a 2016 report by the Governors Highway Safety Administration, nearly half of all drivers killed in car crashes had drugs in their systems. This marks a distinct increase from the last time this was measured in 2006; in that year, only 28 percent of fatally injured drivers were found to have drugs in their system.

Brake safety week highlights truck inspections

When truck equipment is not properly maintained, other Virginia motorists could be at risk. This is one reason why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is holding its Brake Safety Week in September. During the event, commercial drivers across the country will be subject to enhanced inspections and enforcement of brake maintenance regulations. In 2017, the brake safety event was reduced to a single day, but for 2018 it has returned to its week-long incarnation.

Avoiding common motorcycle crash scenarios

While it can be fun to ride a motorcycle on Virginia roads, these types of vehicles can be dangerous. Fortunately, there are steps that a rider can take to spot and avoid hazards on the road. For instance, the most common motorcycle accident involves a car turning left in front of a rider.

Technology being developed to combat distracted driving

The number of road users killed or seriously injured in Virginia from distracted driving accidents has risen in recent years. Unfortunately, efforts to tackle the problem with public information campaigns have been largely ineffective. Many road safety advocates believe that changing the way cellphones and other electronic devices work could be the most effective long-term strategy.

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