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motor vehicle accidents Archives

Realistic drivers' ed supplement improves teens' risk awareness

Researchers at Baylor University have analyzed the effect of a reality-based supplemental drivers' education program on teen participants, and the results may be of interest to parents of teen drivers in Virginia. The program is called the Texas Reality Education for Drivers program and is set over one day in a hospital.

The role of safety tech in reducing backup crashes

For Virginia residents who own new vehicles but not their safety add-ons, the following study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety may be of interest. The IIHS tested the effectiveness of rear automatic brakes in reducing backup crashes and found that they cut down the chances of one by 62 percent. When combined with rearview cameras and backup warning sensors, they reduce it by 78 percent.

Virginia teens know texting and driving is hazardous

Although 47 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws prohibiting texting while driving, distracted drivers remain a significant hazard on the nation's roadways. A recent study conducted by the Journal of Adolescent Health surveyed over 100,000 teenagers from 35 states, including Virginia, and found that many young people ignore their state ban and continue to text while driving. In fact, a full 38 percent of the teens surveyed admitted to this dangerous behavior.

Roundabouts can cut the risk of crash injuries

Every year, people are injured or even killed in motor vehicle accidents that take place at dangerous intersections in Virginia. Some intersections are well-known for the risks they pose to drivers; for example, the junction of two 55-mph roads that come together at a stop sign can be a risky site, especially at night. Far too many drivers run stop signs, and visibility at many intersections can be poor or obstructed.

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.

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