Brooklyn residents should know that drowsiness and driving do not go well together. A 2018 AAA study found that 9.5% of all car crashes are caused by sleepy drivers. The National Sleep Foundation says that going without sleep for 24 hours will have an effect similar to that of having a BAC of .10, surpassing the legal limit of .08.
The Operation Safe Driver Week, an annual campaign held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, is to be held this year in mid-July. Both passenger vehicle and commercial motor vehicle drivers in New York and across the U.S. (across all of North America, in fact) will be affected.
Approximately 7% of all fatal car crashes in the U.S. involve opioids. Drivers in Brooklyn should know that opioids can make one dizzy and sedated, taking away their alertness and slowing their reactions. Most opioid medications have warnings on their labels saying that one should not take them before driving or operating heavy machinery, but these warnings are being ignored.
Brooklyn residents know that drunk driving is a serious and widespread issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,874 people in this country died in drunk driving crashes in 2017. Every day, an average of 30 people die in such accidents in the United States. Volvo Cars has announced a plan to use new vehicle safety technology as part of the effort to reduce these crashes.
Some Brooklyn drivers may be among the 47 percent who report distracted driving is their primary concern in a survey by Root Insurance. However, many of those same drivers engage in distracted driving behaviors themselves. Root Insurance offers discounts to drivers who do not use their cell phones while they are behind the wheel.
Drivers in New York may be eagerly anticipating the release of fully autonomous vehicles. However, there are questions as to when that will actually happen and if it should happen in the next few years. One of the big problems has to do with whether or not people will want to give up being in control of their vehicles. There is also the question of what will happen when autonomous vehicles share the road with cars controlled by humans.
First responders in New York are always in danger of being struck by vehicles when helping others on the side of the road. Already, 16 first responders have been struck and killed in the first four months of 2019. This is because drivers tend to become distracted around emergency vehicles. A new survey shows that driver distraction is more common than some might think.
Many motor vehicle accidents in New York are caused by distracted drivers. Whether one is texting or flipping through radio stations, distracted driving falls under the legal category known as "negligence." According to The Travelers Companies, this type of negligence is tough for some people to avoid. The insurance group recently released the results of a survey on the topic.
New York residents may remember that the state proposed a measure back in 2017 that would allow police to use "textalyzers" to determine distracted driving. That measure failed, but Nevada has introduced a similar proposal. The textalyzer was developed by the Israel-based company Cellebrite to check for any user activity, such as opening a Facebook messenger call screen. It does not access or store personal content.
The number of large truck crash fatalities in 2017 came to 4,102, which was a 28 percent increase from 2009. Of those fatalities, 68 percent were car occupants and 14 percent were pedestrians, bicycle riders or motorcyclists. New York residents should know that many truck safety groups are advocating devices like forward crash avoidance and mitigation technology on all heavy trucks as a way to reduce these numbers.