New York residents may or may not support the use of red-light cameras at certain intersections. Nationwide, there has been controversy over these devices, and as a result, fewer communities are installing them. In 2012, 533 communities had them, but by mid-2018, that number fell to 421.
Brooklyn residents may have heard of the ignition interlock device, an in-car breathalyzer that prevents drunk drivers from heading out on the road. The number of IIDs installed has grown from 133,000 to 350,000 over the past decade, and 34 states have a law requiring these devices in the vehicles of DUI offenders. Those states, incidentally, see 15% fewer alcohol-related crash fatalities than the other states.
In New York state, a new law prohibits drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel to drive again until they have been cleared by a doctor. The law was created after an accident in 2018 that left two people dead and three people injured. One of the injured victims was a pregnant woman who would later miscarry her child. The driver who caused the crash had a seizure before running a red light at Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue.
Some New York drivers who have safety technology installed in their vehicles may actually be more dangerous on the road than if they did not have it. Some experts say drivers need to be better educated about what these systems are and are not capable of.
Drowsy driving has been a serious road safety issue in New York and around the country for many years, and studies suggest that the problem is far more widespread than government figures suggest. Crashes caused by fatigued drivers claimed 795 lives in 2017 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but researchers from the American Automobile Association say that the true death toll is much higher. The nonprofit organization Foundation for Traffic Safety has reported that drowsy driving causes about 6,400 fatal car accidents in the United States every year.
People in New York are often concerned about the dangers of drunk driving. After all, every day, 30 people across the country lose their lives in car accidents caused by drivers under the influence. After a drunk driving conviction, drivers may be required to install an ignition interlock device that allows them to only start the car after blowing a clean Breathalyzer test. However, this equipment is not included on standard vehicles, and it can be expensive to install when ordered by a court. Some members of Congress want to change that and mandate that all cars be equipped with alcohol-detection technology.
Residents of New York who use opioids for chronic pain or acute injuries probably know what the effects can be like. For people who are not used to the effects, it is common to experience psychomotor and cognitive impairment. Opioids can cause drowsiness and impair judgment. It's not surprising, then, that opioid use and driving do not go together.
Most workers feel exhausted driving home to Brooklyn after a long night shift. Some of them might experience the warning signs of dangerous drowsiness that could lead to car accidents. Frequent blinking and yawning, lane drifting and blanking out for miles indicate that drivers are at a heightened risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Shift workers who put in long hours or night hours are among the categories of people most at risk for drowsy driving accidents. Commercial drivers are also vulnerable to getting tired while operating buses, tractor-trailers or tow trucks.
Brooklyn residents may be wondering what can be done about distracted driving. Road signs and public service announcements are telling everyone about the dangers of distracted driving, yet many drivers do it anyway. As a result, distracted drivers are behind more and more accidents. Every day in this country, such accidents claim the lives of nine people and injure about 100 people.
It's not too hard to be a safe driver when winter comes and places ice and snow on the roads. Drivers simply need to remember a few facts and act accordingly. This is assuming, of course, that drivers are heading out only when necessary. First of all, the slippery conditions that ice and snow create cause the tires to lose traction. To keep what little traction they have, then, drivers must slow down.