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.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has some startling statistics about drowsy driving that residents of New York will want to keep in mind, especially when daylight saving time robs them of an hour of sleep. Experts recommended at least seven hours of sleep each night. Someone who misses one or two hours of sleep within a 24-hour period nearly doubles their risk for a car crash.
Pedestrian fatalities in New York and around the country have risen by an alarming 51 percent over the last 10 years. The 6,227 killed in 2018 is the highest annual pedestrian death toll since 1990, according to a report released recently by the Governors Highway Safety Administration. While studies reveal that foot traffic has increased slightly in recent years, most experts put the rise in pedestrian deaths down to other factors such as the growing popularity of SUVs and the widespread use of cell phones by drivers.
New York motorists who notice safety violations by drivers who may be drunk or otherwise impaired can report them. One of the most obvious signs is if the driver is actually drinking while behind the wheel, but there are also behaviors that are common to drunk drivers.
Car crashes can result in serious property damage and injuries. New York residents should know, then, what they are expected to do in the wake of a crash. First, it is important to keep calm, as this will allow drivers to remember vital details. They should call 911 if anyone is injured and requires immediate help.
Speeding is behind nearly a third of all automobile-related fatalities. Unfortunately, many drivers in New York and across the U.S. have not been properly educated on its dangers. Some even believe that speeding is culturally acceptable. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association looks afresh at the challenge and comes up with ways to address it.