While continual strides are being made to make driving safer, car accidents in California and around the country still pose significant risks as 32,719 traffic accident fatalities occurred in 2013 nationwide. This makes automobile travel one of the more dangerous parts of life, but some things can make a difference when it comes to road safety.
People in California who fall asleep at the wheel are not in a small minority. According to a new AAA survey, about 43 percent of licensed U.S. drivers answered 'yes" when they were asked whether they had ever fallen asleep while driving. About 31 percent of drivers who were surveyed said that they had struggled to stay awake while they were driving sometime during the previous month.
California residents may be unaware that the leading cause of death for American teenagers is motor vehicle accidents. Of the teen drivers involved in fatal accidents, almost one-fourth had been drinking alcohol. As a result, the Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have teamed up for a series of public service announcement designed to discourage teens from drinking and driving. The ads will appear both on television and online.
Each year, many people are injured or killed in accidents resulting from drivers running red lights. The problem is considered to be a serious concern for safety at intersections nationwide.
Thanks to improvements in vehicle design and safety features, car accidents in California and around the country kill far fewer people than they used to. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that the number of deaths caused by car crashes has gone down by over one-third in the last few years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that there were fewer highway fatalities in 2014 than there has ever been, and car-related fatalities are likely to continue going down.
As of 2015, California is one of only four states permitting testing of autonomous car technology on its public roads. While the Mercedes-BenzS550 has semiautonomous features, Apple and Google have dominated discussion of fully autonomous cars so far. Google estimates that 94 percent of all auto accidents result from human error, but the remaining 6 percent have made many observers have questions as to the risks autonomous cars could pose. Without the driver's ability to control the vehicle, questions of liability in the event of an accident become difficult to answer.
California drivers may have heard about a recall issued by General Motors in February 2014 due to a faulty ignition switch. Reports say that the company knew about the fault for around 10 years prior to the recall, and some people were convicted in fatal motor vehicle accidents that they now say were not their fault. Several guilty pleas have been overturned as a result of the new evidence.
California residents who have been in one know that that a car accident takes seconds but can have significant consequences. Sometimes, after what seems like a harmless accident, symptoms can appear that can indicate a more complicated issue resulting from an unseen injury during the collision. There are some symptoms that should not be ignored in order to prevent further complications and to seek appropriate treatment.
Many people have been making extensive use of ride-sharing services such as Uber in recent years, and a recent study suggests that this is contributing to a drop in fatal accidents related to drunk driving. Researchers at Temple University reached this conclusion by examining data gathered in California between 2009 and 2014. The information found in this time frame correlates Uber's emergence with a drop in such fatal collisions, validating previous studies released from within the ride-sharing industry.
California residents may benefit from learning more about the facts related to wrong-way collisions, as described by the National Transportation Safety Board. Some of the worst crashes in the country involve vehicles traveling the wrong way on roads designed for high speeds. The safety issues associated with these types of accidents include driver impairment, a lack of traffic control systems, drivers' in-vehicle support systems and wrong-way monitoring or intervention programs.