For decades, the number of roadway fatalities had been going down. When the number spiked in 2015 and 2016, many thought that a new trend had begun, linking it to the proliferation of smartphones and other distracting technology, among other factors. In 2017, there was a 2% dip from the previous year with 37,133 fatalities in Texas and across the U.S.
Texas motorists may be excited about the potential of automation to offer greater safety and security on the road. However, current versions of autonomous technologies are still in development and designed to assist human drivers rather than taking over the process of operating the vehicle. Some car accidents have been linked to drivers who relied on self-driving technologies and failed to pay attention to the road ahead. Innovative electric car manufacturer Tesla has been a leading developer of these systems, with its Autopilot featured on many models.
The transition from having a learner's permit and adult supervision to having a license and no supervision can be a bumpy one for many teenagers in Texas. A study from Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes for Health measured car crash risk among 90 teen participants from the time they obtained their permit to their first full year of possessing a license.
Drivers in Texas may want to know about an online study from the market research firm Wakefield Research, which addressed the growing and dangerous trend of distracted driving. Nearly 2,000 U.S. drivers responded to the study.
Texas drivers sharing the road with impaired or distracted drivers could soon be safer thanks to new technology being implemented by a Swedish car manufacturer. The company announced plans to tackle drunk driving by installing a camera and sensor system in its vehicles sometime in the early 2020s. It's a move being made by the same company that already plans to restrict speed limits in its vehicles for the 2020 model year to around 112 miles per hour.
Texas residents who are riding in a pickup truck as a passenger may not be adequately protected in the event of an accident. This is according to a crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Toyota Tundra was singled out specifically for its poor performance in the test. Other vehicles such as the Nissan Titan and the Ford F-150 were noted for their good scores.
As anyone in Texas who's been in an accident will attest, the initial shock of the experience can be so startling that people can sometimes be unaware of the extent of the damage that has happened. However, people who go through accidents need to determine how bad the damage is: For one thing, it is important for their own personal safety as what might present itself as a minor backache right after the accident might morph into a full-blown back problem less than a week later. Additionally, being aware of what was damaged as well as the event that led up to it can be vital for insurance companies, making sure that claims go through quickly.
According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, speeding is a culprit in about one-third of motor vehicle deaths. However, the report stresses that there is little stigma or shame attached to driving fast on Texas roads or others throughout the country. Speed can play a role in both increasing the chances of an accident as well as the severity of a crash.
Even the most skilled drivers in Texas can act carelessly or make serious mistakes when not fully alert while behind the wheel. In fact, a recent AAA survey found that a third of respondents admitted to having driven while excessively sleepy within the prior month. One possible reason for drowsy driving is getting behind the wheel too soon after taking a prescription sleep aid. One out of every five of the nearly 2,000 adults questioned by Consumer Reports admitted to doing this.
Distracted driving is just as much a problem in Texas as it is in other states. Unfortunately, some new technologies are only making matters worse. A recent AAA study shows that infotainment systems are especially problematic. Researchers at the University of Utah analyzed 30 such systems for AAA, all of them on new 2017 vehicles from makers like Toyota, Honda, Ford, Dodge and Tesla. Seven of the systems required a moderate level of attention, 11 a high level and 12 a very high level.