Traffic accidents are the leading cause of accidental death among U.S. teens, accounting for one out of three accidental deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Partly that is due to teen drivers' inexperience, which makes it more difficult for them to respond effectively during an emergency. They often risk distraction by using their phones while driving, or by driving a group of teen passengers. Sometimes they just take risks.
Despite various improvements in roadway and vehicle safety, the U.S. is on track to reach nearly 40,000 traffic fatalities in 2018, according to preliminary numbers from the National Safety Council. Based on statistics reported by each state, the Council estimates that 18.720 people died on U.S. roads between January and June.
"We want to help everyone get home safely," says the executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). "Humans are always going to make an error. It shouldn't cost them their life."
As our mobile devices become more sophisticated, our opportunity to be continually accessible grows. Our connectivity is addictive, and when we get behind the wheel, it can be difficult to give it up. When we’re speeding down the highway and hear that alluring ping of an incoming message, it’s tempting to pick up our phone.
In 2016, a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association finds, a large percentage of drivers killed in traffic accidents had some form of cannabis or opioids in their system. Specifically, of those fatally injured drivers who were tested for drugs, 43.6 percent tested positive. Of those with positive results, 38 percent tested positive for cannabis, 16 percent for opioids, and 4 for both.
Semi-truck drivers often work long hours with few breaks. Although the hours and days they can work are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, research indicates that driver fatigue remains a serious problem.
Perhaps because of the weather, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As motorcyclists prepare to ride for the season, we should all be aware of the risks and the strategies being used to reduce the risk of fatal motorcycle crashes.
Over half of American teens admit they text and drive, according to an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. It's a significant public health issue. Today, drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 are more likely than any other demographic group to be killed in traffic crashes caused by cellphone distraction.
Although fully autonomous vehicles may still be some time away, a number of automakers are beginning to integrate similar technology into ordinary cars, trucks and SUVs. Since federal data indicates that some 94 percent of motor vehicle wrecks are caused by human error, these technologies hold great promise.
Could a motorcycle helmet protect your cervical spine -- your neck -- in the event of a traffic crash? Some people have argued that helmets have no effect on such injuries, while others have argued that the extra weight of the helmet could even increase the risk.