Statistics show that fatal traffic accidents are more likely to occur at night. Drivers on Pennsylvania roadways would do well to understand some of the reasons why the night presents added risks. Among the most important factors contributing to higher accident rates at night are night blindness, drunk drivers, increased construction activity and decreased visibility.
In August 2017, Progressive insurance conducted a study involving roughly 1,000 drivers over the 18 who were not Progressive customers. Generally speaking, most Pennsylvania residents and others believed that distracted driving was one of the biggest causes of accidents. Over 90 percent of respondents said that it should be illegal. However, more than one-third of those who responded said that they were confident in their ability to text while driving.
Autumn in Pennsylvania means the settling in of cool weather and the changing and dropping of the leaves to the ground. It also means new hazards on highways and surface streets, as fall can be a dangerous time on the road for a number of reasons. Back to school traffic, including many green or young drivers, and more pedestrian traffic during morning and evening hours can increase accident risks.
Pennsylvania drivers may be safer with collision avoidance systems on their vehicles, but too few vehicles have these systems according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The organization studied 2015 data on approximately 5,000 accidents to examine the effect these systems had on crash rates and found that accidents involving sideswipes and head-on collisions were 11 percent lower when vehicles had warning systems for lane departures and blind spots. Injury accidents of these types were 21 percent lower.
Pennsylvania motorists may have heard that some innovative companies are pouring resources into developing self-driving car technology. In fact, Google already has driverless cars driving on roadways in several locations.
Despite the fact that many people may believe that driving while intoxicated is more serious than driving while sleepy, drowsy driving can be just as deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year in the United States, up to 6,000 fatal crashes are caused by drowsy drivers. Pennsylvania motorists may soon be able to use a wearable device that can ensure that they do not fall asleep behind the wheel.
As the economy improves, drivers in Pennsylvania and across the country could face more dangerous roadways. A study released in May 2017 shows that the death rate for motorists operating newer vehicles has risen as more drivers get on the road and drive more recklessly.
The results of a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that higher speed limits have resulted in 33,000 deaths in the United States over the past 20 years. The fatality rates, which dropped during that period, could have been more significantly reduced without the increased speed limits.
Pennsylvania motorists might be surprised to know that the Tesla Model S may not be as safe as the automaker's CEO has proclaimed. Although Elon Musk regularly discusses the luxury vehicle's safety, the Model S failed to receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest rating for crashworthiness in its latest round of crash testing. Funded by auto insurers, the IIHS tests SUVs, trucks and cars of all sizes, and the results are used to determine the organization's Top Safety Pick Plus designees.
Driverless cars are considered the cars of the future, but some Pennsylvania residents may want to wait a bit before buying one. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety say safety issues need to be resolved before such cars become commonplace on U.S. streets and highways.