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.
Car accidents happen every day in Pennsylvania. When an individual is involved an accident that was caused by another driver, such as a rear-end collision, he or she should collect essential information about the at-fault driver. Even if someone is uncertain about who was responsible for the accident, he or she should still obtain the other driver's name, telephone number and insurance information.
According to a study that appeared in the "Journal of Pediatrics," Pennsylvania had one of the lowest rates of child deaths in motor vehicle accidents compared to other states. The study, which examined data from 2010-2014 regarding traffic fatalities for children under 15, found that 35 percent of nationwide fatal crashes happened on state highways while 62 percent were on rural roads. The South had the highest number of deaths during the period of data analysis at 1,550. The total number of deaths was 2,885.