Poorly rested drivers represent a source of danger on Pennsylvania roads. Citing figures gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association referred to tired drivers as an "extreme danger." The NHTSA has decided that sleepiness impairs driving abilities to an extent similar to drug use and drinking.
Pokemon Go is just the latest smartphone app to capture the attention of distracted drivers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. Since the augmented reality game was released, there have been multiple car accidents involving drivers who were playing the game while behind the wheel. In addition to Pokemon Go, drivers are also being distracted by social media sites, Google Maps, YouTube and texting.
The number of traffic accident fatalities in Pennsylvania and around the country fell by 31 percent between 2000 and 2013, but this may not be a cause for much celebration according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on July 6. Researchers from the CDC found that 19 developed nations such as Japan, Canada and Sweden had done a far better job than the United States of reducing motorist, pedestrian and cyclist fatality rates.
Proving who is to blame for future car accidents in Pennsylvania may soon be easier now that many new vehicles are being built with event data recorders. Commonly referred to as black boxes, event data recorders create a log of driving activity that may be analyzed after a crash. Around 25 percent of new vehicles are now manufactured with such devices. However, 90 percent of vehicles are expected to have them by 2020.
The National Safety Council, which studies vehicle accident data, recently released some alarming information that Pennsylvania drivers might like to know about. About 4.4 million people were injured and 38,000 died due to crashes in 2015, and this number could rise in 2016.
Teenage drivers in Pennsylvania all over the country are being cautioned by the American Automobile Association about the dangers of the period between Memorial Day and the end of summer vaction. Known as the "100 Deadliest Days," this period when more teen drivers are on the road than usual is also the time when the most motor vehicle accidents happen, and based on statistics from the past few years, about 1,000 people are expected to die this year over the summer in accidents involving teen drivers.
Two teens were killed and a third injured in a one-car crash in Fayette County on May 3. The fatal accident occurred after the driver lost control of the vehicle while traveling at over 100 miles per hour.
Pennsylvania residents have probably heard about the self-driving cars that are being developed by companies like Google. Manufacturers of autonomous vehicles are saying that car accidents will soon be a thing of the past. According to the president of Volvo, the autonomous safety features on the Swedish company's cars should eliminate injuries to occupants of its vehicles by 2020.
According to the National Safety Council, 53 percent of drivers around the country believe that talking on the phone while driving is safe as long as they use hands-free technology. However, Pennsylvania motorists should be aware that studies show that talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel is just as dangerous as using a hand-held device, with both raising the risk of a car crash by four times.
A Pennsylvania accident involving four vehicles on April 7 fortunately resulted in fewer injuries than would have been epected. The crash occurred at around 7:45 a.m. in Lower Nazareth Township on Route 33 near mile-marker 6.7.