According to statistics compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the risk of people dying in a car accident in Pennsylvania and nationwide has declined by more than a third over the last three years. However, car-related fatalities remain a significant problem in the U.S.
Pennsylvania residents likely heard that Caitlyn Jenner was involved in a motor vehicle accident in February 2015. On Sept. 30, prosecutors in California decided not to charge Jenner with vehicular manslaughter.
In January 2012, 11 people were killed during a 19-car pileup caused by fog and smoke on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, Florida. The accident occurred just an hour after the road had reopened following a three-car crash earlier that same day. That crash was also caused by smoke and fog, and one trooper suggested that the road remain closed as smoke and fog can diminish visibility on a highway quickly.
Many Pennsylvania motorists were affected by the recall last year of 64 million motor vehicles due to defective parts. Now that it has been shown that these defects may have been responsible for some accidents, some drivers who received criminal charges for their involvement may be seeing their convictions overturned.
After a car accident in Pennsylvania, a driver or passenger may be injured without even realizing it. This is because some injuries are not apparent immediately after the crash occurs. In many car wrecks, individuals may suffer from whiplash even in crashes involving vehicles traveling at speeds lower than 15 miles per hour. Those who experience whiplash may also experience numbness in their arms or legs because of damage done to the neck or spinal cord.
As some Pennsylvania residents might already know, wrong-way crashes are often fatal. The National Traffic Safety Board has undertaken several major investigations due to the severity of such accidents. In many cases, the NTSB found that alcohol impairment was involved.
In Pennsylvania and across the nation, drowsy driving is to blame for about a quarter of all crash-related deaths, which amounts to nearly 7,500 deadly vehicle wrecks annually. However, because of advanced technology within the automobile industry, these numbers may be on the decline, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Teen drivers in Pennsylvania and across the United States are more likely to pose a threat to themselves and the other people they share the road with. Statistics show that drivers younger than 21 cause 17 percent of the fatal drunk driving accidents that occur in the U.S. despite making up only 10 percent of the total number of licensed drivers. New drivers may be the most dangerous as 20 percent of 16-year-old drivers are involved in a car crash during the first year that they are licensed to drive.
Drivers in Pennsylvania may be shocked to learn that drowsy driving was involved in 1.4 percent of all traffic collisions between 2005 and 2009, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drowsy driving was also involved in 2.2 percent of injury-causing crashes and 2.5 percent of deadly crashes, according to this data.
Pennsylvania drivers may appreciate hearing that the National Transportation Safety Board wants collision avoidance systems to become standard features on all commercial and passenger vehicle models. Last year, only four passenger vehicle models were manufactured with complete forward collision avoidance systems included as a standard feature. The federal agency says that all new passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles should have this safety system in place.