Thousands of road users around the country are killed or catastrophically injured each year in accidents involving excessive speed. The risk of death or debilitating injury increases along with vehicle speed, and police in two states have voiced concerns about a controversial social media application that they say is encouraging younger motorists in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. to drive dangerously fast.
There are numerous drowsy drivers on Pennsylvania's highways. When people get too little sleep, their risk of being involved in car accidents increases substantially. This poses a danger to themselves as well as to others. A study released in early December shows how problematic getting insufficient sleep can be.
Aside from coronary events, car accidents are a major culprit of the increase in deaths that occur around Thanksgiving. Pennsylvania drivers may like to know that this is the reason that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages them to stay safe while on the road for the holiday season.
Efforts to educate young drivers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. and to warn them about the consequences of acting recklessly while behind the wheel do not appear to be working. Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for teens around the country. Government accident statistics show that the roads of America became far more deadly in 2015 with fatality rates shooting up by more than 7 percent, but the 10 percent rise in teen deaths was even more concerning for many road safety groups.
Pennsylvania motorists may be seeing more safety information around seat belt use and the dangers of driving while drinking or distracted from an initiative announced by the Obama administration. On Oct. 5, the U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled these steps as part of a new overall plan to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic accidents to zero within thirty years. The proposal is based on a plan, Vision Zero, that was first introduced in Sweden in 1997 that has since spread.
Cheaper gas, more jobs and an economy that continues to grow after years of recession have led to a surge in the number of road users. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the roads in Pennsylvania and other states were busier in 2015 than they were in 2014. More traffic means more accidents, and a report from the federal safety agency released on Aug. 29 reveals that 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2015. This represents a 7.2 percent increase over 2014 figures.
Motorists throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of the U.S. are at risk of being injured in accidents caused by drowsy drivers. A new report shows that almost 83.6 million people drive while they are drowsy every day. In 2015, almost 5,000 people were killed in accidents involving drowsy drivers.
Most motorists in Pennsylvania and around the country know that using mobile electronic devices while driving can be dangerous, but that knowledge does not seem to be enough to curb this type of behavior. A National Safety Council survey of 2,400 drivers found that the use of social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat was rampant, and more than a third of the motorists polled even said that they would not hesitate to watch YouTube videos while behind the wheel.
While road users in Pennsylvania and around the country may be in less danger today than they were a decade ago, road safety advances in other developed nations have led to falls in fatality rates that are far more dramatic than those recorded in the United States. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report July 6 that compared the rate of motorist, pedestrian and cyclist deaths in the U.S. between 2000 and 2013 with the number of traffic accident fatalities in 19 other developed countries.
A former astronaut was charged with murder after a two-car accident killed two children on June 6. The 59-year-old astronaut James Halsell Jr. was driving along a rural road in Alabama at around 2:50 a.m. when he rear-ended a Ford Fiesta. The Fiesta was pushed across its lane before it flipped, ejecting two sisters.