On May 4, a car accident victim filed a personal injury lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The claim involves a two-car accident that occurred on Oct. 4, 2015, and a man from New Jersey is the defendant. The plaintiff has requested a jury trial, and he is seeking a monetary award of more than $150,000 for his damages.
The American Automobile Association is cautioning teen drivers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country that the period between Memorial Day and the start of the next school year is traditionally considered the most dangerous for motor vehicle accidents. The increase is believed to be in part because more teens are on the road during this time. In the last five years, teen drivers were involved in accidents that caused an average of 1,022 deaths each year.
More than a quarter million people in Pennsylvania and across the nation work in the automobile insurance industry or in a trade that is directly supported by that industry. A large number of these jobs and livelihoods are now at risk because of an amazing new technological breakthrough. Self-driving cars, which have enjoyed unprecedented success in their initial testing and boast excellent safety records, may be so risk-free that they could substantially put the insurance industry out of business. This is an unintended consequence to the amazing road handling abilities of autonomous vehicles, but it still leaves serious questions to be answered.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to make automatic braking systems standard on all new vehicles marketed in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country by 2022. It has been instrumental in brokering a voluntary agreement among 10 major manufacturers of light vehicles, helping them to institute the safety systems by September of that year. Some of the automakers include Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Honda.
A car salesman was killed on Feb. 23, when the driver of the vehicle he was riding in lost control and hit a tree after reportedly speeding down the road. The accident took place in Ontario, California, at about 12:45 p.m. during a test drive of a vehicle from a CarMax lot, a company that has several locations in Pennsylvania.
When Google's self-driving cars finally hit Pennsylvania roads, their software will be considered the driver for purposes of federal law based on a Feb. 4 letter the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted on its website. This is one of several issues that must be addressed before development on these vehicles by Google and other developers can move forward. The decision by the NHTSA means that issues that a vehicle would have communicated to a human driver via a mechanism like a dashboard alert can be communicated to the car's artificial intelligence.
Many of the new vehicles available to consumers in Pennsylvania and around the country feature sophisticated electronic systems designed to anticipate and avoid collisions. Many safety advocates have called for these innovative safety features to be made mandatory, and research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will likely lead to these calls becoming louder. According to the IIHS, approximately 700,000 rear-end crashes reported to police and an untold number of injuries could have been prevented in 2013 if all vehicles had been so equipped.
Pennsylvania residents may be aware that traffic accident fatality rates have been falling in recent years. Experts often credit improvements in road safety to modern vehicle safety technology and aggressive public information campaigns designed to highlight the dangers of behavior like drunk or distracted driving. Road accident deaths fell by 1.2 percent in 2014 and plummeted by almost a quarter between 2000 and 2014, but accident data indicates that fatality rates rose sharply during the first nine months of 2015.
Most of the Pennsylvania populace is concerned with the safety of the cars that they purchase, choosing vehicles that have better safety features than others. Volvo, long known for working to make its cars safer, has now said that they plan to have cars that will prevent accident fatalities by 2020.
Fatigue leads to serious car accidents in Pennsylvania and around the country every year. In San Jose, California, a bus driver admitted to feeling tired right before he crashed into safety barrels on the side of the road in the early morning hours of Jan. 19. The bus flipped onto its side, resulting in the death of two people and injuries to at least eight others. There were 20 passengers on the bus when the accident occurred.