Highway Fatality Rates Increase Despite Less Drivers on the Road

  The National Safety Council has reported that, based on preliminary nationwide data from May, people traveling by roads had a higher risk of dying from a motor vehicle crash for the third month in a row. We previously wrote about this issue in May, and the trend of more dangerous driving has continued. The fatality rate is a measure of deaths due to collisions per 100 million vehicle miles. The fatality rate includes deaths of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc., and is a good indicator of dangerous driving. The number of miles driven in May 2020 decreased by 25.5%…

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Driving Down, Speeding Up

  This week, the Washington Post reported that instances of reckless driving have increased substantially across the country since March, when nearly every state implemented a “stay at home” order. While traffic nationwide is down 41%, automobile crashes are down only 21%, and some of the country’s most congested traffic areas have reported dramatic increases in average speeds. For example, the speed limit on the DMV’s Capital Beltway is 55 mph, but speeds during the pre-pandemic rush hour averaged only 27 mph. Now, Beltway drivers are traveling at an average speed of 70 mph during what used to be rush…

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COVID-19: Impacts on Driving Behavior and Lessons

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted our lives in countless ways. It has also changed our behaviors.  The following are some observations and suggestions. Less Vehicles on the Road There are far fewer automobiles on the road, but accidents still occur. In keeping with social-distancing regulations, police officers in some areas of the country will not respond to the scene of a crash unless there is an emergency. Without a police response, a police report will not be generated. What to do if in a crash: Take photographs of the property damage to your vehicle and all other involved automobiles; Obtain…

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Vehicle Safety Recalls Week Promotes Checking Your Car For Outstanding Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared this week to be Vehicle Safety Recalls week. The dedicated week is meant to remind Americans to check their car for active recalls. It is scheduled as the week leading up to the beginning of daylight savings to encourage people to check their recalls at least twice a year, once as daylight savings time starts and once as it ends. Check Your Car For a Recall Checking your car for a recall is simple, just enter your VIN (found on the lower left of your car’s windshield) into www.nhtsa.gov/recalls. This website will…

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Pedestrians are at Increased Risk of Collision if Distracted by Phones

According to the National Safety Council, over 90% of car crashes involve human error–awareness is key to avoiding collisions whether you are in the car or a pedestrian. Pedestrian Fatalities According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2018 reached 6,283, the highest since 1990. Pedestrian fatalities account for nearly 20% of all traffic crashes in 2018 in the United States. Distraction plays a role in many of the crashes that occur in either the driver, pedestrian, or both. Pedestrian Distraction While many know of the effects of distracted driving on accident rates, people…

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The Top Dangers of Ice — And How to Handle Them

Whether you’re walking, driving, or performing household maintenance, ice poses a huge risk to your health and wellbeing. A brief encounter can lead to everything from broken hips to traumatic brain injuries, as highlighted below: Pedestrian Dangers Keeping your balance can be tricky when you set foot on ice — especially if it’s obscured by a thin layer of snow. Seniors and easily injured individuals are especially prone to ice-related falls. These can cause a wide range of acute health issues or exacerbate chronic conditions. Options for reducing the risk of falling include: Regularly treating your driveway and sidewalk. Using…

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Types of Wintry Mixes And Hazards They Might Cause

It’s no secret that winter roads are hazardous, but not all cold weather conditions look exactly alike. Each type of wintry mix prompts its own unique annoyances and hazards. Knowing the difference is critical before you hit the road. Freezing Rain At first glance, freezing rain may look like conventional showers. This form of precipitation is deceptively dangerous, however, as it transforms into a translucent layer of ice as soon as temperatures drop below freezing. This makes both driving and walking extremely dangerous, especially if ice prompted by freezing rain is covered by a thin layer of snow. If possible,…

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Top Black Ice Dangers — And What to Do About Them

Winter weather sparks its fair share of grumbling, but some conditions extend beyond annoying to prove downright dangerous. Black ice, in particular, places drivers and pedestrians at risk. It can’t always be avoided, but preventative efforts can at least reduce the risk of spin-outs or falls. Driving With black ice, the cliche of an ounce of protection being worth a pound of cure definitely applies. Some areas are more prone to black ice than others — and should be handled accordingly. Tree-lined roads and other areas lacking sunshine are particularly vulnerable. Lesser-traveled roads tend to form more black ice than…

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Frost on the Roads: Identifying the Dangers And Navigating Around Them

Believe it or not, there’s plenty to love about the cold season. Road conditions, however, do not belong on that list of positives. With the end of summer construction comes a sudden increase in weather-based hazards that place even the most attentive drivers at risk. With a little awareness, however, it’s possible to navigate winter roads without finding yourself in harm’s way. Ice Is Not the Only Danger Winter drivers are well aware of the perils posed by black ice, but this is by no means the only cold-weather hazard that can make roads dangerous in the winter. Frost can…

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Safe Driving Tips For Your Holiday Road Trip

Ready to hit the road for your next holiday gathering? You’re certainly not alone. Every year, AAA forecasts travel plans for over 100 million Americans. Many spend hours on planes, but others find themselves crammed in their cars and duking it out with obnoxious winter weather. Add traffic, road rage, and drunk driving, and you have a recipe for disaster. Maintenance and early departures, however, can make a huge difference. Invest in Maintenance Vehicle maintenance, although easy to neglect, can make a huge difference during the peak of holiday travel. Unfortunately, your local service center may prove just as busy…

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