Most drivers in North Carolina and across the country would never drink and drive, but around half consistently drive while feeling drowsy, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation. The study demonstrates how dire the nation's drowsy driving problem is.
Drivers in North Carolina and across the U.S. are encountering more and more distractions on the road. Smartphones and navigation systems are just the newest in a line of possible distractions. In fact, everyday activities like eating and talking can pose a danger to drivers as well.
A preliminary report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offered slightly good news about traffic fatalities in North Carolina and nationwide. Deaths on U.S. roads in 2018 appear to have dropped by about 1% compared to the previous year. The agency, however, reported that pedestrian deaths went up by 4% in 2018. Bicyclists fared badly in the same year with a 10% increase in fatalities according to preliminary data.
According to data gathered by the United States Department of Transportation, roundabouts result in less fatalities and serious injuries at rural intersections. At one particular location in North Carolina where a pregnant woman died in 2011, DOT replaced stop signs with a roundabout in order to improve safety. While this type of traffic control does not decrease the amount of overall accidents, it does reduce their severity significantly.
Summer is fast approaching, which means that more motorists will soon be on roads in North Carolina. Unfortunately, this can increase the chances of getting in a car accident. In fact, car wrecks are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 2 and 34 years old. By following certain safety tips, however, drivers can help prevent crashes and safely arrive at their destinations.
Many people in North Carolina are fully aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Increased law enforcement activity and public awareness campaigns have highlighted the fact that thousands of serious or even deadly car accidents are caused every year by people whose minds are not on the road in front of them. Distracted driving has emerged as a major hazard since smartphones have become nearly ubiquitous. When roads are slow, traffic is heavy or red lights are long, people may be tempted to reach over to their mobile devices for interaction or entertainment.
Starting in the early 2020s, North Carolina motorists can expect some cutting edge safety features in Volvo vehicles. The car manufacturer claims that the technology is aimed at preventing accidents rather than protecting passengers from inevitable crashes.
Pickup truck owners in North Carolina should know that their vehicles may be safer for drivers than passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has taken note of this discrepancy after a round of crash tests involving 11 modern two-row pickup trucks. This means that front passengers are in greater danger of injury and even death.
Everything from using the phone to conversations with passengers can distract a North Carolina driver. They should know that this raises their car crash risks. In particular, it makes them 29 times more likely to crash in a highway work zone. This is the conclusion that researchers at the University of Missouri recently arrived at.
According to the National Safety Council, 2018 is the third straight year that traffic deaths in the U.S. topped 40,000. That year additionally saw 4.5 million people in North Carolina and across the nation seriously injured in crashes: a 1 percent increase from 2017. Traffic death rates differed between states with eight states experiencing a 5.8 percent rise from 2016 to 2018.