A fatigued driver is an unsafe driver. That’s the rationale behind the Hours of Service (HOS) rules that apply to the trucking industry. These rules, set in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (a division of the federal Department of Transportation), dictate how many consecutive hours a driver is allowed to drive his vehicle, as well as how long and how frequent his breaks must be. The goal, stated by the FMCSA, is “to keep fatigued drivers off the public roadways” and make sure that drivers stay awake and alert while driving.
However, Hours of Service violations continue to be common among commercial truck drivers, and some in the industry are pushing for change.
“Today’s truckers have never faced more regulations or greater enforcement and compliance with those regulations. Yet, crash numbers are going in the wrong direction,” …
Summer is over and fall is in full swing, which means that the holiday travel season is right around the corner. For many families, Thanksgiving is the first major travel occasion of the fall, as drivers hit the road to reunite with friends and family. In fact, it is usually the most-traveled holiday for American travelers. Whether you’re going across the country or around the corner, staying for a week or just dropping in for supper, all travelers need to keep basic safety in mind to avoid accidents that can be costly—and even deadly.
Here are some tips to make sure you and your family get there—and back—safely and happily.
Get your vehicle checked. Especially if you’re going to be traveling a long distance, you want to make sure your car is ready for the trip. Have your mechanic check …
The limousine that crashed in New York state in early October, killing 20 people, should not even have been on the road. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated days after the Oct. 6 accident that the vehicle had failed its latest safety inspection—and the driver did not even have the proper license.
The limousine itself was what some have called a “Frankenstein vehicle”—basically an SUV that has been cut in half and stretched out.
“When we look at limousines and stretch limos, we see a really Frankenstein system of cars that potentially are cut up and put back together with parts and pieces that were not original to them,” Deborah Hersman, president, and CEO of the nonprofit National Safety Council and former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, told Texas Public Radio. “And additionally, some things may be …
How badly can you be hurt in a minivan crash? The answer, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), depends not only on what kind of minivan you’re in, but also whether you’re the driver or the passenger.
The IIHS recently conducted tests on three popular minivans and discovered that some are better than others at protecting passengers, according to a Consumer Reports article.
The institute rated the Honda Odyssey tops of the three, giving it a “good” rating for passenger safety. The Chrysler Pacifica was deemed “acceptable.” At the bottom of the pack, the Toyota Sienna’s “marginal” rating was attributed to the risk of potential leg injuries. (There are four possible IIHS ratings: “good,” “acceptable,” “marginal,” and “poor.”)
The IIHS ran all three minivans through its latest test, called the passenger-side small-overlap …
When it comes to safe driving, Austin doesn’t fare as badly as other cities, but there’s certainly room to improve.
Insurance company Allstate recently unveiled its 2018 America’s Safest Drivers report, which ranks the 200 largest cities in the United States based on collision frequency. Austin comes in at 159th in the nation.
The average driver in America will experience a collision once every 10 years, according to Allstate claims data. In Austin, that average shrinks to 7.1 years between claims, Allstate said.
Austin has dropped one place on the list since last year, when the Bat City ranked 158th.
The country’s safest drivers are found in Brownsville, TX, where drivers go an average of 13.6 years between claims, according to the report. Collisions in Brownsville are 26.3 percent less likely compared to the national average, …
More than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on U.S. roads, according to 2018 research by the American Automobile Association. These accidents resulted in a record number of deaths in 2016: 2,049, a 60 percent increase since 2009. Hit-and-run fatalities occur nearly six times a day in the U.S., reports the Washington Post.
With so many accidents causing so much destruction, the obvious question is: Why do so many drivers flee the scene of an accident? What goes through the mind of a hit-and-run driver?
Now, some recent research has provided some insight.
“The brain can do really extreme things,” Emanuel Robinson, a psychologist at Westat’s Center for Transportation, Technology and Safety Research, told the Washington Post. “Anytime we get into an accident we get emotional.”
Although most drivers will stay at the scene of an accident, “the …
Some advocates are concerned that America’s top automotive safety watchdog may not be so watchful these days – and that the highways may become less safe as a result.
According to Consumer Reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched only 13 defect investigations in 2017, the fewest in its 47-year history. In previous years, the federal organization had conducted many more – 204 at its peak in 1989.
“The American public is relying on this agency to be a cop on the beat,” Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a Washington watchdog group, told Consumer Reports. “People expect the federal government to protect them. … Absent that, there’s going to be a tremendous void in motorist safety.”
But the agency, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), says that fewer investigations are …
It may not be much comfort if you’re the one getting a traffic ticket, but drivers in the Lone Star State may actually be getting off easy compared to other parts of the country. But does lax enforcement of traffic laws make a state less safe?
A recent report from personal finance site Wallet Hub puts Texas at the bottom of the list of “Strictest States on Speeding and Reckless Driving.” The state ranked 51st overall in a study that collected data from all 50 U.S. states as well as Washington D.C. The study assigned points to states based on several metrics related to speeding and reckless driving; the points were totaled to arrive at the overall strictness rank.
Among the factors that kept Texas in last place are:
- Speeding is not automatically considered reckless driving: In
Every day, tractor-trailers share the roads with cars, pickups, and SUVs. But what some tractor-trailers don’t share is the advanced safety technology that helps the passenger vehicles stay accident-free.
According to Consumer Reports, research shows that safety features currently available in passenger cars, such as a forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB), are reducing crashes as they become more available.
Now, experts are wondering if those features could help curb a disturbing trend: the increase in deaths in crashes involving large trucks.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,461 people died on the road in 2016, the last year for which statistics are available – an increase of 5.6 percent from 2015. Of those fatalities, more than 4,300 occurred in accidents involving large trucks in 2016, up 5.4 percent from the year before. In …
Drugged driving is on the rise, and it puts drivers, passengers, and others who share the road at risk.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pot and opioids cause nearly as many driver deaths as does alcohol. In their recently released report, Drug Impaired Driving: Marijuana and Opioids Raise Critical Issues for States, the GHSA cited a recent study that showed that in 2016, 44 percent of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for drugs, up from 28 percent a decade earlier. And among those who tested positive for drugs, 38 percent tested positive for marijuana, 16 percent had opioids in their system, and 4 percent tested positive for both marijuana and opioids.
While drunk driving still threatens American roadway safety, the number of drunk drivers killed in crashes dropped slightly over 10 years, falling from 41 percent …