Electric vehicles in all shapes and sizes are becoming more common in Texas. Governments are trying to decide how to regulate them just as users are trying to learn out how to safely use them. Electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and scooters are entering the market. As this new technology improves, you may find that getting around was never easier. But was it safer?
The injuries and accidents involving electric scooters in Austin from last September through November will be studied by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports USA Today. These scooters, narrow, two-wheeled vehicles with a handlebar for steering, first became popular when they were powered the old-fashioned way, by pushes by the rider’s feet and gravity pulling downhill. Now, electric motors do the work.
The CDC is studying the “dockless scooters” …
As 2018 winds down and you begin looking forward to 2019, remember: The best way to get the new year off to a good start is to stay safe on New Year’s Eve. Some common sense, planning ahead, and situational awareness will help ensure a smooth and festive transition from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1. These four tips are a good place to start.
- Have a house party where you control the environment.
Sometimes it makes sense to avoid strange places and unfamiliar situations—and if you want to celebrate but stay in a safe environment, what could fit the bill better than your own home? If you host festivities at your place, you get to stay in control of all the elements of the evening: the guest list, the atmosphere, and what (and how much) people are drinking. Have a …
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