Texas law prohibits texting while driving, but some safety advocates say that’s not enough to make the state’s roads safer. They’re pushing for a state law that would ban a driver’s talking on a smartphone using his or her hands while driving.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that across the U.S. in 2016, 3,450 people were killed by distracted drivers; and 391,000 were injured in vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers in 2015. An estimated 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving during daylight hours.
- 100,687 accidents, or 19% of all reported vehicle accidents in Texas in 2017, involved distracted driving, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents caused 444 deaths and 2,889 serious injuries in the state that year.
KXAN reports that under a proposal filed
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,” …
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 …
You’re riding in a vehicle with dozens of other people, when it suddenly veers off the road and into a body of water. It sounds alarming, but it’s an experience tourists pay for all the time when they board a “duck tour.”
Duck boats—vehicles that can operate on land and in water—have been operated as tourist attractions in harbor, river, or lake cities in the U.S. since 1946, many using surplus military amphibious landing vehicles from World War II. And while the majority of duck tours go off without a hitch, there have been exceptions with sometimes deadly results.
Since 1999, there have been 12 incidents in the U.S. involving duck boats, resulting in 44 deaths. The most recent of these has also been the deadliest: the July sinking of a duck boat on Table Rock Lake near Branson, …
Scooters have emerged as an affordable and popular way to travel in the city, but there are unforeseen consequences of this trend.
One company, Lime, is feeling the squeeze after a woman crashed one of their rental stand-up scooters in Austin in early August, striking a curb and slamming head-first into the pavement, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The rider was not wearing a helmet, despite Lime’s policy that all riders must wear them.
Lime operates dockless electric scooters and pedal-assist bikes in more than 60 U.S. cities and several cities in Europe. To ride them, a customer can use the Lime app to find and unlock a scooter nearby, then park the scooter at the end of the ride and use the app to lock it. The goal of scooter-sharing companies like Lime and Bird, which have been called …
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 …
Do you work the late shift? Alternative shift workers face several hazards. If your work hours occur when most people are asleep and you sleep when most people are awake, you might suffer from the effects Shift Work Disorder, which is characterized by disturbances in sleep patterns, including insomnia, non-restorative sleep, and excessive sleepiness.
People who suffer from SWD (sometimes called Shift Work Sleep Disorder) might feel fatigued at work, especially if they are working extended work hours, which is common in shift work. Other symptoms include impaired cognitive abilities, anxiousness and irritability, unintentionally falling asleep on the job, reduced job performance, and increased incidence of on-the-job injuries.
Who is at Risk?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of the workforce works shifts other than the standard 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift. These alternative shift …