Vehicle accidents are the top killer of teens in the U.S., according to Consumer Reports. It’s been estimated that a 16- or 17-year-old driver is three time more likely to be killed while driving than those twenty and older, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These are grim numbers for Texas’ teen drivers and their parents, but steps can be taken to improve the odds that your son or daughter will get to their destination safely.
You can start by making a good example when you drive or are a passenger. Kids pay attention to what we do, even if they don’t pay attention to what we say.
- Under state law, those in the front seat must use seatbelts, but those older than 17 need not use them if they’re behind the driver. Use your seatbelt all
After two years of increases in 2015 and 2016, the number of people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on U.S. roadways finally decreased in 2017. In 2017, 37,133 people were victims of fatal crashes, a 1.8-percent decrease from the 2016 figure of 37,806, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Most of the victims were occupants of passenger vehicles, although many pedestrian deaths added to the total.
Vehicle Occupant Fatalities:
- Passenger cars: 13,363
- Light trucks: 10,188
- Motorcycles: 5,172
- Large trucks, buses, and other vehicles: 841
Vehicle Non-Occupant Fatalities:
- Pedestrians: 5,977
- Pedal cyclists: 783
- Other/unknown: 228
Texas saw 3,722 motor vehicle accident fatalities in 2017, down 2 percent from 3,797 in 2016, according to the NHTSA.
Alcohol-Related Accidents Declining
Unsurprisingly, alcohol-impaired driving accounted for a sizable chunk of 2017 fatalities: …
Bus crashes may not be as common on the roadways as crashes involving smaller vehicles, but they can be catastrophic for everyone involved. Because buses are so large and carry so many people, severe injuries and extreme financial loss are likely. As a result, these accidents often lead to lawsuits.
When reviewing bus crashes, both government authorities and legal professionals try to understand why these crashes occur. Determining the cause of the crash is necessary in order to create legislation that reduces the number of bus accidents, as well as to assign blame for legal purposes after a specific accident occurs. Recent research shows that one of the most common contributing factors in these situations is driver fatigue.
Acute Sleep Deficit Leads to Fatal Accidents
According to the Texarkana Gazette, acute sleep deficit was responsible for a bus accident …
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 …
Parents need to use good information and common sense to keep their kids safe and away from dangerous toys. Every year toy sellers are eager to make as much money as they can during this, the most wonderful, time of the year.
Consumer safety group World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) unveiled this year’s list of most dangerous toys last month. They’re advising the public not to buy them because of the potential harm they may cause.
They include, according to Fox Business News:
- Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites: These are soft Pillow Pets sold as nightlights for infants’ rooms. Nella features a small, felt-like flower and a heart tag. If removed, they could cause choking, and your child may never wake up. The manufacturer also warns of possible battery acid leakage … never a
In every seat in every vehicle sold in Texas and across the U.S. there are seat belts. They’re not optional, and there’s no extra charge for them. Whether you purchased your vehicle, are leasing it or are driving a rental, you paid for that seat belt. Why not use it? If you’re involved in an accident, using a seat belt could mean the difference between life or death, or between a serious or a minor injury, or maybe no injury at all.
Nearly 3,000 people not using seat belts were killed or seriously injured in vehicle accidents in Texas in 2017, reports the Texarkana Gazette. Using a seat belt improves your chances of surviving a vehicle accident by 45% to 60%. The Texas Department of Transportation Austin District is trying to increase seat belt use through a public safety …
The bad news is that Texas is still No. 1. With 3,722 deaths on Texas roads last year, the state once again had the most traffic fatalities in 2017, according to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Texas also held this spot in 2016.
The good news is that the numbers show improvement. The 2017 figure is down slightly from the 3,797 who died on the road in 2016. This 2 percent drop narrowly beat the national average in a year when overall road deaths decreased across the country. California—the only other state with more than 3,500 deaths—saw a 6 percent drop, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Also, Texas falls in the middle of the field in deaths per capita, behind much smaller states in the West and Midwest, the Chronicle says.
Alcohol-related driving fatalities made …
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,” …