California drivers who have vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems are much less likely to strike another vehicle from behind, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study focused on General Motors vehicles, but other studies have focused on Volvos and Subarus and come to similar conclusions.
Teenage drivers have always been the riskiest age group on California roads. Not only are they more likely to make impulsive decisions than older drivers, but they also lack the car control experience of other age groups. Meanwhile, cellphones and other distracting gadgets constantly tempt young drivers to take their eyes and minds off the road, making a bad situation even worse.
Since the use of recreational marijuana in California has been legalized, the rate of traffic accidents could go up if the results in other legal marijuana states are any indication. The National Transportation Safety Board has released a report that concludes that drug-impaired driving has increased nationwide since some states made recreational marijuana legal.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its 2017 data on fatal car crashes. Overall, crash fatalities decreased from 2016. However, California motorists may be concerned to find out that deaths from large truck collisions and urban area accidents increased. SUV and tractor-trailer crash deaths went up 3 and 5.8 percent, respectively, while deaths in large straight truck wrecks rose a startling 18.7 percent.
Drivers in California who are concerned about cellphone distraction may be wise to avoid the roads between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. This is the time that drivers are most likely to be looking at smartphone screens instead of the road according to a recent study from Motus. Researchers from the Boston-based workforce management company say that American motorists drive more than 100 billion miles each year while distracted by electronic devices, and they expect the problem to get even worse in the coming years as smartphones become ever more ubiquitous.
Researchers at Baylor University have studied a supplemental drivers' education program meant for risky teen drivers, and they found that its interactive, reality-based elements actually help improve teens' risk awareness and driving behaviors. California residents are most likely unfamiliar with the program, called the Texas Reality Education for Drivers program, but they will be interested to hear what it involves.
While technology has had many positive safety effects, there can also be some downsides. Not all California motorists are interested in just traveling from point A to point B as quickly as possible. For many, it's often about how much can be accomplished during the journey.
Nationwide has provided several safety tips that drivers in California may find beneficial. While safe driving will not prevent other drivers from acting in a reckless manner, it can at least reduce the chances of a car crash and lessen a driver's degree of fault if one does occur. The first tip is to remain attentive, never multitasking or doing anything that will take one's eyes from the road. This means no use of cellphones and other electronic devices.
Before heading out on any road trips, drivers in California will want to stop and evaluate some of the most common risks that they could face on the road. These include distractions, fatigue and aggression. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham say that at least 20 percent of all fatal crashes are caused by drowsy driving. Furthermore, crashes with distracted drivers account for an average of nine deaths and thousands of injuries every day.
Car buyers in California and around the country who are concerned about safety are often drawn to vehicles with sophisticated crash avoidance systems and multiple airbags, but a study from the Highway Loss Data Institute suggests that they may be wiser to choose full-sized pickup trucks or luxury SUVs. The HLDI is a nonprofit organization that gathers and studies traffic accident and financial claims data on behalf of the insurance sector, and their analysis of vehicles available in the United States in 2014, 2015 and 2016 reveals that large SUVs and pickup trucks are the safest way to travel.