Safety risks with vehicles are typically associated with some sort of defect inherent in the vehicle in question. Some part or system does not function as designed and causes a potential safety issue, and the driver, despite operating the vehicle in an otherwise safe manner and as intended, is placed at risk. Today's automobiles sold in New York are manufactured with varying inclusions of the latest technology available, but not all of these are aimed at enhancing or improving the functionality or safety of the driving experience. In fact, the issue arises whether some of these technologies should be placed in a vehicle at all.
New York residents should know that only a few countries in the world, including the U.S. and Mexico, allow drivers a blood alcohol limit as high as 0.08 percent. There are some countries such as Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Russia where it is illegal to drive under the influence of any alcohol at all.
ZF is a car parts manufacturer that is currently developing external airbags. The safety data that it has presented may prompt other manufacturers to consider this technology. Drivers in New York who are interested in vehicle safety tech will also want to take note although it will probably be a while before external airbags become standard features on vehicles.
Drivers in New York may be worried about the impact of distracted driving on road safety. Despite warnings, public awareness campaigns and new laws, people continue to text, surf and chat on their smartphones while behind the wheel of their cars. Even public officials have been seen live streaming on Facebook while driving. However, the families of people who have been killed in crashes due to distracted driving are demanding tougher penalties and harsher enforcement for operating a vehicle while distracted.
Car safety tech can cut down on crashes by 40 percent and crash-related fatalities by 30 percent, according to federal estimates. Yet it can backfire on drivers who do not understand its limitations. This overreliance on safety tech, which can be seen in many drivers across New York, is the subject of a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report. The results raise questions about how drivers will adapt to a future of semiautonomous vehicles.
Hydroplaning is a common hazard whenever it rains in New York. Drivers probably know the basics behind it: a thin layer of water, pushed under by the pressure in the front of the vehicle's tires, develops under the tires and causes the vehicle to float above the road. The thicker that layer becomes, the more the tires lose their traction and increase the risk for uncontrollable skidding and sliding.
New York drivers may be intrigued by the results of a study conducted by Volvo and the Harris Poll about distracted driving, how many people engage in it and how they perceive it. It is broken up into two studies involving 2,000 participants in the U.S. More than 50 percent, regardless of age, felt that they need to refocus because they find they are more distracted than they were five years ago.
Roundabouts can be an effective deterrent to car accidents in rural areas, especially as compared to straightaways with stop signs. New York readers who drive long distances or frequently drive in rural areas might be interested to learn that more roundabouts are being implemented. Roundabouts force drivers to slow down, reducing the severity of accidents. They may be more effective than red, yellow and green traffic signals.
In New York and around the country, all teenagers must drive under adult supervision before going for their license. One might think that teen drivers pose a greater threat to others on the road before, not after, they obtain their license. A study from the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University, however, came to the opposite conclusion.
Collision avoidance systems, multiple in-car airbags and other advanced features are making cars safer than ever in New York. However, as long as there is a human factor behind the wheel, accidents will happen. The Highway Loss Data Institute has some data regarding 2014 to 2016 vehicle models that can be eye-opening to some.