After testing the front passenger side safety of several new pickups, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that passengers in these vehicles run a higher risk of injury and death than the drivers do in the event of a crash. Pickup owners in New York should know that the IIHS has been conducting driver-side small overlap frontal crash tests since 2012, adding tests for the passenger side in 2017.
The weather in New York can be highly unpredictable in the fall. A balmy morning can turn into a frigid afternoon, dense patches of fog often cling to the roads well into the morning and clear skies can quickly become darkened by heavy rain clouds. Rapidly changing weather conditions can make driving more hazardous at any time of the year, but sudden storms and fluctuating temperatures can be particularly perilous in the fall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that drunk driving kills over 10,000 people every year in New York and the rest of the U.S. Every day, about 30 people in this country are dying in drunk driving crashes. It's important to understand, then, what kind of effect alcohol can have on drivers.
Millennials in New York and across the U.S. are more likely than other age groups to use their cellphones while driving, according to a recent multi-national study. The study, which was conducted by researchers at Liberty Mutual, surveyed approximately 8,000 drivers in the U.S. and Western Europe about their driving behaviors.
Drivers in New York may feel compelled in some cases to drive even when they are tired. It should be kept in mind, though, that drowsy driving is a serious issue and can lead to crashes. According to a 2018 AAA study, some 9.5% of all crashes are caused by drowsy drivers.
As early as 2011, automotive safety advocates began noting a worrisome trend that drivers in New York should be aware of -- women are more likely than men to be seriously injured in a car crash. At that time, advocates put the blame on seat belts. It turns out that most women harmed in crashes are short in statute and that other factors, including seating posture, prevent them from getting the best protection from their seat belts.
According to the NHTSA, drunk driving accidents account for 29% of all traffic fatalities. In 2017, 11,000 people were killed and a further 200,000 were injured in New York and throughout the country by drunk drivers. However, there may be technology available that could help prevent those who are impaired by alcohol from operating a motor vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that implementing this type of technology could prevent 7,000 deaths per year.
Road design can have a major impact on the severity of car accidents in New York. For example, some road crossings are marked only by stop signs, especially in rural areas. This can even be true when each road has a high speed limit of 55 mph. While these roads receive relatively low traffic volume, these types of crossings may mean that the car accidents that do occur are far more likely to lead to severe injuries or fatalities. Cars and trucks on rural, sparsely populated roads may be more likely to run stop signs or even miss them due to brush or other obstructions in the way.
Tesla introduced its Navigate on Autopilot feature in 2018 and has since made several updates to it. Anyone in New York who is interested in the development of semi-autonomous cars likely knows what this feature is. It is able to control a vehicle's speed while keeping the vehicle centered in its lane, and if the driver tries to change lanes with no hands on the wheel, it will flash a warning. It can even pull a car back into its lane if it senses a collision.
The National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University have conducted a study on the driving habits of teens with a learner's permit and those who have been newly licensed. New York motorists may be interested to hear the results.