Many drivers in Virginia, as elsewhere, become distracted when they pass an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. Even worse, many will take photos or videos of the vehicles regardless of whether the vehicles are making a routine traffic stop or responding to a car crash or a fire. All of this compromises the safety of those first responders who get out of the vehicles to help others.
Many Virginia drivers would have to admit that, at one time or another, they have gotten behind the wheel while they were tired. They may not have realized how serious of an issue driving while tired can be. This is one of the reasons why on March 15, 2019, an automotive manufacturer took advantage of World Sleep Day to emphasize the dangers associated with driving while tired.
One study indicates that drivers in Virginia may have another thing to fear on the highways: the influence of prescription opiates. The nationwide opioid epidemic that has led to the widespread use of illegal opiates, as well as a severe public health threat from overdoses, could also be connected to fatal car crashes. Researchers at Columbia University found that drivers who were found to be at fault in fatal two-car collisions were almost twice as likely to have prescription opiates in their system as drivers who were not at fault for the crashes.
A new study based on Virginia drivers indicates that people are not talking on cellphones while behind the wheel as much as in the past. However, motorists may be using phones for other reasons, like texting, more than before. Experts say this is not good news because research has shown that operating a phone while driving dramatically increases the risk of accident and death.
There are times when a driver feels like they have to take to the Virginia roads even though they are tired. In such cases, they would do well to consider the following tips. Lack of sleep is behind all drowsiness. The CDC recommends at least seven hours of sleep a night, and those who feel drowsy even after achieving this minimum may have a condition like obstructive sleep apnea.
Drunk driving crashes are to blame for approximately a third of all deaths relating to traffic injuries. In Virginia, as elsewhere, the motorists who are most susceptible to drunk driving crashes are drivers under 24, motorcyclists, those with prior DUI convictions and those who combine alcohol consumption with drugs or medications.
Some Virginia drivers may have heard about external airbags. While the technology is a long way from being perfected, much less implemented on new vehicles, its benefits are clear and may encourage more car parts manufacturers to consider it. One of these manufacturers, the ZF Group, has found that in the event of a side impact crash, external airbags could reduce occupants' injury severity by as much as 40 percent.
During the holidays, thousands of Virginia drivers take road trips to see family and friends over a few weeks. Here are some important winter driving tips to help ensure a safe journey.
Driving on Virginia roads can always present a danger, especially when inexperienced drivers are involved. For National Teen Driver Safety Week, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released new statistics about severe accidents and fatalities that involve teen drivers. According to the study, the fatality rate for people involved in a crash increased by 51 percent when teen drivers were carrying only other teens as passengers.
Driver assistance systems can cut down on car crashes by 40 percent and crash fatalities by 30 percent, according to federal estimates. Yet they can backfire when drivers become too complacent with them. Virginia residents should know that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report about this trend that affects many drivers.