Seeing someone using their smartphone behind the wheel of a vehicle has become a common sight in North Carolina. The National Safety Council documented a 6 percent rise in traffic fatalities between 2015 and 2016, and smartphones are suspected as a source of driver distraction.
In North Carolina, winter generally tends to be mild. However, this puts many drivers at risk when the temperatures do drop and cause ice to form on the roads. When the winter season does arrive, drivers can reduce their chances of becoming involved in an accident by following certain winter driving safety tips.
North Carolina motorists should be especially careful when driving around Thanksgiving. Studies show that U.S. traffic deaths increase in the days surrounding the annual feast, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that no other holiday leads to more fatal car accidents.
In early October, a Senate committee approved a bill that could speed up the manufacturing and testing of self-driving cars. It allows the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to exempt automakers from meeting certain safety standards and allow them to deploy up to 80,000 self-driving cars annually for the next three years. In September, the House of Representatives passed a similar measure. The bill has been called a landmark in legislation, with the support of corporations like General Motors and Ford Motor Company, but North Carolina motorists should know that there are some hurdles involved.
While it is well known that night shift workers are prone to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes, there is another issue that may be of more immediate concern. Drowsy driving is a safety hazard in North Carolina and across the U.S. This condition, the result of an irregular sleep schedule, puts night shift workers and others on the road at risk even during daytime commutes on the way home.
Venturing out onto the action's roads is becoming increasingly hazardous for motorists in North Carolina and around the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's latest traffic accident fatality report, which was released on Oct. 6, reveals that fatalities have increased in two consecutive years. The 37,461 road users killed in 2016 represents a 5.6 percent year-over-year increase and is the highest highway death total since 41,259 died in 2007.
Most people would recognize speeding drivers as a threat to safety on the roads of North Carolina, but someone driving below the minimum limit could be just as dangerous. A slow vehicle on a multilane highway often forces other motorists to pass on the right. That maneuver could cause confusion among drivers and promote crashes. Even on residential streets, a slow driver might require someone to hit their brakes unexpectedly and launch a chain reaction that causes an accident.
Some North Carolina residents may believe that buckling up is an unnecessary precaution when making short trips on familiar roads. However, data gathered by road safety advocacy groups suggests otherwise. Even crashes that occur at residential speeds can cause death or catastrophic injury. Furthermore, the chances of being involved in an accident on local streets may actually be higher because of the way the human brain works.
In North Carolina, motorists are not required to use their headlights except at night or during storms. If they used them whenever they drove, however, lives could be saved. Multiple studies have demonstrated that using headlights whenever people drive helps to reduce accidents and fatalities.
In North Carolina, car accidents injure or kill many people every year. Advances in technology have resulted in decreased accident rates in the state and throughout the U.S., offering some good news for the public. Collision avoidance systems in newer-model vehicles have had a substantial and positive impact on different types of accidents, saving lives.