With legal recreational marijuana use spreading across the U.S., people in Texas might be interested in a report that links the drug to fatal car accidents. An analysis of data going back to 1992 shows that fatal car crashes tend to be higher on the April 20 pot holiday.
Auto accidents are always a worry for drivers in Texas and across the United States, and they're quite frequent; at least 6 million car crashes happen every year in the United States. That figure has continued to grow, with the number of fatalities escalating in both 2015 and 2016. Researchers are examining these crashes to learn more about their causes in an attempt to prevent future car accidents as well as cutting down on the human cost in deaths and injuries. Technologies that track driver behavior and detailed accident investigations are both being used in order to develop an understanding of the crashes.
The Federal Highway Administration states that nearly 1.3 million car accidents every year are weather-related. Residents of Texas who experience icy and snowy winters should know about the ways to protect themselves when on the road so that they can avoid becoming a statistic.
Distractions have existed for as long as there have been drivers on the nation's roads. Drivers must constantly fight to keep their focus on the task at hand and not have their attention diverted by outside temptations like billboards, scenery, highway markers and the like.
In Texas and across the U.S., the smartphone-based game called Pokémon Go became a craze among players of all ages, so much so that it led to reports of people being injured and killed while playing it. A study made by two professors from Purdue University has further shown that distracted driving was a byproduct of the Pokémon Go phenomenon.
Studies have found that drivers in Texas and around the country who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents, but research suggests that people who have been diagnosed with ADHD can greatly educe their chances of crashing by taking their prescribed medications. After studying the cases of more than 2 million ADHD sufferers, Swedish and American researchers concluded that 22 percent of the car accidents they were involved in could have been prevented if the appropriate medication had been prescribed and taken.
Motorists in Texas should be aware that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering ways to set aside regulations that limit the use of self-driving vehicles. In a report that it released, the agency said that it especially wants to focus on the self-driving vehicles that have no controls for human drivers. The agency is seeking opinions about what type of research should be conducted before decisions are made on whether to revamp or get rid of the regulations. However, because it can take years for the agency to finish the necessary research and make changes to the rules, Congress is being prompted to take action.
In 2013, there were approximately 424,000 accident-related injuries around the country caused by distracted driving. Furthermore, there were 3,154 fatalities caused by distracted driving accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, it is believed that the actual numbers may be higher than reported. Distracted driving comes in three forms, and they may all increase the likelihood of an accident.
Texas law requires drivers to switch on their headlights during the nighttime hours or when visibility is reduced to 1,000 feet or less, but road safety studies conducted in several countries suggest that they would be wise to turn them on every time they get behind the wheel. The number of left-turn accidents plummeted by 37 percent in Denmark after a law was introduced that mandated the use of daytime running lights, and Canadian authorities reported an 11 percent fall in multi-vehicle crashes after legislators in Ottawa passed a similar bill.
According to a survey from Progressive Insurance, about one-third of respondents said that they could still drive well while texting. However, 90 percent of respondents thought that distracted driving should be illegal, as it currently is in the state of Texas. This is likely because most who replied to the survey thought that distracted driving was a major cause of auto accidents. When the data was broken down, it was discovered that most drivers who believed that they could drive and text were younger people.