While there are more accidents on West Virginia roads and others throughout the country, it isn't necessarily because cars lack safety features. Many cars and trucks have up to 10 airbags as well as other tools that are designed to prevent an accident from happening at all. Although vehicles are required to meet certain federal standards, some vehicles are safer than others when looking at crash statistics.
Many West Virginia motorists have a variety of infotainment systems available to them in their vehicles. However, a study from the American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that these systems can make driving extremely dangerous.
The seat belt laws in West Virginia are among the most lenient in the nation, and police officers in the Mountain State are only able to ticket drivers for not being properly restrained after pulling them over for another motor vehicle violation. Road safety advocates have called for every state to pass primary seat belt laws for both front and rear seat passengers, and research published recently in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health provides yet more evidence about the safety benefits of buckling up before every trip.
Drivers in West Virginia should be aware that nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths are the result of drunk driving. People who are under the age of 24 are at the most risk of being killed as are motorcyclists and individuals who have been previously convicted of driving under the influence.
Drowsiness is a danger that most drivers in West Virginia understand. However, it is rarely thought of at the same level as drunk and distracted driving. A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety may go a long way toward correcting such assumptions.
As West Virginia motorists may be aware, the number of car accident fatalities has continued to rise across the country. Traffic experts have blamed driver distraction from smartphones and other in-car electronics, such as infotainment systems, as a major part of the problem. However, there are some ways that people can keep themselves safer when behind the wheel.
Law enforcement officers have long been proficient in detecting drivers under the sway of alcohol. If necessary, West Virginia police can arrange a field sobriety test and ultimately examine a driver's blood alcohol concentration. However, the process for detecting the influence of other drugs is less straightforward. Further complicating the issue is the increase in drugged driving accidents, which some have attributed to the opioid epidemic.
A recent study shows speeding to be a primary factor in approximately 31 percent of all traffic fatalities. With a spike in overall numbers of traffic deaths, some safety advocates are proposing much harsher penalties for speeders to help relay the importance of slowing down to motorists.
In West Virginia and across the U.S., dealing with aggressive drivers on the road is a part of life for many people. Aggressive drivers will ride another person's bumper, cut cars off, steal parking spots and more. To keep them from endangering anyone else, drivers should consider these tips.
West Virginia residents may be interested in learning that in 2016, more than 40,000 people lost their lives after becoming involved in serious car accidents. In fact, there are about 6 million car accidents every year in the U.S., any of which can easily result in fatalities or debilitating injuries.