The ongoing government shutdown has impacted the public and users of government services in many ways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for investigating defects in vehicles, suspended this duty during the shutdown. This imperils safety and may increase the risks of car accidents caused by defective vehicles.
School buses have been involved in accidents that caused injuries to their occupants. However, cars accidents involving students walking to or from their buses may be even more deadly. Three siblings were killed and another child was seriously injured when a pickup truck hit them as they were walking to their bus stop in Rochester, Indiana, on Oct. 30.
Blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist and other advanced driver assistance systems have the potential to dramatically improve safety on the nation's roadways. However, a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that the hope to limit car accidents is limited by driver misuse and misunderstanding of this technology.
Distracted driving has grown as a fatal danger on the nation's roads. By impairing a driver's performance and slowing down reaction times, it is a major cause of car accidents. In fact, a survey of high school students in 35 states indicated that 38 percent of teenage drivers engaged in texting or emailing at least once when they drove, according to a recent report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Speeding through a yellow light and driving through a traffic light that just turned red is unacceptable, but it is common motorist behavior. Fatalities from car accidents caused by red-light-running increased by 17 percent between 2012 and 2016, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Driving with inadequate sleep is a major cause of car accidents in Indiana and throughout the nation. Its impact on public health is significant because a fatigued motorist may be as dangerous as a drunk driver, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But, states are struggling to find ways to combat this problem.
A few years ago, drunk driving across the country was dropping because of better enforcement and education and using measures such as ignition interlock devices. However, Indiana residents may be concerned to hear that recent years show a disturbing trend where fatal car accidents involving a drunk driver are rising again.