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car accidents Archives

Avoid dangerous driving on Halloween night

For many people in New Mexico, driving on Halloween can result in severe car accidents and the injuries that follow. As people go out to Halloween parties and spend the night trick-or-treating, they could face an escalated risk on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Halloween night is the most dangerous time for drunk driving. More people are killed in DWI-related crashes between 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and 6 a.m. on Nov. 1 than at any other time of the year.

Humans often at fault in crashes with self-driving cars

Many people in New Mexico are curious about the potential of self-driving cars to change the future of transportation. While several car accidents involving autonomous vehicles have made the news, these crashes usually involve something of interest or noteworthy to the general population. However, many more mundane crashes occur in areas where self-driving cars are being tested, and most of them are the fault of human drivers.

Motor vehicle fatalities down, but deaths rise for trucks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released figures for fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2017. In 2015 and 2016, fatalities rose, but it appears that trend began to reverse in 2017. However, based on the report, people in New Mexico may be safer from fatal crashes in rural areas than urban ones. This is a departure from 2015 and earlier years when there were more fatal motor vehicle accidents in rural locations.

Study raises concerns about autonomous vehicle safety systems

Research suggests that sophisticated driver assistance technology could reduce road deaths by up to 30 percent and prevent 40 percent of all crashes, but a study released by AAA reveals that theses safety gains may come at a cost. The organization's Foundation for Traffic Safety polled 1,200 drivers who bought 2016 or 2017 model cars or SUVs equipped with features like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking systems. They found that motorists in New Mexico and around the country were more likely to act recklessly while behind the wheel because they believe these features are more capable than they actually are.

Smartphone-distracted workers may pose accident risk

Distracted driving presents a major threat to life and safety on New Mexico roads. When people pay attention to their phones rather than the road, the consequences can be severe, not only for themselves, but also for other people driving or walking nearby. While many people associate distracted driving with teens texting, the complicated reality is that people of all ages and levels of driving experience can be distracted and may pose a threat to others. One study by Motus looked at how the connected mobile workforce can contribute to distracted driving dangers. An increasing number of mobile workers are connected to their jobs through smartphones, and this has been accompanied by growth in motor vehicle accidents as well.

What to do when hydroplaning

June through September is generally considered the rainy season in New Mexico and much of the United States. One of the biggest risks to drivers during a rain event is hydroplaning. This occurs when the car loses control while on a wet road because the tires are making contact with water instead of the road itself. In some cases, oil on the surface can mix with the rain to create a slippery mixture that can make gaining traction difficult.

Visiting hospital could help teens understand driving risks

Many New Mexico parents worry that their teens may not take the dangers of risky driving seriously enough. A new study shows that having teen drivers take a supplemental drivers' education program that includes visits to hospitals or morgues could help them better understand the consequences of their actions.

Car crash fatalities still high despite new safety tech

New Mexico residents should know that despite advances in safety technology, car accident rates are still at an all-time high. According to preliminary figures from the National Safety Council, the U.S. may soon be recording more than 40,000 car crash fatalities for the third year in a row. However, it appears that a plateau effect has been achieved compared to the sharp increases seen in the previous two years.

Rural traffic roundabouts may reduce car accident risks

After a car accident in North Carolina involving a fatal collision at a busy rural intersection with a stop sign, vegetation was cleared away, and signs pointing out the upcoming stop sign were posted. Serious accidents continued to occur. The stop sign was then replaced with a traffic circle referred to as a roundabout that allows traffic to flow nearly continuously in the same direction around an island in the center. It's a solution that may help reduce the seriousness of injuries and the risk of fatalities in rural parts of New Mexico.

Driving drowsy is both dangerous and prevalent

The American Sleep Foundation has reported that approximately half of the drivers in New Mexico and across the U.S. say they have consistently driven while they felt drowsy. Drowsy driving causes effects that are similar to drunk driving, including reduced reaction speeds. The Governors Highway Safety Association estimated that 5,000 people died on U.S. roadways in 2015 due to drowsy driving.

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