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car accidents Archives

Do red light cameras make the roads safer?

Traffic accidents caused by Iowa drivers running red lights can be deadly. In the United States, around 800 people each year are killed in collisions caused when one driver ran a red light, and many thousands more suffer severe injuries. Over half of the victims in these crashes are pedestrians, cyclists and people in other vehicles. As a result, many cities across the country have looked for solutions to make the roads safer. Red light cameras offer one means of cracking down on drivers running red lights while also increasing revenue for the city. The cameras are mounted atop traffic lights and capture the image of a car's license plate if it goes through a red light. Later, drivers receive a ticket in the mail.

Ignition interlock testing linked to distracted driving crashes

Ignition interlock devices that test drivers' breath for alcohol before allowing their vehicles to start contribute to the enforcement of drunk driving laws in Iowa. These devices have proven that they reduce repeat offenses by people convicted of intoxicated driving, but they also have the potential to distract drivers. Manufacturers of these devices typically require drivers to initiate a retesting of their breath at some point during a trip. The rolling retest function is meant to disrupt attempts to fool the device by having a sober person start the vehicle at the onset of a trip. Unfortunately, blowing into the devices while operating vehicles can distract drivers and sometimes cause accidents.

Driver distraction doubles when car safety systems are engaged

Distracted driving accidents in Iowa and around the country are often blamed on cellphone use, but some of the most advanced automobile safety systems could also be playing a role. Adaptive cruise control and lane departure assist features are designed to monitor road conditions and take action automatically to avoid collisions, but the results of a study from the American Automobile Association suggest that these systems could be causing accidents as well as preventing them.

Road deaths fell slightly in 2018

Nearly all of the people who died on the roads in Iowa and around the country in 2018 lost their lives in accidents that could have been prevented according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Figures released by NHTSA on Oct. 22 reveal that motor vehicle accident fatalities in the United States fell by 2.4% in 2018 to 36,560, which the federal watchdog says is largely due to improved automobile safety technology. NHTSA says road deaths are on track to fall by 3.4% in 2019.

Fatal crashes linked to aggressive drivers jump 500%

Anyone who commutes regularly in Iowa knows that some drivers behave aggressively. Most people recognize the term "road rage" because it has become so prevalent in society. During the 10-year period of 2006 to 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculated that fatal traffic accidents involving aggressive drivers increased exponentially.

Dangers of drunk driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents caused by drunk driving kill more than 10,000 people in the United States every year. Iowa residents might like to know more about the problems caused by drunk driving.

Drowsy driving, a growing epidemic

Many Iowa residents fail to sleep the minimum of seven hours that the CDC recommends for each night. As a result, more and more people are driving drowsy. A 2018 AAA study observed camera footage of drivers just before they were involved in collisions, and researchers concluded that 9.5% of all accidents are caused by drowsy drivers.

NHTSA: roadway fatalities dip in 2018, but concerns remain

Iowa residents should know that, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2018 is the second year in a row to see a decline in roadway fatalities. In 2017, 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes, a 2% drop from the previous year. In 2018, the number was 36,750: about a 1% dip from 2017.

How Iowa residents may be able to prove driver negligence

Iowa residents who have been injured as a result of another driver's negligence should consider the legal definition of negligence before deciding whether they want to pursue the incident in court. Negligence has one meaning in casual conversation and an entirely different legal meaning. For example, in conversation, negligence might simply mean that the driver was at fault for the accident. However, in order to prove legal negligence, the court must decide that the accident was the direct cause of a personal injury or loss.

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