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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Even when only a light rain is falling, Iowa drivers might be at greater risk on the road than they would be in clear weather. The Bulletin of the American Meteorology Society has published a study that reports that the risk of a fatal motor vehicle accident increased by 27 percent in a light rain.
Drunk driving can quickly have a big impact on anyone in Iowa who happens to be sharing the roadway with an impaired driver. This is one of the reasons why an auto manufacturer based in Sweden has announced plans to install in-car cameras and sensors on its vehicles starting in the early 2020s. The system that will be used is designed to spot signs of driver intoxication and impairment as well as act on what's detected.