Government figures indicate that drowsy driving causes between 1 and 2 percent of the motor vehicle accidents in Iowa and throughout the U.S. However, a recent study from the American Automobile Association suggests that the true figure could be much higher. Researchers from the AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety used in-vehicle cameras and other equipment to monitor more than 3,500 drivers for several months. Their figures show that fatigue played a role in about 10 percent of the accidents they witnessed.
Iowa drivers have good reason to be worried about the threat posed by distracted drivers on the roadways. Smartphones and text communication have become ubiquitous, and with that popularity has come a wide rage of easy distractions that can divert drivers' eyes and minds from traffic. Recent years have seen an ongoing uptick in the number of fatal car accidents; many experts have correlated this increased danger with the rise of smartphone popularity and its associated distractions.
When someone in Iowa is involved in a car accident, reporting it to their insurance company may not be something they look forward to. Insurance rates sometimes go up after an accident, but reporting accidents is advised except in a few rare cases.
Teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are one-third more likely to be in a car accident than those without the condition, according to a study published in 'JAMA Pediatrics." Researchers also say that individuals with ADHD tend to get their license at a later age than others. However, drivers in Iowa need not be too alarmed.
For drivers in Iowa, the annual return to standard time can also have an impact on car accident rates. In particular, auto crashes involving wildlife can be a greater risk as the hours of daylight decrease. The switch from daylight saving time to standard time coincides with mating seasons for many animals.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, people who drive older cars are more likely to be killed in an accident than those who drive newer cars. Specifically, those who are driving a car that is 18 years or older have a 71 percent greater chance of being in a fatal accident than someone driving a car that is three years old or newer. Iowa parents of young drivers who are looking for an affordable used vehicle might want to take these statistics into account.
Small cars are popular in Iowa because of their superior gas mileage. People who are thinking about buying small cars might want to consider more than just that, however. Safety considerations are also important because smaller vehicles present much higher risks of injuries and fatalities than do larger, heavier vehicles.
While driving at any time can be dangerous, the number of people who die from motor vehicle accidents that occur at night are three times the number of fatalities that result from accidents during the day. Iowa motorists who routinely drive at night may benefit from learning about the challenges nighttime drivers face and how they can remain safe on the road.
Iowa motorists might like to know the particular dangers that the fall season brings while on the road. Shorter days and unpredictable weather are two challenges of fall driving. When heading to or from work, there may be more traffic and pedestrians since school is back in session. Drivers should watch for kids walking to and from school in neighborhoods and around school bus stops.
The past few years has seen a dramatic increase in the number of pre-collision warning systems installed on modern vehicles. Lane departure warning, blind spot warning and oncoming traffic detectors while backing are just some of the features installed on later model vehicles. Due to these and other devices, the streets of Iowa are becoming safer.