Missouri residents who have advanced driver assistance systems in their cars should know that they can backfire on them if they don't understand their limitations. A recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety addresses how drivers are overestimating their car safety features, and it raises questions about what will happen when semiautonomous vehicles become more common.
Missouri drivers may be in a surprising amount of danger on rural roads. While these streets often have far less traffic than urban roads, the combination of high speed and poorly controlled intersections may lead to disaster. Many rural intersections are joined only by a stop sign while the speed limits on these roads may be as high as 55 miles per hour. As a result, when a crash occurs, the consequences can be catastrophic. Some intersections may even develop a reputation for danger. The hazards can increase at night, in poor weather or when visibility is hindered by trees, brush or other vegetation.
Consumers shopping for new vehicles in Missouri will discover that many new models offer crash avoidance systems. These are meant to prevent drifting out of lanes, maintain safe distances and apply brakes when a collision appears imminent. Although automakers might market these features with the term "autopilot," testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety detected problems that would require drivers to pay attention at all times.
According to a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adults said that they had operated a motor vehicle while drowsy. Another 37 percent said that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel. Missouri drivers and others should know that driving after being awake for 18 hours is similar to driving with a blood alcohol content of .05 percent.
Missouri residents may be familiar with the various predictions as to what will happen when driverless cars become the norm. Some experts have focused on the fate of the auto insurance industry and made dire predictions: A 2016 Morgan Stanley report estimates that the industry will shrink by 80 percent by the year 2040.
Using a cell phone or other technology while driving can be dangerous. According to a survey from the National Safety Council, 55 percent of respondents said that they would leave safeguards in place to prevent distracted driving. Only 23 percent said that they would deactivate those safeguards. Many developers are working on technology that could help prevent distracted driving.
Missouri drivers may be curious about the potential posed by autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies. Once the stuff of science-fiction portrayals, self-driving cars are being explored by a number of companies. For many, the technology presents an opportunity to significantly reduce the over 100 deaths that take place every day across the country as a result of motor vehicle collisions. However, there have been a number of accidents that have involved vehicles using some kind of semi-autonomous technology, all while a human driver was also present inside the car. These incidents have received widespread media attention, something executives and others involved in the industry have condemned.
When people in Missouri get behind the wheel, they may not expect that their next drive could result in severe, long-lasting injuries to internal organs. However, car accidents can cause major injuries, especially to organs like the liver. Researchers say that wearing a seat belt can lessen the impact of these injuries; however, it cannot completely prevent damage to the liver from taking place in a car crash.
Drivers in Missouri and across the U.S. tend to text the most during afternoon rush hours, according to data released by app company Drivemode. However, the data also showed that New York drivers are the worst offenders when it comes to rush hour texting.
The disturbing rise in distracted driving accidents in Missouri and around the country is often blamed on the popularity of portable electronic devices, but the results of a recent study from Erie Insurance suggests that being lost in thought while behind the wheel actually kills and injures far more road users each year than cell phone use. The Pennsylvania-based auto insurer came to its conclusions after analyzing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System gathered over the last five years. The results of the study were released on April 3 to mark the beginning of Distracted Driving Awareness Month.