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Analysis of fatal accidents reveals risks of older vehicles

A research paper from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified vehicle age as a contributing factor in death rates from car accidents in Michigan and throughout the U.S. According to the study, a driver in a car that is at least 18 years old has a 71 percent higher chance of dying in a wreck than someone driving a vehicle that is new or under three years of age.

Drivers think they're better than others at texting while driving

More than 90 percent of drivers believe distracted driving should be illegal, according to the findings of an online study conducted during August 2017. Respondents were insured drivers at or over the age of 18 from Michigan and across the U.S. Approximately one-third of those who responded indicated confidence in their own abilities to text and drive. More than 60 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 said they were confident they could safely text and drive. Only 6 percent of drivers aged 55 years or old said the same.

Daytime headlight use decreases car accidents

Although laws do not require drivers in Michigan to turn their headlights on during the day, the simple act heightens vehicle visibility and reduces crashes. A variety of studies have examined the effects of headlight use on clear days and found that the strategy lowered accidents by as much as 10 percent.

Study shows collision avoidance systems prevent accidents

Michigan drivers whose vehicles include a collision avoidance system may be safer than those whose vehicles do not. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2015, vehicles that had these warning systems had a rate of single-vehicle head-on and sideswipe crashes that was 11 percent lower than in vehicles that did not have this feature. Furthermore, for injury crashes of the same type, the injury rate was cut by 21 percent in vehicles that had this technology.

More hurdles ahead for autonomous vehicles

Some Michigan motorists may be eager to see autonomous vehicles become a reality. With almost 100 people on average lose their lives in traffic accidents around the country and human error as the cause of around 94 percent of those crashes, it is predicted that autonomous cars will be safer. One Morgan Stanley analyst said all vehicles would be fully autonomous within 20 years while Ford, Nissan, Toyota and other manufacturers predicted autonomous vehicles would be the market by the decade's end. However, the adoption of autonomous vehicles this may take longer than many industry experts have predicted.

Device may help prevent drowsy driving

Although driving while fatigued is not as widely recognized as a danger as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is, it is believed to be responsible for up to 6,000 deadly car accidents nationwide each year. However, Michigan motorists may be able to purchase a device that shocks drivers who are dozing off behind the wheel and prevents these accidents from happening.

2 dead in 4-vehicle accident

On July 14, an associate coach at Michigan State University was taken into custody after he was involved in a car accident. The 37-year-old Holt resident was believed to have caused the chain-reaction crash after he became distracted while behind the wheel.

Speed and car crash risk, study shows strong link

Drivers in Michigan may be surprised to learn that higher speed limits set by states are directly correlated with increased traffic fatalities. A study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety quantifies the relationship by showing a 4 percent increase in deaths attributed to car accidents for every 5 mph increase in the speed limit. The larger number of fatalities suggests similar increases in catastrophic injuries and minor injuries resulting from accidents.

Increased congestion driving accident fatalities up

The roads in Michigan and other U.S. states have become more congested in recent years as plummeting fuel costs and a thriving economy have prompted more Americans to travel, and this has resulted in an alarming spike in traffic accident fatalities despite major advances in automotive design and safety systems. Economic experts generally agree that the economy will continue to perform well in the years ahead, and most road safety advocates expect fatality figures to fall only slightly if jobs remain plentiful and gas prices remain low.

Driverless vehicles may not be ready for Michigan roads

Those who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of more autonomous vehicles may want to be patient for a while longer. Even though Congressional legislation may increase the number of driverless autos that get tested on open roads from 2,500 to 100,000 per year, concerned safety groups think that manufacturers and legislators need to slow down.

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