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Advice for driving when its raining outside

Michigan drivers could be at risk of hydroplaning when driving during wet conditions. Typically, the highest risk occurs during the first few minutes of a rain event as oil mixes with water. Those who find themselves to be hydroplaning should stay calm, resist the urge to hit the brake and steer into the slide. Steering into the slide means that the wheel should turn in the same direction as the back of the vehicle.

Interactive, realistic elements could boost teens' driver ed

New research suggests that some Michigan teens could benefit from driver education classes that incorporate visits to intensive care units and morgues. The Texas Reality Education for Drivers program is one example of an education supplement that provides interactive, reality-based instruction for teens with poor driving records. A Baylor University study has shown that this program in particular increases risk awareness and can help improve driving behavior.

With no supervision, licensed teen drivers more prone to crashes

Teen drivers in Michigan may be at a higher risk for car crashes immediately after, rather than before, they obtain their licenses. This is according to a study conducted by the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University, the results of which were published in July. Researchers analyzed 90 teen and 131 parent participants in Virginia, observing both the drivers and the road via dashcams and using special software to record speed and braking times.

Evaluating the risks of driving before hitting the road

Driving or riding in a vehicle is an everyday reality for almost everyone in Michigan, but just because something is routine doesn't mean the risks shouldn't be considered. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands of people die in motor vehicle accidents per year in the United States. These accidents are caused by a variety of risk factors, including distracted driving, drowsy driving and intoxicated driving.

Vehicle deaths at highest rate since 2007

There were approximately 40,100 motor vehicle fatalities throughout the United States in 2017. This was the second straight year in which there were more than 40,000 such deaths in the country. The 2017 estimated fatality figure was 8 percent higher than it was in 2015, and vehicle fatalities are at their highest since 2007. Part of the reason for the increase is more vehicles on roads in Michigan and across the country.

Data suggests distracted driving risks spike in summer months

Accidents related to distracted driving can occur anytime in Michigan. However, a recent analysis of the behaviors of 20,000-plus drivers suggests that people spend more time looking at their devices while behind the wheel from June through August. Findings from the analysis, which was commissioned by a major insurance company and a leading smartphone telematics platform, shows that summertime drivers are distracted for nearly 15 minutes per each hour spent driving. This is about 10 percent higher than what's typical during other times of the year.

Report shows drugged driving on the rise and taking lives

Drivers in Michigan know that road hazards often include drunk drivers. However, driving under the influence goes beyond just alcohol. A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that in 2016, a high percentage of drivers who were killed in auto accidents tested positive for drugs. While alcohol-impaired driving fatalities have remained relatively steady over the past 10 years, the number of drug-impaired driver deaths has sharply increased.

Reducing distractions on the road with new devices

Several companies have developed technologies that could reduce smartphone-related distractions behind the wheel. Of course, their success all depends on whether individual motorists choose to use them or not. Drivers in Michigan may be interested in two of the most recent devices out there.

Journalists defend coverage of semi-autonomous car crashes

For people in Michigan and across the country, developments in automobile technology have sparked a great deal of interest and curiosity. In particular, autonomous vehicles that allow the car to drive itself with little to no input from a human driver have received a large amount of media attention. This has included car accidents involving semi-autonomous vehicles, which have been highlighted nationally even when they have involved minor injuries. Some supporters of the autonomous vehicle industry argue that this media attention is disproportionate, especially in comparison to the coverage of traditional crashes involving human-driven cars.

Some states are more likely to have distracted drivers

Michigan drivers are more likely to be distracted behind the wheel by their mobile phones than motorists in other states. However, they are certainly not the worst. That dubious honor goes to Mississippi drivers. This is according to data released by Everdrive, an app that tracks drivers' habits while operating their vehicles.

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