Michigan passengers who ride in the back seat of cars may not be as safe as those who ride in the front. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more safety technology needs to be added to back seats as auto manufacturers have added it to front seats.
Michigan readers may be concerned to learn that Tesla's latest Autopilot software update makes the technology even more dangerous according to a review by Consumer Reports magazine. Autopilot has already been involved in at least three deadly car accidents.
Repeat drunk driving offenders in Michigan are required by state law to have ignition interlock devices fitted to their automobiles. The devices require that drivers take a breath test before they start their vehicles and prevent operation when alcohol is detected. Laws similar to Michigan's are on the books in almost 30 states, but a bill that was submitted on January 11 in the U.S. House of Representatives would go even further.
High school graduations mean that there will be millions of teenagers on the road in Michigan and throughout the country. It also means that teens may be drinking alcohol or using drugs while celebrating the end of their high school careers. Therefore, it is important for parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of drunk or impaired driving. Teens should also be taught about the potential dangers of driving while distracted or drowsy.
Many Michigan motorists drive too fast when it is raining outside. While people might think that driving at or above the speed limit in rain is okay, a recent study found that even light rain greatly increases the chance of fatal accidents.
Root Insurance, a company that provides insurance discounts to drivers who avoid phone use behind the wheel, has recently unveiled the results of its second annual distracted driving study. What Michigan residents should know is that ignorance is not the reason for high distracted driving rates: Many engage in it while knowing it is wrong.
For motorists in Michigan, drunk driving can be a real threat. In 2017 alone, 10,874 people across the country were killed by drunk driving accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Law enforcement and public awareness campaigns have stepped up to highlight the dangers of driving while intoxicated, but people continue to lose their lives on the roadways. Some are looking for a technological solution to the problem. That's why Volvo announced that it would install an anti-drunk driving system in its cars beginning in the early 2020s. The technology would also target distracted driving.
Michigan drivers should know that the development of autonomous vehicles has been a bumpy one, even resulting in fatalities. In May 2016, the driver of a Tesla vehicle on Autopilot collided with a truck and died. In March 2018, a pedestrian in Arizona was fatally struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle, forcing Uber to shut down self-driving operations in that state. However, it has since restarted its testing program on public roads in the city of Pittsburgh.
The Travelers Companies, an insurance provider, has issued its 2019 Travelers Risk Index. What it has to say about distracted driving, based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers and executives, should be of interest to drivers in Michigan. First, the most frequently cited forms of distraction were sending texts and emails at 44 percent, using social media at 23 percent and taking photographs or recording videos at 22 percent.
Michigan residents may have heard about a device called the "textalyzer," which is meant to determine whether someone was using their phone prior to a crash. Back in 2017, the New York legislature proposed a measure allowing its use among police officers, but the measure failed. Now, the Nevada legislature has proposed a similar measure.