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Liberty Mutual releases worrying distracted driving study

The results of a recent Liberty Mutual Insurance study suggest that virtually all New York drivers consider themselves to be highly skilled behind the wheel despite regularly behaving in ways that place other road users in great danger. Only 2% of the European and American motorists polled by the insurer did not rate their driving skills as excellent. The vast majority of them were also extremely critical of other drivers.

Other driver polls have uncovered the same kind of cognitive dissonance, but the Liberty Mutual study is particularly worrying. When millennials were asked about cellphone use behind the wheel, 86% of them admitted to the behavior, and most said they used the devices to send texts, watch videos and check social media. An alarming number of the respondents also admitted to running red lights, ignoring stop signs and speeding. Drivers tended to brush off their routinely dangerous behavior by making excuses such as encountering heavy traffic or running late for an appointment.

More data is needed to keep drivers safe

Over 40,000 traffic fatalities took place each year between 2016 and 2018. According to the National Safety Council, New York and other states could do more to determine why crashes occur. The NSC says that there are 23 different pieces of information that should be obtained by police after an accident. However, no state obtains more than 14 pieces of data, and states such as Nebraska only obtain data on five of these 23 variables.

In New York, police do not record information about a driver's blood alcohol content if that person was below the legal limit of .08% when the crash occurred. No state in the nation collects data about the role advanced driver assistance features may play in an accident. Furthermore, no state collects data about a driver's fatigue level following a wreck.

What distractions drivers should steer clear of

Distracted driving has become an epidemic across New York and the rest of the U.S., and it's not just phones and in-vehicle tech that are contributing to the trend. Of course, drivers should refrain from all phone use, including hands-free phone use, when driving, but they must also be aware that even eating, drinking and having conversations with passengers can constitute a distraction.

Drivers may want to institute a no-eating policy or limit the number of passengers they have in their cars. On the other hand, they could have a passenger take on potentially distracting activities for them, such as sending texts and using the navigation system.

How technology can help you avoid and react to car accidents

Car accidents are bound to happen. Even the most careful drivers may get into collisions due to negligent motorists. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools available to help you both avoid crashes and get help if you are in one. 

Aside from defensive driving, modern technology provides many ways to keep you safe while on the road. Here are some notable apps and devices to assist you.

Women 73% more likely than men to suffer serious crash injuries

As far back as 2011, it has been recognized that women are more likely than men are to suffer serious injuries in a car crash. New York residents should know that a study from the University of Virginia has analyzed this phenomenon and found out one reason for it: namely, a lack of safety data and safety measures that take women into account.

Crash safety tests use male crash dummies for the most part, and though a female crash dummy was introduced in 2003, its dimensions are not necessarily those of the average woman. It weighs 110 pounds and is five feet tall. It does not reflect physiological and anatomical differences, such as differences in muscle strength, pelvis shape and fat distribution.

Study ranks states with most car crashes involving seniors

There are about 42 million drivers in the U.S. who are 65 or older. This comes to nearly 20% of the total driving population and represents more than a 30% increase from 2009 as well as nearly a 60% increase compared to 1999. The unfortunate thing is that many of these seniors are unsafe drivers. New York residents should know that their state has the 10th highest number of car crashes involving seniors.

This is according to a study from The Senior List, which utilized data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for its conclusions. Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and North Carolina saw the highest number of crashes with seniors while the lowest numbers were in New Hampshire, South Dakota, Delaware, Hawaii and North Dakota.

3 myths of car accident claims

Car accidents are not always fender benders. They can result in serious injuries, which was the case for a Massachusetts man who suffered injuries from a traffic collision while in New York in late June. 

The days and weeks that follow may be stressful. You should contact your auto insurance agency right away to begin the claims process so that you can try to receive compensation for medical expenses and car repairs. During this time, you do not want to fall for one of the numerous myths that persist about car accident claims

Frequent causes of car accidents in the U.S.

Car accidents are an everyday occurrence in New York and every other state throughout the country. There are many different causes of these accidents, but a few common causes are responsible for the vast majority of incidents.

The rate of car accidents has gone down in the last few decades, but a spike in accidents occurred in the last few years, and many researchers blame distracted driving. While it's not clear exactly what is distracting drivers and pedestrians most, smartphones and other devices may be the culprit.

Allstate ranks cities by the frequency of auto accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 6,452,000 drivers in the U.S. were involved in auto accidents in 2017. New York residents won't be surprised to hear that many of these accidents occurred in metropolitan areas. Allstate Insurance, in its America's Safe Drivers Report for 2019, has ranked 200 metropolitan areas based on how frequently their residents get into car crashes. The results are summarized below.

It turns out that the worst drivers are to be found in Baltimore, followed by Washington, D.C., and Boston. Despite the preponderance of cities on the East Coast, where older infrastructure creates an inconvenience, there were six cities in California that made the bottom 15. Glendale was the worst of them, coming in at number six.

DUI deaths spike on Fourth of July more than any other holiday

Drunk driving is a serious offense. In New York, someone arrested for a DUI could face a fine of up to $1,000, have their license suspended for at least six months and may even go to jail for up to a year. Unfortunately, every time there is a major holiday, the number of drunk drivers increases and, with it, the number of DUI accidents.

The number of DUI crash deaths reaches its peak on the Fourth of July, according to data from NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System. A total of 1,192 died in drunk driving accidents on this holiday from 2010 and 2017. This is a little more than the 1,105 who died on Memorial Day during the same time period.

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