People in New York may be surprised to learn that they really do take their lives in their hands when they get behind the wheel. The leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44 is accidental injury. In 2016 alone, 61,749 people were killed in unintentional injuries. This is more than twice the number of people in this age group who were killed by both heart disease and cancer combined. While various unintentional injuries can be deadly, motor vehicle accidents and poisonings were the most frequent causes of accidental death.
Most New York parents worry about the safety of their teens when they begin driving; young people can be more impulsive than adults and make dangerous driving decisions as a result. Teenagers are also more distracted by cellphones and other gadgets than ever before, which increases the risk of them getting into accidents.
Parents of teen drivers in New York should know that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released new research data relating to the dangers faced by young drivers. Its main finding is that teen motorists who drive with teen passengers are more likely to be involved in fatal accidents.
Many of the new vehicles available in New York and around the country feature advanced electronic systems that are designed to monitor road conditions and prevent accidents, but the safety benefits of semi-autonomous technology have been brought into question by a study from the American Automobile Association. According to researchers from the advocacy organization's Foundation for Traffic Safety, features like emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control encourage reckless driving and could actually be making the nation's roads more dangerous.
Many people in New York know about the dangers of distracted driving, as public awareness campaigns have highlighted the devastating crashes caused by people surfing the internet or texting while driving. However, while many people are aware that driving while distracted can be dangerous, it continues to be a serious problem on the roads. As mobile workers are increasingly expected to be always connected and in touch with their workplaces, these frequent drivers are also a greater risk for driving while their attention is diverted by their phones.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the police report an estimated 100,000 drowsy driving crashes every year in New York and across the U.S. However, a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that the actual number of drowsy driving crashes may be triple that. In other words, drowsiness is a danger to drivers that often goes unrealized and unreported.
Teen drivers in New York as well as their parents may be surprised by the results of a study conducted by the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University. Researchers analyzed the behavior of 90 teen drivers and measured their risk for crashes and near-misses with other vehicles. That risk was eight times higher in the first three months that teens spent driving alone than in the previous three months they spent with parental supervision.
New York motorists may be concerned to learn that there were approximately 40,100 traffic-related deaths in 2017, according to preliminary figures from the National Safety Council. It is the second year in a row that motor vehicle accidents claimed more than 40,000 lives in the U.S. In 2016, 40,327 people were killed on American roadways.
Many drivers in New York become distracted by the new technology out there, including not only smartphones but also infotainment systems and automated features like Tesla's Autopilot. Data from Agero, a provider of roadside assistance systems, suggests that drivers between the age of 17 and 22 are especially prone to distraction: they use their smartphones a full 12 percent of their time behind the wheel.
Higher gasoline prices and heavy traffic congestion will not be enough to keep motorists in New York and around the country at home during the upcoming July 4th celebrations according to the American Automobile Association. The nonprofit advocacy group expects 39.7 million Americans to make road trips of 50 miles or more to celebrate the nation's birthday, which would make this year's Independence Day celebrations the busiest in decades for travelers.