According to safety advocates, distracted driving is becoming a major problem throughout Arizona and the rest of the country. In fact, a recent AAA poll shows that 88 percent of motorists consider distracted driving to be the most significant danger on the nation's roadways. This is a real threat because an ever-increasing number of drivers rely heavily on cell phones.
During the analysis of 2017 motor vehicle accident data, it was determined that crashes are on the rise in three western states neighboring Arizona that have legalized recreational marijuana. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that accidents were up 6 percent in some cases, and they adjusted the findings for other possible negative influences such as crash locations and inclement weather. Police records from accidents reported in those states confer a 5.2 percent upsurge in crashes on their states' roadways, but the good news is that fatalities are not higher in those states.
Consumer safety advocates in Arizona and nationwide have called for recalls of Hyundai and Kia cars after reports of sudden fires in some vehicles. The Center for Auto Safety is urging a recall of 2.9 million cars and SUVs. According to the center's information, there have been 220 fires in popular models like the Kia Sorento, Kia Soul and Hyundai Santa Fe, as well as over 200 reports of melted wires and smoky odors.
Overall, Arizona motorists can appreciate that there has been a recent decline in the number of crash fatalities for most types of vehicles. This is the basic takeaway from the data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that compares crash statistics from 2016 and 2017. The most notable exception with the various stats reported by the NHTSA is with collisions involving large trucks as well as accidents in urban areas.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a study showing how drivers in Arizona and across the U.S. are relying too much on advanced car safety features like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring. This technology is meant to assist, rather than replace, drivers, and it can backfire and put drivers at risk when the limitations are not properly understood.