Statistics show that the roads are safer for people in Arizona and across the country, but tens of thousands of people continue to lose their lives each year in preventable car accidents. In 2018, fatalities linked to crashes declined for the second year in a row, according to the National Highway Transit Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2.4% decrease followed a similar drop in 2017, and the agency said that first-half statistics for 2019 showed a 3.4% decline in roadway fatalities. According to the NHTSA, multiple factors contribute to the improved death rates, especially technologies and safety advances that help prevent serious crashes.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shed some light on an unfortunate trend, one that even many drivers in Arizona have fallen for. Deceptive marketing from automakers combined with the ignorance of drivers has led many to believe that advanced driver assistance systems make a car self-driving. This is far from the case.
Before undergoing surgery, Arizona residents should know about the widespread problem of stress among doctors. Researchers at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University found that short-term stress can raise the risk for surgical errors by as much as 66 percent.
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.
Distracted driving has been linked with a worrying rise in road deaths in recent years, and a study of more than 20,000 motorists in Arizona and around the country suggests that this dangerous behavior is especially common during the summer months. After analyzing information gathered by one of its smartphone applications, the technology company TrueMotion determined that drivers are distracted a worrying 25 percent of the time during June, July and August.
Even safe drivers in Arizona can face hazards from road conditions, the weather and other drivers. Driver error and behavior contribute to many highway accidents and fatalities, and this includes drunk driving and distracted driving as well as failing to make use of vehicle safety features. But poor road design and natural occurrences like rain and snow also make road travel more dangerous and can cause fatalities.
In early October, a bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that would speed up the manufacturing and use of self-driving vehicles. Under the bill, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would be given 10 years to develop safety regulations for such vehicles. Drivers in Arizona and across the U.S. should know, however, that there are some barriers that the agency has to overcome before it can begin.
Arizona motorists may be some of the almost 80 percent of those who exhibit substantial anger, hostility or road rage while behind the wheel. This is according to the results of a study published in 2016 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Due to the recent increase in traffic fatalities, many safety organizations are adding instructions for dealing with distracted motorists. Distracted drivers may be focusing on their cell phone, changing the radio station or doing any of a number of things other than paying attention to the road. In response to this increased threat, some experts say drivers should practice defensive driving.