The new cars, SUVs and pickup trucks in dealer showrooms in Montana and around the country boast an impressive array of innovative safety features, but a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study reveals that many of them do little to protect rear-seat passengers. The Virginia-based advocacy group says that this is a serious problem because many people are now using ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft instead of their cars to get around.
In a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 42.7% of respondents admitted to running a red light at least once in the previous 30 days. This was in spite of the fact that 92.9% of respondents acknowledged that running a red light is wrong. Drivers in Montana should know that red-light running crashes claim the lives of hundreds of people every year.
Montana residents should know about the good that is being done through ignition interlock devices. These are in-car Breathalyzers that let drivers start their vehicle only after they are proven to be sober. Installing one is mandatory for DUI offenders in 34 states, and over the past 10 years, the number of IIDs installed rose from 133,000 to 350,000.
Montana drivers who have vehicles with automated safety systems might need additional education on how to use these systems effectively. A study by AAA has found that the dependence and incorrect use of these systems is increasing the risk of accidents. Interestingly, the drivers who are less familiar with the systems have a lower risk of accidents.
One of the main benefits of wearing a seat belt is that you won't be ejected from the vehicle in the event of a collision. Remaining in the vehicle is much safer than crashing through the windshield or landing in the roadway.
A bill has been introduced to Congress that may help to reduce drunk driving crashes. Called the RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone) Act of 2019, it aims to mandate the use of alcohol detection systems on all new vehicles by 2024. Montana residents may have heard of ignition interlock devices, which are a successful example of such systems.
Serious accidents can occur when drivers are negligent. Montana residents may be interested in learning how negligence applies in car accidents in order to stay safe while they are out on the road. This information may also be helpful after a person has been injured in a car accident and wants to know if they have a case against another driver.
Montana residents may have heard that there is an opioid crisis across the nation. Opioids cause psychomotor and cognitive impairment, especially in those who have not developed a tolerance for them, so they don't go well with driving. Unfortunately, 7.1% of all the drivers who caused a crash in 2016 tested positive for opioids. This marks a significant increase from 2% in 1993.
Most drivers in Montana are no stranger to drowsiness behind the wheel, but that hardly means that they should do nothing about it. Unfortunately, many continue to drive drowsy even when they know it's wrong. As a result, up to 6,000 fatal crashes occur every year that are related to drowsy driving. The following are a few tips for avoiding drowsiness.
People in Montana and across the country face serious risks because of distracted driving. Every day, around nine people lose their lives and 100 more are injured due to distractions behind the wheel. Cellphones and other electronic devices are the best-known cause of distracted driving collisions, but there are a wide range of items that can take a driver's eyes and mind away from the road ahead. Other distractions can divert attention from the road, including "rubbernecking" at other collisions on the road and attending to the built-in entertainment and touchscreen systems inside newer vehicles.