A report published by the Associated Press based on comments from a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration representative warned that federal regulators plan to relax the rules for commercial truck drivers. Although the public has yet to see the proposed changes, fewer restrictions on truck driver hours could reduce safety on the roads of Pennsylvania.
Drunk driving becomes prominent during the holidays, but some special days are more dangerous than others. Pennsylvania residents may have heard AAA call the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day "the 100 deadliest days of summer." In the middle of that is the Fourth of July, which is by far the worst holiday when it comes to drunk driving fatalities.
After several years of increases in motor vehicle accident fatalities, a new report is showing a minor decline. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018 fatalities due to car accidents were down by one percent in Pennsylvania and across the United States. Motor vehicle fatalities spiked in 2015 and increased through 2017.
The summer months are some of the busiest for Pennsylvania first responders who must always be ready to help those who are in danger. Pool accidents, intestinal illnesses and motor vehicle accidents increase each summer. The increased danger is especially prevalent for teenagers. According to a study done by Ford Motor Co., the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day can be extremely deadly for young drivers.
In 2018, there were more than 40,000 deaths due to automobile accidents on America's roadways. More than 10,000 of those deaths can be attributed to drunk driving. Unfortunately, people who live in Pennsylvania and other states throughout the country have become accustomed to these high numbers. In fact, many accidents don't even make the news.
The first three months as a licensed driver appear to be more dangerous to teens than the period when they have a learner's permit. In those three months, teens in Pennsylvania and across the country raise their risk for a crash or near-miss by eight times compared to their last three months with a permit. This was the conclusion of a study from the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University.
Most Pennsylvania drivers likely understand the importance of avoiding distractions while driving. However, researchers show that across the country, drivers are still using their phone or mobile device with alarming frequency. When drivers were asked what it is that concerns them about other drivers on the road, more than 40% said that they were concerned about distracted driving. They view it as a national safety issue.
The size, weight and mass of big rigs can lead to some particularly dangerous collisions on Pennsylvania roads. Truck drivers operate their massive vehicles for long stretches of time, which means distraction and fatigue can be overwhelming.
Emergency responders in Pennsylvania and throughout the country put their safety at risk each time that they step out of their vehicles. This is because there is a chance that they could be struck by a distracted driver. According to a recent survey, 19 percent of respondents said that they have put such personnel at risk because of their own distracted driving habits. Furthermore, 80 percent of respondents said that they actually slow down when they see a person tending to an emergency situation.
Despite changes in the law combined with educational campaigns, many Pennsylvanians continue to use their smartphones while they drive. People use their phones to talk, read and write text messages, search social media and engage in many other activities that are distracting.