On June 15, the Travelers Institute, the public policy division of Travelers Insurance, held an Every Second Matters™ symposium on Capitol Hill. Its subject, distracted driving, is one that should be of interest to any New York residents who are thinking about taking a road trip this summer.
Ever since Tesla debuted its Autopilot program, the company has been running into issues. Residents of New York who are concerned about the safety of Tesla's semi-autonomous vehicles may have heard about the crash that recently took place in Utah. The driver of Tesla Model S collided with a firetruck even though Autopilot was on, the reason being that the driver was looking down at her phone.
New York residents may have heard about the recent fatal crashes involving Tesla and Uber vehicles. In the Tesla accident, which occurred when the vehicle was on Autopilot, the driver allegedly received several warnings to place his hands on the wheel prior to the collision. The Uber crash, which involved a self-driving test vehicle, resulted in the company opting not to renew its license to test autonomous cars in the state of California. While these incidents may sour people on self-driving vehicles, there is still a lot of upside to the technology.
For drivers in New York, getting behind the wheel can sometimes have unexpected consequences, especially as a result of a car accident. Auto collisions can lead to serious personal injuries and even fatalities on the roadways, and working to reduce the dangers on highways is a major priority for public officials. There are several leading causes of car crashes that play a role in severe accidents that lead to death or major injuries.
New York residents who have been in a car accident should know that soft tissue injuries often result from them. Even more importantly, they can be hard for physicians to detect as they do not appear on X-rays, and their symptoms can appear days after an accident, misleading some into thinking that they are unrelated.
For drivers in New York and throughout the country, highway safety is always a major concern as well as a significant public policy issue requiring action and leadership by state government. Car accidents can have a severe effect on people's lives, leading to serious personal injuries, major property damage and even death. Therefore, reducing the number of crashes on the roadways is a priority for state officials with the goal of improving safety in the state. One report authored by the National Governors Association provides suggestions to state governors to help them develop meaningful plans to address roadway dangers, especially fatal and injury crashes.
While there are circumstances in which a driver in New York may choose not to report a car accident, the best course in most cases is to report the crash as soon as possible. The first priority following a car accident should be to assess any harm to the people involved and seek medical care if necessary. Following that, it is important to begin the recovery process, which may include filing reports with insurers or the police. It may also include filing a lawsuit in some cases.
In 2016, more than 40,000 people died in car accidents around the country. Traffic fatalities are on the rise, so New York drivers might be more likely to be involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident than in previous years. Many crashes have a few common causes. For example, drivers drifting out of their lanes causes up to one-third of all motor vehicle accidents.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is common among children, adolescents and young adults; its characteristics include short attention spans, impulsivity and hyperactive behavior such as excessive talking and fidgeting. When people with ADHD get behind the wheel, they might endanger others because of their tendency to drive distracted. Residents of New York should know that a study has been published in JAMA Psychiatry showing what the risks are and how they might be alleviated.
Drivers in New York should know that there is no failsafe way to avoid getting in a motor vehicle accident. However, there is data that shows such accidents are more likely to occur at certain times and places.