Over the last year, a series of accidents across the nation has focused considerable media attention on self-driving and semi-autonomous vehicles. While the technology offers considerable possibilities to both individual motorists and the transportation industries, regulators and legal experts still harbor some doubts about whether such vehicles are ready for public consumption. This is because safety continues to be a major concern.
Mobile and electronic devices - and our attachment to them - has helped to fuel a rise in the number of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers. In fact, the California Office of Traffic Safety estimates that distracted driving is now involved in more than 80 percent of all car accidents in the United States. At the same time, inattentive driving is responsible for nearly as many as 3,000 traffic deaths each year in the United States.
Traffic accidents are an unfortunate reality for motorists in the Bay Area and throughout California. When accidents involve multiple vehicles, they can become increasingly more dangerous, as more people, cars and trucks are at risk. Chain reaction crashes, especially at highway speeds, can be particularly perilous for drivers. The fault in such car accidents can sometimes be difficult to ascertain.
Every year in California, thousands of people are injured or killed in traffic accidents. In many cases, these crashes were preventable. Others, unfortunately, simply could not be avoided. But, when you or a loved one are a victim in a car accident, you may not immediately be thinking about how it happened or who was responsible. Instead, you are likely focusing on how to recover from the damage and move forward.
Technology often leads to improvement in the way people work and live, but the experimental and developmental phases can sometimes be shaky. Usually, the testing of new technologies occurs behind closed doors. But sometimes it doesn't, and, as two high-profile car accidents have demonstrated in recent weeks, the consequences can be deadly.
Every time there is a holiday, like St. Patrick's Day, that people celebrate by overindulging in alcohol or other substances which impair the ability to drive, San Joaquin County and the Bay Area see a spike in drugged and/or drunk driving crashes. Often, these car accidents are more catastrophic than your typical fender bender because the impairment reduces reaction times and leads to extremely poor decision making on the road.
Data from the California Office of Traffic Safety implicates distracted drivers in four out every five traffic accidents. On a national basis, over 2,000 people are killed annually in car accidents involving distracted driving. Driver inattention can be anything from eating or fumbling with the radio to trying to attend to children while driving. However, most attention and legislation is focused on the use of electronic devices while driving.
Distracted driving is a scourge on the roads and highways of Northern California, and across the state, in general. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that some form of distracted driving - whether texting, talking, putting on makeup, or anything else that takes a driver's eyes off the road - is a factor in four out of every five accidents in the state. Across the United States, distracted drivers kill thousands of motorists every year.
People's burgeoning attachment to mobile devices continues to fuel an epidemic of accidents caused by distracted drivers. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, distracted drivers are implicated in more than 80 percent of all car accidents. Nationally, more than 2,000 people are killed every year in accidents involving inattentive drivers.
In recent years, safety advocates have noted an alarming trend of accidents caused by distracted driving. Much of the alarm has centered on people who are texting or otherwise looking at smart phones instead of at the road, but dangerous distracted driving takes many forms.