Many teens in Minnesota drink alcohol, not only hurting themselves but also putting others in danger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5.5% of teens report driving after consuming alcohol in any amount. Drunk driving is one of the most prominent factors in car crashes, and drunk driving deaths compose one third of all driving fatalities.
Driving in the fall can be dangerous in Minnesota for several reasons. Children resume school during this season, which means drivers need to watch out for buses and heavier pedestrian traffic. The traffic will be particularly heavy during the morning and afternoon.
People in Minnesota might be putting themselves in as much, or more, danger by driving while drowsy compared to getting behind the wheel when drunk. It has been difficult to establish the frequency of crashes related to drowsy driving because data often depends on self-reporting. However, a AAA study, which used different methods, estimates that drowsy driving factors into more than 9% of motor vehicle accidents. Over 50% of the drowsiness-related crashes took place after dark.
A motorist who has not slept for 24 hours is as impaired as one who has consumed five alcoholic drinks, yet an Automobile Association of America study suggests that about a third of them have chosen to get behind the wheel while dangerously tired at least once during the last 30 days. The dangers of drowsy driving are well known, but a growing body of research reveals that a worrying number of drivers in Minnesota and around the country are aware of the risks and take their chances anyway.
Research has found that women are more likely to be hurt in car accidents. One of the reasons for this may be because seat belts are not necessarily designed with a female body type in mind. Minnesota residents will likely be surprised to learn that crash test dummies are only designed to represent one type of woman.
Modern motor vehicles are increasingly including technological features that are changing the nature of transportation. Semi-autonomous driving features continue to make their way into vehicles on Minnesota roadways, bringing many advantages but also raising some new kinds of safety concerns. Many drivers are unaware of the capabilities and limitations of these technologies, and that can lead to car accidents.
Researchers and safety advocates in Minnesota are working to draw attention to the risks faced by rear seat passengers in a car accident. Many safety technologies have been developed in recent decades, including airbags and automatically tightening seat belts. However, while these devices save a significant number of lives and have made cars safer than at any time in the past, they are largely confined to the front seat. Some of the most common rear seat safety standards have not been updated in nearly 50 years despite the massive advances in automotive technology since that time.
Drivers can be distracted by any number of things, and that apparently includes memes. This was one of the findings of an online study run by the market research firm Wakefield Research and involving about 2,000 drivers from Minnesota and across the U.S. However, it is far from the only important finding.
People in Minnesota have good reason to be concerned about the dangers posed by drunk driving. In 2017 alone, 10,874 people lost their lives across the country as a result of car accidents connected to impaired driving. There have been various efforts to put a stop to the practice, from public awareness campaigns to law enforcement crackdowns. However, drivers operating under the influence continue to pose a threat on the roadways.
Minnesota residents may be aware that distracted driving is a widespread issue and even engage in it themselves. The Travelers Companies has been able to gather some interesting data on this trend through a survey of more than 2,000 consumers and executives. It can be found in the 2019 Travelers Risk Index.