Minnesota residents may be interested in learning more about the potential safety benefits of external airbags. Testing has shown that the technology, which is designed to protect against side-impact collisions, has the possibility of reducing passenger injury by up to 40 percent.
Automatic emergency brake systems are among the most exciting new vehicle safety technologies to arise in recent years, and a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that they might work even better than expected. Minnesota drivers are likely to encounter more such systems on the road as all of the major automakers have pledged to include standard automatic emergency braking in mainstream vehicle models by the year 2022. A variety of General Motors vehicles from the 2013 to 2015 model years were examined in the IIHS study.
Automobile showrooms in Minnesota and around the country are filled with vehicles featuring sophisticated crash avoidance technology. However, a recent study from the American Automobile Association suggests that features like blind-spot monitoring systems, emergency braking and adaptive cruise control may be making the nation's roads more rather than less dangerous. Researchers from the advocacy group Foundation for Traffic Safety say that consumers may act recklessly behind the wheel of vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems because they believe that they are far more capable than they really are.
Minnesota teens who get more exposure to the consequences of dangerous driving behavior, such as visiting hospitals and morgues, may gain a better understanding of the risk of some types of driving behavior. However, they may not necessarily change their own behavior over the longer term. Researchers who looked at a supplemental drivers' education program in Texas said that data from a follow-up two months later was inconclusive.
There is a wide variety of ways in which Americans can get hurt on the 4th of July holiday. Drunk driving is a serious problem as evidenced by data from Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that indicates that 40 percent of all highway fatalities between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk drivers during the Independence Day holiday. Between June 30 and July 4, an estimated 37.5 million Americans will be driving 50 or more miles.
Minnesota residents may be disconcerted by the number of smartphone-using drivers. As distracted driving and, with it, the number of accidents increase, others are searching for ways to keep themselves from growing negligent behind the wheel. To this end, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon have all made free apps available that can silence incoming communications and disable the texting function while the user's car is in motion.
It's well-known that drivers distracted by mobile devices are more likely to cause vehicle accidents. Now, data recently published by Everdrive has identified which states have the highest rates of phone use behind the wheel. According to the data collected by the transportation safety app, Minnesota falls in the middle of the pack.
Drunk driving fatalities are all too common in Minnesota and throughout the rest of America. In fact, they make up one-third of all traffic-related fatalities. As blood alcohol content levels reach and exceed the legal limit of .08 percent, the alcohol begins to impair a driver's perception of distance and speed, reaction times and judgment. Drivers under 24, those convicted of DUI in the past and motorcyclists are at the highest risk for DUI-related deaths.
When first responders arrived at the scene of a Highway 36 crash in Lake Elmo, they could not determine the make or model of the car crushed in a collision with a tractor-trailer. Though Minnesota State Patrol officers must regularly deal with the aftermath of highway tragedies, the utter destruction and loss of life in this wreck spurred the head of the Minnesota State Patrol to make an impassioned plea for a renewed effort to combat distracted driving.