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NHTSA: 2018 saw slight decline in car crash fatalities

Drivers in Wisconsin may be interested to know that the 2018 preliminary report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is out. While there has been some improvement in one area, there are lingering safety concerns for other areas. Overall, the number of motor vehicle accident deaths went down about 1% from 37,133 in 2017 to 36,750 in 2018.

Safety ratings may be misleading

Professionals who study car safety ratings say that many vehicles Wisconsin drivers and others own may not be as safe as advertised. This is because crash tests don't consider how smaller vehicles fare in head-on collisions with larger vehicles. Vehicles are rated by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a scale of 1 to 5. Those who receive the highest score are generally thought to be the safest on the roads.

Getting a license can raise teens' car crash risk eight times

While it can be a time for celebration when teens get their license, there is a very real risk that goes along with it. Wisconsin drivers should know that the National Institutes for Health ran a study comparing teen driving behavior before obtaining their license and after. It turns out that the chances that teens get in a crash or near-miss go up eight times in the first three months of having a license compared to the three months before obtaining it.

Drivers text, watch videos behind the wheel

Distracted driving is a major threat to roadway safety in Wisconsin and across the nation. It's linked to thousands of fatal or catastrophic accidents every year. In many states, distraction is the leading cause of motor vehicle collisions. Concern about distracted driving has gone up in recent years along with the behavior in question, especially as smartphones have become nearly ubiquitous. Drivers stuck in traffic, at red lights or even on monotonous stretches of roads may find it tempting to pick up their phones.

Volvo plans more safety technology for its cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2017, more than 10,800 people died in auto accidents that were caused by drunk driving. Starting in the early 2020s, Wisconsin drivers will be able to purchase Volvos with safety features that help prevent accidents caused by drunk and distracted driving. The company says it will begin rolling out the features in early 2020. Starting in 2020, the company's cars will not allow speeds higher than 112 miles per hour.

Drowsy driving a factor in many crashes

Wisconsin residents and others celebrated World Sleep Day on March 15. To highlight the importance of not driving while tired, Ford created a special sleep suit. The garment allowed individuals to see what the microsleeps felt like that a driver can experience without even realizing it. Although microsleeps only last for up to 10 seconds, they can make it harder to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Reasons car accidents occur

There are many different factors that can contribute to drivers in Wisconsin being in an accident. It is the duty of the claims adjuster for the insurance company and the responsibility of law enforcement to determine the causes of an accident and who should be considered at fault. The police require the information in order to know to whom to issue a ticket. The insurance company has to know who is at fault to determine which party should receive a claims payment and the amount of the payment.

Death on subway stairs highlights accessibility issues

Wisconsin parents may have struggled at times to take a stroller down a flight of steps. This was what a woman in a New York City subway station was attempting to do when she fell and died. Like about 75 percent of the city's 472 stations, this one did not have an elevator.

New study links infotainment systems with increased distraction

Drivers in Wisconsin who wish for an infotainment system in their vehicle would do well to understand what the drawbacks can be. In a nationwide AAA survey, 70 percent of respondents said they desired new vehicle tech, but only 24 percent felt confident that the tech can work without flaws. New technology is complex, and it can make dashboards unnecessarily complicated for some drivers.

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