In a new report, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that most drivers in Nevada and across the US don't understand the limitations of semiautonomous vehicles. As a result, many people are misusing the cars' semiautomated features and endangering themselves and other motorists.
Though modern vehicles are safer than ever, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety believes that there is one area that could do with improvement: rear-seat safety. Nevada residents should know that the increase in ride-hailing services complicates matters. Studies show that more people neglect their seat belts when riding in hired vehicles than they do in their private vehicles.
In Nevada, as elsewhere in the nation, auto accident risk goes up during the summer, especially among teen drivers. Ford Motor Company says that the 100 days between Memorial Day (the unofficial start of summer) and Labor Day are a dangerous time for teens. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety goes so far as to call this the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers.
Drivers in Nevada know factors like poor road conditions, unpredictable motorists, wildlife and bad weather can lead to car accidents. Those who keep a few safety tips in mind while they're on the road may have a better chance of avoiding crashes. Adhering to traffic laws, being in the right condition to drive, paying attention and wearing a seat belt all reduce the risk of car accident injuries.
When a car accident results in a personal injury, affected residents of Nevada might immediately start thinking about how they can prove another driver was at fault for the wreck. Fault in a car accident is referred to by the legal definition of "negligent driving." While negligent driving has a broad definition in casual conversation, its legal definition is slightly different. For example, while a person affected by a car accident may feel the other driver was negligent, in order for a court to agree, there has to be a loss or personal injury.
Researchers have claimed that some new motor vehicle safety technologies might cause confusion among drivers and lead to more accidents. Drivers in Nevada may have already encountered cars equipped with automatic emergency braking or lane control systems. According to a professor of cognitive sciences, the developments in motor vehicles are parallel to the development of autopilot systems in airplanes. As pilots had to learn how to work with autopilot, so must drivers learn the benefits and limitations of new safety technologies.
A study conducted by Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes for Health found that teens are eight times more likely to get in a crash or near-miss with another car during the first three months of owning a license than during the last three months of owning a permit. Nevada residents should know that, according to another study from the NIH, car crashes are the leading cause of death among those aged 14 to 19.
Phones are a major source of distraction, as most drivers in Nevada know, and a recent online study has found out just what sort of phone-related distractions are common. Nearly 2,000 drivers across the country responded to the study, which was conducted by market research firm Wakefield Research, and it was calculated that these respondents use their phones daily for an average of 13 minutes behind the wheel.
Pickup trucks with two rows of seats are popular choices for vehicle buyers in Nevada because they offer a good combination of space, durability and value, but a recent series of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have revealed that many of them do a poor job of protecting front-seat passengers in an accident. After testing the latest pickup trucks from General Motors, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan and Honda, only the Ford F-150, Nissan Titan and Dodge Ram 1500 earned a good rating for passenger safety.
Autonomous vehicles are talked about as a way to make Nevada roads safer. However, it is not clear if these vehicles are ready to be fully released to the public. According to a report from the Rand Corporation, such vehicles may need millions or billions of additional test miles before they can be deemed safe and reliable. In many cases, it could take decades or centuries before car companies can meet this threshold.