Summer driving is just around the corner! As you drive to go on vacation, visit family and friends, and enjoy outdoor gatherings, are you being safe while driving, too? According to national statistics, the months of July and August are two of the months that are most highly correlated with car accidents and car-related deaths. Additionally, teenage drivers are especially at risk for accidents during these months, too.
Although we may think more commonly about car and truck accidents, bus accidents are not uncommon, either. Recently, Greyhound was sued for injuries its passengers sustained while riding one of their buses from New York City to Cleveland. According to news reports, the bus crashed after the driver fell asleep at the wheel. One of the 43 passengers died and many sustained severe injuries. One passenger recently received a payment of $27M from the bus company due to the severity of his injuries, which included an amputation of one of his legs and over 30 surgeries related to other injuries.
In the Pittsburgh area this week, a section of I-70 was closed due to a large tractor-trailer accident. According to accident reports, the truck went off the road and got stuck between the guard rail and the highway. The driver was trapped inside the car and received treatment at an area hospital for his injuries. At the time of the article, there was no mention of other cars being involved in the accident.
According to a USA Today news report, the time after school lets out for the summer is considered one of the "100 deadliest days" of the summer. Taking data compiled by USAA, the article stated that about 1,000 people die in crashes with teenage drivers on the 100 day stretch from Memorial Day onward. This time results in raising the average number of car accident deaths up by 16% compared to other times during the calendar year. Distracted driving accounted for almost 60% of the crashes.
According to reports via the Allentown Morning Call, Pennsylvania still has a lot of difficulty with distracted driving. According to their article, despite legislation five years ago that banned texting while driving, there has been over a 50% increase in the number of people being pulled over for distracted driving in the last three years. It is a hard position for law enforcement to be in, since drivers are still allowed to use their phones to make calls or to use apps like GPS. Commercial drivers, like truck drivers, can't use their phones at all unless they're placing an emergency call to police.
When you see tractor-trailers moving along our country's highways, you expect their drivers to be safe, alert, and vigilant. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A local New York City news source posted an article a few years ago about the increased occurrence of truck drivers who text and drive. According to the news report, through local ABC news station 13WHAM, "A hidden camera investigation has uncovered a dangerous trend on highways. WABC-TV in New York City set up camera on several of highly travel roadways, catching truckers texting and talking on their phones and one driver even talking on two cell phones at once. The New York State Department of Transportation said nearly 16,000 truckers were ticketed for distracted driving in 2013, but only four of them were suspended and taken out of service." 4 out of 16,000 drivers who were caught texting while driving seems like a tiny percentage!
Please enjoy our Throwback Thursday post a day late this weekend! Enjoy the weekend, everyone!
Did you commit a driving/traffic violation in another state? If so, don't think you are safe because you carry a Pennsylvania license and don't reside in that state. In case you were unaware, Pennsylvania participates in something known as the Driver License Compact (DLC). The DLC is an organization made up of 46 out of our 50 states who work together to create a single system for driving records, driver license (so you can only hold a license in one state), and report all traffic convictions/license suspensions/license revocations so other states are aware of a driver's license status.