In a recent article, popular American automotive magazine, Car and Driver, identified the latest Traffic Safety Trends to Keep an Eye On this year and a few moderately-controversial topics were covered.
With the same goal of encouraging safe roads and driving in mind, the G3 Help Me team is here to share what we’ve learned from Car and Driver’s insight into today’s most talked-about auto safety trends. As drivers, we can all stand to gain a lot from insight like this. Because at the end of the day, it’s our safety (or our loved one’s) that’s at risk when we’re on the road.
According to the article and its sources, here are the 4 trends (based on traffic safety laws and data) all U.S. drivers should be aware of in 2021:
1. Bad behavior behind the wheel has increased during COVID-19.
With more people staying home than in previous years due to COVID-19, it’s not surprising to learn that the number of traffic deaths has decreased nation-wide. What you may find surprising, however, is that “there was an increase in the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.”
Essentially, this means that those who remained on the road during COVID-19 restrictions were even less responsible behind the wheel than in previous years.
An October 2020 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed: “Drivers who remained on the roads engaged in more risky behavior, including speeding, failing to wear seat belts, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” In fact, the rate at which fatalities were occurring per mile during the first half of 2020 was higher than it’s been in over a decade.
During such an unprecedented time, it’s probably safe to say there are multiple factors involved in this increase. For now, the correlation between COVID-19 restrictions and dangerous driving is something we should all keep in mind when on the road.
2. A national speed management program could be coming soon.
We’ve all been guilty of speeding at some point in our lives, which is why supporters of this next “trend” are excited about the positive impact they believe it will make.
As a response to initial traffic safety data in 2020, the Governors Highway Safety Association stated they would be launching a “Speed Management Pilot Program” this year to combat our “culture of speeding in this country” (Pam Shadel Fischer, GHSA).
Similarly to the launch of the Click It or Ticket program, this program is set to launch in select locations (which are still undecided) before potentially expanding to a national reach. As proposed, the program will “include tactics such as ‘traffic calming’ by making roads narrower or adding pavement markings that encourage drivers to slow down. The use of radar and lidar, as well as ‘saturation patrols’ and automated traffic enforcement focusing on speeding prevention, are also mentioned.”
3. NYC paves the way in traffic safety with the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Bill.
2020 was a big year for New York City, and we’re not just referring to its COVID-19 case numbers (which have steadily been among the highest reported). In addition to everything going on, city officials made time to pass a new traffic safety law: the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Bill.
This new law allows the city to “seize and impound certain vehicles involved in reckless driving unless owners complete a driver accountability program,” according to the Official Website of the City of New York.
“…drivers with 15 or more school speed camera violations or five or more red-light camera violations during a 12-month period will have their vehicles impounded unless the driver completes a DOT-run accountability course.” So far, over a thousand new speed cameras and reduced speed limits have been implemented across the city’s school zones and roadways.
Whether or not you feel encouraged by the passing of this bill, we can all agree that the trend in legal accountability within traffic safety isn’t going anywhere fast.
4. Mothers Against Drunk Driving proposes new legislation in hopes of saving lives.
Another traffic safety trend we’re hearing about a lot lately involves the future of in-car technology. When used responsibly, advanced features like drunk-driving-prevention technology can actually help save thousands of lives every year (about 10,000 to be exact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).
To aid in this process for improved road safety, global non-profit organization, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, recently proposed two new pieces of legislation that aim to get all newly-manufactured vehicles to “add alcohol detection devices with an ignition interlock feature to the country’s Motor Vehicle Safety Standards requirements.” In regards to next steps, Congress determined that the NHTSA will be implementing alcohol detection programs on at least “1,500 government-owned fleet vehicles by the end of fiscal year 2022.”
Though not everyone may like the addition of a blood-alcohol test in their vehicle, the goal of lowering impaired driving fatalities keeps this technology a growing topic of discussion among city officials and the Department of Transportation.
Have you or someone you know recently been injured in a traffic accident? Give us a call (865) 658-4012 to schedule your free, confidential case evaluation today. Because you deserve the best!