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Car Accidents Archives

Cellphone use behind the surge in distracted driving deaths

Distracted driving accidents cause thousands of deaths each year around the country according to crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the figures show that stricter laws and public service messaging have done little to stem the problem. Road safety groups say that an enormous growth in cellphone use by motorists is behind the recent surge in distracted driving accidents, and they say that modern smartphones are especially dangerous because they distract Missouri drivers in more than one way.

Driving close to home linked to car accidents

The roads close to home that people travel every day in Missouri become extremely familiar to local drivers. This familiarity can cause people to navigate roads on mental autopilot. People in their neighborhoods sometimes fall back on muscle memory instead of conscious evaluation of their surroundings. Daily drives to home and work relax motorists and leave them vulnerable to unexpected hazards like car breakdowns, animals in the street or others on the road.

How headlights make roads safer

Missouri drivers who turn their headlights on during the day could be at a lower risk of getting into an accident. Research indicates that vehicles may be more visible during a clear day when they are in use in addition to at night or when the weather is bad.

Vehicle collision avoidance systems reduce crashes

Missouri drivers whose vehicles include collision avoidance systems such as alerts for blind spots and drifting into another lane may have fewer accidents than drivers who do not have these systems. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that in 2015, single-vehicle head-on crashes and sideswipes were lower by 11 percent in vehicles that had these systems. For injury crashes of the same type, the rate was 21 percent lower.

2.7 million more Takata airbags recalled, safety still elusive

The ongoing saga of the defective Takata airbag inflators reached a new level recently, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Takata to recall an additional 2.7 million inflators. These, unfortunately, contained the desiccant that was supposed to keep moisture from damaging them. Since adding a desiccant is the fix for the previously repaired airbags, the replacement airbags may also contain defective components.

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