Night shift work disrupts the ordinary sleep-wake cycle, increasing the risk of drowsiness in the daytime. With over 9.5 million people throughout the U.S. working a night or rotational shift, drowsy driving has become a public health hazard in Illinois and around the country.
Illinois motorists may be concerned to learn that U.S. car accident fatalities rose in 2016, according to new numbers released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is the second straight year that traffic deaths have increased.
With Halloween right around the corner, your child is probably already planning what costume to wear and where to stash the candy so little brother does not find it. Unfortunately, trick-or-treating, while often the highlight of the year, can be dangerous. This does not mean you should cancel your annual outing, but it does mean that some added precautions might be necessary.
Although a majority of motorists in Illinois and around the country may feel irritated or concerned when they observe other people texting and driving, approximately one-third of them apparently believe that they can handle both tasks at the same time. Extrapolated from the results of a 2017 Progressive Insurance study, this conclusion lies in sharp contrast to other findings in connection with this particular research effort. For example, the majority of the survey respondents believe that texting behind the wheel is dangerous, and more than 90 percent of them say that distracted driving should be illegal.
When Illinois drivers plan to go on long road trips, they tend to prepare for the dangers of foreign roads. According to accident statistics, however, most crashes and collisions tend to take place just 25 miles from home. It so happens that drivers who do not venture far from their homes are more likely to fall into behavioral patterns that are not conducive to road traffic safety; in other words, drivers tend to get too relaxed within their own communities.
Although drivers in Illinois and other states may be unaware of the correlation, studies show that increased visibility results in lower motor vehicle crash rates. Costing drivers very little additional expense, regular daytime headlight usage could significantly reduce the number of catastrophic injuries and fatalities that occur on roadways across the nation. The research has caught the attention of some lawmakers who favor legislation that would require drivers to use their headlights at all times.
Collision avoidance systems have the potential to significantly decrease accidents rates for drivers in Illinois and throughout the country according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study examined accident data from 2015 along with data on cars that had lane departure warning systems and blind spot alerts. It found that cars with the collision avoidance systems had 11 percent fewer single-vehicle, side swipe and head-on collisions and 21 percent fewer injury crashes of that nature. The organization said that there would have been over 55,000 fewer injuries in 2015 if all vehicles had lane departure alerts installed.
Driverless vehicles are touted as being able to keep Illinois roadways safer than they are now. Proponents say that fewer accidents will occur because machines won't make the same types of errors that people do. They also won't drive drunk, tired or while distracted. However, they may not take to the streets as quickly as some may think. In fact, the driverless car hype is similar to the hype surrounding electric vehicles several years ago.
Truck drivers in Illinois and throughout the country will not be subject to new rules regarding sleep apnea screening, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration announced on Aug. 4. If implemented, the rule would have clarified criteria regarding when a truck driver would be sent for screening. The rules in place are unclear because there is no single standard that a medical provider is supposed to reply upon for further screening. Some drivers have said referrals were unwarranted and simply represented an opportunity for providers to make more money.
Illinois drivers who often find themselves getting drowsy while they are behind the wheel may be interested in a wearable device that will prevent them from falling asleep. According to the creators of the device, it emits a low-level shock when it detects that the wearer has nodded off.