Self-driving cars may someday operate on Connecticut roads. New data reveals that Google's 53 self-driving cars are making progress in California and Texas. However, human passengers in the vehicles have sometimes had to intervene in their operation to prevent car accidents.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced its Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements for the United States in 2016, culled from its accident investigations, which reflect the dangers faced by Connecticut motorists. These include reducing fatigue-related accidents, promoting the availability of collision avoidance technologies in highway vehicles, combating distractions such as texting and driving and combating alcohol and drug-impaired driving.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released estimates of 2015 fatality rates that show a disturbing reversal of earlier trends that showed a decrease in accident deaths. It also cited dangerous driving behaviors that continued in 2014.
Car accidents are not caused solely by reckless or negligent drivers. Equipment that is designed and relied upon for the safe operation of the vehicle can cause or multiply the harm of these accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board estimated that tire failures cause over 500 deaths in the United States each year.
Connecticut drivers carry insurance coverage to pay compensation to anyone injured by their reckless or negligent driving. Some motorists, however, carry insufficient or no coverage. Fortunately, state law requires uninsured or underinsured coverage to allow injured parties to recover the monetary damages they would have been entitled if the negligent driver had an adequate liability insurance policy.
In Connecticut and the United States, car accidents are often attributed to another reckless or negligent driver. Defective infrastructure or safety devices can also contribute to these injuries.
Motorists in Connecticut and throughout the country face the risk of a being struck by the car traveling behind their vehicle, even when these motorists are idling or stopped. To help address this, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced on Sept. 11 that 10 major vehicle manufactures in the United States will install automatic emergency braking as a standard feature on all new vehicles that will be manufactured in this country.
Multiple lane freeways and highways can be very dangerous due to the speeds of travel and the amount of vehicles in numerous lanes. Drivers should take extra caution at intersections where vehicles are exiting and entering the freeway. Sadly, fatalities occurred on a Connecticut interstate earlier this week after a multi-vehicle accident near an entrance ramp on I-95. Police are still trying to determine exactly what caused the terrible car collision.
Negligent or reckless drivers can pose a risk to Connecticut motorists and pedestrians. However, defective vehicles can cause fatal car accidents when parts cause fires or if there is a loss of control.
A collision is not the only threat to vehicle passenger safety. In Connecticut and elsewhere, passengers and pedestrians can be harmed through reckless or negligent behavior that does not involve a crash.