Road accidents in the U.S. are a major issue, especially with the increasing number of reported car crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that 2015 saw over 6 million traffic crashes , which claimed over 35,000 lives and injured more than 2.4 million.
The disturbing trend is causing auto insurance premiums to rise. USA Today noted that premiums are determined by the frequency and severity of accidents , so people shouldn’t be wondering about the price hikes. However, the news agency also suggested that it may be due to advancing technology in cars, which raises the prices of vehicles.
Journalist Steve Casner examined the reasons why car crashes happen , and narrowed the accidents down to six factors, including falling asleep, distracted driving, and blind turns. When you look into the most common causes, half of them can be associated with driver fatigue. This is when a driver experiences physical and mental lapses after prolonged periods of continuous driving, such as loss of focus, poor judgement, drowsiness and drifting into other lanes. Truck drivers seem to be the ones who are most prone to overdriving, since they often drive long distances pushing many of them to work beyond their shifts.
However, driver fatigue isn’t just caused by driving alone. In many instances, people are already tired when they get behind the wheel. This could be due to stress at work, a lack of sleep, or physically demanding jobs.
Since car crashes are becoming more prevalent, it pays to know what kind of safety measures are being implemented. Aside from standard airbags, there are now anti-lock brakes, speed alerts, lane support systems, blind spot monitoring, and more. Drivers just need to familiarize themselves with these tech additions. That being said, these technologies should not be fully relied on to help fatigued drivers. The best solution is still to get enough rest before going on the road.
Overdriving, driver fatigue, and road safety are also some of the reasons why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. The devices, which track driver and vehicle activity, are aligned with the FMCSA’s rule that no commercial driver should exceed an 11-hour shift. With the help of these two rules, truck drivers are compelled to avoid staying on the road longer than intended. On the part of drivers and their management teams, Verizon Connect explained that the system has long-term operational benefits considering that the devices also provide valuable data which can be used for analytics. In truth, improving logistics efficiency is key to help avoiding overdriving and the accidents that come with many truck drivers being tired behind the wheel.
The U.S. Department of Transportation, meanwhile, is looking into the development of automated vehicles as one way to address the issue. In theory, these vehicles should be programmed to drive like the safest drivers in the world. Different prototypes are already being test-driven under controlled and actual road conditions, but it still remains to be seen whether these vehicles can actually mitigate overdriving and other traffic issues.
Since it will take time for road safety to improve, consumers unfortunately have no choice but to deal with high auto insurance premiums. In case you are having trouble keeping up with the expenses, assess if you can drop some aspects that your insurer currently covers. PRK Insurance listed the signs of when to forego collision coverage , which you should definitely consider.
For more guidance, don't hesitate to get in touch. PRK Insurance provides comprehensive information on auto insurance, as well as other types like group health and life insurance.
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