The North Carolina Department of Transportation has shown that their state’s Polk County experienced 44 tractor trailer accidents so far this year, most of them along Interstate 26. According to AAA Carolinas, this makes the area one of the top five most dangerous counties in the state. A safety planning engineer says that large amounts of vehicles and high speed limits could contribute, as could steep roads. Drivers of other automobiles are advised to avoid commercial trucks’ blind spots at all costs to prevent disaster.
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The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is offering numerous tips to bicyclists in order to help such persons stay safe. Certain things should be fairly obvious, such as riding defensively and with traffic. Intersection safety is also stressed, and involves simple things like looking before crossing and using hand signals to let other drivers know you’re making a turn. Wear bright clothes, helmets, and reflective materials at night. If buses are around, use extreme caution and be ready to take evasive action when the vehicles pull out.
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Now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released statistics showing a marked uptick in pedestrian deaths across the country, numerous states are trying to figure out how to correct the problem. Whereas Nebraska had the most improvements, Delaware, Oklahoma, and other states saw huge increases in the rate of pedestrian deaths. The cause of the overall rise is hard to pinpoint. While many of the states that saw a rise have large elderly populations, most people think that poor public transportation options and urban sprawl are to blame.
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Florida’s Hillsborough County has been the recipient of $8.5 million that will be used to make pedestrian safety improvements in the area. Whereas in the past, the community has used various educational measures to help cut down on accidents, the new effort will see numerous projects that aim to help protect bicyclists and walkers on the street. Multiple refuge islands will be installed amid highways, lighting will be improved, and sidewalks and bike lanes will be created. 200 pedestrians died from 2006 through 2011 in the area.
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Kids are on their way back to school across the country, and Springfield, Missouri is but one community that is doing what it can to ensure that children are going to be safe on their commute. With speed zones, crossing signals, and newly painted crosswalks in place, Springfield Public Schools has taken steps to ward off danger. They believe high gas prices are leading more parents to have their children walk to school, and these safety improvements provide a good example of how communities can use preventative measures to promote safety.
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Vehicle systems that detect pedestrians are becoming increasingly common. Euro NCAP is going to start taking into account a car’s ability to avoid pedestrian injuries when calculating their ratings, giving automakers an added incentive to install such detection technology. Continental’s tech utilizes a camera to prevent collisions, Volvo uses cameras and infrared sensors, and General Motors is developing a technology that would allow a car to communicate directly with a pedestrian’s smartphone.
To learn more about this technology, click here.
A report out of Ohio breaks down the recent uptick in motorcycle deaths in the state and offers tips on how to avoid fatal crashes. With 410,000 registered riders, Ohio has the fifth highest number of motorcyclists in the country. By the beginning of the month, the state experienced 90 deaths, 56 of which did not involve other vehicles. That’s why the report emphasizes the need for proper training and adornment of the correct safety gear. Motorcycle Ohio offers a course that can help develop the necessary skills.
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Idaho is one state that has seen an increase in fatalities resulting from motorcycle crashes. There have been 13 fatalities this year, up from six in the previous year. American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE) of North Idaho believes that 40% of these deaths result from the inability of a driver to properly steer on a curve. This is due to speeding, inattention, and more. The danger, however, can be offset through proper training and always wearing the necessary safety gear when heading onto the road.
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A motorcycle ride led by the Governor of Indiana this past Friday served to both raise motorcycle safety awareness and raise money for the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund. The Governor said that most accidents are likely the result of people teaching themselves how to ride a motorcycle as opposed to submitting to the necessary safety classes. He recommended that people look to courses offered by ABATE, a sponsor of the event and a purveyor of numerous courses for seasoned motorcyclists and newbies alike.
Click here to learn more about last week’s event.
36,413 Chevy Impalas utilized as police vehicles are being recalled by General Motors. The vehicles, which are of the model years 2008 through 2012, could experience fracturing in their front lower control arms. This could lead the vehicle operator to lose control of the Impala and potentially cause a crash. Starting next week, owners will be contacted by GM, at which point the vehicles can be brought in to a dealer for free repairs.
Click here to learn more about the recall.