Wyoming readers may be surprised to learn that women are much more likely to be injured in car accidents than men are. Research has shown the phenomenon is related to the fact that auto manufacturers design their safety technologies to protect male bodies while largely ignoring their performance on female bodies.
Many Wyoming residents have been involved in car accidents. While most crashes can be considered minor with little damage and few injuries, some major accidents can even be fatal. With car crashes, human error is the most common cause, which means that many of these incidents are also preventable if drivers are vigilant and follow traffic rules.
All too often on the roads of Wyoming, drunk drivers are causing crashes and sometimes killing themselves or others. The average summer day sees an average of 26 people die in DUI crashes across the U.S. However, that risk for a fatal DUI crash goes up nearly 60% on the Fourth of July. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Independence Day is the deadliest of the major U.S. holidays.
Vehicles featuring advanced safety systems are becoming increasingly popular in Wyoming and around the country, and a survey conducted in 2018 by the marketing research firm J.D. Power suggests that most vehicle owners are convinced that features like automatic braking systems, backup cameras and blind spot monitors help to prevent accidents. More than half of the drivers polled who purchased cars equipped with these systems told researchers that they had helped them to avoid a crash during their first three months of ownership.
Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer has unofficially begun for many Wyoming residents. That means that more people will be hitting the road to go to graduations, family barbeques and beach parties. Unfortunately, increased road traffic also means an increased risk of car accidents. This is especially true for young drivers.
While many Wyoming residents rely on personal vehicles to get from one place to another, many are aware that cars are inherently dangerous. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that in 2017 alone, there were 34,247 fatal accidents. These accidents claimed a reported 37,133 lives.
While many people in Wyoming express serious concerns about the hazards of distracted driving, survey results show that many of the same people continue to engage in these dangerous behaviors themselves. One study carried out by auto insurer Root Insurance noted that nearly half of all drivers said that distraction behind the wheel was a major safety concern for motorists. This mirrors the nationwide focus on distraction, which is often caused by mobile devices behind the wheel.
Road safety experts say that a worrying rise in distracted driving in Wyoming and around the country is being caused by cellphone use, and the finger of blame is generally pointed at motorists who use these devices to send text messages or access social media platforms while behind the wheel. However, the results of a driver poll released on March 3 by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute and the National Safety Council highlights another smartphone danger.
Losing just one or two hours of sleep can make drivers in Wyoming and around the country almost twice as likely to crash according to the American Automobile Association. Researchers from the Florida-based nonprofit group's Foundation for Traffic Safety say that driving after sleeping for five hours or less impairs motorists as much as having a blood alcohol concentration higher than the .08 percent legal limit. According to the AAA, drivers need at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep to operate a car, pickup truck, or SUV safely.
Being in a car accident can be an upsetting experience, but it can be important to take steps to document what has happened before anything changes or people begin to forget how it occurred. The first step for people in Wyoming should be remaining calm and determining whether anyone needs emergency care.