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.
When Wyoming drivers get into car accidents, police investigators study the crash scene to determine who caused the collision. This is critical information because the at-fault driver could be issued a ticket or sued by injured parties. Meanwhile, insurance companies use the information to determine whether or not to make a settlement offer.
A major bank in the United States is predicting a fall in vehicle crashes due to the adoption of new car safety technologies. Statistics indicate that accidents have been on the rise in Wyoming and other states since 2011, but analysts believe the numbers will lower to their previous level with tech that counters distracted drivers. Smartphones and other devices used by drivers are blamed for the increase in crashes, but collision avoidance systems could counter the effect.
When winter comes in Wyoming, it brings with it snow and ice, so drivers will want to make the appropriate preparations. One of the first steps is to get a mechanic to check the vehicle's components, including the battery, ignition, brakes and wiring. The mechanic could also check for worn or underinflated tires and ensure the right antifreeze level.
As the days get shorter in Wyoming after the change back to standard time, the sun is lower in the sky earlier in the day and can cause problems for drivers. Afternoon rush hour is one of the most dangerous times for driving, especially on days when the sun is bright. Though driving in bright sun is sometimes unavoidable, experts have tips for drivers to improve visibility and reduce the risk of crash.