The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has entered into an agreement with several vehicle manufacturers that will see virtually all cars, minivans, SUVs and pickup trucks sold in Louisiana and around the country equipped with sophisticated accident avoidance technology by 2022. The announcement was made by the federal agency on March 18 at a meeting in Virginia. The agreement is also supported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
New safety features, like automatic braking and front crash prevention that are currently optional in vehicles, have been shown to significantly lower someone's risk of being in an accident. Although increasing numbers of automobiles have been manufactured with these safety features, they are not available in all cars, trucks and SUVs. However, several major automakers have agreed to make automatic braking systems available in nearly all their light vehicles by 2022.
Two Louisiana residents were killed in a head-on collision in St. James Parish March 4. The accident occurred at around 10:30 a.m.
While some Louisiana motorists are excited about the potential for owning self-driving vehicles in the future, others may worry about the possibility of accidents. A recent accident involving a Google self-driving vehicle demonstrates that this potential is real. Prior to the Feb. 14 incident, the company's autonomous vehicles had been involved in a total of 17 car accidents, but none were deemed to be the fault of the Google vehicles. In the February incident, however, the technology was deemed to be responsible.
A 43-year-old man was killed when a Corvette he was riding in slammed into a tree The man was a CarMax salesman, and the 28-year-old driver was on a test drive when the crash took place at about 12:45 p.m. on Feb. 24. Witnesses say that the car reached speeds of up to 70 miles an hour during the test drive. CarMax has locations in Louisiana and around the country.
Drunk or distracted driving have not been ruled out as the investigation into a deadly accident that occurred Feb. 14 in Morehouse Parish. Toxicology tests are scheduled for samples collected at the accident scene by Louisiana State Police troopers, and the vehicles involved may be inspected in order to rule out mechanical failure as a cause of the crash.
According to a study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, cars with self-braking technology reduce rear-end car crashes by 40 percent while also reducing the number of crashes with injuries. Cars with forward collision warning help to reduce the number of rear-end crashes by 23 percent. The study found that if all cars had an automated braking system, there would have been 700,000 fewer crashes in 2013. That translates to 13 percent of all crashes reported to police.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for collecting data related to accidents and other issues on the roads in Louisiana and throughout the country. A recent evaluation of 2015 statistics shows a concerning trend in terms of fatalities on the roads. According to the NHTSA, traffic-related fatalities were decreasing over the course of many years, but from January through September of 2015, the numbers were up by more than 9 percent.
Drivers in Louisiana and throughout the country may be one step closer to sharing the roads with self-driving vehicles. A Feb. 4 letter to Google from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that under federal law, the artificial intelligence system could be considered the driver of an autonomous car.
Louisiana residents who are interested in public school busing policies and the safety of school bus passengers may be interested in knowing about an accident involving special needs children that happened in southern New Jersey on Feb. 4. According to media sources, a collision between a sports utility vehicle and a Bridgetown Public Schools bus left one person dead and six others injured. Four special needs students were among those who reportedly suffered minor injuries in the fatal incident.