Oklahoma drivers may be interested to know that the size of their vehicle plays an important role in traffic accidents. Larger vehicles typically endure accidents better small cars, particularly if the accident is a collision between large and small vehicles.
Progressive Insurance recently released the results of a survey in which over 90 percent of respondents said that distracted driving should be made illegal. Overall, 65 percent of those who responded to the survey felt that texting or looking at a phone was a major cause of traffic accidents in Oklahoma and throughout the country. However, over a third of respondents also said that they felt they could safely text while driving.
Oklahoma drivers who have collision avoidance systems in their vehicles may be less likely to be in a motor vehicle accident according to a study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For the purposes of the study, the IIHS vice-president of research examined data on more than 5,000 accidents taking place in 2015 that systems alerting the driver to blind spots and lane departure are supposed to prevent.
Oklahoma motorists are permitted to drive at 75 mph on some stretches of road, and a bill signed into law by Gov. Fallin in May 2016 allows the state's Department of Transportation to modify speed limits as it sees fit. While laws such as these may be welcome news to long-distance truck drivers and harried commuters, they are unlikely to please road safety groups like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The nonprofit advocacy group analyzed the impact that rising speed limits have had on traffic accident fatalities, and it concluded that road deaths increase by about 4 percent every time speed limits are increased by 5 mph.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has added three vehicles to its list of the highest rated in terms of crash safety. Oklahoma drivers who are shopping for full-size cars may therefore want to consider the Toyota Avalon, Mercedes-Benz E-Class or the Lincoln Continental. Each of these cars received Top Safety Pick Plus designations from the IIHS.
Motorists on Oklahoma roads are required to ensure that all of their child passengers are securely restrained by safety belts, harnesses or child seats, but figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that law enforcement may not be doing enough to enforce this. Data from the agency's Fatality Analysis Reporting System was used by researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Harvard University to study fatal accidents involving children under the age of 15, and they found that strict seat belt laws and rigorous enforcement efforts play a crucial role in reducing child mortality rates.
When Oklahoma residents in a severe car accident, they may suffer grievous injuries or have someone that they love die. In these situations, along with physical harm, people may also end up suffering mental harm and develop a condition like post traumatic stress disorder.
A social media messaging application used by thousands of Oklahoma residents has been connected with high-speed traffic accidents by police in at least two states. Snapchat has become wildly popular especially among young people largely because it allows its users to enhance the photographs and videos they upload with unique filters, but a feature that overlays a miles per hour reading on uploaded content has been slammed by both law enforcement agencies and road safety advocates. Critics of the feature say that drivers are disregarding speed limits and placing other road users in danger to impress their friends and increase their online followings.
Drivers over 50 in Oklahoma and throughout the United States may make car safety technology a priority in the years ahead based on a survey from the MIT AgeLab and the insurance company the Hartford. According to their study, among drivers older than 50 who were going to purchase a new vehicle in the next two years, 75 percent planned to make safety technology a top priority. This is in contrast to two years ago when only around a third of drivers in the same age group had the same priority.
Based on information released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 35,092 people died as a result of vehicle accidents in 2015. Oklahoma motorists may be surprised to learn that this figure represents a 7.2 increase over the number of traffic fatalities in 2014.