Oklahoma roads can become slick with rain and leaves as the calendar turns to fall. Leaves that fall off of trees can make it harder to see potholes, lane lines and other markings. Leaves that are still on the trees can prove distracting to tourists and others who may be in town just to see them change colors. Therefore, it is important for drivers to slow down and to increase their following distance.
University researchers who surveyed parents of teenagers concluded that parents should actively encourage their teens to drive safely and promote responsible driving behavior among their peers. The survey of 900 parents of children aged 14 to 18 identified bad weather as a major concern for parents. Volatile weather, which is common in Oklahoma, worried 68% of parents, who often prevented their teens from riding with teen drivers when weather conditions were potentially hazardous.
Autonomous technologies have the potential to reduce the number of dangerous car accidents on Oklahoma roads. While fully self-driving cars might be some time away on the horizon, a range of advanced driver assistance systems could reduce the risk of serious car accidents and the associated injuries and fatalities. According to one study released by GM, these safety technologies can be linked to significant decreases in certain types of car accidents. Rear-end collisions in particular were reduced by 46% with the installation of certain types of safety devices.
According to a study of traffic accident data conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of crash fatalities due to drivers running red lights has surged in recent years. In the state of Oklahoma, more than 3,000 crashes occurred from drivers ignoring traffic signals. The Traffic Safety Culture Index indicates that 85% of drivers say going through a red light is very dangerous, but almost 33% said they'd done it in the prior 30 days.
Drivers in Oklahoma are probably when they are drowsy behind the wheel. They will have droopy eyelids, yawn constantly, drift out of their lane and perhaps even forget what the last few miles were like. If they do nothing about this, then they only raise their risk for a crash. A AAA study from 2018 states that 9.5% of all accidents are caused by drowsy drivers.
Rear-seat safety has been neglected since the 1990s, which is why Oklahoma residents may want to think twice about sitting in the back seat of a car. The discrepancy between rear and front seat safety, though, is due to recent improvements in front seat safety rather than any decline in rear-seat safety.
The vast majority of car accidents in Oklahoma and around the country involve some sort of human error, but features that could prevent them, such as forward collision warning and automatic braking systems, are not standard equipment on most cars sold in the United States. While carmakers have vowed to make automatic emergency brakes standard on all of their vehicles by 2022, it is not because federal regulators have asked them to do so. According to road safety advocates, the government is often slow to act when potentially life-saving safety equipment becomes available.
Drivers in Oklahoma should be aware that the advanced driver assistance systems that are on the market do not mean that cars drive themselves. Unfortunately, many are not and overestimate the capabilities of ADAS. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a survey of more than 2,000 drivers to gauge their knowledge of ADAS.
Advanced safety features in new vehicles are helping to keep roads in Oklahoma and throughout the country safer. According to a study conducted in 2018 by J.D. Power, 35% of participants said that an automatic braking system prevented an accident from occurring within the first 90 days of ownership of a new car. Furthermore, 49% said that a blind spot alert feature prevented a crash from occurring during that same time period.
There are many ways drivers in Oklahoma can help prevent car accidents, including following several safety tips that are known to decrease the chances of crashing. Even though most car accidents are preventable, car accidents are the leading cause of death for many people in the United States. Drivers who obey traffic laws, stay alert and avoid negligent driving actively make the roadways safer for everyone.