Many people in North Carolina assume that traffic stops are for motorists who speed, run red lights and disregard other traffic laws. Those infractions often only result in tickets, points on driving records and fines. There are some traffic crimes that are much more serious and can result in criminal misdemeanor or felony charges.
Residents of North Carolina may be interested to know that there is a push to revise current auto safety standards that apply to self-driving vehicles. In September, the U.S. House passed a measure that would exempt automakers deploying up to 80,000 self-driving vehicles in the next three years from having to meet all safety standards. A U.S. Senate committee unanimously gave the go-ahead to a bill in early October to further speed up the process. It has found support with General Motors Company, Ford Motor Company and Alphabet Inc.
Night shift workers in North Carolina and across the country are more likely to get into car crashes, according to a study. The research was conducted by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
North Carolina residents aren't the only ones reeling from deadly car crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 37,461 traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2016. This marks a nine-year high, with only 2007 surpassing the total with 41,259 deaths.
North Carolina motorists may have heard a great deal from industry leaders like Google and Tesla about the development of autonomous vehicles. Early predictions about their adoption have been optimistic. For example, in 2014, one analyst with Morgan Stanley predicted there would be fully autonomous vehicles on highways by 2019. A former Uber CEO said that by 2030 its fleet would be fully autonomous. Multiple car manufacturers said autonomous vehicles would be for sale by the end of the decade.
North Carolina drivers who experience fatigue while behind the wheel may be able to purchase a device that is supposed to detect and wake up drowsy motorists. The product is worn on the wrist and measures heart rate and sweat to determine when a person is falling asleep.
North Carolina residents may be interested to know that according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 33,000 deaths attributable to higher speed limits in the past 20 years. However, that number may be higher. In 2013, there were 1,900 deaths attributed to higher speed limits, which was roughly the same number of lives saved by driver and passenger frontal airbags.
North Carolina residents are probably aware that the economy has been on the upswing, but what they may not know is that economic improvement is linked to more driver deaths. When an economy is healthier, there are more drivers on the road more often. The more a driver is on the road, the higher the risk of being in an accident.
North Carolina residents looking to purchase a new car may be interested to learn that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave three vehicles the highest rating for crash worthiness. However, three other vehicles that were also tested by the IIHS failed a major test. One of these vehicles was the Tesla Model S.
Many North Carolina motorists are likely aware of the development of driverless cars. Once operational, the cars may make the roads safer by eliminating the risks caused by negligent, impaired or reckless drivers. In addition, individuals with disabilities or who are otherwise unable to drive would have significantly more mobility.