We are all aware that texting while driving became illegal in Florida in 2013, but it's only a secondary offense. That means the driver must be pulled over for something else first. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2015 a total of 39,468 people were injured and 216 more were killed as a result of distracted driving. Forty-six states think texting and driving is so dangerous it's banned. Will Florida be next? Many are pushing for it, but there are those in the state House that say the cost of freedom is too high. The legislation has cleared two Senate committees, but its sponsor, Senator Rene Garcia, is not optimistic. "I think it's on life support, unfortunately. I hear that the house is reluctant to move the bill," Garcia said. Last week the Senate Committee on Communications, Energy and Public Utilities discussed SB 144 introduced by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah. The committee approved the bill that's in its infancy, while agreeing it needs more work.
The Pensacola News Journal and WEAR - Channel3 reports that four of the top 50 deadliest roads in the country pass through Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, according to an analysis of National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration data performed by consumer research firm ValuePenguin. The firm pulled NTHSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from 2011 to 2015 and found Interstate 10, U.S. 98, U.S. 90 and U.S. 29 all to be among the most dangerous roads in the country based on the occurrence of fatal accidents per 100 miles. The analysis looked at road length as a replacement for ridership since many of the roads extend across several states. Interstate 10, which stretches through Northwest Florida from Jacksonville to California, was ranked as the fourth most dangerous road, with 54½ deaths per 100 miles. The interstate was also ranked as the second darkest road, based upon 472 deaths which occurred in dark areas, as well as the fourth most likely road for accidents involving a drunk driver with 310 deaths. U.S. 90 was ranked as the 29th most dangerous road based upon 342 fatal accidents or 20.9 fatal accidents per 100 miles, U.S. 98 followed up at 31st with 188 accidents or 20 fatal accidents per 100 miles. U.S. 29.
Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) are made up of three main types of vehicles: All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs), and Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs). All of these vehicles carry risks of serious injury and death when not used properly or with the appropriate safety equipment and all of these vehicles could be made safer with a few common sense design changes.
Are self-driving cars the wave of the future in terms of the safest cars there could be? Not so, says a new study. According to this, self-driving test cars are involved in crashes at five times the rate of conventional cars. According to USA Today who reported on the study, even when the figures take into account that many accidents involving conventional cars go unreported, the study from the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute found that the rate is still twice as high. Notwithstanding this, the study makes the comparison from a tiny pool of autonomous test cars, about 50 of them in California, versus 269 million conventional cars as of 2013. The self-driving cars have logged about 1.2 million miles in total, while the conventionals cumulatively go trillions of miles a year. As a result, the total number of self-driving car accidents being used for comparison is the study is minuscule, 11. But that's five times the rate of the accident rate in conventional cars, and there's four times the injury rate, the study finds. The injuries, however, have all been minor. In almost every case, the accidents involving self-driving cars have involved other cars crashing into them. They are often traveling at slow speeds. No accidents have been reported from self-driving cars going haywire and a human is always on board in case something goes wrong. Eight of the 11 crashes occurred last year as more self-driving hit the road in California, where most of the testing is taking place. Despite limitations of the study, "A Preliminary Analysis of Real-World Crashes Involving Self-Driving Vehicles," it reached some real conclusions.
The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that a 19-year-old Destin resident received minor injuries in a crash last week that left a Panama City Beach man dead. The 19 year-old Destin male was heading westbound on U.S. Highway 98 near Sandy Lane in Bay County when the other car pulled into his path. He tried to avoid a collision but couldn't, according to the Florida Highway Patrol media release. When the collision occurred, a 65-year-old Panama City Beach man, was ejected from the 2004 Jeep Wrangler he was driving. He died of his injuries early Thursday morning. An investigation continues into the accident. In addition, WJHG Channel 7 reports on a serious traffic crash that occurred just before 9 p.m. Friday. Parker Police Officials say a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at the base of the Dupont Bridge. The victim passed away from his injuries at Bay Medical Center. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.
The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that a 9-year-old Bonifay boy died after he was ejected from his ATV Sunday afternoon. According to the news agency, the boy was traveling northbound on a 2005 Artic Cat ATV on a road in Bonifay, while a UTV with two 13-year-old girls and a 12-year-old girl were just ahead of him. The girl's vehicle stopped in the roadway due to a group of dogs running in the road. The nine-year-old turned to avoid the UTV, but still crashed into it. The boy was thrown from the vehicle and into a ditch, where the ATV then ran over him. The boy was transported to Doctor's Memorial Hospital where he died of injuries. Neither the 13-year-old girl nor her passengers, who were 12 and 13, were injured, the report said. FHP is investigating the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this 9-year-old who died tragically.
The Northwest Daily News reports that Santa Rosa Beach man is in critical condition after a tragic accident this past Sunday. FHP reports a female from Covington, Kentucky, was traveling east in a 2006 Mazda on the outside lane of U.S. Highway 98. As she approached the intersection of County Road 283 around 1:30 p.m., she did not notice two vehicles that were parked in the lane facing east and had just been involved in a crash. The drivers and one passenger were outside of their cars examining the damage. The Kentucky female failed to notice the cars until it was too late to stop safely. Two of the individuals who were examining the damage were able to jump out of the way, but the man from Santa Rosa Beach did not get out of way in time and was pinned between the vehicles for a time period.
It seems there are more and more bus accidents in the news. There have been school bus accidents, passenger van accidents, and commercial bus accidents. These accidents usually involved severe injuries and/or fatalities. Recently, Walton County had a significant vehicle collision occur. The accident injured twenty one people, with one of the passengers suffering serious injuries. The accident happened on Interstate 10 after the 2010 Ford bus crashed just west of U.S. Highway 331. According to FHP, the bus was traveling east when for some unknown reason it veered off the highway and hit two trees. The driver apparently lost control on a slight curve in the road. The bus was carrying 23 passengers ranging from 15 to 18 years old.