Getting a driver's license is an exciting time for a young person in Rhode Island, but smartphones and entertainment consoles in vehicles create hazardous distractions. Distracted driving includes reading or writing text messages, talking on a phone or adjusting console controls. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has organized ongoing safe driving campaigns that target teens and their parents to warn them about the fatal consequences of taking their eyes off the road.
Rhode Island drivers who follow research into autonomous vehicles might know that a self-driving car hit and killed an Arizona pedestrian in March 2018. According to one Arizona State University professor, whose work in part involves developing computer systems such as those used in autonomous vehicles, there is an inherent flaw in the model of teaching self-driving cars to behave like humans.
Rhode Island motorists are aware of the dangers of texting and driving. However, a meta-analysis published in the journal Human Factors found that talking on the phone and talking to other passengers while driving is also hazardous.
Drivers in Rhode Island may be feeling more drowsy than usual after daylight saving time. With the loss of an hour, this is to be expected, but a recent AAA study has emphasized how this one hour can impact drivers' performance. Drowsy driving, which accounts for nearly 10 percent of all car wrecks in the U.S., becomes more common after daylight saving time.
Although Rhode Island has not legalized the recreational use of marijuana, that doesn't prevent people from joining in the April 20 celebrations that have been going on across the nation for more than 25 years. According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, though, this self-proclaimed holiday may be responsible for an increase in fatal car crashes.
For people in Rhode Island looking to end their marriage, the turn of the year can often be accompanied by new divorce filings. The January of every New Year brings a sharp uptick in the number of couples across the United States who choose to file for divorce. This increase can be attributed to a number of factors, including the stress of the holiday season and a choice to wait until after the family events of the winter holidays are completed before filing. It can even reflect people's hopes for a new start with the new year.
Rhode Island drivers who regularly commute during the evening should be aware that, with the end of daylight saving time, it gets darker much earlier. However, this occurs during the peak of the animal mating season, making this time even more dangerous for drivers.
Some Rhode Island residents may have been among the approximately 100 people per day on average who died in motor vehicle accidents in 2016. Traffic fatalities are up after years of decline, and experts say it cannot be fully explained by people driving more or an increase in driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many experts believe that the distraction of smartphones is to blame, but the way that accidents causes are tracked and recorded provides too little data.
Driving while tired and on a long trip is sometimes the cause of accidents that Rhode Island motorists are involved in. However, many accidents occur only a short distance from home, usually less than 25 miles away. Most people tend to travel close to home. People often rely on the memories of the neighborhood sometimes to help them get from a destination to their home. This type of thinking can sometimes cause drivers to be less attentive to the road and the hazards around them.
Permanent running lights are not mandated by the federal government, so drivers in Rhode Island and other states may find that this particular safety feature is not factory-installed on the majority of vehicles that are available for purchase. However, some studies regarding the use of headlights during the day are showing that the technology has helped reduced accident rates by as much as 10 percent. This finding has caught the attention of some lawmakers, who are arguing in favor of new legislation. If eventually passed, the new laws would require motorists to turn on their headlights whenever they are behind the wheel.