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Tips for staying safe on the road

Illinois drivers who want to avoid traffic accidents as much as possible will want to consider some of the following safety tips. Safe driving starts with giving full attention to the road; this means no distracting activities like calling, texting, adjusting the radio, eating or reaching down to pick up fallen items. Children should be securely buckled up so that they, too, do not create distractions.

Newly licensed teens can be dangerous drivers

Teen motorists in Illinois may be bigger threats to others on the roadway during the first three months after they receive their licenses. When teens have only a learner's permit, they must drive with adult accompaniment. However, they are legally allowed to travel alone once they get their licenses. The major changes that solo driving can bring were illustrated by one recent study that examined the teen driving safety. This study, which included 90 teens and 131 parents, was conducted by Virginia Tech and the National Institutes for Health.

Cellphone use may be higher among women drivers

The use of hand-held cellphones, computers and other electronic communications devices by drivers is prohibited in Illinois, but accident statistics suggest that motorists in the state often ignore this law. A team of Australian researchers wanted to find out why so many drivers use cellphones while behind the wheel despite research revealing that doing so can greatly increases their chances of being involved in an accident, and they found that women and inexperienced drivers are particularly prone to this kind of behavior.

Bloomberg NEF on how driverless cars will change insurance

Some experts have made dire predictions about the auto insurance industry's survival in the age of driverless cars. For example, a 2016 Morgan Stanley report called, "Are Auto Insurers on the Road to Nowhere," estimates that the industry will shrink to about 20 percent of its current size by 2040. However, Illinois residents should be aware of newer research, which does not seem to point to such a sudden decline.

Report shows growing presence of drugs in fatally injured drivers

The Governors Highway Safety Association recently released a new report concerning drug use and fatal car crashes. Considering that medical marijuana is legalized in Illinois, motorists in the Land of Lincoln may be concerned about local road safety.

Daydreaming linked to most distracted driving accidents

The rise in the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers in Illinois and around the country is often blamed on cellphone use or sophisticated automobile navigation and entertainment systems, but a study released to mark the beginning of Distracted Driving Awareness Month indicates that daydreaming may be the most dangerous distraction of all. Researchers from Erie Insurance arrived at this conclusion after studying data gathered over the last five years by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

The human impact on autonomous vehicles

While self-driving cars are designed to help reduce roadway accidents throughout Illinois and the rest of America, some autonomous technology may come with an inherent safety flaw. This is because the programming, which is created by humans, directs the vehicles to drive as humans would.

Study results on distracted driving

According to a study conducted by Esurance, an insurance company, even though a majority of drivers in Illinois and the rest of the nation agree that distracted driving is dangerous, many drivers still engage in the behavior. The results of the study also indicate that the drivers who state that they hardly drive while distracted do admit to participating in distracting behavior.

Marijuana holiday linked to surge in deadly car accidents

Illinois lawmakers may be paying close attention to car accident and marijuana use statistics in states like Colorado and California that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. The opponents of more relaxed marijuana laws often voice concerns about impaired driving and surging traffic accident fatalities, and studies suggest that these arguments have at least some merit. Researchers at the University of British Columbia say that the annual April 20 marijuana 'holiday" may have caused 142 traffic deaths between 1992 and 2016, yet more than half of the cannabis users polled in Colorado in 2016 did not believe that getting behind the wheel after smoking the drug posed a threat to other road users.

Drowsy drivers the subject of new AAA study

Illinois drivers may be aware of the dangers of drunk driving and distracted driving, but another hazard they should know more about is drowsy driving. A 2012 study from JAMA Internal Medicine found that drivers who go without sleep for 20 to 25 hours function in ways that are similar to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.1; the legal limit in the United States is 0.08. In other words, sleepy drivers operate their vehicles like drunk drivers.