90% of Serious Car Accidents Linked to Driver Error

Jul 26, 2019 11:39 AM EDT | Ernest Hamilton

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Consumer watchdogs are demanding that new safety technology be required in automobiles after finding that 90% of serious car accidents are linked to driver error. The report found that only 44% of 2019 model vehicles had advanced safety features, such as automatic braking and forward collision warning systems.

Automakers often sell forward collision warning systems as optional packages that cost consumers more money.

The roll-out of advanced safety features has been slow despite the number of auto-related children deaths rising. Statistically, 33 fatalities for every 100,000 children involve car crashes, many of these accidents could be avoided using today's safety equipment.

Safety feature rollouts have been slow over the past 70 years. Government officials did not require all automobiles to have seatbelts until over a decade after seatbelts were invented. The seatbelt alone has saved more than 300,000 lives since 1960 and has saved millions of people from sustaining serious injuries.

Automakers have made many safety features "luxury" items, including seatbelts that act as airbags. Cities are spending millions of dollars to upgrade highway infrastructure, with Utah's Department of Transportation spending $50 million on smart-road technology.

The technology will allow automobiles to "talk" to traffic signals and even connect to one another to improve safety in the state.

Summer includes the 100 deadliest days on the road, with Georgia alone experiencing 1,427 road accidents between April and June. The accidents resulted in 108 deaths and over 1,900 people sustaining injuries. The number of accidents rose by 125 during the past year, with accidents primarily involving speeding, drunk driving, violating safety laws, changing lanes without signaling and overtaking other vehicles in forbidden areas.

Distracted driving is also on the rise, with more drivers staring at their phones while operating a vehicle. One study found that over 88% of drivers are on their phone while driving with the average driving spend 35 out of 60 minutes on the road on their phone.

Georgia is rolling out campaigns and has installed over 5,000 cameras in an attempt to curb car accidents. The rising number of deaths has experts alarmed because automobiles today have significantly better safety systems than 50 years ago. The major concern is distracted driving and less people paying attention to traffic and more attention to their phones.

The yearly death toll has risen to over 40,000 people per year over the last four years. Fatalities have increased by 5.8% or higher in Florida, Minnesota, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. 

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