road safety

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New Study Is Worrisome for America's Guardrail System

Heavy EVs are too much for guardrails to handle, test crashes indicate

(Newser) - A new study from the University of Nebraska has concerning implications for America's guardrail system, indicating the country's guardrails are likely not ready to handle heavy electric vehicles. In one crash test, a 2022 Rivian R1T truck going 60mph barely slowed down as it tore right through a...

Feds Unamused by Highway Sign Puns
Feds Unamused by
Highway Sign Puns

Feds Unamused by Highway Sign Puns

New guidance is winding down clever safety messages within the next 2 years

(Newser) - If you enjoy the occasional wild highway sign urging you to "Camp in the woods, not the left lane," sadly, you'll have to get your dad jokes elsewhere. The Federal Highway Administration (part of the Department of Transportation) has weighed in on whether electronic safety billboards on...

Wider Traffic Lanes Are More Dangerous
Wider Traffic Lanes
Are More Dangerous

Wider Traffic Lanes Are More Dangerous

A new study found that shrinking lane width by just a couple of feet resulted in less accidents

(Newser) - Researchers out of Johns Hopkins University are hoping to make nine the new magic number in urban design. After analyzing 1,117 streets in seven cities, from DC to Dallas, they found that wider traffic lanes have significantly more pedestrian accidents than lanes shrunk down to 9 feet. Per Johns...

After This Famous 1967 Crash, Little Has Changed
After This Famous 1967 Crash,
Little Has Changed

After This Famous 1967 Crash, Little Has Changed

ProPublica reports that the US has failed to stop underride crashes involving semis

(Newser) - It's a sad piece of Hollywood lore: In 1967, the actress Jayne Mansfield was killed when the car she was in slid under a semi on the highway. Mansfield’s three young children survived, including Mariska Hargitay, now of the Law & Order TV franchise. The accident is mentioned...

This State's Road Signs Were Too Much for the Feds
This State's Road Signs
Were Too Much for the Feds
in case you missed it

This State's Road Signs Were Too Much for the Feds

New Jersey DOT forced by FHWA to take down humorous messages promoting highway safety

(Newser) - Quirky highway signs described as "quintessential New Jersey" that were designed to raise awareness on road safety have been getting the thumbs-up from motorists in the Garden State. But the feds apparently didn't approve and reportedly directed them to be switched off. "Hold on to your butts—...

It's Time to Change the 'Natural State of Things' on Our Roads

Farhad Manjoo calls for inconveniencing drivers in order to save lives and the planet

(Newser) - After a 13-year-old bicyclist was fatally hit by a truck in Mountain View, Calif., police called it an "extremely tragic incident." The driver had legally turned right on a red light, just as Andre Retana fell off his bike in the crosswalk; he was in the construction truck'...

Highway Safety Messages May Have Opposite Effect
Highway Safety Warnings
Appear to Backfire
new study

Highway Safety Warnings Appear to Backfire

Study suggests they're so distracting they actually cause more accidents

(Newser) - In Texas and elsewhere, electronic signs give motorists a running death toll from traffic accidents as a way to push safety. But a new study suggests that one easy way to improve road safety is to get rid of those signs. The research published in Science concludes that the messages...

Airbag Jeans? Idea Is No Joke for Motorcyclists

2 companies working on the concept

(Newser) - Motorcyclists who fall off their bikes at high speeds might have much smoother landings in the near future. CNN Business reports that "airbag jeans" are becoming closer to reality. The company Airbag Inside Sweden AB has designed a prototype for the special pants, which look fairly ordinary on the...

AAA Puzzled by Sharp Rise in Red-Light Deaths

Deaths caused by motorists running red lights hits 10-year high

(Newser) - On average, more than two Americans are killed every day by drivers who plow through red lights, and the figure is growing, according to a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The organization says that in 2017, the last year for which figures are available, the number...

Let's Do Away With Right on Red

This Common
Traffic Rule
Must Go Away

This Common Traffic Rule Must Go Away

Right-on-red is too dangerous for bicyclists, writes 'Outside' columnist

(Newser) - A columnist at Outside is making an argument that may not sit well with drivers—he says it's time to outlaw right-on-red turns. The reason? They're simply too dangerous for bicyclists, writes Eben Weiss. He cites an accident in Virginia that made headlines last month in which a...

Solution for Road Safety: Stick Shift?
To Make
Roads Safer,
Make People
Drive a Stick

To Make Roads Safer, Make People Drive a Stick

It's tough to shift and text, op-ed points out

(Newser) - An op-ed in the New York Times makes the case for a low-tech solution to the problem of distracted driving: Embrace the stick shift. Drivers have to pay attention to actual driving when operating a manual transmission, writes Vatsal Thakkar, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU. "A...

Motorcycles Cruising Between Cars May Soon Be Legal in First State

Lane-splitting bill would make California first to formalize practice

(Newser) - Lane-splitting—where motorcycles pass other cars in traffic by cruising in between—might soon be legal in at least one state: California. The state's Assembly unanimously passed a bill Thursday giving the California Highway Patrol authority to create guidelines for the practice, reports the Los Angeles Times . The bill,...

This Is the Most Dangerous State for Drivers

Montana comes in as the riskiest

(Newser) - Lots of two-lane rural roads and an apparent resistance to using seat belts combine to make Montana the most dangerous state for drivers, reports 24/7 Wall St . The state had 229 fatalities in 2013, for a national high 22.6 road deaths per 100,000 residents. One leading theory is...

Wheelchair Users Face Much Bigger Risk From Traffic

They're 36% more likely to die in collisions than walkers: study

(Newser) - Pedestrians in wheelchairs are a whopping 36% more likely to die in a traffic collision compared to those out walking, according to a new study that's raising concerns about driver awareness and the availability of crosswalks. Researchers at Georgetown University combed through news articles and data from the National...

Why This Weekend May Be Worst in Years on Roads

Traffic is up, and the holiday falls on a Saturday

(Newser) - The Fourth of July weekend is always a relatively dangerous one for drivers, but this year's may be particularly bad. The National Safety Council predicts 409 deaths and 49,500 injuries on the roads between 6pm tomorrow and 11:59 pm Sunday, the highest projected numbers for the holiday...

Volvo Invents Life-Saving Invisible Paint for Bikers

 Volvo Invents 
 Invisible Paint 
 for Bikers 
in case you missed it

Volvo Invents Lifesaving Invisible Paint for Bikers

Spray-on stuff reflects in headlights

(Newser) - The company that invented the three-point seat belt is behind another big innovation in road safety, and this one comes in a spray can. Volvo's LifePaint, developed by a London ad agency and a Swedish startup, is invisible when you spray it onto, say, your bike. But when a...

Some Highway Guardrails Can Be Deadly: Officials

Malfunction can turn rails into dangerous "spears" when hit by cars, officials say

(Newser) - Highway guardrails are, in theory, designed to keep drivers safe. But the Missouri DOT has banned a certain rail after safety concerns cropped up during an ongoing investigation, reports. Officials say a malfunction in the ET-Plus system made by Trinity Industries can jam a guardrail's head when...

Road Deaths Are the New Global Health Crisis

Bring attention to this pandemic: John D. Sutter

(Newser) - It's time we did something about a scary pandemic: road deaths, writes John D. Sutter for CNN . You may not think of such deaths as a global "public health crisis," but that's exactly what they are. We continue to build more roads and put more cars...

Optical Illusion to Slow Down Florida Drivers

Closer road lines may get drivers to brake in pilot program

(Newser) - If you can't get drivers to slow down on their own, why not trick them into it? That's the idea behind a pilot program in Florida that will give drivers the illusion they're driving faster than they are. How exactly? With road "hash marks" painted gradually...

Tesla Discussing 'Autopilot' for Cars With Google

Elon Musk aims for affordable version for his electric cars

(Newser) - Electric carmaker Tesla is talking with Google about developing an "autopilot" system for its cars, reports Bloomberg . Google, of course, has been testing "self-driving" cars for a few years, though Tesla chief Elon Musk dislikes the term. "Self-driving sounds like it’s going to do something you...

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