highway safety

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This Is America's Most Dangerous Highway

3 of the worst 5 are in Florida

(Newser) - Sorry, Florida drivers. Teletrac Navman is out with its list of the 25 most dangerous highways in the US, and three of the five worst are in the Sunshine State, Click Orlando reports. The absolute worst? Florida's Interstate 4, which is just 132 miles long—it connects Tampa, Orlando,... More »

Drowsy Drivers as Bad as Drunk Drivers: Report

Fatigue kills 5K on our roads each year, says GHSA

(Newser) - Drivers are told to "get more sleep" in an alarming new report that finds drowsy drivers are much like drunk drivers but get far less attention. A person who's been awake for 18 hours has a similar driving ability as someone with a 0.05% blood-alcohol content, while... More »

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,... More »

Behind Georgia Highway Crashes: an 'Optical Illusion'

Drivers appear to be tricked by a curve from I-285 southbound to I-20 eastbound

(Newser) - Between November and January, five trucks rolled over on a single highway ramp in Georgia's DeKalb County. "I'm not an engineer," says a WSB-TV traffic reporter, "but common sense says there's something wrong there." Now experts may be able to explain it. There... More »

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, Ozarksfirst.com reports. Officials say a malfunction in the ET-Plus system made by Trinity Industries can jam a guardrail's head when... More »

Roads Are Deadlier for Obese Drivers

Risk of crash death soars with driver weight

(Newser) - Obesity can be deadly even behind the wheel, according to a new study. Researchers examined thousands of crashes involving similar-sized vehicles and found that obese people were more likely to die in crashes than people of normal weight, with the risk of death increasing along with one's body mass... More »

Highway Safety Honcho Has Abysmal Driving Record

Massachusetts' Sheila Burgess will be reassigned

(Newser) - Well, this is embarrassing: The Massachusetts highway safety director's driving record includes an impressive seven accidents, four speeding tickets, and two failures to stop for a cop—all in all, there are 34 entries on her record. Is it any wonder Governor Deval Patrick's administration has decided to... More »

Alaska Grapples With Starving Moose Emergency

Collisions soar as hungry animals head for roads

(Newser) - Heavier-than-usual snowfall in Alaska this winter has created what officials are calling a moose crisis. Starving, weary moose are heading for roads and railroad tracks to escape the deep snow—up to 6 feet in some places—and the number of vehicle-moose collisions is soaring. The state has given the... More »

Chain-Reaction Crash Triggers Priciest Pileup Ever

8 Ferraris, 3 Mercedes, a Lamborghini Diablo turned into scrap

(Newser) - A chain-reaction crash of some of the priciest driving machines in Japan triggered the most expensive pileup in car-wreck history. Millions of dollars of luxe metal were crumpled when eight Ferraris, three Mercedes Benzes, and a Lamborghini Diablo slammed into one another on the Chugoku Expressway in southwestern Japan yesterday... More »

Traffic Deaths Hit 61-Year Low

2010 least deadly year on American roads since 1949

(Newser) - Some 32,788 people died on American roads in 2010, the smallest number since Harry Truman was in the White House—and there were a lot fewer people on the roads back then. Last year saw the fewest traffic accident deaths since 1949, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration... More »

Streetwalkers Ordered to Wear Neon Vests

Prostitutes in one Spanish town must wear neon bibs or pay a fine

(Newser) - The prostitutes of one Spanish town are about to get a little more clothed. Women looking for customers on the rural highway outside Els Alamus in Catalonia will have to wear neon yellow bibs or pay a $55 fine. Police say they're just trying to protect the women's safety by... More »

Digital Billboards 'Weapons of Mass Distraction': Foes

Industry says they're not 'TV on a stick' but a simple 'slide show'

(Newser) - Digital highway billboards can change their display every few seconds, serving multiple advertisers and even aiding law enforcement in finding fugitives and missing children—which is terribly unsafe, critics argue. The “television on a stick” is dangerously distracting to drivers, they say. “The billboard gets your attention whether... More »

Feds Ban Texting by Truck, Bus Drivers

Under rules, effective immediately, fines run as high as $2,750

(Newser) - Drivers of trucks and buses who text behind the wheel will be subject to thousands of dollars in fines, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today. The federal prohibition, which takes effect immediately, applies only to commercial vehicles. But distracted driving is one of LaHood's top issues, CNN reports. "This... More »

US Squelched Data on Car Phone Danger

(Newser) - In 2003 a federal agency compiled hundreds of pages of research on the dangers of using cell phones while driving, but suppressed the findings because of pressure from Congress. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a part of the Transportation Department, also planned a long-term study of the risks of... More »

Battle Over Big Rigs Pits Efficiency Against Safety

Measure would extended federal limits on big rigs

(Newser) - Bigger is not only better—it’s also safer and greener, say trucking-industry advocates who would like to see limits on the size and weight of big rigs on interstate highways lifted. One tells USA Today bigger trucks are more fuel-efficient and minimize pollution. But if truckers are successful, one... More »

Pellet Gun Sniper Targets Calif. Freeway

Drivers hit as they pass hilly lowland

(Newser) - A sniper who has been using a San Francisco-area freeway for target practice has hit nearly a dozen cars over the past two weeks, KGO-TV reports. Police are trying to find the perpetrator—who they say may be using an air-powered rifle from nearby hills or parks—before someone is... More »

Motorcycle Deaths Rise 6.6%

Overall traffic deaths down but motorbike deaths up for 10th year in a row

(Newser) - The number of motorcyclist deaths rose in 2007 for the 10th year in a row, the New York Times reports, jumping 6.6% even as the overall number of vehicle deaths continued to drop. Motorcycle deaths now account for one in eight traffic fatalities, totaling 5,154 last year—a... More »

Hands-Free Phones Still Dangerous Driver Overload

Scientists say any kind of phone use makes for risky driving

(Newser) - California motorists are now banned from using cell phones, but scientists say the move won't make the freeways any safer, reports the Los Angeles Times. Research shows that it is the lack of attention rather than occupied hands that impacts safety, and that drivers chatting on phones with both hands... More »

Chrysler Plans Wi-Fi on 2009 Models

The struggling automaker will have wireless Internet options available

(Newser) - Struggling automaker Chrysler—the weakest of Detroit’s Big Three—is looking to the information highway to gain an advantage. To the dismay of some highway safety experts, the automaker will offer wireless Internet access as an option in all of its 2009 models, the Los Angeles Times reports. More »

Surplus Signs Driving Motorists to Distraction

Too much information along roads may be creating a hazard

(Newser) - Drivers in America are often confronted with a forest of signs reminding them of speed limits and traffic control measures—but the overwhelming information may be making roadways more dangerous, John Staddon writes in the Atlantic. The glut of reminders can take drivers' attention away from the road and dull... More »

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