Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency's preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and most road safety experts said that cellphone use and distracted driving was largely to blame.
Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company's Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted with the latest version of Autopilot conducted by Consumer Reports magazine suggest that the system is still far from safe.
From July 14 to 20, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will have law enforcement officials across Pennsylvania and the rest of the U.S. looking out for unsafe drivers. This period of increased enforcement is called Operation Safe Driver Week, and it is an annual event. Both passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers are liable to be stopped and issued a warning or citation.
Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos.
ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use.
Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882 people died in accidents involving large trucks.