Vox: America’s car crash epidemic

Vox: America’s car crash epidemic. “Even as Americans have been driving less in the past year or so, car crash deaths (including both occupants of vehicles and pedestrians) have surged. Cars killed 42,060 people in 2020, up from 39,107 in 2019, according to a preliminary estimate from the National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit that focuses on eliminating preventable deaths. (NSC’s numbers are typically higher than those reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because the NSC includes car deaths in private spaces like driveways and parking lots, and it counts deaths that occur up to a year after a crash.)”

NHTSA: Traffic deaths rise again as drivers take risks (Associated Press)

Associated Press: NHTSA: Traffic deaths rise again as drivers take risks. “The increase in traffic fatalities is a continuation of a trend that started in 2020. In June, the [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] reported that traffic deaths rose 7% last year to 38,680, the most since 2007. That increase came even as the number of miles traveled by vehicle fell 13% from 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Yahoo News: Google Maps updates Ben Nevis route after complaints about ‘potentially fatal’ path

Yahoo News: Google Maps updates Ben Nevis route after complaints about ‘potentially fatal’ path. “Google has updated a Ben Nevis route in its mapping service after complaints it had suggested a ‘potentially fatal’ path for walkers. The tech giant denied its map offered dangerous directions for people on foot but did admit driving routes could be misinterpreted at the mountain in Scotland.” According to the article I linked to a few days ago, locals attempting to contact Google about this were ignored. Glad to see that news articles about the problem got them to change things before someone died.

CNET: Snapchat removes ‘speed filter’ amid safety concerns over reckless driving

CNET: Snapchat removes ‘speed filter’ amid safety concerns over reckless driving. “The app, introduced in 2013, has been linked to several deadly or near-fatal car accidents, many of which involved teens. The company has faced lawsuits from families of people who have been injured or killed in car accidents in which drivers were allegedly using the app and driving too fast to brag to friends.”

Dangerously trending: driverless Tesla videos on social media (France24)

France24: Dangerously trending: driverless Tesla videos on social media. “It was a boozy joyride captured for TikTok with a soundtrack provided by Justin Bieber and with a Tesla serving as the “Designated Driver” for the night. In the short video, three young men are shown dancing in their seats, beers nearby, as the vehicle moves down the highway near other cars at 65 miles per hour (105 kilometers per hour), as shown on the speedometer. Nobody is behind the steering wheel. The video clip, which has been ‘liked’ by nearly two million people and shared 105,000 times, is just one of many similar ones on social media reviewed by AFP.”

Route Fifty: The States Where Driving Was Up and Down the Most After Covid Hit

Route Fifty: The States Where Driving Was Up and Down the Most After Covid Hit. “Bumper.com, a company that provides vehicle history reports, examined 2020 Apple Maps data to learn which states and cities saw the greatest increases and decreases in driving, public transportation use and walking. To assess the pandemic’s effect on drivers in the U.S., Bumper looked at average weekly levels of driving in states for most of last year and compared those metrics to the first three months of 2020, before the virus upended daily life.”

The Bridge Chronicle: Pune bizman dies by drowning after Google Map reveals the wrong path

The Bridge Chronicle: Pune bizman dies by drowning after Google Map reveals the wrong path. “A Chinchwad-based businessman died by drowning after his car went under the backwater of a dam in Akole tehsil of Nagar district on Saturday (January 9) early morning. His two other friends accompanying him managed to escape and save their lives. The businessman was driving the car and relied on the closest route shown by Google Maps while they were enroute Kalsubai – a mountain in the Western Ghats and the highest point in Maharashtra with its summit situated at an elevation of 1,646 metre – for a trek.”

Exclusive: U.S. traffic deaths fell after coronavirus lockdown, but drivers got riskier (WTVB)

WTVB: Exclusive: U.S. traffic deaths fell after coronavirus lockdown, but drivers got riskier. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found the fatality rate jumped to 1.42 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the three months ending June 30, the highest since 2005. At the same time, overall traffic deaths fell by 3.3% to 8,870 while U.S. driving fell by about 26%, or 302 fewer over the same period in 2019, according to the report reviewed by Reuters.”

CNET: The American RV industry fell off a cliff, but now it’s bouncing back

CNET: The American RV industry fell off a cliff, but now it’s bouncing back. “America is in a pretty rough place right now, both financially and from a public health standpoint, but that isn’t stopping people from going out and buying or renting RVs and undertaking their great American road trip. According to a report published Tuesday by Reuters, the RV industry is seeing a dramatic increase in sales after the initial plummet at the start of the COVID-19 crisis — aka the mythical V-shaped recovery. Why, though? It’s not as though new RVs are cheap.”

BBC: Woman falls from car on M25 filming Snapchat video

BBC: Woman falls from car on M25 filming Snapchat video. “A woman fell out of a moving car on the M25 while leaning out of the window to film a video for Snapchat. She fell from the car into a ‘live lane’ between junction six and the Clacket Lane Services at 01:30 BST, Surrey Police traffic officers tweeted. The woman was not badly hurt but police said it was lucky ‘she wasn’t seriously injured or killed’.”

AT Today: New online car search tool to help elderly and disabled people find a suitable vehicle for their accessibility needs

AT Today: New online car search tool to help elderly and disabled people find a suitable vehicle for their accessibility needs. “The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) has launched a new online car search tool, with data on over 1,700 vehicles to help disabled and older people shortlist suitable vehicles using specific accessibility measurements.” This resource is UK-based but I saw car brands from all over the world when I played with it.