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.)”
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. “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. “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.”
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.”
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. “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.”
CNET Roadshow: Coronavirus lockdown can make return to driving overwhelming, study says. “It’s like riding a bicycle. You never forget how to drive a car once you put in the practice and gain experience. But, like anything in life, removing something from a daily routine can cause skills or familiarity to rust. Driving, according to a new study, isn’t immune.”
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.
NBC12: Waze driving app launches new tool to help drivers during winter weather. “The driving app, Waze, has launched a new feature for drivers to report plowed and unplowed roads during winter weather. Drivers can now report unplowed roads in real-time and the app will inform drivers when they are approaching a road that was reported to be unplowed.”