We are fortunate enough to live in a time where we have access to many different options when it comes to transportation. Long gone are the days where relying on taxi cabs and public transportation were the norm for getting from point a to point b if you didn’t own a vehicle. Now, with the availability of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft you can simply open an app and be on your way to your destination in no time.
When it comes to Texas traffic, no one knows it better than the Texas Department of Transportation or TxDOT. While TxDOT helps manage the construction and maintenance of our local road systems, they are also involved in overseeing aviation, railways, and the various public transportation systems throughout Texas. Recently, TxDOT became the first agency in the United States to help its employees earn the Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals (SCTPP) endorsed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
If you don’t happen to own a car or find yourself using ride-sharing apps often, you’d probably be familiar with Uber. While the taxi-like service is widely used amongst those who prefer to use ride-sharing apps, it has had its fair share of bad press since its inception in 2009. The company recently announced in New York City at an unveiling of its upcoming new features, that it aims to make safety a number one priority.
There’s a good reason all roads in the U.S. have maximum posted speed limits. Speeding while behind the wheel is incredibly dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding killed 10,111 people in 2016. This accounted for 27% of all traffic fatalities. Despite the dangers, many Lubbock drivers continue to speed, putting everyone on the roadways at risk. To combat speeding drivers, the Lubbock Police Department is cracking down on violators.
Rideshare company Uber shocked the world last month when one of the driverless vehicles it is testing hit and killed a pedestrian crossing the road. The accident, which took place in Tempe, Arizona, was the first fatality caused by a self-driving vehicle. The car’s manufacturer, Volvo, wants to make sure consumers know it was not their safety features that failed during the accident – it was a distracted driver and disabled safety features.
Texas was one of only a few states to not enact a statewide texting while driving ban until last September. Previously, it was up to cities to pass ordinances to reduce this dangerous behavior; and, while some cities like Austin have long since embraced texting and driving bans, other cities like Houston had not. In September 2017, the Texas statewide texting and driving ban finally went in to effect. With the increasing number of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving, the ban should have helped reduced the number of accidents, but in the six months since it went into effect, the ban has been off to a rough start.
Safety technology in motor vehicles has come long way over the years. Cars are now being equipped with lasers that can detects cars, pedestrians, and other hazards and apply the brakes all before the driver knows what happened. This type of technology is helping to prevent accidents and injuries across the country, and now these same technologies are being applied to some of the most dangerous motor vehicles: semi trucks. Tesla Motors is manufacturing semiautonomous 18-wheelers that could drastically reduce the number of trucking accidents.
According to the Pew Research Center, over 95% of Americans now own at least one cell phone. While cell phones allow for greater communication, they are having a devastating effect on driving safety. Many drivers use their cell phones while driving and it’s causing an astonishing number of car accidents. Data from the National Safety Council revealed a distracted driver using a cell phone causes one in every four car crashes.