About One in Three of All Road Deaths Involve Speeding

Despite the attached article and additional images referring specifically to European countries, the same ‘speed’ scenario and dangers undeniably apply in the USA and Canada, too.

Infographic showing the dangers of excess speed.
A 2017 WHO infographic from Europe which is universal in its applicability in all developed nations.

Did you know that, on average, 1 in 3 deaths on roads in high-income countries are due to speed?  (More info.)

The speeds shown in the infographic, above — 30, 50 and 80 — refer to kilometres per hour (km/h) and are equivalent to 17, 31 and 50mph.

Takata Airbag Recall: List of All Affected Vehicles (July 2018)

The Takata airbag crisis has become so huge that a big reminder is needed, so this article gives access to a list of all of the different types of vehicle affected.  Check the list for yours, today!

Photograph of a car that has just been in a collision. The airbags have inflated but are now in the process of deflating, and the car's two occupants are still in their seats, stunned.
This photo was taken no more than 2 seconds after the collision that triggered the airbags, which are now in the process of deflating. The driver and his passenger are still in the car, stunned. Possibly through distraction, the car driver had just collided with the back of a stationary truck — not an “accident,” an act of negligence; a collision. Copyright image.

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They’re No Good at Parallel Parking in Massachusetts! (humor)

A little bit of humor for the weekend but there are, of course, downsides to this.

Photograph of a pick up truck parked almost at right angles to the curb/kerb, completely blocking half the road.
There was actually plenty of space to have parked this pick-up truck properly and unloaded it, but this “abandon ship” method apparently suited the driver’s convenience better — or maybe just the Massachusetts maritime mentality! (Copyright image, 2017.)

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Dangerous Passing in the Early Morning

As we were driving southwards, at the very start of the morning rush hour, this road sweeper went by in the opposite direction, kicking up a cloud of thick dust.

Photo of a pavement sweeper in a long construction zone.
A slow-moving road sweeper — perhaps doing 15-20mph — triggered some drivers to dangerously overtake it illegally, on double yellow lines.  (Copyright image, 2018.)

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Dangerous Intersections Awaiting Long-Overdue Roundabouts

At the east end of the evocatively-named Rip Van Winkle Bridge in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York State is a seriously dangerous intersection where, briefly, routes 23 and 9G merge together.

Photograph of the southern merge point of routes 23 and 9G in Columbia County, NY.
A combination of inadequately-educated drivers crossing paths, at significant speeds, with impatient drivers at three separate locations within this photograph has led to many serious crashes over the years. At long last, it is now set to be replaced with a roundabout and this inevitably will lead to a significant reduction in serious injuries and deaths. According to NYDOT, work is scheduled to commence in summer and end in fall, 2018, although time might be running out for that. (Copyright image, 2018.)

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Sometimes Road Signs Speak the Truth – 1 (humor)

Sometimes, permanent traffic signs almost seem to be designed to be ignored (and therefore lose much of their safety value at relevant times).  One classic example of this, in the lower 48 states of the USA, might be the very common signs stating ‘Road Subject to Ice,’ but in a late July heatwave it’s a pretty safe bet they don’t mean ‘right now!’

Photograph of a school bus driving through floodwater.
The permanently positioned sign on the right reads ‘Water Over Roadway’ and it would seem to be telling the truth at this particular moment in time!  Clearly this is a relatively common event at this location.  (Copyright image, 2017.)

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Street Design Changes in New York City are Saving Lives But Can More be Done?

A selected, urban component of the Vision Zero approach to highway safety is undoubtedly helping to save lives in New York City.

Aerial view of city crossroads and crosswalks.
City streets are the equal most-dangerous location for road users in the USA, but a carefully-planned Vision Zero approach to street layout and design — not shown in this photo — can do a great deal to reduce casualties. (Copyright image, 2012.)

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International Road Safety Annual Report 2018 – The USA Does Very Badly Again

In the latest edition of what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive international summary of global road safety each year, the mission statement for the USA is:  ‘Dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle safety and reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.’  However, as the following figures and references will show, this stated goal may be true regarding the intent but actual U.S. outcomes over recent decades have been a very long way indeed from any “highest standards of excellence.”

Photograph of the scene of a fatal road crash in the USA.
A fatal road traffic crash (not “accident”) which I encountered by chance during my frequent travel to conduct safe / defensive / advanced driving courses throughout the USA. (Copyright image, 2012.)

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Does Mexico do a Better Job with Road Signs than the USA?

While instructing on an advanced driving course recently in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, I was briefly found it funny when I saw this sign but after a few moments of humor I was more dismayed than amused.  Read on and you’ll find out why.

Photograph of a text-based road sign that reads 'Draw Bridge Ahead'.
The humor of this sign comes from the fact that it should be just one word:  “Drawbridge”.  To write ‘draw bridge ahead’ is an instruction to get your sketchbook and pencils ready!  But using text instead of images on traffic signs is actually an issue that harms road safety.  See the accompanying text.  (Copyright image, 2018.)

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