IIHS still claiming red light cameras make us safer despite evidence to the contrary

red light camera

For opponents of traffic cameras, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety must surely be their worst enemy. The IIHS has already released a number of rather dubious reports as to the effectiveness of red light cameras, including community support for the technology. Perhaps the most blatant bit of devilry, however, occurred when the IIHS tweaked the definition of what constitutes an accident at an intersection. Under the new definition, only incidents that occur between the crosswalks are considered. We’re not entirely sure why the IIHS made this move. Our most logical guess is that it was done in an effort to provide empirical data backing up traffic camera technology. By counting only the accidents that occur between crosswalks, the IIHS found an effective way to omit rear-end collisions at red lights, thus showing a perceived reduction in accidents. Alterntively, more complete reports have often shown that a reduction in accidents between the crosswalks was counterbalanced by an increase in rear-end accidents as a result of panic braking.

The IIHS’ latest study follows the usual rhetoric that claims red light cameras are working great. Truthfully, this was not even an especially far-reaching study. In fact, it only followed four busy intersections, all of them in Arlington, Virginia, according to a report in The Car Connection. It still might seem odd that the IIHS reached the conclusion that it did, since the Virginia Transportation Research Council had previously released a study which found that red light cameras actually led to an increase in accidents. But the IIHS’ explanation here was simply a further skewing of statistics. The IIHS report actually said that red light cameras reduce the number of red light violations, and carefully avoided actually saying they reduced accidents.

The motivation for the IIHS report is seemingly simple. It represents the insurance industry, a group that profits from red light camera tickets as a pretext to increase rates. But this is really just one in a long series of reports regarding traffic cameras which makes the assumption that nobody is going to be looking at the results too closely. So we ask you, do you think traffic cameras compel you to drive more carefully and serve a real safety function, or is it just a ploy for insurance companies to exploit motorists?


Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Emerging Tech

Geoengineering is risky and unproven, but soon it might be necessary

Geoengineering is a field dedicated to purposely changing the world's climate using technology. Call it 'playing god' if you must; here's why its proponents believe it absolutely must happen.

Light on price but rich on features, these are the best cameras for students

Need pro-level features on a budget? The best cameras for students mix advanced features with a more palatable price point. From $2K entry level full frame cameras to $600 budget picks, here are five of the best cameras for students.

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.

Toyota leads $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving tech division

In a move that has been a long time coming, Uber filed its S-1 documents, which sets the stage for the company to finally go public with an initial public offering. The company could be valued at more than $100 billion.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Samsung Galaxy Fold woes, zombie pigs, and more

Today's topics: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Facebook A.I. voice assistants, YouTube comes to Fire TV, facial recognition on airline flights, the SpaceX DART program, Yale's zombie pigs, and much more!

Electric car buying guide: What you need to know before you buy

EVs are better than they've ever been, but buying your first battery-powered car can be an intimidating experience. Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive guide that walks you through the process of buying an EV.

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.

Apple’s interest in self-driving cars reported to be revving up

A new report suggests that Apple is in talks with a number of suppliers to purchase lidar sensors, an essential tool for self-driving cars. The news is once again spiking rumors that Apple might be building vehicles.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!