The Flood Insurance Affordability & Sustainability Act of 2017 would establish a 10-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, which is poised to expire at the end of September. The draft bill by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., would phase in private flood coverage.
Crash-test dummy manufacturer Humanetics has created a new model intended to better represent the height and weight of an increasing number of American drivers. The company is also developing a more fragile dummy to help illustrate greater risks for older drivers.
Owners of older vehicles can take advantage of relatively affordable aftermarket safety technology such as forward-collision warning systems, blind-spot monitoring and emergency assistance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says forward-collision warning capability can lower the risk of crashes by 27%.
Storms throughout the South are blamed for at least two flood-related deaths in North Carolina this week. The severe weather also caused property damage in Alabama and led to a tornado watch in central Georgia.
Swollen rivers and greater-than-usual snowpack are posing serious flood risk in Idaho, with flooding already affecting farmland. President Donald Trump has issued emergency declarations for parts of the state, and 33 additional counties recently became eligible for federal recovery aid.
The Texas Senate Thursday voted 31-0 in favor of a bill that would establish minimum safety standards for self-driving vehicles and autonomous driving systems. The measure would preclude additional autonomous-vehicle regulation by local governments.
Legislation in states including New Jersey, North Carolina and Vermont would crack down further on seat-belt use. Primary seat-belt laws, which allow police to pull over drivers for violations, are in effect in 34 states, while 15 states have laws allowing drivers to be ticketed if pulled over for another offense.
President Donald Trump introduced his tax-overhaul plan this week, which includes a proposed repeal of the estate tax. The announcement, however, offered no specific information about such a repeal, and advisers suggest staying the course on estate planning in the meantime.
Tesla has begun updating automatic-braking software in its vehicles produced within the past six months. Consumer Reports, however, had already reduced its ratings for the Model X and Model S over the lack of a functional sensor-based emergency-braking feature.
PCI's Robert Gordon said the number of fatal vehicular crashes has risen 14% since 2014, the highest rate of increase in decades, while pedestrian deaths are up 22% and severe accidents are up 12.2%. "It is not surprising that the percent of accidents involving phone distractions has increased, but we believe the real increase is far more than the official statistics," Gordon told a National Transportation Safety Board panel on Wednesday.
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