Georgia Records Drop in Pedestrian Accident Fatalities in 2014

Georgia looks set to record a decline in pedestrian fatalities in 2014. During the first six months of 2014, those numbers dropped to 50 pedestrian fatalities, from 76 fatalities during the same period of time in 2013.

The statistics were released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which presented its pedestrian fatality data for 2014. The report has certain interesting findings. For example, it shows that pedestrian fatalities are now much more likely to occur in urban areas. Back in 1975, approximately 59% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas, and that number increased to 73% by 2013.

One statistic has remained consistent since 1975. Males account for approximately 70% of all fatalities.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Pedestrian accidents , Traffic Fatalities | Permalink

Distracted Driving Statistics

It has been called the drunk driving of this generation, and for a valid reason. The number of people killed in accidents related directly to distracted driving is increasing, and there is a vast body of research to prove it.

Teens and Distracted Driving

According to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10% of all motorists below the age of 20 involved in fatal accidents were reportedly distracted at the time. In fact, the under 20 age group is a high-risk category for distracted driving. Teenagers are heavy consumers of social media and smart phone technology, a deadly combination that increases the potential that they are glued to their devices while at the wheel.  

Texting While Driving

According to statistics, at any given moment in time, there are at least 660,000 American drivers using their cell phones at the wheel. That number has remained steady since 2010 in spite of the fact that during this period of time a number of states have passed laws banning texting while driving.

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Loss of Control, Intoxicated Driving Account for Most Motorcycle Accident Claims

New data released by a major insurance company indicates that single-vehicle motorcycle accident claims accounted for the highest number of claims processed in 2014.

The data were released by insurer Progressive Corp., which said that it processed 3.4 times more single-vehicle motorcycle accident claims in 2014. These single-vehicle accidents typically involved intoxicated driving or loss of control due to excessive speed.

According to Progressive, it processed more single-vehicle motorcycle accident claims than rear-end accident claims, crashes at intersections, and stolen motorcycles combined. That means that motorcyclists must be more careful and vigilant about their surroundings at all times.

Riding at high speeds contributes to a significant proportion of motorcycle accidents every year because it hinders the ability to take evasive action in time to prevent an accident. Likewise, riding under the influence of alcohol also increases collision risks, because it impairs the rider’s ability to observe and judge accident cues.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In DUI , Insurance Law , Motorcycles | Permalink

New Study Focuses on Specific Accident Risks Facing Senior Citizens

With the proportion of senior motorists across the country and on Atlanta roads expected to balloon over the next couple of decades, it's not surprising that leading auto safety groups in the country are turning their attention to senior motorist safety. The AAA Foundation recently announced that it is investing in research that focuses on accident risks involving senior motorists.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is investing $12 million in the study into the driving behaviors of senior motorists. Researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will specifically investigate factors that affect senior motorist safety while driving. Those factors include prescription drug use that could impair a motorist’s driving abilities and increase the risk of drowsy driving accidents, as well as the impact of deteriorating vision on senior drivers.

As part of the study, drivers between the ages of 65 and 79 will be recruited in several states around the country. Researchers will fit these motorists’ cars with GPS devices to monitor and observe driving patterns. The researchers will use the data that emerges from the study to analyze senior driving patterns and devise solutions to core safety problems.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Medications , Senior Citizens | Permalink

Volvo Introduces Night Spray Paint to Make Bicycling Safer

Bicycling at night is a major accident risk. However, a new glow-in-the-dark spray paint that has been introduced by Volvo will help bicyclists stand out in the dark, and reduce their accident risks.

You don't often see automakers coming up with products that are designed to help bicyclists and pedestrians, but Volvo appears to be the exception. In the past, it has come up with automobile design innovations to help reduce the risk to pedestrians and bicyclists.  Now, the automaker has gone one step further, and introduced a new night spray paint designed to be sprayed not just on a bicycle, but all accessories. Simply spray the paint on the bicycle, on your bag, and your clothes. The paint is invisible, and cannot be seen in the daytime. However, during nighttime, and in the glare of car headlights, the paint begins to glow.

Seasoned bicyclists know that it’s important to be visible while riding at night. For years now, bicyclists in Atlanta have stuck reflective tape to their clothes, bag and bicycles to increase their visibility at night time. However, the spray-paint goes one step further than reflective tape by making bicyclists glow-in-the-dark and much harder to miss.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Bicycle Injury Claims , Pedestrian accidents | Permalink

Alcohol, Pot Involved in Half of All Accidents Involving Teens, Young Adults

Alcohol and drugs are a leading cause of death involving persons in the 18-25 age group in the United States. However, a new study indicates that alcohol and drug use may be much more prominent factors in car accidents involving teenagers and young adult motorists.

According to a new study, 50% of all deaths involving teenagers and young adults in car accidents involve the use of alcohol or marijuana. In fact, researchers who conducted the study expressed concerns that the growing wave of legalization of marijuana around the country could spell disaster for young motorist safety. These motorists are already at a higher risk of alcohol use, drug use, and other kinds of dangerous driving practices. The researchers speculate that the increasing availability of marijuana and easing of restrictions on the use of pot have not had any effect on the popularity of alcohol among these drivers.

The study found that accident victims above the age of 21 were much more likely than younger victims to be driving with a combination of marijuana and alcohol in their system. About 50.3%, of young motorists who died were either stoned or drunk at the time of their accidents. In total, 37% of the motorists tested positive for alcohol at the time of their deaths, while 5.9% tested positive for marijuana. In 7.6% of the cases, the motorists had both alcohol and marijuana in their system.

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Young Adults More Likely to Suffer Serious Injuries in Accidents

It’s a fact that young adults and teenagers are at a much higher risk of accidents and injuries. Studies also indicate that this group of drivers is more likely to be injured severely in accidents.

A new study finds that young adults and teenagers are much more likely to suffer critical injuries that require them to be rushed to hospital emergency rooms after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Those findings came from a study of data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study found that there were 4 million emergency room visits after accidents in 2010-2011. In fact, auto accidents accounted for approximately 10% of all emergency room visits across the country.

Age was a common factor in most of the persons who were rushed to ERs after being involved in an accident. For every 10,000 persons rushed to ERs for treatment after an accident, 286 persons were between the age of 16 and 24. Among persons above 65, the rate was just 65 for 10,000 persons, and in the case of persons below the age of 18, the rate was 70 for every 10,000 persons.

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The Safest and Most Dangerous Automobiles

Auto accident fatality rates are at their lowest levels in decades, and the average Atlanta motorist now has a much higher likelihood of walking away relatively unharmed from an accident, compared to the past. However, motorists in some cars remain at a much higher risk of dying in accidents, compared to motorists in other cars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently confirmed that improved auto design has contributed significantly to the reduction in traffic accident fatalities in the United States over the past decade. In fact, according to IIHS, the chances of a fatality occurring in an accident involving late model automobiles dropped by more than one- third over the past decade.

The good news is that if you are driving a newer automobile that comes with advanced safety features, your chances of surviving an accident are extremely high. However, the bad news is that there is a wide gap between fatality rates involving newer automobiles and the most dangerous automobiles.  According to the data, among model year 2011 model automobiles, nine vehicles had a fatality rate of zero. In the other list, there are at least three cars that have fatality rates that are higher than 100 per million registered vehicle years.

Among the safest cars with the lowest risk of driver fatalities are the following.

·         Audi A4

·         Honda Odyssey

·         Kia Sorento

·         Lexus RX 350 4WD

·         Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

·         Subaro Legacy

·         Toyota Highlander Hybrid

·         Toyota Sequoia

·         Honda Pilot

·         Mercedes-Benz M-Class

·         Ford Crown Victoria.

These and other vehicles were linked to fewer than six driver fatalities for every 100 million registered years.

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Highway Safety Group Recommends Stronger GDL Laws, Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Laws for Georgia

Highway accident fatalities in Georgia have been on the decline over the past few years, but the state could make more progress towards keeping more motorists safer on its roads. That is the opinion of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, an organization that rates all 50 states each year on their highway safety performance.

The report ranks states in three color-coded categories - green, yellow and red. Green signifies the best performance and indicates that the state has complied with most of the group’s recommended highway safety laws, and yellow signifies that while the state has made some progress in complying with these laws, there still remains a lot more work to be done. Red is the worst rating on the scale and is only given to those states that have failed to enact important safety laws.

This year, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety gave Georgia a Yellow rating for its performance in complying with critical safety laws that help prevent accidents. The group ranked states based on the state’s compliance with laws related to child restraint use, seat belt use, drunk driving prevention, distracted driving prevention, graduated driver licensing laws, motorcycle helmet laws and others.

Most states in the report fared badly in the graduated driver's license (GDL) category.  The group recommended that Georgia’s graduated driver’s licensing laws be changed to mandate 16 as the minimum age for a person to receive a learner’s permit. (Currently, Georgia drivers can receive a learner’s permit at 15 years old with no formal driving training at all.)

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What To Do When You've Been in an Accident

 When it comes to car accidents, there’s a broad spectrum of damage and the emotions that accompany it. From the bitter annoyance of your car getting bumped in a parking lot to the absolute turmoil of a more serious, life threatening accident. Where ever an accident falls on the spectrum, there is one emotion that can follow any accident: dread. In the weeks following a very minor incident in a crowded parking garage, I felt this dread. My driving became hyper aware, nervous that a possible accident was around ever corner. While this rapt attention is certainly appropriate, the dread only subsided when I recognized how to react when an accident does occur. In this post today, we’ll discuss what to do when you’re in an accident.

Keep in mind, every accident is different. Some steps apply more to certain types of car accidents than others. Think of each step as being prefaced with “as necessary.”

  1. Stay calm!

During a car accident, even the most minor ones, your adrenaline shoots up! It is hard to stay focused on getting the proper information from the other driver and assessing the situation. While this is not entirely a bad thing, as you’re often focusing on your and your passengers’ physical well-being, it can present an obstacle if you’re unable to exchange insurance information, call the police, or remain safe at the scene of the accident.

2. Call the police.

If there is significant property damage, bodily injury, or death, this step is absolutely crucial. Unfortunately, without a police report of the accident, the accident can become a he said/she said circumstance. Police officers can mitigate the confusion in these instances. Keep in mind, without a police report, it’s hard for the involved insurance carriers and attorneys to truly understand or prove what actually happened.

3.  Assess Injuries.

When our clients choose the Katz team, there is one thing we always emphasize over everything else: get better! There is nothing more important than getting the medical treatment you need after an accident, both immediately and in the days and months afterwards.

Immediately following an accident, it is crucial to assess the injuries of all those involved. At times, you may be called upon to help administer first aid or request it yourself. In some circumstances, reacting quickly can be the difference between harm and heartbreak. As necessary, seek medical attention at the scene and proceed to the hospital as needed.

4. Exchange Information.

Don’t expect the other driver to volunteer their insurance information immediately. For a range of reasons, this step can be forgotten or ignored, but it is absolutely crucial. Do you best to gather their name, insurance provider, policy number, car make and model, and license plate number. Be courteous with the other driver, but don’t place blame on either party (e.g. “I’m so sorry I turned too early…”). Immediately following an accident, it is sometimes unclear what actually caused the accident and who was at fault. Don’t assume legal liability.

5. Gather witness contact information.

While it is generally the police officer’s responsibility to gather witness statements, don’t assume they will always do so. When the cirumstance allows, ask witnesses what they saw and request their contact information. This can always help if there is a question of liability.

6. Contact Insurance Providers

As soon as you can, report the incident to your auto insurance provider.

7. Call a Personal Injury Attorney.

Many, if not most, personal injury attorneys offer free consultations on your accident. At Katz, Stepp, Wright and Fleming, we seek to understand the nature of the accident as a whole, and for that reason, we will ask you questions regarding the accident and any injuries you or your passengers sustained. Keep in mind that it is in the interest of the insurance company to settle the claim quickly, at times without waiting for you to be treated sufficiently for your injuries. At our office, our job is to make sure you get the settlement you need to help you recover your losses and to reach maximum medical improvement.

Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of life, accidents happen. When they do, follow these steps as best you can and you’ll feel greater peace of mind in your time of stress and confusion.

If you have been in an accident, call us at 404-240-0400 for a free consultation.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Auto Accident Claims | Permalink