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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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In DUI , Safety Studies , Teen Drivers | Permalink

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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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In Safety Studies , Teen Drivers , Traffic Fatalities | Permalink

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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Company Introduces Inflatable Motorcycle Vest to Prevent Injuries

Motorcyclists are often seriously injured when involved in a crash. The most deadly of those injuries are head injuries. However, other injuries, including those that affect the person's neck and back may also leave a rider or passenger severely injured. One company has introduced an inflatable vest that will help reduce the risk of motorcycle injuries in an accident.

The inflatable vest has been developed by Spidi, and the vest is called the Neck DPS Airbag Tex Vest. According to Spidi, wearing the lightweight vest provides additional protection to riders and passengers who may be involved in a fall or collision. 

The vest has a double cushion that wraps itself around the neck region, reducing the risk of serious or fatal injuries in an accident. Wearing the vest also allows the motorcyclist to roll on the ground after impact, thereby reducing the potential for serious injuries when the person lands on asphalt. The vessel inflates in .2 seconds after a rider is thrown from their bike, and inflates with carbon dioxide from a canister. It is fairly lightweight at 420 grams. The vest can simply be remove after use, and recharged.  

Neck injuries in a motorcycle accident can leave a person completely or partially paralyzed, and in serious cases, result in death. A neck or spinal fracture can occur even if a person is wearing a helmet. There are few devices currently available to help reduce the risk of these types of injuries, which have terrible emotional and economic impacts on victims and their families.

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Drowsy Driving Is More Dangerous Than Many Believe

Sleep deprivation is far more common in the American population than many people realize. Unfortunately, far too many sleep-deprived American adults and teenagers don't think twice about getting behind the wheel when they're completely fatigued. According to statistics, 50% of adult drivers say that they have operated a motor vehicle in the past year while completely exhausted. 

Many motorists who would never dream of driving after consuming alcoholic beverages fail to recognize the potential for disaster when reflexes slow due to drowsiness. According to one study recently published in the journal Sleep, people who suffer from sleep difficulties or sleep disorders are twice as likely to die in a car accident. One of the more common sleep disorders is insomnia, but people who have trouble falling or staying asleep may also suffer from another disorder called sleep apnea.

In addition to failing to recognize how serious drowsy driving is, many drivers do not understand how to prevent it. According to one recent study, most motorists who want to remain awake roll-down the window, splash water on their faces, or turn music volume up to prevent themselves from falling asleep. According to the study, those tactics are ineffective, and the only method that really works to prevent drowsy driving is taking a nap. It makes sense to pull over somewhere safe, and take a break for at least 30 minutes to feel refreshed.  It should be noted that caffeine is a stop gap measure which can help a person remain alert, but its effectiveness tends to be short term.    

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Riding an Adult-Sized ATV Can Be Deadly for a Child

Pediatricians and child safety advocates have long known of the dangers involving children and adult all-terrain vehicles (ATV). However, according to a new study, children who ride adult-sized ATVs may have the highest risk of suffering fatal injuries in an accident.

According to the study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, fatal accidents were most likely to involve children riding adult-sized ATVs, or not wearing a helmet while riding. In 95% of the fatal ATV accidents analyzed in the study, the victims were riding large vehicles at the time. In spite of all the media attention on the dangers of these vehicles, far too many parents allow their children to drive adult-sized ATVs. Your child should not ride in an adult-sized ATV, even as a passenger.

Here’s a fact many parents may not know; in the United States, more children die in ATV accidents than in bicycle accidents. That’s partly because the dangers of riding on such vehicles isn’t fully appreciated by parents. In addition, the great majority of children do not have the kind of physical or cognitive maturity that is needed to operate an adult-sized ATV.

The study’s results were based on an analysis of fatalities in ATV accidents between 1985 and 2009. The number of fatalities involving children in these accidents increased significantly between 2001 and 2004, which some believe is linked to the popularity of heavier ATVs during this period of time.

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print this article Posted By Robert Katz In ATV Accidents , Children , Rollover accident | Permalink

Young Males in Large, New Vehicles More Likely to Survive Accidents

Being male, driving a large vehicle, or driving a new vehicle –these were some of the factors that are common to people who survive serious accidents. That data comes from a study that was conducted at the Indiana University School of Public Health.

The researchers reviewed more than 1,100 head-on accidents, and found that people between the ages of 15 and 24 were involved in more head-on accidents than drivers in other age groups. The researchers were able to identify those factors that were common to people who survived serious accidents. They found that while people in the 15 to 24 age category were involved in approximately 21% of all head-on accident, they had a fatality rate that was just 39%. That was the lowest fatality rate among all the other age groups that were involved in head-on accidents.

In addition, younger male drivers seemed to have the lowest risk of dying in a head-on accident. Women were much more likely to die in head-on accidents, although it isn't exactly clear why this is so. Besides gender, the size of vehicle also impacted a person's fatality risk. For years now, Atlanta car accident lawyers have been aware that driving larger vehicles like SUVs or pickup trucks is linked to a much higher chance of surviving a serious collision. These cars provide much greater protection against fatal injury, and have higher crashworthiness. The study also found that driving a new vehicle, seatbelt use, and airbag deployment increased a person's chances of surviving an accident.  

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White House Names December National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

 When most people think of the holiday season, they imagine cookies, presents, and parties. It is a time to spend with family and friends, celebrating love and togetherness. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a time of increased danger on the roads. With inclement weather and more drivers on the roads, traffic accidents are common at this time of year. In addition, one of the major causes of accidents during the holidays is drugged and intoxicated drivers.

The White House is observing National Impaired Driving Prevention Month this December. While the perils of drunk driving are well known, drugged driving can be just as dangerous. Even prescription drugs can impair perception, reaction time, judgment, and motor skills. In an extensive survey done by the National Highway Traffic Safety in Administration in 2007, one in eight nighttime, weekend drivers tested positive for illicit drugs. In 2012, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 10.3 million adolescents and adults admitted to having driven under the influence of drugs within the past year. In 2009, one in three fatally injured drivers with known drug-test results tested positive for drugs.

Seventeen states, including Georgia, have adopted zero tolerance or “per se” statutes that make it a crime to operate a vehicle while having alcohol or a drug in the body. Law enforcement officials and researchers believe that this type of statute is the most effective in dealing with drugged drivers. Georgia’s law makes it illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle “under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.”

 

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