Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Distractions play a major part in accidents involving teenage drivers. However, the impact of distraction on teen safety may be much higher than earlier believed. According to a new report by AAA, about 60% of all teen driver car accidents involve distractions of some kind.

The American Automobile Association says that most teenage drivers involved in accidents are talking on the cell phone, texting, or engaged in other distractions while driving. These other distractions include talking to passengers in the car.

The study found that 15% of accidents involving teenage drivers can be traced to talking to passengers.

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When it comes to preventing distracted driving, all of the onus is on motorists. While there are laws in place to punish distracted drivers, these are often difficult to enforce or incorporate mild punishments, and are therefore not as effective as needed. Far too many motorists are very comfortable with texting while driving.

It is these types of motorists that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is targeting with a new social media initiative. As part of the effort, NHTSA’s official Twitter account has been naming and shaming Twitter users who reference distracted driving or using cell phones while driving in a flippant way.

The agency’s Twitter feed has garnered a lot of attention in recent weeks for its very targeted, specific, and clear messages to Twitter users who joke about texting while driving, or seem nonchalant about the dangers of distracted driving. In one message, the agency sharply scolds a Twitter user who seems blasé about the dangers of using the SnapChat app while driving.  In another, it offers words of appreciation and praise for a user who seems very clued-in to the dangers of distracted driving.

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Almost all motorists recognize the dangers associated with driving while distracted or drunk, but did you know that driving while emotionally distressed also significantly increases your risk of being in a motor vehicle collision? New studies confirm that persons driving while upset, sad or angry place themselves and other motorists at substantial risk.

According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, motorists who are driving when they’re angry, sad or otherwise emotionally off-center increase their accident risk by ten fold. In fact, according to the study, the risks of driving in an emotionally distressed state are much higher than driving while distracted. The study found that driving while engaged in activities that caused the driver to take his or her eyes off of the road, like using a cell phone or texting, doubled the accident risk for motorists.

There is a reason why emotional driving may be even more dangerous than distracted driving and other types of dangerous behaviors. When a person is emotionally off kilter, they often fail to recognize how it may impact their ability to drive safely. In comparison, motorists who text while driving or use a cell phone while driving are usually aware that what they’re doing increases the risk of an accident. In other words, if you’re driving in an emotionally fatigued or overly excited state, you may not appreciate the need to slow down or be more cautious while driving.

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Seatbelts are arguably the single most important automobile safety invention in history. However, when seatbelts are defective, there is a serious risk of injury to car occupants.

Seatbelt use across the United States is at close to all-time highs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, seatbelt use across the United States reached 88.5%. That was an increase from 86.7% recorded in 2014. Although that is not believed to be a statistically significant difference, it is encouraging to note that Americans continue to buckle up even though cars now come with several high-tech safety features. The fact is that in many different types of accidents, it is the seatbelt that significantly reduces the risk of serious injuries or death.

Make sure that you and other people in your car are always buckled-up while driving. Children must not be restrained in seatbelts unless they have reached the proper age and weight.

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Calendar year 2015 did not provide great news for motorists in Georgia. Not only was there a spike in the total number of people killed in car accidents across the state last year, but there also appears to be a rise in the number of people killed in alcohol-related car accidents.

The rise in Georgia’s car accident fatalities numbers is concerning. After declines were reported for close to nine consecutive years, traffic accident death numbers actually increased in 2015. In 2015, more than 1,300 people died in car accidents, and at least 25 % of those fatalities are estimated to have involved an impaired motorist.

The 25% number has not been confirmed yet, because the final numbers are still being compiled. Exact details about the alcohol percentage in each of these fatalities is not yet known, but based on past data, it’s quite reasonable to believe that the 2015 numbers involving drunk driving was very high. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that two years ago, 27% all traffic accident fatalities were directly linked to intoxicated motorists. It can take months for lab results to arrive and be verified, and final statistics for 2015 will not be confirmed until months from now. However, all initial indicators point to an increase in the number of people killed as a direct result of being involved in an accident with an intoxicated motorist.

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Almost every motorist at some point or another driven while being too tired. This includes driving in a state in which they were frequently yawning, or nodding off to sleep while driving.

Drowsy driving is a silent killer on American roads, contributing to as many as one in six fatal accidents and thousands of injuries. However, there are no reliable ways to measure drowsiness, and motorists are very rarely likely to admit that they were indeed fatigued while driving. Therefore, the actual number of drowsy driving accidents is potentially much higher than estimated.

If you are driving, and notice yourself doing the following, it is time to pull over somewhere safe and take a break.

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Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t necessarily have to pick up the phone to answer your cell phone to become distracted while driving. The notification of an incoming call or message could be sufficient to distract you enough to cause an accident.

According to a new study, distractions don’t have to involve text messaging or talking on a cell phone at the wheel. Even cell phone alerts can cause a person’s mind to wander, and that distraction could actually cause or contribute to a motor vehicle collision.

The results of the study conducted at Florida State University show just how distracting cell phone-related noises really are. When a person hears a cell phone beep or ring informing him about an incoming SMS message, the person’s mind immediately is diverted from the task of driving, and toward the message or call. Even if the person does not pick up the phone to answer the call or read the text message, his mind is now diverted, and he is distracted. The researchers admit that they were surprised at the level of distraction simple cell phone notification alerts can cause.

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You know who doesn’t take the day off for Labor Day? The police! As a matter of fact, law enforcement departments across the country have announced they’re cracking down on careless driving and DUIs this weekend like never before.

There’s good reason for that.

Labor Day is the second deadliest holiday in America. (Only Thanksgiving claims more lives.) Each year, this single weekend sees tens of thousands of arrests on the highways, and the overwhelming majority of them are for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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The hype over self-driven cars continues to increase, even as the federal officials warn that automakers must innovate while keeping in mind concerns involving privacy and hacking.

Hackers recently proved that they were capable of hacking a car remotely, and operating it. In a daring stunt, they managed to seize control of a Jeep Cherokee, and operated it from the comfort of their living room. Cyber security concerns are even higher in the case of self-driven cars that are very vulnerable to such malicious practices. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chief recently said that issues like privacy and hacking must be priorities, as automakers innovate further in the development of cars that will drive themselves.

NHTSA has assured the auto industry that it will share some of the vehicle-to-vehicle technology that self-driven cars would be based on. The government also wants a number of parties including software developers and telecommunications companies to work together to find solutions to cyber security threats and privacy breaches in these cars. The agency wants the auto industry to take safety lessons from the airline industry.

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Even after a teenage driver has acquired a license, his or her driving skills may continue to be below that of older drivers.A recent study put a number of teenage motorists who had acquired a full license through a simulated driving test, and found that many of the teen drivers crashed in the task.

The teenagers went through the 35-minute driving assessment which included replications of the most common accident scenarios.Approximately four out of every 10 newly licensed drivers crashed in the test, and according to researchers, this suggests that they lacked the critical driving skills that they needed to stay safe while driving in a real-world environment.Data also showed that approximately 29% of the adult drivers crashed in the test, while among teen drivers, the crash rate was more than 49%.

This suggests that even after they obtain a full license, most teen motorists lack the critical driving abilities required to stay safe on the roads. Teenagers who had just obtained a license, the researchers found, were good at the basics, but lacked the ability to identify accident cues in their environment, and react immediately to such hazards. That placed them and their passengers at a high risk of being involved in a motor vehicle collision.