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The seatbelt still continues to be the most effective life-saving device in modern automobiles, and new research indicates that Americans are now using it at record highs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported that American motorists are buckling up at greater rates than ever before. The Agency reported that as many as 90% of all American motorists now buckle up when they drive. That percentage also includes all front seat passengers.

During 2015, seat belt use helped save as many as 14,000 lives in accidents. Since 1975, NHTSA estimates that more than 345,000 lives have been saved as a result of the use of seatbelts.  However, failure to wear seat belts still kills.  In spite of high seat belt usage rates in 2015, as many as 40% of traffic accident fatalities that year were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

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Buying toys and gifts for loved ones this season?  Here are some tips to keep in mind, especially if shopping for young children.

Many popular toys come with severe injury risks, specifically the risk of eye injuries.  Injuries involving toys are far too common to ignore. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 2014, there were approximately 251,800 injuries related to the use of toys reported to emergency rooms across the United States. That works out to approximately 500 child injuries every single day. Nearly 50% of these injuries involved children below the age of four.  And a significant 44% of those injuries involved injuries to the face and head areas.

The eyes are especially vulnerable to impact from projectiles, or sharp edges on children’s toys. These injuries can be severe, and even have permanent effects on the victim.  One study published recently in the JAMA Ophthalmology journal found that air guns, basketballs and baseballs cause approximately 50% of all sports-related eye injuries.

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It comes as no surprise that many serious motor vehicle accidents are the result of distracted driving.  Yet there continues to be many misconceptions about what pulls drivers’ attention from the roadway.  The National Safety Council says there are several myths about distracted driving that motorists need to be aware of.

Myth Number One:  Ability to multi-task

Many drivers believe that they are capable of effectively multitasking while behind the wheel, but this is simply not true.  The human brain is simply not designed to perform more than one challenging activity at the same time, especially when those activities require some amount of thinking.  When the brain is required to switch between two tasks frequently, it slows down reaction times, and if the person is driving a car, the result could very well be an accident.

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Many accidents that are caused when a vehicle veers out of its lane and hits another car are believed to be the result of motorists being sleep deprived, driving under the influence alcohol or drugs, or suffering a serious medical condition. A new study confirms this.

According to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, incapacitation was the key factor in approximately 34% of lane-drift accidents studied as part of the research. Incapacitation here refers to a motorist dozing off while sleeping, blacking out in a medical emergency, or passing out under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The research focused on approximately 630 lane-drift accidents that occurred between 2005 and 2007, and found that in approximately 17% of the accidents, the driver fell asleep at the wheel just before the accident. In another 17% of the crashes, the driver either blacked out at the wheel due to drug or alcohol use, or suffered a medical emergency like diabetic shock, seizure or heart attack.

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Georgia’s laws clearly define eligibility criteria for a wrongful death claim. The laws also define the statute of limitations for filing a claim and allow for several different types of damages to be recovered.

Under Georgia law, the spouse of the deceased has the first claim to damages. If the spouse isn’t available, the children may file a wrongful death claim. If there are no children available to file a claim either, surviving parents of the deceased may bring a claim. If none of these parties are available to file a claim, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages.

Under Georgia’s wrongful death laws, the survivors of the deceased / personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file to recover the following types of damages.

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Motorists trying to catch critters are at a serious risk of injuring themselves and others in accidents. According to an analysis of Twitter posts related to Pokémon Go, far too many people are playing the game as they are driving or walking.

In fact, according to statistics, there have been at least 14 accidents directly linked to persons playing Pokémon Go. These accidents occurred in July. In one incident, a motorist drove his car into a tree. In other incidents, motorists suddenly slammed on their brakes and jumped out of their cars in busy traffic to catch the critters. Pedestrians have also been found walking into traffic as they were playing.

The analysis of Twitter posts found that approximately 18% of tweets involved persons who were playing Pokémon go while driving. 11% of the tweets seemed to indicate that a passenger in the car was playing. About 4% of the tweets involved pedestrians who were struck by cars or almost struck by cars while playing Pokémon Go.

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Thousands of accidents in the United States every year are linked not to drunk driving, or speeding, but to road debris. According to a new study, these accidents killed as many as 500 people between 2011 and 2014.

The data were released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and found that road debris was responsible for more than 200,000 car accidents in the United States over a four-year period. These resulted in approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 fatalities. An analysis of the data indicate worse news. It appears that accidents that are linked directly to road debris have increased by 40% since the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety began analyzing these risks back in 2011.

Most accidents seem to be the result of drivers swerving the car in order to avoid hitting a piece of debris on the road. About 37% of all fatalities occurred in accidents like these. In these cases, the driver is at a high risk of losing control of the steering and the vehicle.

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Alarming statistics indicate that the rate of motorcycle accident fatalities in the United States in 2015 actually increased by 10% over the previous year.

The statistics were contained in a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). According to the GHSA, the statistics are a very stark and clear reminder of the continuous and ongoing danger that motorcyclists face when they are riding on American roadways.

According to the statistics, there were a total of 5,010 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2015. There were 450 fewer fatalities in 2014. Overall, 2015 also marked only the third year in American history that the total number of motorcycle accident fatalities crossed the 5,000 mark.

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Children who suffer even a mild brain injury like a concussion can suffer long-term health consequences that may be evident for years after the injury.

According to a new study that was conducted in Sweden, young people who have suffered even a mild brain injury are at risk for various health problems including psychiatric problems later in life. They may also be at risk of dying prematurely.

The study was based on an analysis of 100,000 persons who had suffered a traumatic brain injury before they reached the age of 25. Children who had suffered an injury were found to be more likely to die early, and also suffer psychological problems as adults. The risk of long-term consequences was higher among children who were older when they suffered the injury, as well as those who suffered more severe injuries or had repeated injuries.

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In addition to the at-fault driver, it is possible to hold other people or entities responsible for injuries caused in a drunk driving accident.  Under Georgia’s dram shop laws, sellers and servers of alcohol can be sued for monetary compensation if they have acted negligently.

Dram shop liability refers to the exposure commercial establishments such as restaurants, bars, liquor stores, hotels, or clubs have related to the sale of alcohol to customers. Georgia’s dram shop laws make a commercial drinking establishment like a pub or club liable for damages if the establishment serves alcohol to minors under the age of 21. The laws also allow an alcohol provider to be held liable when an establishment serves alcohol to a person who is noticeably intoxicated and is likely to drive a car after.

It is important to understand that an experienced dram shop attorney often makes all the difference in these complex cases.  For example, the dram shop laws in Georgia do require that commercial establishment employees be aware that an intoxicated person intends to operate a motor vehicle after drinking. That makes it more challenging for drunk driving accident victims and their families to hold a commercial establishment legally liable for damages.  Staff members frequently claim that they had no way of knowing how the intoxicated person would travel after leaving the drinking hole.