Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Thousands of injuries every year occur in accidents caused when motorists crash into disabled vehicles that have been parked onto the side of the road and are not visible to motorists.

According to a new report published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, these accidents result in hundreds of fatalities every year.  The data analyzed revealed that there were 566 car accident fatalities between 2016 and 2018, all involving accidents featuring a disabled or stopped vehicle. In all of these accidents, visibility was rated as a likely factor in the accident. These accidents resulted in more than 14,371 injuries, and cost more than $8.8 billion in lost income and other accident-related losses.

Visibility is often a major factor in these accidents. The researchers found that 95% of accidents involving stopped vehicles featured a vehicle crashing into the stationary or stopped vehicle. More than 50% of the fatalities involved a car hitting a person who was walking back to the stopped vehicle or working on the disabled vehicle. As many as one in 5 severe injuries were the result of such pedestrian motorists walking around the disabled car.  When the stopped vehicle situation occurs at night, it makes the chances of a collision ever more imminent.

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Summertime is usually a busy season for teen drivers as many prepare to get their driver’s license during the school break.  A new driver in the family can also mean that a new car is needed.  However, as new car production has dropped over the past year and the prices of used cars have skyrocketed, teens and novice drivers may find it harder to buy safe cars to drive.

A global shortage of microchips has caused a drop in the production of new cars.  Simultaneously, prices of used cars shot up in 2020, making used cars very expensive for parents of young teen drivers. Typically, parents of teen drivers prefer to buy used cars so that their children gain experience driving in an affordable car before they move on to a new car of their own. This has also traditionally been the thinking of parents in the Atlanta area for decades.

However, the market for used cars has ballooned in 2021, and prices for some models have increased significantly. This means that many teens now have a much smaller range of models from which to choose. The danger is that many parents might neglect the importance of safety features when buying a car for their child. Many older cars do not come with key safety technologies, and it is likely that in a seller’s market parents may feel the pressure to choose a car that is within their budget but  not necessarily the safest one for their child.

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Every year, over 36,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents on our nation’s roadways.  On top of that, 3 million people are injured every year as a result of a car crash.  Lawmakers are introducing a system approach to help reduce these injury statistics.  A set of 4 new bills that have been introduced in the US Congress tackle serious problems facing American motorists, and cover a range of subjects including auto safety and distracted driving.

The set of bills has been introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (Democrat-Connecticut) and Senator Edward Markey (Democrat -Massachusetts) who both sit on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.  All 4 bills are specifically focused on improvements in traffic safety strategies and infrastructure. The bills cover issues that significantly impact the safety of Georgia motorists, including distracted driving, the speed with which auto recalls are initiated in the United States as well as the safety and stability of car technology.

The first bill aims to understand more about the problems of distracted driving and solutions that can help resolve this menace. The bill is called the Stay Aware For Everyone Act, or the SAFE Act, and it will require the Department of Transportation to conduct studies into how auto technologies like driver monitoring technology can reduce the incidence of distracted driving by reducing driver distractions. The bill requires the DOT to specifically study driver disengagement as well as the possible irresponsible use of auto technology that could cause distractions.

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Summer driving season will be upon us soon, and with more people out and taking road trips this summer, the number of automobile accidents is bound to increase.  The National Transportation Safety Board last month released its list of transportation safety recommendations for 2021, and tackled critical areas like distracted driving, speeding and drunk driving.

Every year, the National Transportation Safety Board releases its much awaited Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. In the recent 2021- 2022 list, the National Transportation Safety Board gave its recommendations on a number of critical traffic safety areas that are responsible for causing thousands of accidents every year.

As expected, and as on most of its annual lists, the National Transportation Safety Board calls on state and federal authorities to invest in the prevention of accidents caused by the use of alcohol and drugs.  Accidents involving alcohol and drug- impaired driving are far too common, even in 2021.  The Board has drastic recommendations for the prevention of drunk driving accidents and recommends that states, like Georgia, roll back their minimum blood alcohol concentration limits to 0.05%, and require all motorists convicted of drunk driving to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles.

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, can be a very difficult condition to live with, and over a period of time can severely impact a person’s driving abilities. For this reason, it is very important for family members and caregivers to monitor the patient’s condition, and step in to take away car keys when these skills are severely impacted to prevent accident risks.

The ALS Association is marking ALS Awareness Month, and is drawing attention to this much-feared, but little known-about condition. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rare condition that can over a period of time lead to cognitive, physical and movement limitations. The symptoms of ALS can progress very quickly.  The average person who is diagnosed with ALS dies within a period of 5 years after receiving a diagnosis. The disease can progress very quickly, exacerbating the limitations it imposes, especially those involving the person’s physical and cognitive abilities.

Because ALS is a condition that progresses so quickly, it is very important for family members to make decisions about the patient’s independence, especially his mobility and driving, after a diagnosis.  Those abilities could worsen quickly as the disease progresses. Last year, one study found that patients who suffered from mild to moderate progression of the disease could continue driving safely. That study found that in spite of the weaknesses in movement and cognition that these drivers suffered, their driving abilities were on par with other persons who did not suffer from the disease. However, even in that study, the researchers warned that the findings of the study should not be taken to mean that patients with ALS can drive safely and without restrictions.

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Summer vacation season is fast approaching, and many Atlanta families are preparing to make trips out of town.  Many of these trips will involve long drives to faraway destinations.  These long drives, unfortunately, can come with an increased risk of fatigued or drowsy driving.

The Better Sleep Council is marking the month of May as Better Sleep Month, and is encouraging Americans to practice the good sleeping habits in order to avoid feeling the effects that fatigue and lack of sleep deprivation can cause. For motorists, sleep deprivation is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Several studies have indicated that a motorist who is driving after having had little sleep in the previous 24 hours, is as much at risk of being involved in a car accident as a person who’s driving under the influence of alcohol.

Maintaining consistent sleep patterns is key to getting sufficient sleep every day.  Ideally, you should be sleeping at the same time every day. Avoid scrolling through your mobile phone or exercising before you sleep.  Relaxing activities like reading will help put you in a better mood for sleep. The Better Sleep Council also recommends that you avoid alcohol and smoking before bed.

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Ride-sharing services have grown exponentially in popularity.  However, many passengers who ride in these vehicles often neglect to practice safe riding practices.  This also goes for parents riding with their children in ride-sharing vehicles.

Car safety seats are the single most important means of protection against serious injury or even death for children in an accident. However, many parents neglect to use these safety features when they are travelling in an Uber or a Lyft.

According to a new study, most parents who otherwise use car safety seats to protect their children fail to do so when they are travelling with children in a ride-sharing car. Those findings come from a recent study and have left researchers seriously alarmed because car accidents are the single biggest factor causing death among children below the age of 10 in the United States.  Using car safety protection is a significant factor that can help keep children safe while travelling.

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According to a new report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of wrong-way driving accidents in the U.S. increased by almost 35% in recent years.  Most wrong way driving accidents are the result of drunk driving, but they can also be caused by mistakes by older drivers or drowsy drivers.  The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently issued a list of guidelines for state transportation agencies to prevent these kinds of accidents.

Wrong-way driving accidents are some of the most devastating accidents  that occur on Atlanta roads.   These accidents typically involve head-on collisions that occur at high speeds that result in fatalities. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a primary cause of wrong-way driving accidents.  Drunk driving – specifically, driving while excessively intoxicated – is strongly linked to wrong-way driving. Excessive alcohol intoxication or a blood alcohol concentration level that is between 0.8 and .15%, or close to double the legally permitted blood alcohol concentration level in Georgia, is often linked to these devastating driving errors.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety advises that state transportation agencies increase their implementation of DUI checkpoints or sobriety checkpoints.  The Foundation also advises states like Georgia to strengthen laws requiring the installation of ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of motorists who are convicted of drunk driving.  An ignition interlock device determines the level of intoxication of the motorist, and activates to prevent the motorist from starting the car if those intoxication levels are above a pre-set limit.  Many states, including Georgia, require the installation of ignition interlock devices in the cars of motorists who are convicted of repeat DUI offenses. Several safety advocates have called for the application of these laws to all drunk driving offenders, even first – time offenders. A stringent application of the law would significantly reduce the number of intoxicated motorists on our streets.

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With students across Georgia gearing up to have fun over spring break, it’s important for parents and colleges to understand the very high incidence of binge drinking during this season, and the resultant elevated risks of being involved in drunk driving accidents.

Binge drinking is a contributor to several drunk driving accidents every year.  Binge drinking is the consumption of too many alcoholic beverages in too short a period of time. This is quick and excessive drinking, and the number of drinks consumed can range from 4 drinks during a 2-hour span in the case of a woman, to 5 drinks or more in the same period of time in the case of a man. High intensity drinking, the incidence of which is also very high among college students during spring break, is the consumption of double this amount or more. The chances of blood alcohol levels rising very quickly with such speedy drinking are extremely high.

During a typical drinking session, a person might eat or pace his drinking, slowing down the absorption of alcohol in the blood. However, when young adults binge drink, that same kind of pacing does not happen. The result is a quicker absorption of alcohol into the blood stream and faster intoxication.  Couple this excessive drinking with the kind of reckless and uninhibited behaviour that typically occurs when young adults are with friends of the same age, and you have a potent situation with a high risk of a drunk driving accident. Several studies show that teenagers and young adults are at a much higher risk for binge drinking, compared to older, mature adults.

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A new study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association finds that a combination of strategies, including stronger laws against the use of cell phones while driving, as well as stringent enforcement of these laws could significantly help reduce the risk of distracted driving accidents.

Many states, including Georgia, have been struggling with containing the distracted driving epidemic. The use of cell phones behind the wheel is rampant,  despite laws that specifically prohibit such practices. Several studies have indicated that most motorists admit to having used a cell phone while driving for texting or for having a conversation. It is only a minority of motorists that will actually turn off cell phones while driving.

Cell phone use has become an integral part of the driving experience, and for many people, the car has become an extension of the workplace.  This makes it tempting for motorists to reach out for their phones to answer a text message, read and respond to an email, or answer a phone call.  All of these are extremely distracting activities, and seriously increase the person’s risk of being involved in an accident.

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