Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Binge drinking is defined as the consumption of an excess amount of alcohol.  A person who engages in binge drinking can suffer from a number of consequences, including not surprisingly, drunk driving accidents. A new study has found that binge drinking among Americans has fallen sharply in terms of frequency. Despite the drop in frequency, however, when people do decide to binge drink they are consuming more drinks than ever before.

According to the research, the frequency at which Americans drink excessively has fallen. The research by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 2011 and 2017, the number of Americans admitting that they drank excessively during a single session fell from 18.9 percent to 18 percent. However, when it came to the number of drinks consumed at a binge session, there was a sharp increase. Between 2011 and 2017, the number of drinks annually consumed by adults who reported drinking excessively during a single session jumped significantly from 472 in 2011 to 529 in 2017.  So, while the number of times that Americans drink excessively has dropped, the intensity of these sessions has increased sharply.

Interestingly enough, the increase in the number of drinks consumed in a single session increased the highest in the 35 and over age group.  While it is commonly believed that younger Americans, especially college students, are the age group that binge drinks the most, that doesn’t seem to be the case. If anything, younger college-aged Americans are actually consuming less alcohol during a single binge. The number of drinks consumed annually by college students who admitted to binge drinking, fell from 619 drinks a year in 2011 to 545 by 2017.  Some statistics have remained the same however, over the years.  Males are still much likelier to report binge drinking, compared to females.

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Whiplash injuries are some of the more common injuries suffered by people who have been in a car accident.  Whiplash injuries are often seen in fender-bender accidents when a car has been rear-ended by another vehicle.  Surprisingly, as many as a million people suffer whiplash injuries every year in such crashes.

Though these are not life threatening injuries, they can be extremely painful, and can impede a person’s ability to perform his or her daily functions. Unfortunately, these injuries tend to be often neglected which can lead to serious complications.  Whiplash injuries are not visible to the naked eye, and in most cases, there is no swelling or inflammation with these injuries. In fact in most situations, the symptoms of whiplash may not be seen immediately after the injury.  What’s more, doctors may not test for whiplash unless symptoms are seen, which only further delays treatment.

Whiplash injuries occur when the force of the impact causes the head and the neck to be thrown back and forth at high speeds. Injuries may involve the neck and shoulder muscles, bones, and tendons.  These injuries can occur even in low-speed or low-impact accidents.

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This time of year in the metro-Atlanta region is usually wet and rainy.  This kind of weather not only puts a damper on holiday activities, but can also make engaging in any other activity more difficult than normal.  For instance, driving in wet weather is always more dangerous. The roads are slick and slippery, and visibility is impaired, all of which makes for very challenging driving conditions.  If you can, it’s always best to avoid driving in stormy weather. You should be driving in such weather only in case of an emergency.

Driving in wet weather means having to adjust your driving to accommodate for the rough road conditions, the bad weather and poor visibility. Whether you are driving in light showers or in the middle of a rain storm, it’s important to be cautious and modify your regular driving for the difficult challenges facing you. Unfortunately, most drivers drive on auto pilot, meaning that they don’t take into consideration the changes in the environment and conditions around them that could place them at serious risk of an accident.

Poor visibility during wet weather is one of the more dangerous conditions that can affect your safety during driving. You should always turn on your headlights and keep them on when you’re driving in wet weather, or even when it’s overcast.  This will not only increase visibility for you in this weather, but will also make your car more visible to other motorists.

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It may be surprising to learn that women are as much as 73 percent more likely to suffer serious injuries in a car accident compared to men. Yet, the country’s federal safety regulatory authorities continue to ignore the need for testing standards that focus on the unique physiological differences between male and female bodies.

Hopefully this will change soon as at least one lawmaker is calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to include crash test dummies that mimic the unique physiological and anatomical differences of females in 2019 in the design of its crash tests.

This is not the first time that attention has been drawn to the fact that women’s safety receives less priority when it comes to crash testing standards and auto safety. As far back as 1981, experts proposed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration use crash test dummies representing the average female occupant of a motor vehicle. However, no real steps have been taken to address this safety concern in the close to four decades since that first proposal was submitted. Even when female crash test dummies are used, the dummy is an outdated model that was designed in the 1970s and only represents 5 percent of American women today.  In fact, this particular dummy design is also actually used to substitute for dummies representing 12 and 13 -year -old child occupants.

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Children of all ages love Halloween. Between the costumes, the parties, and let’s not forget the candy, what’s not to like about Halloween if you are a kid.  But did you know that Halloween is actually the deadliest day of the year for children?  Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on this day than any other day of the year.  And many of these accidents result in fatal injuries.

In fact, the National Safety Council ranks October as the second dangerous month of the year for children, due in large part to Halloween accidents. To keep your children safe while they are trick or treating this Halloween, here are some tips to make sure everyone enjoys the festivities.

First, your child’s costume should be bright and reflective.  You may even want to consider adding reflective strips to your child’s costume and have your child carry a flashlight.  At a minimum, have them wear glow-in-the-dark accessories or a glow stick to make them more visible.  The deadliest hours of trick-or-treating occurs during the time frame of 5:00 to 9:00 when daylight fades and turns into night.    Although many Halloween costumes lean towards the dark and ghoulish, a bright costume will make sure your child is visible and easily seen by motorist and will help to keep them safe.

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One of the main purposes of car insurance is to help make you whole if you are injured in a car accident.  However, not all car owners have enough insurance coverage or any at all.  Unfortunately, it happens more often that it should – a person gets injured in a motor vehicle accident and suffers serious injury, and the person who caused the accident does not have car insurance.  Sometimes, the at-fault driver may have some car insurance, but it’s not enough to wholly compensate the injured victim.  So what can the injured person do to make sure they are fully compensated for their injuries?  This is where you uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in your own car insurance policy comes into play.

Georgia law requires that all vehicles have a minimum amount of liability insurance of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for body injury.  Unfortunately, many car owners do not comply with this law and are guilty of driving their car on the streets without any car insurance.  Even more unfortunate is the person who happens to get hit by one of these car owners and injured as a result.  There will be no insurance coverage by the at-fault driver to cover his injuries.  Other times, you may be injured in a car accident and even though the at-fault driver has the minimum amount of car insurance, the $25,000 is still not enough to compensate you for your injuries and medical bills.

Uninsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage, is exactly what it sounds like.  UM coverage is an option on your car insurance policy that provides you coverage if you are involved in a car accident with someone who does not have car insurance.  Underinsured motorist coverage, or UIM coverage, is the option on your car insurance policy that provides the extra coverage you need for when the at-fault driver’s minimum policy does not compensate you fully for your injuries.

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Spinal cord injuries can be caused by a variety of accidents, including auto or truck crashes, as well as motorcycle, pedestrian and bicycle accidents.  A serious fall accident can also result in a spinal cord injury.

Spinal cord injuries are a type of catastrophic injury and can be a life-altering injury.  Broadly, any spinal injury may result in loss of sensation or movement in one or all limbs, loss of bladder and bowel control, loss of sexual function, pain, difficulty in breathing and other complications.

If you suffer a spinal cord injury, your ability to live your life as it was before the injury will be dramatically affected. Oftentimes, there needs to be modifications made to your home and car to make it possible for you to move about or be independently mobile.  Most people who have suffered a spinal cord injury, however, require long term care or assistance with daily activities.  This type of care can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars and can be sometimes into the millions.

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Roundabouts, or traffic circles, are becoming more and more popular with city planners lately to improve traffic flow and overall road safety.  In fact, you’ve probably run into one while driving in a residential area or around the local roads in your community.

Roundabouts have been around for decades, but are gaining more traction as an effective alternative to conventional traffic lights.  In a traditional roundabout, vehicles travel in one counterclockwise direction around a center island.  Vehicles that are entering the roundabout yield to those already in the traffic circle, and there are usually lanes for vehicles to exit the traffic circle onto their desired street.

The most common types of accidents that occur in traditional intersections are left-turn, t-one, and head-on collisions.  Roundabouts have been found to be very effective in intersections that involve high-crash locations, multiple left-turn configurations, and prolonged traffic light cycles.  In fact, some states, such as New York and Virginia, have opted to consider roundabouts as the first option for road planning versus conventional traffic lights.  There are even some smaller islands and regions where traffic lights have been replaced altogether by roundabouts.  Other benefits of traffic circles include reduced fuel consumption and emissions since car spend less time idling at traffic lights.

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We have all seen the army of Amazon delivery drivers throughout metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia.  They can be in box trucks, delivery vans or even passenger vehicles.  With the sheer number of deliveries being made by Amazon every day, one may wonder how many vehicle accidents involving these drivers occur on any given day. A recent article by ProPublica highlighted the retail giant Amazon and its policy regarding auto accidents involving delivery drivers.

Many of the deliveries made by Amazon are by drivers that are independent contractors, versus those with commercial delivery companies such as UPS or FedEx, or regular employees. The reason Amazon has chosen to use so many contractor drivers over the recent years is to cut costs.   This is because using contractors does not involve the overhead costs that are involved with regular employees.

The ProPublica article noted that since June of 2015, there have been more than 60 accidents involving the Amazon delivery drivers that resulted in very serious injuries.  Ten of these accidents were fatal.  These numbers were based on the limited data that was available, so there is a high likelihood of many more unreported accidents.

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Life expectancy rates are rising in the U.S., and seniors in Georgia now live longer and healthier lives. This means that seniors are also much more likely to drive well into their 70s and even 80s.  The rate of older drivers on our roads has increased over the past few years and is expected to increase in the future. Older drivers are also retaining their licenses longer than before. There are some facts of driving in the golden years, however, that seniors and their family members should be aware of.

Getting older does not necessarily mean that you have to give up your driving privileges. However, it does mean that there are a more few restrictions and testing that seniors must comply with if they want to continue to drive safely.   Georgia law require that seniors above the age of 60 get their licenses renewed every five years in person. Drivers above the age of 60 must take a vision exam when they renew their license. If there are any other signs of impairment, drivers may also be asked to take a written test before their license is renewed. All of these rules are in place to ensure that seniors are able to continue to drive safely, without being a threat to their own safety or the safety of other motorists on the roads.

There are undoubtedly more seniors driving on Atlanta roads now than a few decades ago. Medical advancements have meant longer, healthier and more mobile lives for Georgia’s seniors.  According to federal data, in 2017, there were as many as 28 million licensed motorists above the age of 70 living in the country. This is one of the most at-risk groups of drivers in the United States. Drivers above the age of 70 have higher crash rates per mile travelled compared to younger drivers. However, older drivers are not as much at risk of accidents as teen drivers, and their average crash rates continue to be lower than teens.