Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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The ways in which a motorcyclist can be injured while riding on the streets of Atlanta is numerous.  But one accident scenario that carries the most serious risk of leaving a motorcyclist with devastating injuries is when a motorcycle crashes into a car making a left turn.

According to estimates, as many as 40 percent of all motorcycle accidents involve a car making a left turn in front of the motorcycle or at an intersection. Many of these situations involve car drivers who incorrectly gauge the distance between their vehicle and the motorcycle.  When this happens, it usually results in the motorcycle crashing into the car, often at high speeds.  In other cases, the car driver may be distracted and fail to notice the motorcyclist pulling up alongside them.

Often, these accidents occur at intersections when the motorcycle is riding straight and a car driver suddenly makes a left turn in front of him.  There are many dangerous intersections located throughout the metro Atlanta area, thereby setting the scene for these types of accidents for countless motorcycle riders.  The impact of an accident like this can be devastating, and the motorcyclist may be at risk of sustaining injuries that include brain injuries, spinal injuries, fractures, major or severe cuts and lacerations, facial injuries and other serious injuries. Some of these injuries can leave a motorcyclist with possibly long-term damage, reducing his ability to lead a normal, productive life.

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The DOT’s National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration recently announced some welcome news for motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists around the country – traffic accident fatalities for 2017 were down by 2 percent.  This decline followed two prior years of large increases.  The decline in fatalities also continued for the first half of 2018.

Overall, according to data from the Department of Transportation, a total of 37,133 people died in traffic accidents across the country in 2017. That was a decrease of 2 percent from the previous year. This was also in stark contrast to the 6.5 percent increase in fatalities from 2015 to 2016 and the 8.4 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.   The trend also appears to have carried over into Georgia as total traffic deaths on Georgia roadways decreased in 2017 after two large years of increases in 2015 and 2016.

The data has more good news. It shows a 2 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities. This was a traffic safety area that had been a huge source of concern for safety advocates because of the increase in pedestrian accident fatalities over the past several years. In 2017, federal authorities recorded the first decline in pedestrian accident fatalities since 2013, and that is welcome news indeed.

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Safe Driving on New Year’s Eve

Few holidays are more universally celebrated than New Year’s Eve.  Unfortunately, the holiday sees a dramatic uptick in the number of accidents, especially those involving alcohol and speeding. According to some estimates, Americans are much more likely to drink over New Year’s Eve than any other time of the year.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that an average of 300 people die nationally between the week of Christmas and New Year.  That makes the streets of Georgia especially dangerous to be on this time of year.

Celebrating responsibly should be a no-brainer, but far too many people ignore basic safety precautions, and end up causing injuries not just to themselves, but also to other motorists on the road. This New Year’s eve, take steps to avoid becoming just another drunk driving accident statistic.

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Thousands of trucks travel on Georgia’s highways and interstates every year, moving freight and working as indispensable components in the state’s trade and commerce system.  However, there are also countless accidents every year involving these massive vehicles on Georgia’s roads that result in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Large trucks and tractor trailers, by their very nature and design, are more likely to cause serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle when they are involved in an accident.  These trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and their bulk can make any collision with them especially dangerous.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s statistics from 2006 to 2016 portray an interesting picture of Georgia’s truck safety record. A look at the data indicates that the state was able to make significant progress in reducing the number of people killed in truck accidents between 2006 and 2010. During this 5-year period, there was a continuous decline in truck accidents beginning with 232 fatalities in 2006 to ending at 153 in 2010.

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The upcoming holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for emergency rooms throughout the country and in Atlanta.  Injuries and accidents are more common during this time, and there are a number of reasons people find themselves having to go for treatment at an overcrowded ER from food poisoning and alcohol related accidents to kitchen and fire accidents.

Here are some ways you can help reduce your chances of requiring a visit to the ER this holiday season.

While indulging in your Thanksgiving feast, take steps to avoid being exposed to food poisoning. Be sure not to consume undercooked or expired food, and always be aware of any food recall notices

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The metro Atlanta area has seen an increase in the number of people who choose to walk for recreation.  While this is good news, it also, unfortunately, means that there has been an increase in the number of deaths that occur in accidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians. With more and more distracted drivers on Atlanta’s roads, this upward tick is only going to continue.    In fact, some pedestrian advocacy groups say that unless authorities take drastic steps, those fatality numbers could reach unthinkable highs by 2020.

According to statistics, the metro Atlanta area, which encompasses 20 counties, has seen an increase in pedestrian accident deaths from 1,700 in 2006 to more than 2,500 in 2015. That is an increase of a whopping 53 percent.  This also mirrors a nationwide increase in pedestrian accident fatalities that has safety advocates very alarmed.

There has been a growing trend across the metro Atlanta area for a more walkable lifestyle, which includes being able to walk or bicycle to work. Oftentimes, however, pedestrians must walk on roads that are not designed for walking or bicycling.  These types of roads can include those without (or too narrow) sidewalks or bike lanes, multi-lane roads and over congested roads.  Some of the more dangerous roads in the metro Atlanta area include Buford Highway, Tara Boulevard, Piedmont Road and Peachtree Road, just to name a few.  Roads such as these can place a pedestrian at an increased risk of being involved in an accident with a motor vehicle.   Not surprisingly, when a pedestrian is involved in such an accident, it usually results in serious injuries, or even death, to the pedestrian.  In certain parts of Atlanta, such as the densely populated intown areas, fatalities have increased significantly over the past several years.  In these dense areas, the roads have been designed to move traffic along as speedily as possible. Unfortunately, pedestrians often find that their safety needs are not necessarily considered when improvements are made to road design.

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According to the National Transportation Safety Board, speeding motorists pose a serious problem on our roads. Between 2005 and 2016, speeding-related accidents killed more than 132,500 people.  In Georgia, the annual number of deaths caused by speeding drivers in 2008 to 2017 averaged from 1200 to over 1500 each year.  Until authorities and communities address the very real risks and dangers posed by speeding, no real progress can be made in reducing the number of accident fatalities in the United States.

There are two ways in which speeding increases the risk of fatalities.  First, a speeding motorist is less likely to be able to respond in time to prevent an accident.  Second, the kinds of injuries that occur in a speeding-related accident are very often fatal, due to the very severe impact caused by the speeding vehicle involved. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board statistics show that speeding-related fatalities accounted for approximately one-third of all traffic deaths. That number was close to the number of people who died in drunk driving accidents during that same period. However, while a lot of attention and activism is directed towards drunk driving, speeding generally does not get as much focus as an accident causing factor.

The National Transportation Safety Board identifies the recent trend in communities to raise speed limits as one of the reasons why speeding continues to claim so many lives every year.  It is a no-brainer that higher speed limits only encourage drivers to drive even faster.  In 2015, the maximum speed limit on Georgia highways was raised from 65 mph to 70 mph.  Georgia is also one of the few states that has anti-speed trap laws.

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Statistics show that seatbelt usage rates for adults riding in the backseat of a car are much lower than for those in the front seat.  Unfortunately, far too many adult passengers believe that buckling up when they are riding in the backseat is not always necessary.

According to a recent survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 4 out of 5 backseat passengers believe that seatbelts are unnecessary on short trips or while riding in a taxi. Backseat passengers have a false sense of security and believe that they are safer when they are seated in the back seat and therefore don’t need to wear a seatbelt.  Unfortunately, these statistics hold true in the Atlanta area as well.

Obviously, that logic is flawed.  Every person in a passenger vehicle is at risk of injuries in an accident, regardless of where they are sitting in a car. Riding in the backseat can be just as safe as riding in the front seat, unless you’re not wearing a seatbelt. A few decades ago, when auto safety technologies were not as cutting-edge as they are now, front seat passengers had a much higher risk of dying in an accident. However, since the introduction of advanced airbag systems and other safety technologies, safety for front seat passengers and drivers has increased dramatically.

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Georgia recently passed the Hands-Free Law that prohibits all motorists from driving with a handheld electronic device.  However, most would be surprised to know that an astonishing number of parents admit to setting poor driving examples for their children by using cell phones and communication devices while driving.

According to the results of a study which was published in the journal Pediatrics recently, about 50 percent of parents admitted to regularly talking on their cell phones while driving with their children. About 1 in 3 admitted to texting while driving, and 1 in 7 admitted to using social media while driving. The children in these cases were between 10 and 14 years of age – impressionable minds that absorb their parents’ examples and behavior.

What’s worse, but not too surprising, is that these parents were also likely to engage in other equally harmful driving practices, whether their children were in the car or not, such as failure to wear seatbelts or driving under the influence of alcohol.  About 14.5 percent of the parents included in the study failed to place their child in child safety systems while driving. The study also found a direct link between the rates of driving under the influence of alcohol and irresponsible cell phone practices at the wheel.

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The recently passed Georgia Hands-Free Law is intended to reduce the number of distracted-driver related traffic accidents.  But did you know that using hands-free, voice-activated technology to operate your cell phone while driving actually poses its own set of dangers?  A new study finds that the more complex the task you are performing using voice-activated technology, the greater the distraction level and danger to you.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted a study of the various types of voice-activated technologies that are now present and built-in in so many automobiles these days. These new technologies allow motorists to perform a variety of tasks without moving their hands away from the steering wheel or their eyes from the road. Motorists may use these technologies for reading and dictating text messages, sending and reading e-mails, and even posting on Facebook and other forms of social media. However, as the research suggests, the technology is not entirely foolproof.

The researchers at the AAA Foundation found that the more complicated and complex the task, the greater the distraction level. Advanced commands, like those used for sending e-mails or posting on Facebook, seemed to pose a much higher and more dangerous level of distraction to motorists, compared to tasks that were less mentally challenging.  Most motorists do not consider driving while using voice-activated technology to be a major risk. However, if you find yourself looking at your cell phone to spell check an email, the lack of visual attention to the road, even for a few seconds, could cause a serious accident.