Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Published on:

The federal government is not amused by the witty highway safety messages that are posted on several highways across the country, including in Georgia, to prevent auto accidents.   The federal government has banned these humorous electronic safety messages across the country.

The Federal Highway Administration, which is in charge of regulating the nation’s massive network of highways, recently released a 1000 – page manual which also includes rules for the design of safety signs. The manual  makes it clear that it considers these messages to be distracting. Rather than preventing auto accidents, the FHA believes the messages make car accidents more likely.

Over the past few years, several states including Georgia, have attempted  to attract motorist  attention to highway safety issues by posting humorous safety messages that use wordplay,  a pun-friendly  style or references to pop culture to grab eyeballs.  Georgia transportation safety experts experimented with these witty signs, and in 2020, held a contest to find the most humorous sign ideas.  Winning entries included gems like You Look Great, But the Selfie Can Wait, Better Late Than Never, and our favorite If You Missed the Exit, It’s OK, We Made More Up Ahead, and began flashing on several highways after these were picked out of hundreds of entries.  Over the next few months, however, many of these messages may simply be phased out as a result of the new federal rules.

Published on:

Older drivers may be at a high risk of being involved in car accidents, and those risks are simply exacerbated if they also suffer from migraines.

Migraines  are a common condition, especially among older people, but they may be dangerous for senior drivers.  According  to the results of a new study, older drivers who suffer   from migraines are as much as three times more likely to be involved in a car accident.   The results of the study were published  recently in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. According to the researchers, migraines are already a common concern among older drivers with as many as 7% of senior drivers already diagnosed with migraines.   The  researchers believe that many   migraines  are undiagnosed  which means we probably have an increasing population of older drivers on our roads who have their driving abilities impacted by their severe headaches and remain unaware of this. The researchers found a threefold  increase in car accident risks for senior drivers in the 12 months after a diagnosis.  Medications  taken to control migraines do not seem to have any impact on car accident risks.

The researchers recommend that senior drivers who have recently been diagnosed with migraines discuss  the effects of the condition on their driving abilities with their doctor.  Be  especially careful about the kind of medications that you take to control the pain while you drive. Also understand the dangers of introducing alcohol to the mix when you are already on medications to treat your migraines.  Senior  drivers already face a number of safety risks when driving and these  could simply be compounded by their migraines.

Published on:

All manufacturers of light vehicles who signed a 2016 agreement  have fulfilled the commitment they made to equip their vehicles with crucial auto emergency braking systems to prevent car accidents.

The 2016 agreement was brought about by the efforts of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  Twenty automakers participated in the agreement in which they agreed to substantially increase the number of manufactured vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking systems. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, between August and September 2023, additional automakers fulfilled their pledge of installing auto emergency braking systems on 95% of their light vehicles. With this, all 20 automakers that signed the agreement are in fulfilment of their commitment.

This means that a majority of the light vehicles that weigh less than 8,500 pounds on our roads will be equipped with this crucial car accident prevention technology. Some auto manufacturers, including Honda, now have close to 100% of their light vehicles equipped with auto emergency braking systems while other manufacturers have at least 95% of their light vehicles equipped with these car accident prevention systems.

Published on:

A spinal cord injury can result in loss of muscle to a larger extent than can be  attributed to lack of movement and mobility.   A new study points to one of the lesser known, but longer term consequences of a spinal cord injury after an auto accident.

A spinal cord injury is a serious personal injury that is caused when there is an injury to the spine during an auto accident, or motorcycle accident or pedestrian accident.  Spinal cord injuries may also be caused in slip and fall accidents.  The  degree and severity of the spinal cord injury can depend on the location of the vertebrae where the injury occurs.  Spinal cord injuries can result in loss of movement and mobility making it impossible for the person to  stand, walk and otherwise use his or her limbs.  These personal injuries  significantly alter a person’s life and  his ability to earn a living and live a  normal life after the personal injury.

A new study finds that there are long term consequences of a spinal injury that we may not be aware of.  The  study recently found that a spinal cord injury can cause significant muscle wastage in patients.  Some degree of muscle wastage in patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury is to be expected because of the lack of movement and exercise that can cause muscles to wither away.  According  to the study, however,  the kind of muscle wastage that a person with these injuries suffers cannot simply be explained away by lack of movement.  In fact, the researchers believe that it has more to do with the ability of the adrenal glands to receive nerve signals.

Published on:

The federal administration has kickstarted the rule-making process that would require drunk driving car accident prevention technology on all new cars.

This welcome announcement was made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which recently  announced that it has started work on the rule- making process that would require  impaired driving prevention systems on all new cars.  These  systems  that work to prevent drivers from operating a vehicle include technology that measures the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath and prevents him from operating the engine if it detects a certain amount of alcohol in his system.  This  technology is very similar to the ignition interlock systems that are currently used in several states, including Georgia, as penalties for repeat drunk driving offenders.  Other  technologies that will be reviewed  include camera systems that can monitor eye movements in order to identify if a driver is impaired or driving under the influence of alcohol.

At this point, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiative   would  allow  regulators to collect data about the various systems that are currently in place in automobiles and their impact in reducing the incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol.  If things reach their preferred conclusion, we could have drunk driving auto accident prevention sensors, cameras or other systems in all new cars as a standard feature.  There is no doubt that this could significantly help reduce the number of car accidents caused by impaired drivers.

Published on:

The use of automated enforcement like red light camera systems can be a sensitive and touchy subject for most Atlanteans,  but as federal administration officials focus harder on preventing auto accident wrongful deaths and serious personal injuries, the presence of such systems on American roads is only likely to increase.

A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association and State Farm focused on the various types of automated enforcement  systems that are currently in place on American roads, effectiveness  of these systems and the sensitivities  involved in the implementation of these systems.  The  most common automated enforcement technologies  currently on our roads include red light camera systems, speed camera systems and school bus stop arm camera systems.  Some jurisdictions have also begun preliminary  experimentation with  cameras to identify when people  are driving without seatbelts and when motorists are using cell phones while driving.

The need for automotive enforcement, especially speed camera systems, has become even more dire over the past few years as speeding  rates across the country have skyrocketed.  The  number of people being killed in car accidents directly related to speeding has also   increased.  Law  enforcement departments across the country have been struggling with reduced  staffing, and that has meant departments looking more and more towards the use of automation to help with enforcement.

Published on:

One  of the most devastating consequences of a brain injury after a car accident is the effect on a person’s cognitive abilities. A new study finds that a brain stimulator device can help a person recover these critical abilities after a personal injury.

The findings of the study were published in a recent issue of the Nature Medicine journal. The researchers implanted the stimulators in the brains of persons who had suffered brain injuries as a result of trauma.  The  implants were left on for about 12 hours a day and the participants spent 3 months with the implants.

The research by scientists at Stanford University found that the implantation of the deep brain stimulator helped trigger  electric activity in brain neurons that had been left damaged after trauma. While  the researchers were hoping for a 10% increase in mental processing as a result of the implantation of the device, they  were surprised to find that the improvement was as high as 32% in the patients. What is even more promising is that the device can help with impairments that have occurred as a result of old brain injuries. According to the scientists, the device offers great hope to persons who have suffered injuries that have left them with memory loss and poor thinking skills.

Published on:

Sleep experts have always known that night shift workers are at a higher risk of being involved in a car accident.  A new study finds even more conclusive proof that night shift workers are at risk of a number of sleep disorders that can increase their risks of being involved in a car crash.

The study was conducted in the Netherlands where Dutch researchers found that out of all the patients involved in the study, more than 51% suffered from at least one sleep disorder. The researchers focused on more than 37,000 workers who were questioned about their work patterns and sleeping habits.  The researchers screened participants for 6 common sleep disorders including insomnia, hypersomnia or excessive sleeping, sleep apnea and other sleep – related breathing disorders, sleep walking, sleep – related movement disorders and sleep – wake disturbances. They found that 51% or at least one third of the participants suffered from at least one sleep disorder and 13% of all participants suffered from at least two of the sleep disorders for which they were screened.

Among  those who did night shifts, whether regular night shifts or rotational night shifts, 26% reported at least two or more sleep disorders. Consistent and regular night shifts seemed to be the most dangerous for workers with many of these workers reporting lower than optimum hours of sleep.  About 50 percent  of the workers who were on night shifts reported that they often slept for less than 6 hours a day.  The  ideal sleep duration for an adult is 8 hours everyday.

Published on:

A coalition of stakeholders is recommending that vehicles come equipped with speed limiters that would help motorists drive at safe speeds and reduce the number of auto accidents caused by speeding.

The Road to Zero Coalition is a group of stakeholders including automakers, regulators, safety experts and other organizations that are committed to not just envisioning, but also bringing about a scenario with minimal car accident wrongful deaths by the year 2050.  Progress towards reducing the number of car accidents has been slow, and has, in fact, reversed over the past few years as fatality numbers have soared across the country.  The  situation became even more dire during  the pandemic as the number of car accident wrongful deaths across the country skyrocketed  during this period of time.  Speeding is being blamed as one of the primary reasons for the increase in car accident deaths not only in Georgia, but across the country.  Experts believe that motorists who became use to speeding on empty roads during the lockdowns have not yet adjusted to larger traffic volumes following the end of the  pandemic and easing of travel restrictions.  This has contributed to a spike in the number of people being killed in car accidents.

These car accident wrongful deaths are very preventable because they are mostly due to human error.  Speeding, for instance, accounts for approximately 30% of all car accident deaths in the country.  Curtailing speeding, therefore, is on top of the priority list for the Road to Zero coalition which recently called for the use of Intelligent Speed Assistance systems on all cars.  These  systems can alert the motorist when he or she is travelling at speeds higher than the posted speed limits. The system makes use of GPS software and other technology in order to identify the posted speed limits on the route and sound audible alerts if the driver  does not apply the brakes.  In some cases, the system can even intervene to reduce speed limits automatically by reducing power to the engine in case the motorist fails to act by applying the brakes.

Published on:

First responders attended to multiple victims of car accidents across Georgia over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Across  Georgia and  the country, law enforcement  authorities were reporting record volumes of   traffic.   More  than 55 million Americans are reported to have travelled  over the holiday weekend.  Unfortunately,  as is often the case, large volumes of traffic make for greater numbers of  auto accidents.   In  Georgia, the scene was no better as more than 23 accident fatalities were confirmed over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This year, the holiday weekend stretched from 6:00 pm on Wednesday to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

Apart from  the 23 wrongful deaths, numerous other persons are reported to have suffered personal injuries in these car accidents. At least one busy interstate had to be shut down for 7 hours after a car accident involving an  18 -wheeler and an  SUV.  At least five out of the 23 fatalities occurred in a single car accident.

Contact Information