Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Senior pedestrians are at a higher risk of being involved in auto accidents  when they are out walking.  However, a new study finds that simple improvements to road design can help significantly reduce the risk for older pedestrians.

Seniors between the age of 65 and 74 have some of the highest pedestrian accident rates.  In 2021, more than 700 pedestrian accidents involved persons in this age group.

In the study, researchers specifically focused on walking safety for seniors above the age of 65.  They thoroughly reviewed four years worth of crash data involving elderly pedestrians involved in car accidents, and found in their analysis that specific changes made to road design could help lower the risk for senior pedestrians.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting on close to 400 auto accidents involving cars equipped with driver assistance technologies.

Driver assistance technology is often touted as the way forward for motorist safety, and collecting data on any crashes involving these self-driving cars can be a means to help identify and prevent the kind of car accidents that result in serious injuries and wrongful deaths. As we move towards a world in which most vehicles on the road will be driverless or autonomous cars, it is important to track and identify data about auto accidents involving these cars.

In the first large -scale report of its kind released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency has confirmed that it has received data on close to 400 auto accidents involving driver assistance.  A total of 392 car accidents involving self-driving cars have been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Out of these, 273 involved Tesla’s Autopilot feature. Tesla was by far the most featured car in the accident data, but these car crashes also included vehicles with driver assistance technology from other automakers, including Honda, Toyota, BMW and General Motors. Honda cars were involved in 90 of the accidents, while Subaru vehicles were involved in approximately ten of the accidents that were reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Women remain skeptical about the safety of driverless autonomous cars.  A new study finds that while men are much more likely to be impressed by the car accident prevention features of autonomous auto technology, women are much more hesitant about adopting these vehicles. Many women believe there is an increased risk of auto accidents with these types of vehicles.

According to a new study conducted by Pew Research Centre, women on the whole are far more skeptical about the benefits of driverless cars as compared to men. Several studies have pointed to the benefits of such driverless technology on our roads, including the reduced risk of auto accidents.  As these vehicles become more popular and as the possibility of sharing roads with more and more driverless cars becomes more of a reality and less a distant vision for the future, it becomes important to also understand why such a large section of the population remains skeptical about their safety.

According to the Pew Research Center study, as many as half of all men believe that driving an autonomous car can reduce the risk of being fatally injured in an auto accident.  However, when it came to women, only 1 in 3 women shared that view. Men are enthusiastic evangelists for the autonomous car with 37% of them strongly believing that driverless car technology is good for society while only 17% of women seemed to believe so.  When asked whether they would feel comfortable sharing the roads with driverless cars once these become more popular on the roads, more than half of the women or 54% of them admitted that they would not feel safe with these cars on the road, while 35% of men admitted to feeling unsafe sharing the roads with driverless cars. Close to half or 46% of the men said that they would be perfectly comfortable being a passenger in an autonomous car, but women were very hesitant to ride in a self-driving car, with over half of them admitting that they would not be fine travelling as a passenger in a self-driving car.  When it comes to driverless trucks, however, the views of men and women are more aligned. Fifty-three (53%) of the men and 66% of the women admitted that they were not comfortable with having driverless trucks on our roads.

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High speeds are a major factor in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia every year.  Concerned at the growing number of car wrecks involving speeding drivers, Georgia and a number of Southern states are enforcing speed limits and cracking down on errant drivers.

Operation Southern Slow Down is a multi-state initiative that involves a total of five Southern States including Georgia. The week-long campaign this year will see law enforcement officers in all of these states cracking down on speeding drivers.  In the five years that Operation Southern Slow Down has been conducted, Georgia Highway Patrol officers have written down more than 55,000 speeding tickets. Police have also pulled over 3,200 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol during the week-long enforcement campaign over the past 5 years.

Officers intend to spend a lot of time and attention on speeding drivers in construction work zones. For instance, Interstate 95 and Interstate 16 are currently home to construction zones, and officers will be looking at cracking down on speeding drivers in these areas.  Workers in construction zones are always at a high risk of personal injuries in car accidents, and those risks are amplified when there are speeding drivers in these zones. Speed limits are always posted well before the start of a construction work zone and even through the zone.  Drivers must lower speeds as soon as they see these signs and stick to the posted speed limits as they drive through the construction zone.

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The federal administration has finalized a new rule that will strengthen standards for car safety seat design and manufacture, and help to protect children from serious personal injuries in side impact car accidents.

The rule has been more than two decades in the making.  For years now, child safety advocates have been calling on the federal administration to ensure that the child car safety seats that millions of American parents trust to keep their children safe are manufactured with the ability to withstand personal injuries in side- impact auto accidents or T-bone car accidents. These are deadly auto accidents and can cause serious personal injuries to passengers in the car.

Congress asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to enact a rule like this two decades ago, and the time has finally come.  The agency has finally announced its intention to finalize the rule. The rule will require that manufacturers test child car safety seats for protection in side- impact auto accidents and not just frontal impact car accidents.  Earlier, car seat manufacturers were only required to test for frontal impact auto accidents at 30 miles per hour . The new rule requires that manufacturers also test their car seats for side impact at 30 mph.

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A new report ranks Georgia in the top 10 in a list of states ranked based on  pedestrian accident deaths. It is very likely that the majority of these pedestrian accidents resulted in wrongful death lawsuits.

The number of people being killed while walking has increased significantly over the last few years, especially during the pandemic.  Even as there was  a dip in driving across Georgia during March 2020,  there was no corresponding drop in the number of fatal car accidents, especially those involving  pedestrians.  If anything, the number of people dying in these car accidents actually increased.

Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition recently released a new report titled Dangerous by Design.  The report evaluates the performance of all 50 states in ensuring the safety of pedestrians, and ranks metropolitan areas as well as all 50 states based on the number of pedestrian deaths occurring in the states.  Georgia is ranked at a dismal 9.  There is more bad news.  None of the states that are listed in the top 20 have seen any success in reducing the number of pedestrian accident deaths, compared to the previous report.

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The administration has finalized a rule that is meant to protect motorists and drivers of light passenger vehicles from serious injuries in a truck accident with large commercial trucks for tractor trailers.

A serious underride truck accident can involve devastating personal injuries, including decapitation. In these truck accidents, the motorist may hit the back of the tractor trailer, resulting in the smaller passenger vehicle sliding under the tractor trailer.  Head and neck personal injuries are common in such types of truck accidents, and decapitation is not unheard of either.

For years now, passenger safety advocates have called for stricter restrictions on the design of commercial trucks and 18-wheelers that will prevent such truck accidents from taking place. The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that it has finalized rules that will update the current federal standards for underride protection. As part of the rule, trucks must come with rear impact guards that will absorb the energy of the impact, and prevent motorists from sliding under the tractor trailer.

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Yet another study finds that as lockdown went into effect around the country in the early months of 2020, many motorists began driving cars at speeds higher than their normal speeds.  Of course, this greatly increased the risk of car accidents resulting in severe injuries or death. Safety advocates fear that many of these behaviors might be hard to shake off now.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted a study in the state of Virginia that only confirms what federal data has indicated recently – that speeding as a motoring behavior has become much more widespread since 2020.  In the new study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers analyzed data from several Virginia Department of Transportation speed counters.  The analysis then compared the percentage of drivers who were driving 10 mph above the speed limit between March and June 2020.

They found that while traffic volumes dropped by a significant 25% across the state, there was a 30% to 40% increase in the number of vehicles driving at 10 mph over the speed limit, compared to the same period of time in 2019. The only place where there was little difference in the number of speeding drivers was in rural areas where the numbers remained unchanged.  Elsewhere across the state, speeds accelerated even as traffic volumes fell.  On weekdays, there was a 43% increase in the number of motorists driving at least 10 mph above the speed limit, but during weekends, that percentage increased to 63%. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety research found that motorists were comfortable driving at excessive speeds because of the lack of rush hour traffic.

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Even as federal transportation authorities grapple with a spike in deaths in all types of car accidents, a new study finds that high visibility traffic enforcement campaigns may possibly hold the key to reducing those numbers and keeping motorists safe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently revealed that auto accident death numbers are on the rise.  Those numbers were extremely high in 2020, a year in which American motorists drove fewer vehicle miles than in previous years.  In 2021, according to projected estimates, those numbers were at their highest in more than a decade.   This increase has been high enough to spur federal transportation authorities into action. The new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief has announced his Roadway Safety Strategy, a plan that aims to combine efforts towards safer roads, vehicles and motorists to reduce car accident death numbers.

A new analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that high visibility traffic law enforcement campaigns like those that are frequently conducted to encourage motorists to buckle up or drive safely or at posted speeds may be effective in helping reduce car accident fatality numbers

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Newer intersection assistance technologies could reduce the number of car accidents resulting in serious injuries or deaths involving senior drivers by as much as one-third.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently published the results of a new study that finds that intersection assistance technologies which include lane assist, vehicle- to- vehicle connectivity and other type of technological features can go a long way in helping mitigate the kind of risks that place a senior driver at risk of a car accident.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers compared 5 auto safety features that are currently available on many automobiles, and compared their impact on the safety of senior drivers with others that are not as widely available. The technologies that are currently available include front crash prevention systems, brighter headlights, lane departure warning systems that warn the motorist when the car is in danger of veering away from its lane and blind spot detection systems that can alert the motorist to blind spots that are not visible to the driver.  All of these technologies can significantly help seniors deal with the risks arising from failing vision, poor reflexes, restricted mobility and the other challenges that make it difficult for them to drive safely.

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