Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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There is good news for Atlanta motorists – Georgia is ranked as one of the states with the lowest rates of accidents caused by distracted drivers.

According to a recent report released by Zutobi, rates of distracted driving across the country have increased significantly in recent years. Some states have a bigger problem with distracted drivers, compared to others.

Fortunately, Georgia ranks at the bottom of the list, with a low rate of accidents caused by distracted drivers. The crash rate for Georgia was 3.1%, with just over 3 distracted driving- related accidents for every 100 fatal accidents recorded in Georgia. According to the report, Georgia had a total of 1,377 fatal car accidents in 2019, and out of these, 43 crashes were related to distracted motorists.

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The federal administration is signifying its intention to monitor even more closely the evolution of the car automation sector.  One sign is that it will require companies manufacturing so-called “driverless cars” to submit information about crashes involving these vehicles in the future.  Although driverless cars have not become a regular site on Georgia roads or in the metro Atlanta area, it is only a matter of time before they become more common.

There have been recent reports of car accidents involving such driverless vehicles.  Some of these accidents have even resulted in injuries. There are at least 100 companies currently involved in designing and manufacturing technology to assist drivers or take over for them. Some of the more popular of these companies include Tesla and General Motors’ Cruise. Tesla, for instance, has been involved in more than one accident involving its driverless cars. The federal administration now wants to get more involved in monitoring accidents involving these cars, just like it does with accidents involving other automobile models.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued an order to this effect to 108 technology companies that are currently involved in manufacturing autonomous cars. The order requires these companies to submit detailed information about vehicles that have been involved in an accident. The federal administration wants information about any accident in which the vehicle’s automated driving system or level two Driver Advanced Driver Assistance System were in effect at the time of the crash. A level two Driver Advanced Driver Assistance System includes adaptive cruise control, lane centering systems and many of the other technologies that are currently available on many vehicles today. Vehicles like Tesla’s models include multiple such safety features.

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Summer is peak travel season in Atlanta, and also, unfortunately, one of the more accident – prone times of the year. Did you know that your accident risk spikes significantly over the next few weeks because of the following five factors?

Speeding is a major cause of accidents during summer. People travel more during summer, and unfortunately many of them underestimate travel times and leave their homes far too late to reach their destinations on time, which explains why so many drivers speeds on Atlanta streets during summer. Leave your home with plenty of time to reach your destination to avoid the need to rush and drive at high speeds.

Congested roads are a common scene during summer. You are sharing the roads with a greater number of motorists than during other times of the year, and this is something that you must factor in when you make your travel plans. Expect traffic jams and delays, and leave home with plenty of time to spare. With more vehicles on the road, the chances of an accident are exponentially greater.

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Concerned at the increase in the number of auto accidents caused by speeding motorists, a coalition of safety groups has launched two new pilot projects in two separate states aimed at designing strategies to prevent these devastating crashes.

The coalition consisting of the Governors Highway Safety Association, the National Safety Foundation and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety are funding two  separate pilot projects to study ways to reduce the impact of high speeds on motorist safety.  The two states are being granted $100,000 each to design and develop speed management strategies to prevent these crashes. The programs are meant to focus on a combination of engineering design and enhancements and  infrastructure improvements, as well as other proven methods of reducing speeding- related accidents, including education and awareness as well as public outreach. One state is expected to implement the program in a rural setting, while the other will implement the program in an urban area. The goal of the initiative is to design appropriate speed management strategies that can help reduce the impact of speed on highway safety.

Speed has always been a harmful factor in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region.  Unfortunately, over the past year, the role of speeding related car accidents that resulted in fatalities has actually increased. Approximately, nine thousand people die annually in accidents caused directly by speeding motorists. Those numbers increased in 2020 when lower traffic volumes led to an increase in the number of motorists driving at excessive speeds, leading to a spike in the number of related accident deaths recorded last year.  Speeding related accidents and their resulting injuries disproportionately affect teenage drivers more due to their relative lack of skill and maturity behind the wheel.

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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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