Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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When a proposed new rule by the federal government becomes final, most cars in the United States will come with automatic emergency braking systems that will significantly reduce the risk of car accidents.

The  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed a rule that would require the installation of automatic emergency braking systems on nearly all cars and pickup trucks in the United States.  The rule will require that all light passenger cars and trucks that weigh 10,000 pounds or  less come with these systems  after the publication of the final rule.  The rule will also require that automatic emergency braking systems recognize pedestrians at night.

After a period of 3 years from the final publication of the rule, all vehicles in the country will be required to have these systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a significant number of lives will be saved every year as a result of the widespread adoption of the technology.  It is specifically believed that 360 lives will be saved in car accidents every year and more than 24,000 injuries will be prevented as a result of the use of the technology.

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Spinal cord injuries are serious personal injuries that can be caused after an auto accident.  New  research finds that these injuries, in addition to permanently impacting a person’s day to day functioning, can significantly damage a person’s  immunity,  exposing the patient to the risk of life-threatening    infections.

A spinal cord injury can result from any kind of blow or serous impact to the spine.  The  impact does not have to include a fracture.  A spinal cord injury can also be caused by crushing injuries or dislocation of the spine. For example, when a person is thrown about the inside of a car during an auto accident, she or he could suffer serious personal injuries to the spine.  A  motorcycle rider who is thrown off a motorcycle  could land on the ground with force that is significant enough to  fracture his spine. In fact, spine injuries are common in motorcycle accidents when a person is separated from the motorcycle.

The risk of paralysis is very serious after a  spinal cord injury.  These  consequences of a spinal injury can also  have a long term impact on a person’s health.    A new study finds that a spinal injury may also trigger immunodeficiency syndrome.  This  condition can result in a loss of immunity, thereby exposing the person to the risk of infections. The study was conducted by researchers on 111 patients who had suffered spinal cord injury.  They found that soon after a spinal cord injury, the number of antibodies in the body dropped.  There  was also a deactivation of the monocytes or white blood cells that are responsible for staving off infections.

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Recent census data shows that America’s population is steadily getting older and the median age of the country is now at  a record high.  Over  the next couple of decades, we can expect a significant increase in the number of senior drivers on our streets, demanding a closer look at the safety implications involved, including the increase risk of personal injuries from car accidents.

The  US Census Bureau recently released  estimates of the country’s population and these showed that the nation’s median age increased to 38.9 years between 2021 and 2022. That is a record high and is due to a steady decline in birth rates in the United States.  The  data shows that no state recorded a drop in median age during this time.

For anyone concerned about roadway safety in the country, these numbers merit interest.  The data clearly indicates that there will be a significant increase in the population of senior drivers on our roads in the near future.  There  is no data to show that senior drivers are automatically  more dangerous drivers than others.  In  fact, they have lower auto accident rates than many groups of drivers, including teenage drivers.

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In  2022,  the number of pedestrians killed in auto accidents crossed 7,500, the highest on record in 40 years. This is a tragic statistic that demonstrates a problem that is without an easy solution.

The rising number of pedestrian deaths has been a source of concern for transportation safety advocates and pedestrian groups across the country. However,  the actual state of pedestrian safety may be even worse than earlier believed. The  Governors Highway Safety Association recently released its estimates of the total number of pedestrian fatalities in 2022, and the numbers are staggering. The  Governors Highway Safety Association believes that a total of 7,508  pedestrians were killed in car accidents  last  year,  the highest number on record since 1981.  That  year, a total of 7,837 pedestrians were killed in auto accidents.  The total for 2022 are very likely even be higher because final estimates were not provided by the state of Oklahoma.

Most states recorded an increase in car accident fatalities in 2022, including Georgia, where a total of 335 pedestrians were killed in auto accidents in 2022.  That  was an increase of 14 deaths from the 321 pedestrians killed in auto accidents in 2021.  The jump in pedestrian accidents in 2022 is even more concerning because it marks a 77% increase since 2010, while the jump in car accident fatalities over all has been just 25% since 2010.

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People  who suffer from epilepsy may be able to drive safely provided they take all safety precautions, including taking any necessary medications, and stick to the limitations placed on them under the law.  A new study, in fact, finds that an early diagnosis of epilepsy may significantly reduce car accident risks.

According  to the study, as many as 5% of patients  who suffer from epilepsy had suffered a seizure while driving before their diagnosis. The researchers, who include members of the American Academy of Neurology, were specifically looking at how long a person drives before he or she received an epilepsy diagnosis.  They  believe that it is important to push for earlier diagnosis of epilepsy in order to reduce car accident risks among these  persons.

As part of the study, the researchers focused on 447 persons who suffered from focal epilepsy which is marked by recurrent seizures.  They  found that   23 of these people had suffered a seizure while driving. About 26% suffered their  first seizure while driving while around 30% had suffered more than one seizure while driving. In all, these seizures resulted in 19 auto accidents with 11 of these car accidents requiring hospitalization.

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While many teen drivers operate their cars safely, other teen  drivers have an enhanced  risk of auto accidents. Therefore, parent must be careful  when it comes to buying a car for their teenager.

Whether you are buying a car for a newly licensed teen driver or a car for a teen driver with a couple years driving experience under their belt, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Consumer Reports have a list of the safest cars to buy for teen motorists in America. The list contains both used as well as new cars, and the researchers have gone to great lengths to find affordable cars considering the high price of cars in the market right now.

So what do you look for when you buy a car for your young driver?  For most parents, the biggest considerations are price and safety.  The list provides several options of care that should be within your budget, but also relatively safe.

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One of the most underestimated and neglected effects of a motor vehicle accident is posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD,  an anxiety- related condition that can severely limit a person’s recovery after being involved in an auto accident.

Several American organizations including veterans’ organizations are marking June 27 as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day.  The day is being commemorated to make more people aware about the disorder and its effects on a person’s ability to lead a normal life after experiencing a traumatic life event.

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that emerges  after a person has suffered a terrifying or life-threatening event like a natural disaster,  terrorist attack,  and even an auto accident.  The  condition may arise   if a person  has undergone a terrifying  event in which  his or her very life or physical wellbeing is threatened or at risk.

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After  7 consecutive  years  of year- to -year increases in auto accident wrongful deaths, the federal administration has been recording slow, but perceptible drops in these numbers for four consecutive quarters.  Latest  estimates by the administration shows that the first quarter of 2023 has been no different.

The  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its auto accident death projections for 2023.  The  estimates for the first quarter of 2023 show a 3% decline in the number of people killed in car accidents compared to the same period of time in 2022. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a total of 9,330 people were killed in auto accidents in the first quarter of 2023. That was a drop from the 9,645 accident deaths recorded during the same period of time last year. The fatality rate for the first quarter of this year was 1.24 traffic accident deaths compared to 1.32 fatalities during the first quarter of last year.

The same trend could also be seen in Georgia where there was a drop in the number of people killed in auto accidents in the first quarter of 2023, compared to last year.  During  the first quarter of 2022,  a total of 468 people were killed in car accidents in Georgia, and that number dropped to 410 fatalities this year.  That was a significant 3.7% drop. The fatality rate in Georgia dropped from 1.62 fatalities  in 2022  to 1.36 deaths this year.

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The Georgia State Patrol has been steadily losing staff numbers, and there are fears that an understaffed agency could mean a higher risk of auto accidents on our already dangerous highways. When there are less police officers on the road to deter speeding and reckless driving, this conduct will only increase leading to more car accidents and pedestrian accidents.

According to reports, the Georgia State Patrol has been steadily and consistently losing staff members over recent years.  In April 2022, the Georgia State Patrol had a total of 828 troopers.  However, just a few months later in January 2023, that number had dropped to just 783.

This decline in staffing numbers at the Georgia State Patrol has been evident for a while now. Even as the number of vehicles on Georgia highways has increased exponentially, the number of troopers responsible for keeping these highways safe  and responding to car accidents has not kept pace. For example, in 1977, 524 Georgia State Patrol troopers were assigned to keep motorists safe on the highways  and respond to accident crises. In 2023, at one point, there were just 497 Georgia State Patrol troopers assigned to the highways,  lower than they were at least 45 years ago.  These 497 troopers were in charge of maintaining safety on highways that have a far denser population of motor vehicles than they had in 1977.

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Traumatic  brain injuries like those that typically result from auto accidents, pedestrian accidents and slip and falls can have a number of long term consequences.  A new study finds that the risk of criminal behavior increases after even a mild brain injury. This increased risk is something that has to be considered when litigating personal injury claims.

The study was conducted in New Zealand, and found that a brain injury does not have to be severe in order to have effects that result in criminal behavior.  Even a mild brain injury like a concussion can significantly increase a person’s risk of engaging in criminal behavior.

The analysis found that people with a brain injury had a higher rate of criminal convictions and arrests, compared to persons who had not suffered a brain injury.  Further, the risk of criminal behavior seemed to increase with the number of brain injuries the person had suffered.  A  higher number of concussions translated into a higher risk of criminal activity.

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