Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Traumatic brain injury of the kind that is often sustained in car accidents, trucking accident as well as slip and fall accidents is linked to several  health consequences, including mental health symptoms like depression.   A  new study finds that  women may be at a much higher risk of suffering depression after a traumatic brain injury, compared to men.

Researchers recently analyzed 9 studies on traumatic brain injury and related depression, and found that women had a risk of suffering depression after a personal injury that was as much as 50% higher than the risk for men.  The  analysis focused on more than 700,000 people who suffered a traumatic brain injury, including more than 360,000 women. Out  of these, approximately 29% or 104,000 women reported depression after the injury. In contrast, 332,000 men suffered a brain injury in the study, and out of these, 72,000 or 22% reported  depression in the months after the  injury.

The researchers have been unable to speculate about the reasons for this difference between men and women, but the fact is that women seem to be at a much higher overall risk of suffering depression compared to men.  Among  older women, for instance, the top cause of depression is traumatic brain injury and the biggest cause of brain injury in women is  slip and fall accidents.  The  researchers believe that it is important for physicians treating older women or any women suffering from brain injury to caution them about their risks for depression.

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Recent  studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety find that some technologies may be especially beneficial in identifying distracted drivers and preventing car accidents. Distracted driving is one of the main causes of auto accidents involving serious personal injuries.

The  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released the findings of two new studies that show that roadside cameras are very beneficial in helping identify motorists who are using cell phones while driving. The study found, in fact, that these cameras were almost as beneficial as  in – car monitoring systems that are designed to identify whether motorists are distracted by cell phones when at the wheel.  The  study also found that in – phone apps that measure and collate data about cell phone use while driving are also extremely beneficial in helping identify driving behaviors that  are  likely to result in car accidents.

Currently  much of the data  that we have on cell phone-related behavior by motorists at the wheel come from roadside surveys conducted every year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  The  data in this survey comes from cameras that are used by the federal administration to monitor driving behavior from morning to evening during a few weeks every summer.  Obviously,  the kind of data that results from a survey like this is fairly limited since it is   only collected over a certain period of time every year.  There  are also limitations on the number of people that can be identified or monitored using this technology.

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There are several areas in which Georgia can improve its auto accident prevention and safety record, but as a new report finds, the state scores very well as far as preventing teen driver car accidents is concerned.

Wallet Hub recently conducted a survey of all 50 states, and compared the driving environments in all  based on  safety, economic factors and driving laws. Georgia ranked very well on several of the parameters. Overall, the state ranked at number 10 in conducive driving environments for teen drivers.  It was ranked at  Number 16 for safety and Number 12 for the quality of its driving laws for teenage drivers.  It was also placed at Number 35 for economic environment. The state was placed at Number 1 for the quality  of  its laws against texting and distracted driving, Number 6 on the quality of its roads,  and  at  Number 7 on the quality of its occupant protection laws. Georgia’s Graduated Drivers License programs also received a nod, placing at number 11.  Its DUI laws were  ranked at number 14 for number of DUIs for every 100,000 drivers. It also placed at number 25 for the quality of its laws against driving under the influence  of alcohol.

The data speaks for itself.  Georgia’s  Graduated Drivers License programs and the effectiveness of the state’s laws against distracted driving make for an ideal environment for teenage drivers in the state. The state also has invested in targeting greater participation by parents in their children’s driving journeys, and many education and awareness programs have been geared towards this aspect.  Safety  advocates say that parents should model exemplary driving behaviors in front of their teen children.  For  instance, there is little point barking at your child to wear his or her seatbelt when you do not bother buckling up every time you drive either.  Lectures  against using cell phones while driving mean nothing if you, as the parent, are unable to avoid checking a text message while you are at the wheel.  Parents should not only display excellent driving habits, but also discuss driving lessons with their child.  For  instance, If you are using a turn signal while driving, explain to your teen why you are doing so.  Taking a  practical approach like this makes for creating a stronger, safer and more responsible teenage driver who is at a lower risk of car accidents.

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New  research recently attempted to identify the various types of medications that could exacerbate a senior’s risk of being involved in car accidents, and found that painkillers and antidepressants topped the list.

A senior person may be at a much higher risk of being involved in a car accident due to a number of factors.  These  factors include lower vision,  lower hearing abilities,  delayed reaction times,  impaired   judgement abilities,  and one of the most important of all,  the side effects of medications.   A  senior is more likely to suffer from a number of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease,  heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, and  may be on medications for several of these conditions.  Many  of these medications do come with side effects that include  drowsiness,  fatigue,  confusion,  disorientation,  lack of concentration  and other symptoms.

A recent study attempted to identify the specific classifications of drugs that are most dangerous for a senior driver. The researchers followed a group of  senior adults over 10 years of their lives, and focused on their performances on  annual road tests.  The researchers found that seniors who were on certain types of drugs were much more likely to fail their annual tests or score very low on the tests. The biggest culprits  were anti – depressants  and sedatives or sleeping aids which were found to have the most serious impact on senior driving skills. Seniors who used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or over-the-counter painkillers were also much more likely to do poorly on their driving skills tests. The researchers found that when the seniors were on these three different types of drugs, they were more likely to get marginal or failing scores on the driving tests.

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Seniors  who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may have a significantly increased risk of being involved in car accidents.

A  new study finds that it is not just teens with ADHD who may be at a higher car accident risk, but also seniors between the age of 65 and 79 who may also have elevated risks as a result of their condition.  The  study focused on 2,800 seniors between the age of 65 and 79 . Out of these seniors, approximately 2.8% suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,  a condition that is categorized by high activity levels, lower attention and concentration levels and other symptoms that make it difficult for the person to concentrate and focus attention for long periods of time.

The  researchers found in their analysis that  seniors who suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder had a 74% higher risk of being involved in car accidents compared to those who were not diagnosed with ADHD. They were also much more likely to be involved in violations that result in traffic tickets with a  102% higher risk of traffic violations.  Seniors with ADHD also had a 7% higher risk of sudden braking incidents, which often lead to auto accidents.

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It is the most dangerous time of the year to drive, even more dangerous in fact than winter.  Not  too many people realize it, but fall is the most dangerous season with a motorist’s risk of being involved in car accidents  at its highest during these days.

Auto insurer Carfax recently announced that according to its data, it is autumn and not winter which is the deadliest season of the year for drivers.  In  fact, according to the data, more than 72% of Americans live in states like Georgia where fall is the deadliest season of the year with the highest number of auto accidents recorded.

There are a number of reasons why the risk of car accidents is greater during fall season compared to other times of the year.  The  days are shorter which means fewer daylight hours and greater volumes of driving in the dark when the risks of being involved in an auto accident are at their highest. Only 25% of all travel in the United States occurs during night time, but night time     accounts for  the same number of   accidents every year as day time.  Another  factor contributing to the higher risk of car accidents during autumn is deer. More than 50% of all auto accidents involving deer in the United States occur between October and December. Mating season kicks off during this time, and you will find larger numbers of deer along busy roads.  A  third important reason for the high number of car accidents during fall season is the slippery and wet road surfaces.  Roads may  be  slick because of wet leaves that fall down during storms, and these provide ideal conditions for an auto accident.

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Victims  of car accidents, motorcycle accidents and trucking accidents  who have suffered a spinal cord injury may look forward to a day when they can walk independently again thanks to a new breakthrough in research in the field.

Scientists  recently announced a breakthrough  in their attempts to regenerate axons in  persons who have suffered  a spinal cord injury.  The  breakthrough was announced by a team of scientists that included both Swiss and American  researchers. According to the team,  they found that redirecting  regenerated axons to their target regions was more effective in helping along the healing process and aided the recovery of the patient,  compared to random regrowth of axons.

Back in 2018, the team had identified that axons which are responsible for communicating transmissions among the nerve cells could be regrown after the damage.  However,  they found that even when the axons were regrown, it did not really lead to any marked or significant functional recovery for the patient.  Now,  however,  they say that they have found a way to redirect the regenerated axons to their target region, helping  restore functional movement.  The  researchers experimented on mice with spinal cord injury, and found that the mice were actually able to walk independently after the treatment.

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Georgia continues to criminalize the use and possession of marijuana for recreational use. While there is a very narrow exception for use of marijuana for medical purposes, the statute is not nearly has broad as found in many other states. Accordingly, marijuana is not as readily available in Georgia compared to other states that have fully legalized marijuana for all purposes or fully legalized marijuana to medical use. As the findings of a  new study shows,  this may be for the  good since legalization of marijuana is linked to an increase in the number of auto accident personal injuries.

The  information comes from a new study that was conducted in Canada.  In  2018, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational  purposes.   According to the study, that decision has resulted in a significant increase in the number of auto accident injuries that are serious enough to  lead to a visit to the emergency room.

The study is quick to affirm  that marijuana – related emergency room  visits after car accidents are still uncommon, but the percentage of such auto accidents has been skyrocketing since the 2018 legalization of marijuana.   According to the study, there has been a  475% increase in car accident personal injuries linked to marijuana use, with the increase being even sharper following the 2018 legalization of marijuana. On the other hand,  there has not been  a similar increase in the number of alcohol – related car accident personal injuries resulting in emergency room visits during the same period of time.

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The fear of being involved in an auto accident is the number one factor affecting driving anxiety and stress, but there are ways to circumvent these fears. If these fears can be overcome, it will greatly improve the lives of these individuals and is very likely lead to fewer auto accidents.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has tips for drivers who want to drive safely and responsibly without letting their fears and anxiety come   in the way.  Ironically enough, these anxieties and stresses may actually  place drivers at a greater risk of being involved in an auto accident.  Confidence  and calm is key to driving safely and responsibly  and when a driver is stressed about being involved in a car accident or losing control of the vehicle, it makes it more likely that he will actually cause a car accident.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, fear of being involved in a car accident is the number one factor  that causes driving anxiety.   We live in   an age when high resolution  images   of catastrophic or fatal car accidents are easily available online, and if a person has seen these images, these   may flash in his mind when he is driving, causing his or her heart rate to increase and his or her palms to become sweaty.

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Too  little sleep could increase a person’s risk of suffering not just auto accident – related personal injuries, but also personal injuries from slip and fall accidents  as well as personal injuries during sports.

In a new study, researchers focused on 3 different types of personal injuries, including injuries caused in sports, during slip and fall accidents as well as injuries caused when a person is involved in an auto accident, and their link to sleep deprivation.  They found that  lack of sufficient sleep affected the  risk of preventable personal injuries.

The researchers looked at three different categories of sleep – very little sleep which is sleep below 4 hours in duration,  short sleep which is sleep of between 5 and 6 hours in duration,  healthy  sleep which is  sleep of between 7 and 8 hours and long sleep which is sleep of greater than 9 hours. They also divided sleep quality into three categories, including the ability to fall and stay asleep, feel refreshed and rested while waking up, and medication use.

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