Articles Posted in Children accidents

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Even as the number of adult drivers being killed in car accidents is on the rise, there has been a sharp drop in the number of teen drivers being killed in car accidents. According to new data by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, there has been a significant drop of 44% in the number of teen drivers killed in auto accidents.

The  Governor’s Highway Safety Association analyzed  data from the Fatality  Analysis Reporting System over the past 2 decades, and found that during this time, there was a 38.1% drop in the number of fatal car accidents involving drivers between the age of 15  and 20. During the same period of time, there was also a 44.7% drop in the number of teenagers in this age category being killed in car accidents.  However, there was a 11% increase in the number of car accident deaths involving older drivers. The rate of fatal car accidents involving an older driver above the age of 21 also increased by 7.8% during the same period of time.

What this shows is that while the progress made in reducing the number of car accident deaths involving adult drivers has seemingly reversed, the efforts by organizations like the Governor’s Highway Safety Association to protect teenage drivers and keep them safe in car accidents seem to be showing results. In Georgia, the rate of fatal teen car accidents involving drivers below the age of 21 stood at 6.51 in 2002, and this rate dropped to 4.93 by 2021. The rate of involvement of drivers above the age of 21 in fatal car accidents stood at 2.14 in 2002, and increased to 2.15 in 2021.

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Young  drivers below the age of 21 may be at a high risk of driving while fatigued or drowsy, increasing their risks of being involved in a car accident.  Those  findings come from a new study by the National Sleep Foundation.

The  National  Sleep Foundation recently released the results of a new study that specifically focused on the effects of drowsy driving on teenage drivers.  The  findings of the study were released in time to coincide  with  Drowsy Driving Awareness Week in November.

According  to the National Foundation study, drowsy driving is linked to as many as 20% of all fatal car accidents in the United States and another 13% of all car accidents resulting in personal injuries.  As  many as 16% of teenage drivers admit to having operated a motor vehicle while drowsy or sleepy at least once. That makes it at least 1 in 16 drivers or 1.7 million teenagers who have operated a car when they were so sleepy that they could barely keep their eyes  open. As many as 400,000 teenagers admitted to having operated a motor vehicle while drowsy at least once a week.  That makes it a higher percentage of drowsy teenage drivers on our roads compared to drowsy adults.

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There is good news for teen motorists – a category of drivers that is traditionally one of the most at risk groups for car accidents.  The  Governors Highway Safety Association in a recent report announced that there has been a significant drop in the number of  fatal car accidents involving young motorists.

The  Governors Highway Safety Association recently released the findings of a new report titled Young Drivers and Traffic Fatalities:  20 Years of Progress on the Road to Zero.  The   report finds that there was a 38% drop in the number of fatal car accidents involving teenage drivers since 2002.  During the same period of time, there was actually an increase of 8% in the number of fatal car accidents involving older drivers above the age of 21.   There  was also a significant 45% drop in the number of teen car accident wrongful deaths during the same period of time, compared to a spike of 11% in car accident deaths for older drivers above the age of 21.  Traditionally, teenage drivers have had a car accident wrongful death rate that is four times higher than for drivers above the age of 21.

A  number of factors could possibly have impacted this significant drop in fatal car accidents involving teenage drivers.  The  Governors Highway Safety Association makes note of the fact that  teenage drivers are driving at lower volumes than they used to in 2002.   The  organization also believes that this has contributed to just a very small percentage of the staggering drop in fatal teen car accidents.  The  Governors Highway Safety Association believes that much of the drop has to do with the fact that  so many states like Georgia now have solid Graduated Drivers’ Licensing programs in place.  These  programs place significant restrictions on a teenager’s ability to drive independently including restrictions on the ability to drive at night and drive with teenage passengers in the car. However, most of these Graduated Drivers’ Licensing programs apply to drivers below the age of 18, and the report recommends that states extend these programs to drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 in order to reduce those accident risks further.

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It is always a nerve wracking moment for any parent when their child receives a driver’s license and begins operating a motor vehicle.  A  new technology that makes use of a video game to identify teen responses to car accident risks may help parents understand better what kind of driver their child is likely to become.

Research scientists at the Neuroscience of Driving program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention recently designed a virtual driving assessment test that is aimed at understanding teenage behaviors and responses to common auto accident risks and evaluating future driving behaviors based on these.

The new technology is called Already Assess by Diagnostic Driving. It consists of a 15 – minute simulator drive that is designed like a video game.  Teenagers  are required to follow the simulated course on a large computer screen using headphones, foot pedals and  a steering wheel. As the teenager moves through the simulated course, the technology monitors around 100 driving skills that can predict the teen’s risk of a car accident. These skills include the crucial ability to navigate difficult curves and intersections, lane position,  control of the vehicle,  the proximity of his vehicle to other vehicles,  and his or her ability to respond to sudden and emergency hazards.  When  the teenager completes the course, he is given a personalized  report card that clearly outlines his or her responses to various stimuli and the areas of deficiency as well as the areas that she or he can improve on.

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The  federal administration is proposing a new seatbelt warning system that would apply to occupants of the back seat as well as the front seat passenger.  It is a move that could significantly help reduce the number of people killed in car accidents on America’s roads every year. It is important to keep in mind that persons in the rear seats are injured in car accidents, especially in rear-end accidents and T-bone accidents.

In  2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Administrator, approximately 43,000 people were killed in car accidents and approximately 50% of them were not wearing seatbelts  at  the time of the auto accident.  Their chances of surviving the crash could have significantly improved had they been buckled in.  Unfortunately, the current law only    requires seat belt reminder systems for drivers, but has no such requirements for front seat passengers as well as occupants of the rear seat of the car.  These people are also at a very high risk of suffering  fatal  injuries in the event of an auto accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued a Proposed Rule which requires motor vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds to have seatbelt reminder systems for all passengers in the car, including front seat and backseat passengers.  The  requirement would require a visual alert that would go on for approximately 60 seconds and would alert the driver to the status of rear seatbelt usage.  It  would also require an audible alert that would alert the driver when a backseat passenger removes the seat belt while the vehicle is in operation. The rule would   also require an audio visual alert system for the right  front seat passenger  to buckle his seatbelt. Auto manufacturers would have the flexibility to decide how frequently and how loud the audible  reminder system should be.

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Car seats for young children are an extremely important safety device. Every parent recalls having to deal with situation of installing a car seat for the first time or when they get a new car. Unfortunately, far too many car seats are improperly installed,  exposing children in the seats to the risk of potential life – threatening personal injuries in car accidents.

Securing a child in a car seat is an absolute must before any journey.  Most  parents, fortunately, in Georgia, are aware of the need to restrain children in car seats.  Car  seats should not only be used every time for young children, but also must be appropriate to the age and weight of the child.  Many  car seats have been designed to be easy to use,  in order to make it easy for parents to install these seats.  Unfortunately,  even with these easy –to use designs, parents still make errors  in the installation of these car seats.

According  to a new study,   too many seats are being improperly installed, exposing the children in the seats to the risk of potentially catastrophic or even life- threatening  personal injuries in the event of an auto accident.  The researchers looked at seat check data from  between 2015 and 2019, and found that approximately 70% or an overwhelming majority of all the errors involved car seats installed with seat belts. Other errors involved recline angles. About half of the errors involved top tether on forward – facing car seats.  The  tether is an important component of the car seat and is meant to be attached to the vehicle, and according to the study, many parents either fail to secure it or secure it incorrectly.

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Children, the elderly and -surprisingly enough – young adults seem to be at the highest risk of being involved in slip and fall accidents on stairs. Among young adults, women seem to be at a higher risk of personal injuries in such accidents.

These findings come from a new study, and while the fact that young children and the elderly are at a greater risk of falling should not come as a surprise, the inclusion of young adults in their twenties definitely raises  eyebrows. According to the researchers, children below the age of 3 and elderly people above the age of 85 have the highest risk of suffering personal injuries in a fall on stairs.  However, young adults in their twenties also have a significantly higher risk of being involved in slip and fall accidents.

Among young adults in their twenties, young women seem to have a higher slip and fall risk compared to males.  The  researchers  analyzed  the results of the study to understand the reasons for the higher fall risks involving females.  They  believe that inappropriate footwear could probably be a reason why young women are more likely to fall down stairs compared to males. The researchers specifically identify  flip flops, sandals and heels as being inappropriate footwear that  increase the  risks of a fall down the stairs. They also believe that women are more likely to be walking with someone which means they are more likely to be talking and, therefore, distracted.

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With  summer fast approaching and thousands of children  and families cooling off in swimming pools across the country, it is important for Atlanta pool owners to understand their risks of premises liability when a drowning  occurs on their premises.

Most drownings involving children occur in swimming pools.  According  to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children between the age of 1 and 4 are more likely to die from drowning than any other factor. For children between the age of 5 and 14,  drowning is the second most likely cause of unintentional death, after auto accidents. Every year,  there are 4,000 fatal drowning accidents recorded in the United States, and as many as double that number of non -fatal drowning accidents.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia has a drowning death rate that is approximately 1.37 for every 100,000 population.

Most  of these accidents occur in residential and commercial swimming pools. Even if a drowning does not result in death, it can result in severe or even catastrophic personal injury.  The loss of oxygen supply to the brain can result in brain damage and other consequences that can contribute to  long- term or   lifelong disability of a child or adult. Close to half of all drowning accidents that do not result in a death will result in hospitalization of the victim.  A drowning is much more likely to result in death or long term injury compared to other  unintentional injuries.

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More  lives could potentially be saved in  auto accidents involving minivans every year if these vehicles came with stronger and more efficient seat belt warning systems.

A  new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety highlights the fact that far too many minivan models simply do not have effective and efficient seatbelt reminder systems in place.  This  is even more alarming when you consider that these vehicles are mainly purchased by families with young children.

The  minivan is the ubiquitous symbol of the young American family.  For  decades,  Americans with young families have been buying minivans for their very specific travel needs.   However, failure to use proper restraint systems has disastrous consequences for America’s children.  In  2020,  more than one-third of children below the age of 12 killed in car accidents were not properly restrained at the time.

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With children back at school, the  federal administration is turning its attention to the critically important subject of school bus safety, starting off with a media campaign to specifically warn drivers about the most common mistakes that many of them make when encountering a stopped school bus. Unfortunately, these mistakes often result in the wrongful death from pedestrian accidents.

The  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a school bus safety campaign that warns  motorists about the risk to child pedestrians when they illegally pass a stopped school bus.  The  campaign is expected to last through the entire month of October and also coincides with National Pedestrian Safety Month which is marked in the month of October.  It is child pedestrians, specifically school children getting on or off school buses, that the campaign wants to raise awareness about.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the greatest accident threat to school children is manifested not when they are riding on a school bus, but getting on or getting off the school bus.  Georgia, as every other state in the United States, has laws that specifically prohibit motorists from passing a stopped school bus.  Motorists are required to stop their car for as long as the school bus stop arm is extended.  However, many motorists fail to do so every year, and these failures have devastating results. They cause pedestrian accidents that cause serious injuries to children.

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