Articles Posted in Children accidents

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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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Auto safety group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety has released its annual report on performance and highway safety measures. This year, Georgia has been ranked well, notching up a Green ranking, the highest on the list, a finding that is encouraging to the Atlanta car accident attorneys at our firm.

The 9th annual Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws compares all 50 states and grades them based on their adoption of 15 basic traffic safety laws. The 15 laws include everything from seatbelt and motorcycle safety to graduated driver’s licensing programs and distracted driving measures.

Georgia received a Green ranking, and the report found that the state performed well by implementing at least 11 of the laws the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recommends.  However, many feel Georgia could do better.  One of the ways that the state could improve its highway safety record is by raising the minimum age for getting a learner’s permit, and enacting stricter nighttime and passenger restrictions on graduated driver’s licensing programs for teen drivers.  Sadly, teenage drivers are some of the biggest victims of auto accidents every year.  Stronger graduated driver’s licensing laws in Georgia may help save more teen lives in accidents every year.

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Laws requiring drivers and passengers to wear seat belts have been around for decades.  This is beYour car’s seat belts are the front line defense in protecting you from injury if you are a victim of a car accident.  Seat belt reminders that emit an audible alert when a driver is not buckled up are useful tools that can help increase seat belt usage rates and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities in auto accidents every year. A new study, however, shows that many seat belt reminders are not that effective.  Auto manufacturers must be made aware of how beneficial this tool can be.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has developed a new rating program that aims to encourage car manufacturers to improve their seat belt reminder technologies.  According to federal standards, a seat belt reminder system should emit an audible signal that lasts for a minimum of 4 to 6 seconds.  In the case of a visual signal, the alert must continue for a period of at least 60 seconds. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway safety has conducted earlier research that indicates that alerts that continue for much longer can be more effective in encouraging motorists to buckle up before they begin driving. In fact, the research found that seat belt usage increases by as much as 34% when audible alerts last much longer than just 4 to 6 seconds. The research indicates that increased seatbelt usage can save as many as 1,500 lives in auto accidents every year.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, audible signals must not only be long-lasting, but must also be loud enough to allow the motorist to hear the signal. Some of the systems that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studied as part of its research, had alerts that were barely audible above the cabin noise and other vehicle noise.  In others, there was a 25 -second gap between intermittent audible signals, and this could be too long a gap to prove effective in encouraging a motorist to buckle up.

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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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Georgia highway safety efforts will benefit from a multi-million dollar grant by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The grant will provide more than 2 million dollars in funding to the Georgia Department of Public Safety and Augusta University, and is meant to spent exclusively on highway safety.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the money will be used to enhance the agency’s data analysis processes, provide technical assistance to agencies across the state and enhance support for motor vehicle safety programs.  The grant to Augusta University will be used specifically to encourage motor vehicle safety in young motorists. Augusta University will receive more than $16,000 in aid to the Georgia Young Adult Program.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety is taking the safety of child passengers very seriously, and plans to use much of the funding to develop programs that help keep child passengers safe in accidents. More than a million dollars, for instance, is going towards the expansion of child car safety seat use across the state. The money will go to the Injury Protection Program’s Child Occupant Safety Program, and the goal is to enhance the use of child car safety seats across the state by providing child safety seats. The program will also use the funds to increase education across the state about the need to keep children restrained in child car safety seats that are appropriate for their age and weight. The program will also invest the funding in the expansion of training programs not just for healthcare professionals and child care providers, but also emergency personnel and firefighters.

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New cars have an increasing array of gadgets and accessories.  Although some may be designed to help keep a driver safe, in-car technology and objects inside the car may actually be much more likely to distract motorists than objects outside the car.

These new findings are part of recent research into distractions affecting motorists and their impact on safe driving. The study was published in Accident Analysis and Prevention Journal and focused on the types of distractions that motorists are most prone to, as well as the impact of distractions on different types of motorists, including teen as well as senior drivers.

The study found that in-car objects and technology as well as cell phones were a major distraction for motorists. External scenes were also a distraction to a certain extent.  Teens and adult drivers were much more likely to be distracted by technology, other passengers as well as other types of distractions, compared to senior drivers. However, senior drivers seemed to suffer a greater impact from distractions. Older drivers may begin to suffer from slower reflexes and delayed response times as they age, and the impact of these can be exacerbated when the senior driver is also distracted by his cell phone or other technology.  Both females as well as males were prone to distractions.

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With many school districts across Georgia, including in the metro Atlanta region, beginning in-person learning over the next few weeks, it is important for schools, students and parents to keep essential safety tips in mind.

Most school districts across Georgia have announced that they will begin in-person learning soon, and some school districts have actually already begun welcoming students back to school.

If you are a parent, you should be aware of some essential safety precautions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking parents to take extra care while picking up and dropping their children to school.  Look out for child pedestrians around the school. Look out school buses that may be very busy in the school zone. Avoid speeding within a school zone. Stick to safe speed limits in these areas and be mindful of the reduced speed limits during school hours.  Be additionally careful when you are around a crosswalk.  Do not block pedestrians near a crosswalk or force them to walk around your car. Look out for crossing guards or school patrol officers waiting for you to stop.

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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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Ride-sharing services have grown exponentially in popularity.  However, many passengers who ride in these vehicles often neglect to practice safe riding practices.  This also goes for parents riding with their children in ride-sharing vehicles.

Car safety seats are the single most important means of protection against serious injury or even death for children in an accident. However, many parents neglect to use these safety features when they are travelling in an Uber or a Lyft.

According to a new study, most parents who otherwise use car safety seats to protect their children fail to do so when they are travelling with children in a ride-sharing car. Those findings come from a recent study and have left researchers seriously alarmed because car accidents are the single biggest factor causing death among children below the age of 10 in the United States.  Using car safety protection is a significant factor that can help keep children safe while travelling.

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A Tik Tok stunt that has recently gone viral places teens at a high risk of brain injury and spinal injury.

The “Skull Breaker” challenge on the popular platform Tik Tok involves two teens pulling the legs out from under a third person who is essentially the victim. The resulting fall can cause a serious spine injury or brain injury. In fact, hospitals around the US have reported serious neck, spine and brain injuries linked to the stunt gone horribly wrong.  And now that more children and teens are home due to schools being cancelled, the incidence of these injuries is rising.

Basically, the stunt involves tricking a third person into jumping, and sweeping their legs out from under them as they jump. When the victim falls, he is likely to sustain a severe impact to his skull, resulting in a head or brain injury. Other possible injuries include a spinal injury as the back sustains the maximum impact of the fall. These injuries have led to several hospitalizations.

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