Articles Posted in In The News

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Chain reaction auto accidents that involve multiple vehicles are a serious threat during the winter season. With winter storms and blizzards in many parts of the country, including Georgia recently, it is important for motorists to understand that these are some of the most treacherous conditions that they could be driving in.

Many parts of Georgia, especially the north, typically see several snowstorms over the winter season. If you are a motorist in Georgia or plan to travel around the state over winter, it is likely that you will come across some kind of snow storm or other wintry or icy road conditions.  It is important for motorists to understand that these are some of the most treacherous and hazardous weather conditions for a motorist to drive in.  Multi-vehicle chain reaction car accidents that initially start off with a single vehicle or two are common during the winter months. Elsewhere around the country, several multi vehicle accidents have resulted in serious personal injuries and wrongful deaths this winter season.

Protect  yourself  against being involved in a multi vehicle auto accident this winter by following these tips.

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A new list of the most dangerous roads in the country includes at least three interstates that run through the state of Georgia.  These highways are already very well known in the state for the large number of auto accidents that they see every year.

The list was compiled by Zebra car insurance company. The company used data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System to identify the states and cities that are home to the most dangerous roads in the country based on the number of car accidents and fatal crashes that occur on these roads. The company specifically looked at the number of car accident deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

Taking top position, to no one’s surprise is Interstate 95, a notoriously dangerous stretch of highway that has long been known for the large number of car accidents, including fatal auto accidents, that occur here. Interstate 95 has long held the title of the country’s most dangerous highway.  According to data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, a total of 284 people were killed in car accidents on interstate 95.  This highway has a fatality toll rate of 14.88 deaths for every 100,000 miles traveled. By any comparison, those are disturbing statistics.

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New automobiles that come with advanced safety technology have reduced the disparity between male and female motorists in the kind of injuries caused in car accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released the results of a new report which finds that newer automobiles, particularly those of model years 2010 and later, do a much better job of protecting female motorists against personal injuries and reducing the disparity in injuries between female and male drivers.

These findings were published in a report titled Female Crash Fatality Risk Relative to Males With Similar Physical Impacts. Traditionally, there has been a discrepancy between male and female motorists in the outcomes of auto accidents.  Women are almost 40 percent more likely to suffer injuries in car accidents.

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A judge in Fulton County has set a bond for a motorist who police allege, caused a drunk driving accident on I- 20 early in the month.  The impact of the crash caused one of the passengers in the car the motorist hit, a 21-year-old woman to be ejected from the car.  She sustained fatal injuries.  The other people in the car were also injured, and still recovering in the hospital.

This judge set a bond of $310,000 for the alleged driver on charges that range from DUI to first degree homicide.  For the family of the woman killed in the accident, it’s been a frustrating experience to see the man they believe responsible for their loved one’s death out on bond.

There has been a decline in injuries and fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents across Georgia.  For example, in 2008, there were 416 deaths caused by drunk driving accidents.  That was a decline over 2007, and mirrored the drop across most of Georgia, and, in fact, most of the country.  Much of this decline can be attributed to better enforcement efforts  .Law enforcement has become more aggressive about cracking down on drunk drivers randomly over the weekends and major holidays.

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Women remain skeptical about the safety of driverless autonomous cars.  A new study finds that while men are much more likely to be impressed by the car accident prevention features of autonomous auto technology, women are much more hesitant about adopting these vehicles. Many women believe there is an increased risk of auto accidents with these types of vehicles.

According to a new study conducted by Pew Research Centre, women on the whole are far more skeptical about the benefits of driverless cars as compared to men. Several studies have pointed to the benefits of such driverless technology on our roads, including the reduced risk of auto accidents.  As these vehicles become more popular and as the possibility of sharing roads with more and more driverless cars becomes more of a reality and less a distant vision for the future, it becomes important to also understand why such a large section of the population remains skeptical about their safety.

According to the Pew Research Center study, as many as half of all men believe that driving an autonomous car can reduce the risk of being fatally injured in an auto accident.  However, when it came to women, only 1 in 3 women shared that view. Men are enthusiastic evangelists for the autonomous car with 37% of them strongly believing that driverless car technology is good for society while only 17% of women seemed to believe so.  When asked whether they would feel comfortable sharing the roads with driverless cars once these become more popular on the roads, more than half of the women or 54% of them admitted that they would not feel safe with these cars on the road, while 35% of men admitted to feeling unsafe sharing the roads with driverless cars. Close to half or 46% of the men said that they would be perfectly comfortable being a passenger in an autonomous car, but women were very hesitant to ride in a self-driving car, with over half of them admitting that they would not be fine travelling as a passenger in a self-driving car.  When it comes to driverless trucks, however, the views of men and women are more aligned. Fifty-three (53%) of the men and 66% of the women admitted that they were not comfortable with having driverless trucks on our roads.

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The federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is poised to soon have its first confirmed chief in several years.  The good news is that the new head promises to take an extra special look at the increasing rates of traffic accident fatalities in the country.

The Biden administration has zeroed in on Steven Cliff to be the next head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Cliff has been serving as the deputy administrator for the NHTSA since February 2021.

Cliff is no stranger to auto safety, and is currently overseeing the federal administration’s investigation into auto accidents in Tesla automobiles. He is making it clear that the recently-approved infrastructure bill would boost the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s spending budget by 50%. According to Cliff, the funds will help the administration implement strategies to understand the causes of car accidents, and will enhance the quality of data as well expand the use of electronic reporting systems, moving them from paper-based to digital systems.

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Transportation safety advocates have been hailing the infrastructure bill that allocates billions in spending on upgrading infrastructure.  Georgia could be an especially lucky beneficiary of that funding.

The infrastructure bill recently signed by President Joe Biden will earmark a staggering $1 trillion for infrastructure funding across the country. Billions of dollars of those funds are on their way to Georgia where many bridges, roads, and highways will benefit from upgrades and repairs. The state has several bridges and highways that have been deemed dangerous or in “poor” condition by experts. At least 374 bridges in the state are “structurally deficient.” Additionally, more than 2, 000 miles of roads across Georgia are categorized as “poor.”  These roads and bridges will benefit from the funding and receive necessary repairs from pot holes, to crumbling pavement and unstable foundations.

Close to 9 billion dollars in funding will be directed to defective highways and roads in the state. An additional $225 million will be allocated for conducting repairs to bridges. Roads in the metro Atlanta region are likely to benefit from repairs as a result of the funding. Mass transit in Georgia will also benefit as a result of the funds. The bill includes more than 1.4 billion dollars to be spent over the next five years on public transport systems in Georgia.  Efforts to expand public transportation have long been attempted in the Atlanta area.  The additional funding may help get overdue improvements finally implemented.   Expansion of mass transit and public transport services will ease congestion in the metro Atlanta region and other areas, and make the roads safer for all commuters to use. Mass transit is safer and more convenient than driving for many Atlanta residents, and expansion will definitely be welcome

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Nursing homes that have lower rankings by federal agencies have been much more likely to have resident deaths related to Covid-19.

According to the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes ranked low by the agency’s nursing home ranking tool have seen higher numbers of Covid-19 deaths, compared to nursing homes that were ranked higher by the ranking tool.

This information provides valuable input for families who are looking for nursing homes for their loved ones in a post -pandemic world. By now, it’s clear that many nursing homes were ill-equipped to handle the patient care challenges resulting from the pandemic. Understaffing is a chronic problem in nursing homes across the country, and has already been blamed for the explosion of cases in nursing homes.

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has rolled back his decision allowing new drivers to receive their driver’s licenses without a road test.

The order allowing drivers to skip road tests was issued on April 23rd  after the state had implemented massive social distancing measures and shelter-in-place orders in the face of the expanding COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, Governor Brian Kemp’s office released an order that immediately suspended driving tests for teen drivers. The order made no mention of rescheduling the road tests.

However, criticism from parents as well as traffic safety advocates seems to have pressured the Governor to reconsider his decision, and thankfully better sense has prevailed. Governor Kemp has now signed a new order which makes it clear that all new drivers who have received their licenses since the April order must take the road exam. After the April order suspending driving tests, as many as 20,000 Georgia teens had obtained their driver’s licenses without appearing for road tests. These teens must now take their road tests in order to retain their licenses.  The new order gives drivers until September 30th to fulfill this requirement and take their tests.  The order also provides for individuals to take the test either remotely or with a supervisor in the vehicle.

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All throughout the country, nursing home residents have been one of the hardest hit groups of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The same deadly results have been seen in Georgia as well.  According to estimates, as many as 50 percent of the fatalities in the state have involved residents of nursing homes.

The Georgia Department of Community Health recently released Covid-19 fatality numbers and the results are frightening. The data suggests that more than 6,000 residents and staff members of nursing homes in Georgia are currently infected with the virus. About 350 facilities in the state are currently grappling with the outbreak. About 20 percent of all Covid-19 cases in Georgia have occurred in nursing homes and 659 deaths have been linked to nursing homes.

The picture is even bleaker in the rural parts of Georgia.  The virus, which was earlier believed to be confined to urban areas, has spread with staggering speed in rural areas.  These counties, with predominantly poor or African American populations have been affected disproportionately by the outbreak, and nursing homes in these regions have seen an alarming spike in death tolls.

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