Articles Posted in Pedestrian accidents

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As daylight savings time changes go into effect and clocks are brought one hour forward, a new study finds that there may be some benefits to pedestrians  and bicyclists as accidents involving these road users  are reduced after the change. The same benefits, however, do not extend to motorists.

The effect of daylight savings time change has been analyzed by traffic safety experts several times in the past.  In  this most recent study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers analyzed traffic accident data from between 2010 and 2019.  They further divided these accidents based on the hours around the time change – between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. – and further divided these accidents based on whether these involved motorists or pedestrians and bicyclists.

The data found that the overall net effect of the time change was minimal, regardless of whether the accident involved pedestrians and bicyclists or occupants of a passenger vehicle.  However, about 5 weeks after the fall time change went into effect, they found that there was an increase in the number of car accidents involving bicyclists and a drop in the number of auto accidents involving motorists.  Conversely,  when they analyzed the data from about 5 weeks after the spring time change went into effect, they found an increase in the number of auto accidents involving motorists and a drop in the number of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

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Persons  who have suffered a brain injury may find it difficult to recall memories or make new memories.  This could possibly be a result of processing deficits as a result of a personal injury. Car accidents, slip and fall accidents and similar traumatic events may result in brain injuries which lead to a processing deficit.

A  brain injury can result in a number of cognitive and intellectual impairments. The person may suffer from concentration problems, cognitive  deficits and a lowered ability to understand  and grasp basic concepts and ideas.  One of the more troubling parts of life after a brain injury is limited memory function.  The  person may struggle to recall events, and even short term memory may be affected.  According  to new research, a brain injury can result in slowing down of processing times or a processing deficit which can, in turn, lead to memory dysfunction.  The findings of the study are important when you consider the fact that as many as 50% of patients who have suffered a brain injury  do suffer from some kind of memory dysfunction.

The researchers believe that rehabilitation after a brain injury can help with memory function to some extent.  They believe that therapy, especially occupational therapy techniques used during rehabilitation must include techniques to speed up processing speed.

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Federal transportation officials as well as state officials met in the nation’s  capital recently to discuss ways to reduce car accident wrongful deaths.

Most states were represented at the gathering with 17 states declining  to participate, and out of these, 10 of those states had traffic accident death rates that were higher than the national average in 2021.  For most transportation officials, the past couple of years have been frustrating to say the least. After several decades of declining traffic accident deaths,  the years  since the pandemic  have actually seen traffic accident deaths inching  upwards once again.  There have been increases reported in almost every category of accidents, from pedestrian accidents to speed – related accidents and distracted driving – related accidents.  Clearly,  new challenges have emerged since the pandemic and fresh strategies are required to deal with these.

Some states reported at the conference that  they have successfully limited the impact of poor driving on accident numbers through very simple steps.  These steps  have involved the use of simple techniques, like rumble strips on highways as well as reflective tape on stop signs in order to help motorists pay stronger attention to the task of driving. Some states are investing in corridors for pedestrians.  Others have increased fines on speeding while some states have focused on construction work zone safety with a specific focus on protecting construction workers in these dangerous zones. Many of these initiatives have  met with great success,  and provide a blueprint for other states to follow these efforts.

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Persons who have suffered a brain injury in an auto accident may be at a higher risk of developing brain cancer later in life. This the shocking finding of a new study which could have a significant impact on personal injury claims.

A  new study that was conducted on military vets finds that a brain injury significantly increases the risk of brain cancer. The study focused on more than 1.9 million vets, and the results are disturbing.   Brain  cancer is a relatively rare cancer, and only one percent of the general population has the risk of suffering from this disease.  However, among  veterans  who have suffered a brain injury, the risk  of developing malignant cancer is as much as 90% higher than in the general population.  Additionally,  in those cases in which the injury has resulted in penetration of the skull, victims  were found to have a three times higher risk of suffering brain cancer.

The researchers take pains to point out that while the study has been conducted on veterans, and  that while the exact same results may not be seen in the  civilian population, more severe or penetrative brain injury is likely to lead to a higher risk of brain cancer among civilians as well.

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A new report finds that there was a slight drop in the number of pedestrians killed in auto accidents during the first 6 months of last year. While any decrease in deaths from car accidents is welcome, the question remains what changes can be made to more greatly reduce the number of pedestrian accidents in which persons lose their lives.

The report which showed the slight drop in pedestrian wrongful deaths was released by the Governors Highway Safety Association and analyzed preliminary data from the first 6 months of 2023.   There  was some good news in the report. According  to the data, there was a slight drop of 4% in  the number of pedestrians killed in auto accidents between January and June of last year.   Many  states, including Georgia, saw significant drops in the number of car accident deaths involving pedestrians last year.

The rates of pedestrian accident deaths have shot up since the pandemic, and  especially during the worst days of 2022 when the numbers skyrocketed to their highest numbers in over 40 years.  Since  then, transportation safety experts in Georgia and around the country have struggled with bringing these numbers under control.  The challenge has been even greater now that there are more vehicles on the road as companies end their work -from -home policies and require employees to return to work.  The larger number of vehicles on the roads translates into a greater risk of being hit by a car while walking, and especially so  during challenging  times like these, when pedestrians are already at risk from a number of other factors that increase their risks of being involved in car  accidents like  poor infrastructure.

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If a group of Atlanta Council members has its way, motorists will no longer be able to make a right turn when they are at a red light.  The move is linked to concerns about the risk of car accidents involving pedestrians.

The so- called Right on Red laws were enacted across the country back in the 1970s in the midst of a fuel crisis.  The law allows motorists the right to make a right turn at a red light, provided they stop first and it is safe to turn.  However, authorities found out very quickly after the laws were passed, that while the laws did not really do much to increase fuel efficiency, they did increase the risk of car accidents involving pedestrians when drivers made  right turns at red lights.  Even back in the 1970s, officials found that there was a higher risk of auto accidents involving pedestrians in these areas.

Recently, however, there have been efforts across the country to get these laws repealed or banned.  According  to transportation safety experts, these laws do contribute to large numbers of  car accidents every year involving pedestrians,   and many of these auto accidents result in catastrophic personal injuries to the pedestrians.  Now, a group of three Atlanta Council members also has proposed a ban on such right turns at red lights in certain areas in the city.  The three Council members are proposing a ban on these actions in Midtown, Downtown and Castleberry Hill.  These are busy areas that are chock full of entertainment venues and cultural attractions, and see large   volumes of pedestrian traffic.  According  to the Council members,  it is important to keep these areas thriving,  and that  can happen only when the laws make it safe for pedestrians to walk in these neighborhoods.

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A spinal cord injury can result in loss of muscle to a larger extent than can be  attributed to lack of movement and mobility.   A new study points to one of the lesser known, but longer term consequences of a spinal cord injury after an auto accident.

A spinal cord injury is a serious personal injury that is caused when there is an injury to the spine during an auto accident, or motorcycle accident or pedestrian accident.  Spinal cord injuries may also be caused in slip and fall accidents.  The  degree and severity of the spinal cord injury can depend on the location of the vertebrae where the injury occurs.  Spinal cord injuries can result in loss of movement and mobility making it impossible for the person to  stand, walk and otherwise use his or her limbs.  These personal injuries  significantly alter a person’s life and  his ability to earn a living and live a  normal life after the personal injury.

A new study finds that there are long term consequences of a spinal injury that we may not be aware of.  The  study recently found that a spinal cord injury can cause significant muscle wastage in patients.  Some degree of muscle wastage in patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury is to be expected because of the lack of movement and exercise that can cause muscles to wither away.  According  to the study, however,  the kind of muscle wastage that a person with these injuries suffers cannot simply be explained away by lack of movement.  In fact, the researchers believe that it has more to do with the ability of the adrenal glands to receive nerve signals.

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A decades-old law that was meant to manage fuel shortages is coming under the spotlight in states like Georgia,  as experts consider ways to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents around the country.

The  so-called “right- on-red” law allows motorists in   Georgia and  several   other states to make a right turn at an intersection even if the light is on red as long as the intersection is clear.  The  law provides American motorists with a unique privilege, and comes as a result of a law that was passed in the 1970s  as the country grappled with fuel shortages. That was when an oil embargo  pushed oil prices to record levels, necessitating  the passing of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.  Some  other states  had passed similar right to turn laws a few decades earlier.

The  laws continued to remain in place even after the oil embargo ended and fuel prices returned to normal.  It is  a privilege that  American motorists now do not even think twice about, and it is only now in the face of skyrocketing pedestrian accident deaths that experts are asking if it is time to retire a law that is possibly  at least partly responsible for the increasing number of people being killed in  pedestrian accidents, especially at intersections.

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Pedestrians  are more likely to suffer fatal personal injuries in a car accident when they are involved in an accident with a large vehicle, like a pick up truck or SUV.  According  to the findings of a new study, however, more than the size of the vehicle, it may be the height of the front end of the truck that may prove most detrimental to pedestrian safety.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently published the findings of two new research studies into pedestrian safety.  According to the researchers, vehicles that have taller, higher front ends are much more likely to cause serious and fatal personal injuries to pedestrians in a car accident.  The study found that cars with a hood height of more than 40 inches were approximately 45% more likely to kill pedestrians involved in an auto accident with the car, in comparison to cars that had a hood height of 30 inches or less.

The worrying part is that vehicles with taller, higher hoods have become extremely popular over the past few decades.  According to research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over the past 30 years, there has been a significant increase in not just the size and weight of the average vehicle, but also the hood height.  The average car has increased by 8 inches in height and 1000 pounds in weight. Over  the same period of time, cars have also gotten about 4 inches wider and about 10 inches longer. In fact, many vehicles that you see in Atlanta today are likely to be at least 40 inches or higher at the tallest point of the hood.  Aggressive – looking vehicles are not just intimidating to pedestrians, but are also capable of causing serious and devastating personal injuries that can result in wrongful death.

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As we head towards the end of summer, pedestrians walking along Atlanta roads must remember to focus on the task of walking and avoid distractions from their cell phones and other devices to avoid car accidents. Unfortunately, too often pedestrians are seen walking across a street while looking at their cell phones or texting. This type of conduct prevents them from being alert to cars entering their paths, even when the pedestrian has the right of way.

A  new study in Australia finds that texting on a cell phone while walking significantly increases a person’s risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. The researchers divided college students into 3 groups.  The first group was asked to text while sitting, while the other group was asked to walk without texting.  The third group was made to text while walking on a pathway that was specifically designed for the experiment with tiles that were out of place.  Not surprisingly, the researchers found that the group of persons who were texting while walking had their focus impacted by their distraction.

The  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that close to 10% of auto accidents in the United States every year are directly linked to motorists using cell phones  while driving. Other studies have found plenty of evidence that distractions also seem to place pedestrians at risk of pedestrian accidents.  If you are walking while talking on your cell phone, or listening to music on your headphones, you are less likely to identify an approaching car or spot any other kind of safety cues.

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