Articles Tagged with accidents

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This year, the trucking industry will push for legislation that will increase weight limits on tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers across the country. Unfortunately, heavier trucks on our highways will only increase the risk of accidents, and jeopardize the safety of motorists on the highways.

In 2015, legislators defeated an amendment that would have increased the maximum weight of tractor-trailers on highways to 91,000 pounds from the current 80,000 pounds. In fact, such proposals have been rejected several times by Congress, and with good reason.

It is a proven fact that any accident involving a massive truck weighing more than 90,000 pounds is potentially devastating to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. It’s not just the impact of the accident with a large truck that seriously jeopardizes the safety of the occupants of the smaller vehicle, but also the fact that these trucks are more difficult to maneuver, thus increasing crash risks.  They are more difficult to operate, and take a much longer time to come to a complete stop after the brakes are applied. Therefore, Congress has always rejected any legislation increasing weight limits for trucks.

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Cities that choose to shut down their red light camera programs may see a spike in the number of people killed in traffic fatalities caused by red light violations.

According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red light camera programs in several large American cities were responsible for saving as many as 1,300 lives in accidents through 2014. Shutting down these programs cost American lives, with fatality rates shooting up as much as 30% in cities that have chosen to shut down red light camera programs. In 2014, according to data, red light violations caused more than 700 fatalities and over 126,000 injuries.

Red light camera programs not only reduce the risk of violations, but also lead to greater adherence to the rules and fewer violations, leading to a lower risk of accidents when programs like these are publicized. In addition, when red light camera programs are in place, violators can be apprehended easily.  Unfortunately, even though the benefits of red light camera programs are easy to see, they have been met with opposition by local communities. That has led to many of these programs being shut down in several cities across the country. The total number of communities with red light camera programs in the country fell in 2014 to a total of 467, from a high of 533 in the year 2012.

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The horrifying fatal school bus accident in Chattanooga in November that killed five children has highlighted the frailties in the system that make it difficult to track accidents and take steps to effectively prevent similar deadly crashes.

In November, a bus left Woodmore Elementary School with approximately 37 students on board, crashed into a tree, and flipped over. Six children were killed, and several others injured, including six who were injured seriously enough to be rushed to the intensive care unit. The driver of the bus was arrested on charges of vehicle homicide. At least one of the children on the bus was a kindergartner.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), this year alone, there have been at least 700 accidents involving metro Atlanta school buses, or approximately 2 crashes a day.  However, that data may be incomplete.  Officials admit that the database lacks data on many accidents, and this makes it difficult for officials to track accident rates, pinpoint causes, and take steps to eliminate these accidents. Those steps include retraining school drivers, strengthening training and safety standards, and identifying accident trends in particular areas. Better accident data could also help identify dangerous drivers, who can then be removed from the system.