Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

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Driving safety is a matter of concern for parents of most teens, and especially so for the parents of a teenager diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A new study finds that teenagers who suffer from ADHD are more likely than their peers to be involved in a motor vehicle collision.

After acquiring a driver’s license, a teen with ADHD has a risk of having a car accident that is 36% higher than non-ADHD teens who have recently been licensed.  The crash risk is the same for both boys as well as girls with ADHD. The study is not all doom and gloom, however. The same study finds that the accident risk for teens with ADHD is actually much lower than earlier studies have found.

Researchers believe that medication significantly reduces the risk that a teen with ADHD will meet with an accident.  At the time of the study, only 12 percent of teenagers were on any kind of ADHD medication.

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August marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana. What many people are not aware of, however, is how Di’s tragic death in a Paris tunnel in 1997 significantly changed the driving landscape in France, and made roads in that country safer for all motorists.

After the accident in a Paris tunnel in 1997, French investigators came to the conclusion that the accident was the result of unsafe and dangerous driving practices. In 2002, the French government signed a number of new laws that were specifically designed to help reduce the incidence of unsafe driving. As a result of those laws, traffic accident fatalities in the country actually dropped by as much as one-third.

In the new study, researchers claim that France’s decision to enact traffic safety laws in the aftermath of the tragic and high-profile death significantly improved traffic safety in that country, and may have helped save many lives. In fact, the study suggests that thousands of French lives could have been saved as a result of legislative changes that were enacted. In fact, French road fatalities in the decades after the fatal crash fell by as much as 30% on average, compared with an average of 15% in the United States.

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Buying a new car for a teenager is a momentous decision. You are concerned about safety, while your teen wants a car that’s high on horsepower and style. How do you make the right choice?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released its top car picks for teenagers. The list provides a comprehensive range of makes and models that parents can choose from. A look through the list will identify a few common factors that each of these models shares such as limited horsepower, large size, and a focus on safety features.

Here’s what to look for when you buy a car for your teenager.

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Car accident fatality rates are often linked to the state of the economy. As the US economy improves, experts are already identifying a perceptible increase in the number of people being killed in accidents.

The logic linking a higher risk of accidents to an improved economy is fairly simple. When the economy is good, people tend to drive more, and more numbers of vehicle miles traveled simply translates into a higher risk of accidents.  With more vehicles on the road there is a much higher risk of collisions.

It is not just the higher number of people on the roads that increases crash risks, however. It’s also the fact that people tend to drive more for recreational purposes when the economy is doing great. For instance, people are likely to travel more on holiday or go out for dinner in a good economy, compared to a distressed economy. Interestingly enough, people are also likely to drive faster when the economy is good.

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More and more accidents would be prevented every year in the U.S. if motorists would simply do the one thing that they’re supposed to do behind the wheel-focus on the task of driving. Unfortunately, far too many American motorists are engaged in a variety of different tasks while driving, increasing their risk of an accident and threatening the safety of other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians.

The National Safety Council last month delivered the results of new findings which once again underscored how serious the problem of distracted driving is. April was National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and to mark this month, the National Safety Council compiled the results of earlier surveys. The exercise yielded some very startling facts.

As many as 50% of all drivers believe that it is acceptable and perfectly safe for a person to text either using a manual device, or a voice-activated system. About half of all drivers also confirm that they are under constant pressure from their employers to remain accessible while driving.  Forty four percent admit that they have been involved in an accident during the past three years while traveling to work.

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Sleep experts have long believed that drowsiness or lack of sleep contributes to a higher accident risk involving drowsy drivers. A new study strongly confirms the link between less sleep and a higher accident risk.

Earlier research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety had estimated that a total of 7% of all accidents, including 21% of all fatal accidents involve drowsy driving. However, clear data about the exact link between less sleep and higher crash risk was not available. Recently, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted another study in which it examined data involving accidents that occurred between 2005 and 2007.  This time, researchers found a strong relationship between the number of hours of sleep a driver had in the previous 24 hours and their accident risk.

Specifically, they found that drivers who had slept for less than four hours had their accident risk increase by 11.5 times the crash rate, compared to drivers who had slept for seven hours or more in the past 24 hours. Similarly, drivers who had slept for 4 to 5 hours, 5 to 6 hours, and 6 to 7 hours had a crash risk that was 4.3, 1.9 and 1.3 times the crash rate, respectively, of a person who had slept for more than seven hours.

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As the bad news on distracted driving continues to grow, there is some good news in the war against drunk driving. A new study indicates that the popularity of ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber is contributing to a drop in drunk driving collisions.

The study was conducted in New York, and focused on those areas of the city that had been very quick to adopt Uber. Researchers compared accident rates in each of the city’s five boroughs, and found that the rate of alcohol-related car collisions dropped significantly in those boroughs which had quickly adopted Uber. In Staten Island, where Uber took a longer time to gain popularity, the rate remained the same. Earlier reports have also indicated some impact of ridesharing apps on people’s decisions and actions related to driving after consuming alcohol.

However, another study conducted last July yielded vastly different findings. According to data collected from around the country, ridesharing seems to have no effect on the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents on weekends or major holidays. Those researchers point to the fact that there still aren’t enough ridesharing drivers on the road to actually make a dent in the high rates of intoxicated driving on major holidays and weekends.

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Millennial drivers between the ages of 19 and 20 are most likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviors, and those behaviors expose them to increased accident risks.

Those are the results of a new study that was published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study found that 88% of young millennials admitted to engaging in at least one risky driving activity over the past month.  Some of these driving behaviors included texting while driving, running red lights, and driving at excessive speeds.

The increasing number of millennials on our roads could, therefore, partly explain the significant increase in traffic accident fatalities recorded in 2015. That year, there were 35,092 traffic accident fatalities, an increase of more than 7%, coming after years of declining fatalities. Those disturbing statistics indicate that there are other factors in play, besides non-adherence to distracted driving laws and speeding, which are contributing to this spike in fatalities.

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Apple is at the center of a class-action lawsuit filed by a man who claims that the company was negligent in its failure to implement an anti-distracted driving safety feature that it had patented.

The California man was involved in an accident in which he was rear-ended by a motorist, who was using her iPhone while driving. He suffered back injuries, and also suffered extensive damage to his vehicle.

He has now filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the smart phone maker had patented a lockout mechanism which would have helped prevent an accident like his. This lockout mechanism disables smart phones, preventing a motorist from performing functions like texting while driving.  While Apple has patented the technology, it has not added the lockout technology to its best-selling devices.  This decision by Apple was made even though the company was very clearly aware of the dangers of distracted driving.

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By September 2019, all new hybrid and electric vehicles in the United States must come with a sound-emitting device that will help reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s new rule requires that all hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles be equipped with an acoustic device to help prevent pedestrian accidents. These quiet vehicles pose a potential hazard because pedestrians, both blind and sighted, very often fail to realize that they are in the path of an oncoming quiet car.  NHTSA estimates that there are as many as 2,400 pedestrian injuries every year that occur as the result of collisions involving these cars.

The agency clearly lays out the minimum sound requirements for both electric and hybrid vehicles with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less.  The requirement asks manufacturers to ensure that these devices produce sounds that meet the minimal requirements of the standard, and which are high enough so that both blind as well as sighted pedestrians can recognize the danger of an accident and can easily move to avoid one. The noise must be audible, and must be produced when the car is traveling at a speed of less than 19 mph. Vehicles that are moving at greater than this speed do not need to emit the sound, because the wind noise generated by the car traveling at high speeds, is deemed sufficient to alert pedestrians.