Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

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Record  numbers of motorists are expected to throng Georgia highways this Thanksgiving, and  traffic enforcement agencies are warning of a higher risk of auto accidents. This is true with all holidays, but especially with holidays that result in extended days off for many workers. All holidays of this nature see a spike in the number of car accidents and, unfortunately, wrongful deaths.

This year, authorities are gearing up for a significant increase in the number of motorists on Georgia’s roads and highways.  Across the metro Atlanta region and beyond, families will be traveling to meet up with friends and relatives as they celebrate the holiday under more normal circumstances.  Over the past three years, roadway travel over the Thanksgiving holiday dropped significantly.   This year, however, the story is markedly different. Authorities believe that there is likely to be an increase of approximately 26,000 motorists on Georgia roads over the Thanksgiving holiday compared to the same period of time last year.

Not only is Thanksgiving a time when people typically travel, but this year the crowds are expected to be even more intense since this is the first holiday since the pandemic that conditions are expected to be relatively normal. Georgians, in general, are traveling much more than they were during the pandemic, and vehicle miles traveled have increased significantly.

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More than 300,000 auto accidents every year can be linked to fatigued drivers who fall asleep at the wheel, and more than 6000 of these crashes end in deaths. The first step to preventing this auto accidents is to make drivers aware of the risk of driving while fatigued.

That data comes from the Governors Highway Safety Association which estimates that 328,000 car accidents every year can be linked to drowsy driving.  Out of these, more than 191,000 result in serious personal injuries while 6,400 crashes result in wrongful deaths. The Governors Highway Safety Association also estimates that the total cost of these auto accidents, not including property damage, amounts to more than 109 billion dollars each year.

About 10 to 20 percent of all care accidents and truck accidents in the United States can be linked to driving under the influence of tiredness or fatigue.  The actual number could be even higher because it’s hard to tell if a driver was dozing off or fell asleep at the wheel after an accident.  Unlike with alcohol – related car accidents in which it is possible to identify and determine if the person was drunk at the time of the accident, there are no tests that can identify if a person dozed off in the seconds before a car crash.  All data points to the probability that drowsy driving is much more common than estimated.

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Parents who make use of a smartphone app instead of the traditional pen and paper system to supervise their teen children’s mandatory practice driving hours could be helping the driver avoid car accidents and stay safe on the road.  Due to their limited experience, teen driver’s are more likely to be involved in an auto accident.

A new study focuses on the effectiveness of smartphone apps used to track teenage motorists’ supervised driving hours as part of their mandatory GDL requirements, and compares the effectiveness of these apps with logs using pen and paper.  In Georgia, like in most other states, teenagers must complete several hours of supervised driving before they are eligible to get learners’ permits.  Under  Georgia law, a novice driver who is at least 15 years of age must first obtain an instructional permit that allows him or her to drive under the supervision of a  licensed motorist who is at least 21 years of age.  In many cases, parents act as the driving supervisors for their children.  It is only after this supervised driving phase has been completed that a person can appear for an intermediate license.

Needless to say, these hours of supervised driving are critically important to the teen driver.  Not only do they allow her or him to practice driving safely under the supervision of a parent, but also allow parents to foster the kind of driving behavior that they want their child to practice when they are driving on their own, in order to avoid car accidents.

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From inexperience to distractions from passengers, teen motorists  are faced with a variety of auto accident risks.   However, the two biggest risks facing teen motorists are their tendencies to drive at high speeds and use cell phones while driving.

That information comes from the results of a new study presented recently at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition. The study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

The driving behaviors of a total of 155 teenagers were studied as part of the research.  The data was collected in the form of an app that the teenagers used while they were driving.  The  app measured and monitored the presence of dangerous driving behaviors like using a cell phone and driving at high speeds that increased car accident risks.

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The  US Department of Transportation and a number of related federal agencies are rolling out a series of campaigns and measures to help reduce the number of auto accidents injuring and killing pedestrians every year.

The  month of October is being marked as National Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month, and the Department of Transportation is spearheading efforts to raise awareness about the rights of pedestrians and the need to keep them safe. There has never been a better time to bring awareness to the rights of pedestrians than now.   In  2020,  an average of  18 pedestrians were killed  every day in the United States. A total of 6,516 pedestrians were killed in auto accidents that year.

This  is a staggering total by any estimate.  It has led to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg commenting that Americans now live in a time when it is safer to fly than walk.  Other federal transportation officials have also commented on these statistics, saying that it is unacceptable that Americans are unsafe when they walk.

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A new study finds that while many motorists have a high opinion of their driving skills, the reality may be quite different.  The  study finds that many drivers remain unaware of basic safety rules, including road signs, and have a much more elevated opinion of their own driving skills than the reality, thereby increasing their auto accident risks.

The  results of the study were released by insurer Progressive.  The  company focused on 599 motorists, and these motorists were asked questions about their driving skills and knowledge. The results of the study clearly find a gap between drivers’ knowledge of motoring safety including basic  road signs like those related to school safety,  and the reality on the roads.

For  instance, the results of the study finds that an overwhelming majority or 94% of the drivers were able to identify a sign for a lane ending. However, only 65% were able to identify a school crossing sign correctly. This lack of knowledge is extremely dangerous.  Driving  safely and lowering speed limits in school zones  and around school crossing areas is absolutely imperative,  and failure to  identify these signs can increase the risk of car accidents involving child pedestrians.

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Thousands of Georgia motorists  may be at risk of car accidents caused when they are driving defective or dangerous vehicles that have been included in recalls.

When  the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announces a recall of a vehicle for potentially dangerous design or manufacturing defects,  automakers and other related parties immediately work to contact customers and let them know about the defect that has led to the recall.  From then on, motorists are given information about bringing these cars in for repairs or replacement of defective parts, if necessary.

However, thousands of these defective, dangerous cars may continue to be sold in the used car market.  This  is a problem because used car sellers are not required by the law to inform customers  about any potentially dangerous defects in the design and manufacture of the cars.  While  automakers have a legal responsibility to inform their customers about a recall,  used car dealers do not have any such obligation to inform buyers about any car accident risks.

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A combination of proven and time-tested strategies like expansion of seatbelt usage and cracking down on intoxicated driving could help save as many as half a million lives in auto accidents across the world every year.

According to a new study, hundreds of thousands of lives are lost across the world every year in car accidents, and many of these lives could be saved if simple strategies are implemented by governments. In a new study that was published recently in the Lancet journal, researchers analyzed car accident statistics around the world and identified the strategies that can be used to prevent these auto accidents and the resultant wrongful deaths. An overwhelming majority of car accident fatalities, according to the study, are linked to  drunk driving,  failure to wear seat belts,  and high speeds.  These are the three most critical factors in auto accidents, no matter which country you are driving in. They are also some of the most preventable factors.

A strong focus on reducing the incidence of drunk driving, for instance, would help save hundreds of thousands of lives in car accidents every year.  Stringent enforcement with tougher penalties for violations can help the government reduce the incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in this country.  Similarly, enforcement should be at the crux of any campaign that calls on drivers to drive at posted speeds.  It is not as if drivers are not aware of the dangers of drunk driving or driving at high speeds.  Rather, this knowledge is often ignored.  Stronger enforcement of existing rules and penalties for violations can encourage motorists to drive at safe speeds.

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Pedestrian accidents account for a significant percentage of the total number of people killed in motor auto accidents every year.  Technologies like auto emergency braking systems that are specifically designed to help vehicles to avoid striking pedestrians  have been touted as the way forward as companies and  regulators come together to reduce these car accident risks.  However,  a new study suggests many of those systems do not work very well during the night time.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently  rated vehicles based on  the effectiveness of their pedestrian auto emergency braking systems, and found that only a few of the models included in the study performed well in preventing auto accidents that occurred at night or in poorly lit conditions. In  daytime or well-lit conditions, these systems worked very well with 19 out of the 23 models studied performing very well in preventing pedestrian accidents.  However, when it came to night time conditions, the results were markedly different.  Only a few vehicles performed well in night time conditions.

Even more concerning is the finding that vehicles like small size pickups and SUVs are less likely to perform well  in poor visibility conditions.   This is even more disheartening because these are the vehicles that  can cause the  most serious injuries to a pedestrian in an accident.  When a pedestrian is involved in an auto accident with an SUV or a small pickup truck, the risk of serious injury or even death can be significantly  higher.  In fact, the disparity between protection for pedestrians  during  well -lit and unlit conditions is so high that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is considering introducing a night time test for pedestrian automatic emergency braking systems.

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The first three months of 2022 had more devastating news for American motorists with traffic and car accident wrongful deaths during this period of time hitting a 20-year high.  All estimates seem to suggest that far from offering hope for the future, the news on the traffic safety front does not seem to be getting better for motorists in Georgia and around the country.

The new estimates released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms that there were more than 9,500 auto accident deaths in the first 3 months of this year.  According to the agency estimates, 9,560 people lost their lives in auto accidents across the United States in January, February and March of 2022.  That was a 7% increase from the number of wrongful deaths recorded in the first three months of 2021 when 8,935 people were killed in car accidents.  In still more devastating news for auto safety regulators, those numbers mark the highest number of auto accident deaths on record  since 2002.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that the projected traffic crash death rate increased to 1.27 auto accident deaths per 100 million vehicles travelled . The news was not all grim, however.  At least 19 states and Puerto Rico recorded declines in car accident deaths during the first quarter of this year.

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