Articles Posted in Car Accidents

brain injury, concussion, traumatic brain injuryEven a mild concussion can have effects that are serious enough to exacerbate a person’s risk of suffering Parkinson’s disease.

Those findings come from a study conducted on 300,000 veterans. Approximately 150,000 of these veterans had suffered a mild, moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. The persons were monitored and tracked over a period of twelve years. At the end of the study period, the researchers found that suffering even a mild traumatic brain injury increased the risk of suffering Parkinson’s disease by as much as a staggering 56%. The risk was also high in the case of moderate and severe brain injury.

The authors of the study say that the results point to the need for increased monitoring and tracking of patients who suffer from traumatic brain injury, preferably for years after the injury.

Cold Weather Rider

You’re still much more likely to be injured while riding a motorcycle than driving a car, but those risks seem to have dropped somewhat. In 2017, there was a significant decline in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents in the United States. However, that progress doesn’t seem to have percolated down to Indiana. Here, there was actually a significant increase in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents in 2017, compared to 2018.

According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, preliminary statistics seem to indicate a drop of 6% in the number of motorcycle fatalities across the country in 2017, compared to 2016. Overall, there were 4,990 motorcycle accident deaths in the United States in 2017, a decline of 296 motorcyclist fatalities from 2016. It is a significant decline, and seems to indicate some progress in making the streets safer for motorcyclists to ride on. Even so, your risks as a motorcyclist are much higher than the risks of a motorist. Motorcyclists have a disproportionate risk of being killed or seriously injured in an accident. Fatalities for motorcyclists are as much as 20 times higher than for people riding in or driving passenger vehicles.

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Image result for highball glassIn spite of being aware of the risks of drunk driving, many teens choose to ride in cars being operated by intoxicated or impaired motorists anyway.

Those facts come from a recent study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The researchers focused on accidents involving both alcohol- intoxicated and drug-impaired motorists. They found that teenagers are much more likely to ride in a car operated by a driver impaired by marijuana, than a driver intoxicated by alcohol.

The study was based on findings from between 2013 and 2014, and focused on young students who had just graduated from high school. The researchers found that at least one in three of the young teens reported that they had traveled in a car with an impaired motorist, on at least one occasion in the previous 12 months. Out of these, 23% of the young students surveyed said that they had traveled with a driver impaired by marijuana, while 20% had traveled in a car operated by a driver under the influence of alcohol.  According to the findings, teenagers need to be made more aware of the dangers of riding in a car with an impaired driver, especially one under the influence of drugs like marijuana.

Snowy-Roads-300x152A road made wet by ice and snow is not just a driving inconvenience, but also a potential safety hazard. This winter, as you continue to drive through hazardous conditions in Indiana, pay attention to the road and make sure that you and your car are equipped to deal with emergencies. The American Auto Association offers many tips for drivers to help reduce the risk of being involved in an auto accident this winter season.

Remember that driving in winter is especially challenging. It is no time to drive while fatigued. The changing visibility and weather conditions mean that motorists are much more likely to feel tired, leading to distraction and drowsiness while driving. This is potentially hazardous when you’re driving in an already very challenging environment.

The best defense against an accident in winter is adequately inflated tires. Before a trip, make sure that your tires are properly set at the right pressure, and avoid combining radial tires with other types of tires.

Slow-Driver-Image-300x216Speeding, or driving too fast, is one of the top three traffic accident factors across the state of Indiana every year. However, driving far too slowly can also be a real road hazard.

Take for example, a slow driver and a frustrated driver behind him. The frustrated motorist may get impatient and may try to overtake the slow-poke motorist, revving up speeds in a possibly dangerous situation. In a case like this, the slow motorist may not be directly responsible for an accident, but the bad driving has definitely contributed to a dangerous scenario. Drivers who go too slowly for the road conditions also contribute to road rage or aggressive driving by other frustrated motorists.

In fact, slow driving or left lane camping in some states, including Indiana, is considered such a serious hazard that there are penalties that apply to motorists who drive too slowly in the “fast lane”.  These penalties punish drivers who block the traffic in the left lane, possibly creating a serious traffic hazard.

Double YellowDrowsiness, medical emergencies at the wheel, or blackouts as a result of alcohol or drug use are linked to many lane departure accidents across the United States every year. That information comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, whose research focused on lane-drift accidents, in which drivers lost control of the vehicle and veered into the other lane. The researchers found that incapacitation was a factor in approximately 32% of all accidents linked to lane departure, and 42% of accidents that ended in fatal or serious injuries.

They also found that the driver fell asleep at the wheel in 17% of the accidents that were analyzed, and the driver was incapacitated either because he had suffered a medical emergency like a heart attack at the wheel, or blacked out as result of drug or alcohol use in another 17% of the accidents.

Crash avoidance technologies like lane departure warning systems are designed to reduce the risk of accidents that occur when a car veers into another lane. These accidents are much more common than you believe, and can have serious consequences. However, the crash reduction results of lane departure warning systems have been fairly disappointing thus far. These systems have not been found to reduce accident risks to the extent we had hoped. The systems are still fairly new, and we must wait many more years to see whether these systems can have the crash reducing effects that they promise.

headlamp-2940_1920The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has disturbing news about auto safety in this country. According to the federal agency, preliminary data indicates that there was a disturbing increase in the number of people killed in traffic accidents during the first six months of this year.

According to the data, fatalities in traffic accidents increased by about 10.4% during the first six months of 2016. The federal administration recorded a total of 17,775 fatalities in traffic accidents, during the first half of 2016. That was a sharp increase, and it is even more concerning because it comes after a sudden increase in traffic fatalities recorded during 2015. Clearly, much of the progress that has been made over the past decade in reducing traffic accident fatalities is at risk of coming undone.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls this increase an “immediate crisis.” The agency is taking the sharp uptick in fatalities very seriously and pointing to newer causes of traffic accident fatalities, like distracted driving. There is no reason to believe that people are becoming more responsible about using cell phones and texting devices while driving. In fact, electronic communication devices have simply become even more distracting, and encourage motorists to continue to communicate, play, shop and other things while they are driving.

tired driving picDrowsy driving is one of the most underestimated safety risks in the United States, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has contributed to more than 7,000 deaths in accidents over the past decade alone.

Contrary to popular expectations, it’s not just people who have not had enough sleep who may be at risk of a drowsy driving accident. There are lifestyle factors that can increase your risk of drowsiness, and therefore make you susceptible to an accident.

For instance, consumption of alcohol is likely  to magnify the effect of lack of sleep, increasing the risk of drowsiness, and causing you to possibly doze off at the wheel. If you have not slept well over the past few days, avoid drinking before you drive. The combination of alcohol and lack of sleep can be deadly.

Winter DrivingWinter in Indiana can be quite beautiful but it can also be quite treacherous.  When heavy snows fall overnight, or during rush hour traffic, even the most efficient snow removal systems have difficulty keeping up.

When the roads become slick and visibility is limited, Indiana drivers must be extra careful about their safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.  Every driver needs to remember there are several important tips for safer driving on snow and ice-covered roads.

  • Ensure that your tires are properly inflated.  This provides better traction on snow covered roads.

cell phone addictionAn Indiana driver doesn’t have to look at too many cars around them to see that nearly every car on the road has a digital screen of some sort.  New cars offer screens that update the car’s driving status.  This includes the engine function, the speed of the car, and the miles per gallon.  Electric cars offer graphics that illustrate the charging of their batteries.

Children strapped into car seats watch cartoons through built in DVD players with individual screens placed on the seats and in the roof of the minivan.  Teenagers text and check their social media.  Sometimes it happens when they drive or at a red light.  Adults view their email, social media, and texts from behind the wheel.  It is obvious that drivers are unable to stop themselves from using a cell phone while driving.  Recent studies prove this non-stop use of electrical devices could be due drivers’ addiction because of the good feelings that they have when using the electronic devices.

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