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Blog_Drowsy Driver

“Drowsy driving is a bigger traffic safety issue than federal estimates show. Drivers who don’t get enough sleep are putting everyone on the road at risk.” – David Yang, AAA

 

In a country where all of us are overworked and can’t seem to get enough rest, drowsy driving is a problem that needs to be discussed.

We’ve all been there. After a long day at the office or driving long distances during a road trip we naturally grow tired. There are many people on the road who simply don’t get enough sleep. Possible issues to note may be drivers on medication with side effects that make people sleepy, late shift workers who have been up for a long time, and even the beginning of daylight savings which creates a time of year where drivers are more tired than they usually would be.

Behind the wheel, fatigue can prove to be incredibly dangerous as it inhibits your reaction time to distractions, obstacles and other drivers on the road. Drowsy driving may seem like an issue that can go away with a cup of coffee and some loud music. Yet each year the problem persists and actually grows as an issue.

The NHTSA (https://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdrowsydriving/index.html) Estimates that, in 2013, Drowsy Driving was responsible for the following (Note: These figures are underestimated. Chances are there are many MORE injuries that occur due to drowsy drivers being on the road):

  • 72,000 crashes
  • 44,000 injuries
  • 800 deaths
  • Drowsy Driving claimed 846 lives in 2014

Some facts on drowsy driving:

Individuals who snored or usually slept 6 or fewer hours per day were more likely to report falling asleep while driving. (Source. Iii)

Many drowsy-driving crashes involve a single vehicle, with no one beyond the driver, running off the road at a high rate of speed with no evidence of braking. (Source: https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-drowsy-driving )

In 2015, drowsiness or sleepiness was a factor for 2.6 percent of drivers and motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes, as shown in the chart below. (Source: iii)

What you can do to prevent drowsy driving:

  • Develop proper sleeping habits. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Avoid taking any medications that may make you drowsy before you drive
  • If you need to rest, pull over at a rest stop and take a break!
  • Bring a friend with you! People are less likely to fall asleep when there is company in the car.

Drive safe out there! If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence on the road or elsewhere and need to talk with an attorney, contact us (http://www.injuryhelpline.com) today.

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It only seems right to address this issue on The Injury HelpLine. We receive multiple calls a year that could have been prevented had a driver simply kept their eyes on the road.

 

The increase in auto accidents due to distracted driving has risen dramatically over the past few years. Lawmakers are now putting more regulations into action and there are even apps being created that lock your phone while you drive. When the signs on the freeway and PSA’s on TV aren’t enough to stop people from looking at their phones, what will get people to simply pay attention to the road?

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Here are a few statistics to keep in mind while your hands are on the wheel (and your phone is in your pocket):

  • According to a AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway. (source: AAA)
  • There are now nearly 4,000 distracted driving-related deaths each year. (source: Huffington Post)
  • 9% of drivers between the ages of 15-19 involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the accident. (Source: TeenSafe)
  • 10% of all fatal crashes and 15% of all injury crashes were caused by distracted drivers. (NHTSA)
  • 9 people in the U.S. are killed each day as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver. (DMV)
  • You are 3 times more likely to get into an accident when distracted driving by manipulating a mobile device (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute).
  • At any moment during the daylight hours, about 660,000 drivers are handling cell phones or other electronic devices while driving in the U.S. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
  • Over 80% of drivers admit to blatantly hazardous behavior while driving, such as changing clothes, steering with a foot, painting nails, or even shaving. (Teen Safety)

For parents of teens, check out this link from TeenSafe on how to talk with your teen about distracted driving.

If you’ve been injured in a recent accident due to the negligence of another driver on the road, don’t hesitate to give us a call or fill out the online form. We can connect you with an attorney in your region that can help you get back on your feet financially while you get the physical rest needed in order to recover.

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Parties and Alcohol go hand in hand

December is the season for celebrations. Sadly, parties and alcohol are often intertwined. Before you get behind the wheel after having had a few drinks consider the following sobering statistics:

  • Alcohol kills: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 10,497 people were killed as a result of alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2016 alone. During that year, alcohol impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 28 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States.
  • Drunk Drivers are often young drivers: The percentage of drivers in fatal crashes who were alcohol impaired was highest for 25 to 34 year old drivers, at 27 percent, followed by 21 to 24 year old drivers, at 26 percent.

Drunk Driving: a Holiday Problem

How to Prevent Drunk Driving

Are you planning to attend a New Year’s Eve celebration? If so, ask yourself the following questions:

How will I get back home?

Here are some possible solutions for your trip back home:

  • Select a reliable sober friend to be your designated driver. 
  • Save the phone number of a local taxi service on your phone. Hire a taxi when it’s time to go home.
  • Consider taking public transportation if available.
  • Download the Uber or Lyft app to schedule your trip back home. Uber has partnered with MADD to campaign against drunk driving. Check out their latest joint safety campaign here.
  • Don’t go back home. Instead, book a hotel room or arrange to stay at a friend’s house.

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Travel Forecast for this Holiday Season

Stay Safe with our Holiday Road Safety TipsAccording to the American Automobile Association (AAA) 107.3 million Americans are traveling to holiday celebrations between December 23rd and New Year’s Day. This is the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year.

The majority of travelers – 97.4 million – will hit the road, so traffic will be challenging over the holidays.

Below we’ve compiled some important holiday road safety tips to keep you and your family safe whilst traveling.

Holiday Road Safety Tips

Adverse weather conditions aggravate the consequences of reckless or distracted driving, so be sure to drive cautiously and remain particularly alert whilst driving.

In addition, make sure that your car is in perfect condition before hitting the winter roads. Read on to find out how to winter-proof your vehicle.

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Parking Lot Safety during the Christmas Holidays

winter-430469_1920 The holiday shopping season is in full swing and malls are humming with activity. Shoppers caught up in the holiday frenzy are often in a hurry and pay little attention to their surroundings, which results in numerous accidents, particularly in the Nation’s crowded parking lots.

According to the National Safety Council, more than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and garage structures annually, resulting in 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries.

One of the major reasons behind the collisions, injuries and even fatalities that happen in parking lots is the false sense of security everyone feels when navigating parking areas: People expect vehicles to drive at slow speeds and therefore are less vigilant.

During the holiday shopping season, crowded parking lots and nasty winter weather can combine to create particularly dangerous parking lot conditions.

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Nearly 51 Million Americans on the Road this Year

Thanksgiving Road Safety TipsThanksgiving brings families and friends together across large distances to celebrate the harvest, give thanks and enjoy each others’ company. This year auto club AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home. That’s the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005! Having more people on the road unfortunately increases the potential of vehicle crashes. That’s why we have compiled a series of safety tips to keep you safe on the road.

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texture-860666_1920One of the most commonly known car-related product flaws is the Toyota gas pedal issue, where certain Toyota vehicles had the gas pedal stick when it was pressed down. This issue resulted in numerous drivers losing control, which caused injury accidents and even fatalities. Toyota was forced to recall more than four million vehicles and eventually reached a settlement of $1.1 billion for consumers who had been injured or harmed by the defect. This particular settlement contained no admission of fault on the part of Toyota.

Faulty Takata Airbags Result in Injury and Death

Another car-related product liability issue is the defective Takata airbags, which mostly affected cars built between 2002 and 2008, but also included models through 2014 in some cases. The main issue with the recall is that some airbags can deploy explosively, injuring or even killing car occupations. This issue involved the airbag’s inflator, which is some cases would ignite with explosive force. If the casing ruptured in a crash, there was a possibility that metal shards could be sprayed from the airbag throughout the vehicle’s cabin.

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Drowsy Driving: Dangerous, Deadly, and Difficult to Identify

According to the Department of Energy, the average car in the United States tips the scales at just over 2 tons. That’s 4,000 pounds of metal, rubber, and gasoline hurtling down the nation’s roadways and highways. Under the best of circumstances, operating a vehicle is the most dangerous thing the average person does on a daily basis. When people operate a vehicle while drowsy, the danger increases dramatically.

Under Reported Drowsy Driver Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, even though drowsy driving is difficult to identify as the cause of car crashes in many situations, at least 40,000 people are injured every year as the result of drowsing driving, while another 1,550 are killed.

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The Dangers of Texting and Driving

Most people are good, responsible drivers who never take unnecessary risks. However, even the best drivers can make mistakes and texting while driving is definitely one of those. Even though you may understand that texting and driving is dangerous, the statistics may shock you.

Sending or reading a text while driving makes you 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than normal driving. Simply dialing, talking on, or listening to a phone while driving makes you as much as three times as likely to be involved in the crash.

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Determining Fault in Car Crashes

Even if you haven’t been in a car crash, you may wonder how the police and insurance companies determine who is at fault. Determining fault is important for number of reasons, but it isn’t always easy to do. Let’s take a look at how it’s done.

Determining Fault in a Car Accident?

In many, if not most, car crash situations, it falls to the insurance companies who insure the individual drivers involved in the crash to determine who was at fault. When insurance companies investigate a crash, they look at the statements the drivers make, any police reports, or any other evidence gathered about the crash. They do this to try to determine negligence.

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