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Personal Injury Blog

New Campaign Will Target Drowsy Driving

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Federal and California state administrations have made great strides in reducing drunk driving, and even distracted driving through the use of stronger legislation, enforcement initiatives, and awareness campaigns. However, the risks of drowsy driving have been ignored. One reason for this is that there is very limited research on these risks, and how to prevent these.

Now the federal administration has decided to spotlight the dangers of drowsy driving, and has launched a new campaign that will specifically focus on increasing public awareness about drowsy driving. It is a challenging task. For one thing, it isn't easy to measure drowsiness at the scene of an accident. It is not possible to tell whether a person was driving while sleepy at the scene.

That is in sharp contrast to a drunk driving accident, in which you can administer a test that will immediately help you determine if the person was driving under the influence of alcohol. Even when a person is in a distracted driving accident, it is possible to recover the cell phone records of the other motorist at the accident scene to determine whether texting was a factor in the crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the campaign will focus on developing strategies that will target those motorists who are especially vulnerable to the dangers of drowsy driving. For instance, senior citizens are at a higher risk of drowsy driving, because they may be under the influence of more than one medication. The agency will also look more closely at technologies like lane departure warning systems. These technologies have a great role to play in helping prevent drowsy driving. One of the first signs of drowsy driving is that your car begins to move from your lane frequently. A lane departure warning system will alert you when you are dozing off at the wheel, and when your car begins to veer off from the lane, possibly averting an accident.

For help filing a car accident claim, call a Burbank car accident attorney.

50% of Teen, Young Driver Car Accident Fatalities Linked to Pot, Alcohol

Friday, January 16, 2015

Alcohol and marijuana use seriously increase the risk of accidents involving teen and young adult drivers. According to new statistics, approximately 50% of teen and young adult motorists, who are fatally injured in car accidents, are driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol or a combination of both.

The findings were based on an analysis of accident data in those states where it is mandated to conduct toxicology screening tests on fatal accident victims. The study found that accident victims above the age of 21 and of legally drinking age, were much more likely than younger victims to have used a combination of alcohol and marijuana, just before the accident. This seems to prove that even when people are of the legal age for drinking alcohol, it doesn't reduce their risk of engaging in destructive driving practices that include both marijuana and alcohol.

The researchers also found that more than half of the young motorists, who died in the accidents, were either high on marijuana, or drunk at the time of the accident. About 6.8% of the victims tested had alcohol in their systems at the time of the accident, while 5.9% had traces of marijuana. 7.6% had used both marijuana and alcohol before the accident.

The researchers were also looking for evidence to indicate that lowering the minimum drinking age from 21 to 18, would lead to a reduction in the use of marijuana among young adults. They found that this was not the case at all. Rather, they found that lowering the drinking age could actually lead to increased consumption of a combination of alcohol and marijuana by young drivers.

Accidents involving teen and young drivers typically tend to involve speeding and aggressive driving. If you have recently suffered injuries in an accident, speak to a Burbank car accident lawyer about filing a claim for compensation.

NHTSA: Drop in Traffic Accident Fatalities in 2013

Friday, December 26, 2014

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System for 2013. The data clearly indicates a significant decrease of 3.1% in the number of people killed in traffic accidents in 2013, compared to the previous year. Since 2004, there has been an almost 25% drop in the number of people killed in accidents across the country.

There was also a drop in the number of people injured in accidents. Those numbers dropped by 2.1% in 2013, compared to the previous year. Overall, 32,790 people died in traffic accidents in 2013. 34 states recorded a drop in traffic accident fatalities, and the highest decreases were reported by Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Arkansas.

There was also a drop of 2.5% in the number of people killed in alcohol-related car accidents in 2013. However, in 2013, drunk driving accidents were still responsible for more than 10,000 fatalities.

Sadly however, California did not mirror that nationwide trend. In this state, there was actually an increase in traffic accident fatalities in 2013, compared to the previous year. Last year, California reported 3,000 traffic accident fatalities, compared to 2,966 the previous year. That is an increase of 34 fatalities.

Out of those 3,000 fatalities, 857 involved drunk driving accidents. That was an increase from the number of drunk driving accident fatalities recorded in 2012. In California, drunk driving accident fatalities accounted for approximately 29% of the total number of accident fatalities.

The upward trend in drunk driving accident fatalities in California is of great concern to any San Jose car accident lawyer. California transportation authorities need to increase implementation of sobriety checkpoints, and focus on stringent anti-drunk driving measures to help prevent these fatalities.


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