Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance with the mission to make America’s roads safer by advocating for the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs to prevent motor vehicle crashes, deaths, and injuries.  The Advocates rate all 50 states and the District of Columbia on what they consider the 16 fundamental traffic safety laws divided into 5 different issue sections.  On January 22, they released the “2018 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws.”  The report is intended to serve as a guidance tool for legislators hoping to reduce preventable motor vehicle accident deaths and injuries.  None of the 50 states or the District of Columbia have adopted all 16 of the laws.

The 16 Fundamental Traffic Laws

  • Occupant Protection

Most people know the dangers of drinking and driving.  However, drowsy driving is not as well-known and can cause equally dangerous levels of impairment.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 846 fatalities recorded that were drowsy-driving related in 2014. NHTSA estimates drowsiness is at least a contributing factor in more than 100,000 crashes across the country each year. The reported drowsy-driving crashes and fatalities have remained mostly consistent across the past decade.

Finding accurate numbers of crashes caused by drowsy driving are not yet possible.  Crash investigators can look for certain signs that drowsiness likely contributed to driver error, but these clues are not always recognizable or definite.  It is likely the numbers of drowsy driving accidents far exceed the reported numbers.  130522-F-XD880-252

Takata, a Japanese air bag manufacturer, is recalling an additional 3.3 million defective air bag inflators as it continues to add to the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.  Through the series of recalls, 19 automakers have had to recall up to 69 million inflators in 42 million vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted the notice of the expanded recall on the agency’s website over the weekend.

The latest recalls are for frontal air bags in certain 2009, 2010 and 2013 vehicles made by Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Tesla.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1 person was killed in an alcohol-impaired vehicle crash every 50 minutes in the United States in 2016.  That’s about 29 people a day.  Drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by 1/3 in the last 30 years. However, even with campaigns such as Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”, drunk driving crashes still claim over 10,000 lives per year.  In 2016, 28% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States were the result alcohol impairment. 11064883376_6771bd6c4a_b

Alcohol impairs thinking, judgment, muscle coordination and reaction time. These abilities are crucial to operating a vehicle safely.  After only a few drinks you may feel that you are capable of safely driving.  However, even a small amount of alcohol can lead to impairments even slight ones that can endanger your life, your passengers, and anyone else on the road.

When transitioning into the New Year, many people like to make resolutions to start fresh and make smarter decisions to better their lives.  This New Year make the resolution that you will never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking any substance that will impair your ability to drive.

The winter season has arrived which means the possibility of snowy and icy weather is always present in Pennsylvania. This snowy and icy weather makes travel on the roadways difficult and dangerous.  Motorists should avoid traveling during winter storms if possible.  However certain situations make it impossible to avoid driving in bad weather. If you must be on the road during a winter storm you should use caution while driving.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement each year.  Additionally, nearly 900 people are killed and nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet each year.pexels-photo-12875

Heavy snow can greatly restrict or virtually eliminate a driver’s visibility.  With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy which can lead drivers to take less caution then is needed to travel safely.  Driving in wintery conditions is hard enough when taking proper care.  Don’t add bad decision making and recklessness to the equation or there could be disastrous results for you or the other motorists on the road.

Pennsylvania is ramping up its continuing effort to become the “proving ground” for self-driving vehicles.  Earlier this month, Pennsylvania held its first Automated Vehicle Summit.  The event was held September 11-12 in State College.

Advocates of automated vehicles are hoping to make the roads safer by removing the human error element that leads to so many car accidents.  However, the process of proving to the world that these cars will indeed make the roadways safer is still in the works.  The most interesting question is whether there is a need to show that self-driving cars are as close to 100% safe as possible or whether it just needs to be shown that they are simply safer than human controlled vehicles.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards was the keynote speaker at the Summit.  Other officials from PennDOT, state police, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the state departments of Community & Economic Development and Labor & Industry were among those that also participated in the summit.

More than 33 people were injured, at least 4 of them seriously, when a high-speed train crashed into an empty train at a suburban station near Philadelphia early August 22.  One passenger described it as a “bloody scene.”

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) said the incident happened at around 12:15 a.m.   SEPTA spokeswoman Heather Redfern said an inbound Norristown High Speed Line train crashed into an unoccupied stationary train at the 69th Street Terminal (one of SEPTA’s busiest terminals) in Upper Darby, Pa.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0a/SEPTA_text.svg/2000px-SEPTA_text.svg.pngSEPTA officials initially reported that 42 people were injured in the crash. However during a press conference that evening, Ruben Payan, the lead investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said that the 42 number was the amount of people onboard the train.  The actual number of those injured in the crash is 33 which includes the conductor.  While 4 of the injured are in critical condition, all of the victims are expected to survive.

157059-161244-300x200The beginning of August fast approaches, and that means that summer is ending for students across the country. With the start of school comes increased road traffic from school buses and teen drivers, as well as plenty of children on bicycles, and young pedestrians hurrying to get to and from school.

Safe driving can save lives. Slowing down and paying extra attention to your surroundings, especially when you’re near a school, can help avoid tragedies. The National Safety Council has published a few recommendations to help make sure that back to school season is safe for everyone.

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Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata Corporation has announced that 2.7 million more airbag inflators will be recalled over concerns that a chemical in the inflator may rupture while the airbag is being deployed sending fragments into cars that can injure drivers and passengers. This most recent recall adds to what is already the largest ever auto safety recall.

The defective airbag inflators are used in certain 2007-2012 model year Ford, Nissan, and Mazda vehicles. The largest recall group is Ford. A spokesman for the Ford Motor Company has said that the issue covers roughly 2.2 million vehicles. Nissan plans to recall 515,000 Versa models in the United States, and an additional 112,000 Versa models worldwide. While Mazda has said that the new recalls will cover a much smaller number of vehicles, only 6,000.

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The odds of getting into a crash increase with the number of cars on the road and Memorial Day weekend is one of the most heavily traveled weekends of the year.  The American Automobile Association (AAA) projects 34.6 million people will drive 50 miles (80 km) or more from home during this holiday period, the most since 37.3 million in 2005 and an increase of 2.4 million people from last year.

National Safety Council put out their highest estimate of Memorial Day holiday accident fatalities since 2012. The estimated number of fatalities is 12% higher than the average number of deaths that occurred during the previous six Memorial Day holiday periods.  The Council also estimates around 47,000 people may be seriously injured on the roads during the three-day holiday period, beginning Friday, May 26 and ending on Monday, May 29.

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“Memorial Day should mark the start of summer – not the start of another deadly driving season,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Paying attention, slowing down and being courteous can ensure you and your fellow travelers make it to picnics, beaches and BBQs rather than emergency rooms.”