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Teens are most likely to drive while distracted, says study

University researchers have released a study of distracted driving and other behaviors among teenage drivers. The study gathered data between 2011 and 2013 by monitoring 3,400 drivers. According to one of the researchers involved with the study, they looked at how often drivers were distracted and recorded the distraction using one of more than 60 different distraction type codes. Drivers in New York are at risk of being involved in distracted driver accidents, and research like this can help the behavior be better understood.

The distraction categories used in the study included talking or listening on a cell phone, browsing the web and texting while driving. The risk of a distracted driving crash was highest when the driver was distracted by something outside of the car, like rubbernecking. The second most dangerous category of distraction was active cell phone use, which included things that required the driver to hold the phone, like using the web browser or sending text messages.

Did you know that car crashes are the main cause of SCI?

You may know that car crashes are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injury, but they are also the primary cause of spinal cord injury, or SCI.

Car accidents cause trauma to our bodies, and SCI commonly results from trauma. However, as serious as it is, SCI is not always evident at the time of a vehicle crash.

Teenage drunk driving statistics from top three worst states

In 1984, the National Minimum Legal Drinking Act set out that individuals had to be 21 years of age in order to consume alcohol in the United States. However, major problems associated with underage drinking, like motor vehicle accidents, are still of concern. New York residents may be interested in knowing how some states rank when it comes to underage drinking and car accidents.

After collecting data from various sources, an agency that offers car insurance quotes ranked the 15 worst states. Arkansas ranked the highest in teens who drink and drive. Statistics showed that 10.7% of teens get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Over 26% of teens ride in vehicles that are operated by someone who has been drinking. Of every 100,000 individuals, 4.8 deaths were caused by drunk driving.

NTSB pushes for lap and shoulder belt requirement in limos

New York residents may not be aware of this fact, but not all passengers in limousines are required to wear lap and shoulder belts. Limousines can be modified to such an extent that they can be considered midsize buses, which means they do not have to be subject to the seating and seat belt standards that traditional vehicles do. This is beginning to be a problem, however.

For example, a stretch limousine crash that occurred back in October 2018 in the city of Schoharie resulted in 20 fatalities. None of the 17 passengers who were killed were wearing lap or shoulder belts, and both the side- and rear-facing bench seats were not strong enough to withstand the impact of the crash.

Your nose may not be the same after a car wreck

You may not realize how important your nose is to your everyday life. While you use your nose to pick up scents, the ability to smell also affects your enjoyment of food. Further, because your nose occupies prime real estate on your face, it is essential to your overall appearance. 

As you likely know, there are a variety of injuries you may sustain in a car accident. While a nose injury may not interfere with your ability to walk or see, it may cause you to experience other limitations. Therefore, if you have a nose injury after a collision, you may need to seek fair compensation from the negligent motorist who caused the crash. 

NSC wants to promote culture of safe driving

Heavy traffic, bad weather and unexpected events all create safety hazards on the roads of New York. Although traffic fatalities have trended downward in recent years, the president and CEO of the National Safety Council believes room for improvement remains. The death toll, which reached about 40,000 lives lost around the country in 2018, still represents a huge problem in the view of the NSC. Every year also produces roughly 4.5 million injuries as well. People have the ability to adopt behaviors that could inspire a driving culture focused on safety.

With most drivers possessing smartphones, people need to resist the urge to text or make calls while behind the wheel. Even the use of hands-free Bluetooth devices has the potential to distract. In addition to taking drivers' eyes off of the road, electronic devices could prompt people to take their hands off of steering wheels. Keeping at least one hand on the steering wheel serves as a basic safety standard because drivers must be ready to steer around problems without warning.

U.S. road rage incidents on the rise

Road rage incidents have skyrocketed in New York and across the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, fatal car accidents involving aggressive drivers increased from 80 in 2006 to 467 in 2015. In addition, a nonprofit news organization reported that incidents involving drivers threatening other motorists with a gun or firing a gun at them increased from 247 in 2014 to 620 in 2016.

A poll by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that almost 80% of U.S. drivers admit they have engaged in at least one aggressive driving behavior in the last year. For example, 51% of those polled said they have tailgated on purpose, 47% said they have yelled at other motorists, 45% said they have honked their horn in anger and 33% said they have made an obscene gesture at other drivers. The poll also found that some drivers engage in even more aggressive behaviors. For instance, 24% of respondents said they have blocked another car from changing lanes, 12% have purposely cut off another driver, 4% have gotten out of their car to confront another motorist and 3% have purposely rammed another vehicle.

Ear injuries from automobile accidents

Automobile accidents are not exactly uncommon on roadways in the Empire State. In fact, between 2012 and 2014, nearly 1,100 New Yorkers died in car accidents. Roughly another 137,000 state residents sought emergency medical care after an automobile crash during that time. 

During a car crash, you may expect to sustain a variety of injuries, ranging from whiplash to broken bones. You may not, though, realize that your ears may be in danger during even minor collisions. Still, because your ears are important to your quality of life, you should understand the type of damage your ears may suffer in an automobile accident. 

GM gauges effectiveness of automated safety features on its cars

Automated safety features have been shown to prevent crashes, but many of the studies have not tested the features' real-world effectiveness. However, a new study made by GM and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has done so. Drivers in New York may be interested to hear what type of crashes can be most frequently prevented.

The study focused on 2013 to 2017 GM cars that were involved in crashes in 10 different states. The number came to 3.8 million. Comparing those cars with advanced driver assistance systems to those cars without them, researchers found just how many crashes the ADAS can prevent. For example, forward collision alert can prevent 21% of rear-end crashes. Combined with forward automatic emergency braking, that percentage went up to 46%.

Self-driving cars can present new accident threats

When people in New York drive down the highway, a fire truck or police vehicle ahead with emergency lights flashing is one of the most visible obstacles they may encounter. As autonomous driving technology develops, however, scientists and drivers are learning that self-driving cars "see" quite differently than human drivers. One accident involving a Tesla running on its "Autopilot" semi-autonomous system and a fire truck has drawn attention to this potential problem of the software. Many people are looking forward to self-driving cars as a means to reduce the likelihood of car crashes, so this issue has raised serious concerns.

No one was injured in the car accident, but the Tesla crashed into the fire truck, causing property damage, as it was stopped with a police car at the scene of another incident. Of course, Tesla has warned drivers against relying on its semi-autonomous technologies like Autopilot in place of driver attention and care to the road. It is not yet a fully self-driving car, so the input and attention of a human driver is critical. However, several incidents have been linked to drivers with powerful autonomous technology leaving their vehicles to drive themselves and taking their eyes and mind away from the road.

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