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Study shows many fatal two-car crash initiators used opioids

A study published in JAMA Network Open has revealed a possible connection between using prescription opioids and causing a fatal two-car crash. Residents of New York should know that there is an opioid crisis nationwide. In 1993, 2% of all car accident initiators were found with opioids in their system, and in 2016, that percentage was 7.1%.

Researchers analyzed over 18,300 fatal two-car crashes, determining that 1,467 drivers in all tested positive for opioids. Of these, 918 were crash initiators and 549 were not. In other words, crash initiators were twice as likely as other drivers to be found using opioids. As for the most commonly detected opioids, they were hydrocodone (32%), morphine (27%) and oxycodone (19%).

Untreated sleep apnea makes a truck driver extremely dangerous

Truck drivers must combat fatigue on a daily basis. Traveling hundreds of miles is monotonous and challenges them to remain alert. When they also do not receive good sleep, they may have serious issues behind the wheel.

Getting good sleep could prove difficult for many truck drivers, especially if they suffer from untreated sleep apnea. If you are like most other drivers here in New York and elsewhere, you already feel nervous enough traveling the same stretch of road with such a large vehicle that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded. You can only hope that its driver is paying attention, remaining alert and capable of reacting quickly to an emergency.

New York man sentenced in drunk driving case

A 59-year-old New York man who pleaded guilty to a single count of vehicular homicide has been sentenced to 19 years in prison. The Albany resident admitted that he had a blood alcohol concentration that was double the .08 legal driving limit when he was involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident on May 25. The sentence was handed down following a sentencing hearing in Saratoga County on Nov. 21. The accident claimed the life of a 33-year-old man and his 32-year-old wife, and it left three people seriously injured. The group was on their way to a wedding when the crash occurred.

The drunk driving accident took place at the intersection of U.S. Route 9 and Ushers Road in Clifton Park at approximately 3 p.m. Police say the man lost control of his Dodge Ram pickup truck and struck the driver's side of a Cadillac sedan that was waiting at the intersection. The man behind the wheel of the Cadillac and his front-seat passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. The vehicle's three rear-seat passengers were rushed to an area trauma center with injuries that were described as life-changing.

How AI can be used to target distracted driving

In New York and across the U.S., distracted driving is becoming an epidemic. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, about nine people die and 100 are injured every day in distracted driving crashes. Efforts have been made to raise awareness of the danger of distracted driving, but many drivers continue to engage in it even when they know it's wrong. Some, then, are looking to technology to address the trend.

Artificial intelligence, in particular, may provide a solution. Automakers are already taking advantage of the mechanics of deep learning and advances in computer vision technology to create cameras and sensors that track drivers' behavior and set off alerts when drivers are distracted. Technology may develop to the point where sensors can predict human behavior of all kinds.

Tips for staying safe on the winter roads

New York residents will want to head out on the winter roads only when they need to since icy and snowy conditions can easily set the stage for an auto accident. Once on the road, drivers will want to consider the following safety tips. The first tip is to bring down one's speed. After all, the faster one goes, the less traction the tires have.

To prevent a rear-end collision, drivers should increase the distance between themselves and the car in front. A minimum of five to six seconds is recommended, and this holds for all seasons. Braking should be a gradual and not a harsh maneuver. Drivers can try to avoid braking to a complete stop at a traffic light since accelerating from a stopped position is hard on icy, slick roads.

How to cope after learning your loved one died in a collision

You might have been in the middle of an average workday when your cell phone rang, or, perhaps, you were spending an evening at home, reading or watching a movie. Hearing an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the phone might have caused you a moment of confusion or concern. When the voice asked you to confirm your identification and informed you that you were speaking to a New York police officer, your stress level likely began to rise.

The rest of that day, and maybe even the days or weeks that followed, might be a bit of a blur in your memory. Then again, specific moments no doubt stand out in your mind with intense clarity, such as when you heard the words that your loved one had not survived his or her injuries in a motor vehicle collision. Unexpected, sudden death often leaves family members of decedents in shock, confused and completely grief-stricken. Knowing where to seek support is an important factor of the mourning process.

Changing sleep patterns might lead to accidents

The National Sleep Foundation has said that drivers who are sleep-deprived are the cause of more than 50,000 injuries and 6,400 fatalities on roads in New York and across the country each year. One of the culprits of sleep deprivation is daylight saving time. One of the biggest impacts of people setting their clocks back one hour is that they get behind the wheel the next day having slept a different amount than they're used to.

According to the Mid-Atlantic Public & Government Affairs Manager of AAA, the number of pedestrian-vehicle crashes was at its peak during October, November and December in some parts of the country. Even gaining an hour of sleep can cause problems because disrupted sleep patterns impact things like alertness, reaction time and concentration. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has reported that 96% of drivers see drowsy driving as extremely dangerous or very dangerous, but 27% of drivers admit they've recently driven while so tired they struggled to keep their eyes open.

What is involved in the investigation of a vehicle crash?

Because the evidence left after a vehicle crash can quickly disappear, an investigation of the crash scene should get underway as soon as possible.

If you are the victim of a traffic accident, you can expect your legal team to launch a thorough investigation to determine cause and liability with the assistance of outside experts, if necessary.

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.

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