January 2019 Archives

Riskier ways of using phones cause greater driver distraction

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a report on distracted driving that should prove interesting to many in West Virginia. Researchers focused on two surveys from 2014 and 2018; in these, drivers in four Northern Virginia communities were observed for distracted behavior while approaching or stopped at red lights. While distracted driving rates did not change much in that period, the ways that drivers were distracted did.

Volunteer bitten at zoo by orangutan

Animal lovers in West Virginia may have heard that an orangutan at an Ohio zoo injured a volunteer in late January when it reached through the barrier and bit the victim's hand. Officials from the zoo in Toledo say that the victim's thumb detached during the incident. The injury occurred in a location that is not accessible to zoo visitors, and officials have said there was no threat to the public.

CMV crash deaths rise, FMCSA points to seat belt neglect

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recorded another annual increase in commercial motor vehicle fatalities. In 2017, the latest year for which statistics are available, there were 5,005 such fatalities. In contrast, 2009 saw 3,193 CMV crash deaths. Drivers in West Virginia should know that 4,164 out of those 5,005 fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles.

Symptoms commonly related to serious brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries can affect anyone in West Virginia under certain circumstances. Whether a TBI occurs as a result of a motor vehicle accident, hard fall, sports-related impact or physical assault, it's important for victims and their loved ones to recognize signs suggesting that the brain has been seriously injured. While some symptoms may appear immediately after a TBI occurs, others may not become evident until days or weeks after the injury.

How drivers in West Virginia can avoid truck accidents

Large truck crashes are some of the most serious on America's roads. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 3,986 truck crash fatalities in 2016: a 27 percent jump from 2009. Of those fatalities, 66 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles and 17 percent were truck occupants. Since drivers of passenger vehicles are to blame for the majority of truck crashes, it's essential to know how to stay safe.

Ridesharing drivers at high risk for fatigue, sleepiness

Back in April 2018, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a position statement in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine regarding the safety risks of the ridesharing industry. Ridesharing drivers in West Virginia, as elsewhere in the U.S., typically work during extended periods of wakefulness like the late nights and early mornings. This can be due to low fare and salary incentives combined with a feeling that sleep is unimportant.

Universal Orlando sued for lack of warning signs in Spanish

Property owners in West Virginia may occasionally wonder how far they must go to prevent accidents. Near the close of the year 2018, a case was brought against Universal Orlando Resort that illustrates how premises liability law can have its gray areas. The plaintiff's contention is that the theme park should have had warning signs posted in Spanish.

Infotainment systems increase risk of distracted driving

A recent study sponsored by AAA focused on increasing levels of driver distraction tied to newer motor vehicle infotainment systems. These systems are more and more common on West Virginia roadways. Researchers examined 30 systems installed in 2017 model cars and found that none of them required only low levels of demand on the drivers. Rather, seven systems made moderate demands, eleven made high demands and twelve made very high demands of drivers.

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