November 2019 Archives

IIHS to upgrade its side crash testing

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reported that it is developing a new and upgraded crash test focusing on the effects of side crashes. West Virginia drivers should know that this test will likely be launched in 2020. The updates to the side testing include a higher impact speed and a heavier movable barrier.

Motorcycle accidents are often caused by driver error

In West Virginia and all over the country, motorcycle accidents claim thousands of lives annually with many of them being caused by distracted or inattentive passenger vehicle drivers. One of the most common kind of fatal motorcycle accident occurs when a car, pickup truck or SUV makes a left turn directly into the path of an approaching rider. Passenger vehicle drivers who kill or catastrophically injure motorcyclists in such collisions usually say that they did not see the rider, or they saw the rider but misjudged their speed.

The catastrophic cost of truck accidents

Most West Virginia motorists realize that commercial truck accidents have the potential to be a lot more dangerous than passenger vehicle crashes. This is due in part to the size difference between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle. Most passenger cars are going to weigh around 4,000 pounds. An 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Understandably, truck accidents can lead to injury and death. While it's possible for the truck driver to get injured, more times than not, it's the individual in the passenger vehicle who is hurt the worst.

Understanding the factors behind distracted driving

Distracted driving is a problem on many roads in West Virginia and throughout the country. It's estimated that about nine people die in accidents that were caused by distracted drivers each day in the U.S., and approximately 100 individuals are injured in accidents involving distracted drivers daily. The financial impact of distracted drivers on society is around $40 million annually. This puts distracted driving almost on par financially with the impact caused by those who drive under the influence.

"Beehive Theory" may explain how TBIs cause brain damage

A report published in the journal Medical Hypotheses has posited a theory explaining how head trauma incurred years earlier leads to a deterioration in brain functions. West Virginia residents should know that it is called the "Beehive Theory". According to this theory, a traumatic brain injury can dislodge certain microbes that lie dormant in the brain like bees in a hive.

Automatic braking systems don't always work

Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in West Virginia and across the country according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To combat the problem, more automakers are adding automatic emergency braking systems to their new vehicles. However, consumer advocates say the systems don't always perform as advertised, especially at night.

Drowsy driving a major issue as daylight saving time ends

In AAA's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, 96% of drivers acknowledged that drowsy driving is extremely dangerous, yet 27% admitted to doing it at least once in the past 30 days. Drowsy driving is a factor in some 328,000 crashes every year, and the National Sleep Foundation links it to a yearly average of 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries throughout West Virginia and the rest of the U.S.

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