San Antonio Personal Injury Blog

Teens transitioning from permit to license raise car crash risk

The transition from having a learner's permit and adult supervision to having a license and no supervision can be a bumpy one for many teenagers in Texas. A study from Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes for Health measured car crash risk among 90 teen participants from the time they obtained their permit to their first full year of possessing a license.

It turns out that their first three months with a license were much more risky than their last three months with a permit. Teens became eight times more likely to crash or have a near miss. Using dash cams on participants' cars and special software that recorded speed and braking, researchers found that newly licensed teens would engage more in risky behaviors like harsh braking, fast acceleration and sharp turns.

Online study relates most common phone distractions for drivers

Drivers in Texas may want to know about an online study from the market research firm Wakefield Research, which addressed the growing and dangerous trend of distracted driving. Nearly 2,000 U.S. drivers responded to the study.

First, it was clear that most drivers acknowledge the danger. Almost half said that distracted driving is their top concern on the road, and 99% recognized that phones are among the top three distractions. Respondents were also critical of others who drive distracted with 89% saying they would give a bad rating to any Uber or Lyft driver who texted behind the wheel. About 90% called their driving better than that of ride-hailing drivers.

Fatal accidents decrease, except those involving trucks

Texas drivers are no strangers to big rigs. In fact, your daily commute may take you along a route where many truckers travel, and you may have experienced more than a few hairy moments sharing the road with tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles.

The latest data regarding traffic fatalities shows a steady decline over recent years. However, that may be of little comfort to you if you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an accident with a truck. Despite the overall decline in traffic accidents, crashes involving big rigs continue to occur at alarming rates.

Car company plans to use technology to tackle drunk driving

Texas drivers sharing the road with impaired or distracted drivers could soon be safer thanks to new technology being implemented by a Swedish car manufacturer. The company announced plans to tackle drunk driving by installing a camera and sensor system in its vehicles sometime in the early 2020s. It's a move being made by the same company that already plans to restrict speed limits in its vehicles for the 2020 model year to around 112 miles per hour.

The company said its in-car cameras and sensors will monitor drivers for signs of drunk driving or distraction. The system will also intervene when necessary. Actions taken if an impaired or distracted driver fails to pay attention to warning signals could include limiting the vehicle's speed limit or parking it in a safe location.

Signs of a spinal cord injury may appear immediately or gradually

Car crashes can cause many different kinds of injuries. However, one of the most severe types of injury crashes can cause are spinal cord injuries (SCIs). For people younger than 65 years old, car crashes are the leading cause of SCIs, and every year, roughly 11,000 people receive SCIs in the United States, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

If you are involved in a car crash, you should always schedule a medical examination as soon as possible to help identify any possible injury right away. However, you should also be aware of the signs that could indicate you have a SCI because this type of injury often requires special treatment.

Study finds passengers vulnerable in truck accidents

Texas residents who are riding in a pickup truck as a passenger may not be adequately protected in the event of an accident. This is according to a crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Toyota Tundra was singled out specifically for its poor performance in the test. Other vehicles such as the Nissan Titan and the Ford F-150 were noted for their good scores.

While passengers may be vulnerable to injury or death in an accident, pickup truck drivers are more likely to survive a crash. The same IIHS data found that all but two of the trucks that were scrutinized received good scores on the driver's side. According to the test, the Tundra received a marginal score on the driver's side. It is believed that the Tundra did poorly because it has not been redesigned in several years.

Sleep deprivation and getting behind the wheel

Most people in Texas would agree that when they are sleep deprived, it has a negative effect on their efficiency, their attitude and their mood. It is common to hear people say that they find it difficult to concentrate or that they feel grumpy when they are tired. What some people do not fully appreciate is how dangerous it can be to operate a vehicle when they are sleep deprived.

In order to bring awareness to this danger, March 15 was designated as World Sleep Day. A popular auto manufacturer wanted to raise awareness of this as well and created a Sleep Suit designed to show the negative effect that being tired can have on a person who gets behind the wheel and the personal injuries they could cause. In fact, when a person stays awake for more than 18 hours and gets behind the wheel, they could be just as dangerous as a drunk driver.

Pedestrian deaths hit 30-year high according to new report

SUVs, smartphones and a spike in the number of people walking are some of the factors that could be presenting increased hazards for pediatricians in Texas and elsewhere in the country. This is the big takeaway from the most recent Governors Highway Safety Association report. Perhaps the most startling statistic is that more than 6,000 people traveling by foot lost their lives in 2018, the highest figure reported since 1990.

Pedestrians are more likely to experience some type of personal injury at night. In fact, nighttime crashes account for more than 90 percent of the spike in pedestrian fatalities over the past decade. The GHSA report also states that the number of SUVs involved in fatal accidents involving people on foot is up 50 percent from 2013. A separate report suggests that SUVs, which now account for the majority of all vehicles sold in the U.S., with higher front-end profiles are more likely to fatally affect pedestrians when accidents occur.

How to document the extent of damages in an accident

As anyone in Texas who's been in an accident will attest, the initial shock of the experience can be so startling that people can sometimes be unaware of the extent of the damage that has happened. However, people who go through accidents need to determine how bad the damage is: For one thing, it is important for their own personal safety as what might present itself as a minor backache right after the accident might morph into a full-blown back problem less than a week later. Additionally, being aware of what was damaged as well as the event that led up to it can be vital for insurance companies, making sure that claims go through quickly.

With that said, people who have been in motor vehicle accidents know that this is all easier said than done, yet, by following a few steps, assessing just how bad things are should be a much more straightforward process. First of all, as hard as it may seem, it's important to remain calm so as to be better able to see things more clearly and provide assistance to those in need. Keeping that in mind, before they can direct their attention towards the damages, people need to attend to the immediate emergencies first.

Speeding a common cause of motor vehicle deaths

According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, speeding is a culprit in about one-third of motor vehicle deaths. However, the report stresses that there is little stigma or shame attached to driving fast on Texas roads or others throughout the country. Speed can play a role in both increasing the chances of an accident as well as the severity of a crash.

There are many suggestions that the GHSA provides to help reduce speeding deaths. For instance, it could be worthwhile to create more roundabouts and other road features that encourage drivers to slow down. Creating an automated method for enforcing speed limits could also be a method of encouraging drivers to reduce their speeds while on the road. Officers themselves could also be more aggressive about enforcing speed limit laws when they see a violation.

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