Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Have you ever gotten behind the wheel when you actually felt too tired to drive? Even the most cautious drivers may, on occasion, power through the need to sleep and put pedal to the metal — just to get where they need to go. That’s what hot coffee, a loud radio, and a blast of cold fresh air are for, right?

Drowsy driving in Maryland is more common than we’d like to think. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe to do so. A new AAA study finds that drowsy driving may in fact be as dangerous as drunk driving, potentially leading to serious and even fatal car accidents.

CBS News reports that while federal sources estimate drowsiness as a factor in one to two percent of motor vehicle crashes — a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Safety found that number to be much higher. When researchers studied 700 crashes on tape, they found drowsy driving to be a factor in 10 percent of motor vehicle accidents.

Are you getting enough sleep to safely get behind the wheel and drive?

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One of the largest and most complex automotive safety recalls in history just got bigger. The New Year got underway with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announcing a further expansion of the Takata air bag recall, which has already affected an estimated 34 million vehicles in the U.S.

The Takata air bag recall began in May 2016 based on previous reports of air bags malfunctioning. The problem stems from a chemical used in the air bag inflator to create rapid deployment during a motor vehicle accident. According to news reports, the chemical can deteriorate in hot, humid environments, burning too fast and causing a metal canister to explode, sending shrapnel into the vehicle cabin. NHTSA, which is managing the Takata air bag recall, has added approximately 3.3 million more vehicles to the list.

Is your car among them?

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Despite cars coming equipped with more luxury features and gadgetry designed to make driving easier — driving has become more stressful, here in Maryland and across the US. Blame it on increasingly congested roadways; speeding, lane changing and other forms of aggressive driving; cell phones and other onboard distractions. Our nerves are frazzled and our tempers are short. It’s a recipe for road rage.

If someone tailgates you or cuts you off in traffic, do you yell and make obscene hand gestures? …or remain calm and let them pass, and hope no one gets in a traffic accident? If you let your temper get the best of you, you’re not alone. According to a 2016 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, 80 percent of US drivers surveyed admitted to engaging in road rage at least once in the previous year. Road rage behaviors include…

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Nationally, the number-one cause of death in teenagers is motor vehicle crashes. According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, 52 people were killed and more than 6,700 people were injured in crashes involving teenage or younger drivers (2011–2015, a 5-year average).

Now, new cars are being manufactured with added safety devices designed to help all drivers avoid motor vehicle crashes. But how effective are these accident avoidance features with young, inexperienced drivers? Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that while some features helped teen drivers in the study drive more safely, others did not. The study found that while crash avoidance warning systems helped teens improve turn signal use and avoid drifting into other lanes, they did not help curb teen-driver tailgating. In fact,

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Deaths due to motor vehicle accidents had been decreasing for several years, here in Maryland and across the U.S. However, last year that trend took a turn for the worse — with the deadliest traffic accident fatality statistics seen in decades. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) reports that a total 35,092 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 — up 7.2 percent compared to 2014. Alcohol-impaired traffic accidents accounted for a significant number of fatalities, with 10,265 deaths resulting from driving under the influence (DUI) crashes in 2015. An average of 28 people a day were killed in DUI motor vehicle accidents in 2016.

A NHTSA spokesperson told CBS News, “We’re seeing these increases that we have not seen in 50 years. It’s tragic.” The government agency is trying to determine why motor vehicle accident fatalities are on the increase, after so many years of progress making our roads and highways safer and saving lives. And despite our state’s traffic safety laws, motor vehicle crash fatality statistics in Maryland are also trending in the wrong direction.

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Allstate Insurance released its America’s Best Drivers 2016 report, and the news isn’t good for Baltimore, Maryland motorists. It probably doesn’t come as a big surprise to anyone who’s driven the congested streets of Baltimore City or wrestled with traffic on the Baltimore Beltway: Our city is not among the safest places to drive. Not by a long shot.

In fact, of the 200 cities analyzed by the insurance company’s actuarial experts, Baltimore drivers rank third worst in the nation — beat out only by Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. The chances of being in a traffic accident in Baltimore are much greater than in most major American cities. How often would you guess the average Baltimore driver gets in a car crash?

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The AAA Foundation released a report that finds between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the 100 deadliest days for motor vehicle accidents involving teenaged drivers. Proms and graduations are upon us, with another crop of Maryland teenagers getting ready to kick up their heels and hit the roads this summer. With more free time on their hands, teenagers will be driving more as they hang out with friends, go to summer jobs, visit colleges—and just do the things teenagers do.

Statistically, this is the most dangerous time on the road for teenage drivers and their passengers—as well as for the driving public. Maryland parents should think long and hard about these frightening statistics before their teenagers get behind the wheel this summer. The Baltimore Times reports…

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STOP signs are the primary form of traffic control at U.S. intersections. As you drive through Maryland’s city streets and country back roads, do you come to a full stop at every stop sign? What about at intersections where you have the right of way, and the other guy has a stop sign? Do you still stop there, or just slow down enough to make sure the other driver stops? Or do you blow through the intersection and hope for the best?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), one-third of all US intersection crashes occur at crossings that have stop signs. The most common causes are drivers failing to stop for the stop signs, or stopping and then failing to yield to other vehicles, colliding at an angle. Obstructed vision (e.g., due to buildings, trees, or parked cars) is another frequent cause of accidents at intersections. However studies have shown that…
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For years, motor vehicle crash fatalities had been declining nationally—thanks in part to public safety awareness campaigns, tougher state traffic laws, improved vehicle safety, and highway improvements. Unfortunately, in recent years, that positive trend has reversed itself, with traffic crash fatalities increasing significantly in 2012 and now again for the first half of 2015.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that from January through June 2015, an estimated 16,225 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the U.S. This is an 8.1 percent increase in numbers of deaths as compared to the 15,014 crash fatalities that occurred in the first half of 2014. The reasons behind the increase in loss of lives?

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Thanks to the lowest gas prices since 2008, an estimated one million Maryland motorists are expected to hit the roadways this Thanksgiving, AAA Mid-Atlantic reports. AAA forecasts some 46.9 million U.S. motorists are expected to journey by car more than 50 miles for the holidays — an increase of .06 percent over last year’s numbers.

For Maryland drivers, this translates to plenty of company — and potential headaches — on our Baltimore County highways and beyond this Thanksgiving season. AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Regina Cooper Averella stated in a press release,

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