Auto Accident Head Trauma Risks for Teen Drivers

May 11, 2012 by  
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A new study by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance indicates that auto accidents cause more fatal head injuries for teens than any other types of events.

According to the report, “Miles to go: Monitoring Progress in Teen Driver Safety”, substantial progress is being made to reduce the risks associated with car accidents involving teen drivers. However, injuries sustained in accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for teens, with traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures following car crashes accounting for about 30% of the 55,000 serious injuries that occurred in 2009 and 2010.

Auto Accident Head TraumaResearchers determined that states with the most stringent driving laws had lower numbers of children who died in car crashes. States with loose driving laws had significantly more teen car accident deaths. Those laws often require the teen to have at least 50 hours of adult-supervised driving experience, limits the number of passengers a teen driver can carry, requires seat belt use and restricts the amount of driving that can be done at night.

The report also found that teens were more likely to adhere to seat belt laws in states with the strictest driving rules.

Overall, researchers saw improvements in teen driving safety over the last several years. From 2005 to 2010 the death rate among teen drivers dropped 46 percent, according to the report.

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Distracted Driving Could Account for Up to 30% of Auto Accidents

July 18, 2011 by  
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According to the findings of a new study, more than a quarter of all auto accidents are likely caused by distracted drivers, who are often using cell phones and other electronic devices. Read more

Maryland Is Among Top 10 States for Seatbelt Use

January 14, 2011 by  
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Nine out of every 10 occupants of an automobile on Maryland roads buckles up, placing Maryland among the top 10 states for seatbelt compliance, according to a new federal study. Read more

Car Accident Crash is Leading Cause of Teen Death

June 15, 2010 by  
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A new government report estimates that 35% of teen deaths every year are caused by a car accident crash, making it the leading cause of teen death in the U.S. by a wide margin. Read more

Maryland Texting While Driving Ban: Designed to Prevent Maryland Accidents

September 30, 2009 by  
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Maryland Text Messaging Ban

A new Maryland traffic law will go into effect tomorrow, banning text messaging while driving in an effort to reduce the number of Maryland accidents caused by distracted drivers.

The new law will make it illegal to type or send text messages while operating a motor vehicle. Being caught texting while driving in Maryland will be a misdemeanor, subject to a fine of up to $500. It will also be a primary driving offense, meaning that police will be able to pull people over and fine them if they suspect them of sending text messages.

Going into effect October 1, 2009, the new Maryland law allows sending messages to contact 911, and does not ban talking on the phone while driving. Playing games and using applications are not banned by the law either, and the law does not explicitly address e-mail, using twitter or updating Facebook, but their legality is up for interpretation and engaging in such activities likely carries the same distractions as text messaging.

The law is seen as a victory for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which seeks to have texting-while-driving bans in all 50 states by 2013. The law goes into effect just before AAA’s “Heads Up Driving Week.” from October 5 through October 11, which is designed to bring attention to driving behavior and encouraging distraction-free driving.

A recent study by Virginia Tech has found that truck accidents are 23 times more likely when a commercial driver is sending text messages while driving. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute looked at a number of different potential distractions for drivers of cars and trucks by adding cameras and instruments to the vehicles of drivers. Above any other distraction, text messaging truck drivers were putting themselves and others at the most risk.

The results were compiled from several driving studies conducted by the institute, and the collected data equaled about six million miles of driving. Heavy vehicle and truck drivers were 23.2 times more likely than a non-distracted driver to have a truck accident if they were texting, 6.7 times as likely to crash while reaching for, or using, an electronic device, and 5.9 times as likely to have an accident while dialing on a cell phone.

Drivers of light vehicles and cars were at much less risk of having a car accident, but still faced a 2.8 times greater risk of crashing while dialing a cell phone than a non-distracted driver and were 1.4 times more likely to crash while reaching for an object and 1.3 times as likely to have an auto accident while talking on the cell phone.

Researchers from the institute said that it was the tasks that drew the drivers’ eyes away from the road ahead of them that were the activities with the highest risk. Sending a text message took a driver’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds over a 6-second interval, which equates to driving the length of a football field at 55 mph without looking at the road. The study found that just talking on a cell phone, which does not distract a driver’s eyes from the road, made little difference in the likelihood of an accident.

New Laws May Help Reduce Maryland Teen Driver Accidents

February 11, 2009 by  
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An article in today’s Washington Post outlines several steps being taking by the legislatures in Maryland and Virginia to put limitations on teen drivers, which proponents claim will increase safety on the roads and decrease the risk of teen accidents. Read more

Higher gas prices may result in fewer Maryland accident fatalities

August 2, 2008 by  
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While high gas prices are not considered good news for anyone, new research suggests that they result in safer roads and fewer fatal auto accidents. Although recent news indicates that we may see a drop in gas prices in Maryland between now and Labor day, researchers estimated that if gas prices stay above $4 per gallon, the total number of accident fatalities in the United States could fall by over 12,000 next year. Read more