Austin Texas Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

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Drowsiness a safety risk among ridesharing drivers

Compelled by low fare and salary incentives, many ridesharing drivers in Texas choose to overwork themselves, becoming sleep-deprived in the process. This can especially make them dangerous behind the wheel in the early morning and late at night. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a position statement back in April 2018 regarding this widespread problem.

Quite a few ridesharing drivers, unfortunately, underrate the importance of sleep. With their drivers generally being classified as independent contractors, the ridesharing industry has no way of screening them for medical conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea, that can diminish alertness even more.

Your teen shouldn’t post about their car accident on social media

Many drivers experience a collision at some point after getting their license. But as a parent of a teen driver, did you know that your kid’s social media accounts might be part of an investigation after a car accident? Insurers or investigators could use social media posts to establish your teen driver’s liability.

It is common knowledge that the use of electronic communications devices behind the wheel is unsafe. That said, even if your teen wasn’t updating a social media account at the time of the accident, they might not be off the hook for damages caused.

Seat belts lower risk of severe liver trauma in crashes

Texas readers know that seat belts save lives, but they might not be aware that they can also save livers. According to a recent study, seat belts can lessen the severity of liver injuries in car crashes, which helps lower medical expenses and reduce the chances of complications.

Blunt trauma injuries to the liver commonly occur during car accidents. In order to see how effective seat belts are at preventing such injuries, researchers from NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn in New York City analyzed 51,202 liver injury cases from the National Trauma Data Bank from 2010 until 2015. All the cases involved adult patients who were either admitted to a hospital or died at or on the way to a hospital. They found that 15 percent of the patients suffered severe liver injuries. Of those, 15 percent died. The other 85 percent of patients suffered mild or moderate liver injuries. Of those, only 8 percent died. In addition, patients with severe liver injuries were almost three times more likely to require surgery and significantly more likely to suffer medical complications than those with mild or moderate liver injuries.

WHO releases annual global traffic fatality report

Car accidents in Texas and around the nation claim tens of thousands of lives each year, but the roads in many other countries are even more dangerous according to a study released by the World Health Organization on Dec. 7. The latest Global Status Report on Road Safety reveals that motor vehicle accidents are now the world's eighth most common cause of death and the leading cause of death for children and adults under the age of 30.

The WHO report makes particularly grim reading for those from developing nations. Despite owning just 1 percent of the world's cars, people from low-income countries account for 13 percent of global traffic deaths. These nations also lag behind rich countries at improving road safety. While road deaths fell in 48 high and middle-income countries between 2013 and 2013, they rose or remained constant in all low-income countries.

People aged 18-23 are most at risk for traffic fatalities

As many of us know, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be extremely dangerous for people traveling by car. Police departments across Texas have stepped up patrols to reduce impaired driving, or at least stop impaired drivers before they cause an accident.

This crackdown is in direct response to the uncharacteristically high number of DWI arrests and traffic deaths during the 2017 holiday season.

Avoiding aggression behind the wheel over the holidays

The holidays see a lot of traffic. They also may see a lot of aggressive driving. This is what a recent GasBuddy study suggests.

In the study, GasBuddy looked at smartphone driving app data covering the Thanksgiving holiday period. This data covered millions of U.S. drivers. This data was reviewed to estimate how common aggressive conduct was among drivers over this period. This includes conduct such as speeding, hard braking and quick accelerating.

How to spot a drunk driver

With the holidays around the corner, Texans are gearing up to attend family get-togethers and holiday parties. At these gatherings, holiday cheer often comes in liquid form, whether it is eggnog, wine or a few beers. There is nothing wrong with celebrating with friends and family. However, some drivers may have a few too many and then decide to get behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each day in the U.S., 29 people die in alcohol-related vehicle accident, which is the equivalent of one person every 50 minutes. Even if you drink responsibly at a holiday function, you may be sharing the road with someone who has consumed too much alcohol. Here are some signs of an impaired driver.

How to help your elderly parents renew their driver's license

Austin, Texas, is known for being a haven for the young and hip, but more people 65 and older live in the Austin area than people ages 18 to 24.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce notes that Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties are home to 209,690 people age 65 and older but only 200,956 people between the ages of 18 and 24.

Can self-driving cars stop distracted driving?

Wouldn't it be nice if our cars were like the subway or a bus, we did not have to worry about the driving and we could just look at our phones or even a newspaper during the trip? If this is the kind of luxury you are hoping for, get ready, because it may not be that far off.

You have undoubtedly heard of autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars. They are no longer in the development or testing phase, these cars are out on the roads. There are some estimates claiming there could be 100,000 autonomous vehicles in use throughout the world by 2021. There are even car manufactures claiming that as more of these cars make their way onto the roads, we will continually see a reduction in highway fatalities.

How do the police know if someone is distracted while driving?

Many drivers who glance at their phones do not think that others can see them doing it. They also assume that the effort of quickly glancing at their phone is equivalent to that of changing the radio station or checking their car's speed. However, cell phones tend to distract drivers more frequently than these other activities and often result in an extended period of time with a driver's eyes off of the road.

Five seconds is the average time that a person looks at their phone while driving. Traveling at 55 mph, you can drive the distance of a football field during that time. In 2017 in Texas, there were over 100,000 car accidents attributed to distracted driving that resulted in 2,889 injuries and 444 fatalities.

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