The Danger of Drowsy Driving

You know the feeling. Driving along I-75, heading out of Macon to Florida, down I-16 Savannah, or even going home after a long day at work following a late night with too little sleep. Your eyelids feel heavy and you catch your head dropping. No, you didn't just nod off, just a little tired, that's all. But you did. You just experienced drowsy driving. While much less recognized than its more famous relative drunken driving, but it is still a killer. In the last decade ending in 2010, 11,000 people died in drowsy driving car accidents. The larger question is how to deal with this problem. Unlike other causes of accidents, drunk driving, illegal or prescription drugs, or cellphone use, there is no easy test that can be used to obtain some evidence of how sleepy someone was at the time of an accident. Even the number of deaths may be…

Father’s Drunk Driving Leads to Daughter’s Serious Head Injuries

Drunk driving accidents devastate lives in every state, including Georgia. With so many injuries and deaths resulting from DUI accidents each year, it's no exaggeration to say that drunk driving is a scourge. Recently in Albany, Georgia, a drunk driving father actually caused serious head injuries to his own 6-year-old daughter, according to police. The little girl had to be transported to Macon's Medical Center of Georgia, where she was given treatment in the Intensive Care Unit and said to be in critical condition. The father was approaching an intersection in his SUV when his vehicle ran into the rear of a tractor-trailer that was stopped on the road. The man's daughter was wearing a seatbelt, but she still wasn't properly restrained because she was riding in the front seat. The father initially lied about the circumstances of the crash, according to state police. He claimed that another motorist forced him to…

Two-Seconds: At Highway Speeds That Can be a Long Time

Driving through the beautiful Georgia countryside can be distracting. The U.S. Department of Transportation cannot control what you are staring at outside your windows. But they do have some influence over what goes into your vehicle. This week they have announced that they want auto manufacturers to consider the time it takes to use devices within the car, and limit that time to no more than two seconds at a glance. The new guidelines would help keep drivers' eyes on the road and not fiddling with buttons and looking at screens. The recommendation comes as distracted driving is being seen as an even greater problem. Cars are coming equipped with more electronic devices, from GPSs and cameras to assist lane changes and backing up, to DVD players and internet-enabled devices that even allow web browsing. With more than 3,000 people dying in car accidents in 2011 related to distracted driving, and…

Got a New Driver? Yeah, There’s an App for That

Few events are more exciting to a teen than the first time they get behind the wheel of a car alone. Sadly, it may be more exciting for some than they are equipped to handle. One of the most dangerous times for a new driver is during their first time driving alone. While they may have the basics of driving down, it is a very different thing to control a car on a rain-slicked road when another driver unexpectedly changes lanes directly in front of them. Figuring out how to keep teen drivers out of car accidents is a challenge for any parent. You want them to drive and gain experience, but you worry that they will become distracted by modern conveniences, especially cellphones. Now there is an app that may help, rather than hinder your teen driver. The University of North Carolina has been working on these issues for many years…

Study Finds Being Lost in Thought is a Major Cause of Distraction in Accidents

Cell phones and other electronic devices produce a great deal of distraction while driving. You can call someone, text them, check a stock quote or the score of a game. You use them like a GPS, Google some questions, shop online, or even watch a movie. None of these is a good idea while driving. You are driving a projectile weighing thousands of pounds, hurtling down a highway at up to a hundred feet per second. That few seconds you glance down to check a text may be the last thing you ever do. But there is something even more distracting than that cell phone. According to a study that looked at the 65,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents from the last two years, 62 percent of the distracted drivers were "lost in thought" when the accident occurred. Cell phones only were responsible for 12 percent of the distraction. Of course, this…

Fog and Mountain Roads: A Deadly Combination

One minute, you are driving along with normal or near-normal visibility, and you can see a few hundred yards in front of your vehicle. Then, suddenly with little or no warning, you can barely see two car lengths in front of your vehicle. If you see taillights, it's probably too late to attempt to stop. This type of nightmare driving condition is common throughout the East Coast and the Appalachians in Georgia, and Easter Sunday, it occurred on the border of North Carolina and Virginia, as the fog closed around dozens of motorists, causing fatal, chain-reaction accidents. Three people were killed and 25 were injured in car and truck accidents involving 95 vehicles. Fog and highway driving makes for a particularly deadly mix, because even if you slow enough to avoid hitting another vehicle, and manage to stop, you have no assurance that any vehicles following yours are going to…

Motorcycle Accident Leaves Two Injured

The minivan driver had also complained of neck and back pain and was taken to a hospital. The trooper also indicated that the motorcycle driver was facing charges for the incident, though he did not elaborate. Motorcycle riders are at a constant state of risk for these types of accidents. Motorcycles provide very little protection for a rider in the event of an accident, and can contribute to additional injuries, should the cycle slide on to the rider. Many motorcycle accidents prove fatal to the rider, and even if he escapes with comparatively minor injuries, he may still be facing a long road to recovery. He may need multiple surgeries to repair his damaged leg and head injuries are always dangerous. Motorcycle and car crashes always pose the risk of traumatic brain injuries. Anytime you have been in an accident with injuries, you should speak with a personal injury attorney,…

New Guidelines Issued for Concussion Injuries for Athletes

Concussions, especially in sport-related situations, used to be looked at as minor and trivial. If you got up and brushed yourself off, the goal was to get back into the game as soon as possible. Most athletes, and certainly young teens, who are sensitive to the importance of maximizing playing time, could feel pressure to return to the field. There is a growing body of research that indicates that concussions, while not all leading to traumatic brain injury, nonetheless, are not the minor, non-event, that many have been treated as over the years. The ABC news story discusses a girl playing soccer, who suffered three blows to the head within a few days, and ends up "disoriented and having memory lapses." While the coaching staff did not suggest seeing a doctor, the girl eventually told her parents what she was feeling and they took her to a doctor, where she was…

Georgia Man Receives 12 Years in Prison for Vehicular Homicide

Drunk driving has been subject to a sustained attack on all fronts, from increasingly severe punishments and greater restrictions to a decade's long publicity campaign by organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). And there has been progress. The decline in highway fatalities has in part been attributed to increased enforcement of drunk driving laws. In 2011, highway deaths fell to 32,367, the lowest number in absolute terms, since recordkeeping of these statistics began in 1949. Nonetheless, in 2010, 31 percent or 10,228 deaths resulted from alcohol-impaired motor vehicle accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that 30 people die every day in the U.S. in drunk driving accidents. In Columbia County last week, one of those deaths resulted in the conviction of an Evans man. He was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide and running a red light. Prosecutors asked for, and obtained, a 12-year prison sentence…

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