Some Motorcycle Accidents Could be Caused by Miscalculation

Perceiving movement and calculating the time it takes for one object to strike another object is an inherently complex operation. Those who are very good at it can become successful baseball or tennis players. But we all have to do it. Whether driving on I-75 through Macon, or on winding Georgia state roads, every time you drive a car, your brain is making unconscious calculations when you change lanes, merge or make a turn. The brain uses the data received from your eyes and the size of the object on your retina to complete part of the calculation. However, it also uses "rules of thumb" such as the artist's depth cues that function as a shortcut in figuring outdistance. For motorcycle riders, this has a consequence that drivers may perceive them a further away, resulting in a motorcycle accident when they pull out in front of them. Research has found that…

Even a Dummy Should Wear Seat Belts

This week, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) tried to "make it real" in demonstrating the dangers of not wearing a seat belt, texting, and DUI to students in a Macon school. The GOHS uses a real pick-up truck equipped with dummies to show what happens in a rollover car accident. During the simulation, the dummies in the pick-up truck are not wearing their seat belts, and they are ejected from the vehicle during the rollover crash. A frequent cause of death in car accidents is the ejection of the occupants from the car. Upon ejection, a vehicle occupant typically strikes the ground or other objects at highway speeds. Even if they survive the ejection, they can receive additional severe or fatal injuries if they fall in the roadway and are struck by other vehicles. The director of GOHS commented that students are frequently found not complying with seat belt…

Warner Robins Car Crash Results in Vehicular Homicide Charge

Car accidents can range from trivial fender benders to catastrophic multi-vehicle accidents involving other cars or trucks that often result in severe injuries or fatalities. The cause of these car accidents is nearly infinite in terms of specifics, whether it is drunk driving after a few too many drinks at a bar, or distracted driving from attempting to read or reply to a text on a cellphone. A typical Georgia car accident is the result of negligence, or operating a vehicle in a manner below the standard with which we would expect a reasonable driver to operate their vehicle. In an extreme case of negligence, a 17-year-old in Warner Robins was charged with criminal vehicular homicide after a car accident in June left his passenger dead. Now, what makes a car accident a criminal offense? In this case, it appears to be due to the fact that the driver was "traveling too…

Two Killed in I-75 Accident Involving a Flat Tire

Because we drive them every day, the streets, roads, and highways around, Macon and Warner Robins, can appear ordinary and unthreatening. Being familiar, they can lull us into a sense of complacency, where we think, "We've driven the road a 1000 times, we know every mile..." However, like water flowing in a river, the traffic on a road like I-75 is never exactly the same. This week, two people died on I-75 in a fatal car accident when they stopped to fix a flat tire and were struck by as many as six vehicles. The Morrow Police department was investigating the accident that occurred on I-75 at the ramp to Jonesboro Road. The two victims were from Texas and were identified as brother and sister. The accident happened when they stopped their vehicle in the "gore" of the road, the extra lane that develops when an on-ramp angles into the main road.…

OK Computer, Take Me Home

When you are driving from Macon, up I-75 to Atlanta, or down I-16 to Savannah, there are things you can do to have a safer trip. If your vehicle is in good operation condition, you can make sure you have had enough sleep, don't speed, avoid any impairing alcohol or medicine and leave your cellphone turned off and out of sight. By remaining focused on the road and vehicles around you, you can greatly increase your chances of arriving safely. Of course, you can't control any of those behaviors in other drivers. If a fatigued truck driver falls asleep and crosses the median, you can only hope you are aware of it in time to take evasive action. All of your careful preparation and safe driving habits can be wiped out by a drunk driver speeding through a stop sign and striking your car broadside. With tens of thousands of car…

Multi-Vehicle Crash on Interstate Injures 10

Driving north from central Georgia, one quickly runs into the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains, and while they lack the altitude of the Rockies, they can present many a challenge to a driver, from heavy rains and fog in summer to ice and snow in winter. These roads can be risky even in dry conditions, but when the weather turns dangerous roads can become deadly. In Virginia last weekend, a torrential rainstorm caused a 41-vehicle crash that shut down a section of Interstate 81 for hours and sent 10 people to the hospital, including two who need to be airlifted from the scene. The heavy rain combined with the sun coming out at one point, caused visibility to drop to less than 20 feet, according to one witness. Police attributed the car accidents to the rain and driving too fast for the conditions. These mass pile-ups can lead to horrific consequences,…

Usher’s Son Almost Drowns in Georgia Pool Accident

Summer in Georgia is hot and with that heat comes the relief a swimming pool can provide. But every swimming pool in Georgia provides something else every summer, and that is the risk of young children drowning. This threat played out in the pool in Atlanta where the five-year-old son of the musician Usher nearly died on Monday. Around 3 p.m. the boy was swimming in the pool when according to a news report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the boy was trapped by the pool drain. The boy's great-aunt and a housekeeper were unable to get the boy off the drain and began screaming for help. The great-aunt called 911 and was hysterical. Luckily, the screams for help brought a contractor who was working on the home and he was able to rescue the boy from the swimming pool and began CPR. The paramedics found the boy breathing and took…

Georgia Police Officer Dies in Traffic Accident in Columbus

Drivers often overestimate their driving ability. As the tagline from the radio program says, all drivers believe they are above average. Combine this overconfidence bias with the familiarity of driving the same roads every day, and it can lead to tragic results. This is why people use a cellphone, send text messages or eat while driving. They believe they can handle it. The truth is, driving is an immensely difficult task, with the brain receiving hundreds of inputs every second for things that could be significant or important. Sometimes our brains are sidetracked by other activities like reading a text or changing radio stations. Most of the time, it does not matter. Nevertheless, at the wrong moment, that inattention can be the trigger for a tragic car accident. Even highly skilled and trained drivers can suffer that one unlucky moment. Yesterday, a crash occurred in Columbus that killed one undercover…

NTSB Calls for System to Prevent Intersection Accidents

Technology has made cars safer. From seat belts, unibody construction with crush zones, airbags, ABS brakes, and collision avoidance systems have all combined to make cars safer and crashes more survivable than ever before.  These advances, along with better-engineered highways and stricter enforcement of drunk driving laws have helped reduced highway fatalities to their lowest level ever. Fewer people die in traffic accidents today than died in 1949, even though we drive about 3 trillion miles every year. But that does not mean there isn't a great deal of room for improvement. Annual highway fatalities still average more than 30,000 people, the equivalent of half the population of Warner-Robins dying every year. With the goal of further reducing car accidents and the death and injuries that accompany them, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that cars be equipped with systems that would allow them to communicate and provide an…

Georgia Police Sorting Out the Confusion After Fatal Wreck

It was clear that there had been a terrible accident in Gainesville, Georgia late last week. There was no doubt that there were several vehicles that had been smashed together in a mass of twisted metal. It was obvious that there was at least one tractor-trailer that had increased the severity of the crash. It was obvious that there were three individuals who had lost their lives in the collision and another five people who were seriously injured when the vehicles collided on Highway 365 this past Thursday. Looking at the scene, there were some things that left no questions. For police in Gainesville, the cause of the crash was less than obvious. After the accident, police were left to sort out the details. They began an investigation into the fatal accident, but no details were immediately reported. This is common after an accident involving multiple vehicles. Who is at…

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