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car accidents Archives

Car crash risk goes up with daylight saving time

Most Michigan residents know that experts recommend a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. However, with daylight saving time, many will lose an hour of sleep and become drowsy in the daytime. Combine that with driving, and the chances of an accident spike. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, missing one to two hours of sleep in a 24-hour period actually doubles the risk for a crash.

Study highlights potential link between car crashes and opiates

Many Michigan residents are concerned about the public health impacts of the opioid crisis. According to one study, prescription opiate usage could also be linked to fatal car accidents. Researchers examined fatal two-car crashes across the United States and found that the at-fault drivers were almost twice as likely to have prescription opiates in their systems.

The most common causes of car accidents

The most frequently reported factors in auto accidents in Michigan are also common elsewhere in the nation. The following is just a brief summary of those factors. First of all, most accidents are caused by human error with distracted driving being especially prominent. Calling, texting, adjusting the radio, eating, talking with passengers -- all of these can take one's attention from the road.

Traffic fatalities and speeding

Michigan motorists who are concerned about road safety should know that excessive vehicle speed is a contributing factor in almost 33 percent of all fatalities caused by motor vehicle crashes. This is according to a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association. However, speeding receives inadequate attention as an issue of traffic safety and is even considered to be socially acceptable by many drivers.

Texting while driving on the rise

Widespread public health campaigns in Michigan have highlighted the dangers of distracted driving. Many of these efforts have focused on the use of handheld phones, including calling and texting while driving. Similarly to overall trends in communication, fewer drivers are talking on handheld phones while behind the wheel. However, drivers are 57 percent more likely to use their phones for texting, internet browsing or email, even when operating their vehicles.

The risks associated with drowsy driving

Drowsy driving is a danger that drivers in Michigan should do all they can to avert. Sleep deprivation can affect drivers like alcohol intoxication: The National Sleep Foundation says that staying awake for 24 hours is like having a blood alcohol content of .10 whereas one is legally drunk with a .08 BAC.

GPS, dashboard gadgets continue to distract drivers

A recent study conducted for AAA regarding infotainment systems shows that modern vehicles could have added distractions for drivers. Participants in the study, who were aged 21 to 36, were asked to engage in various activities like calling, texting and programming navigation while driving. The results should make many drivers in Michigan think hard about the distractions that they allow in their vehicles.

Car accidents pose a major threat to global public health

Car accidents aren't only a serious safety concern for people in Michigan. The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning about the threat that traffic collisions pose to people around the world. At a global level, vehicle crashes are now the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 5 and 29. They are also the eighth most common cause of fatalities for people of all ages, taking more lives than tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. According to the WHO's 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, motor vehicle collisions took 1.35 million lives around the world in 2016.

ZF gathers safety data on external airbags

New safety data regarding the emerging technology of external airbags is out from the ZF Group, a car parts manufacturer. Michigan drivers should know that these airbags, in the event of a side impact crash, could lessen the severity of occupant injuries by as much as 40 percent. While many manufacturers are developing external airbags, it seems clear that they will not be perfected for a while yet.

Organizations release advice for winter driving

Winter driving in Michigan means sometimes icy and snowy roads, reduced visibility and cold. It can also mean a greater risk of accidents, as hazardous weather conditions make it harder to drive safely. The National Safety Council has released recommendations for drivers to carry certain items in their vehicles if they're going to be driving in winter weather.

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