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Middleton Wisconsin Personal Injury Law Blog

Which states see the most teen drinking and driving

Despite the minimum age for alcohol consumption being 21, there are many teens who drink and drive. In Wisconsin and across the U.S., drunk driving fatalities compose one third of all driving fatalities. Nationwide, an average of 3.4 per 100,000 people die in DUI-related crashes. The numbers will differ from state to state, of course, but one study shows a possible link between DUI fatality rates and the number of high school students who drink and drive.

The study, conducted by researchers at, broke down data from the CDC's High School Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Based on how many teens reported drinking and driving at least once in the previous month, researchers were able to rank the 15 worst states for teen drinking and driving.

Preventing car crashes with five simple tips

Around 40,000 lives were lost in auto accidents around the country in 2018. Wisconsin motorists should also be aware that every seven seconds in the U.S., someone is injured in a car crash. By following five simple tips, though, they can keep themselves and others from becoming a statistic.

It all begins with the proper vehicle maintenance. An auto expert should periodically check the engine and brakes. Drivers should ensure that the airbag is intact and that there are no electrical issues. The second tip is to avoid driving drunk. motorists are legally drunk they have a BAC of .08 or above, but even a lower BAC can indicate impairment in some cases. Around 10,000 people die in drunk driving crashes every year.

The data doesn't look good for construction workers

If you work in construction, no one needs to tell you that your job is dangerous. You already know that you risk your safety every time you go to a job site. You rely on your employer, your co-workers, your superiors and your own diligence to make sure you go home safely every day.

The problem is that, even when everything goes right, things still go wrong. You may or may not be surprised by what the data says about your chances of suffering serious injuries while on the job.

Drunk driving claims thousands of lives every year

On average during 2017, nearly 30 people nationwide were killed every day in car accidents related to drunk driving. That works out to one drunk-driving traffic fatality every 48 minutes and 10,874 deaths over the course of the year across the country. Alcohol impairs the ability of drivers to safely drive motor vehicles. It is illegal in Wisconsin to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter of blood, but the negative effects of alcohol may be present even at lower levels.

In 2017, 1,837 people died in crashes where the BAC of a driver was between .01 and .07. BAC can be measured either by a blood test or using a Breathalyzer . The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a BAC as low as .02 is enough to cause a decline in visual abilities or to perform divided attention tasks. At .05, the driver's coordination is reduced, as is his or her ability to track moving objects and respond to emergency situations.

Drowsy driving killing thousands of people each year

All traffic safety experts agree that drowsy driving is a major danger in Wisconsin and across the U.S. However, there is some debate regarding the actual number of injuries and fatalities drowsy driving crashes cause each year.

For example, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are around 100,000 fatigue-related accidents reported to the police each year, resulting in over 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries. However, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that at least 320,000 drowsy driving accidents take place each year, resulting in around 6,400 deaths and at least 109,000 injuries. Meanwhile, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that approximately 5,000 people were killed in fatigue-related crashes in 2015. There are several reasons for the discrepancy in numbers, including that it is difficult to determine how sleepy a driver was before a crash and not all police departments record drowsy driving accident statistics. However, researchers believe that drowsy driving accidents and deaths are vastly underreported nationwide.

Phone use behind the wheel is prominent among millennials

Liberty Mutual Insurance has conducted a Multi-National Distracted Driving Study that shows how widespread the trend of distracted driving is among different age groups. Wisconsin residents should be aware that anything that takes a driver's attention from the road is a distraction. It can be a visual, aural or cognitive distraction.

The study, which involved 8,000 drivers across the United States and Western Europe, found that 67% of American drivers use a phone while driving to text, send an email or use an app. Sixty percent of European drivers admitted to phone use. Dangerous driving behaviors in general were discovered in 47% of American drivers and 39% of European drivers. Thirty-eight percent of American drivers engaged in speeding.

Distractions to avoid when on the road

Drivers in Wisconsin should know that distracted driving can be a deadly form of negligence. It resulted in 3,166 car crash fatalities in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it continues to be a widespread trend. To protect themselves and others, drivers should first understand the most distracting activities.

phone use is probably at the top of the list. This includes the use of hands-free devices. Ideally, drivers should pull over when they need to make an emergency call. Next, there is the distraction of eating and drinking. Safe drivers will want to set up a no-eating policy.

Watch for slow moving farm equipment

Perhaps there is no prettier place to drive than on the rural roads of Wisconsin, especially at this time of year when nature is lush and green. You may know that, despite the loveliness of nature, you still must exercise caution when you drive. You never know when a deer or other wildlife will cross your path.

However, another hazard to deal with on a rural Wisconsin road is farming equipment. While spring and fall are the most common times to encounter implements of husbandry (IOH), you may come upon them anytime you are driving. Surprisingly, the equipment itself is not the only danger. Other drivers may not know how to behave when sharing the road with an IOH.

Study reveals which states have worst senior drivers

Around 42 million drivers in the U.S. are 65 or older, and the number continues to grow. Wisconsin residents probably know that senior drivers can struggle to drive safely due to the effects of aging. While the overall number of traffic fatalities has gone down since 2009, it has been increasing among senior citizens. In 2017, these older drivers made up 14% of all drivers in fatal crashes.

A study from The Senior List ranked the states based on the number of senior drivers involved in fatal crashes. The five worst are Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and North Carolina while the five best are New Hampshire, South Dakota, Delaware, Hawaii and North Dakota. The worst states are often the most populous, but the connection does not hold for every state. Tennessee, the eighth worst state, has a population outside the top 15.

Researchers rank cities on driver safety

Hundreds of car accidents occur in Wisconsin and across the U.S. every day. However, according to a new report by Allstate Insurance, some areas of the country have more accident-prone drivers than others.

For the report, Allstate analyzed its own claims data from America's 200 most populous cities to find out where the riskiest drivers are located. They found that drivers in Baltimore were the most likely to get into accidents. The average Baltimore driver got into a crash once every 4.19 years. Drivers in Washington, D.C., were only marginally better, getting into a collision once every 4.36 years. Meanwhile, drivers in Boston were third on the list, getting into crashes an average of once every 4.89 years. In comparison, the average U.S. driver gets into a wreck once every 10.57 years.

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