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Middleton Wisconsin Personal Injury Law Blog

External airbags and reduced injuries

Drivers in Wisconsin who are concerned are driving safely may be interested to learn that the results from testing conducted by a company that manufactures external airbag may make occupants of vehicles safer. In fact, according to the company's testing data, the use of its external airbags can lower the injury severity of occupants by as much as 40 percent.

The company's external airbags deploy from the sides of vehicles and serve as extra crumple zones when impacts occur. The airbags can be likened to massive pillows that absorb some of the force sustained during side impact crashes.

Tips for safer winter driving

Driving in Wisconsin during the winter months means potentially hazardous conditions and the presence of ice and snow on roadways. The risk of car accidents is increased when winter driving conditions exist, so drivers should take precautions to make sure that they are as safe as possible. There are some technologies, like traction assistance, that might help to keep vehicles under control on icy roads.

Before getting behind the wheel during the winter, it's a good idea for drivers to check the weather report so they know what to expect. A lot of people warm their cars up before they drive in the cold. In order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, people should not let their vehicles run in enclosed areas.

Accidental deaths are the greatest threat to young Americans

People in Wisconsin could be taking their lives in their hands when they get behind the wheel. Accidental injuries of various types are the leading cause of death for Americans up to the age of 44, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, in 2016 alone, 61,749 people in this age group died due to unintentional injury. While there can be a number of contributors to accidental injuries, motor vehicle accidents and poisonings were the most commonly fatal.

However, people can take action to make themselves less vulnerable to accidents and injuries on the road. Each year, over 2 million people are injured and 32,000 killed in car accidents. Driving safely and conscientiously can help to avoid many crashes. This means staying within the speed limit and making sure to drive without distractions or other influences that could lessen reaction times. While drunk driving remains a major threat on American roads, distracted driving is becoming one of the most significant risks to life and safety.

Does Drowsy driving = drunk driving?

Daylight saving time has ended, and although this typically means the chances for getting an extra hour of sleep, the change of schedule can throw off your sleep pattern. In fact, you may be among the many who take advantage of the extra hour to stay up later. Nevertheless, it may be days or weeks before you get back into a rhythm, and meanwhile, you must go on with your normal life.

You are not the only one feeling this way, and chances are daylight saving time has little to do with the number of drowsy drivers you encounter every day on your commute. A recent study shows that drowsiness behind the wheel can be even more dangerous than you may suspect.

Truck drivers' distraction dangerous on the road

When people get behind the wheel in Wisconsin, they can face dangerous roadways. One of the most significant threats to highway safety that has escalated along with technological advances has been the rise in distracted driving. When truck drivers are distracted, the risks can be especially great. Passenger cars involved in crashes with large trucks are particularly vulnerable to catastrophic damage. While reducing distracted driving overall is a national safety priority, safety experts agree that it's particularly important for trucking companies.

Public awareness initiatives against distracted driving have been widely promoted. Even though American drivers seem to recognize how dangerous the practice is, many continue to drive while texting, web surfing or using the phone. One AAA study showed that 88 percent of respondents labeled distraction as the most serious threat to road safety. Nevertheless, drivers tend to believe that they are an exception to the rule and that they are able to manage technology use without being dangerously distracted. These kinds of beliefs can be especially common and dangerous among experienced drivers familiar with the roads.

Limo crash deadliest since 2009

The fatal limousine crash that made headlines throughout Wisconsin and the rest of America had been previously cited for brake failures. Among the infractions the vehicle had been cited for were constricted under-vehicle brake connections and out of service brakes. These citations occurred in March, months before the Oct. 6 accident in upstate New York that killed 20 people.

The limo crash resulted in the deaths of two pedestrians, the driver of the limo and all 17 passengers. New York's Department of Transportation, which had issued the March citations for brake defects, noted in a subsequent, September inspection that the defects had not yet been corrected.

AAA study raises questions about auto safety systems

Road safety advocates say that sophisticated safety features like adaptive cruise control and emergency braking systems can prevent 4 out of 10 traffic accidents and reduce road deaths by as much as 30 percent. However, a recent study released by the American Automobile Association claims that this kind of technology could actually be making the nation's roads more dangerous. Researchers from the group's Foundation for Traffic Safety came to this conclusion after polling 1,200 drivers in Wisconsin and around the country who purchased new vehicles equipped with driver assistance systems in 2016 and 2017.

According to the AAA road safety study, technology designed to prevent accidents and save lives can pose a threat to other road users when drivers overestimate its capabilities and act recklessly as a result. The problem appears to be especially serious when cars are equipped with adaptive cruise control systems that speed up or slow down vehicles to keep pace with other traffic. A worrying 29 percent of the drivers polled admitted that they routinely look away from the road ahead and do other things when these systems are engaged.

Study looks at supplemental driver education programs

Wisconsin teens might benefit from road safety programs that have reality-based and interactive elements. Researchers at Baylor University in Texas recommended these types of programs after studying responses from participants who took part in the Texas Reality Education for Drivers program. This program involves lectures, discussions and visits to places such as the morgue, emergency room and intensive care unit.

Young drivers who were sent to the six-hour program by parents, community groups or court administrators took a survey before starting the classes. A number of participants admitted to talking on phones and texting while driving. After the program, however, their awareness of the role of peer influence in drinking and driving and the dangers of speeding was higher. Of the 21 original participants, only six filled out the follow-up survey two months later. Four had driven, and all said they had driven while texting or talking on the phone. Two said they had driven more than 20 miles above the speed limit.

Distracted driving a major cause of auto accidents

Technology allows work or other pursuits to be accomplished from just about anywhere. Perhaps it's tempting to use a cellphone when driving, but distracted driving remains a leading reason why motor vehicle accidents occur.

While there is some evidence to suggest the problem may be more prevalent among one generation more so than others, a recent study leads to the conclusion that drivers of all ages need to do a better job of paying attention. One interesting finding is a common theme among all the generations of drivers surveyed: They all think the other drivers on the road are the problem, not themselves.

Struck-by accidents among the deadliest in construction

If you work construction in Wisconsin, you already know how important it is to take every precaution to protect yourself from worksite accidents. Even more important than using appropriate protective equipment, preventing injuries begins with thorough training and scrupulous caution.

Construction accidents result in thousands of injuries and fatalities each year, leaving workers to re-evaluate their lives, and families to cope with unspeakable loss. While falling is the number one cause of injury on worksites, the second is struck by accidents. These result in nearly 800 deaths a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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