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Florida Vehicle Collision Blog

Motorcyclists at risk for head injuries, road rash

For many Florida riders, motorcycles are a fast, fuel-efficient way to get where they need to go. However, motorcycles require additional skills and coordination than other types of vehicles, making them easier to become involved in accidents. Because motorcycle riders are not as protected as other motorists, about 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in either injuries or death.

Bone fractures, particularly in the legs, are common injuries in motorcycle accidents due to the fact that motorcycles cannot stand up on their own. This means that, during an accident, a limb can become stuck underneath the vehicle. Fractures in the wrist or arms may occur if a motorcyclist tries to break his or her fall. Head injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, are also common and can lead to disability or even death. Although wearing a helmet reduces the risk of serious injury and death, some simply refuse to wear them or wear ones that do not offer proper protection.

AAA studies benefits of truck safety technology

Many drivers in Florida and throughout the U.S. feel uncomfortable when sharing the road with commercial trucks. As trucking companies incorporate new safety technology, however, the rate of serious tractor-trailer accidents could significantly drop.

A recent AAA study analyzed the benefits of four technologies: lane departure warning units, automatic emergency braking, air disc brakes and video-based onboard safety monitoring units. The authors estimated that video-based monitoring alone could prevent up to 63,000 crashes every year. When combined, the other three could prevent over 11,500 crashes. The four together could prevent 460 deaths annually.

Getting your medical bills covered after an auto accident

After an auto accident, you may be able to file a successful personal injury claim. However, you may have medical bills that can pile up before you reach a settlement.

To avoid such instances, there are medical options that you may consider. Especially in the state of Florida, there are specific plans that assist with paying your medical bills.

ADHD medication and crash risk

Florida drivers who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may see their risk for getting in a motor vehicle accident fall if they keep up with their prescribed medications. This is according to a study that examined the health claim records of over 2.3 million ADHD patients who had sought emergency care due to vehicle crashes from 2005 to 2014.

ADHD is a neurodevelopment condition that can causes sufferers to have impaired impulse control, hyperactivity and be unable to pay attention. The symptoms of ADHD can make it difficult for sufferers to safely operate a motor vehicle, exposing them to a higher risk for accidents. Out of the more than 2.3 million American adults whose records were examined for the study, 83.9 percent of them had a minimum of one prescription for ADHD medication. The researchers estimated that 22.1 percent of vehicle crashes during the period examined in the study could have been prevented if the ADHD patients had been medicated.

Motorcycle injuries and protective gear

While some motorcyclists might argue that full gear is required at all times if the body is to be fully protected on the roadway, local bikers might question whether this is necessarily true given that the state of Florida does not require all riders to wear motorcycle helmets. Separate studies were conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Association for The Advancement Of Automotive Medicine, World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control using data collected at various points between 1998 and 2008. Considered as a whole, the research sheds light on the relationship between motorcycle safety and protective gear.

Providing an overview of where motorcycle injuries occur on the body in non-fatal crashes, the CDC study found that injuries most often involve the feet and legs. The AAAM study found that the data is not greatly impacted by helmet use. In correlation of the data provided by the AAAM and CDC, the WHO showed that the majority of non-fatal accidents resulted in broken bones in the lower limbs. The NHTSA study tracked fatal injuries and found that head injuries were overwhelmingly deadly, especially among non-helmeted riders.

Trucks with mechanical defects are twice as likely to crash

Commercial vehicles with fatigued drivers behind the wheel, dangerous mechanical defects or poorly secured loads pose a hazard to road users in Florida and around the country, and researchers studied truck crashes between 2010 and 2012 to determine how serious this threat is. The research team was drawn from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the University of North Carolina and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and they compared the mechanical systems of trucks involved in 197 serious crashes with a similar number of commercial vehicles that had completed their journeys safely.

The research team found that tractor-trailers with mechanical defects crashed about twice as often as well-maintained trucks, and commercial vehicles with problems severe enough to warrant an out-of-service order were about four times as likely to be involved in accidents. Commercial vehicle inspectors issue such orders when a breakdown is imminent or defects are discovered that pose a clear threat to other road users.

Poor truck driver health linked with higher accident rates

Maintaining good health can be difficult for truck drivers in Florida and around the country. Operating a motor vehicle is relatively sedentary work, and speed and flavor trump health and nutrition at many roadside restaurants and truck stops. Experts have voiced concerns in recent years about the road safety implications of the nation's growing obesity problem, and the way that these issues could impact the logistics industry was recently by researchers from the University of Utah. The findings of the research were published in January in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The researchers first compiled a list of medical conditions that have been found to influence driving performance, and they then looked for these conditions in the medical records of 49,464 commercial truck drivers. Severe lower back pain, diabetes, obesity and heart disease can make it far more difficult to keep trucks weighing up to 40 tons under control, and the researchers say that more than a third of the truck drivers studied suffered from at least one such condition.

Fatal car accidents once again on the rise

Recent statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration do not paint a positive picture for Florida drivers. The NHTSA report indicates that more than 37,000 people were killed in road traffic accidents across the United States in 2016. This represents a 5.6 percent year-on-year increase, and it is the highest number of fatal crashes on record since 2007.

The report gives cause for concern at a time when the use of public transportation is on the rise while technologies to promote driver safety are increasingly being incorporated into new vehicles. In the years between 2007 and 2014, automotive safety engineers, actuaries and insurance company executives were pleased to see fatal crashes reduced all the way down to 32,744 per year; unfortunately, that trend seems to be in a worrisome reversal.

Older cars riskier for drivers than newer models

Florida motorists may be concerned to learn that they have a greater chance of dying in a car accident if they drive an older vehicle, according to a 2013 study. Further, the study found that the older the vehicle is, the more likely its driver is to be killed in an accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that people who drive vehicles that are at least 18 years old are 71 percent more likely to be killed in a serious car accident than people who drive vehicles that are no more than three years old. People who drive cars that are 8 to 11 years old are 19 percent more likely to die in a crash, and those who drive cars 4 to 7 years old are 10 percent more likely to die.

Car size is a factor in injury and crash severity

Florida motorists who drive smaller cars likely enjoy the fuel economy that they offer. Unfortunately, small cars fare much worse when they are involved in collisions than do larger vehicles. People who are in the market for a new vehicle might want to take these risks into consideration before they make purchasing decisions.

When small vehicles have front-end collisions, they have less on the front of their vehicles than larger vehicles do. Having smaller fronts means that less is available to absorb the physical forces of the crashes. The car occupants are thus likelier to absorb the forces themselves.

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