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The psychology behind road rage

Most drivers have experienced road rage at some point or another. Occasionally, this rage may lead to confrontations or car accidents. In the state of Connecticut, repeat aggressive driving offenders can be sent to a Driver Retraining program in order to manage their behavior.

People can get angry at any time or place. When it happens behind the wheel, the situation can promote certain psychological biases. Some specialists believe that people feel safe in a car because they are in an enclosed space, fostering a feeling of security. They may feel invincible and isolated from other people on the road. Those who experience road rage might also feel as though they can easily escape the situation without worry of consequence.

Large truck accidents and their causes

Connecticut drivers might be interested to learn that, in 2012, truck crashes killed 3,921 people and injured 104,000. There were 333,000 trucks involved in trucking accident cases that year. The majority of people who died in these crashes were in other vehicles at the time of the crash. A majority of serious injuries also involved occupants of other vehicles.

According to the NHTSA, large trucks are more likely to be involved in a multi-vehicle crash, with 81 percent of crashes examined involving more than two vehicles. In nearly a third of the accidents involving only one passenger car and a truck, both vehicles were hit from the front.

Connecticut accident harms several people

Several vehicles were involved in an accident on the early morning of Feb. 14 in Wallingford that caused Interstate 91 to be shut down for approximately six hours. An initial car accident resulted in one vehicle being broken down on I-91 northbound between exits 14 and 15. Another vehicle then approached and struck the disabled vehicle in the rear.

Traffic was light at the time of the accident, according to police reports. Driving conditions were also determined to be dry, cloudy and dark when the accident occurred. The investigation is ongoing, and officials have requested any witnesses with details regarding the multiple-vehicle accident to contact the proper authorities with the information.

Young people at greatest risk of drunk driving fatality

Connecticut readers might be interested to learn that, according to a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly one-third of all traffic-related fatalities in 2012 were the result of drunk driving collisions. In raw numbers, 10,322 people were killed in 2012 in such crashes. According to a 2010 study titled The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, the annual cost to Americans from alcohol-related accidents is in excess of $59 billion.

Motorcyclists, young people and individuals with prior drunk driving convictions are most at risk to be involved in fatal drunk driving collisions. According to the NHTSA report, 32 percent of drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or greater who were involved in fatal crashes were 21 to 24 years old. Twenty-seven percent were 25 to 34.

Wrong-way driver killed, 5 seriously injured on I-95

Connecticut State Police reported that an alleged wrong-way driver in the southbound lanes of I-95 was killed in a series of accidents occurring on Feb. 8. Five others were seriously injured. Reportedly, the accidents started at 12:48 a.m.

Officers reported that a 55-year-old woman was driving her vehicle the wrong way when she reportedly side-swiped another vehicle being driven by a 54-year-old man. The woman then reportedly veered into the path of an oncoming car being driven by a 30-year-old man, striking the man's vehicle head-on. A 50-year-old woman in a third car reportedly swerved to avoid the head-on crash, but the wrong-way driver's vehicle spun around, striking the front corner her car.

Shoulder injuries in car accidents

Connecticut drivers and other people who may have been in an accident might have suffered harm to their shoulder. The assembly of collarbone, shoulder blade and upper arm is one of the most critical physical structures to the human body, and the tremendous stresses associated with an automobile collision may cause minor or major trauma to the area.

The shoulder is well supported by soft tissue, but a car accident may cause the sinews and ligaments to be twisted, stretched, or torn. This can lead to injuries such as a dislocated shoulder, a painful condition that is sometimes associated with permanent damage to the shoulder joint.

Crashes caused by worn tires

Motorists in Connecticut may know that worn tires can increase the risk of being involved in a car accident. Researchers discovered that many tires lose a significant amount of grip by the time they reach the halfway point. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that approximately half the 11,500 vehicles inspected in a test were equipped with at least one half-worn tire, and 10 percent had at least one tire that was bald.

Worn tires may not have grooves deep enough to grip wet roads, which can result in hydroplaning leading to a serious accident. Worn tires have exhibited substandard performance with snow traction and applying the brakes in wet weather. New tires have a groove depth of 10/32 of an inch, and once they reach 2/32 of an inch they are considered to be bald. Tires with groove depth this shallow are likely to flunk a state vehicle inspection and may be classified as a safety risk.

Crash injures 2 in Danbury

According to reports, an accident involving a car and box truck that occurred on Jan. 28 in Danbury injured two people. The accident happened around 9:50 a.m. in the westbound lanes of I-84.

A person driving a Subaru Impreza reportedly lost control of the car due to the slushy road conditions, spinning in front of the box truck. The driver of the truck attempted to avoid the car but was apparently unable to do so. The truck subsequently collided with the front end of the vehicle. The impact of the collision caused the truck to overturn, injuring the truck driver and a passenger.

Distracted driving injuries and fatalities

While most Connecticut drivers know that distracted driving is extremely dangerous, they may not know just how serious it can be. In fact, every day, it is estimated that nine people lose their lives in crashes that are caused by distracted drivers. Additionally, more than 1,100 people suffer injuries in associated crashes.

The number of fatalities directly linked to distracted driving crashes in 2012 was more than 3,300. An estimated 421,000 people suffered injuries that year in accidents that involved a distracted driver. While the numbers decreased slightly from 2011, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that dangerous behaviors, such as texting or emailing while driving, is still widespread.

Rolling over: surviving the most extreme car accidents

A vehicle rollover can be catastrophic for those inside; though cars only roll in three percent of serious accidents, rollovers accounts for a third of all car accident fatalities. However, Connecticut drivers may be pleased to hear that rollover safety is increasing. New federal regulations in 2009 increased the required roof resistance from the original 1973 standard, while the rate of rollover fatalities in new cars dropped by over three quarters between 2000 and 2012.

According to studies, a rollover is caused primarily by three factors: overly high traction, an imbalanced center of gravity and vehicular tripping. In a sharp turn at high speeds, the traction prevents skidding, and the center of gravity shifts outward. If the tires skip on the edge of the road, this sudden change is often enough to cause the automobile to roll.

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