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Some statistics involving distracted driving

Car accidents that involve distracted drivers injure more than 1,100 people and kill more than nine people every day. Distracted driving involves drivers doing other activities behind the wheel that take their eyes and minds off the road and their hands off of the steering wheel. While some Connecticut drivers might only consider using cellphones a distraction, other activities such as eating and using navigation systems are distractions as well.

The 421,000 injuries reported from distracted driving crashes in 2012 increased 9 percent from 3,360 in 2011, while the 3,328 deaths in 2012 declined from 3,360 in 2011. About 17 percent of 2011 traffic collisions involved distracted drivers.

Surprising statistics about motorcycle accidents in America

Connecticut residents may not have heard the recent statistics concerning motorcycle accidents provided by the United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the report, individuals who travel by motorcycle are 26 times more likely per vehicle mile to die in a traffic collision than individuals who travel by car. The department classifies motorcycles as being two or three-wheeled motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, mini bikes, off-road motorcycles and pocket bikes.

In 2012, 3 percent of all registered cars in America were motorcycles, and the vehicles accounted for around .7 percent of all vehicle miles traveled. However, that same year, 15 percent of all traffic-related deaths involved a motorcycle, and of the 4,957 motorcyclists who sustained fatal injuries, only 7 percent were passengers and the other 93 percent were drivers. These numbers accounted for a 7 percent increase from the former year's reported 4,630 motorcycle fatalities. The NHSTA also reports that 93,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries in 2012, which was a 15 percent increase from the reported 81,000 injuries in 2011. In 2012, 93 percent of all fatalities involving a motorcycle were involved by two-wheeled motorcycles.

Government data shows the benefits of switching to roundabouts

Connecticut drivers may be interested in some information about roundabouts, an alternative to the common signaled intersection in the U.S. This other type of intersection has many benefits, the largest of which is a reduction in total collisions and, particularly, serious and fatal vehicle crashes.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about one-third of all car accidents occur at any one of the estimated 300,000 intersections that have traffic signals. This amounts to over 2,000 deaths annually. About 7,000 of these deaths, they say, are due to drivers ignoring red lights and causing collisions. The USDOT says that roundabouts are a safer alternative to signaled intersections, which offer additional operational benefits.

Motor vehicle accident facts and figures

Car accidents can have a toll on drivers in Connecticut and elsewhere in the country. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that traffic accidents cost $1 trillion in lost lives and lost productivity in 2010. In 2012, 33,561 people died in motor vehicle crashes, which was an increase from 2011 and represented the first increase in six years.

While fatalities were up in 2012, they were reportedly down 4.2 percent in the first half of 2013 compared to the first half of 2012. Statistics also reveal that crash numbers had been in a steady decline after a sharp rise in the first quarter of 2012. Injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes also rose in 2012 by 6.5 percent. Overall, 2,362,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents, which was up from 2,217,000 in 2011.

Rate of re-hospitalization for patients with TBI

Residents in Connecticut might find a study about the rate of individuals who are re-hospitalized after suffering a traumatic brain injury to be of interest. According to researchers, 20 percent of TBI patients are re-admitted to the hospital.

During the study, researchers analyzed 655 TBI patients from four inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Their analysis included information from the patients' medical records about their injuries and recoveries. After one year had passed since inpatient rehabilitation discharge, the patients and their significant others were interviewed. The interviews occurred again after two and three years had passed.

Whiplash injuries from motor vehicle crashes

Some Connecticut residents may have a poor understanding of what whiplash is. Whiplash is generally caused by a sudden acceleration followed by a sudden deceleration in a motor vehicle accident, causing the head to go violently forward and then back.

Whiplash can range in severity from mild cases that can resolve themselves with a simple range of motion exercises to more severe injuries that can result in years of associated disability. Severe cases of whiplash can result in damage to surrounding tissues and bones.

Technologies that reduce car accidents

No matter how skilled a Connecticut driver may be, they are always at risk for becoming involved in a car accident. This is because they have no control over whether other drivers pay attention to the roadway, whether a driver drinks and drives, or whether another driver choses to drive while fatigued.

Some car manufacturing companies have taken the initiative to bring new technologies to consumers. For example, some vehicles now offer forward collision warnings, electronic stability control and lane departure warnings, among others. This new technology has reportedly improved driver's ability to react to unique or unexpected circumstances. However, it should be known that most of these options are add-ons and not standard on many vehicles. Additionally, performance standards have not yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Pedestrian accidents in Connecticut

Connecticut pedestrians are at appreciable risk of severe harm whenever they are in the presence of an automobile. However, national statistics indicate that pedestrian fatalities are decreasing in frequency, and the injury rate is dropping as well.

Almost 5,000 pedestrians were killed by contact with automobiles in 2001. By 2012, that number had dropped to 4,743. Over the same period, the number of injuries dropped from 78,000 to about 76,000. That number is necessarily an approximation because only a fraction of all the pedestrian injuries that occur every year are reported to a hospital or the police. Experts estimate that the national cost of automobile injuries to children younger than 15 years old amounts to $5.2 billion dollars every year. Pedestrians account for 14 percent of all automobile-related fatalities every year.

2 pedestrians struck crossing Route 7 in Connecticut

Two Burger King employees were struck by an SUV as they attempted to cross Route 7 in New Milford on Nov. 12. The incident happened around 6:30 p.m.

Authorities said the workers may have been trying to catch a bus on the other side of the street when they were hit by a Jeep Cherokee near the intersection of Route 7 and Sunny Valley Road. One victim, a 21-year-old Danbury woman, suffered critical injuries and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital. The second victim, a 51-year-old woman, was treated for minor injuries and released.

Proposed new rules to combat trucker fatigue

Many Connecticut motorists may exercise extra caution when driving in close proximity to large commercial vehicles, and statistics compiled and promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration support that practice. Accident statistics from 1998 demonstrate that 98 percent of people who died in collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles were occupants of the passenger vehicles.

Furthermore, statistics reveal that fatigued commercial vehicle drivers are often the cause of this type of accident. While federal regulations limit the amount of time that truck drivers may spend behind the wheel, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration feels that the number of truck accidents on the nation's roads could be reduced if these rules were revisited. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed that drivers be required to take longer continuous breaks both between and during their shifts.

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