Articles Tagged with motor vehicle wrecks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has set up a website called "Distraction.Gov."

The website reveals some interesting statistics:

  • In 2008, there were a total of 34,017 fatal crashes in which 37,261 individuals were killed.
  • In 2008, 5,870 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction (16% of total fatalities).
  • The proportion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of the fatal crashes has increased from 8 percent in 2004 to 11 percent in 2008.
  • The under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes (16%). The age group with the next greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the 20- to-29-year-old age group (12%).
  • Motorcyclists and drivers of light trucks had the greatest percentage of total drivers reported as distracted at the time of the fatal crashes (12%).
  • An estimated 21 percent of 1,630,000 injury crashes were reported to have involved distracted driving.
  • Nationwide, those drivers observed visibly manipulating hand-held electronic devices increased from 0.7 percent to 1.0 percent.
  • Some 1.7 percent of drivers 16 to 24 years old were observed visibly manipulating hand-held electronic devices, up from 1.0 percent the previous year.
  • More drivers in Western States were observed manipulating hand-held electronic devices (2.1%) than in the other regions of the country (from 0.4% in the Northeast to 0.8% in the Midwest).
  • The use of hand-held devices increased the most in the West, from 0.6 percent in 2007 to 2.1 percent in 2008.
  • The observed use rate of hand-held electronic devices was higher among females (1.2%) than among males (0.8%).

 The site also contains a list of states which ban driving while using cell phones or while texting.

The National Safety Counsel  announced yesterday that it estimates at least 28% of all traffic crashes – or at least 1.6 million crashes each year – are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting.

From the organization’s press release:

The estimate of 25% of all crashes — or 1.4 million crashes — caused by cell phone use was derived from NHTSA data showing 11% of drivers at any one time are using cell phones and from peer-reviewed research reporting cell phone use increases crash risk by four times. The estimate of an additional minimum 3% of crashes — or 200,000 crashes — caused by texting was derived by NHTSA data showing 1% of drivers at any one time are manipulating their device in ways that include texting and from research reporting texting increases crash risk by 8 times. Using the highest risk for texting reported by research of 23 times results in a maximum of 1 million crashes due to texting; still less than the 1.4 million crashes caused by other cell phone use. 

David Cline, the paramedic who was killed when the private ambulance he was driving slammed into the back of a TDOT roadside help truck on Interstate 65 on October 22, 2009,  had a history of medical problems, including narcolepsy and epilepsy.  Investigators are unsure why Cline left the highway  but believe that the he suffered a "seizure or some type of medical condition that [incapacitated] him and led to the fatal crash, according to the final report released by Metro Nashville Police Department on December 28, 2009.  The story was reported in The City Paper.

The article reports that "after performing a toxicology examination, police determined Cline had an elevated level of amphetamines in his bloodstream from his prescribed medication for narcolepsy, Adderall. The same report did not find indications his prescribed epilepsy medication, Depakote, was in his system."    The article also reports that
 

Cline did have previous incidents involving seizures and car crashes. On Christmas Day 1999, Cline ran off the road and struck a utility pole after he had a seizure, and following the incident, his driver’s license was suspended. His credentials were reinstated in March of 2000. He suffered another seizure while working his day job as a Franklin firefighter, "three or four years prior" to the deadly crash.

811208The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a report titled "Motorcycle Helmet Use and Head and Facial Injuries."  The Report has a lot of data on motorcycle crashes and the injuries the result, comparing the injuries received by those wearing helmets and those that do not.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

  1. The combined data set contains information on 104,472 motorcyclists involved in crashes in these 18 States during the years 2003, 2004, and 2005.
  2. In the data set, 57 percent of motorcyclists were helmeted at the time of the crashes and 43 percent were non-helmeted. For both groups, about 40 percent of motorcyclists were treated at hospitals or died following the crashes. However, 6.6 percent of unhelmeted motorcyclists suffered a moderate to severe head or facial injury compared to 5.1 percent of helmeted motorcyclists.
  3. Fifteen percent of hospital-treated helmeted motorcyclists suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) compared to 21 percent of hospital-treated unhelmeted motorcyclists. TBI severity varied by helmet use. Almost 9 percent of unhelmeted and 7 percent of helmeted hospital-treated motorcyclists received minor to moderate TBI. More than 7 percent of unhelmeted and 4.7 percent of hospital-treated helmeted motorcyclists sustained severe TBI.
  4. As of 2007, fatalities had increased for the 10th year in a row, an increase of 144 percent compared to 1997. While there has also been an increase in motorcycle registrations during this period, the rate of increase in fatalities has been greater than that of registrations.
  5. This increase in deaths has been especially marked among riders 40 and older, who now constitute approximately half of all deaths. In 1997, this older group accounted for 33 percent of rider deaths, but had grown to 49 percent by 2007. Although fatalities increased in all age groups, the largest increase has been in the group of riders over the

There was a big conference in Washington, D.C. this week that addressed cell phone use and texting and how these practice impaired a driver’s ability to focus on the safe operation of his or her vehicle.

The two-day summit  brought together safety experts, researchers, industry representatives, elected officials and members of the public to share their expertise, experiences and ideas for reducing distracted driving behavior and addressing the safety risk posed by the growing problem across all modes of transportation. 

Department of Transportation Secretary LaHood  announced new research findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that show nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. On any given day in 2008, more than 800,000 vehicles were driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.  To further study how cell phone distraction affects commercial truck and motor coach drivers, Secretary LaHood also announced a new study the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is undertaking this month through June 2010. The study will help FMCSA better understand the prevalence of cell phone distraction in conjunction with crashes and near-crashes.

Deaths on Tennessee roads continued to decrease in 2008.  A total of 1035 people were killed on Tennessee roads in 2008, down from 1211 in 2007and 1339 in 2004.  Nationally, 37,261 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2008.

Tennessee deaths were 16.55 per 100,000 of population, over 33% higher than the national average of 12.25 deaths per 100,000 citizens.

Of the 1035 Tennessee deaths,  605 involved single vehicle crashes.  A total of 95 of the deaths involved at least one large truck.