Surprising place where accidents occur most often

Motorists in Colorado and throughout the country tend to do the majority of their driving within 25 miles of home. Therefore, it may not be surprising to hear that this is where the majority of accidents take place. While drivers may believe that they can rely on muscle memory when driving in familiar areas, it is always good to stay alert and responsive while behind the wheel.

Wearing a seat belt may also be an effective way to stay safe while operating a motor vehicle. This may be a good habit even when driving only a few hundred yards from home. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, most drivers who don’t wear seat belts cite the short nature of their trip for why they skip it. However, an accident could result in injuries no matter where a driver goes.

Drivers should be on the lookout for children or animals that may cross into the street unexpectedly. It is also a good idea to be on the lookout for drivers who may stop suddenly or otherwise take an unpredictable course of action while in close proximity to their vehicles. It is also possible for a vehicle to stop running at any time, and drivers need to be ready to react quickly if that happens.

The vast majority of motor vehicle accidents are attributable to human error. This usually means that a driver was negligent in some fashion, such as being inattentive, driving too fast for road or weather conditions, or impaired by alcohol. A person who has been injured in such a crash might find it advisable to have legal assistance in seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

How to talk to teens about driving safely

Parents often feel both excited and anxious when their teens first start driving, and for good reason. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teenagers are nearly three times as likely to end up in a car accident as adults. Every year on Colorado roadways, teens end up getting hurt or worse while driving.

Before a teenager can drive on his or her own, the parents need to sit down with their child and talk about the importance of driving safely. It is vital for parents to state what they expect. Any parents having trouble figuring out how to sit down with their youngsters should follow these guidelines.

Lay down some rules

You need to establish your expectations right from the start. Make it clear where in town your teen can drive to and how late he or she can stay out. You should also go over information about always wearing a seat belt and not texting while driving. You should also make it clear what the punishments will be if the teen breaks any of the rules. If you want, then you can write up an informal contract laying everything out, so there are no misunderstandings.

Stress the need for a teen to put the phone away

Many teenagers do not see the harm in quickly responding to a text while driving. However, taking your eyes off the road for even a couple seconds can lead to disaster. These days, there are many apps parents can download onto their teens’ phones. The app will disable the phone when it is going over a certain speed limit.

Lead by example

If you want your teenager to be a safe driver, then you should be a safe driver yourself. You need to lead by example and always wear your seat belt. You should also never use your phone. Teenagers need to see their parents practice what they preach.

Driver duty and collision avoidance systems

In a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, researchers found that collision avoidance systems are effective at preventing many types of car accidents in Colorado and throughout the U.S. The IIHS is a non-profit group, and its focus is on the reduction of injuries and deaths due to motor vehicle accidents.

The vice president for research at IIHS said that collision avoidance systems are “saving lives.” Furthermore, she added that anti-crash technology warning systems are working as intended. In its study, the IIHS found that collision avoidance systems reduce single-vehicle, side-swipe and head-on car crashes by 11 percent. Moreover, injury inducing car crashes of the same types get reduced by 21 percent when drivers operate vehicles equipped with anti-crash systems.

The findings by IIHS are interesting because they do not just show that collision avoidance systems work. The results also indicate that it’s likely that many drivers are disabling the crash avoidance technology. The researchers at IIHS found that car accident and injury reduction numbers were low when compared to findings from other studies that tracked U.S. fleet vehicles and Volvo cars in Sweden. Researchers in those studies found a 50 percent reduction in crash rates when collision avoidance systems were included as a feature in a vehicle and utilized.

Only 6 percent of vehicles sold at this time have lane-departure warning systems as a standard feature on basic models. Furthermore, only 9 percent of new vehicles being sold have blind-spot alert systems as a standard feature.

While collision avoidance systems reduce the likelihood of accidents, they do not eliminate the risk completely. Motorists who have been injured by reckless drivers may reach out to attorneys who can help obtain compensation for damages.

Sleep apnea’s effect on truck drivers

Sleep apnea is a prevalent condition that prevents people from getting a good night’s sleep. In the middle of the night, people’s breathing will temporarily stop, causing them to wake up momentarily only to fall right back to sleep. Some people with sleep apnea wake up dozens of times throughout the night without even realizing it. While only about one to two percent of the American population suffers from sleep apnea, it can be found in nearly a third of commercial truck drivers.

The reason this is so problematic is that people with sleep apnea often fall asleep during the day because they are so exhausted from the previous night. President Trump recently rejected legislation that would have required truck drivers to take sleeping exams before getting a truck driver job. Falling asleep at the wheel increases the risk of a truck accident, so it is the responsibility of drivers and companies to remain vigilant.

Why are truckers more prone to developing sleep apnea?

It is confusing to think about how many truckers have sleep apnea when comparing those numbers to that of the general population. However, it helps to understand the various risk factors that can increase the likelihood of someone having the condition.

  • Obesity
  • Male gender
  • Oversized uvula, tongue or tonsils
  • Smoking
  • Over 40 years old
  • Large neck circumference

Driving commercial trucks is a largely sedentary job. Many truckers also eat on the road, meaning their diets are higher in salt and fat. While every case is different, these could be important factors in pinpointing the root cause of the problem.

Why is more not being done?

While federal regulations are currently up in the air, many trucking companies are not paying the medical costs associated with screening truckers for sleep disorders. A single sleep test is expensive, especially if a trucker has to pay out of pocket. A lot more good would be possible if more truckers were aware they suffered from sleep apnea.