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Springfield Virginia Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

2017 sees 10-year high in red-light running crash deaths

In 2017, the latest year for which complete crash data exists, there were 939 deaths caused by drivers who ran red lights. Virginia residents should know that this marks a 10-year high. The numbers may be getting even higher, too, considering how distracted driving is becoming a widespread phenomenon.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has discovered that in 65% of crashes involving a red-light runner, the victim is not the offending driver. In general, impatient, reckless and distracted driving is claiming up to two lives every day across the U.S. Drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists should know, then, how to avoid becoming another statistic.

The dangers of drowsy driving and how to prevent it

Those who drive on roads and highways in Virginia while fatigued could be putting themselves and others in danger. A tired driver is three times more likely to get into an accident compared to someone who is adequately rested. Furthermore, a person who has not slept in 20 hours will have the same level of impairment as an individual with a blood alcohol content of .08%. According to a National Sleep Foundation study, 20% of participants acknowledged falling asleep behind the wheel in the past year.

Furthermore, 40% said that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once during their driving lives. However, a driver may not necessarily know that he or she is too tired to drive. In some cases, drivers will fall asleep for up to five seconds at a time. Depending on a vehicle's speed, that can be enough time to travel the length of a football field.

Subaru model is most crashed car in America

The Subaru Crosstrek is a popular vehicle for drivers in Virginia, and it's easy to understand why. The mini SUV is affordable and fuel-efficient, and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the 2019 model its top safety rating. However, according to Insurify, an auto insurance comparison website, the Crosstrek also bears the distinction of being the most-crashed vehicle in the U.S.

Insurify researchers analyzed data from the company's auto quote database to determine which vehicles are most likely to get in an accident. Information contained in the 1.6 million quotes included the make and model of each customer's vehicle as well as its crash history. The researchers found that a little over 13.5% of all vehicles in the database had been crashed at least once. However, they found that 25.81% of all Crosstreks had been in a wreck, making it the most crash-prone vehicle in America. They also found that 25.7% of Honda HR-Vs had been involved in an accident, making it the second most accident-prone vehicle. Other vehicles in the top 10 included the Hyundai Elantra GT, the Infiniti Q50, the Subaru WRX, the Mazda 3, the Acura ILX, the Lexus CT, the Chevrolet Trax and the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Only one vehicle, the Chevrolet, came from an American manufacturer. The others were imports from Japan or Korea.

Four common mistakes you must avoid after a car crash

A person who is involved in a car wreck is likely going to have a lot of anxiety at the time of the crash. You might be in disbelief that it happened and you may feel like you don't have any direction right now. Unfortunately, there are many mistakes that can come during this time. It is best that you review some of the more common mistakes that people make so that you can find ways to avoid making them yourself.

It is always best to protect your interests. You might want to seek compensation. You need to make sure that you aren't doing anything that can diminish your chance to do this.

Knowing the blind spots near big trucks can help you stay safe

Most modern drivers are already acutely aware of the risk posed by large trucks and other commercial vehicles on public roadways. Since these vehicles are much larger than passenger vehicles, they can do dramatic amounts of damage to smaller vehicles in the event of a crash.

What fewer people may understand is that the drivers of passenger vehicles are often the ones responsible for the collisions they get into with commercial vehicles. That's because not enough people make sure that they are following safety best practices when driving in close proximity to a large truck.

Beware of hidden damages in car accidents

Thankfully, most car accidents in Virginia are minor and don't lead to any major physical injuries or property damage. However, as things are not always what they appear to be, it is best to be cautious and follow a certain protocol after an accident. It's important to note that the term 'car accident" is somewhat misleading. An accident implies an incident where no one is to blame, yet the vast majority of crashes are caused by the carelessness of one of the drivers involved.

In many cases, symptoms of physical injuries take hours, days or longer to show. These are referred to as latent injuries, and even low-impact collisions at relatively minor speeds can cause surprisingly serious injuries. Similarly, a seemingly small dent on a bumper may result in extensive rear-end damage. Consequently, insurance analysts suggest taking the following steps.

Brake Safety Week announced for September 15, 2019

Truck drivers in Virginia are probably no stranger to random inspections. They should be aware, then, that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced a date for its annual brake inspection spree. Brake Safety Week will take place from September 15 to 21 and will encompass all of North America.

Every component will be checked, but inspectors will be focused primarily on brake hoses and tubes. These can incur damage, develop leaks and become inflexible. They may have even been improperly attached. These are problems that can affect braking performance, increase braking distance and raise the chances of a rear-end collision. The goal of Brake Safety Week, after all, is to prevent accidents caused by negligence.

Eliminating distractions while on the road

It is essential that drivers in Virginia and elsewhere do all they can to eliminate distractions on the road. Distracted driving crashes led to 3,166 deaths in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the number may, in reality, be higher. To reduce distractions, one must know what they are.

Calling, texting and all other phone use behind the wheel should be avoided. Drivers are also encouraged not to use hands-free devices because these can cause them to miss important signals. If there is an emergency, they can call after safely pulling over.

In terms of safety, rear car seats lag behind the front

Automakers have done a lot to improve the safety of front seats, yet this has been to the detriment of rear seat safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, looking into frontal crashes that involved serious injuries or death for rear-seat passengers, now calls rear seats a "danger zone." Its study points out several areas where rear seat safety is deficient, and Virginia residents may want to know what these are.

Rear seats do not come with forward airbags, for example, though some automakers are developing these. Few have side curtain airbags to keep passengers from being hurt on hard surfaces. These seats are also deficient in not having force limiters for their seatbelts. Force limiters unspool webbing from the belt to give passengers more room even while the belt tightens against them for protection.

Study ranks senior car accident rates by state

It's commonly assumed that older drivers in Virginia and other states are less capable behind the wheel. A study based on National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data attempted to determine if this really is the case by ranking senior-related car accident fatalities by state and exploring related statistics. It's a timely study since one out of every five drivers today is 65 or older.

According to the results, senior car accidents accounted for nearly 15% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2017. Florida was the state with the most fatal auto accidents involving older drivers, followed by Texas, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Conversely, senior drivers were involved in fewer fatal accidents in New Hampshire, South Dakota, Delaware, Hawaii, North Dakota and Alaska.

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