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Report ranks 10 cities with most car crashes in 2019

Missouri residents may be wondering what cities see the greatest number of car accidents. A report from the nonprofit Go Safe Labs answered this need with a report ranking the top 10 cities that see the most accidents as well as the top 10 most accident-prone "hotspots" in the nation.

Researchers analyzed car crash data spanning the years 2018 and 2019. They found that, for 2019, Houston was the worst with 22,188 accidents. Texas had two other cities ranked in the top 10: Austin at 16,635 and Houston at 14,865. In second and third place were Charlotte, North Carolina, with 21,818 and Los Angeles with 19,660. Raleigh, North Carolina, came in sixth with 12,846 even though it saw 25.5% fewer car accidents compared to 2018.

When a Missouri business may be responsible for a drunk driver

Drunk driving crashes are tragic, preventable incidents that can devastate the lives of their victims. Everyone knows that the law prohibits getting behind the wheel while intoxicated by alcohol or impaired by other drugs, but every day, people across Missouri and the United States still drive while drunk.

In most scenarios, the driver who causes the crash is the only one with legal or financial liability for the damages suffered by their victims. After all, no one forces another person to get behind the wheel after having something to drink. However, there are scenarios in which a licensed business contributes to the danger posed by a drunk driver and potentially endangers the public.

Estimated 35% of truckers suffer from sleep apnea

As much as 35% of truckers suffer from the sleep disorder called sleep apnea. In Missouri and across the U.S., some truck accidents are caused by truckers with undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea, so this is a serious concern.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type among truckers, and it occurs when the throat muscles and mouth palate relax and collapse, blocking the upper airway and stopping one's breathing for 5 to 10 seconds at a time. This leads to fragmented sleep and less deep sleep and REM sleep, resulting in almost continual drowsiness.

CVSA's 2020 roadcheck set for May 5 to 7

Truck drivers in Missouri will want to remember that May 5, 2020, marks the start of the 72-hour inspection spree known as the International Roadcheck. During this time, inspectors with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will ramp up the enforcement of federal truck safety regulations.

Most drivers who are stopped will undergo the North American Standard Level I inspection: the most comprehensive of the eight levels set up by the Department of Transportation. This 37-point inspection will cover, on the side of the truck, components like the brakes, fuel system, exhaust system, suspension, steering, tires, lights and frames.

Agency to launch new study of truck crashes

For many drivers in Missouri, an accident involving a large truck is one of their greatest fears. Tractor-trailers carry substantial weight in a huge volume. This means that other vehicles involved in a collision are much more likely to suffer serious damage, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Even more troublesome is the fact that large truck collisions are on the rise. Since 2009, the number of fatal truck accidents has increased by over 52% despite the fact that many new safety technologies have been introduced. Between 2016 and 2018, truck crash fatalities rose by 5.7%, and the trend is continuing.

In response to these concerns, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, announced that it is planning a new study of large truck accidents nationwide. It conducted its last such study 15 years ago and wants to update its understandings on the basis of current road conditions and technologies. The agency noted that it plans to study all serious trucking accidents, including those that led to injuries, fatalities or vehicles being towed away. The FMCSA announced that it is investigating ways to include onboard electronic data as part of the report. Many semi-trucks are equipped with computers that record hard braking, lane changes and the speed of driver travel.

Red light cameras are effective but losing public support

Hundreds of people in Missouri and across the U.S. die each year because of drivers who run red lights. Most of the time, it's not these drivers who die in the crash; it's the occupant of another vehicle, a pedestrian or a bicyclist. For a long time, it was understood that red light cameras could act as a deterrent against red light running and thus save lives. However, public support for cameras has been waning.

First, the benefits are clear. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows how cameras bring down the number of red light running violations by 40%. The IIHS also compared big cities with cameras to big cities without them and found that the former see 21% fewer deaths from red light running accidents.

What are your rights if a dog becomes violent and bites you?

A dog that you know and trust can be a great source of joy and comfort in your life, but a dog you don't know could inflict substantial physical and emotional harm. People experience dog bite attacks in many different environments, from their own front lawn when an animal runs loose to a friend's living room or a public park.

A dog bite may be minor, but it can also cause serious medical and psychological issues. Dogs of all breeds and sizes are capable of causing severe, debilitating, disfiguring and even fatal injuries to humans in a dog bite attack. Even a tiny breed, like a chihuahua, could cause severe injuries if given an opportunity to bite someone on the face or when the victim is a child. Larger breeds of dogs could cause severe injuries even to full-grown adults.

Hands-free cell phones causing more distraction

Many Missouri motorists use hands-free devices to talk on their phones while they drive. While doing so may be safer than taking a hand off the wheel, new data shows that these devices might have some drawbacks. When people are not using their hands to talk on the phone, they could be engaging in other distracting behavior like eating while driving.

Analysts from Lytx looked at a sample of commercial truck drivers and found that 23 percent of them engaged in more than one distracting behavior at the same time. Typically, drivers engaged in multiple distracting behaviors by talking on a hands-free cellphone and doing one other thing. Some of these can increase a driver's risk of getting into an accident by 100 percent.

Understanding negligence in a car accident

Drivers in Missouri or any other state who are involved in an accident with a negligent driver may be entitled to compensation for damages they incur. There are many ways in which an individual may have been negligent in causing an accident to happen. For example, if a driver was going too fast for road conditions, he or she may be at fault for causing a wreck.

Other potential examples of negligent behavior include following too closely, driving while distracted or driving a vehicle that wasn't properly maintained. If a driver fails to obey a traffic control device, he or she may have acted in a negligent or reckless manner.

Truck accidents are often caused by braking system problems

Missouri residents may be alarmed to learn that a worryingly large number of the semi-tractor trailers on the nation's roads likely have braking systems that are either not properly adjusted or defective. When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studied a sample of the 120,000 serious truck accidents that occurred between April 2001 and December 2003, their researchers discovered that 29% of the commercial vehicles involved had some sort of braking system problem.

The agencies released their findings in a landmark 2007 report. After scrutinizing police reports and accident investigations, the researchers determined the critical reason for each crash. Braking system malfunctions were the critical factor most often assigned to the trucks involved. The 963 accidents studied by NHTSA and the FMCSA claimed 249 lives and left 1,654 road users seriously injured.

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