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Saint Louis Missouri Personal Injury Blog

Important insurance claim considerations for Millennial drivers

The average Millennial didn't grow up with internet access, but they probably had it by the time they were a teenager, and they have since mastered its use in every aspect of their lives. Millennials are often misunderstood by older generations, but that doesn't mean they aren't intelligent, hard-working members of American society.

Still, some of the areas in which Millennials lack experience could leave them at a disadvantage. For example, those with a good driving record may have never had to file a major insurance claim after a collision. That means they may not really understand the process.

How drivers can prevent car accidents

Even though the mortality rate from vehicle accidents is going down, it is still a major problem. An estimated 40,000 people lost their lives in car accidents in the year 2018. For this reason, drivers in Missouri and other states should learn about ways that they can prevent car accidents from occurring.

One common factor behind traffic fatalities is road rage. When a motorist is patient and courteous, they can reduce some of the stress that leads to road rage and aggressive driving. Individuals can prevent accidents by having a peaceful, positive and calm attitude when behind the wheel.

Sleep deprivation in the transportation industry

A recently published study on the professions that see the most sleep deprivation has ranked transportation and material moving among the worst four. This may not be a surprise to long-haul truck drivers in Missouri, most of whom know how widespread and how dangerous it is to drive drowsy.

Overall, the study found that 35.6% of all respondents (composed of 150,000 working adults in the U.S.) claimed to get less than seven hours of sleep in 2018. In 2010, that percentage was 30.9%. Between those two years, truckers saw an increase from 32% to 41%.

Nighttime driving tips to reduce accidents

Statistics show that driving at night is more hazardous than daytime driving. This is because operating a vehicle at night poses specific dangers, including low visibility and the risk of fatigue, which can both contribute to accidents. However, there are things Missouri drivers can do to reduce their risk of getting into a crash.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 168 million drivers admit they've gotten behind the wheel while feeling drowsy in the last year. Meanwhile, 37% of drivers admit they've fallen asleep while operating a vehicle at some point in their lives. Given these statistics, it is little surprise that drivers are around three times more likely to crash at night than during the day. In addition to fatigue, driving at night is more dangerous because of the bright glare from oncoming headlights and limited visibility due to darkness.

How alcohol affects the ability to drive

According to statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 30 people in the United States die every day from traffic accidents caused by drunk driving. While these types of incidents have dropped dramatically in the past 30 years, they still account for more than 10,000 deaths per year and more than $44 billion in annual damages. For pedestrians, drivers and passengers on the road in Missouri and other states, alcohol intoxication remains a serious threat.

As blood alcohol concentration rises, it has increasingly negative effects on a driver. At .02, there is some decline in visual functions and loss of ability to perform two tasks at once. At .05, there is reduced coordination and the reduced ability to track moving objects. At the legal limit of .08, there is impaired concentration, speed control, information processing capability and perception. Impairment continues to get worse as BAC increases beyond this point.

Are higher crash rates related to earlier school start times?

While the terms “distracted driving” or even “drunk driving” have infiltrated common usage over the last several decades, there is a newer phrase that seems to bridge the gap between the two. With individuals pushing themselves, multitasking and failing to recognize their limits, “drowsy driving” has become a deadly reality on our nation's roads.

Self-driving cars still not prepared to stop all crashes

While many in Missouri are excited about the potential for self-driving vehicles to eliminate human error and make the roads safer, others are concerned about the potential downsides of new vehicle technologies. For example, in one crash involving a Tesla vehicle with Autopilot engaged, the car slammed into a police car and fire truck parked with lights running and blocking an upcoming lane. Of course, Tesla has warned against relying on Autopilot for autonomous driving, saying that the feature is currently intended to help improve driver safety, not replace the role of a human driver.

Nevertheless, the crash represents a serious technical concern for scientists and manufacturers involved in developing self-driving technologies. When the car hit the back of the fire truck, no one was injured. However, federal officials and researchers noted that the problem is not limited to Tesla's system. Various autonomous driving systems have had difficulties recognizing parked vehicles ahead, especially in a place where they may not be expected to be. The software is far better at clearly and accurately recognizing moving vehicles ahead and obstacles centered in the lane.

The birth control device that may be hurting thousands of women

For many women, Essure seemed like the perfect birth control option. The device was marketed as a permanent contraceptive, one that could be implanted without the recipient undergoing invasive surgery. The reality for many women turned out to be far more complicated.

Over the past 16 years, thousands of people that opted to receive an Essure device have reported experiencing severe, life-altering symptoms, sometimes requiring surgery to address. And implants of Essure continued into 2019, potentially putting more women at risk.

Drunk driving and its effects

For every year between 2006 and 2016, the number of drunk driving fatalities exceeded 10,000. Though the number has declined by a third over the past three decades, there is no question that drunk driving continues to be an epidemic. Missouri residents should know that 30 people in this country die every day in drunk driving crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2017, the latest year for which NHTSA has complete data, there were 10,874 deaths resulting from drunk driving accidents. However, it turns out that motorcyclists, not drivers, see the highest rate of deadly drunk driving crashes. Of the 4,885 motorcyclists killed in 2017, 1,357 or 28% were discovered to be intoxicated. Motorcyclists in their 40s were the most likely to be found intoxicated.

Subaru Crosstrek most susceptible to crashes in the US

There are 10 newer model vehicles that are involved in the most car accidents in Missouri and the rest of the U.S., according to Insurify. For its data, the auto insurance comparison site analyzed over 1.6 million insurance quotes that specifically mention makes and models and if the vehicle in question was previously in a crash.

First was the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek, a vehicle that was awarded the top safety rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. This rating took into consideration factors like crash avoidance and crashworthiness. Yet it should be noted that Crosstrek occupants are often able to walk from crashes with no injuries. Another point to remember is that Insurify's list is concerned with at-fault crashes.

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