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motor vehicle accidents Archives

Study reveals how effective automatic car safety systems can be

The vast majority of car accidents in Montana and around the country involve some kind of human error. Car manufacturers have introduced a range of features in recent years that are designed to monitor road conditions and step in when drivers become distracted or make mistakes, and a recent study reveals that they can be extremely effective. Researchers from the University of Michigan studied accident reports from 10 states to gauge the effectiveness of safety features like automatic braking systems, blind spot monitors and lane departure warnings, and they discovered that they can cut the number of some kinds of accidents almost in half.

Drowsy driving, an underreported trend

Up to 9.5% of all auto accidents are due to drowsy driving according to a 2018 AAA study. This is a startling departure from government reports in the past, which estimated that between 1% and 2% of crashes are caused by drowsiness. The figure 9.5% is high when Montana residents consider that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving is to blame for 5% of all crashes.

Why individuals should avoid drowsy driving

Those who choose to drive on Montana roads should make sure that they are not sleep deprived or under the influence of sleep medication. According to a Consumer Reports survey, roughly 20% of respondents who took prescription sleep aids did so less than seven hours before driving a vehicle. The directions say that an individual should wait at least seven hours before driving to avoid doing so while groggy.

Social media a major source of distracted driving

Root Insurance has shared the results of an online study conducted by Wakefield Research, and they may be surprising to some drivers in Montana. Of the nearly 2,000 drivers who responded to the survey, about half claimed that distracted driving is their top concern when on the road, yet the respondents were found to use their phones for an average of 13 minutes every day behind the wheel.

Much more testing needed before autonomous vehicles prove safety

Autonomous vehicle technology excites some people in Montana who hope to eliminate accidents caused by human error. Despite the theoretical benefits of the technology, developers of self-driving vehicles continue to face hurdles in regard to safety. A report from the Rand Corporation criticized technology companies for making promises about safety before completing extensive testing. To prove the technology's safety, developers need to drive the vehicles millions and perhaps billions of miles before making statistical claims about accident rates.

What Montana drivers should do after a car wreck

There are several important steps to take after a car accident in Montana. If handled correctly, a driver can make it easier for legal liability to be determined and have less trouble filing a car insurance claim. The first step is to remain calm as this can help a motorist remember vital details after the fact. If anyone requires immediate medical care, call 911.

Tips for defusing aggressive drivers

Road rage is all too common in Montana, just like anywhere else, but there are ways that drivers can avoid incurring it. Staying calm is the most important tip. When drivers are cut off, they should avoid honking the horn, flashing the high beams or making inflammatory hand gestures. These actions are better reserved for alerting other drivers to dangers.

ZF reveals potential advantages of external airbags

The ZF Group has revealed that external airbags could reduce the severity of accident injuries by as much as 40 percent. The car parts manufacturer also has a strategy for how the technology could be developed moving forward. While Montana drivers won't want to hold their breath for them, external airbags may eventually become standard in most vehicles.

Contact

Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC
619 SW Higgins, Ste. O
P.O. Box 1745
Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: 406-203-5148
Phone: 406-829-1669
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