October 2010 Archives

October 25, 2010

5 Tips to Keep Teen Drivers Safe

5 Tips to keeping teen drivers safe while driving:
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1. Buckle up - make sure a seat belt is worn at all times when behind the wheel. The AAA-Mid Atlantic has done extensive research and has proven that when a lap and/or shoulder belt is used it reduces your risk of being involved in a fatal traffic accident by 45%.

2. Passenger Limit - the fewer passengers in a vehicle the more attentive the teen driver will be while driving. The fewer passengers in a vehicle the fewer distractions the teen driver has and the safer he/she will drive.

3. Maintain Speed Limit - speed limits are determined by road conditions and teen drivers must know to obey the posted speed limits, especially during inclement weather conditions.

4. Do not use cell phone while driving - In the state of Maryland, it is now illegal for anyone under the age of 18 with a provisional driver's license to talk on a cell phone while driving. MD, DC and VA also have strict laws on texting while driving. Therefore, it is best to just have the teen driver not use a cell phone for any purposes while driving; and

5. Do Not allow Driving at night - Studies by the AAA-Mid Atlantic and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that the most dangerous time for new drivers to be on the road is at night. Therefore do not allow your teen to drive at night unless its an emergency.

October 19, 2010

Involved in a Hit and Run Accident: Here is What You Need to Do

A hit and run accident is when you are involved in an automobile accident and one of the parties involved leaves the scene. This can leave you shaken and upset.
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Hit and run accidents have been on the rise for the last 10 years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reports that over 10% of all automobile accidents are hit and run accidents. There are numerous reasons why a person would leave the scene of an accident, but the two most common reasons are: being uninsured and being under the influence of alcohol of drugs.

Here are a few tips in case you are a victim of a hit and run accident:
- Assess your physical well-being as well as any other person involved;
- Call the police and report the accident;
- Write down any information you remember about the vehicle that left the scene;
- Identify any witnesses and obtain contact information from them, so you can contact them at a later time; and
- Call the Ambulance, if necessarily

If you are injured as a result of the hit and run accident it is important to seek emergency medical care. You will also need to contact you insurance company and report the accident. You will need to handle your property damage directly with your insurance company. You will also need to make sure that you have under-insured or un-insured coverage under your own person automotive insurance policy. You may find all this a bit much to handle, and if you do you will need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you in dealing with the insurance company on your behalf.

October 13, 2010

Serious Injuries Cause by Segway Scooter Accidents in the District of Columbia

Segway Scooters are self-balancing personal transporters. The scooter runs on two wheels and has a battery operated electric motor. It also comes with specialized software that provides the self balancing aspect. The operator of the scooter controls the speed by standing upright and leaning forward and the direction by tilting the handles to the left or the right. The maximum speed for the scooter is 12.5 miles per hour. The Segway Scooter was first introduced in the US in December 2001 and are currently being used both for leisure and professional use. They are used by sightseeing tours, police departments, airport security, the military, and even emergency response officials.
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The problem with the Segway Scooter is that they are not considered motor vehicles in the District of Columbia. Local regulations state that they are allowed to be operated on bicycle lanes and/or sidewalks and an operator is not required to wear a helmet. It is because of these regulations that traumatic head injuries are occurring.

A study conducted at the George Washington University Hospital Emergency Department in the District of Columbia included cases from April 1, 2005 through November 30, 2009 showed that there were 44 hospital visits that involved Segway Scooter operators. Out of these 44 patients, only 7 were wearing helmets. The cases involved operators who unintentionally struck immobile objects. These objects included park benches, signposts, light poles and trees. The cases increased dramatically over the 3 year study. There were 5 cases reported in 2005, 3 in 2006, 8 in 2007, and 25 in 2008. 10 of the 44 patients were admitted (24.4%). Four patients were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and suffered traumatic brain injuries. The average hospital stay was 2 days, with a 2 to 7 day range. Hospital charges ranged from $25,733 to $69,139 for admitted patients. Other injuries reported were facial, clavicular, rib, tibial and ankle fractures.

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death as well as permanent disabilities world wide. Research shows that 1.4 to 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries each year.

Researchers suggest that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) further investigate injury risks from Segway scooter use.

October 6, 2010

Are Women Drivers Favored by Car Insurance Companies in the U.S.?

In 1959, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) was founded with the sole purpose of researching date to find out causes and preventive methods for motor vehicle accidents. IIHS is funded by auto insurers to help them gauge risk using three common factors of operating an automobile. The three factors are: human influence, vehicle influence and environmental influence.
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IIHS published gender reports in 2008 that found that more men die each year in automobile accidents than women. The report stated that men typically engage in much riskier driving practices than women. Some of these practices include:
- less seat belt usage
- driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, controlled and prescription drugs were included
- driving at higher rates of speed and above the posted speed limits

Also, in the 2008 gender report, were statistics that showed that when male drivers are involved in car accidents, the results are more often death. The report showed the following statistics:
- 71 % of all motor vehicle deaths were males
- 70 % of pedestrian deaths were cause by male drivers
- 87% of bicyclist deaths involved men drivers and
- 91 % of motorcycle deaths were male drivers

Gender, cell phone use, and zip codes are some of the factors used to determine automobile insurance premiums. Automobile insurance companies are for-profit industries; this means that all automobile insurance companies are in business to make a profit. The formula for profit includes an analysis of risk management.

Insurance rates are also determined by your driving record, the type of vehicle involved, how the vehicle will be used and your credit score. Since women seem to have better driving records, drive smaller and non-racing vehicles, use vehicles for work more than for pleasure and have better credit scores, it seems that women get lower premium rates.