December 2012 Archives

December 26, 2012

Dangers of Rollover Accidents

There are about 280,000 rollover accidents reported each year, which result in over 10,000 deaths annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sport utility vehicles (SUV's) are more likely to rollover when involved in an automobile crash because they carry heavier loads which make them top heavy and thus more likely to rollover.

Rollover accidents occur when a vehicle is unstable when making turns and traveling at high speeds. It has to do with the relationship between the center of gravity and the track width. When there is a lot of weight on the center of gravity it can cause the vehicle to rollover when making sharp turns or sharp changes in direction. Often, rollover accidents are a result of a flaw in the design of the vehicle and/or tires, or cause by the actions of another driver.

Most often rollover accidents occur when a driver loses control of a vehicle and it causes the vehicle to slide sideways and ultimately rollover. Sometimes the vehicle can hit a curb, guardrail, tree stump, or soft and/or uneven ground on the side of the road, causing the vehicle to rollover.

Rollover accidents are among the most serious and lethal of all motor vehicle accidents. These types of accidents come suddenly and without warning. Therefore; the NHTSA introduced a rollover rating system in 2001. The system reports rollover safety in a 5 star system. 5 stars equals a rollover risk of less than 10%, while one star indicates a 40% or greater rollover risk. Make sure and analyze the 5 star rollover rating system when purchasing your vehicle.

December 17, 2012

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

More than 300 people died nationally in 2010 in motor vehicle accidents in which a distracted driver was involved and about 416,000 people were injured, according to a government report published in July 2012.

Distracted drivers are people who are not paying attention to the road and are otherwise distracted from the important task of driving. These distractions can include talking with passengers, eating and/or drinking, using electronic devices, such as cell phones, and other technological devices, such as GPS systems and satellite radio systems.

Texting while driving is the most common, serious and deadliest distraction of them all, because the drivers mental, visual and physical attention is diverted from being able to drive safely. Texting and using other electronic devices causes up to 25% of all crashes, nationwide, according to a report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Distracted drivers; mainly those who text while driving, are 23 times more likely to be involved in car crashes, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. That is why it is illegal to text while driving in 39 states, including Maryland and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.

If you are driving and witness the following behaviors it is important for you to take some steps to save yourself from harm.

If you see a driver:
- Going much faster than the posted speed limit, going much slower than the speed limit, changing lanes without signaling, weaving in and out of traffic, cannot maintain lane position and stops longer than needed at a traffic light or sign

You Must:
- Assume that the distracted driver doesn't see your vehicle
- Give your vehicle space from the distracted driver's vehicle
- Try to pull ahead or slow down from the distracted driver
- If you cannot slow down or pull ahead of the distracted driver, call 911