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Kansas City Personal Injury Blog

Air bags placed outside of cars are in development

T-bone accidents on Missouri roads can lead to serious injuries. However, external airbags may be able to help reduce the destruction from those types of accidents. According to auto parts maker ZF, an external airbag could lower the severity of an occupant's injury by 40 percent. It would act as a giant pillow designed to absorb the impact from a collision.

An external airbag would inflate in about 15 milliseconds, which is roughly the same about of time it takes an internal airbag to deploy. Furthermore, it could be modified to fit the dimensions of a vehicle. While external air bags may help keep people safe in an accident, they are unlikely to be available to consumers in the near future. This is because there is no guarantee that they won't inflate when they aren't supposed to.

Study looks at the effectiveness of emergency braking systems

Missouri drivers who have access to automatic braking systems may be safer. After doing a study of General Motors vehicles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that motorists with this safety feature had significantly fewer accidents.

GM offers both a Forward Collision Alert system, which lets the driver know when is a crash is about to happen but does not take action, and a Front Automatic Braking system, which brakes if an accident is about to happen. Vehicles that had these systems had 64 percent fewer rear-end injury crashes. Rear-end crashes in which a third party was injured were 68 percent lower.

Scenarios in which drivers might be more susceptible to fatigue

You have probably had days where you wish for a few more minutes or even hours of sleep, as starting out the day feeling tired or fatigued can be stressful. When it comes to operating a motor vehicle, fatigue can also be dangerous, and a lack of sleep could leave you facing an unfortunate situation.

You may be fully aware of the dangers of drowsy driving and thus take every precaution to keep yourself feeling alert and refreshed while out on Missouri roads. However, you cannot force others to share your enthusiasm for safety, and spotting a drowsy driver in time to avoid a collision could prove challenging.

Brake violations lead truck safety issues

Poorly maintained truck brakes can pose a serious risk to the lives and well-being of others on the roads in Missouri. When a large truck crashes into smaller vehicles, the results can be catastrophic. That's why some safety advocates may bemoan the fact that over 14 percent of all inspected trucks were pulled off the road due to brake violations during an inspection spree in September 2018. The spree took place as part of Brake Safety Week, an annual initiative of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

During the week, inspectors examined 35,080 commercial trucks, placing 4,955 out of service as a result of their findings. There are a number of braking issues that could have serious safety repercussions and lead to catastrophic trucking accidents. Among the most common problems found by inspectors were ill-maintained antilock braking systems (ABS). ABS violations were found in 8.3 percent of power units that require the system while 12.5 percent of trailers requiring ABS were found to be in violation of maintenance standards.

Driver fatigue a factor in many truck crashes

According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, up to 100,000 of the crashes reported annually nationwide are due at least in part to driver fatigue. Fatigue can contribute to accidents on Missouri highways; drivers should be aware of the risks. The National Safety Council has reported that 28 percent of single-vehicle commercial crashes and 13 percent of large truck crash deaths involve driver fatigue.

Those who are on the road in commercial capacities are more vulnerable to the effects of fatigue because they may be required to drive for long periods on boring routes. When fatigue becomes too much, some drivers fall asleep involuntarily and can remain sleeping for up to 15 seconds. The phenomenon is referred to as micro-sleep. Technology companies have developed systems to help combat micro-sleep.

New study shows how TBI doubles risk for suicide

Traumatic brain injuries are a type of head injury that affects the normal functioning of the brain. They account for about 2.2 million emergency room visits, 280,000 hospitalizations and 50,000 deaths every year throughout Missouri and the rest of the U.S. By affecting one's behavior, emotions and motor functions, they lead to memory, attention, cognitive and coordination impairments.

Up to now recently, more attention has been paid to the immediate physical impact of TBIs and less paid to the long-term consequences of mood disorders and post-traumatic epilepsy. These conditions increase one's risk for dementia as well as suicide.

AAA study reveals how drivers overestimate car safety features

Missouri drivers who rely on collision avoidance systems and other safety features will want to know about a recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study shows that many drivers are overestimating the capabilities of car safety tech and relying too much on it, even to the point of becoming negligent behind the wheel.

For example, 29 percent of respondents with adaptive cruise control are comfortable using their phones and engaging in other activities when the feature is activated. One in five drivers with blind-spot monitoring never look for oncoming vehicles when changing lanes, and 80 percent overestimate in this system's ability to detect fast-approaching cars, pedestrians and bicyclists.

Which of these back injuries did you suffer in an auto accident?

Motorists in and around Kansas City, Missouri have to deal with the typical hazards of busy highways. Although many safety advancements have been made in recent years, crash injuries continue to occur. The impact of most collisions causes occupants of vehicles to move in a thrashing motion, often resulting in neck and back injuries.

If you are a victim of a car accident, it is crucial to see your doctor for a thorough evaluation because back injuries could produce delayed symptoms. Prompt identification and diagnoses of back injuries can prevent long-term health problems that might include chronic pain.

Inspection spree takes almost 12,000 trucks out of service

Regulatory standards strive to keep commercial vehicles operating safely in Missouri and around the country. To promote compliance, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance organizes national inspection events like the International Roadcheck, a 3-day inspection spree that took place in June. The event resulted in 67,502 roadside inspections and citations that removed 11,897 vehicles from service for noncompliance.

The top three reasons that forced commercial vehicles out of service arose from problems that could impede braking. At number one, failing braking systems formed 28.4 percent of out-of-service violations. Next came problems with tires and wheels at 19.1 percent. Improperly adjusted brakes accounted for the third most common violation at 16.3 percent of citations.

Roundabouts may reduce car accident injuries

When people in Missouri head out for a drive in rural areas, they may encounter unexpectedly dangerous roads. Rural intersections are often joined only by a stop sign, yet the two roads coming together may have speed limits of up to 55 miles per hour. The danger of these intersections can be exacerbated when visibility is lowered due to poor weather conditions, little visible light at night or obstructive vegetation. As a result, some of these rural roads may see a disproportionate number of serious traffic accidents.

In order to address these concerns, many localities have installed traffic lights at the site of frequent car crashes. However, while lights are proven to reduce the number of accidents, they may do little to lessen the severity of those that do occur. For this reason, traffic engineers are considering the possibilities of roundabouts for rural intersections. Roundabouts are less effective than traffic lights at reducing the number of accidents at a specific location, but they are strongly associated with a sharp reduction in fatalities and severe injury crashes.

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