Special Efforts Undertaken to Reduce Combat Veterans’ Motor Vehicle Crashes

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of deaths among combat veterans during the first years after their return home.  Several studies have reported an increase in post-deployment deaths among military personnel who served in a combat zone compared to their non-deployed counterparts, who are in the military but not deployed to a war, after both the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War.  Preliminary evidence also indicates this is the case with veterans from the Global War on Terror.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Defense (DOD) are working together … Read the rest

NHTSA Special Crash Investigations: Protecting Children In and Around Cars; Backover and Non-Crash Events

The Special Crash Investigations unit of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has, since October 2006, been collecting detailed data on back-over and non-crash events to support the agency’s efforts to mitigate these kinds of incidents.

The types of cases investigated include: Back-over; backing-up light passenger vehicle strikes a person from the rear or approaching from the side; certified advanced-air-bag cases; school bus crashworthiness investigations; rollaway; vehicle slips out of gear and injures a non-occupant; carbon monoxide poisoning; vehicles with adaptive vehicle controls; not-in-transport cases; and other vehicle safety issues as requested by the agency. The focus is on … Read the rest

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Tests Vehicle Passenger Safety in Rollover and Rear-End Accidents

Rollover crashes constitute 3 percent of passenger vehicle crashes, but about one third of the fatalities. Injuries can occur even if there is minimal roof deformation after a crash. At other times vehicle occupants are unharmed even if there is significant roof deformation. A recent study performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has demonstrated the inadequacy of the proposed federal rule to increase a vehicle’s roof strength from 1.5 times to 2.5 times the weight of a car.

The study concludes that 212 of the 668 deaths involved in rollover accidents in 2006 could have been … Read the rest

June Through August is the Deadliest Time of Year for 15-Passenger Van Occupants

New research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found June through August to be the deadliest time of year for 15-passenger van occupants, due to rollover crashes. Statistics show that 31 percent of fatal rollovers involving 15-passenger vans occur during the busy summer travel months.

The NHTSA also emphasizes that conventional 12 to 15-passenger vans cannot be used as school buses because they are not certified to carry students on a regular basis, and thus cannot be sold or leased as new vehicles to carry students on a regular basis. NHTSA data shows a significant increase … Read the rest

Seemingly Never-Ending String of High School Lunch-Time Car Accidents Fuels Debate Over Open Campuses

A fatal car accident involving students driving off of school grounds during lunch period has again focused attention on whether open campus is a concept that should be ended.

Following a crash on April 10, 2008 in which two West Hempstead High School students were killed and another seriously injured, New York State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) renewed his call to enact his bill that would ban all school districts in the state from permitting students to leave campus in vehicles during school hours. Assemblyman Gianaris introduced Assembly Bill A.9619 this past January.

As a result of the accident, … Read the rest

Latest Brain Scan Technology May Help Increase Recovery for Conscious Pain and Suffering of “Vegetative” People

Brain scans using the most recent technologies are challenging the decade-old doctors’ assumption that patients who have been diagnosed as vegetative lack any capacity for conscious thought. Most of these patients are previously healthy people who suffered a traumatic brain injury such as in a car accident, or oxygen deprivation after a heart attack or stroke or perhaps even due to medical malpractice. Although most brain scans show what is wrong with someone’s brain, sophisticated brain scans are showing what parts of the brain are working, with surprising results.

What is lacking in these patients is not necessarily … Read the rest

School’s Open – Pedestrian Safety Tips

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 15 percent of kids today travel to school on foot or on a bicycle, compared with 42 percent in 1969. New York has the fourth highest annual pedestrian deaths and injuries in the United States. Fortunately, the fatality rate for children pedestrians has dropped dramatically over the last 30 years or so, decreasing 84 percent since 1975. With schools opening for the year, it seems timely to point out some safety tips for pedestrians:

  1. DON’T assume that obeying “Walk/Don’t Walk” lights decreases your risk of getting hit. Studies show that standard pedestrian signals have
Read the rest