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Fewer hours of sleep often means more car accidents

As Louisiana readers know, it can be very difficult to adjust to the time changes twice per year, especially in the spring when clocks move forward an hour, resulting in one hour of lost sleep. For days and weeks after the time change, people struggle with more drowsiness and a feeling of sluggishness as their bodies get used to it. This means there are more overly tired individuals on the road at a time, which can ultimately lead to more car accidents.

Losing sleep can obviously make a person more tired, but it can also significantly increase the chance a person will be involved in a car accident. People who miss even just a few hours of sleep in a 24 hour period of time double the likelihood of involvement in a crash. It is recommended that people who intend to drive get at least seven hours of sleep in order to pay attention to the road and give the right amount of mental focus.

Change in headlight regulations could reduce pedestrian accidents

As Louisiana readers know, many traffic collisions and motor vehicles incidents happen at night. Visibility is lower, and the brightness and intensity of a vehicle's headlights can greatly impact how well a driver can see other vehicles and even pedestrians. Potential changes in headlight regulations by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard could allow for adaptive-beam headlights, which may reduce pedestrian accidents and make the roads safer in general.

Adaptive-bean headlights don't just change in brightness automatically. They adapt to other things on the road, creating a shadow around other vehicles. This reduces the glare that oncoming drivers may experience from another vehicle's high beams. As of right now, these are not common in U.S. vehicles because regulations have required distinct low and high beams.

Why are there more pedestrian accidents now?

In Louisiana, people choose to walk from one place to another for many different reasons. It can be faster, cheaper and better for health to walk whenever possible instead of driving. While pedestrians do enjoy certain benefits, there may be certain risks involved as well. Pedestrian accidents are on the rise across the country, specifically fatal accidents. 

Statistics indicate that serious pedestrian-involved accidents have increased dramatically over the last few years. At this point, the number of people who died in these types of accidents is at its highest point since 1990. Clearly, pedestrian safety is a pressing issue, and it may help to first understand what causes these types of accidents and what can be done to prevent them.

Can technology help reduce distraction-related car accidents?

Louisiana readers know that distraction is a serious threat to the safety of all motorists and one of the leading causes of collisions throughout the state. Despite the fact that most drivers know distracted driving in any form is dangerous, many continue engaging in things such as texting, eating, adjusting the radio and doing other things while behind the wheel. Many groups have put in significant effort and research into practical ways to reduce these car accidents.

Some people believe that the key to reducing distracted driving is to implement more technology. There are new and developing technologies that can make cars safer and react better when a driver is not making safe decisions. One of these potential solutions are automated emergency braking systems. AEB systems can sense when a collision is likely to occur, making the car brake even if the driver is not paying attention.

Certain measures to prevent 18-wheeler accidents may not work

There are many measures and safety regulations in place that truck drivers must follow. In order to reduce the number of 18-wheeler accidents and make the roads safer for all motorists, the trucking industry has adopted the use of electronic logging devices in semitrailers and other large commercial vehicles. These devices are intended to reduce tiredness experienced by truckers who put in long hours behind the wheel by having them electronically log their hours.

Too many hours driving can lead to fatigue-related truck accidents. While mandating that drivers log the number of hours behind the wheel electronically sounds like it would be a good idea, Louisiana readers may be interested to note that the implementation of ELDs has not done much to reduce accidents. The statistics between small truck fleets and large fleets differ slightly, but there is little reason to believe ELDs are helpful for the purpose of reducing crashes. 

Preventing car accidents around school buses

Every morning and afternoon, there are many buses on Louisiana roads taking young children back and forth to school. Drivers are responsible for knowing how to drive safely around these vehicles, including stopping when the lights are on and the stop signs are out. However, distracted driving has led to an increase in unsafe driving around buses, increasing the chance of car accidents. 

According to law enforcement and statistics, dozens of children are the victims of accidents every year as they are walking to or from school buses. With the increase of phone use and distracted drivers, children getting on or off a bus are more likely to suffer from the consequences of this type of unsafe driving. Every driver in Louisiana should know the law and understand how to drive safely around children.

Will lower speeds reduce the number of 18-wheeler accidents?

Trucks play a significant role in the American economy, and at any given time, Louisiana motorists are sharing the road with these large, heavy vehicles. Because of the size and weight of these commercial vehicles, 18-wheeler accidents can cause significant damage to smaller cars and trucks. It is critical that the men and women who drive semitrailers make safe choices while behind the wheel.

One of the simplest ways to reduce the number of truck accidents is to reduce speeds. There are some groups that want regulations in place that will mandate trucks to drive at speeds no higher than 65 miles per hour. Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition are pushing for laws that will require all trucks to use devices that limit their speed, as well as have automatic brake systems in place. 

Car accidents: Fatal crash in Louisiana

State authorities are in the process of investigating a fatal car accident that claimed the life of a 41-year-old woman. The woman appears to have been a passenger in a vehicle involved in a single-car crash. As with all car accidents of this type, Louisiana State Police will continue to investigate until a cause for the accident is discovered. 

According to the information provided in the public report, a 48-year-old man was driving southbound on Interstate 55 with the 41-year-old woman in the passenger seat of his pickup truck when he lost control of his vehicle, causing it to crash into the left-lane concrete barrier. The disabled truck came to a halt and both occupants exited the vehicle. They were standing on the shoulder when another car, driven by a 42-year-old woman, struck the disabled truck and then the passenger.

Keep your kids safe by avoiding driving distractions

Being a parent is hard. You probably spend much of your time breaking up sibling squabbles, preparing meals and picking up dropped items. However, if you do these things while driving, you could be putting yourself and your children at risk of serious injuries.

Texting while driving may be getting all the attention when it comes to distracted driving prevention, but anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your mind of the task of driving is a distraction. Tending to children is an all too common distraction that parents often do not even realize they are doing.

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