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May 2017 Archives

Study examines children and auto accidents

Researchers are constantly sifting through the data of fatal car accidents. Drivers in Connecticut and throughout the U.S. should pay attention to these statistics, particularly when it involves children under the age of 15. The numbers show that while the number of deaths in an auto accident vary state-by-state, a greater number of deaths happen in the South. Most are linked to a failure to properly use or failure to use restraints in rural crashes.

Truck drivers and sleep apnea

Truck drivers in Connecticut should expect to encounter more regulations regarding sleep apnea. This is due to the United States Supreme Court's decision to not review a case in which a driver alleged that a truck carrier violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring that he be tested.

Truck underride guards could save lives in Connecticut

Collisions with a tractor-trailer or elevated straight truck can send small vehicles under the larger truck and shear off the top half of the vehicle. Since the point of impact is much higher, this can injure and kill passengers without activating standard safety equipment, such as airbags and safety harnesses. However, regulatory agencies are working to address this issue with the use of rear-mounted guards that lower the point of impact. Recent tests confirm the benefits of side-mounting underride guards as well.

Motorcycle accidents often linked to speeding and impairment

Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that motorcyclists around the country were 29 times more likely to lose their lives in accidents than passenger vehicle occupants, and more than 4,500 riders were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 according to the federal safety agency. While road safety advocates may applaud Connecticut lawmakers for mandating insurance discounts for riders who have completed approved motorcycle training courses, they could also criticize them for not passing a comprehensive helmet law.

Autonomous trucks and hours of service reform

During a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration session at the annual workshop held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance in April, manned control for tractor-trailers was the main topic of discussion. Connecticut residents should also know that individuals who commented at the public forum also discussed hours reform as it relates to autonomous vehicle technology.

New technology may identify texting drivers

The phone habits of Connecticut drivers involved in accidents may be scrutinized more closely if a new technology that scans phones after an accident is approved for use by law enforcement. Called the textalyzer because it is based on the Breathalyzer, the device can see what apps were open at the time of the accident, whether people were scanning and swiping and what their actions were in the moments before the accident. The device also distinguishes whether the people were in hands-free mode. However, privacy advocates have raised concerns that access to phones could lead to civil liberties violations.

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Berman & Russo, Attorneys at Law
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South Windsor, CT 06074

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