Entries in Car Crash (6)


The Most Dangerous Time for Teen Drivers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Experience counts, especially behind the wheel, and a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds teens are much more likely to get into an accident during the first month of driving.

Foundation researchers looked at teen accident data from North Carolina from 2001 through 2008 and discovered that in their first month of unsupervised driving, teens were 50 percent more likely to crash than they were after a year on the road.  They were nearly twice as likely to get into an accident during those first 30 days than they were after two years behind the wheel.

More than half of those early crashes -- 57 percent of them -- were due to three common mistakes: speeding, not paying attention and failing to yield to another vehicle.

There were some maneuvers that these newest drivers found challenging as well, such as left-hand turns.  During their first few months of driving, crashes involving left-hand turns were common.  But the study found teens quickly learned how to manage the turns, and those crash rates dropped off quickly as time went on.

Researchers installed video cameras in the cars of 38 new teen drivers and found that once teens were allowed to drive on their own, parents virtually vanished from the cars.  Parents or adults were present in only 3 percent of the videos.

The videos also revealed teens talking and texting while driving and mistakenly running red lights.

The Foundation urges parents to continue to practice with teens, even after they have their license, to make sure they can drive safely in all kinds of conditions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Graduated Driver's License Programs: Not So Effective After 18?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Getting a driver's license is an exciting milestone for teens.
To help 16-year-olds stay focused when learning the rules of the road and reduce the number of accidents and deaths, minors are enrolled in graduated driver's license programs. Now a new study finds that these programs lose effectiveness after a certain age.
At one time, GDL programs became so effective all 50 states adopted laws limiting nighttime driving and restricting the number of passengers in the vehicle with first-time drivers. Fatal crashes among enrollees dropped 26 percent.
But a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that upon graduation from the program at age 18, fatal crashes climbed 12 percent.
Researchers did not determine why more fatal crashes occur among 18-year-olds.
While extending the program could be beneficial, the researchers suggest that some lessons about driving alone can only be learned with experience.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Justin Bieber Spurs Nationwide Aid for Orphaned Children

Courtesy Maltz Photography(CHICAGO) -- Celebrities are now asking the public to help support three children orphaned after they were injured in a car crash that killed both their parents.

It was nearly midnight on July 2, and the family was driving back to Texas after vacationing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, traveling along U.S. 285 near Fort Stockton, Texas.

A man driving northbound with his wife and 1-year-old daughter became distracted while looking for a DVD, according to San Angelo Highway Patrol spokesman Shawn Baxter.  The driver veered into the other lane and hit the Berrys, who were traveling in the opposite direction.  The wife of the distracted driver died in the head-on collision and he sustained serious injuries, but his daughter was unharmed.

Joshua Berry, 41, and his wife Robin, 40, died at the scene, and two of their children, Peter, 9, and Aaron, 8, have been treated for multiple spinal injuries at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago, which has an in-patient pediatric spinal cord rehabilitation center.  The boys will remain hospitalized until mid-September.

Aaron and Peter may never walk again, their uncle and legal guardian Matthew Berry told ABC News, "but we'll take any miracle."

The Berry's youngest child, Willa, 6, broke her arm, ankle, knee and wrist in the crash.  She is staying with family friends in Houston.

"I don't think she really understands what it means," said Matthew Berry, who will raise his brother's children with his wife Simone, along with their two young children.

Ever since the crash, there has been an outpouring of support for the Berry family, spurred, in part, by Justin Bieber.  The singer helped launch a website telling people how to donate to the Berrys this week, tweeting, "Seeing u all come together for #showyourhearts is pretty amazing. Keep donating and spreading the word. super grateful and proud of my fans."

So far, they've raised more than $40,000, Matthew Berry said.

"My wife has a family member in Bieber's camp, and when they found out they called and asked how they could help," Matthew Berry told ABC News.

Bieber had already met Peter and Aaron, who attended several of his concerts.

Several other celebrities are also rallying around the Berry family, including Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Sean "Diddy" Combs, who have all asked their followers on Twitter to show support.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Children Fare Better in Car Crashes if Grandparents Drive

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Children may be safer riding alongside their grandparents than with their parents, according to a new study published Monday in Pediatrics.

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that a child's risk of injury from a car crash was significantly lower when their grandparents were behind the wheel.

The study is based on results of an examination of State Farm Insurance claims for car crashes in 15 states between 2003 and 2007. Instead of examining which age group had more crashes, the researchers examined the number of reported injuries and found 1.05 percent of kids were injured riding with their parents compared to 0.70 percent of children riding with grandparents.  That’s a 33 percent lower risk.

The gap for injuries increased to 50 percent when researchers took into account other factors that could affect injuries, including older-model vehicles and not using child-restraining car seats.

As for why the rate of injuries is lower, researchers theorize that perhaps grandparents are more nervous about driving with their grandkids, and as a result, are more cautious when they're behind the wheel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Drowsy Drivers Account for One in Six Deadly Car Crashes

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Falling asleep while driving is too common an occurrence, according to a government study which finds that one in every six deadly car crashes involves drivers who doze off at the wheel.  A new survey by the AAA Foundation backs these statistics, finding that 40 percent of drivers say they've fallen asleep at the wheel.

The survey also found that one in ten, or 10 percent of drivers, admit they have fallen asleep while operating their vehicles in the past year.

"Many motorists underestimate the real dangers associated with driving when they're that tired," says AAA Foundation's Peter Kissinger.  "I, for example, have in many instances when I'm at home at night watching TV and all of a sudden I wake up and I realize I missed half the show.  Now, if that were to happen when I was driving a car, the results could be catastrophic."

Kissinger advises drivers who feel tired to pull over and rest.  "As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and get some rest," he says.  "It could just save your life.  A power nap of 20-30 minutes is sufficient."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Flirting While Driving Is Overlooked Danger

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) -- Drivers are constantly warned about the dangers of texting while driving, but a new study indicates that another danger has been overlooked: flirting while driving.

A survey of British drivers found that 41 percent of drivers admitted to trying to flirt with others while on the move, and 15 percent conceded they crashed their car or had a near miss because they were distracted by an attractive passerby.

"Men were by far the worst culprits," said Natalie Grimshare, a spokesperson for the women's car insurance company Diamond, which conducted the nationwide survey of 3,000 drivers, released this week.  Half of all men surveyed admitted to flirting with other motorists on the road, compared to just one-third of the women.

Grimshare said the survey, while conducted in Britain, would have found similar results with American drivers because they share similar vehicle values with Brits.

"We spend a lot of time in our cars," she said.  "Maybe people are seeing their car as an extension of their social life."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio