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Fatal Georgia crash leaves 1 dead

A fatal crash between an SUV and a tractor-trailer near Brunswick left one person dead in the early hours of May 15. The incident, which took place at about 6:30 a.m., happened on Interstate 95, after the tractor-trailer went across the barrier from the southbound lanes and crashed into the SUV.

According to authorities, a 44-year-old Florida man was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Equinox north on Interstate 95 when a 2016 Freightliner tractor which was hauling tandem trailers crashed into the Chevrolet, after crossing the dividing barrier. After the crash, the Chevrolet came to a stop a few hundred yards from the Spur 25 overpass, while the truck went across all four northbound lanes before it stopped at the on-ramp facing west. One of the trailers the track was hauling overturned.

Side underride guards could make large trucks safer

Georgia motorists and their passengers might be safer if large trucks have both side and rear underride guards, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Rules for rear underride guards have been moving through the federal regulatory process. Earlier in 2017, the organization conducted two 35-mph crash tests to test the safety benefits of side underride guards.

In one test, a 53-foot dry van trailer had an underride guard attached. In the other test, the trailer was equipped with a fiberglass skirt designed to improve aerodynamics but not protect against underrides. A midsize passenger car hit the trailer in the center for both tests. In the first test, the car damaged the underride guard, but the guard prevented it from going under the trailer. In the second test, part of the roof came off as the car became wedged under the trailer. According to the IIHS, if the car had been carrying people, fatalities would have been likely.

FMCSA considers regulatory updates for autonomous vehicles

Proponents of autonomous vehicle systems say that the technology could greatly reduce the number of deadly truck accidents in Georgia and around the country, but they claim that outdated regulations are deterring investors and hindering its development. Regulators from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration heard these arguments and others on April 24 during a listening session organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Hours of service regulations are a particularly thorny subject for autonomous technology advocates because they prevent logistics companies from reaping the savings that self-driving trucks make possible. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believe that a human operator should be present in every self-driving truck, and this argument is backed up by research that suggests operating an autonomous vehicle may actually be more tiring than conventional driving.

Fulton County accident claims the lives of 4 teens

Authorities in Georgia have reported that four teenagers were killed and a fifth was left severely injured when an SUV was struck by a semi-tractor trailer in Fulton County on the afternoon of April 24. Police reports indicate that the SUV ran a red light immediately prior to the collision, which took place at the intersection of Butner and Ridge Roads and Campbellton-Fairburn Road in Fairburn at approximately 1:17 p.m.

The five teens, who were all students at the nearby Langston Hughes High School, were traveling in a Lincoln Navigator SUV at the time of the crash. The 16-year-old boy behind the wheel was ejected by the force of the collision according to reports, and he was pronounced dead at the scene by rescue workers along with his three male passengers aged 16, 15 and 14. Initial reports did not indicate whether alcohol consumption or drug use played a role.

Proving mental distress after a car crash

Depending on the facts in an auto accident case, a Georgia resident may be able to recover financial damages for PTSD from the at-fault driver. Such cases need to be filed within the same statute of limitations period that applies to other accident causes of action, unless the statute is tolled due to the plaintiff's incapacity. While a person may be able to pursue damages for mental distress, it may be harder to prove as there are no visible or other objective indications of such an injury.

To prove that a car accident caused PTSD, an individual would need to show that a doctor made the diagnosis and that it was caused by the car accident. The doctor who makes the diagnosis must be qualified to do so, and it must be shown that the diagnosis was accurate. A defense attorney may try to claim that any mental stress was caused by a previous incident in an accident victim's life.

Fatal crashes involving large trucks

Georgia motorists should be aware that the number of trucks weighing in excess of 10,000 pounds that were involved in fatal traffic accidents around the country in 2015 rose by 8 percent over the previous year. This is according to a report that was issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The FMCSA reported that there were 4,050 large trucks that were in fatal crashes in 2015. The large trucks were a factor in 3,598 fatal vehicle crashes in that year. There was also an increase in the fatal accident involvement rate for every 100 million vehicle miles that were traveled by large trucks. The rate increased to 1.45 from 1.34, another 8 percent increase.

Distracted driving takes a toll on pedestrians

The world is more dangerous than ever for pedestrians. In 2016, the US saw the largest increase in pedestrian fatalities ever recorded. Pedestrian deaths have been tracked for four decades. In terms of raw numbers, more than 6,000 pedestrians died in vehicle-related accidents. While there are several possible explanations, many safety experts are pointing to the rise in smart phone use as the driving factor behind the increase.

Everyone is distracted

The NHTSA reports that distracted driving is on the rise

Georgia motorists should avoid using their smartphones while they are driving. They may put themselves and others at risk, and when they are distracted by their phones, they are less likely to be able to drive defensively in response to other distracted drivers.

Overall, traffic fatalities are on the rise. Since 2007, deaths on the road had been declining, but in 2015, traffic fatalities increased. Preliminary figures for 2016 showed this trend continuing. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2015, deaths caused by distracted drivers increased faster than those caused by drivers who were speeding or who were drunk or fatigued.

Ford initiates two recalls affecting 441,000 vehicles

Georgia drivers who own Ford vehicles may be interested in learning that approximately 441,000 vehicles were recalled due to defects. The affected vehicle models included the Escape SUV and the Ford Fusion. The repair recalls are expected to cost the American car manufacturer about $295 million.

Ford stated that about 230,000 of the vehicles were recalled due to an overheating hazard that could cause a pressurized oil leak. The vehicle recall was issued after the automaker received at least 29 reports of fires in the vehicles, though there were no injuries mentioned. This recall affected the 2014 and 2015 Ford Fiesta ST, 2013 and 2015 Ford Transit Connect, 2013 and 2014 Ford Fusion and certain models of the 2014 Ford Escape.


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