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Mistakes to avoid after a construction accident

Workers encounter work accidents on a daily basis, and sometimes those incidents have serious consequences. Particularly in the case of a construction accident, parties may need assistance both physically and financially.

Thankfully, there are benefits in place to assist those who qualify. In order to avoid losing access to certain benefits, parties should steer away from a few mistakes.

Safe winter driving for New York residents

It's not too hard to be a safe driver when winter comes and places ice and snow on the roads. Drivers simply need to remember a few facts and act accordingly. This is assuming, of course, that drivers are heading out only when necessary. First of all, the slippery conditions that ice and snow create cause the tires to lose traction. To keep what little traction they have, then, drivers must slow down.

Next, drivers should know that the stopping distance will increase on slippery roads. To avoid a rear-end collision, it's a good idea to maintain a distance of at least five to six seconds from the vehicle in front. Drivers should brake gradually and, when possible, never come to a complete stop at traffic lights. Accelerating when the car is stopped can result in the wheels spinning to no use.

Daylight saving time ends, but drowsy driving a risk

Every year in New York and across the U.S., an average of 328,000 car crashes occur because of drowsy driving. Some 109,000 of the crashes result in injury, and 6,400 end in death. Most people are aware that drowsiness is dangerous in drivers: It slows one's reaction times and reduces one's ability to concentrate. Yet 27% of respondents in AAA's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index admitted to driving drowsy at least once in the previous 30 days.

Even more unfortunate is how few people understand the connection between drowsy driving and the switch from daylight saving time to standard time. Most believe that since they gain an hour to sleep, drowsiness would not pose a problem, but it does. The body needs time to adjust to what is basically a disruption of the sleep/wake cycle and circadian rhythm.

NHTSA releases 2018 traffic death data

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , there was a 2.4% drop in traffic deaths in 2018. In that year, there were 36,560 deaths throughout the country. The NHTSA said that the drop was partially because of safety technology installed in newer vehicles. New York motorists might be pleased to learn that data suggests that there was a decline during the first six months of 2019 as well.

It is important to note that fatalities rose for pedestrians and bicyclists, and there was also a 1% increase in deaths attributed to crashes involving large trucks. Pedestrian deaths rose by 3.4% while fatalities involving those on bicycles rose 6.3%. Consumer Reports says that pedestrian deaths have increased by 53% since 2009. Furthermore, it said that the pedestrian death toll was the highest in 28 years.

Researchers analyze distracted driving habits

Teen drivers in New York and throughout the country are the most likely to engage in distracted driving. Teen drivers are also the most likely to get into accidents, and accidents can occur because of cellphone use or rubbernecking while passing the scene of another crash. Younger drivers may be prone to using their phones to send or read text messages, browse the internet or complete other tasks.

These were the findings of a research team from MSU that analyzed the behavior of 3,400 drivers between 2011 and 2013. The drivers themselves were tracked using a variety of tools. According to one of the researchers, the project was one of the most detailed of its kind as it allowed the team to determine what drivers were doing before crashes took place. Typically, crash studies rely on police reports and other information gathered after a collision takes place.

Newer pickups put passengers at higher risk for injury, death

Modern two-row pickups are putting passengers at a higher risk for injury and death than drivers. Pickup owners in New York should know that this was the conclusion of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after a series of driver- and passenger-side small overlap frontal crash tests. Eleven pickups were involved, and the IIHS report gave each one a rating from "poor" to "good" regarding driver- and passenger-side safety.

The study strongly indicates that automakers are focusing on driver safety to the detriment of front passenger safety. Nine of the pickups scored a "good" rating on the driver's side with only two, the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Frontier, receiving a "marginal" score. On the other hand, only three scored a "good" rating on the passenger's side -- the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan.

Five tips for greater road safety in New York

In 2018, the number of car crash fatalities reached around 40,000. Though this represented a 1% decrease from the previous year, the number is still exceedingly high. That year also saw 4.5 million people injured in car crashes, which amounts to one person being injured every seven seconds. With these five tips, drivers can keep themselves and others on the road just a bit safer.

The first may sound like a no-brainer: Drivers must keep at least one hand on the steering wheel and know when a turn or other maneuver requires both hands. Second, drivers' phones should be off limits at all times. Taking one's eyes from the road for even a few seconds will multiply the chances of a crash. Hands-free phone use may be acceptable, but this still causes a cognitive distraction.

Road rage fatalities increase by 500% over 10 years

Drivers in New York may have read about the many road rage incidents that occurred across the country during the summer of 2019. Newspapers reported that a Wisconsin woman was shot after a minor car accident while teaching her son to drive. In Alabama, a woman reportedly tried to shoot another driver during a road rage incident and instead shot her husband. A Houston couple and their children were severely injured when another driver shot their car and ignited the fireworks being carried inside.

These summer incidents were not unusual. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Administration, fatal car crashes related to aggressive driving have risen almost 500% during the past 10 years. In 2006, there were 80 such accidents; in 2015, 467 aggressive driving fatalities were reported. Other studies have found similar statistics that are concerning. A 2016 poll from the American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 80% of drivers had behaved aggressively while driving at least once during the past year.

Distracted driving common for many teen drivers

For many New York teens, distracted driving is just a way of life. Despite widespread public awareness campaigns that aim to reduce the risk associated with texting while driving and other distracted behaviors, many teens continue to use their mobile phones or other devices behind the wheel. This can be a particular concern with teenage drivers as most are inexperienced and may face even more difficulty in emergency situations without the threat posed by distraction. However, many parents report that even if their teens do not text and drive, they regularly get in the car with others who do.

Many parents focus on warning their teens to avoid distracted driving. However, about 60% of parents participating in one research survey said that their kids had been passengers in a car with a distracted friend behind the wheel. Researchers pointed to the results to urge parents of teens to educate their kids about the risks of being a passenger with a distracted or otherwise negligent driver. The study aimed to look at parents' interactions with teen driving. Over 30% of the parents involved said that their kids rode with other teen drivers at least once every week.

Risks associated with working on or near scaffolding

When you make your living working in construction, chances are, you use scaffolds on at least a semi-regular basis. Temporary work platforms positioned at heights above the ground are quite common across many American construction sites, but they can also, in some instances, prove highly dangerous for construction workers.

The dangers associated with using scaffolding are numerous because they can endanger both the people working on top of them and those performing work beneath them. Still, many construction workers who suffer scaffolding-related injuries or fatalities find that their incidents result from similar hazards.

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