The Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving — And What to Do About Them

Distracted driving feels a bit like the status quo these days. We all technically agree that it’s important to pay attention to the road, but all too often succumb to the lure of checking our phone, applying makeup, or grabbing a snack. All three behaviors are dangerous, as we explain below: Cell Phones Mobile devices are among the most common sources of distraction behind the wheel. Texting is an obvious culprit, but using navigation apps or even chatting on the phone can be problematic. Increasingly, many drivers also use social media while operating vehicles, with some even adding to Instagram…

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month: What the Latest Research Says About Distraction And Our Abilities Behind the Wheel

In the chaos of everyday life, it’s easy to succumb to bad habits. Few, however, are as dangerous or as potentially tragic as driving while distracted. Hence, the importance of recognizing Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Held in April, this important occasion draws attention to the ongoing problem of distraction on our roads — and the tragedies this concern prompts. We’ve highlighted a few of the latest statistics to provide additional insight into the role of distraction: Distraction Is Common We all know that distracted driving is dangerous, but that doesn’t always stop us from engaging in problematic behaviors. Alarming, data…

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Driving in the Pouring Rain: Do’s And Don’ts

You made it through the worst of the winter driving season and feel relieved as the weather grows warmer. Don’t get too comfortable just yet — your local roads can be just as dangerous when spring arrives. In fact, experts at the Federal Highway Administration point to rain and wet pavement as being responsible for the majority of weather-related car accidents. The more you prepare for rainy driving, the easier you’ll find it to avoid and respond to common hazards. These do’s and don’ts should help: Do: Check Your Tires Wear and tear can make even modest amounts of rain…

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Why Are Women at Greater Risk of Injury from Car Crashes?

All drivers and passengers are vulnerable to auto accident injuries, but major disparities exist between men and women. Recent findings about female injuries in car accidents could hold significant implications for which vehicles women choose to drive. Key takeaways include the following: Women Are More Susceptible in Frontal Crashes Even when they wear seatbelts, women are more likely to be harmed in car crashes, with data from the University of Virginia suggesting 73 percent greater odds of injury. This is true even when controlling for collision severity, body mass index, and a variety of other factors. The Role of Vehicle…

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Zoom Zombies? Why Cognitive Overload Makes Roads More Dangeorous

At the beginning of the pandemic, many people assumed that the increase in work-from-home arrangements would limit car accidents. This theory makes sense: fewer people on the road means fewer crashes, right? In reality, however, auto fatalities are on the rise. This could be prompted, in part, by the cognitive overload that accompanies both remote work and general life during a pandemic. Such concerns leave us unable to maintain our attention behind the wheel, thereby reducing our ability to respond effectively to hazards on today’s increasingly dangerous roads. Overburdened By Work Demands A variety of factors are likely contributing to…

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How March’s Fast-Changing Weather Can Create Unique Hazards on the Road

The month of March brings newfound optimism at the end of a long winter, but that doesn’t mean that the harsh weather is over. This highly changeable month can bring both warm temperatures and blizzards — often in the span of a few days. This brings a variety of hazards to local roads, including the following: Overconfidence Many of the biggest driving problems in March have little to do with specific weather issues, and instead, stem from overconfidence among otherwise cautious drivers. Suddenly, after months of slow speeds and other adjustments, drivers feel that they can remove their snow tires,…

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Staying Safe During Daylight Saving Time

This Sunday marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. While we certainly want to “spring forward” and update our clocks, statistics tell us we should pay special attention while on the road. Last January, the University of Colorado at Boulder released a study of the tragic effect daylight savings has on drivers. Analyzing 732,000 accidents over two decades, the study found that the annual spring switch to daylight savings increases the rate of fatal car accidents by 6% during the week following the change. The findings are in line with more general research that suggests the one-hour loss due to…

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What Happens If You Are in an Accident While Driving Someone Else’s Car?

Have you ever borrowed a family member or friend’s car and wondered what would happen if you were to get in an accident? Whose insurance would pay? Yours? Theirs? Neither? Here is a breakdown of how it works in the DMV: Washington D.C. DC Code § 50-1301.08 states that “whenever any motor vehicle . . . shall be operated . . . by any person other than the owner, with the consent of the owner . . . the operator thereof shall in case of accident, be deemed to be the agent of the owner of such motor vehicle ….

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New Year’s Eve: Helpful Tips To Stay Safe and Enjoy!

3…2…1…. Happy New Year! This is probably the year to skip elaborate celebrations, but one thing that never changes is counting down til midnight to ring in the new year. New New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, so remember commonsense safety practices in your celebrations. Drinking and driving is usually at an all-time-high during the holidays. According to the official CDC website, “every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashed that involve an alcohol-impaired driver” (CDC). Any amount of alcohol in your system can severely impact your response time. Some other ways alcohol…

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D.C. Council Moves to Widen Legal Protections for E-Scooter Riders Involved in Accidents

  Amidst ongoing changes with transportation, the D.C. Council recently passed transportation measures to help e-scooter riders collect damages after being injured in an accident.  E-scooter riders will be considered a “vulnerable road user” and thus no longer fall under D.C.’s contributory negligence tort regime. Under contributory negligence, an e-scooter rider would not be able to recoup any medical bills if the rider were even 1 percent at fault. However, this measure is set to only bar recovery if a jury finds an e-scooter rider to be beyond 50 percent at fault – making it much easier to recoup medical…

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