Automobile accidents and those involving trucks and motorcycles are a leading cause of personal injury litigation. The impact of an accident can range from minor injuries to death and catastrophic injuries. Other issues include pain, suffering and repairing a damaged vehicle. Financial liability is usually assigned to the insurance company of the driver at fault, someone who may have been intoxicated or talking on the phone. However, litigation could involve liquor liability related to someone serving alcohol to an intoxicated manufacturer may be sued. Furthermore, claims are field against insurance companies. Some cases involve underinsured and uninsured at-fault drivers. Some cases may be complicated by automobile crashworthiness issues, which involve defective car parts and may require suing the automobile manufacturer for unsafe car components.
Women and Automobile Accidents
A recent University of Michigan study researched 6.5 million car crashes and found that a surprising number of accidents happen when both drivers involved are women.
Michael Sivak, the study’s principal author and a research professor is hesitant to state that women are worse drivers than men.
The researchers expected to find that male-to-male crashes would account for 36 percent of accidents, while women-to-women accidents would only account for close to 16 percent. However, the actual results surprised researchers. The study found that female-to-female accidents made up close to 21 percent of all crashes and male-to-male accidents were lower than expected, near 32 percent.
The researchers found that intersections are particularly troublesome for women. Female drivers are often t-boned on the driver’s side while trying to make a left turn.
The study found that women do not drive as much as men do which could lead them to be less-confident and less experienced than men.
Because there are multiple reasons, the researchers are not ruling out any possibilities for the difference. For instance, many women drive with children which could be one of the most distracting aspects of driving. Also, according to a recent AOL Autos news story, many voice-activated systems which are supposed to be a safety feature in many cars do not recognize womens’ voices. Distracted driving can result in car accidents.
According to the researchers, height may be an issue as well. Since many women are shorter than men, they may have trouble seeing over the steering wheel. The issue is becoming worse, not better, as many modern cars have designers that are creating higher in-car “belt-lines”, the height of the door relative to the driver before the window glass begins.
However, a shorter stature may not be the only problem. Women may also have some brain differences; some studies indicate that men are better at perceiving time and speed. These studies also suggest that men are better at rotating 3D objects in their brains, skills which are helpful enough to overcome any risky behavior that men may have.
It has been shown that while men drive more and may have better experience, they are more likely to take on risky behavior while behind the wheel.
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Justin Bieber Supports Anti-Texting While Driving App
Justin Bieber, a teen superstar with a massive teen following, is using his popularity to help launch a new product. A South Florida company will be releasing a cell phone app in July 2011 called “Drive Safe” which will disable texting and other keyboarding functions while driving.
Bieber, who has a No. 1 album in 15 countries and two Grammy nominations, should be able to help boost sales, especially among teens.
By using GPS technology, the app will automatically turn off texting capabilities while a driver’s cell phone is in a moving vehicle. The user will not be able to text, email, surf the web or instant message while he or she is driving. However, if the car is stopped for more than five seconds, the phone will resume normal texting and keyboarding functioning. The app will also have a panic alarm function that will automatically dial 911, parents or any other selected number should there be an emergency.
Any unanswered emails or text messages will be waiting for the driver once the car is at a complete stop.
Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, believes that texting while driving has led to an increase in fatal auto accidents. Distracted driving was a factor in 16 percent of all fatal automobile accidents in 2009, up from 10 percent in 2005, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Also, the Department of Transportation has identified distracted driving as one of its top safety concerns.