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Car Accident Injuries - Causes and Preventive Measures

Car accidents that cause injuries have happened virtually since automobiles were invented. The first recorded accidental injury occurred in 1869. An Irish woman named Mary Ward was thrown out of the steam-powered carriage she was riding in when it hit an especially deep rut in the road. She was immediately crushed by one of the wheels, her injuries causing an instantaneous death. Her cousin had actually been the inventor of this new type of vehicle, in a cruel example of irony.

Over the last 25 years or so, car accident injuries resulting in deaths have declined an impressive 50% worldwide. This is due primarily to increased emphasis by both governments and car manufacturers on safety, including the standard use of air bags to reduce the number of severe injuries and deaths caused by front and side car-to-car collisions.

Sadly, the United States is one of the few nations where injuries and fatalities caused by cars have increased over this same period. Experts suggest that this has several causes, including an increased number of motorists overall, a steady increase in the number of large trucks and SUVs sold, and a sharp rise in the numbers of people using cell phones and other technological gadgets while driving their cars.

Another common cause of car accident injuries is ‘rubbernecking.’ This is the term for slowing down (sometimes suddenly) to look at an unusual situation happening on the road (or nearby). Often, people do this to check out car accidents, which can cause other motorists farther back who are not paying close attention to fail to slow down or stop in time. Rubbernecking is the #1 cause of all rear-end car accidents and, in particular, whiplash injuries, in the United States.

Car accident prevention designed to reduce injury and fatality numbers focuses on technology and changing human behavior while behind the wheel. Modern cars and trucks are equipped with air bags, and proximity and drift monitors are becoming more common as well. Both emit loud tones to alert the car’s driver that the vehicle is entering a dangerous area. In Europe, this has been shown to reduce accidental injuries from both car-to-car collisions and single-car accidents.

Changing driver behaviors to reduce car accidents is a tougher nut to crack - especially in the United States, where car ownership is embedded in the culture. People spend so much time in their cars today that it results in a sense of invulnerability. The subsequent lack of defensive driving is one of the reasons why accidental injuries from car collisions in America are bucking the worldwide downward trend.

Perhaps surprisingly, U.S. states with less restrictive speed limit laws actually have a slightly lower incidence of car accidents that cause injuries or deaths. This can partially be explained by a lower number of cars on the road per capita vs. some of the states with lower speed limits. However, even when adjusted for this effect, the statistics still show a slight edge to states with higher limits. Advocates of stricter enforcement of posted speed limits may be pursuing the wrong strategy, if the goal is the prevention of car accident injuries.

A better approach to accident prevention should probably focus on two areas that lead to many serious auto accidents: driver distractions and age. Cell phones are becoming the biggest distraction, and more and more states are banning their use by the driver while the vehicle is in motion. Even if you live where it is permissible, it’s an extremely bad idea! Recent studies have shown a clear connection between phone use and car accidents.

Driver age has an interesting correlation with car accidents that cause injuries and deaths. At both ends of the spectrum, ages 16-20 and 70+, a much higher percentage of accidents occur than with other age ranges. Accident prevention based on the driver’s age is not easily implemented, but calls by the public and advocacy groups are on the increase. Some suggestions include mandatory driver education courses, annual driver examinations to reassess abilities, and even a magnetic sticker or decal on all cars driven by a person falling into either age demographic. The latter entails the idea that alerting other drivers will increase their defensive driving attention, reducing the frequency of accidents.

© John Schwartz (all rights reserved)

John Schwartz is a professional writer and web site publisher. For truck accessories and related information, check out his site at today.

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Parking Sensors and Cameras

Does your vehicle have more blind spots than a bat? See the light with a backup sensor or rear view camera to visualize what’s in your blind spot, and help with parking.Parking sensors and cameras are mainly offered as optional accessories on larger vehicles such as RVs, SUVs, and trucks, though some are offered on cars. Aftermarket cameras, monitors, sensors, and complete systems are available for any type of motor vehicle, including sedans.Backup systems fall into two categories: sensors and cameras. Sensors placed on bumpers use technologies such as ultrasound, lasers, and radar to sense objects around the car and then sound a warning when you come too close. Some also offer visual warnings in the form of an in-dash LED display.Backup cameras, on the other hand, are mounted on the back of the vehicle (sometimes in the license plate frame), and display an image on a monitor, much like your rear-view mirror.Both cameras and sensors are also used for help with parallel parking. In fact, soon vehicles will be able to park themselves. If you’re interested in driving more safely today, a backup sensor or camera will alert you to objects behind you, and can also be used for help parking.Rear view cameras are typically mounted on the back of the vehicle and offer wide-angle lenses that help you see everything from the left to right bumper of your car. They’re angled to the ground, so you can see the road behind you, as well as any children or objects in the way. According to the NHTSA, such camera systems have the best potential to reduce backover accidents out of any vehicle sensory technology they have tested.

Backup sensors or parking assistance devices are built to withstand weather, but neither they nor backup cameras are foolproof. The systems are highly reliable, but extreme weather conditions such as fog, snow, heavy rain, or even sun glare can reduce their effectiveness. Don’t rely on the devices alone; use them to enhance your driving skills. Nothing replaces driver responsibility and good sense.

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Accident Prevention Begins With Individual Awareness

Accident Prevention Begins with Individual Awareness

Author: Gary S. RothsteinQuestion: What is the single most important piece of safety equipment to bring along when you drive a car, SUV, RV, long haul truck or any other vehicle?Answer: Your safety awareness.Safe operation of a vehicle and avoidance of accidents is largely determined by driver awareness - your attentiveness, alertness and ability to focus on the task at hand. Here’s why.

Drowsy + Distracted = Deadly

When impaired mental faculty due to lack of sleep mingles with high demands on alertness it makes for a dangerous combination. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, this lethal mixture leads to thousands of deaths and $12 billion in economic losses per year. Driver distraction, or more precisely, driver lapses in attention caused by cell phones, MP3 players, GPS devices and other in-vehicle entertainment, is one of the leading safety hazards in the transportation industry. There is no shortage of data to document the need to prevent the horrific accidents and fatalities caused by drowsy or distracted driving. There were 43,443 deaths from motor vehicle accidents in 2005! My guess is that many if not most of these deaths were preventable and caused by drowsy or distracted drivers.

Drowsy, Distracted Driving in the Trucking Industry

Commerce in this country moves by trucks that operate on public highways. Over the last 50 years, there has been much discussion about the perils of truck drivers who are sleep-deprived or distracted. It is a well known and documented fact (see, for example, Commercial Motor Vehicle Facts, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, April 2005) that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver alertness/drowsiness is a major safety hazard in modern society. The problem is made worse by the ever increasing number of trucks on the road. There are approximately 7.9 million large trucks on our roads today, some driven by fatigued drivers. Large trucks alone make up over 400,000 accidents a year with an average cost of over $62,000 per incident. In 2002 alone, the Total Cost of Fatigue-Related Crashes (in 1999 Dollars) exceeded $2.3 billion!  Another aggravating factor is the dramatic shortage of qualified drivers available to operate these vehicles. Driver shortages mean that ever increasing numbers of overworked, overtired and highly distracted individuals are driving trucks.

It’s Not Just Trucks & Truckers  

But the problem of drowsy and distracted driving is hardly limited to truck drivers. The numbers of non-commercial SUV’s and cars on the road are also increasing - over 220 million vehicles. Although smaller in size and weight, these vehicles are no less dangerous in the hands of a sleep deprived or inattentive driver. And, unfortunately, many drivers of non-commercial vehicles are drowsy and distracted. For example, a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called “National Survey of Distracted and Drowsy Driving Attitudes and Behavior” (April, 2003) shows that most drivers at least occasionally engage in behaviors that cause them to focus at least some of their attention away from their driving. These behaviors include:  

  • Talking with other passengers (81%);
  • Changing radio stations or CDs (66%);
  • Eating or drinking (49%);  
  • Making outgoing and taking incoming cell phone calls (25%); and
  • Dealing with children riding in the rear seat (24%).

While it is estimated that each week more than a billion driving trips are made by drivers engaging in such behaviors, fewer than one in four drivers perceive these particular activities as distracting or as making their driving more dangerous. Clearly, what we have here is a lack of awareness!

The Solution: Using Education to Enhance Safety Awareness

Even as new technologies are bringing better safety products to market, the primary solution to driving accidents still lies within the mind of the driver. Life saving changes can be made by increasing the individual’s knowledge about the causes of preventable accidents. Education is a powerful tool, one that can help us avoid ending up on the wrong side of a senseless driving disaster. There are many sources of vehicle safety and accident prevention information available from the U.S. government, such as the NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If your time is limited, I recommend reviewing the Essential Data articles listed on our web site ( The information is updated frequently and covers many important driver safety topics. By taking the time to learn about the hazards and risks associated with driving, it becomes apparent how increased attentiveness can lead to accident avoidance.


A driver’s ability to safely control a vehicle and be “aware” is essential to safety. Driver focus will continue to be tested as a result of the ever increasing distractions in our highly mobilized society. As drivers, it is our responsibility to resist these temptations and keep our eyes and mind on our driving. If each one of us does our part to increase our own awareness of the danger and our alertness on the road, it will make us better drivers and enhance not simply our own safety but the safety of those who share the roads with us.




Driveway Safety For Children

Driveway Safety for Children
V. Michael Santoro Driveway safety is a very demanding responsibility for parents or guardians of young children. Even when closely watching your children, it is difficult to react quickly enough when they dart out from your driveway into the street either chasing a ball or riding a toy. Some of the most devastating motor vehicle accidents involving children occur in the driveway. Driveway safety statistics show that children who do survive sustain severe and permanent physical and brain injuries. In fact, the driveway is the second greatest killer of young children around the home. Driveway injuries can be prevented by: • Having a greater awareness of the danger • Following simple safety rules • Being more vigilance as parents Driveway safety is comprised of two categories Preventing your child from: • Being run over by a car backing out of the driveway • Running into the street while playing in the yard Prevent your child from being run over in the driveway One third of children under the age of six, who are involved in motor vehicle accidents, were killed in yards, parking lots and driveways. One and two year olds are most likely to be killed or injured in home driveways. The vehicle is usually moving slowly and is often being driven by a parent, relative or friend. A slow moving vehicle backing down a driveway can trap a child, and cause fatal crushing injuries. Children who do survive often suffer severe long-term injuries. Small children, particularly toddlers, can be impossible to see if they are directly behind a car. Most drivers are aware of their car’s ‘blind spots,’ and studies show that there is a large “blind spot” behind most cars, particularly when driving in reverse. Even cars with parking sensors or a video camera may not notice a small child until it is too late to stop. The greatest number of fatal driveway accidents occur on weekdays as opposed to weekends. They usually occur between 8:00am and 10:00am in the morning, and between 4:00pm and 6:00pm in the afternoon. Additionally, most of these accidents occur in good weather and bright conditions. Safety Steps • Always watch your children and never leave them alone while playing in the yard - especially near parked or moving vehicles • Ensure their safety by holding their hands or keeping them close to you • If you are home alone and need to move your vehicle, securely put your child in the car while you move it • Use security doors, fencing or gates for areas that exit your home to make access to the driveway difficult for young children • Walk around your vehicle before leaving an area where children have been playing • Never allow your unsupervised child use your driveway as a place to play • Create an alternative safe play area for your children Protecting Your Children from Running into the Street To deal with this driveway safety problem, many parents use their car to block the driveway or erect a temporary barrier out of wood or whatever else may be lying around the garage. Many of these barriers are not sturdy and children on riding toys can be injured if they collide with the barrier or car. A better driveway safety solution is called a driveway safety net. It extends across the bottom of your driveway. It is a low-cost, easy-to use portable mesh barrier that acts as a deterrent by preventing children and toys from leaving the driveway and entering the street. It also acts as a visual barrier to deter automobiles from entering the driveway where children are playing. This is especially important when cars parked on the street next to your driveway can impair a driver’s vision.

Nothing can replace parental supervision as the primary solution to child safety. Proactively watching our children can be a challenge, however it is better to meet the challenge than to suffer the consequences.

About The Author

V. Michael Santoro is founder of the Kids Safety Klub, a Website offering parents a blueprint for child safety. For information on the KIDCATCHER driveway safety net and other child safety topics, visit us at

Back Up Auto Sensor

The best solution for protecting your car when reversing is to install a back up auto sensor. By adding an infra red sensor to your rear bumper, you will be able to keep track of anything that is behind your car. By knowing what is hidden behind your car when you are going backwards, you will be able to avoid any accidental bumps that will cause damage to your vehicle.

It is almost impossible to see the details of everything behind your car when you are reversing. Thanks to the limited field of view provided by your mirror, and the shape of the rear of your car, seeing small or low objects such as the front of other cars, docks, and even small children can be extremely difficult.

If you cannot see objects, or are unaware of what is behind your car, you run the risk of bumping into it and either causing damage to your vehicle, or injury to any person who is behind you. This is where a back up auto sensor comes into play. These sensors act as your eyes, and work to detect any objects behind your car, and provide you with a warning before you hit them to prevent damage or injury.

Typically, a back up auto sensor takes the form of row of sensors across the rear bumper of your car connected to a warning device inside the car to let you know when you get too close to an object.

When reversing in a car, it is all too easy to be unaware of any small objects behind the car. If you have children, you will no doubt have had at least one scare when the kids have run out from behind the car when you are reversing. Just imagine if you had not been lucky. By having a back up auto sensor fixed to the rear of your car, you will give yourself peace of mind that you are not putting the lives of loved ones at risk.

Most sensors use an ultrasonic field that echoes off any objects in the way of your vehicle as you reverse, and then provide audible feedback to warn you as you close in on the object that is in your way. Basic back up auto sensors simply combine an alarm with the sensors to warn you, but more advanced models also include a visible display to give you an indication of how close you are getting to any static objects.

Fitting a back up auto sensor to your car can be a very straightforward process. All you need to do is fix the sensors to the rear of your car, and then connect it to the power supply and the internal warning device, whether this is an alarm, or a display screen.

In the past, many people have been put off purchasing a parking sensor for the rear of their car, because they thing that having the sensor devices on their bumper spoils the lines of their car, and is a little unsightly, but this is no longer the case.

To address these concerns, many manufacturers have now started to offer more discreet back up auto sensors which are concealed around the license plates at the back of the car. These are just as effective as the other models, but are less obvious on the back of your car.

You can choose from back up auto sensors that offer a simple audible alarm that beeps at an increasing rate as you close in on objects, through to much more advanced models that include a screen to display the exact distance to objects to make it completely clear to you just how close to something you are getting.

The latest versions can be integrated into the car more completely than ever, and include the possibility of having an LCD display as part of your existing rear view mirror that shows you the distance in either feet or metres.

If you want to make it simpler to park, reduce the risk of bumping into static objects when you are reversing, or protect other people when you are going backwards, fitting a back up auto sensor to the rear of your car will offer you the kind of warning that you need. The expense of bumping into someone else’s car can be quite high, and for a fraction of that cost, you can protect your self and keep your vehicle looking great.

Jason has been in the construction equipment and industrial sales business for over 10 years. He owns and operates Red Hill Supply to better serve the automotive and industrial industries. - Air Compressors.

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Preventing Auto Accidents

Recent studies show that Two out of ten drivers will be in an auto accident this year. Accidents happen everyday. Some accidents could have been prevented, but there are others that are unavoidable. So how does a driver help prevent accidents? First rule is to use common sense and obey the rules of the road. Be sure to driver defensively. Be sure to pay attention to the road and watch what other drivers are doing and what they might do. Be sure to always wear your safety belt. They don’t call it a safety belt for no reason. Also, be sure to avoid any distractions. Stay off your cell phone, don’t play with you ipod, blackberry and avoid texting while driving. Keep up with your vehicle maintenance. When was the last time how had your brakes checked? Are your brakes squeaking? If so, get them checked. Also be sure to check your tires regularly. Last but not least, to help prevent parking accidents, be sure to install rear sensors to the bumper of your vehicle. Parking Sensors let the driver know if he is about to back up into another vehicle, a pole, or a person.

An Officer Speaks Out About The Benefits Of Parking Sensors

A L.A.P.D. Officer who has decided to remain anonymous speaks out about the positive benefits of having parking sensors. The Officer has spent many years on the police force and has served for over half of his life. He comments, “With the aid of sensors on police vehicles, we could constantly be aware of what is behind the vehicle.”


“As Officers, we spend most of our job driving in police cars. The longer we are in a vehicle, the greater the risk we are at to be in an accident.”


“We often find ourselves getting into the vehicle quickly to proceed on emergency calls. Sensors on the vehicle would reduce the number of backing accidents by serving as an extra safeguard for the officers that drive in high stress situations.


“Repairs on the vehicle can be expensive. Vehicle parking sensors would pay for itself if it prevented one single accident or saved us from hitting pedestrians.”



Various Types Of Parking Sensors

There are several types of parking sensors to choose from. Some of the sensor kits contain anywhere from 2 to 6 sensors to install to the back of your vehicle. Some of the 4 sensor parking kits consist of a monitor, 4 sensors, and a main component.


The 6 sensor kit consist of a monitor, 6 sensors, and a main unit. 4 of the sensors are installed in the back, while the other 2 are installed in the front. The front sensors are activated when the driver presses the brakes. The two different monitors that usually come with the kit are LCD and VFD.


For more information on parking sensors, visit

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