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Newer pickups neglect passenger safety, says IIHS report

West Virginia drivers who own modern two-row pickup trucks should know about some crash tests done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The IIHS performed both driver-side and passenger-side small overlap frontal collision tests to see how the two sides can withstand a collision with a vehicle or other object. The results were uneven, with passengers seeing an increased chance of injury/death than drivers.

Eleven pickups were involved, and each one received a rating from "poor" to "good" regarding driver- and passenger-side safety. Only three of the pickups had a passenger side that scored "good" -- the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan. The rest were plagued with passenger sides that "struggled to maintain their structure" upon impact.

NTSB: limos should require lap and shoulder belts for all

If they intend to take a limousine somewhere in West Virginia, people should know what the current safety standards are like for these vehicles. Many limousines are modified to the point that they can be considered mid-sized trucks. As a result, they are exempt from the seating and seat belt standards that apply to traditional vehicles.

The National Transportation Safety Board believes that this is not an ideal situation, especially in the light of an October 2018 limousine crash that left 20 people dead, including the driver and 17 passengers. In its investigation of the crash, the NTSB found that none of the passengers were wearing lap or shoulder belts. The limousine, a 2001 Ford Excursion, had side- and rear-facing bench seats that could not withstand the impact of the crash.

What happens when a prescription medicine causes you harm?

When you go to a West Virginia doctor, you probably assume that he or she has your best interests in mind and will do everything possible to help you achieve your best level of health possible. This includes getting the right diagnosis, planning the right kind of treatment and giving you right type of medication. You probably trust that the medication you are getting is right for you, but what if it actually causes you harm?

There are times when prescription medication can cause you significant harm. This happens more than you may think, and it often happens as a result of misdiagnosis, mistakes in the prescription writing process and complications with other medications. If you suffered harm as a result of dangerous medications or something your doctor prescribed, you could have legal options available to you.

Tips for preventing car crashes in West Virginia

Some 40,000 people died in car crashes in 2018. While this represented a 1% decrease from the previous year, the number is still high. Car crashes also led to 4.5 million cases of injury last year. With one person being injured in an auto accident every seven seconds, it's more important than ever to practice safe driving. Below are five simple tips to consider.

First, drivers should ensure that their vehicle, especially the engine and brakes, are well-maintained. It's also wise to check for any airbag issues or loose electrical connections. An auto repair shop could easily handle these steps. Second, drivers should be careful not to drink and drive. Before heading to a party, they could perhaps designate a sober driver.

Parents are concerned about teenage distracted driving

West Virginia residents may be interested in learning what a recent study revealed about distracted teen drivers. Most parents know that when a teenager gets their license, they are excited to be behind the wheel, but parents are concerned about their child using safe driving practices. This is why recent research has caught the eyes of some parents.

A study in the University of Michigan showed that teenagers who drive with friends in the car are more easily distracted. Sixty percent of the parents included in this study said that their children told them their friends had driven distracted at one point or another. This study underscores the importance of instilling safe driving habits in children right away.

Increased trucking regulations could save lives

Truck crashes can be devastating for people in West Virginia. Because of the massive size and weight of these vehicles, the effects of a collision are far more likely to be severely damaging or even deadly to others on the road. In 2017, 4,102 people were killed in trucking accidents across the country and many thousands more were seriously injured. Indeed, 82% of people killed in these crashes were drivers or passengers in other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists.

Many people lose their lives in truck crashes when they are crushed in the open space on the side of the truck between its front and rear wheels. Between 2005 and 2009, 559 pedestrians and bicyclists lost their lives in these types of collisions. Internationally, side-impact truck crashes have been identified as a danger to others on the road. Countries around the world have mandated the installation of side guards on large, 18-wheeler trucks to prevent people from being crushed underneath in a side-impact trucking collision. These regulations have been backed up by studies in Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In the U.K., cyclist deaths in trucking collisions dropped by 61% following the mandate for truck side guards.

Why are there so many crashes at intersections?

Did you know that nearly half of all crashes occur at intersections? According to the Federal Highway Administration, this puts them in second place only to rear-end collisions when it comes to how often they happen. You would think that with so many traffic control devices such as signals and signs that wouldn't be the case.

Intersection accidents are almost entirely preventable as evidenced by the fact that no less than 96% of these wrecks happen because of driver inattention or error. The more you know about why the majority of intersection accidents occur, the better your chances are of not becoming part of the annual statistics.

Red-light running crashes lead to 939 deaths in 2017

There were 939 deaths resulting from red-light running crashes in 2017: the highest that the number has been in a decade. In 65% of these crashes, it is someone other than the offending driver who dies. Reckless, impatient and distracted drivers in West Virginia and across the U.S. are to blame for this trend, but that doesn't mean that others can do nothing to protect themselves.

Other drivers may be hit by a red-light runner if, for example, they dart out too quickly the moment a red light turns green. Though they may not be to blame, they could have still prevented the collision if they paused for a moment before accelerating. To stay safe, drivers should also monitor any stale green lights and cover their brake when entering an intersection. Tapping the brakes a few times can alert any distracted drivers behind them.

Study shows majority of drivers still driving distractedly

A study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance indicates that aggressive and distracted driving habits vary by the geography and age group of the driver. Despite widespread campaigns to combat distracted driving in West Virginia, the phenomenon is still a major problem. According to a Liberty Safe Driving Expert, anything that draws the driver's attention away from the immediate task of driving is dangerous, including hands-free technology.

Hands-free technology may even make the problem worse by providing drivers with the illusion that they are not being distracted, though their attention is not fully on the road. Even using voice commands to control apps and other options on a vehicle's infotainment system is a draw on the driver's cognition. Voice commands may keep drivers from looking at their phones, but they also take the driver's mind off the road. The Liberty study broke drivers down into generational age groups. Baby Boomers, Millennials and Generation Xers were asked about how often they were driving while distracted. They were also asked how they saw other drivers.

Subaru Crosstrek most crash-prone car despite high safety rating

Among newer vehicle models, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek sees the most number of at-fault crashes. This is according to a survey from Insurfy. The vehicle insurance comparison website looked into its database of more than 1.6 million insurance quotes came up with a list of 10 vehicles that are especially crash-prone. Residents of West Virginia should know that accidents have affected 13.64% of all vehicles in its database.

Analysts found that 25.81% of Crosstreks are involved in accidents. This was followed by the Honda HR-V, of which 25.7% have been affected by a collision. The list goes on with the Hyundai Elantra GT, Infiniti Q50, Subaru WRX, Mazda3, Acura ILX, Lexus CT, Chevrolet Trax and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

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