You were traveling down the road when you looked up to see another driver crossing your path. The driver crossed the center line and was heading straight for you. You honked and tried to swerve, but there was no way to avoid the accident.
Kentucky drivers may be interested in some national statistics concerning traffic accidents. In 2012, there were more than 33,000 deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition, close to 7,000 people across the country each day have to visit the hospital as a result of a vehicle collision. Of these, 200,000 each year are admitted to a hospital for treatment for accident-related injuries.
As Kentucky motorists may know, car accidents, particularly those in which the vehicle is struck from behind, may result in whiplash. Such injuries might injure cervical musculature and may cause damage to ligaments and vertebrae in the cervical spine. Whiplash is due to the motion that the neck endures when the head snaps back and forth. Neck strains result in damage to the tendons, muscles or tissues that link the muscle to the vertebrae. The actual symptoms may be delayed for one day or more after the injury occurs. This may make it difficult to begin treatment, delaying beneficial steps at preventing more damage.
Any type of distraction while driving can be dangerous, and sending or reading a text message can distract the driver for a few seconds or longer. This can create a lot of trouble for the other drivers on the road. According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all crashes that caused injuries or fatalities in 2010. Along with this information, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute discovered that the risk of an accident is 23 times higher while a driver is texting than when a driver is not distracted.
While most recent media campaigns and distracted driving research has focused on texting and driving, it turns out that rowdiness and loud conversations may be dangerous, too. The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, worked with 52 teenage drivers, many of whom had just received their licenses.