Personal Injury Articles

New Data Shows Cell Phone Use Increases the Risk of a Crash or Near Crash Event

In a July 27, 2009 press release from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), the results of several large-scale, naturalistic driving studies were released. Naturalistic driving studies use cameras and other instrumentation installed in participants' vehicles. The studies were aimed at providing a clear picture of driver distraction while using cell phones under real world driving conditions and observed drivers for more than six (6) million miles of driving. 

The studies involved light vehicles and cars as well as heavy vehicles and trucks. Manual manipulation of cell phones, such as dialing and text messaging, had the highest risk of being involved in a crash or near crash event. VVTI compiled a snapshot of risk estimates in the table which is reproduced below.

Table: Cell phone task and risk of crash or near crash event when compared to non-distracted driving.
Light Vehicles/Cars
Dialing cell phone 2.8 times higher
Talking/listening to cell phone 1.3 times higher
Reaching for object (Ex: electronic device) 1.4 times higher
Heavy Vehicles/Trucks
Dialing cell phone 5.9 times higher
Talking/listening to cell phone 1.0 times higher
Use/reach for electronic device 6.7 times higher
Text messaging 23.2 times higher

Based on the results of the studies, VTTI made several recommendations including banning texting in moving vehicles for all drivers and a complete ban on all cell phone use for newly licensed teenage drivers.

Simulated Car Crashes Involving Pregnant Women Studied by Ford, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest

An estimated 300 to 1,000 fetal deaths in car and truck accidents occur each year. In response to this problem, Ford Motor Company funded a research project with the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Science (SBES) to gather data in support of future development of a computer model of a pregnant woman for virtual crash test simulations. Ultimately, the researchers endeavor to understand how crash forces affect pregnant women in particular.

New methods and techniques were developed to collect data from MRI and CT scans to determine accurate size and location of the uterus, placenta and fetus. The research project used virtual models to simulate regions of the body such as the head, neck, abdomen, rib cage, pelvis, thoracic and lumbar spine, arms and legs, and the internal organs of the chest and abdomen. To read the press release, click here.

Mass Transit Accidents Linked to Sleep Deprivation

Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder and can cause fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Most people who suffer from apnea don't even realize it. Apnea occurs when a person's air passages become blocked, thereby forcing the person to wake-up for a gasp of air. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has cited sleep apnea as the cause of many mass transit accidents involving planes, trains, trucks, buses and ships, several of which have been fatal. For instance, the NTSB has concluded that a November 2001 fatal train wreck in Clarkston, Michigan was caused by fatigue resulting from the engineer's untreated sleep apnea and the conductor's insufficiently treated apnea. Another accident the NTSB attributed to sleep apnea was a 2008 charter bus accident that killed nine (9) people in Mexican Hat, Utah. Recommendations to combat this problem include developing a standard medical examination to determine whether mass transit operators suffer from a sleep disorder.

More Pennsylvania Drivers are Uninsured

According to recent studies, a growing number of drivers are dropping their automobile insurance coverage or lowering the amount of coverage. The Insurance Research Council estimated that by 2010, 1 of every 6 drivers on U.S. roadways will likely be uninsured. The trend is arguably attributable to our souring economy with a nearly direct correlation between the unemployment rate and uninsured motorist rate.

Free Consultation

Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation about your personal injury legal needs.




Briefly Describe Circumstances:

Your information is confidential and is not sold for marketing purposes. We accept no duty and no representation without a written contract setting forth terms of representation.


Map Directions to our Office

Comerota Law, P.C.

7 South Main St Suite 221

Wilkes Barre, PA 18701

Phone: (570) 408-9880

Fax: (570) 408-9881

Get Directions