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Washington Joins States with Declining Car Accident Death Rates

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on July 3, 2012

The rate of deaths in car accidents nationwide has been dropping dramatically over the past several years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Washington, like many states, has seen a decrease in traffic deaths in recent years as well.

Car Crash Fatalities Washington
2009, 2010, and 2011 all saw record decreases in car accident deaths. From 2009 to 2010, the number of deaths dropped 2.9 percent, from 33,883 to 32,885 – the lowest number since 1949, when 30,246 motorists lost their lives. Since then, however, the number of vehicle miles traveled every year on U.S. roads has increased dramatically but the number of deaths has not, indicating that per mile traveled, our roads are safer than they were in 1949. Read the rest »

NHTSA Considers Changes to Crash-Test Ratings

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on January 13, 2012

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering changes to its five-star crash test rating system that would include ratings for crash avoidance technologies installed in vehicles, according to a recent article in Motor Trend magazine.

The proposed changes to the system consider technology like forward crash avoidance and lane-change signaling systems when rating a vehicle’s safety. These technologies use sensors to tell how close the vehicle is to one in front of it or whether the vehicle is drifting out of its lane and warn the driver if distance or drifting are likely to cause an auto accident. Read the rest »

Understanding Accident-Induced Low Back Pain

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on January 9, 2012

Low back pain is the second most common neurological condition in the United States, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Men and women are equally affected by low back pain, and they are more likely to develop the condition between the ages of 30 and 50. Car accidents are a major source of low back pain.

In a car accident, the body may be thrown violently forward, backward, or to the side, causing a number of different auto accident injuries. Although wearing a seat belt can decrease the damage caused by this force, it is often enough to cause stress to the complex structures in the low back. Muscles, nerves, soft tissue, spinal vertebrae, and the cartilage discs that cushion the vertebrae can all be affected. Some of these structures, especially the discs and soft tissue, may take a long time to heal or may be permanently damaged, especially in older people. Read the rest »

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