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Older Cyclists Prone to Injury: Study

TUESDAY, Nov. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More bicyclists on the road make cycling safer, but head and face injuries still occur, a new study finds.

From 2008 to 2017, even as the number of bike riders increased, the number of head and face injuries stayed steady, according to researchers from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

"We believe this may be due to a safety-in-n...

Almost Half of Americans Have Been Sleepy Behind the Wheel

MONDAY, Oct. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of American adults admit that they've fought to stay awake while driving, a new survey finds.

Of the more than 2,000 respondents, 45% said they'd struggled to remain awake while behind the wheel, while 48% said they'd never driven drowsy, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) survey conducted in Septem...

More Teens Learning to Drive in Safer Conditions

THURSDAY, Oct. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could America's roads become safer in the future?

Maybe.

A new online survey involving just over 1,400 participants showed that a growing number of American teens are getting their driver's license before age 18, which means more of them are learning to drive under supervised conditions.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Saf...

Train Tracks Deadly for Kids, But Many Parents Underestimate the Danger

TUESDAY, Sept. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Think the chances that your kid could be hit by a train are slim to none?

New research suggests you should think again.

Issued to coincide with "Rail Safety Week," the Sept. 23 report finds that, on average, a child dies of a train-related injury somewhere in the United States every five days. And for every death, another three chi...

Bans Not Keeping Drivers With Implanted Defibrillators off the Road

TUESDAY, Sept. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- One in three patients who have implanted devices for irregular heartbeats still drive, despite being banned from getting behind the wheel, a new Danish study finds.

It looked at more than 2,500 patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), which deliver an electric shock to correct potentially deadly abnormal heart rhythms.

E-Scooters Plus Drinking: A Fast-Pass to the ER?

THURSDAY, Aug. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking and driving an electric scooter doesn't mix, according to a new study.

Researchers reported serious injuries like brain bleeding or fractures that have happened while riding an electric scooter (e-scooter). Alcohol and drugs were a factor in many of these crashes.

"E-scooters may look like fun and games, but it's a vehicle...

Running Red Lights a Deadly Practice That's Becoming More Common

THURSDAY, Aug. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Everyone has done it: breezing through a red light at the last minute. But a new report shows that deaths caused by drivers taking that chance are on the rise in the United States.

There were 939 people killed in red light running crashes in 2017, a 10-year high and a 28% increase since 2012, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safet...

Don't Drink and Drive on the Fourth

THURSDAY, July 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The Fourth of July holiday is one of the most deadly times on America's roads, so Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is urging everyone to avoid drinking and driving.

"Celebrating our nation's independence with backyard barbecues, fireworks displays and other festivities should be fun, not dangerous," said Bob Garguilo, executive director o...

Less Pain, More Car Crashes: Legalized Marijuana a Mixed Bag

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If Colorado is any indication, the legalization of marijuana does not come without health hazards.

New research shows that while it led to a decline in hospitalizations for chronic pain, there were increases in traffic crashes, alcohol abuse and drug overdoses in the state. However, there was no significant increase in overall hospital admiss...

2 of 3 Parents Read Texts While Driving

MONDAY, May 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite countless public service messages warning against texting and driving, more than two-thirds of parents have read a text while behind the wheel and roughly half have written a text while driving, a new survey finds.

Millennial parents were more likely to report distracted driving behaviors, such as reading a text. But both millennial pa...

Bans on Texting While Behind the Wheel Making Roads Safer

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When a state bans texting while driving, will the number of car crash victims showing up in its emergency rooms drop?

New research suggests the answer is yes.

In the study, states that have full bans in place had an average of 8 percent fewer car crash victims seen in emergency rooms.

"People tend to think of these bans a...

The Moose: A Rare But Often Deadly Road Hazard

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's a good thing U.S. drivers are less likely to hit a moose than a deer. Because a run-in with a majestic bull moose is a whole lot deadlier, a new study finds.

The reason is simple -- moose are much larger than deer. Moose weigh 800 to 1,300 pounds and can reach 6 feet, 6 inches at the shoulder. When a car hits a moose, the impact is typ...

Beware of Drowsy Driving as Daylight Saving Time Begins

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The switch to Daylight Saving Time can increase the risk of driver fatigue and crashes, but there are a number of ways to reduce the danger, an expert says.

"Any time change can exacerbate drowsiness because your internal clock has not adjusted to the time change. This can lead to disruptions in sleep until your body adjusts, which can take a...

More Car Crashes Tied to Drivers High on Opioids

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The damage wrought by the opioid epidemic has spread to America's highways, with the percentage of fatal car crashes involving a driver who was high on the powerful painkillers tripling in the past 25 years.

Study co-author Dr. Guohua Li said the finding "adds important information for understanding the ripple effects of the opioid epidemic, ...

Where Marijuana Is Legal, Many Teens Drive While High

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In states where marijuana is legal, teens smoking pot and then getting behind the wheel of a car is common, a new study finds.

"There's a general public zeitgeist that marijuana is a pretty safe drug," said study co-author Darin Erickson, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health.

"In actuality...

Opioids Now More Deadly for Americans Than Traffic Accidents

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time in history, Americans' risk of dying from an opioid overdose is higher than their risk of dying in a car accident, the National Safety Council reported Monday.

The chances of dying from an accidental opioid overdose in the United States are now 1 in 96, compared to a 1 in 103 risk of dying in a traffic crash, according to th...

Many Medical Marijuana Patients Drive While High

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Medical marijuana may help the thousands of Americans who use it, but far too many of these folks are getting behind the wheel while high, new research shows.

In a poll of medical marijuana patients in Michigan, more than half acknowledged having driven within two hours of consuming a cannabis treatment at least once during the prior six mon...

More U.S. Kids Dying From Guns, Car Accidents

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Car crashes and guns have been the two leading killers of kids in the United States for decades, and deaths from both causes are on the rise.

More children have been dying from motor vehicle crashes and firearms injuries since 2013, a new report shows.

Car crashes accounted for 20 percent of all deaths for children aged 19 and you...

Road Rules on Smartphone Use Are Saving Bikers' Lives, Too

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People in cars aren't the only ones who benefit from distracted driving laws: Research shows drops in motorcyclist deaths after such legislation is passed.

In the new study, researchers analyzed 2005-2015 data from across the United States and found that motorcyclist death rates in states with moderate to strong bans on drivers' use of cell...

Seniors on Multiple Meds a Driving Hazard

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many older drivers take medications known to raise the risk of a crash, a new study shows.

It found that nearly 50 percent of older adults who drive use seven or more medications. Nearly 20 percent take what are called potentially inappropriate medications because they have limited benefits, pose excess risk of harm, or both.

Most...

Bringing Baby in a Lyft, Uber? Child Car Seats Are Rarely Included

FRIDAY, Nov. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There are wide variations between states when it comes to child restraint rules for ride-share services such as Lyft and Uber, researchers report.

This can cause uncertainty and confusion for parents and other caregivers. Ride-share vehicles typically don't come with a car seat, and an option to request one is available only in some cities, the...

Sleepy Drivers Involved in 100,000 Crashes a Year

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Driving under the influence and distracted driving are well-known hazards, but few people think twice about getting behind the wheel when feeling drowsy, a sleep expert warns.

"Drivers can reduce the danger by being aware of risk factors and taking precautions," said Dr. Praveen Rudraraju, who directs the Center for Sleep Medicine at Norther...

Kids' Pedestrian Death Rate Rises on Halloween: Study

TUESDAY, Oct. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Trick-or-treating is a Halloween tradition that can quickly turn disastrous, with new research showing a more than 40 percent spike in pedestrian deaths on the spooky holiday.

Kids wearing dark costumes, zigzagging across streets and popping out between parked cars are potentially tragic targets for drivers rushing home after work, explained ...

Drowsy Driving as Risky as Drunk Driving

FRIDAY, Oct. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Getting too little sleep at night? If so, your odds for a car crash are rising, new research suggests.

Crash risk is highest if you get fewer than four hours of shuteye a night, scientists found. That's like driving with a blood alcohol concentration roughly 1.5 times the legal limit, the researchers explained.

But even those who slee...

Many Drivers Rely Too Much on New Car Safety Features

THURSDAY, Sept. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- New cars are now coming out with high-tech safety features designed to prevent crashes. But if you don't know how they work you could be inviting an accident, new research suggests.

These advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) -- including blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning and lane-keeping assist -- can, when used prope...

More Needs to be Done to Keep Teen Drivers Safe, Pediatricians Say

MONDAY, Sept. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Following years of decline, fatal car accidents involving teen drivers have accelerated in the United States, a leading group of U.S. pediatricians warns.

New research also reveals that teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in a serious or deadly crash than any other age group, notes the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The ...

Can Teen Drivers Be Scared Into Safe Driving?

MONDAY, Sept. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Is it possible that showing teenagers the real-life consequences of risky driving might make them safer drivers?

Maybe, a small study suggests.

Taking teens to the emergency room, intensive care unit and morgue increased their awareness of the results of unsafe driving. But the researchers couldn't prove that the teens actually beca...

Pediatricians Make Change to Child Car Seat Guidelines

THURSDAY, Aug. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Kids should ride in rear-facing car safety seats until they reach the highest height and weight their seat can hold, a leading pediatricians' group now says.

The previous advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics was to stop using a rear-facing seat when a child was 2 years old.

"Fortunately, car seat manufacturers have creat...

Cellphone Use Puts Pedestrians Off-Balance

TUESDAY, Aug. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Cellphone users blundering into signs, lampposts, other people and traffic have become a recurring sidewalk sight in many places.

And now, new video analysis reveals the extent to which cellphones interfere with a person's ability to hoof it from here to there.

Cellphone use drastically alters a pedestrian's balance, coordination an...

Don't Turn Into a July 4 Highway Statistic

FRIDAY, June 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The National Safety Council has a sobering forecast for this Fourth of July.

It estimates that 18,600 people could be seriously injured on U.S. roads and 164 could be killed -- nearly 4 percent more than the number of deaths (157) that occurred in 2012, the last time July 4 fell on Wednesday.

"Independence Day should be about spendin...

Cataract Surgery Tied to Fewer Car Crashes for Seniors

THURSDAY, June 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Data on more than half a million Canadian seniors shows that traffic accident rates fall after drivers undergo a needed cataract surgery.

The effect was relatively modest -- about a 9 percent decline -- but suggest that "improvements in visual function from cataract surgery are associated with decreased driving risks," according to a team l...

Many Young People With Autism Can Become Safe Drivers: Study

TUESDAY, June 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Letting any teen behind the wheel of a car is nerve-wracking for parents, but if your teen has autism, you may wonder if driving is even possible.

Well, a new study offers some comfort because it found that kids with autism who aren't intellectually disabled are probably capable of driving a car safely, though they may need more practice time...

More Teens Dying, With Drugs and Violence to Blame

FRIDAY, June 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A perfect storm of murder, addiction and carelessness has fueled a recent and troubling increase in deaths among U.S. children and teens, a new government report shows.

The total death rate for those aged 10 to 19 rose 12 percent between 2013 and 2016, mostly due to an increase in deaths from accidental injury, homicide and suicide, researchers...

Pot, Opioids Now Rival Alcohol as Factor in Driver Deaths

THURSDAY, May 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Pot and opioids have become almost as deadly as booze for drivers, a new report shows.

Forty-four percent of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for drugs in 2016, up from 28 percent 10 years prior, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

Among drivers killed in car crashes in 2016 who tested positive for...

Tough State Drunk Driving Laws Save Lives

TUESDAY, May 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- States that get tough on drunk driving see drops in alcohol-related car crash deaths, new research shows.

About 30 percent of deaths in car crashes occur when one or more drivers has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher -- the legal definition of driving while impaired in the United States, the investigators explained. An additional...

Closed Cars Can Become Deathly Hot in Minutes

THURSDAY, May 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It only takes 60 minutes for a car parked in the sun to become a death trap for a 2-year-old child, a new study finds.

An hour in direct sunshine is enough to cause potentially deadly hyperthermia, said study lead author Jennifer Vanos.

And what about a car parked in the shade?

Two hours can prove fatal, said Vanos, an ass...

Teens Willing to 'Cash In' on Curbing Cellphone Use While Driving

WEDNESDAY, May 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens love their cellphones, but that love affair can turn deadly when they climb behind the wheel of a car.

But new research suggests that financial incentives and other measures might help to dissuade young drivers from texting while driving.

Many teens who admit to texting while driving said they'd be receptive to cash rewards or...

Hit-and-Run Deaths on the Rise

THURSDAY, April 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Hit-and-run deaths in the United States reached a record high in 2016, a new report shows.

"Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction," said David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

"Our analysis shows that hit-and-run crashes are a growing traffic safety challenge...

Even When You Think You're Not Sleepy, Your Car Crash Risk Rises

WEDNESDAY, April 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You might be a drowsy driver without knowing it, and new research finds that can make you more dangerous on the road.

People who suffer from chronic sleep apnea are more likely to crash, the study showed: For those with severe apnea, the increased risk hit 123 percent, while those with mild to moderate sleep apnea saw their risk go up by 1...

Rear-Facing Car Seats Protect Tots in Crashes From Behind: Study

TUESDAY, April 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Rear-facing car seats provide effective protection for children in rear-end crashes, researchers say.

Previous studies have shown that rear-facing car seats significantly reduce infant and toddler injuries and deaths in front- and side-impact crashes. But there has been little data on rear-end crashes, which represent more than one-quarter of...

That Motorcycle Helmet Just May Save Your Spine

TUESDAY, March 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A good helmet not only protects your skull if you crash your motorcycle, it can also reduce the risk of cervical spine injuries, researchers found.

The finding counters claims by some that helmets do not protect against such injuries and may even increase the risk of injury, according to a team from the department of neurological surgery at ...

Have Smartphones, Pot Become Deadly for Pedestrians?

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For the second year in a row, U.S. pedestrian deaths hit highs not seen in decades, new data shows.

Greater use of marijuana and smartphones may be the reason why, the research suggests.

The annual pedestrian death tolls in 2016 (5,987) and 2017 (5,984) should serve as a warning, said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Gov...

Driving May Be Risky Business on 4/20 Pot Holiday

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- America's highways are decidedly less safe on April 20, a day when stoners publicly celebrate marijuana use.

Why? Researchers report there's an uptick in fatal traffic crashes on that evening, which for decades has been a counterculture holiday revolving around pot use.

Your risk of dying in a fatal wreck increases about 12 percent o...

Sleepy Drivers May Be Causing More Crashes Than Thought

THURSDAY, Feb. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Driver fatigue causes many more car accidents in the United States than previously estimated, a new report suggests.

The finding comes from an analysis of several months' worth of video recordings taken of nearly 3,600 Americans while they were driving. During that time, participating drivers were involved in 700 accidents.

All part...

Reduce Legal Blood-Alcohol Limit to Cut Drunk Driving Deaths: Report

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Lower legal blood alcohol levels for drivers are needed to eliminate drunk driving deaths in the United States, according to a new report.

All states should lower legal blood alcohol levels for drivers from 0.08 to 0.05 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reported.

...

Child Death Rate Higher in U.S. Than Other Wealthy Nations

MONDAY, Jan. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The United States has had the smallest decline in child death rates among wealthy nations over the past 50 years, despite spending more on health care per child than the other countries, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed child death rates from 1961 to 2010 in the United States and 19 other economically similar countries, including Canada,...

Getting Self-Driving Cars on the Road Soon Might Save Lives

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The sooner driverless cars make their way onto American roadways, the sooner thousands of lives will be saved each year, a new report suggests.

For that reason, the RAND Corporation research team that did the analysis is cautioning against delaying the introduction of driverless cars -- which they call "highly automated vehicles" (HAVs) -- und...

Does Your Medication Make You a Worse Driver?

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Is that sleeping pill you took last night making it tougher for you to drive in the daytime? What about a heart medication? Or a new antidepressant?

New research shows that many people taking prescription drugs aren't aware that their meds could impair their ability to drive.

"Most are aware of the potential dangerous side effects ...