traffic accident

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In an accident resulting from excessive speed, this concrete truck rolled over into the front garden of a house. There were no injuries, but significant damage was caused.
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Minor collisions such as this one are the most common type of crash.


A car accident or car crash is an incident in which an automobile collides with anything that causes damage to the automobile, including other automobiles, telephone poles, buildings or trees, or in which the driver loses control of the vehicle and damages it in some other way, such as driving into a ditch or rolling over. Sometimes a car accident may also refer to an automobile striking a human or animal. Car crashes — also called road traffic accidents (RTAs), traffic collisions, auto accidents, road accidents, personal injury collisions, motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), — kill an estimated 1.2 million people worldwide each year, and injure about forty times this number (WHO, 2004). In the UK the Department of Transport publish road deaths in each type of vehicle. These statistics are available as "Risk of injury measured by percentage of drivers injured in a two car injury accident." These statistics show a ten to one ratio of in-vehicle accident deaths between the least safe and most safe models of car.

The statistics show that for popular, lightly built cars, occupants have a 6–8% chance of death in a two-car accident. (e.g. BMW 3 series 6%, Subaru Impreza 8%, Honda Accord 6%). Traditional "safety cars" such as the Volvos halve that chance (Volvo 700 4% incidence of death, Volvo 900 3%).

The Toyota Land Cruiser SUV has a 6% incidence of occupant death in actual crashes. However, in multiple-vehicle crashes SUVs are not much more lethal than passenger cars.

Although, rollovers are much more common in older SUVs as compared to passenger cars because of their top weight. For this reason SUVs actually post a greater threat to roll over and cause a fatality than passenger cars. Newer SUVs such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 have a lower center of gravity and enhanced stability control programs which lower the risk of rollover substantially.

Overall the four best vehicles to be in are the Jaguar XJ series 1%, Mercedes-Benz S-Class / SEC 1%, Land Rover Defender 1% and Land Rover Discovery 1%.

Motorcyclist deaths within England and Wales stand at 53% of the annual road death statistics. Scooters/mopeds up to 50 cc only account for 3% of those deaths. 2% of the scooter deaths were 16–19 year olds who had not taken CBT (Compulsory Basic Training). (Statistics taken from 2004/2005 DSA annual road deaths percentages)

Trends in collision statistics

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A Chevrolet Malibu involved in a rollover crash
Road toll figures show that car collision fatalities have declined since 1980, with most countries showing a reduction of roughly 50%. This drop appears to confirm the efficacy of safety measures introduced thereafter, assuming that driver behaviour has not changed significantly.

In the United States, fatalities have increased slightly from 40,716 in 1994 to 42,884 in 2003. However, in terms of fatalities per 100 million miles driven, the fatality rate has dropped 16% between 1995 and 2005. Injuries dropped 37% over the same period. (National Traffic Safety Administration, 2006)

It has been noted that road fatality trends closely follow the so-called "Smeed's law" (after RJ Smeed, its author), an empirical rule relating injury rates to the two-thirds power of car ownership levels. An analysis by John Adams can be found here.

Legal consequences

Car collisions usually carry legal consequences in proportion to the severity of the crash. Nearly all common law jurisdictions impose some kind of requirement that parties involved in a collision (even with only stationary property) must stop at the scene, and exchange insurance or identification information or summon the police. Failing to obey this requirement is referred to as hit and run and is generally a criminal offence. Most car claims are settled without using an attorney.

Parties involved in an incident may face criminal liability, civil liability, or both. Usually, the state starts a prosecution only if someone is severely injured or killed, or if one of the drivers involved was clearly grossly negligent or intoxicated or otherwise impaired at the time the accident occurred. Charges might include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, or murder; penalties range from fines to jail time to prison time to death (although the death penalty is not applicable in many jurisdictions). It is notable that the penalties for killing and injuring with motor vehicles are often very much less than for other actions with similar outcomes.

As for civil liability, automobile accident personal injury lawsuits have become the most common type of tort. Because these cases have been litigated often in the developed First World nations, the legal questions usually have been answered in prior judgments. So, the courts usually need to decide only the factual questions of who is at fault, and their percentage of fault, as well as how much must be paid out in damages to the injured plaintiff by the defendant's insurer.

Another element of liability involves the administrative fines or license suspension/revocation that may be imposed by civil or criminal authorities when a driver has violated the rules of the road and thus the terms of a driver's license. Such complaint may be filed by a police officer or sometimes by other witnesses of an incident. In some jurisdictions such administrative penalties, may be imposed through quasi-criminal infractions; other jurisdictions do not recognize infractions and charge all violations, at a minimum, as misdemeanors or felonies.

Backup collisions

Backup collisions happen when a driver reverses the car into an object, person, or other car. Although most cars come equipped with rear view mirrors which are adequate for detecting vehicles behind a car, they are inadequate on many vehicles for detecting small children or objects close to the ground, which fall in the car's blind spot. Large trucks have much larger blind spots that can hide entire vehicles and large adults.

According to research by Kids and Cars – an organization devoted to preventing (non-traffic) motor-vehicle-related deaths and injuries – 49% of the non-traffic, non-crash fatalities involving children under 15 from 2001–2005 were caused by vehicles backing up.

The CDC reported that from 2001–2003, an estimated 7,475 children (2,492 per year) under the age of 15 were treated for automobile back-over incidents.

In its “Deaths and Injuries Resulting from Certain Non-Traffic and Non-Crash Events,” report issued in May of 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that back-up collisions most often:
  • Occur in residential driveways and parking lots
  • Involve sport utility vehicles (SUVs) or small trucks
  • Occur when a parent, relative or someone known to the family is driving
  • Particularly affect children less than five years old
The driver of the car backing up and hitting an object, a person, or another car is usually considered to be at fault.

Prevention organizations suggest that parents use common sense, and also take safety measures such as installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of reverse backup sensors. Furthermore, safer backing up is done when the driver turns completely around and looks out of the rear window of the car, rather than relying on mirrors. This provides a wider field of vision and better control of the vehicle.

Collision prevention

Although many crashes are caused by behavior that is difficult to alter, by mechanical failure, or by road conditions, some technical solutions would automatically detect how close the driver is to the car in front and automatically adjust the car's acceleration to prevent the car from getting closer than the distance in which it can safely stop.
  • Sobriety detectors: These locks prevent the ignition key from working if the driver breathes into one and is shown to have consumed alcohol.
  • Drifting monitors: These devices monitor how close a vehicle is traveling to lane markers and, if it starts to drift toward or over the markers without the turn signal being activated, sounds an alarm.
The young and inexperienced drivers are by far the most likely to be involved in a car crash, and this has become an area of focus. Reasons suggested for this include inexperience combined with over-confidence, peer pressure, a desire to show off, and even neurological development arguments. In addition most serious collisions occur at night and when the car has multiple occupants. This has led to the following proposals:
  • A "curfew" imposed on young drivers to prevent them driving at night.
  • Requiring an experienced supervisor to chaperone the less experienced driver.
  • Forbidding the carrying of passengers.
  • Zero alcohol tolerance.
  • Compulsory advanced driving courses.
  • Vehicle restrictions (eg. 'high performance' vehicles)
  • Vehicle restrictions, not to flat windshield and pillar (car) for the best driver visibility angle.
  • Requiring a sign placed on the back of the vehicle to notify other drivers of a less-experienced individual in the driver's seat.
Some countries or states have already implemented some of these ideas. This increased risk for the young is known to the insurance companies, and premiums sometimes reflect that; however, very high premiums for young drivers do not seem to have had a significant impact on the crash statistics, suggesting that these drivers simply accept the high premiums as part of the "on road" costs of mobility or that age is not a factor in driver recklessness/skill.

See also

Footnotes

External links

automobile (from Greek auto, self and Latin mobile moving, a vehicle that moves itself rather than being moved by another vehicle or animal) or motor car (usually shortened to just car) is a wheeled passenger vehicle that carries its own motor.
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In physics, collision means the action of bodies striking or coming together (touching).

Dynamics

Collisions involve forces (there is a change in velocity). Collisions can be elastic, meaning they conserve energy and momentum, inelastic
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AB Volvo

Public ()
Founded 1926
Headquarters Gothenburg, Sweden

Key people Leif Johansson, President and CEO
Industry commercial vehicles
Products Trucks
Buses
Construction equipment
Automobiles
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Jaguar XJ is a luxury saloon sold under the British Jaguar luxury marque. The XJ was launched in 1968 and has served as the Jaguar flagship model for most of its production span which continues through to today.
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Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a series of large luxury flagship sedans produced by Mercedes-Benz, now a division of Daimler AG. The S-Class, a product of nine lines of Mercedes-Benz models dating since the mid-1950s, is the world's best-selling luxury flagship sedan.
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Land Rover Defender is a British four wheel drive Off-road utility vehicle. It is the product of continued development of the original utility Land Rover Series I launched in 1948.
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Discovery is a four wheel drive on-road and off-road vehicle from the British car maker Land Rover. There have been three generations of the vehicle, which is less expensive than the company's top Range Rover model.
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Smeed's Law, afterRJ Smeed who first proposed the relationship in 1949, is an empirical rule relating traffic fatalities to motor vehicle registrations and country population. Thus annually increasing traffic volume leads to a decrease in accidents per vehicle.
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In common law legal systems, the law is created and/or refined by judges: a decision in the case currently pending depends on decisions in previous cases and affects the law to be applied in future cases.
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Vehicle insurance (or auto insurance, car insurance, motor insurance) is insurance purchased for cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Its primary use is to provide protection against losses incurred as a result of traffic accidents.
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Identification can mean
  • Identification (psychoanalysis)
  • Recognition of human individuals
  • An identity document
  • Identification (information)
  • Identification (parameter), in statistics and econometrics, how parameters can be inferred from data

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Police are agents or agencies empowered to enforce the law and to effect public and social order through the legitimate use of force. The term is most commonly associated with police departments of a state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a
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Hit-and-Stop via snail is the crime of colliding with a person, their personal property (including their motor vehicle), or a fixture, and failing to stop and identify oneself afterwards.
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An attorney is someone who represents someone else in the transaction of business:
  • For attorney-at-law, see attorney at law, advocate, lawyer, solicitor, barrister or civil law notary.
  • For attorney-in-fact, see power of attorney.

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Criminal law
Part of the common law series
Elements of crimes
Actus reus  · Causation  · Concurrence
Mens rea  · Intention (general)
Intention in English law  · Recklessness
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Civil law, as opposed to criminal law, refers to that branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals and/or organisations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim.
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A state is a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area. It usually includes the set of institutions that claim the authority to make the rules that govern the people of the society in that territory, though its status as a state often depends in part on
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worldwide view of the subject.
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The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries adopting the common law adversarial system or the civil law inquisitorial
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Intoxication is the state of being affected by one or more psychoactive drugs. It can also refer to the effects caused by the ingestion of poison or by the overconsumption of normally harmless substances.
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alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. The general formula for a simple acyclic alcohol is CnH2n+1OH.
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drug, broadly speaking, is a substance used as a medicine or narcotic.[1] There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in medicine, government regulations, and colloquial usage.[2]

In pharmacology, Dictionary.
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Criminal law
Part of the common law series
Elements of crimes
Actus reus  · Causation  · Concurrence
Mens rea  · Intention (general)
Intention in English law  · Recklessness
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weapon is a tool used to injure, incapacitate, or kill an adversary.[1][2] Weapons may be used to attack and defend, and consequently also to threaten or protect. Metaphorically, anything used to damage (even psychologically) can be referred to as a weapon.
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worldwide view of the subject.
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Criminal law
Part of the common law series
Elements of crimes
Actus reus  · Causation  · Concurrence
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Crimes



Classes of crime
Infraction  · Misdemeanor  · Felony
Summary  · Indictable  · Hybrid


Against the person
Assault  · Battery
Extortion  · Harassment
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Jail, or gaol (especially in Australia), or remand prison, is a correctional institution used to detain persons who are in the lawful custody of the government.
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prison, penitentiary, or correctional facility is a place in which individuals are physically confined or interned and usually deprived of a range of personal freedoms.
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Capital punishment, also called the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences.
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lawsuit is a civil action brought before a court in which the party commencing the action, the plaintiff, seeks a legal remedy. One or more defendants are required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint.
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Tort law
Part of the common law series
Negligence
Duty of care  · Standard of care
Proximate cause  · Res ipsa loquitur
Calculus of negligence  · Eggshell skull
Negligent emotional distress
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