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Myths about sleep and drowsy driving

Urban legends can have extraordinarily long lives. Consider some myths about sleep that science and logic have been unable to extinguish: the belief that "you swallow a few spiders every year while you sleep" and that during sleep, your brain rests (in fact, your body rests but your brain stays active). There are sleep myths regarding driving, too: if you're driving while drowsy, you can turn up the radio or roll down the windows to stay awake.

The reality is that the only real way to fix drowsy driving is to get some sleep. Turning up the music volume or the air conditioning simply does not keep drivers awake and safe from motor vehicle crashes.

Teen drivers with teen passengers are a hazard to all ages

Sometimes, when statistics meet the human beings behind them, both seem to come into focus and we wish they hadn’t.

On Highway 47 in Lincoln County this August 11, a car carrying five teenage boys hit a tree, killing two 16-year-old passengers and seriously injuring another. None of the three were wearing seatbelts. Two other teenaged occupants, including the driver, were wearing seatbelts and suffered moderate to minor injuries.

Missouri motorcyclist killed in left-turn crash

If you drive west of St. Louis for about an hour, you will come to Washington, Missouri. The town of about 14,000 was the site of a recent fatal motorcycle crash.

According to law enforcement officials, a 22-year-old man from nearby Marthasville was traveling south on Highway 47 when a SUV going north made a left turn and struck the motorcycle.

PTSD? It was just a fender bender.

Unfortunate as it sounds, most of us are at risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident at some point. Weather conditions and distractions could produce undesirable results no matter how cautious you are, how well you maintain your vehicle or the amount of focus you dedicate to the road.

Some people experience serious injuries during an accident, and far too many people lose their lives in collisions each year. If you’ve been involved in a fender bender, you probably think it wasn’t a big deal, outside of the cost of repairs and hassle with insurance. However, did you know it is possible to experience psychological effects because of a minor traffic incident?

Missouri family and town lose two members in violent crash

About 250 miles southwest of St. Louis sits the small rural town of Reeds Spring, Missouri, just a few miles northwest of Branson. The town of about 900 residents is grieving the loss of two of its residents – a 41-year-old man and 39-year-old woman. They were killed in a crash with a 19-year-old male relative from central Illinois, law enforcement officials told a newspaper.

The 29-year-old Missouri driver of the vehicle that struck theirs has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder in the fatal motor vehicle crash, police said. Law enforcement officials said they believe the Springfield man’s excess speed and reckless driving caused the violent collision.

By the numbers: War versus car crashes

We recently read a news article that contained a statistic that we think will amaze most of our St. Louis Personal Injury Blog readers: more Americans have died in car crashes since 2000 than died in both World War I and World War II.

Unsurprisingly, the most common causes of those senseless deaths on U.S. streets and highways were speeding, driving drunk and distracted driving.

Mom, twin baby daughters die in interstate truck tragedy

Sometimes there are terrible events that simply take your breath away. We read recently of an interstate tractor-trailer crash that killed a young mother and her infant twin daughters.

The 29-year-old mom and 18-month-old girls were killed when an 18-wheeler slammed into the back of their vehicle. Law enforcement officials have charged a Missouri truck driver with three counts of reckless homicide for his role in the violent, multivehicle crash.

Safety experts: Tractor-trailer underrides overdue for fix

Passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers travel on the same streets, highways and interstates, but the two vehicle types are completely mismatched. The bottom of an 18-wheeler is higher than the hood of the passenger vehicle, however.

When the two collide on a St. Louis street or interstate, the first point of impact between the large truck and the car is not the so-called crumple zone of the smaller vehicle, but the windshield. That means that in a collision with a large commercial truck, the smaller vehicle goes underneath the larger one, with car occupants subject to death or horrific injuries to the head and upper body.

Three defensive driving techniques to keep you out of trouble

Summer is in full bloom. Most days, the skies are warm, sunny and clear. It’s easy to forget that the roads can be every bit as deadly in the summer sun as in a winter snowstorm.

Drivers can get into accidents at any time, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) recently reminded us of the fact by releasing the 4th of July holiday weekend. Over the long weekend, troopers reported to 376 crashes and dealt with 139 injuries. Twelve people died.

Crashes in Missouri road construction zone leave two injured

If you due west of St. Louis for about two and a half hours, you will find yourself in Cole County, home to Missouri’s capital, Jefferson City. The county was also recently the site of a multivehicle work-zone crash that left two people injured, including one with injuries described as serious.

The Missouri Highway Patrol said a chain reaction was triggered a vehicle driven by a 38-year-old woman slammed into the rear of a 63-year-old woman’s vehicle. The latter vehicle then hit the car in front of it, which then hit another vehicle and so on. Five vehicles were involved in the series of collisions in the construction zone.

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