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QuoteWizard names Columbus, Ohio, as most car accident prone city in U.S.

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SEATTLE —  With the holiday travel season officially here, QuoteWizard, an online insurance comparison marketplace, Thursday released a new proprietary study on the 25 most car accident prone cities in the country.

From highest to lowest, here are the 25 cities with the highest rates of car crashes:

  1. Columbus, Ohio
  2. St. Louis
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Sacramento, California
  5. New Orleans
  6. Charlotte, North Carolina
  7. Columbia, South Carolina
  8. Washington
  9. Baltimore
  10. Greenville, South Carolina
  11. Portland, Oregon
  12. Salt Lake City
  13. Omaha
  14. New York
  15. Atlanta
  16. San Diego
  17. Richmond, Virginia
  18. Louisville, Kentucky
  19. Bakersfield, California
  20. Hartford, Connecticut
  21. Boston
  22. Durham, North Carolina
  23. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  24. Riverside, California
  25. Birmingham, Alabama

“Car crashes are, sadly, all too common across the country. But crash rates vary quite a bit from city to city. Whether it’s distracted driving, lousy roads, bad drivers, or a combination of all three, drivers in some cities seem to crash more often than others,” says Adam Johnson, QuoteWizard content manager. “QuoteWizard analyzed over a million datapoints on drivers in America to find out where people are getting into accidents at the highest rates.”

QuoteWizard sampled incident data (with more than one million data points) from drivers who used its services. To quantify overall driver standards for comparison, QuoteWizard then weighted the accident counts for each city with frequency to determine accident rates.

The following is the commentary about each of the top five cities as printed in the study report.

Columbus, Ohio                                                                                        

More and more people are flocking to this Midwestern city, and it’s grown by 10 percent since 2010. Maybe the newcomers haven’t heard the news – Columbus is QuoteWizard’s most car accident-prone city in America.

Why? We’re not exactly sure, but the stats paint a clear picture. In 2017 there were a whopping 24,399 car crashes in Columbus. Those accidents damaged some 45,000 cars and caused nearly 9,000 injuries. Interestingly, most car crashes in Columbus were the result of a rear end. That’s not so surprising when you consider how common distracted driving is nowadays. Pro tip: stay off the cellphone and be extra careful driving on Fridays in Columbus – it had more crashes than any other day of the week at 4,168.

St. Louis

St. Louis rings in as the second most accident-prone city in the U.S. In 2016, car accidents killed 940 people in Missouri, with 62 deaths occurring in St. Louis. High car crash rates can and do impact the entire community. In fact, a chain reaction crash even damaged the mayor’s car in nearby East St. Louis.

Is it St. Louis’ erratic weather? We’re not entirely sure what’s got St. Louis drivers crashing into each other so often, but it seems that the infamous Midwest Nice doesn’t extend to the city’s roads.

Los Angeles

When it comes to driving, the City of Angels isn’t so Angelic. Los Angeles comes in as the third most accident-prone city in the country. Is anyone surprised? From 2016 to 2017, traffic collisions in L.A. increased 5 percent. Considering Los Angeles is the fifth fastest growing city in the country, those collision numbers are poised to continue growing.

Along with palm trees and sandy beaches, you’ll also find some of the most heavily congested roads in the world. Maybe the high number of crashes has to do with the fact that L.A. has the worst traffic in the country. Weaving through traffic becomes a lot more dangerous when cars are creeping along at a snail’s pace.

Sacramento, California

Sacramento residents might not be too surprised to see their beloved city make the top five. After all, Sacramento got third place in QuoteWizard’s 2018 worst drivers study. But what makes this California capital such a hub for bad drivers?

One reason: several major freeways run through the heart of the city, and freeways are a pressure cooker for bad drivers. Most of Sacramento’s fatal crashes happen on 99 between Fruitridge and Florin road, at the intersection of I-80 and the Capitol City Freeway in West Sacramento, and the Capitol City Freeway near Ardin. Luckily, the city seems to be cracking down on risky motorists. Sacramento brought back a full-time traffic team in 2015.

New Orleans

It may come as a shock that this vibrant city known for jazz, beignets, and so much more is also one of the most accident-prone cities in the U.S.

Statewide fatalities and serious injuries caused by collisions are on the downward trend in Louisiana. But NOLA is a different story – our study ranks New Orleans as the fifth most car accident-prone in the US. Maybe the area’s crash rate is so high because of the increasing traffic congestion. NOLA residents spend an extra 26 minutes per day traveling. Even that small sliver of extra time in the car allows more room for error on the road. And if it’s not the bad traffic that’s responsible for the city’s high crash rate, it’s probably the proliferation of drive-thru daiquiri stands.

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Runaway ‘bobtail’ tractor crashes into Atlanta motel

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Police said this “bob-tail” tractor left the road, hit a parked car and ran into the side of a motel. (Atlanta Channel 2 Action News photo)

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Thursday that a driver is in custody after crashing a tractor-trailer into a motel in northwest Atlanta and running from the scene, officials said.

Atlanta Fire Rescue spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford told AJC.com that the truck went “partially” into the side of the Airway Motel in the 700 block of Fulton Industrial Boulevard on Thursday morning. There were no reports of injuries.

The “bobtail” tractor-trailer left the road, hit a parked limousine and went into the one-story building about 9:15 a.m., Atlanta police Officer Jarius Daugherty said.

The driver ran but was captured nearby, police said. His identity and the charges against him have not been released.

A woman was inside the motel room where the truck hit, but she was able to escape by climbing out of a back window, Channel 2 Action News reported.

“I just started crying and screaming,” the woman, Lashonda Allen, told the news station. “I was just praying to God the semi-truck didn’t catch on fire.”

Crews are checking the structural integrity of the building and investigating what sparked the crash.

By noon, the truck had been removed, and a gaping hole remained in the brick building.

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Oops! New York state did not previously enforce ELD rule, now making up for lost time

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The ELD mandate was a 2012 law passed under former President Barack Obama. The provision was championed as a way to protect the safety of truckers and others on the road. The Trucker file photo.

ALBANY, N.Y. — There’s always a straggler in the bunch. Unknown to many, New York state has not previously been enforcing the federal electronic logging device (ELD) mandate because it never adopted the ELD rule under its state laws and thus lacked the authority to enforce it.

According to the Trucking Association of New York (TANY), the New York State DOT has now issued an emergency rulemaking and begun enforcement of the ELD mandate.

TANY added in a news release that they have been told carriers not in compliance with the ELD mandate will be placed out-of-service as early as Thursday, January 17.

The ELD rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration went into effect in December 2017 and state governments were to have followed suit by incorporating the federal ELD rule into their state laws.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has pursued lawsuits with certain states that have enforced the mandate while lacking a state-level law.

The ELD mandate has been unpopular among some truckers, who say it harms their schedules, take-home pay, and safety. Other truckers have said they like electronic logging once they get used to it.

When OOIDA sued New York, their complaint was dismissed — not because the New York court agreed with the state’s actions to enforce the federal law, but because New York wasn’t enforcing the law in the first place, according to Business Insider.

The snafu came to light in a State of New York Supreme Court ruling and opinion issued on December 31 by Judge Richard M. Platkin.

“Drivers are not being stopped, cited, or placed out-of-service pursuant to the ELD rule,” Platkin wrote.

Marc Berger, the chief motor-carrier investigator for New York’s Department of Transportation, said in the December 31 ruling that there are “no notices of violation or uniform traffic tickets being issued citing ELD provisions.”

The other defendants in the case — New York’s state police and the Department of Motor Vehicles — also stated that the ELD law hasn’t been enforced.

The ELD mandate electronically enforces the Hours of Service (HOS) law, which has been in effect since the federal government began regulating trucking in the 1930s. The HOS law stipulates that truckers can drive no more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period, a provision that some truckers say doesn’t reflect the nature of their work.

New York state said in the ruling that it does in fact enforce the HOS, but that the law is more challenging to enforce if ELDs are used.

The ELD mandate came into effect by means of a 2012 law passed under former President Barack Obama. The provision was championed as a way to protect the safety of truckers and others on the road. FMCSA estimated in 2014 that ELDs could prevent up to 1,714 crashes, 522 injuries, and 24 deaths each year.

But some truckers maintain ELDs are doing the opposite, while truck lobbying groups say it’s really not ELDs drivers have a problem with, it’s the unbendable nature of the HOS, which need more flexibility.

“The electronic logs are supposed to make it safer, but really it has created a hazardous race to beat the clock,” career truck driver Steve Manley, 51, told Business Insider. “Drivers are now more reckless than ever trying to make it to their destination before the clock runs out with the mandatory breaks and such.”

A TANY news release said despite New York State not enforcing the ELD mandate, it did enforce HOS and that FMCSA roadside inspections and on-site audits enforced the ELD mandate.

“Due to this, TANY continued to advise members to be in compliance with the ELD mandate regardless of the situation with New York enforcement,” the association said.

 

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Speeding tractor-trailer flattens Utah restaurant, 3 injured

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This image from Salt Lake City television station FOX News 13 shows the aftermath of a speeding big rig slamming into a restaurant. (Courtesy: FOX News 13)

WELLINGTON, Utah — A speeding tractor-trailer skidded off a snow-slicked road Wednesday and crashed into a restaurant in a small Utah town, flattening the establishment and injuring 3 people, authorities said.

The truck was traveling too fast for conditions at about 6:30 a.m. when it went off a state highway that runs through the town of Wellington and struck the Los Jilbertos restaurant, which was open, the Utah Highway Patrol said in a statement.

State troopers rescued the restaurant owner’s wife, who was trapped in in the wreckage and suffered what were described as minor injuries. Also taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries were the restaurant owner and the truck driver, said Highway Patrol Sgt. Nicholas Street.

No customers were inside the restaurant when the truck hit it.

Images of the wreck showed the restaurant’s snow-covered roof torn off and leaning on top of the collapsed restaurant, the semi-trailer’s cab lodged into a corner of the building and the trailer jack-knifed. The restaurant is just off the highway, State Route 6.

The crash knocked out electrical and gas service to part of Wellington, a community of about 1,600 residents about two hours southeast of Salt Lake City. The power outage closed the town’s elementary school.

 

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