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Marijuana holiday linked to surge in deadly car accidents

Illinois lawmakers may be paying close attention to car accident and marijuana use statistics in states like Colorado and California that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. The opponents of more relaxed marijuana laws often voice concerns about impaired driving and surging traffic accident fatalities, and studies suggest that these arguments have at least some merit. Researchers at the University of British Columbia say that the annual April 20 marijuana 'holiday" may have caused 142 traffic deaths between 1992 and 2016, yet more than half of the cannabis users polled in Colorado in 2016 did not believe that getting behind the wheel after smoking the drug posed a threat to other road users.

Drowsy drivers the subject of new AAA study

Illinois drivers may be aware of the dangers of drunk driving and distracted driving, but another hazard they should know more about is drowsy driving. A 2012 study from JAMA Internal Medicine found that drivers who go without sleep for 20 to 25 hours function in ways that are similar to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.1; the legal limit in the United States is 0.08. In other words, sleepy drivers operate their vehicles like drunk drivers.

Knee surgery patients can be harmed by pain misdiagnosis

People in Illinois who have gone through major knee surgery may have to deal with more than just pain and a complicated recovery. These patients could also face misdiagnoses following unexplained after-surgery pain. The use of older criteria to diagnose complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) has led to some knee replacement patients receiving incorrect diagnoses. The issue was recently addressed in a study published in the "Journal of Knee Surgery."

Common causes of car crashes

There are roughly 6 million car accidents in the United States each year. In 2015, there was an 8 percent increase in the number of crash fatalities, and there were roughly 40,000 crash fatalities in 2016. However, it may be possible for Illinois residents and others to learn how to avoid being the victim of such an event. It is important to recognize that anyone can get into an accident regardless of his or her perceived skill level behind the wheel.

Study links Pokémon Go to traffic accidents

With the rise in smartphone usage, distracted driving is increasingly becoming a problem among drivers in Illinois and across the United States. "Pokémon Go," the smartphone-based game that launched in July 2016 and became a worldwide phenomenon, has also contributed to the increase in distracted driving accidents, according to a recent study.

The dangers of driving at night

When driving on Illinois roads at night, drivers may face a unique set of hazards that could result in a car accident. In order to stay as safe as possible, drivers should be aware of some of the potential issues that they may face when the sun goes down.

Vehicle warning systems save lives

Illinois drivers who use blind spot alerts or lane departure warning systems may be interested to learn that these types of collision avoidance features dramatically reduce the number of car accidents. Despite the obvious benefits, officials with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety say these warning systems have not been widely adopted.

Car accident increase from 2014 to 2015 was largest in 50 years

A batch of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration paints an unsettling picture for road safety, especially in relation to car accidents. According to the 2015 data, 35,092 people died in motor vehicle accidents. That represents a 7.2 percent increase in that statistic when compared to 2014. It also means that roughly 96 people died every day as a result of car accidents, with another 6,700 suffering injuries every day as a result of these wrecks.