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ADHD medication may lower risk of car crashes

Previous studies showed a link between ADHD and a higher risk of getting into a car accident. However, if a driver in Connecticut with ADHD takes medication, that accident risk may be reduced according to a study published in May 2017 in JAMA Psychiatry.

A person who has ADHD may have trouble paying attention and may be seen fidgeting or tapping. This may make driving itself a more complicated task for a person with this condition, and it may also result in distracted driving. According to researchers, more than 20 percent of car accidents involving drivers with ADHD could have been prevented if the driver was medicated. Researchers looked at health insurance claims from 2005 until 2014 and identified 2.3 million people who had the condition. Of those people, 11,224 ADHD patients had been to an emergency room after an accident.

Why divorce happens

There are many factors that can contribute to a Montana couple's decision to end their marriage. Some people may be interested in the main reasons why spouses choose to go their separate ways.

Infidelity, whether it is a one-time occurrence or something that happens repeatedly, is one of the most common reasons for divorce. Having an affair is no longer limited to a physical relationship. Being in an emotional affair is also considered a form of cheating. Due to social media, connecting in secret with someone other than a spouse has become very easy to do.

Car accident fatalities hit nine-year high

Connecticut motorists may have heard that fatal car accidents in the U.S. reached a nine-year high in 2016 despite the adoption of several safety features. It was determined that the increase in the number of fatal accidents were caused by excessive speeding, the failure to use seat belts and the increase in the number of motorcycle deaths.

In 2016, more than 37,400 people were killed in car accidents. This number was up 5.6 percent from the previous year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accident fatalities had been on a downward trend from 2007 to 2014. In 2014, the number of car accident deaths hit an all-time low of about 32,700. On a more positive note, the number of estimated distracted driving deaths fell by 2.2 percent in 2016. In previous years, distracted driving had been increasing.

Smartphones may be causing more car accidents

Traffic safety advocates believe that smartphones are causing more deadly car accidents in Connecticut and across the U.S., but new federal statistics show that distracted driving deaths actually declined in 2016. What is going on?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only 448 people were killed in smartphone-related car crashes in 2015. That number dipped even further last year. However, traffic fatalities significantly rose the past two years, and a closer look at the data shows that half of all traffic deaths in 2015 involved cars that were driving straight ahead, rather than veering off the road due to weather or a blowout. Safety experts believe that indicates that some drivers may have been distracted by their phones and simply plowed into something directly in front of them. This hunch correlates with numbers showing that pedestrian, bicyclist and motorcyclist deaths have risen sharply in recent years. For example, pedestrian fatalities rose 21.9 percent between 2014 and 2016. Over the same period, bicyclist and motorcyclist deaths jumped 15.2 and 15.1 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, studies show that smartphone use by drivers has continued to increase.

Signs it's time to end a marriage

Although it may not be easy to choose to end a marriage, Connecticut residents may be in a position where a divorce is their only option. This may be the case if a spouse is putting a person's life in danger or the life of a child in danger. For instance, a spouse may have an addiction or is physically or emotionally abusing an adult partner or child.

While these circumstances may seem to indicate that getting divorced is an easy decision, it may not be. In some cases, the poor conditions evolved over time and may not be easily noticeable to an individual. For one man, he realized that he had to leave his wife after her third DWI. This took place after his wife started drinking again in secret, and he realized that it would be difficult to live with someone who was succumbing to addiction.

Special issues in gray divorces

In Connecticut, older people are divorcing at increasingly higher rates. According to Pew Research, the divorce rate for people older than 50 has doubled in the last couple of decades. When older people divorce, they are left with added concerns because of the limited time that they will have before retirement. If they do not plan well, they may be forced to remain in the workforce for much longer.

When people get divorced while they are young, they may be able to bounce back financially in a quicker manner. By contrast, older adults who divorce may have a more difficult time recovering from a divorce. People who divorce after 50 may have already reached their maximum earnings potential, and they also will have less time to save for their retirement.

Road design and congestion causes increase in pedestrian deaths

Connecticut drivers may be interested to learn that there has been a rise in pedestrian deaths over the last few years. While the increase in pedestrian deaths could be due to certain road factors, there are some things that pedestrians can do to reduce the risk of becoming involved in a fatal pedestrian accident.

There are several reasons why the number of pedestrian deaths may have increased. Some high-traffic areas may lead to drivers that may not notice pedestrians among the congestion. One study, for example, found that the number of pedestrian accidents increased with the addition of a new traffic lane. Further, road design can also increase the number of pedestrian fatalities. Since roads are designed to keep the traffic moving, high speeds and few crosswalks can make it more dangerous for pedestrians to actually get across the street.

Why many car accidents happen close to home

While many Connecticut drivers believe that those traveling long distances may be more likely to become involved in a car accident, the fact is that many crashes actually occur within 25 miles of home.

Part of the reason many accidents occur near home is because driving in familiar places can cause drivers to rely on memory instead of what is happening around them. This auto-pilot phenomenon can prevent people from remaining vigilant while driving, potentially causing them to miss important visual cues. It is imperative that drivers combat this phenomenon by staying awake and alert as unpredictable elements, such as other drivers, crossing animals or mechanical failure, can always cause an accident. However, because others are also likely driving on auto-pilot, motorists should also ensure that they always buckle their seat belt no matter how far they are driving.

Using headlights during the day can save lives

Several studies have found that accident rates could be reduced and lives saved if drivers in Connecticut and around the country used their headlights during the day. Some researchers believe that the number of crashes on the nation's roads could be cut by 10 percent if all vehicles were fitted with daytime running lights, and countries including Denmark and Canada have passed laws mandating the use of headlights during daylight hours.

Headlight use during the day is especially effective at preventing accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists. The greater visibility provided by headlights or daytime running lights reduces pedestrian accidents by about 12 percent and certain types of motorcycle crashes by almost a quarter, according to some studies. However, only about 27 percent of the passenger vehicles available for sale in the United States are fitted with this potentially life-saving technology as standard equipment.

Shared parenting as an option in divorce

Connecticut parents who are divorcing might want to consider joint physical custody instead of the traditional arrangement in which one parent, almost always the mother, gets custody of the child while the other parent has visitation rights and spends much less time with the child. There is a growing body of research about the benefits of shared parenting for children after a divorce, and the arrangement can work better for parents as well.

According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, even very young children benefit from shared custody arrangements. Further research supporting joint custody was presented at the 2017 International Conference on Shared Parenting in Boston. In Sweden and other countries, shared parenting is the norm. Mothers still get custody in over 80 percent of cases in the United States, but this is changing slowly. Missouri and Kentucky are among the states that have passed legislation to encourage shared parenting, and others are considering similar laws.

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