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Speeding the top cause of fatal crashes in most states

Speeding is the top cause of fatal traffic crashes in over two-thirds of U.S. states, including West Virginia, according to a new study by Value Penguin. The report found that driving above the speed limit accounts for 22% of all fatal crashes across the country.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine which states have the highest rate of speed-related traffic fatalities. They found that speeding is the top cause of deadly accidents in 34 states and Washington, DC, beating out factors like drunk driving and distracted driving. Washington, DC, is the worst place for speed-related deaths, with almost 40% of all fatal crashes in the area attributed to speeding. New Hampshire is second on the list, with 38% of deadly accidents attributed to speeding, and Rhode Island is third, with 31.1% of fatal accidents caused by excessive speed. Hawaii and South Carolina round out the top five, with 29.9% and 28.8% of fatal crashes blamed on speeding, respectively. Meanwhile, speeding accounts for 20.1% of all traffic deaths in West Virginia, making it 18th on the list.

You have no way of knowing if other drivers are sleep deprived

Drunk driving and distracted driving get a lot of attention here in West Virginia and elsewhere in the country. However, there is another danger that puts your life at risk just as much as those do -- drowsy driving.

More than likely, you know from personal experience how hard it can be in today's fast-paced world to get enough sleep. Between work and family obligations, you may feel as though you spend at least part of your week feeling sleep deprived. If you feel that way, you can only imagine just how many drivers you share the roads with go through the same thing, and some of them could easily cause you serious injuries.

Amazon CEO's divorce finalized

Some people in West Virginia may be aware that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has been going through a divorce from his wife, MacKenzie Bezos. The two were married for 25 years and have four children. The divorce was finalized in Washington on July 5.

MacKenzie Bezos, a novelist, will receive a stake of 4% in Amazon. This is about 25% of the shares owned by the two, a total of 19.7 million. She will become one of the richest women in the world upon receiving $38 billion worth of stock. Jeff Bezos will keep a 12% stake worth nearly $115 billion.

NHTSA: 2018 saw a small dip in fatal car crash numbers

Drivers in West Virginia should know that motor vehicle crash fatalities saw a slight decline in 2018. This is according to the preliminary report that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released. Annual traffic death numbers, after declining over the decades, rose dramatically in 2015, and by the end of 2016, it seemed certain the numbers would remain high.

NHTSA estimates that 36,750 people died in roadway crashes in 2018: a 1% decrease from the 37,133 deaths reported in 2017. While it is true that the risk of dying in a crash is not as high as it was in 2009 there are new factors that are contributing to the fatalities. One of them is distracting technology.

Can I get divorced for any reason?

You probably know at least one couple who has gotten divorced, and those who have gone through divorce may list a variety of reasons for the action. Based on conversation with others, you may believe you can get a divorce for any reason you choose. However, this is not entirely true.

There are a few requirements you must meet to be eligible for a divorce in West Virginia, and one of those requirements involves choosing an acceptable ground, or legally valid reason, for your divorce. If you think it may be necessary to end your marriage, it can be helpful to understand what grounds for divorce are recognized in West Virginia.

Anti-crime apps may encourage distrust, racial stereotypes

Despite the fact that crime statistics show a dramatic drop in violent crimes over the past 25 years, many people in West Virginia feel more unsafe than ever before. There are a number of reasons for this phenomenon, including extensive up-to-the-minute social media posts about nationwide criminal activity or sensationalized media coverage. In addition, sometimes the steps that people take in order to feel safer may actually encourage unfounded and unnecessary fears. For example, a number of smartphone apps present themselves as crime-fighting tools that people can use to be more aware of their neighborhoods and potential threats.

However, apps like Citizen, Nextdoor and Ring have come in for criticism. Many say that these types of programs encourage people to believe that they live in an unsafe world, encouraging unfounded fears. In addition, people may be less able to distinguish actual threats of violent crime from innocuous activity. Critics also say that these apps can promote racial stereotyping and beliefs about who "belongs" in a particular neighborhood or community. As a result, it may put residents of color at risk of unnecessary involvement with the criminal justice system.

How a West Virginia resident may be able to prove negligence

Like the rest of the United States, West Virginia sees many car accidents every year, in part because the state is prone to inclement weather such as blizzards and freezing rain. However, negligent driving is another leading cause of car crashes. West Virginia residents who have suffered a personal injury as a result of another driver's negligence may want to take the issue to court, but proving negligence can be a complicated issue. First, it must be proven that the driver failed to exercise reasonable care.

Failure to exercise reasonable care is easiest to prove when there is dashcam footage available. Dashcam footage that shows a driver swerving in and out of their lane or following another vehicle too closely can go a long way toward proving that they were driving negligently. A driver might even be found negligent because they only had one hand on the steering wheel.

What to do within 15 minutes of a car accident

There are probably a thousand thoughts going through someone’s mind right after a car accident. It may be difficult to gather yourself and make rational, intelligent decisions.

However, the first five to 15 minutes following an accident are important. There are a few crucial steps you should take right after a crash to ensure safety and your insurance claim.

Financial inequalities can contribute to divorce

For people in West Virginia who decide to divorce, financial issues and disagreements may be some of the most common factors that lead to the end of a marriage. Disagreements about how to save or spend money or how to plan for the future may lead to long-term rifts, especially when one partner sees the other as controlling or irresponsible. These problems can be magnified when one spouse brings in a significantly higher share of the income as this can exacerbate feelings of inequality. At times, the higher-earning partner may also be more likely to neglect or exclude the input of the lower-earning partner.

These already tense financial issues may be exacerbated by social expectations about sex, gender and earning power. While women have made great strides in the workplace in recent decades, many still expect that husbands will continue to be the higher earner in relationships. This could play a role in undermining some relationships. One study indicates that couples where the wife earns more than the husband are 33% more likely to divorce.

Study finds light rain increases fatal crash risk

West Virginia drivers might want to use extra caution when traveling on rain-slicked roads. According to a new study, even light rain can significantly increase the danger of a fatal car accident.

To calculate the risk of a fatal car accident in wet weather, researchers at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies analyzed data from over 125,000 deadly crashes that occurred between 2006 and 2011. They found that rain, snow and ice spiked the chances of a car wreck by 34%. In addition, they discovered that even light drizzle increased the risk of a fatal accident by 27%.

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