TIME Transportation

The Percentage Increase in Traffic Deaths During Spring Break Will Shock You

Most fatalities occur among drivers under 25 and those traveling from out-of-state

Spring break can be a time of hedonism for many college students, but it’s also a dangerous one, with the holiday leading to a sharp jump in traffic fatalities. That’s according to a new study published in Economic Inquiry, cited by Science Daily.

“We found that between the last week of February and the first week of April, a significantly greater number of traffic fatalities occurred in spring break hot spots compared to other locations in the same states and at other times of the year,” said researcher Michael T. French.

French and his team looked at traffic fatalities in 14 popular spring break destinations from Florida to California. They discovered that death tolls were 9.1% higher during spring break in these destinations, with a higher fatality incidence among drivers under 25 and those traveling from out-of-state.

During spring break, the authors also noted that there was no increase in traffic fatalities in non-spring break destinations, confirming that the spike is attributable to the holiday period itself.

To reduce traffic fatalities, researchers recommend that destinations offer transportation incentives to persuade students to leave cars behind. Travel vouchers for rideshares, taxis and other programs might go a long way in saving a life this spring break, researchers say.

[Science Daily]

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 10

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. How do we convince Americans that justice isn’t for sale — when in 39 states, it is?

By Sue Bell Cobb in Politico

2. It took pressure from customers and investors to make corporations environmentally sustainable. It’s time to do the same for gender equity.

By Marissa Wesely in Stanford Social Innovation Review

3. London’s congestion pricing plan is saving lives.

By Alex Davies in Wired

4. Libraries should be the next great start-up incubators.

By Emily Badger in CityLab

5. Annual replanting has a devastating impact. Could perennial rice be the solution?

By Winifred Bird in Yale Environment 360

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Accident

Selfies Contributed to Fatal Plane Crash, Investigators Say

File photo of the wreckage of a crashed Cessna 150 airplane lying in a field near Watkins, Colorado
Sgt Aaron Pataluna—Adams County Sheriff/Reuters The wreckage of a crashed Cessna 150 airplane lies in a field near Watkins, Co. on May 31, 2014.

Flash from cell phone camera likely disoriented pilot

The fatal crash of a small airplane in Colorado last year likely occurred in part because the pilot was taking selfies, federal investigators said.

The pilot, Amritpal Singh, and his passenger were killed when their Cessna 150 crashed near Front Range Airport in Watkins shortly after midnight on May 31. National Transportation Safety Board says a GoPro camera recovered from the wreckage revealed that the pilot and various passengers had taken selfies in the plane with their cell phones, some using the camera’s flash function, during a series of past flights.

While the GoPro camera wasn’t recording the fatal flight, investigators concluded that the flash from a cell phone camera likely disoriented the pilot and contributed to his loss of control of the aircraft. Singh did not meet the requirements to operate a plane at night with a passenger, according to the NTSB.

TIME States

Missouri 5-Year-Old Fatally Shoots Baby Brother

He found the gun lying near the bed, local sheriff said

A nine-month-old boy died Monday after his 5-year-old brother shot him in the head.

The Missouri infant was reportedly in a playpen when his older brother fired a loaded gun that he found near the bed, Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White said, local media KCTV reports.

The boys’ mother told 911 dispatchers her son had been shot with a paintball gun.

When the emergency crew arrived, they discovered he had been shot with a .22 caliber magnum revolver. The shooting, authorities say, was an accident.

[KCTV]

TIME Accidents

Two Planes Clip Wings at New York Airport

No injuries or significant delays were reported

Two planes clipped wings at a New York City airport on Tuesday morning but damages appeared slight and no injuries were reported.

The Denver-bound Southwest Airlines flight, which had 143 passengers and five crew members aboard, damaged its left winglet when it made contact at LaGuardia Airport with an American Airlines flight just in from Dallas and carrying 149 passengers and six crew members, CBS reports. The latter aircraft sustained damage to its tail wing.

The incident did not cause significant delays, the Port Authority says, DNAinfo reports.

[CBS]

TIME weather

More Than 400,000 Lose Power on Thanksgiving

Thanks to a dangerous mix of snow and rain on the East Coast

More than 400,000 people along the East Coast lost power on the busiest cooking day of the year, thanks to a dangerous mix of snow and rain that downed power lines across the region.

New Hampshire was hit the hardest with more than 195,000 without power on Thanksgiving morning. More than 100,000 Maine residents and 55,000 New York residents were also left in the dark.

Almost 5,000 flights were delayed and 700 flights canceled Wednesday, as winter weather snarled air travel up and down the east coast. The roads weren’t much better — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency because of the condition on the roads, and Connecticut police recorded 125 accidents in just one day.

So if you’ve made it to the dinner table, the lights are on and and your food is hot, those are three things to be thankful for.

TIME Aviation

Drones Are Beginning to Pose a Real Threat to Flight Safety Says FAA Data

Agribotix, a start-up in Boulder, manufactures drones for agricultural use.
Kathryn Scott Osler—Denver Post/Getty Images The Kestrel Cinematix drone takes photos and video from the air. Agribotix, a start-up in Boulder, manufactures drones for agricultural use and hopes to grow the business as restrictions are lifted on their use.

There have been 25 near-collisions with aircraft reported since June 1 this year

The small, remote-controlled drones that have recently grown in popularity are beginning to pose a significant threat to flight safety in the United States, according to new data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The data, released Wednesday at the request of the Washington Post and various other news outlets, reveals 25 near-collisions with airborne drones reported by commercial and private pilots since June 1. Many of these incidents reportedly occurred near New York and Washington, and several of them took place at major U.S. airports.

Drones, often mounted with cameras for aerial photography (although Amazon wants to use them to deliver goods as well), are becoming an everyday object. However, people who operate them often exceed the altitude limits set by the FAA, bringing them dangerously close to aircraft and helicopter flight paths.

“All it’s going to take is for one to come through a windshield to hurt some people or kill someone,” Kyle Fortune, a private pilot, told the Post. Fortune said he suddenly spotted a drone 100 feet underneath his aircraft during a Sept. 22 flight.

Other pilots said that drones getting sucked into engines, rotors or propellers could cause potentially fatal accidents.

[Washington Post]

TIME discoveries

How Garbage Kickstarted the Modern Chemical Industry

Accident leads to breakthrough

Throughout the history of science, some of the most important breakthroughs have come about through happy accidents. This certainly bears true in the video above, courtesy of the American Chemical Society, which explains how garbage kicked off the entire chemical industry.

TIME Accident

2 Children Injured, 1 Critically, in Bouncy House Accident

Bounce House Bouncy House
Getty Images

One of the toddlers was in critical condition as a result of the accident

Two toddlers were injured on Sunday, one critically, when a bouncy house they were playing in was carried away by the wind, according to local reports. The bouncy house at a farm in New Hampshire traveled between 50 and 60 feet.

The bouncy house was not properly tethered to the ground at the time of the accident, WDHD reports. A two-year-old was critically injured during the accident and was airlifted to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, WCVB reports. His three-year-old companion was treated at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, N.H.

The incident is the latest in a string of bouncy house accidents, which child safety advocates have said is partially due to the fact that they can be purchased by anyone and most states lack safety guidelines.

TIME Accidents

Watch the Coast Guard Rescue a Man Floating 70 Miles off Florida in a Bubble

An intrepid explorer is returned home

The Coast Guard rescued a disoriented man in a hydro pod bubble 70 nautical miles east of St. Augustine, Florida early Saturday morning.

Reza Baluchi, a U.S. citizen, was found in an inflatable bubble, disoriented and asking for directions to Bermuda, the Coast Guard said. He was carrying protein bars, bottled water, a GPS and a satellite phone.

The Coast Guard asked Baluchi to end his voyage due to the lack of supplies on his vessel, but Blauchi refused. Baluchi was monitored until he activated his Personal Locating Beacon on Saturday morning and the Coast Guard dispatched vessels and helicopter crews to his position to rescue him.

Baluchi was uninjured.

 

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