It is no secret to anyone who uses a cell phone to text or read messages how focused you can be on that activity alone. Sit on a bus or in a coffee shop and you will likely see that over many people are ignoring their environment while scrolling through emails and text messages or sending them. Now transfer that to the act of driving. Read more
Motorcycle and truck accidents happen every day and occasionally both are involved in the same collision. Because motorcycle riders have little protection in any kind of collision, the consequences can be catastrophic or fatal.
In a recent motorcycle accident near Elgin, Illinois, a 25-year old man was killed when a semi-tractor trailer made a left turn in front of his bike. The family of the motorcycle driver has filed a wrongful death action against the truck driver alleging that the driver failed to yield by making a turn when it was unsafe to do so, failed to maintain control of his truck, failed to maintain a proper lookout and was proceeding too fast for the traffic conditions.
Many people are excited about the prospect of driverless or autonomous vehicles becoming commonplace on our roadways, eliminating the human factors that are responsible for causing 94% of all traffic accidents. A high percentage of accidents and injuries are caused by intoxication, distracted driving (smartphone use) and speeding. If you are in a driverless car, though, then it makes no difference how intoxicated you are or if you are focused exclusively on your smartphone. Also, your driverless car will not speed so that factor may be eliminated as well.
Texting is ubiquitous these days. People are doing it while driving, crossing the street, drinking coffee at Starbucks or while working. It is the latter case that can put employers at risk for liability if an employee’s negligence causes injury to a third person.
An unusual case in which an employer is being sued by a third person, or one who is not a co-worker of the negligent employee, occurred at a Wal-Mart two years ago and is being litigated now. The employee was allegedly texting on his phone while pushing a cart filled with boxes when he inadvertently ran into the plaintiff and injuring her. The victim’s complaints consisted of loss of motion of her neck and shoulders and continued post-concussive symptoms that includes short-term memory loss.
Traffic statistics on injuries and fatalities were moving in the right direction about 10 years ago when traffic administrators, federal and state officials could boast that our nation’s highways were becoming safer. The reasons? Most pointed to stricter laws on drunk driving, seat belt enforcement, helmets for motorcyclists and concerted safety campaigns. However, the good news has soured over the past 2 years with the National Safety Council having recently released its 2016 statistics indicating that traffic deaths exceeded 40,000 for the first time since 2007. Deaths were up 7% in 2015 and matched last year for a 14% overall rise in the past 2 years. This is the largest increase in more than 50 years.
AAA, or the American Automobile Association, has been around nearly as long as when the first automobile appeared on American roads. For 95 years, AAA has promoted and lobbied for safety in improved automobile design and features as well as funding educational and instructional programs for motorists and young pedestrians in high schools and elementary schools. In the latest iteration of its safety message to young people and teen drivers, AAA Northeast has announced its annual AAA Traffic Safety Poster and Video Contest to run through April 7, 2017.
Most of us have to start driving sometime. Laws in every state allow you to start driving in your teenage years with some as young as 15. While this makes parents nervous, starting young can lead to developing sound driving habits and it frees up parents from having to drive their teens everywhere. However, teen drivers are novices. Combine inexperience with reckless conduct, an unfortunate trait of many teen drivers, and horrible accidents can result.
As a mode of transportation, buses are generally safer than riding in a passenger vehicle. They are larger and heavier and can withstand more force than an ordinary automobile. Passengers sit several feet above the road surface so they seldom are exposed to blunt force trauma from another vehicle. Still, bus passengers suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries. In one tragic case in Southern California recently, a 16-year old was killed on a double-decker tour bus that led to a multi-million dollar verdict.
Being injured in a car accident is bad enough, but the trauma is compounded when the culpable driver flees the scene. Not only is the driver attempting to elude responsibility but you may find yourself having to pay the costs associated with your injury and car damage if you were not adequately covered by insurance.
Distracted driving is any activity that causes a driver to stray from focusing on operating the motor vehicle, even for a brief period. Examples are searching for a radio station, grooming, talking to passengers, eating and reading a map or other document. The most prevalent example of distracted driving and that has garnered the most attention towards awareness and prevention is texting and driving.