Injuries and Deaths during Car Accidents: Not Just Statistical Data

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies conducted a study, the result of which shows that teen drivers are four times more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than adults. The reasons, however, are not due to poor weather condition, drowsy driving, vehicle malfunction or aggressive driving. Of the more than 800 accidents analyzed, three critical teen driver errors were revealed:

  • Not enough road scanning. One very important ability that experienced drivers have developed overtime is keen observation of their vehicle’s surroundings (sides and the road ahead) instead of just the very few meters of road fronting their car’s hood. This is one skill that will help and allow teen drivers to detect and respond to possible hazards up ahead.
  • Driving too fast for road conditions. Rather than driving at controllable speed, many teen drivers prefer faster driving, which greatly reduces their capability to successfully navigate a curve or respond to other motorists.
  • Driving distractions. Though getting distracted while behind the wheel is a common fault among all drivers, teens, obviously, are still the kind of drivers who get distracted more easily. Eating, grooming, adjusting or operating an electronic device, talking with friends, turning the radio’s volume to full blast and, worst, texting or talking with someone using a cell phone, are just some of the very common distractions teens are often guilty of.

Some other errors committed by young drivers include failure to use signal lights, tailgating, not slowing down or stopping when making a turn, improperly overtaking another vehicle, making sudden lane changes, beating the red light (according to the National Safety Council, this is the fourth most common type of driver error that results in accidents), and failure to use the seat belt, a car safety feature that has saved thousands of lives in the past.

Driver error, which includes all forms of distracted driving, is always an act of negligence; thus, it is a totally preventable thing. About 81% of all car accidents, which number to more than five million every year, is due to driver negligence – a fault that legally requires a liable party to compensate his/her victim.

It would seem that many drivers see car accidents, injuries and deaths as mere statistical data. They may probably never really realize the tragic effects of these accidents on victims’ lives until they become the victims themselves. Negligence, no matter who commits it or where it is committed, can always be a source of danger. If one cannot respect others’ lives, then what right does he/she have to ask or demand respect from others?

A webpage with address, www.resminilawoffices.com/practice-areas/car-accidents/, says, “you can only control your own driving behavior; there is not much you can do to control what others do out there on the road. Careless, reckless, and negligent drivers abound. Some fail to keep their attention focused on the road and become distracted, while others get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, disregard traffic laws, or run red lights and stop signs. Others drive too fast or too aggressively, or fail to adjust their driving for road or weather conditions. As a result, some unlucky drivers and their passengers, in spite of responsible, focused, and skillful driving, find their lives in turmoil, their bodies broken, and their finances in a shambles, all because of another’s wrongdoing.”

Truck Accidents: The Sad Truth

The sad truth of the matter is: accidents happen every single day. Sometimes, the outcome is totally irreversible. A lot of these accidents happen on the road, even. However, you cannot just stop using the road to travel. No matter how careful you are, there will always be somebody who chooses not to be. Thankfully enough, there are ways to bring justice to those who are in the wrong.

In America, thousands and thousands of accidents happen on the road every single year. A lot of these are car accidents and not all of them are fatal. Your average vehicle will weigh at around four thousand pounds. An eighteen wheeler truck having an accident on a busy interstate, however, could mean some seriously catastrophic injuries. There are federal laws that surround vehicular accidents for vehicles that weigh over ten thousand pounds – and an eighteen wheeler truck weighs can weigh up to eighty thousand. Just imagine what kind of damage that kind of weight could pull when rolling along a busy highway? In terms of monetary damage, the rates are near astronomical. The loss of wages, the trauma induced from the incident, and the loss of lives? Incalculable.

According to the website of Williams Kherker, though most of the victims are passengers of smaller vehicles, there are still some cases when the injured and affected by the accident are even pedestrians. Due to the size and risk of a vehicle as large as an eighteen wheeler truck, there are many parties involved should an accident ever occur. There are federal laws that both protect the employer and employee of the truck that caused the damage – and they are, too, exonerated by these same laws if they fail to meet the standard.

If you or someone you know has suffered due to an injury caused by an eighteen wheeler truck, it is advisable for you to contact legal assistance immediately. The only thing you need to be worrying about is getting back up on your feet. Allowing yourself to be properly represented by people who know the ins and outs of a courtroom procedure can ease you of the stress and trauma that undoubtedly come from such a tragic situation.

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Setting the Required Minimum Safety Performance for Cars and Car Parts

Motorists need and deserve only the best finished products from manufacturers of vehicles and vehicle parts, as well as the best services from those responsible in the construction, repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and other public areas. The bottom line is, people paid for their vehicles, thus, they should only get their money’s worth. In like manner, drivers pay taxes, be it road tax or whatever other fees they pay for; therefore, anyone has the right to complain and cry foul if roads become unsafe, more so if these begin to be the causes of injurious or fatal car crashes.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified drunk-driving, texting and use of hand-held phone while driving, driver distractions and driver errors, as some of the major causes of car accidents, which still number to more than five million in the US every year. These causes, however, are factors for which drivers are directly liable. There are other factors that the NHTSA has identified which lie beyond drivers’ control: defective roads and highways  and sub-standard vehicle part replacements, vehicles leaving the manufacturing plant but being discovered later to be with defect.

To remedy concerns on sub-standard parts, the NHTSA issued the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). These regulations stipulate the required minimum safety performance standards on motor vehicles and certain vehicle parts, like the brake hose assembly, brake hose, tail and head lamps, tires, etc. These standards, which also include vehicle crashworthiness requirements, are aimed at meeting whatever is needed to ensure motor vehicle safety.

On the William Kherkher Law Firm website it talks about the millions of Americans who sustain injuries (some of these injuries are permanent) and the thousands more who are killed in car accidents every year. Sadly, these injuries and deaths are caused by people who act irresponsibly or negligently on the road. Injuries sustained by victims, in this case, are called personal injuries and, under the (tort) law, injured victims can file a civil case against the liable party for damages resulting from the injury, which includes lost wages and medical treatment.

If it can be proven that the accident was triggered by a defect in the vehicle, then the victim may hold the vehicle’s manufacturer (or the manufacturer of the specific sub-standard vehicle part) responsible and file the lawsuit against such manufacturer.

A highly competent Green Bay personal injury lawyer can provide victims the help that they need in fighting for their rights and earning the full amount of compensation that the law allows them to receive.

Causes of Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and car manufacturers are working tirelessly to make both roads and cars as safe as possible from any type of accident. Accidents are definitely avoidable occurrences, if drivers would only religiously observe traffic safety rules and keep their focus on the road.

The various causes of motor vehicle accidents can be grouped under two categories: those beyond drivers’ control, such as poor road condition, and car defects or sub-standard car parts; and, those within the control of drivers, like driver distraction, driver error, overspeeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Cracked asphalt, ruts, potholes and ice patches are but just a few of the factors that make driving a rough experience for millions of Americans. And unless the government comes up with the solution to acquire the fund needed to keep roads and highways in good condition, motorists will continue to absorb the effects, which include more fuel consumption and more costly vehicle maintenance and repair.

On the part of car manufacturers, while trusted names continue to research and introduce modern technological devices (some of which are the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, the Forward Collision Warning system or the Obstacle Avoidance technology) that will help reduce incidences of accidents involving cars, as well as ensure the high-quality of manufactured car parts, the same in not a guarantee with regard to aftermarket car part manufacturers. Thus, quality standards, which all car part producers need to comply with, have been set by the government.

With regard to causes of accidents that are within the control of drivers, the NHTSA has only been more determined in making and enforcing laws that will make drivers realize the importance of driving safely, of keeping their focus on the road, of not being a threat on the road, and of not being a cause of disruption to safe traffic flow.

Besides the law prohibiting the use of a cell phone or hand-held phone while driving, traffic authorities have also become more visible on roads and highways to discourage anyone from possibly attempting to violate road safety rules and to catch those who inconsiderately violate these.

Drunk-drivers compose another group of violators that the NHTSA and traffic enforcers have tightened the fight against. Though the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit observed in all US states is 0.08% (0.04% for truck and other commercial vehicle drivers and zero tolerance for those below 21 years old), research has proven that a 0.05% level is enough to impair a person, lessening his/her reflexes and ability to avoid emergency conditions. This explains why drunk driving will always be a road threat.

Thus, anyone caught with a BAC level higher than 0.08% can be charged with a DWI or driving while intoxicated. The offense and the punishments become more serious and heavier, respectively, if a drunk-driver causes an accident and seriously injures or kills anyone in the process. Other than a criminal charge, the driver can face jail time, costly fines and revocation or suspension of his/her license. In some instances, the court may also order the installation of an Ignition Interlock or a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) inside the driver’s vehicle. This device will not allow the vehicle to start if it detects even a 0.02% level (the usual pre-determined limit of the device) of alcohol in the driver’s breath.

Besides a criminal offense, the driver who caused the accident can also face a civil lawsuit if someone was injured or killed in the accident. A Houston personal injury lawyer should be one of the persons that the victim or the victim’s family contacts if the accident happened in Austin, Texas. Legal counsel explain to the victim and her family all her rights and the compensation that the law entitles her to receive.