Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

 

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Should I Move Over?

We probably all have a long list of driving pet peeves from drivers who tailgate or don’t use their blinkers to drivers who aren’t paying attention when a light turns green so you have to honk to get them to go.   My biggest driving pet peeve is drivers in the left lane on the interstate who are going slower than the rest of traffic.  (There is a reason the left lane is called the fast lane!)  Of course, this requires other drivers who are going faster to pass them on the right, which can be difficult to do safely depending upon the number of lanes and the amount of traffic.  Feeling trapped, some drivers will become frustrated and angry and resort to risky driving maneuvers which can cause accidents or the drivers can develop road rage.  Exactly what comprises road rage?  Continue reading

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Government regulations are often scorned and characterized as job killers, expensive and unnecessary. To be sure, there are some odd regulations on the books that deserve some derision  (I am looking at you, T.C.A. 70-4-115, the Road Kill law). But generally, government regulations are a good thing for the public.  For example, government regulations (via the EPA and FDA)  have stopped the pollution of our nation’s water and air and have ensured we have access to safe and uncontaminated food and drugs. Right now, there are several government regulations in the transportation industry that are being rolled back or nixed that would offer substantial protection to the public.  Here are a few: Continue reading

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We went to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for Fall Break.  While walking in downtown Jackson, we noticed flags stuck in posts at intersections.  The first time we saw them we thought they were related to some work being done on the wooden sidewalks.  But as we continued to walk, we noticed they were at all the intersections in the busy shopping area.  We then realized what they were for: pedestrian crossings.  The Jackson Hole area does not have many street lights.  Presumably, the community has made a decision to limit the amount of artificial light to offer better star-gazing and protect the natural beauty of the area.  So to increase pedestrian visibility, the town has installed these bright neon orange flags at intersections for pedestrians to use while walking in the crosswalk.  Once safely on the other side, the pedestrian simply places the flag in the available post.  (Yes, that is John in the hat and Kate waving the flag — I was taking the picture)

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In any line of work, there are always a few that embarrass the rest of the profession whether you are talking about lawyers, plumbers, car salesmen, contractors, teachers, accountants, etc.  Unfortunately, some of the bad apples tend to come out after injury accidents, so here is what you need to know. Continue reading

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Some people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but Honolulu thinks too many people are bad at walking and texting.  The city has now passed legislation which outlaws pedestrians crossing the street while texting or otherwise using their smartphones.  As you might expect, the law is receiving mixed reviews.  Some safety experts believe the laws will make pedestrians think twice about using their phone while crossing the street.  Others believe the law is just another form of government overreach.  Finally, some critics believe the law will allow distracted drivers to blame pedestrians.  But one thing is for sure. . .   Continue reading

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Today is the first day of school for Williamson County.  Our daughter Kate is entering 5th grade this year at Scales Elementary.  Although she was embarrassed, she did relent and allow this picture upon arrival at school. And while it seems like just yesterday that we were going to the Boo Hoo breakfast for kindergarten parents not that much has changed.  She still worries about liking her teachers, the dynamics of friendships and how much homework will be assigned.  And, of course, as her parents, we still worry about everything, which brings me to some very important safety reminders for us all. Continue reading

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Sit at an intersection and watch the cars go by and notice how many drivers have a phone in their hand.  Or, if you are a passenger in a car, watch the drivers of oncoming cars to see how many drivers are using their phones.  Perhaps most frightening is to be a pedestrian and see just how many cars that are passing you are being operated by drivers using their phones.  If you do any of these, the numbers below probably will not surprise you.

Roughly 3500 people are killed and nearly 400,000 are injured in car accidents involving distracted driving.  11 teens die every day because of distracted driving.  A driver distracted by their cellphone is more dangerous than a driver with a BAC of .08.  An accident is 23 times more likely to occur when the driver is distracted. From 2014 to 2015, there was a 32 percent increase in deaths attributed to distracted driving.  And despite these statistics, drivers continue to text, take photos, surf social media and the internet and more while driving.  Now, one State has decided to do something about it. Continue reading

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Last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in our country.  That total is up from 2014 when 4,884 pedestrians lost their lives. Throughout the United States, a pedestrian is killed roughly every two hours. While that is a startling statistic, in Nashville it may very well be even more dangerous to be a pedestrian.  According to a recent report, Nashville is the 37th most dangerous city out of 104 metro areas according to a study released by Smart Growth America.  The good news is that Nashville has improved from 15th but there is still more room for improvement.  In a ten-year period, 209 pedestrians were struck and killed in Nashville.   And, of course, many more have been injured. Continue reading

Government regulations get a bad rap. To be sure, if you look long enough, you can find some that will make you shake your head and wonder, but for the most part regulations do a good job of providing protection to the public.  And, they can also be a big boost in accident claims and injury lawsuits.

As proof that regulations are needed to protect the public, one need only look at the tragic hot air balloon crash in Texas that killed the pilot and 15 passengers earlier this year. Many believe this accident occurred because the Federal Aviation Administration does very little to exercise oversight of hot air balloon operators.  In fact, regulations on hot air balloon operators are almost non-existent despite the fact that they often carry more passengers than small commuter planes and helicopters.  Unlike conventional pilots, hot air balloon operators do not have to get regular medical exams and, while the form operators must complete asks about narcotic drug charges, it specifically excludes alcohol- related driving offenses.  In the deadly Texas crash, the operator was taking at least 10 different drugs for various medical problems.  Some of the drugs including oxycodone would have disqualified him from flying conventional aircraft because of their effect on decision-making and reaction times.  Moreover, the operator had been convicted of drunk-driving on at least four occasions.  Of course, regulations do not prevent every accident, but it is probably safe to say that if the Federal Aviation Administration had implemented tighter regulations over hot air balloon pilots that this particular pilot would not have been in the sky with passengers on that fateful day.

Regulations not only provide protection to the public but they also can help your accident claim or injury lawsuit. If you are injured in an accident and you want to recover money for your injuries, you must prove that someone else was negligent, that negligence caused your injuries and the extent of your injuries and damages.  Let’s focus on negligence.  In simplest terms, you should think of negligence as either doing something you should not have done or not doing something you should have done.  Lawyers will often refer to it as a violation of the standard of care.  Part of proving the other party was negligent involves proving the standard of care, but when there is a safety regulation the standard of care has already been established by the regulation itself.  So then, all you must do is prove the defendant violated the regulation.  In other words, the regulation can eliminate one step of what is normally a two-step process.  So regulations can play a critical role in injury litigation.