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
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
Here is a statistic that will make you uneasy: more fatal accidents are now being caused by drugged driving than drunk driving. Here are 15 facts you may not know about drugged driving:
According to a recent report in The Tennessean, Franklin police need help locating a driver who caused a deadly motorcycle accident last week on McEwen drive. According to witnesses, an unidentified Nolensville woman, age 50, changed lanes and knocked the motorcycle into a curb. The motorcyclist, who was thrown from his bike, was severely injured and later died at the scene. If you or a family member was involved in an accident with an unidentified driver who does not stop, you can still recover money for your losses if you have the right insurance and know what to do. Continue reading
In 2015, more than 10,000 people lost their lives and another 200,000 were injured in drunk driving related car accidents and another 200,000 were injured. In Tennessee, despite law enforcement making over 23,000 DUI arrests, drunk driving car accidents claimed 252 lives. How does Tennessee compare to other states? Continue reading
Last year, 40,200 people lost their lives in car accidents. Think about that. 40,200 lives cut short. 40,200 funerals. 40,200 families mourning the loss of a loved one. For more perspective on that, the Chicago White Sox stadium holds 40,615 people, so we lost almost a stadium full of people to car accidents last year. The death toll represents a 6% increase over 2015 and a 14% increase over 2014. Experts attribute the rise in deaths to a number of factors and, of course, have offered suggestions to protect yourself. Continue reading
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
As the New Year approaches, many start to think about improvements they want to make in their lives for 2017. At the Law Offices of John Day, our work involves helping people who have been injured in accidents and, since most accidents are preventable, we thought we would give you some New Year’s resolutions that can help protect you and others. The best part of these resolutions is, for the most part, they are easy and painless to implement (unlike that weight resolution most of us make). Here are our recommendations:
- Check your auto insurance and make sure you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. I can’t tell you how often someone calls our office with significant injuries from a car accident who cannot recover any money because the driver who caused the accident did not have insurance and the client did not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. We have written a number of posts about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and you can find them here, here, here and here. But, our number one piece of advice to protect yourself would be to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with as high of limits as you can afford. You will truly be surprised at how cheap it is and it can mean the difference between receiving compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and injuries and receiving nothing.
- Wear your seatbelt. They save lives. Period.
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.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced new guidelines to combat driver distraction and hopefully reduce car accidents. The guidelines seek to prompt manufacturers to develop products that will reduce the risk of car crashes caused by distracted driving by either using a simplified driver interface which limits the time a driver’s eyes are averted from the road or by pairing a mobile device to the vehicle’s infotainment system. Currently, the NHTSA’s proposals are voluntary but they are a step in the right direction especially since we continue to see car crashes like the ones below that show just how out of control distracted driving is becoming. Continue reading