Car Accidents

Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable people on the road, because they do not have protective gears that can absorb the force of collisions. They get all the force from the accident, and sometimes, they even strike their head into the ground, causing further damage.

Because of this vulnerability, pedestrians and drivers should be diligent at the same time. It is not just about pedestrians respecting the right of way, or drivers yielding to those who cannot wait to cross the road. Just like traffic, it’s a two-way effort. According to the website www.shw-law.com, pedestrian accidents involving a reckless or negligent party may be liable for personal injury lawsuits.

To avoid injuries and lawsuits, it is best to stay diligent on the road.

Crosswalk diligence

Not because a pedestrian is in a crosswalk it already means that he is not at fault. If he is disrupting the flow of traffic unnecessarily, like when there is a green light for vehicles to pass, he may have caused his own accident. Pedestrians may be the most vulnerable in the road, but it doesn’t mean that they are entitled to just dart in front of vehicles. Like mentioned earlier, traffic safety requires the effort of both pedestrian and driver.

Distracted driving

Being distracted by unnecessary thoughts and foreign objects like food and mobile phones can cause collisions. Whether you are a pedestrian or a driver, it is important to keep your eyes on the road and put your focus on the task of walking or driving. It only takes a single second of distraction for an accident to occur.

DUI

Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether you are a pedestrian or driver, puts you at risk. The bodily effects of alcohol and drugs can cause physical and mental impairments that may affect your ability to walk or drive diligently, make proper decisions on the road, and react to stimuli.

Right of way

Failing to stop on stop signs and traffic signals, yield to pedestrians that have the right of way on crosswalks, yield to vehicles that have the green light, are some of the most common right of way issues. It is simply a matter of being courteous. If a vehicle or a pedestrian has the right of way, let it pass first.

Speeding

When a driver is going at a high rate of speed, he has less time to react to unexpected scenarios, like pedestrians suddenly crossing the road. He may also lose control, jump the curb, and crash into unsuspecting pedestrians in the sidewalk.

Other negligent acts

Reckless and negligence is perhaps the most common cause of pedestrian accidents. In the case of drivers, these acts may include failure to consider weather conditions, obey traffic rules, signal during turns, and take U-turns on proper U-turn spots.

In the case of pedestrians, these acts may involve crossing the street on unmarked crosswalks, ignoring walk signals in intersections, and wearing dark clothing in dark areas.

The key to a pedestrian and driver safe road is the effective cooperation between the two. Both pedestrian and driver should observe diligence and compliance to safety regulations, because one is not more entitled than the other.

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Laws Ensuring Truck-Driver Safety

Commercial freight trucks, also called big rigs or 18-wheelers, extend to 70 feet in length and weigh 80,000 lbs. (40 tons), making them 20-30 times heavier than cars. Their enormous size and weight require a much longer stopping distance, heavier duty tires, and a more powerful braking system, than smaller vehicles.

Many see trucks as threats on the road due to the damage they can cause in the event of an accident. A collision with a smaller vehicle can easily result to major damage to properties and severe injuries or death to people, enough to make the federal government decide to intervene in matters concerning commercial vehicles. In 2013 alone, a non-profit research organization, called the Highway Loss Data Institute, received more than 3,500 reports of large truck accidents that killed 540 motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, and 2400 passengers of cars and other smaller vehicles. Thus, with the intent of reducing or preventing truck accidents, injuries and fatalities, the 99th Congress passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act in September of 1986. This Act mandates that a commercial driver’s license should be issued only to qualified drivers and that drivers who operate trucks (as well as buses) in an unsafe manner should be removed from the highway. To be issued a commercial driver’s license though, the Act requires that a person applying for it should: first, undergo a special training which will allow him/her to develop the knowledge and the skills necessary in operating a truck safely; and, second, pass a three-part skills test on basic control, vehicle inspection, and road test. Other requirements for qualification include having a state-issued copy of a Commercial Driver’s Licensing (CDL) Manual, medical tests, proof of residency, and a Commercial Learners Permit (CLP).

No matter how well trained a driver is in operating a truck, though, fatigue and/or drowsiness will always render him/her incapable of performing his/her tasks efficiently, especially since most jobs require long hours of cross-county driving. Therefore, to make sure that truck drivers are always alert and focused on driving, other laws have been passed, like the maximum number hours of service (HOS) and the required length of rest between duties, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit, and the use of a Bluetooth headset, which will end drivers’ use of a cellphone whenever behind the wheel.

Enforcement of the Act and the other laws is the task of the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). However, despite the laws and their implementation, truck accidents still occur simply because some truck operators are either just too adamant to obey the mandates or are too greedy, choosing profit rather than the safety of everyone else on the road. This is the clear message whenever they hire unqualified drivers during peak season, when they force their drivers to work beyond the HOS limit, and when they have their trucks operated until the tires are totally worn out or some parts actually break down.

On their website, the Tuscon personal injury attorneys of Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C. clearly explain the importance of regularly maintaining trucks and operating these safely until these reach their destination, and the possible tragic consequences of failing to do so. There is nothing wrong with seeking profit, but not to the point of compromising the safety of others. Choosing to act irresponsibly or recklessly will never be acceptable.

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What are Rollover Accidents?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that rollover accidents cause up to 24,000 injuries and 10,000 fatalities every year. These types of accidents are particularly dangerous because it involves the vehicle turning over either on its side or completely upside down. When victims do survive such horrific accidents, they could end up suffering from some form of disability. The most common injuries caused by rollover accidents include lacerations, broken bones, and traumatic brain injury.

Larger vehicles are more susceptible to rollover accidents. Vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs have a higher center of gravity compared to regular passenger-type cars. Matched with unsafe road conditions, mechanical defects, or worn-out tires, the risk for rollover accidents for these vehicles will typically increase. This is because, according to Madison car accident attorneys, larger vehicles can easily become unstable once a driver loses control due to unforeseen circumstances. The dangers become even worse when the vehicle can’t gain enough traction between the pavement and the tires. These risks can result in serious accidents that can potentially harm anyone who happens to be nearby.

Considering the dangers and devastating consequences of such incidents, the prevention of rollover accidents is extremely crucial. Plenty of larger vehicle manufacturers have employed the installation of safety devices called Electronic Stability Control or ESC for short. The device recognizes when a driver loses control and automatically uses the brakes to allow the vehicle to regain its stability. It makes use of special censors in order to detect any changes in balance and steadiness.

Unfortunately, the ESC safety feature isn’t a staple for all types of vehicle most susceptible to rollover accidents. As such, plenty of accidents that could have been easily avoided continue to occur in roadways across America. This is why cars that have this control are insured at a lower rate than those that do not. Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® has more information on that topic. Vehicle manufacturers should be held accountable for any vehicle design defects that continue to contribute to such tragic accidents and hurt innocent motorists.

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