Articles Posted in Car Accidents

As the parent of a teenager, you likely have concerns about their ability to operate a vehicle safely when you are not in the car. Teenagers often feel that they are ready for the freedom that having a drivers’ license can give them, but parents often worry that their kids do not have the maturity, skill, or experience to protect themselves and others from harm on the roads.stockfresh_3258351_young-black-teenage-driver-holding-car-keys-driving-her-new-car_sizeS-300x200

Fortunately, there are steps you can take as a parent to help your teen be a safer driver. Here are some suggestions:

Step #1: Set a good example.

For your teen to be a safe driver, you should make sure to set a good example of safe driving habits. A parent who drives aggressively or impatiently, tailgates, or speeds will have a harder time convincing their teen to practice patience behind the wheel. Be a good role model for your teen!

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As a parent, selecting the right car seat is one of the most important purchases you will make for your child. Choosing the right seat for your vehicle and your child’s age and size is critical to protecting them from harm in the event of a collision.

stockfresh_7984496_baby-car-seat-toddle-car-seat-safe-child-traveling-icons_sizeS-300x300According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), child restraint systems saved the lives of 6,567 children from 1975-2002. A secure and properly installed car seat can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your child from harm when you are in a collision while they are in the vehicle.

The following are some helpful tips for selecting the right car seat for your child.

  1. Read Your Owner’s Manual

There are many different types of car seats on the market made by different manufacturers. Be sure to read your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out how car seats may be installed. Some vehicles have lower anchors and tethers, while others require installation using the seat belt. Continue Reading

Drunk driving-related incidents spike on Super Bowl Sunday according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and an analysis by another group reports that “states and regions with a team in the game can see drinking violations that are double or even triple the norm.”

stockfresh_5180_glass-of-beer-and-keys-on-bar-table_sizeS-200x300Ultimately, it is the responsibility of every individual to make smart choices during Super Bowl parties. This means paying attention to how much alcohol you consume at parties and making safe decisions when it comes to transportation. With popular ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft operating in many areas of North Carolina and South Carolina, there is no excuse for drinking and driving. If you live in a location that doesn’t have Uber or Lyft, a taxi or a designated driver are still dependable and safe choices that should be relied upon if you plan to drink during the holidays.  The NHTSA also has a SafeRide app which identifies your location so you can get a taxi or friend to pick you up and give you a ride home.

If you are hosting a party, it is important to consider the safety of your guests and the safety of others on the road. Make sure to watch how much alcohol your guests are consuming at your event, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much and tries to drive themselves home. By letting people stay at your home or finding them a safe ride home through an Uber, Lyft, taxi, or sober ride, you can ensure the safety of your friend and countless others who are on the road.

On December 18, a federal mandate requiring the installation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) on all commercial trucks went into effect.  Still, other proposed regulations designed to improve highway safety have been rolled back or are on hold.

According to a recent story on NPR, the Obama-era mandate stockfresh_314277_rearview-car-driving-mirror-overtaking-big-truck_sizeS-300x200was one of several proposed regulations that were designed to make the roads safer by preventing drivers from operating their vehicles while fatigued. The ELD mandate, specifically, requires all trucks to have ELDs, which would replace the easily altered paper logbooks that many drivers still use to track the hours they spend on the road and the hours that they spend at rest.

Some truck drivers complain that the new devices are prohibitively expensive (the devices cost about $500) and that they do not take into account the actual conditions and delays that drivers experience while on the road.

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When you have been in a car wreck or any other type of accident, everything that happens after can be confusing or scary.  One of the questions we regularly ask potential clients is what type of diagnostic tests they have had.  A lot of times people are not sure which tests they have had, and if they do know which tests, they might not know the reasons for the tests.stockfresh_92580_doctor-with-patient-having-a-computerized-axial-tomography-cat_sizeS-300x200

Three Tests That Might Be Ordered For You

There are three typical tests that people have when they are hurt.  The first test almost any emergency room will run is an X-ray. X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation or electromagnetic waves.  While used in many ways in the medical field, including treatment of cancer, the most common way is for taking pictures of bones to look for fractures. The radiation produced can penetrate soft tissue, such as skin, fat, and muscle but does not penetrate bone, resulting in shadowy black and white photos of those bones.  While radiation can help cure cancer, it is also classified as a carcinogen itself, but it is widely accepted in the medical community that the benefits of x-rays far out weight the risks. X-rays would be best used to diagnose broken bones suffered in an accident.

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While different states have different laws regarding school bus safety, nearly every state has laws in place to penalize drivers who fail to exercise caution when driving behind or passing school buses.

shutterstock_148242869-300x199In North Carolina, for example, drivers are required to stop when a school bus turns on its flashing red lights or displays its mechanical stop sign. The driver must not attempt to pass the bus until the sign has been withdrawn, the lights have been turned off and the bus has proceeded along its route.

If you are on a “divided highway with four lanes or more with a median separation or a center turning lane: When school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop” according to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS).

Violations of these laws are serious. Drivers can expect fines and repeated offenses can lead to a suspension of a driver’s license.

North Carolina’s New School Bus Camera Law

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When Memorial Day comes around each year, we know it is the start of summer. Since many families in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina spend time outdoors and take vacations, now is the perfect time to think more about summer safety, Memorial Day safety, and ensuring that your family remains healthy throughout the season.

stockfresh_7102509_memorial-day-celebration_sizeS-300x277In the event that you or someone you love does sustain a serious injury this summer, an experienced Western North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help.

History of Memorial Day

When we gather around the picnic table or head out of town for a Memorial Day vacation, few of us think about the history of the holiday. According to an article from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day officially became a holiday three years after the end of the Civil War in 1868. At that time, the Grand Army of the Republic (an organization made up of Union veterans) established May 30 as “Decoration Day,” or a time to decorate the graves of those killed in the Civil War.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced a proposed rule that would enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication for all new light-duty vehicles. The proposed rule aims to prevent car accidents by letting vehicles communicate with each other.

This idea was first floated by the NHTSA nearly 3 years ago. If put into effect by 2019 as proposed, it would start phasing in the new rule in 2021, with 2023 set as the deadline for compliance.stockfresh_6593245_connected-car-truck-vehicle-autonomous_sizeS-300x253

How V2V Technology Works

V2V technology uses dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) to allow vehicles within about 1,000 feet of each other to exchange information about location, direction and speed. That info is sent 10 times per second, and vehicles with V2V can use that information to warn the driver about safety hazards.

If a vehicle has automated driving features, it can also use the V2V information to adapt its speed, direction, or braking in order to avoid crashes.

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A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 35,092 people died in car accidents in the U.S. last year – a 7.2% spike over 2014, and the biggest increase in 50 years.stockfresh_5997305_exploded-airbag_sizeS-300x200

The increased deaths are not just for passenger vehicles, but across all categories: cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, etc. According to the National Safety Council, North Carolina had the 5th highest increase in the number of car crash deaths in the United States from 2014 to 2015, a shocking 26% increase.

The sudden increase is surprising, since advances in safety, such as improved airbags, automated braking, backup cameras and blind spot warnings, should theoretically continue to prevent more and more accidents and make injuries less severe when they do happen.

stockfresh_791688_two-semi-trucks-on-the-highway_sizeS-300x200The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) are proposing a rule for heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks to be equipped with speed limiters (also called “speed governors”), preventing the vehicle from exceeding a set maximum speed. The maximum speeds suggested for the final rule are 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour. The government agencies involved say they will consider other speeds after receiving input from the public.

Speed limiters are being recommended in order to save lives and fuel costs. Heavy-duty vehicles inflict much more damage at high speeds than lighter-weight vehicles, so the hope is that capping speeds will reduce truck accident fatalities and serious injuries. According to NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind, “This is basic physics…. Even small increases in speed have large effects on the force of impact. Setting the speed limit on heavy vehicles makes sense for safety and the environment.”

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