It may come as a surprise to learn that teens are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel than their older counterparts. As we age, our ability to quickly relax and fall asleep begins to decrease. However, in teens, this function is still alive and well. Unfortunately, it also makes young drivers vulnerable to falling asleep behind the wheel, especially if they get less than adequate sleep on a regular basis. While teens typically experience less sleep problems than older adults, common behaviors such as staying up late at night and getting up early for summer jobs can increase the risk of drowsy-driving in teens. Continue reading
A general decrease in car accidents and vehicle related fatalities has been taking place in Massachusetts over the past six years or so. While some counties (Worcester and Plymouth primarily) are still experiencing fluctuating numbers between years, a steady overall decline seems to be developing. Most online records have not been updated since 2012-2013 but the graphs provided indicate that this is a trend that could realistically continue.
Car crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries stemming from car accidents have decreased substantially from 2010-2012. The statistics do show a slight increase in fatalities between 2010-2011, but then the numbers become lower again during the 2011-2012 time frame. The Massachusetts Government reports that the total number of car crashes between 2010 and 2012 has dwindled by as many as 8,317. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration similarly reported that in 2010 motor vehicle crashes resulted in the lowest number of fatalities since 1949. Continue reading
How many times have you backed safely out of your driveway? Probably too many times to count or actively keep track of. While we all believe that we are commonly practicing safe driving habits, accidents can occur at any time. I was recently pulling out of my driveway and was putting my car in reverse while closing my garage door when a car raced down my street, thankfully I was able to apply my breaks in time, but it was close. Accidents can happen in the most familiar areas. Whether it is on a freeway, a local back road, or even your own driveway, unforeseen circumstances can contribute to misfortune. A local Quincy woman found out the hard way that perhaps the practices she was so familiar with weren’t safe enough. Continue reading
If you are driving this July 4th weekend, whether it is locally or out-of-state, there are a few things you may need to observe in order to ensure your safety on the road. Times of celebration bring to mind more pleasant ideas than driver safety, but it is important to remember that holiday times tend to be some of the most dangerous times of the year in terms of road conditions.
In preparation for your road trip, there are essential things you can check on and within your vehicle to make sure that you are in a safe driving condition. The most basic item you could tick off your checklist first would be your tires. Checking your tire pressure before you take to the streets can be a key difference maker in terms of your fuel efficiency, and it can also play a vital role in your safety as well.
Another important item to check the quality of is your car’s battery. If you know that it has been awhile since you last replaced the battery in your car, it could be time to consider changing the battery for a new one. If you feel as though this can wait until you return from your trip, it would be a good idea to keep jumper cables handy in case you were to need them. In terms of driving, it is always better to be prepared for any possible circumstances that may arise. Continue reading
We all know the dangers of texting and driving, but sometimes seeing the warning with our eyes has a bigger impact.
A PSA from 2014 resurfaced this week, making its rounds on social media and sending a chilling reminder to teens, parents and drivers everywhere of just how dangerous and deadly texting and driving can be.
Watch the video on YouTube here.
Distracted driving accidents account for nearly 20% of all motor vehicle collisions in the United States. In 2013 alone, 3,154 people were killed and approximately 424,000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving, Distraction.gov reports. A person who is texting or using a phone while driving is about 23 times more likely to get into an accident than someone who is not distracted. 5 seconds is the average time a person’s eyes are taken off the road while texting, according to the United States Ad Council, and at 55mph, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field. According to Distraction.gov, individuals in their 20s make up 27% of drivers involved in distracted driving incidents; 10% of drivers involved in car accidents were under the age of 20; making this age group the largest proportion of drivers involved in distracted driving incidents.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has established a zero tolerance policy when it comes to texting and driving and does not permit the use of a smart phone for any purpose except for making a phone call. While individuals over 18 are allowed to talk on a cell phone while driving, all drivers, no matter what type of license they carry are banned from text messaging while operating a motor vehicle.
In addition to texting and driving, distracted driving incidents are often caused by drivers who are:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading maps or using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting the radio
Many states across the country have legislated laws that ban texting and adopted graduated licensing systems to prevent and raise awareness of distracted driving, yet the best way to decrease distracted driving accidents is for drivers to avoid distractions altogether. Remember that distracted driving accidents are almost 100% preventable. If you’re a parent with teenagers, speak to them about the dangers of distracted driving, and set a good example while you’re driving by not answering or making phone calls, text messaging, or using your smart phone.
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident as the result of another’s negligence and was injured, it is generally within your best interest to consult the advice of a seasoned legal professional to discuss your options for filing a personal injury claim. At the law offices of Altman & Altman, LLP, our dedicated Car Accident Attorneys have 50 years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases, and specialize in car accident claims. Call or email our office today to schedule a consultation with our team. Our lawyers are available around the clock to assist you, and all initial consultations are completely free and confidential.
For more information on distracted driving, visit: Distraction.gov.
Any type of auto accident can cause serious injury and even death, but those involving large trucks can be particularly devastating. Due to the sheer size and weight of a large truck (in excess of 10,000 pounds), accidents are far more likely to involve multiple car collisions and result in death.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a report in 2007 that highlighted the most common causes of truck accidents. The “Large Truck Causation Study” report is the first of its kind to examine the wide scope of factors that contribute to large commercial truck accidents. Using a nationwide sample of 967 crashes, researchers concluded that certain circumstances are most prevalent in truck accidents. Below is a list of the most common trucking accident causes, and their corresponding level of risk. Continue reading
Vehicle crashes involving large trucks are responsible for over 5,000 fatalities annually in the United States. The person or people killed are almost always occupants of passenger vehicles – rarely the truck driver. Additionally, almost 150,000 people are injured every year in accidents involving large trucks. There are many causes of trucking accidents, including distracted driving, drug or alcohol use, and faulty equipment. However, one of the main contributing factors to large truck accidents is driver fatigue. Continue reading
If you or someone you love was injured in a Boston sideswipe collision, you should speak with an experienced Massachusetts traffic accident lawyer right away. A sideswipe accident happens when the sides of two autos heading in the same direction end up striking one another, potentially causing serious injuries or death.
A sideswipe accident typically occurs when one driver changes lanes without checking to make sure there isn’t already a vehicle there. Distracted driving can also compel a motorist to unintentionally drift into the next lane without noticing until it’s too late. Driving while tired, talking on a cell phone, text messaging, or operating under the influence of alcohol and drugs can also cause sideswipe crashes.
Injuries from a sideswipe accident may be severe—especially as the bulk of protection found in vehicles are designated to deal with head-on and rear-end crashes, although having side-impact air bags can help. Still, in sideswipe crashes there is very little physical buffer between where the impact strikes a vehicle and the location of the passengers.
A jury has awarded a 40-year-old woman $32.5 million for injuries she sustained in a 2006 truck crash. Kristen Zak, then 31, sustained a traumatic brain injury and developed partial paralysis after the car she was a passenger in slid on any icy patch of road and into a median. There it collided with a transport truck that had crashed into the median just an hour before.
According to the plaintiff’s truck crash attorneys, trucker Terry Brown Jr. had been going too fast and did not follow safety regulations, which required him to put out reflective triangles and turn on the disabled truck’s flashing lights. The jury found Brown and J.B. Hunt Transport 30% liable for Zak’s injuries. Matt Robison, who was driving the car she had been riding when the accident happened, was found 40% liable.
After the truck crash, Zak, who now also suffers from serious cognitive deficits, was left wheelchair-bound and unable to take care of her young daughter or recognize the man who was fiancé.
Riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous. A bike’s small size and lack of enclosure make motorcyclists more vulnerable to injury than other motorists. In fact, motorcycle riders are over 26 times more likely to be killed in a crash than car and truck drivers. However, the risks can be minimized significantly by taking proper precautions when you ride. You can also lessen your chance of having an accident by performing regular maintenance on your bike.
Below is a list of common causes of motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them. By following safe riding practices, you will greatly reduce your risk of serious injury or death. Continue reading