We, as a society, have come to depend on our electronic gadgets and gizmos to remind us of everything from birthdays to business meetings, and of course, to keep up our social connections. Read the rest »
Distracted Driving Archives - The Law Office of WT Johnson Blog
The one thing all fourteen accidents had in common? Every one of them was caused by a distracted human driver – not by the computer responsible for operating the Google vehicle.
Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), dating back to at least 2008, have consistently shown the dangers posed by distracted driving. Drivers who are busy texting, making phone calls, eating, or performing other tasks behind the wheel are more likely to cause serious injuries to other motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
Now, studies are showing that distracted drivers risk the lives of others in another way: by being less likely to notice an oncoming emergency vehicle or to get out of the way quickly. Read the rest »
Distracted driving causes thousands of car wrecks in Texas and nationwide each year, which is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and experienced Texas car accident lawyers are determined to inform the public and reduce risks.
The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Cell phone use and texting are well-known distractions, but eating and drinking, changing the radio station, having conversations, or watching things other than what is outside the vehicle can also cause distraction.
Here are five key facts and statistics to know about distracted driving:
- Distracted driving crash deaths dropped 7 percent between 2012 and 2013, but about 3,000 more injuries were reported in 2013 than in 2012. Read the rest »
And cell phones are only part of the problem, as many experienced Texas distracted driving accident attorneys know. When other sources of distraction, such as reading a map, listening to loud music, or having your attention diverted by other passengers are accounted for, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over nine people die and 1,153 people are injured every single day in a distracted driving accident. In 2011, one in every five crashes involved a distracted driver, according to the CDC. Read the rest »
Experienced Texas car accident attorneys have long known that smartphone use in cars is a leading cause of distracted driving accidents, often resulting in death and serious injury to motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Most U.S. states have responded to these risks by limiting smartphone use in cars, and both tech companies and auto manufacturers have tried to find ways to reduce the risks while still making the phones’ features available to customers.
Now, San Francisco-based tech company Navdy is marketing a heads-up display (HUD) that the company claims will aid in attempts to make smartphone access safer for drivers. The company plans to put the devices in stores in 2015. But researchers say that the evidence demonstrating that these devices are “safer” is shaky at best. Read the rest »
If a joyride ends up in a crash, and ends up causing injuries and damages to property, then who is liable?
This is a question that parents wish they never have to ask, but the possibility is always present. For instance, a 6-year old and her 8-year old brother took their parents’ car for a quick joyride. The result is inevitable – the car crashed less than one block from their house, and the younger daughter was killed in the incident.
If you own a car and it was taken without your consent, how will things go from there? Will you be held liable? Here are some factors considered:
Your insurance policy
To know if you are liable for a joyride accident, it is best to check first your insurance policy. Take a look if your child, or the person who took the car without your consent, is covered by your insurance plan.
There are insurance policies that cover every member of your household, while there are also some who only cover those who have driver’s licenses. Otherwise, an uncovered member of the family could mean out of pocket expenses for you.
Upon applying for coverage, it is likely that you will be asked to list down your household members, their ages, and other pertinent information, even if they are not licensed to drive. Take note that failing to list everyone (especially someone who ends up taking your car without your consent) can be deemed insurance fraud and result in negative circumstances.
However, even if your child is covered by the policy, the chances that your insurance plan will cover the accident are very unlikely. Instead, here are potential scenarios you could face:
Theft. There are comprehensive insurance policies that enable the policyholder to make a claim for vehicular theft. However, take note that insurance companies may not consider your child taking your car as theft.
Unauthorized use. Your insurance company will also likely tell you that a joyride is classified as ‘unauthorized use,’ which could increase the possibility of not being covered. Because the joyride occurred when your car was taken without your knowledge, then a claim may possibly not be opened for it.
Out of pocket expenses. With the possibility of not being covered come the chances of you shelling out money to cover for the expenses. If the joyrider is not your child (or is not related to you), then it is possible that you can ask for help to share the expenses. Otherwise, it will likely be your sole responsibility.
Remember, not all insurance policies were created the same. Some may cover a joyride incident, some may not – and some may be open to negotiate. When it comes to these kinds of cases, it is best to arm yourself with a personal injury lawyer who can represent you and your interests. The lawyers of W.T. Johnson are well-versed in handling these kinds of cases, and are compassionate in dealing with your concerns, and knowledgeable to help uphold your rights. To schedule a meeting with us, call us today.
Fatal car crashes are among the leading causes of death in teenagers. Teenage drivers are inexperienced and lose control of vehicles because they lack professionalism in their everyday driving. Teen drivers often speed, and to make matters worse, they underestimate the need of scanning the road ahead and eliminating driving distractions.
How Parents Can Help Their Teens Avoid Car Accidents
The National Safety Council (NSC) advocates reducing teen car crash fatalities and personal injuries with the help of parents. NSC advocates teaching parents how to prevent teen car wrecks. They list the top ten things parents can do to change young people’s driving habits:
- Kids look up to their parents. So, parents are encouraged to be safe, conscientious drivers as modeling good driving behavior does make a difference in how a teen acts behind the wheel.
- When a teen gets a driver’s license, that doesn’t mean the teen is skilled enough to be a safe and competent driver. Teens who get a driver’s license for the first time are still at high risk of causing traffic crashes, since they are still very inexperienced.
- Most nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight, not the wee hours of the morning.
- In the United States, auto accidents are the number one cause of teen fatalities.
- More than 50 percent of teens killed in car crashes were found not to have worn a seatbelt at the time of the fatal car crash.
- Teens are not encouraged to drive each other around. Passengers younger than 18 greatly increase the odds of a fatal car wreck involving a teen driver.
- The first year of the teen’s issuance of a driver’s license is the most risky time for a new driver.
- Laws that limit teen driving do not adequately protect teen drivers who die in traffic collisions.
- Teens below the age of 20 are more likely to be involved in a car crash than those over 20 years of age.
- Most teen-driver car crashes are caused by inexperience, not reckless teen driving.
Recommendations for Teen Drivers
NSC recommends 100 hours of supervised driving practice for new teen drivers. NSC insists on this advice by noting that teen drivers who have less than 50 hours of supervised practice are not safe on the road. They recommend that parents sign safety contracts with new teen drivers to ensure safe driving tactics and accountability.
Many states issue Graduated Driver licensing (GDL) to teenagers and new teen drivers in the effort to lower teen car crashes. Additional safety laws have been put in place targeting teenagers, including the requirement of a helmet for all motorcyclists under the age of 18 and a ban on hand-held cell phone use, except in case of emergencies.
Some GDL programs require 30 hours of supervised driving practice with a six-month instructional permit before a teen under the age of 18 can be granted a full drivers license. Teen drivers are also required to complete driver’s education and stay out of legal trouble before the state issues a GDL. The license can be cancelled for traffic violations like careless and reckless driving, maintenance tickets and speeding.
If you have been a victim of a car accident, don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson for a free consultation.
If you would like to discuss your claim with a member of our team, don’t hesitate to call us at (214) 231-0544. We’re ready to help you, and won’t rest until you receive the settlement you deserve.