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Driving Laws Archives - The Law Office of WT Johnson Blog

The Dangers of Driving While Impaired

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on April 28, 2014

Man Killed in DUI Rollover AccidentDriving while impaired refers to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, and/or alcohol. Driving while impaired is one of the deadliest, and unfortunately, most committed crimes in the United States. Every day, at least 30 people die in alcohol-related accidents. That’s 30 too many. The annual cost of alcohol or drug-related crashes estimates to around $51 billion. If that doesn’t put things in perspective, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), three out of every 10 people in the US will be involved in an alcohol-related car accident in their life time.

Laws Against Impaired Driving

All states have laws against impaired driving, more specifically driving while under the influence of alcohol. Sanctions against driving while under the influence of alcohol include license revocations, ignition interlocks, as well as sobriety checkpoints. Driving while under the influence of drugs is a little harder to detect, especially because there is no national standard to gage the measure of drug impairment. Most states have a drug per se law that prohibits drivers to have any trace of a drug in their system while operating a motor vehicle. They also train dogs to help them sniff out drugs and identify drug-impaired drivers.

Who is at Risk?

The risk of being involved in an alcohol or drug related car accident is much greater for young people than it is for older people, at any blood alcohol concentration level (BAC). Of the people with a BAC of 0.08 percent involved in a fatal crash, one out of three were between the ages of 21 to 24 years old, the next two largest age groups were those between the ages of 25 to 34, and 35 to 44 years old.

Motorcyclists are another group at risk of being involved in a drug or alcohol-related accident. Nearly half of the alcohol-impaired motorcyclists that died in an alcohol-related accident were over the age of 40. Lastly, people who have previously received a DWI are at risk of being convicted again. Drivers who were pulled over with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher were four times more likely to have a previous DWI conviction.

The unfortunate thing about driving while impaired accidents, is that they all could have been prevented. Effective measures to prevent future accidents and deaths from impaired driving include:

  • Actively enforcing BAC laws and zero tolerance laws for those under the age of 21.
  • Immediately suspending the driver’s license of those who drive under the influence.
  • Setting up sobriety checkpoints more often.
  • Reaching out to your community about the dangers of driving while under the influence.

It’s also important that individuals remain responsible for their own actions. Safety tips include:

  • Designating a sober driver at the beginning of the night.
  • Don’t let others drive impaired.
  • If you have been drinking, take a cab home.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of WT Johnson immediately. We take drunk driving very seriously and encourage you to seek retribution as soon as possible. Contact our expert drunk driving attorneys today and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Liability in Texas Car Accidents

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on October 10, 2012

The law in Texas dictates that drivers will pay for accidents that they cause. This is why all Texas drivers are required by law to have liability insurance: accident injuries are often very expensive, and most people can’t afford to pay them out of pocket.

But first, before anyone pays any damages for a given accident, it must be determined who was at fault. This person is said to be “liable” for the accident.

In some cases, the liability may seem straightforward. If someone runs a red light and hits your car, common sense says that they’re at fault and should compensate you for any damages or injuries sustained. But if you want to be compensated, you have to prove that they’re liable under the law, not under common sense.

Proving what appears to be even a simple case can be fairly complicated. It must be determined that the driver at fault was negligent, and that the driver’s negligence was, in fact, the cause of the wreck. Throughout this whole process, you’re also probably having to deal with medical bills, as well as insurance companies trying to find ways to not pay you what you rightfully deserve.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need an experienced Dallas car accident attorney to fight for your just compensation. Contact The Law Office of W.T. Johnson for a free consultation today. We’re here to help.

4 Injured in Oklahoma City Collision

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on October 8, 2012

A recent Oklahoma City accident involving a rear-end collision left 4 people injured. The accident occurred on Interstate 240 at Santa Fe in south Oklahoma City. A 24-year-old Oklahoma City resident crashed his car into the back of a pickup carrying four people. Both the car and the truck careened out of control and smashed into barrier walls. The pickup burst into flames, endangering its passengers.

The 75-year-old driver of the truck suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Two of his passengers, ages 73 and 50, suffered critical injuries, and the fourth passenger was treated and released from the hospital.

When looking into a rear-end collision, investigators have a lot of questions to answer. Who was at fault in the accident? Was the vehicle that rear-ended the other vehicle speeding? Was the driver of the colliding vehicle drunk, distracted, excessively fatigued, or negligent in some other way? Was the driver of the vehicle that got hit from behind responsible for the accident due to a sudden lane change, slowing down rapidly, or coming to a stop dangerously quickly? The answers to these investigative questions are all important when it comes to determining liability issues stemming from the accident.

In Texas, if you are injured in a car answer and a negligent driver is at fault, you can pursue compensation for your losses by filing a claim. When you are injured in such an accident, it is important that you enlist the help of an experienced car accident attorney to get the compensation you deserve.

The car wreck attorneys at the Law Office of W.T. Johnson will work hard to win your case and fight for your rights. If you have been injured in a car accident, the time to act is NOW: the sooner you contact our expert team of car accident attorneys, the better your chances of recovering as much as possible in compensation for your injuries.

For a complimentary consultation about your accident injuries, call the Dallas car accident attorneys at the Law Office of W.T. Johnson now.

Texting and Driving More Dangerous than Drunk Driving?

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on September 4, 2012

Recently the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there was a significant 4 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2010.

During 2010, a total of 4,280 pedestrians were killed in vehicle-related incidents and 70,000 were injured in 2010 in the U.S. That was the first increase of pedestrian deaths since 2005. Experts conclude that the upswing in deaths is likely related to an increase in distracted driving.

Distracted driving happens when someone is eating, putting on makeup, talking on the phone, or texting while driving. A few years ago, Car and Driver magazine did a study to see if drunk driving or texting while driving was worse. The results were surprising.

During the experiment, two drivers drove 70 m.p.h. on a closed track—one was legally drunk, and the other was texting. The drunk driver was able to stop his car within 4 feet of where he stopped it while he was sober.

The texting driver tried to brake while reading a text. His car stopped 36 feet beyond where he stopped when not distracted. Then he tried to stop while he texted and went an extra 70 feet.

Drinking and driving, or texting and driving, either one can result in death due to the negligence of a driver. If you have been the victim of a drunk driver or a distracted driver, you don’t need suffer because of their mistakes any longer. You should contact the Law Office of W.T. Johnson today to get the justice you are entitled to.

Accident Risks are Four Times Higher with Cell Phones

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on February 28, 2012

A study of Australian drivers discovered that the use of any cell phone, even hands-free, carries a four times higher risk of serious accidents

Male and female drivers experienced about the same increased risk from phone use, as well as drivers older and younger than 30 and those who used hands-free phones.

89 percent of the crashes involved other vehicles. More than half of the crashes occurred within 10 minutes of the trip’s start.

One reason the study was conducted in Australia was to estimate crash risk in an area where hand-held phone use is banned. It has been illegal since July 2001. Yet, one-third of the drivers said their calls were placed on hand-held phones.

Banning hand-held phone use won’t necessarily enhance safety if drivers switch to hands-free phones since crash risk was the same for both phones.

Most adults who drive admit to engaging in distracted driving habits, according to a HealthyDay poll from November 2011. The poll had 2,800 Americans respond to it and showed that while driving 37 percent of drivers have sent or received text messages, 41 percent have set or changed a GPS system and about 13 percent of drivers surfed the Internet.

About 6,000 deaths and half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a distracted driver, contact WT Johnson today. 

Graduated Driver Licensing Could Save 2000 Lives Each Year

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on January 19, 2012

Recently, the Allstate Foundation License to Save Report revealed that Graduated Driver Licensing laws could be the solution to car accidents caused by teenage drivers. According to the report’s findings, if all 50 states adopted GDL laws, 2000 lives and $13.6 billion could be saved per year. GDL laws would vary from state to state, but most would include some version of the following:

  • Nighttime restrictions such as a teenage driver curfew or passenger limit
  • Bans on cell phone use
  • Minimum age limit of 18 before full licensure

Many states have already adopted forms of GDL laws, and some have seen as much as a 40% decrease in deaths from teen drivers’ car accidents. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among American teenagers, owing mostly to inexperience and distractions.

If you have been in a car accident, we can help you with the representation you deserve. Contact W. T. Johnson today.

Tougher Teen Driving Laws

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on January 9, 2012

It is a rite of passage for many, an acceptance ticket into adulthood. Receiving your driver’s license is a very big deal, no question about it. However, the debate continues; how safe are these new drivers on the road?

Some argue that once a driver’s license is awarded, that person is considered a capable and competent driver. Others feel that simply completing the test isn’t enough. Most people, however, fall somewhere in the middle. They feel that while teenagers are old enough to know what safe and appropriate driving is, they are also easily persuaded to ignore what they know is best. After all, they are just kids.

Like anything else in life, driving just takes some getting used to. The problem is that unlike learning how to play a game or ride a bike, car accidents can carry some very dangerous consequences.

To combat this, many states have enforced “Graduated Driver Licensing” programs, limiting when, where, and with whom a new driver can use his/her vehicle. For example, some states restrict the time when a new driver can drive, issuing a midnight curfew. Other states have restrictions on the number of passengers that can be in the car while a new driver is behind the wheel.

In support of these graduated licensing rules, a report was released recently suggesting that not only do these restrictions save lives, but money as well. The report, which gathered data from various traffic safety groups, estimated that with nation-wide acceptance, these driving rules might save over 2,000 lives and billions of dollars each year.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Please leave a comment below, including your feelings on this subject; we’d love to hear what you have to say.

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.

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