Tag: car accident lawyers

Texting While Driving Kills

Determined to stop people from texting while driving, the Obama administration plans a campaign similar to past government efforts to discourage drunk driving and encourage the use of seat belts. The administration offered recommendations to address the growing safety risk of distracted drivers, especially the use of mobile devices to send messages from behind the wheel. “We can really eliminate texting while driving. That should be our goal,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, declining to provide specifics of the recommendations. Researchers, safety groups, automakers and lawmakers have gathered to discuss the perils of distracted driving.

The Transportation Department reported that nearly 6,000 people were killed and a half-million were injured last year in automobile accidents as a result driver distraction, often by mobile devices and cell phones. LaHood called distracted driving a “menace to society” and said the administration would offer a series of recommendations to encourage Congress, state governments and the public to curb the unsafe behavior. A law has been proposed that would require states to ban texting or e-mailing while operating a moving vehicle or lose 25 percent of their annual federal highway funding. “No text message is so urgent that it’s worth dying over,” Klobuchar told participants.

The government reported that 5,870 people were killed and 515,000 were injured last year in crashes where at least one form of driver distraction was reported. Driver distraction was involved in 16 percent of all fatal crashes in 2008 and was prevalent among young drivers. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws making texting while driving illegal and seven states and the District have banned driving while talking on a handheld cell phone, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“We started driving cars about 100 years ago. We started using phones about 80 years ago. We’ve only really combined those two activities to a great degree in the last five or 10 years. We’re finding out they don’t mix,” said David Teater of Spring Lake, Mich., whose 12-year-old son, Joe, was killed in a 2004 crash when a driver using a cell phone ran a red light. Some researchers cautioned that banning all cell phone use by drivers would undermine the development of safety technologies that could allow vehicles to share traffic information with other vehicles and alert emergency responders to crashes.

It has yet to be seen what laws may develop as it relates to texting/cell phone use and driving, but it’s always important to drive safely and be aware of your surroundings to avoid auto accidents. At The Injury Law Clinic, P.A. we help victims of car accidents everyday. If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist or other motorist, call today for a free consultation (877) 215-3LAW (3529).

Having a Safe and Happy Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner and that means its time for ghoulish costumes, spooky treats and all-night parties. Unfortunately, that also means it’s time for some serious Halloween related injuries.

Every year thousands of injuries are reported on October 31.  Mostly, the injuries are accidents: kids burning themselves while playing with lit Jack O’ Lanterns and candles or tripping while running around the neighborhood with oversized costumes and props. But some can be more serious, like car accidents caused by drunk drivers and chocking incidents due to faulty costumes and props.

This Halloween remember to keep your family and yourself safe while celebrating by following some basic holiday safety tips:

If your going to a party where alcoholic beverages will be served, make sure you have a designated driver. One of the major causes of accidents on Halloween is auto accidents where one or both parties were drunk. 

If  you are staying at home and greeting neighborhood trick-or-treaters  make sure your house is plainly lit and that there are no decorations or wires blocking your entry path that may cause children to fall and injure themselves.

If you are going to be walking the neighborhood with your own children, make sure to carry a flash light. Children can be hit by Halloween traffic while crossing the street due to a lack of visibility. Also, know your neighborhood. While the State of Florida Department of Corrections has strict guidelines on sexual offenders during the holiday season it’s always best to be prepared. Go on http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/homepage.do to look up your neighborhood and see where potential treats may be.

Lastly, pick costumes that are breathable, fit right and are safe for children. Sometime costumes that look non-flammable aren’t.  Make sure you read tags and labels on all the costume pieces and follow age requirements which can prevent serious chocking accidents, especially when it comes to small props like guns and wands that have pieces that can break off easily.

Remember it’s not always possible to prevent injuries, but its’ always best to be prepared and have a plan.

The Injury Law Clinic wishes you a happy and safe Halloween.

How to Avoid Car Accidents Caused by Cell Phone Use

The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration has reported that 25% of all car accidents, that is one quarter of all car accidents, are caused by distractions on the road. One of the greatest offenders for distractions on the road is a cell phone. Some more statistics; Cell phone use is responsible for 636,000 car accidents, 330,000 injuries, 2,600 deaths and $43 billion in related costs every year.

Handheld cell phones have been banned in a number of states, cities, and counties. However, this usually doesn’t stop their use. Here are a few tips for avoiding car accidents caused by cell phone use for you and your family.

1. Make a Hands Free Set Your Gift Priority

If you have a gifting holiday of any kind coming up for a family member or friend that you know uses a cell phone, find out what model of phone they have and buy them a hands free car kit. Offer to install it for them as well. You may just be saving their lives with this gift that will generally run you under $100.00. In addition, many smart phones now include music options, so they’ll be thinking of you while they’re humming along to their favorite tunes in the car. Even those ardently against hands free laws will find themselves using it if you install it for them.

2. Go Hands Free Yourself

It goes without saying, but either install a hands free set or turn off the phone in the car. This is especially important if you have a job that involves traveling or extensive use of your cellphone. If you don’t feel that you can manage such an installation, many auto service centers will be happy to do this service for you.

3. Avoid Erratic Drivers

It is often very easy to spot cell phone handset users. They’re going too slow in the fast lane, not checking their blind spots during lane changes, and doing other things that clearly demonstrate that their attention is off the road. Try not to get stuck behind one of these people and get out of their lane as soon as you safely can.

4. Educate Your Friends, Co-Workers, and Family

Start a conversation around the water cooler about cell phone use and its effects on drivers. Share this article with friends and family. The more conversations you start, the more hearts and minds you’ll change on the subject. Try to avoid sounding pedantic, as most opponents of the hands free laws don’t appreciate the government, or anyone else for that matter, telling them what to do. Simply share the relevant statistics and let them make up their minds for themselves.

Auto accidents cause death and can take away your friends and family instantly. Staying off the cell phone and making sure that those you love talk hands free is a very small thing that you can do in order to prevent accidents and keep them safe.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident as a result of cell phone use while driving, the Personal Injury Attorneys at The Injury Law Clinic can help!  Call The Injury Law Clinic at 1-877-215-3LAW (3529) for a Free Consultation.