Category Archives: Car Driver Safety

Drowsy Driving a Factor in Nearly 21% of Fatal Car Accidents

A new study was recently published by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that stated up to 21% of fatal car accidents involved a drowsy driver. This report was published to refute a different study that stated only 1% to 3% of motor vehicle accidents were affected by a drowsy driver.

drowsy driving man car

The study looked at over 14,000 car accidents and proved that a drowsy driver contributed to more than just 3% of accidents. This new study suggests the following:

  • Drowsy driving was a factor in 6% of all car accidents where a vehicle was being towed away from the scene
  • 7% of all accidents involving an injury were affected by a drowsy driver
  • Drowsy driving affected 13% of all motor vehicle accidents involving a fatality

What are the signs of drowsy driving?

Understanding the signs of drowsy driving can help you to pull over your vehicle before you become a dangerous driver. If you start to exhibit any of the following signs, it’s best to let somebody else drive your ride:

  • Yawning
  • Daydreaming
  • Drifting from one lane to another
  • Struggling to keep your eyes open
  • Struggling to remember the last few miles of your drive

If these signs become evident, you should pull over your vehicle to get some caffeine or stop to get some sleep before continuing. Those between the ages of 18 and 29 are more susceptible to drowsy driving, along with shift workers, parents and those with sleep apnea.

How can you prevent drowsy driving?

The last thing you want is to find yourself on the other side of a courtroom with a car accident attorney in Las Vegas trying to prove why you were at fault for driving drowsy. This could land you in jail or you may be held liable for the damages caused in the wreck.

Preventing drowsy driving is always a smart thing to do. About 10% of drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel, but you don’t have to be one of them. Use these tips to ensure you don’t end up driving drowsy and causing an accident:

  • Alternate drivers when possible
  • Get enough sleep the night before a long drive
  • Drink caffeine if you start to feel sleepy and allow about 30 minutes for the caffeine to kick in
  • Carry extra cash for a hotel room and pull over for a nap or a good night of sleep before continuing

Hopefully these tips will keep you alert and awake behind the wheel. For more information, contact Laura Hunt today at (702) 450-4868.

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5 Ways To Drive Safer This New Year

While most solutions for avoiding automobile accidents may seem like common sense, the truth is these tragedies continue to happen. Most people know what they should and shouldn’t do when it comes to driving, but most of us are guilty of breaking these rules at least once in our lives. This is why it might be a good resolution for the new year to focus on changing your behavior behind the wheel for the better. Here are 5 things to keep in mind to prevent an accident next time you get behind the wheel.

1. Don’t drink and drive

taxi cab las vegas

Everyone has heard this at some point, but this continues to be the most important thing you can do to prevent an unnecessary accident. It is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to alcohol and automobiles. If you are in doubt about whether you have had too much to drink, you probably have. If you are planning to drink, make a plan for how you are going to get home ahead of time. This could be specifying a designated driver among your friends or splitting cab faire. Either way, alcohol induced accidents and fatalities can be prevented. Also remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.

2. Be aware of pedestrians

With increasing reports of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in the valley this past year, this is something we can all commit to. Both pedestrians and bicyclist have the same rights to use the roads as drivers, and should be treated with the same caution and respect we afford to other drivers. Make sure to always look over your shoulder before switching lanes as there could potentially be a bicyclist in your blind spot. Always stop at designated crossing areas, even if you are in doubt as to whether you have the right-of-way. Courtesy and safety are key when it comes to pedestrian and bike traffic, using caution could save a life.

3. Put your phone down

driver texting

This is another piece of advice that we have all heard at one point or another, but continues to be a serious issue. Fatalities as a result of cell phone use, texting in particular, are unnecessary and can absolutely be prevented. Put your phone in the trunk or back seat, buy a hands free system, pull over or configure your phone to the bluetooth system in your car. There are also apps that can prevent use of a cell phone while in a moving vehicle if you can’t resist the urge. Whatever you need to do, make sure you aren’t using your phone while driving.

4. Wear your seatbelt

Another piece of advice we have heard over and over. This is your number one defense in the case of an accident, and should be used diligently. Even if you are just going around the corner or down the street, always wear your seatbelt. This may seem like common sense, but many auto fatalities occur simply because drivers and passenger were not wearing their seat belts. Make a habit of wearing yours and refusing to drive until all passengers are wearing theirs, it could just save your life.

5. Obey the speed limit

speed limit sign

Speed limits are made and enforced to protect you. They are not arbitrary numbers intended to make you late for work. These are carefully researched numbers which pertain to each individual road with many factors being incorporated. If you find yourself constantly speeding, try leaving a few minutes early for your destination. As speed increases, so does the force of impact in the case of an accident. Also, as speed increases, seat belts become less effective at protecting occupants.

 

These are just a few of the things every driver should strive for behind the wheel. If you have been in an accident and find yourself in need of a Las Vegas auto accident attorney, call the law office of Laura Hunt at (702) 450-4868 today.

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Click It or Ticket: Nevada’s Push to Increase Public Safety

Nevada motorists will find themselves in store for an unpleasant surprise if they fail to buckle up this holiday season. While “Click it or Ticket” has been in effect in the Las Vegas Valley and Nevada as a whole for years, the latest incarnation of the law will move in the direction more aggressively pursuing drivers who fail to wear seat belts.

A terrible car crash.

New safety regulations for Valley drivers

More than 20 law enforcement agencies, including Nevada Highway Patrol and the Las Vegas Police Department, will be joining forces to launch a new program aimed at identifying and detaining drivers that don’t put on their safety belts before getting on the road. Although seatbelt use is not a primary offense, that may soon change as a result of the measure going into effect. The Nevada Department of Public Safety warns drivers that officers are well-trained in spotting motorists who trying to “‘fake it’ or slyly slip on their seat belts upon being pulled over”.

Seatbelts save lives—and the stats back it up

Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of accidental death among Americans of all age groups, and millions of drivers and passengers are treated for serious injuries each year. Seat belts are the single most effective safety device to increase the survivability of an auto accident. Those who make the decision to buckle up are more likely to live through an auto accident, and far less likely to suffer injuries. It is estimated that drivers who do not wear a seatbelt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle, and of those ejected, 75 percent do not survive. Motorists who fail to wear a seat belt are 4 times more likely to die, and 10 times more likely to suffer a debilitating injury.

Surviving accidents on the road comes down to several factors, the most important of which is making sure to buckle up before you take off. If you ever find yourself in trouble after being involved in a crash, contact Laura Hunt, a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas, for a free consultation. With over 15 years of experience, Laura Hunt has the experienced necessary to help you maneuver through the complexities of the legal process. Call today at (702) 450-4868 or visit accidentlawyershenderson.com.

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The Best Used Vehicles for Teenage Drivers

This year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety put together its first ever list of recommended vehicles for teenage drivers. The purpose of this list is to help parents find the safest vehicles for their child, without having to spend a ton of money.

teen driver behind wheel

When teens drive cars not suited for them, it can lead to unwanted accidents. A car that doesn’t possess certain features and is too powerful can be difficult for a teenager to control. Large cars are also not a good option, as they can be tough to maneuver in tight situations.

Things to look for in a vehicle

Here are a few recommendations you should keep in mind when looking for a vehicle for your teenage driver:

  • Stay away from muscle cars, such as Mustangs and Corvettes. They have way too much horsepower for a young driver to control.
  • Heavier vehicles provide the most protection in the event of an accident, but they can be hard to maneuver.
  • Choose vehicles with electronic stability control, or ESC for short. ESC technology improves a vehicle’s stability, by detecting skidding and keeping the vehicle stable when going around curves.
  • Look for vehicles with the best possible safety rating. At minimum, you want the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to have rated the vehicle a four or five.

Safe cars for teen drivers

The top midsize cars that are both safe and priced under $20,000 include:

  • Toyota Prius V 2012 and later
  • Honda Accord Sedan 2012 and later
  • Toyota Camry 2012 and later
  • Kia Optima 2011 and later
  • Audi A3 2008 and later
  • Subaru Legacy 2010 and later
  • Hyundai Sonata 2011 and later

As parents, it can be difficult to grasp the fact our little ones are quickly growing up. But when it comes to driving, you want to make sure your teenager is as safe as possible. Not only do you want them to learn to drive properly and safely, but you also want to put them in a safe vehicle that will protect them in case of an accident.

If your child happens to get in an accident, be sure to contact a car accident attorney in Las Vegas as soon as possible. An experienced accident attorney will be able to help you maneuver through the legal process that comes along with all accidents.

Photo by State Farm

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Could Self-Driving Cars Reduce Car Accidents in the Future?

Technology has completely changed the entire landscape of the automotive industry. At first it was the invention of electric cars that had the ability to save us hundreds of dollars in gas. Now it’s all about self-driving cars that may have the ability to prevent car accidents. As with a lot of things these days, the Internet giant Google is leading the way. Of course, every car company in the world is watching to see what they will do next.

This type of technology is no doubt a game changer and will revolutionize the auto industry for many years to come. The General Motors Cadillac division is the newest entrant into this new area. In 2017 GM plans to introduce a new vehicle with a few key features centered on self-driving. This vehicle will not be able to be completely self-driven. It will, however, have hands free capabilities while driving on the highway and car to car communication that focuses on avoiding collisions.

photo by Maksim Toome

photo by Maksim Toome

What’s the Point Behind Self-Driving Technology?

The point of all of this technology is to be on the cutting edge and reduce accidents. While all of that is great, an even bigger and more important point is to make the roads safer for all drivers. In the United States, one of the leading causes of death is auto accidents. This is partly due to all the distractions drivers now deal with, such as calling, texting, or even checking social media sites while behind the wheel. This means their primary focus is no longer keeping their eyes on the road, which ultimately leads to more accidents.

At this point, self-driving technology is still in its infancy. We will all watch to see what becomes of it in the near future. Hopefully it will change the way we drive and help save thousands of lives. Not only right here in Las Vegas, but also all over the world.

Self driving technology is still years away from being a reality, so until then, please drive safely! Stay off the phone and keep your eyes on the road. If you happen to get in an accident please seek legal advice from an experienced car accident attorney in Las Vegas. An experienced attorney will be able to help you maneuver through the legal process that comes along with any accident.

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7 Sure-Fire Reasons to Make You Road Rage

In a perfect world, we are the only ones driving on the road. Just yourself, the wheel, and the breeze blowing by your face. Unfortunately this isn’t a prefect world and we are surrounded by loads of people who seem to do everything except pay attention while they drive.

A lego man with an angry face sits behind the wheel of a toy car

Photo by SG

1: When someone forces you to listen to their music at a stop light

It doesn’t get much more irritating than when you’re quietly jamming to Bob Marley and a carload of teens creeps up with their One Dir-Bieber engulfing the sound waves.

2. The stoplight stare-down

There seems to be an unwritten commandment that everyone else follows: Thou shalt make direct eye contact with thy stoplight neighbor, regardless of consent from both parties. Ensuing awkwardness is inevitable.

3. People who insist that the speed limit is for speedsters

The speed limit exists for a reason. It helps keep traffic flowing at a rate that should at least meet those standards. Driving excessively under the speed limit (especially in the fast lane) can be just as dangerous as driving excessively fast. Obey the speed signs, please.

4. Drivers who cut to the front of the merge line

“Hey, I know how to drive in a big city, and the rest of these people are nice farm folk; they’ll let me in at the front.” No they aren’t, and no they won’t. Merge when you’re supposed to, and we’ll all have a good time together. Otherwise, everyone will collectively wish for your tires to fall apart.

5. The parking spot thief

You’ve stalked them as they walk to their car. You wait restlessly for their car to start and their reverse lights to shine. Blinker engaged, you make the move without hesitation. Out of nowhere, a Smart Car sneaks in front of you and poaches your parking spot. Emotionally paralyzed, you can do nothing but make the drive of shame to the end of the parking lot.

6. Blinker fail

Down is left. Up is right. The automobile blinker is a wondrous, simple-to-use tool that you’d actually have to try to avoid while turning the steering wheel. Not only is it a musical instrument (whose tempo always fails to match up to the blinker beat of the car ahead of you), it lets other drivers know where you’re going. It’s the alternative to driver-to-driver telepathy.

7. When it rains, it pours

It seems that rain, even in the warmest of weather, makes people believe they are driving on a sheet of ice. Please don’t brake 300 feet before an intersection, with anticipation that the light might someday turn red. Drive freely, little birdie; it’s only a little water.

It’s amazing (and rather alarming) that most of us are witness to at least one of these “crimes against the road” on a daily basis. Perhaps all it takes from us is to pay a little more attention to the road, and show a bit more courtesy to our fellow drivers. If one of these road-rage inducing incidents results in an accident, and you need an auto accident lawyer in Henderson, call Hunt Law Offices at (702) 450-4868.

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5 Things You Wish Your Car Could Do

Americans are getting lazier by the minute.  Good news, though: That means that our cars are getting cooler.  You can get a massage, surf the Internet and stock up a mini-fridge – all from the comfort of your driver’s seat.  Some things are still missing, though.  Here are five things we all wish our cars could do.

car the looks like it is from the 22nd century is admired by onlookers.

Photo by Sonja Stark

1. Cool Your Buns

We have seat warmers for the winter, and they feel absolutely delightful.  What about the scorching summer months when you sit down and the leather leaves third degree burns on your poor little legs?  It hurts for the next week, you do an excessive amount of complaining and nobody’s happy.  Every car needs seat coolers with three temperature settings: “I’m in the 7th Circle”, “I Have a Sweat Mustache” and “It’s Just a Little Stuffy in Here.”

On a similar note, a heating and cooling system for the steering wheel would also be nice.  Gripping with your sleeves works fine…until you actually need to start making driving maneuvers.

2. Talk to You

If you say you don’t talk to yourself while you’re driving, you’re lying.  The “conversation” can range from a quick burst of “I forgot those files!” to a full-on monologue concerning exactly how a thermos is able to keep things both hot AND cold.  (But seriously, how does it do it?)  Point is, it’d be nice if you had someone, or something, to answer you.

3. Go Invisible

We all have to go places where we don’t want to be seen.  Sometimes it’s the third trip through the Del Taco drive-thru on a lonely Friday night, sometimes it’s to slowly creep behind the bad guys because you are out fighting crime. Regardless of your reason, an invisible option on your car would be pretty cool.

4. Door Ding Deflectors

Your car starts to lose its value as soon as you drive it off the lot. Never mind the fact that you will probably park next to a horrible human being that has no concept of space (or physics) the day after you purchase your it. Enter: door ding.

I’ve named this hypothetical device “Door Ding Reflectors.”  Every time ANYONE gets close to opening his/her car door into your car door, a tiny person will run out and punch him/her in the shin.  Problem solved.

5. Sonar

Do you live in the northwest where it rains 25/7?  What if there existed a method for measuring the depth of water?  OH WAIT.

Unless your car magically turns into a submarine, you might be better off staying away from the roads.  Use your vehicle’s built-in sonar to determine whether or not you’re down for braving the commute to work.

Unfortunately, there are no plans for these features to be added to cars anytime in the near future. In the time being, if you’re in an accident in your normal, not quite as cool car and you need an auto accident attorney in Henderson, call Hunt Law Offices at (702) 450-4868.

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Which Distractions are the most Dangerous for Drivers in Las Vegas?

guy driving and talkingAs technology has made advancements and people’s lives become busier, distracted driving has increased. Texting and driving has increased which has become enough of a problem to be illegal in some states. Rushed morning commutes to work have caused people to eat breakfast and finishing their morning grooming in the car. All of these seem like minor distractions to a driver, but they are terribly dangerous for drivers and they don’t even realize it.

The effects of distracted driving

Virginia Tech did a study on how long a person is taking their eyes off of the road in order to send a text message on their phone. The average time is 5 seconds that a person’s eyes are off of the road while texting. If they are going 55 miles per hour that ends up being the length of a football field worth of driving without looking.

Distracted driving is more than texting though. It can include:

  • Eating
  • Using technology
  • Other passengers in the car
  • Grooming
  • Smoking
  • And more!

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention studied that about 10 people a day die from distracted driving.

Types of distracted driving

Other passengers in the car can cause a driver to take attention away from the road. From conversation with another passenger to a crying child in the backseat, other passengers can be very distracting to the driver of a car.

Eating and drinking in the car requires the driver to take their hand off of the wheel in order to eat. If you spill the food on yourself while driving, you are more likely to take your eyes off of the road to focus on this, which causes for additional danger.

Grooming is common for men and women going somewhere and needing to look nice. It also happens when drivers get in a hurry to leave the house in the morning and don’t have the time to groom before leaving. From fixing one’s makeup to styling one’s hair, grooming is extremely distracting for a driver.

Cell phones are the most obvious distraction because many people want to text and drive or take a phone call while driving. Even hands free devices are dangerous because it still requires, a person to be mentally and visually focused on the phone instead of the road. This also applies to the use of navigation systems and the radio.

Drivers in Las Vegas need to be extra careful when driving because of the heavy amount of traffic the area can see, and because of all of the tempting distractions that driver’s need to avoid until they reach their destination. Distracted driving has become an issue and the reason for many lawsuits. If you’ve been a victim of distracted driving, contact the car accident attorneys at Hunt Law Offices for a free legal consultation today.

Photo Source  – U.S. Army

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Nevada Hosted an Alternative to Distracted Driving Tickets

driver textingIt’s no secret that distracted driving has become an issue. Car accident lawyers have seen a rise in these types of cases due to texting, talking on the phone and other distractions, while driving. Many cities and states have started issuing tickets for distracted driving and they have started cracking down quite a bit.

However, the state of Nevada has decided to take a different approach. Instead of just issuing a ticket for use of a cellphone while driving, the state has started an online program to help drivers clear their record.

This program was introduced in early July and allowed Nevada Highway Patrol troopers the opportunity to offer those with clean records the chance to keep it that way. Drivers pulled over for distracted driving have to complete online tasks for 28 days in a row to avoid the fine they would pay and the black mark on their driving record.

The tasks they must complete pertain to a time when a driver was able to stay safe because they were not distracted by their cellphone. Some of the tasks include sharing a video about distracted driving on social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, while others have the driver take a quiz about driving distracted.

This new program is called “It Can Wait for 28,” and may be adopted as a normal program throughout the state. The state has received support from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, the Clark County Justice Court and the Highway Patrol.

How Will This Program Help Keep Our Roads Safe

With distracted driving becoming a problem, the “It Can Wait for 28” program is aimed at educating offenders about this issue. Instead of just giving them a ticket, this program allows the driver to save the money they would pay on the fine and become educated about the seriousness of distracted driving.

Not only does the program help to educate the offenders, but also their friends and family. Since the program includes sharing videos about distracted driving on social media sites, it helps to spread the word to those that have yet to be caught.

If this program becomes successful, it could help everybody put their phones down, while their driving. Statistics have already shown a distracted driver is at least as bad as a drunk driver, if not worse. This is a problem and the state of Nevada is leading the way in the hunt for a solution.

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Connected Cars: The Future of Driving?

A completely different way of driving may not be too far into the future, so long as app developers and vehicle manufacturers agree on the right proverbial course. The idea of the “connected car” could do for drivers “what the USB cable did for computers,”  but will it actually better the driving world? Let’s take a look:

Reasons to Connect

Cars used to be vehicles that took drivers from their homes to school, work, malls, on roadtrips, the beach and anywhere else they needed or wanted to go. Nowadays climbing into the driver’s seat is something of a multimedia experience, with vehicles offering features for iPods, DVD players, smartphones and even connections to home, such as turning the air conditioner on before you park in your driveway. Connected cars would expand on these features, including:

  • Self-Diagnosis: Connected cars would be able to diagnose what’s wrong, then alert you to the nearest service station or auto part shop.
  • Proactive Navigation: A connected vehicle could easily keep you away from traffic jams, accidents and anything else that results in slow-downs.
  • Safety: The car becomes a travel partner that tells you to “stay away from that swerving van” or to “steer clear of the bus full of children up ahead.”

autodrive

Today’s Technology Equals Driver-Centric Solutions

deCarta is a company currently “leading the charge” concerning connected cars. The company has patented software that searches the road as you travel, and provides possibilities within 20 minutes of wherever you are, such as gas stations, rest stops, hotels, restaurants, and any other resources you may need. The company’s CEO, Kim Fennell, hails today’s technology as “driver centric,” with the days of inefficient “old nav” results long gone.

Fennell’s company has enlisted the help of partners, such as Best Driving, to fine-tune in-car interfaces. Best Parking is a company that has garnered over a million downloads for its parking space location app. Its founder, Ben Sann, notes that trying to use a bunch of separate driving-related apps is frustrating and time-consuming, however such apps are much more accessible when everything is “integrated into your dashboard.” For example, your car will know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take to get there.

When Can We Expect This Change?

As exciting as the connected car possibility is for many drivers, it may take a bit longer for the option to happen. Industry standards such as software reliability, data security and safe driver behavior all must be accounted for, with Sann remarking how challenging it is to ensure such standards are given consideration.

Even if it does take awhile for the connected car vision to become reality, the proverbial (and perhaps actual) wheels are turning. Within a few years the connected car is expected to be the “norm,” and it’s simply a matter of which company offers the best version first.

If a decrease in car accidents is on the horizon with the implementation of connected cars, we’re in for a treat. Until then, the streets of Las Vegas remain a dangerous place for drivers and pedestrians alike. if you’re in an accident and you need a car accident attorney, give Hunt Law Offices a call at (702) 450-4868.

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