Tag Archives: driver safety

Being Safe While on the Road

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When driving, there are a wealth of precautions that can be taken to effectively reduce the chances of getting into an accident.

How to Best Avoid an Accident While Driving

Driving can be a frustrating experience, due primarily to the fact that an accident can occur out of nowhere and through no fault of your own. However, there are also times where an auto accident that you’ve been involved in is primarily your fault. To greatly reduce the possibility of being involved in an accident, it’s essential that you follow some handy tips on staying safe and avoiding accidents while driving.

Tips on Staying Safe When Driving

One of the most important safety tips to follow when driving a vehicle is to always wear a seat-belt. This may seem trivial to you, but doing so can save your life if you’re in an accident. If you have children in the car, make sure that they are buckled in at all times. One small instance where they start climbing around and bump into you or make an overabundance of noise could cause you to lose focus and crash. You should never use your cell phone when driving, as it can easily distract you and heavily factors into the percentage of accidents across the U.S. Don’t drive when you’re tired. Take short breaks every 1-2 hours for 15 minutes or so. You need to be attentive and focused at all times. Use caution when changing lanes and stay focused.

It’s Not Possible to Predict How Others Will React

Sadly, many accidents are caused through no fault of your own. Other drivers can be irresponsible when operating a vehicle and can make a mistake that causes an unexpected crash. However, following the aforementioned tips will heavily reduce the possibility of you being involved in an accident.

Remain Calm When Involved in an Accident

If you’re in an accident, remain calm and exchange insurance information with the other drivers in the accident. For the best protection, make sure to purchase extensive coverage with your insurance. Once you have exchanged information, you may want to utilize the services of a Las Vegas auto accident attorney to assist with your case.

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The Use of Handheld Devices Behind the Wheel in 2012

Mobile-phone use is more common among drivers in the 16 to 24 age group. Female drivers are more frequently seen text messaging or using hand-held devices.

2012 Data on Mobile Device Use While Driving

In February 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that a National Occupant Protection Use Survey found 1.5 percent of drivers were texting or visibly using mobile devices in 2012. Although not a significant difference, 1.3 percent of drivers participated in these activities in 2011. Overall mobile phone use among drivers remained relatively the same in 2012 at 5 percent.

Holding Cellphones to Ears

The 5 percent of drivers to hold mobile phones to their ears while driving in 2012 means that these drivers were operating about 660,000 vehicles in daylight. Drivers who were the most likely to do this were between the ages of 16 and 24, at 6 percent. By comparison, 5 percent of drivers between 25 and 69 did, and 1 percent of drivers age 70 and older did. Additionally, female drivers were more likely to use cellphones than male drivers.

Visibly Using Electronic Devices

The NOPUS also found that drivers between 16 and 24 were much more likely to be seen using hand-held devices behind the wheel than those in other age groups. Only 1.4 percent of drivers between 25 and 69 visibly used mobile devices, while almost no drivers age 70 and older did. Female drivers were nearly twice as likely to be seen using electronic devices as male drivers.

Nevada Law

Nevada bans the use of mobile phones while driving, including talking and text messaging. Authorities have the power to write drivers tickets solely for talking or texting on hand-held phones. Drivers who cause car accidents because of this are likely to be cited. If people are injured, the victims may reach out to an auto accident lawyer in Henderson for help seeking compensation.

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In an Accident? Use Your Smartphone to Protect Yourself from Lawsuits

This is a checklist of things to film or document at the scene of an accident to protect yourself from liability.

Smartphone Video and the Scene of an Accident

If you are in a car accident, one of the most valuable tools that you have is your smartphone. Careful documentation of everything around you is one way to avoid being blamed for things that were not your fault. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to document a scene in a way that can protect you.

Get Permission

Before you use your smartphone to film the cars, be open with the other driver or drivers that you will be doing this. This is important for several reasons. First, this creates a situation of permission. This means that if a lawsuit happens, particularly if you’re at fault, then it can be something to share with your Las Vegas auto accident attorney. Second, it may keep someone who is running an insurance scam from choosing to make you a victim, because you will have clear proof of the condition of both vehicles at the accident scene.

What to Document

There are a few things you need to capture on video if you can. State the date and time and show the greater scene; if the road was dark or curves were hidden by foliage or fog, this becomes clear. Perform a walk-through of the accident scene with close-ups on the damage. Finally, be sure to take shots of the license plates of all vehicles involved, including any parked witness vehicles.

Why Is This Important?

Most of the time, a police report will be agreed upon by everyone and documenting the accident won’t be important at all. However, in the rare cases where a minor fender bender becomes something much more complicated, this will serve as a way to show what was really going on during the accident. Even when everyone has the best intentions, memory can be fallible. Video footage allows everyone the chance to see things as they truly were.

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Dangerous Driving Conditions Can Cause Car Accidents

Las Vegas may see a large amount of sunshine throughout the year, but the days when it does rain can be extremely treacherous on the roadways. Rain can cause dangerous road conditions, which can lead to accidents. Whether driving on city roads or highways, it’s important to be aware of the road conditions at all times when behind the wheel.

dangerous driving in rain

Weather not the only issue

Dangerous road conditions are not always caused by weather. Sometimes, they can be caused by the negligence of another party. Perhaps a pot hole hasn’t been fixed or a truck has lost some of it’s’ cargo. Both of these things can cause havoc on the roads and drivers in Las Vegas must be aware of these types of incidents.

In cases such as these, it is typically the party that caused the accident that is held responsible. If a truck has its cargo spilling onto the road and causes an accident, liability typically falls on the driver of the truck.

Beware of troubling road conditions

Sometimes the problem isn’t other drivers, but rather the road that cars drive on.  If a city or county is responsible for fixing pot holes, but have left them unattended for longer than what is considered reasonable, they can be held liable for damages and injuries from a car accident.

It’s also possible that the road was simply designed in a dangerous way. This is another situation where the county, city or entity responsible for designing the road can be held liable for the damages and injuries incurred from a car crash.

Whether it’s a torrential downpour, rugged roads or a careless driver, it is your duty as a driver to constantly be aware of dangerous driving conditions. Keep your eyes focused on the road at all times and take it a little slower if driving in unsafe conditions.

If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by dangerous road conditions, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney in Las Vegas. With a reliable lawyer on your side, you won’t have to worry about paying out of pocket for injuries and damages caused by someone else’s neglect.

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The Safety Of Hands Free Devices

A recent study by AAA was released and shows that hands free devices may not be as safe as many people think. Distracted driving has become a huge issue with texting while driving, taking phone calls in the car and many other distractions. These types of accidents have become a normal thing for a Las Vegas auto accident attorney to deal with on a regular basis.

Distracted driving is an epidemic in the United States. With new technology coming out just about every month, more drivers are on their cell phones or using navigational systems than ever before. This can increase the chances of an accident exponentially and it’s against the law in nearly every state.

hands free device in car

Most drivers believe the solution to distracted driving is a hands free device and voice recognition software. This may seem like a great idea, but a new study done by AAA shows this may not be true.

Many companies have started to market hands free devices and voice command software to all drivers, especially younger demographics. They are saying these devices are a safer alternative to a hand held device. In fact, many car manufacturers have started to include hands free dashboard technology in all of their vehicles.

The AAA Study

The data found in a recent AAA study showed that hands free devices with voice commands for text and email may actually be more distracting for the driver. This is due to the higher level of concentration necessary to make sure the email or text is transcribed properly. When drivers use this type of technology, they tend to develop “tunnel vision” or “inattention blindness.”

Many police accident investigators have started adding the comment “looked, but did not see” to the report. This used to confuse safety officials, but research has shown that it means tunnel vision or inattention blindness was a part of the accident.

Rising rate of new technology in vehicles

With about 9 million vehicles on the road featuring some type of infotainment technology system, distracted driving is certainly a serious issue. Many officials believe the number will increase to more than 60 million of these vehicles by 2018. AAA officials have briefed automakers and they want to limit vehicles made with voice command software, hands free devices and infotainment systems.

AAA wants vehicles to be limited to just the core driving options necessary as features on the vehicle. The National Safety Council has also joined the debate and has asked policymakers to reconsider entertainment and communication technology on future vehicle models.

Distracted driving is a problem and a hands free device isn’t the solution. When you’re on the road, put the phone away and only use a navigation system when you have a passenger to run it for you. This will help keep you safer and less distracted on the highway.

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SUV vs. Small Passenger Vehicle Safety

Over the past decade, the roadways have been flooded with large SUVs and trucks. They have become very popular rides because of the amount of space they provide, compared to a car or another type of smaller vehicle.

Families often get an SUV instead of a mini-van because they appear to be a cooler choice for mom and dad. However, there is a myth about the safety of SUVs compared to other vehicles on the road. Are they really safer than a small passenger vehicle?

suv driving

Larger Doesn’t Equal Safer

You’ve probably had a friend or colleague tell you that they choose an SUV because its larger size makes it safer. However, any car accident lawyer in Las Vegas can tell you there are just as many accidents with injuries and fatalities from SUVs as in small passenger cars.

The reality is that a larger vehicle with passengers riding higher is not safer than a car. They can actually pose a greater danger for the driver than in a smaller vehicle.

Statistics Back it Up

Even though many drivers believe an SUV is safer when involved in a car accident, the numbers prove them wrong. SUV passengers actually have a slightly higher rate of fatality during an accident than passengers of smaller cars.

Along with fatalities being a bit higher, SUVs are more susceptible to rollover accidents than small passenger vehicles. Over 10,000 individuals are killed every year as a result of rollover accidents in the United States, and about 300,000 rollover accidents are reported every year.

Inexperienced drivers are more likely to rollover in an SUV than an experienced driver, but it can happen to anyone behind the wheel. Federal research has shown that over 90% of the rollover accidents in the United States have been initiated by what is known as “tripping.” This is when a vehicle strikes a curb, lower riding vehicle or a guard rail and flips over. It’s also possible when one side of the SUV passes over gravel or a soft road condition.

Severe Injuries from SUV Accidents

SUV accidents have been known to cause severe injuries. Car accident attorneys in Las Vegas and around the United States handle these types of accident cases on a regular basis. Sometimes, the injuries sustained from this type of accident are permanent.

If you’ve been involved in an SUV accident, it’s important to have a skilled attorney on your side with experience in these types of cases. Without the right Las Vegas car accident attorney, you may not be fully compensated for the injuries you’ve sustained.

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How To Become A Positive Driving Influence For Children

Driving safely is very important, especially when you’re carrying precious cargo. You may not realize how much of an effect on your child’s driving habits, even before they are old enough to drive.

Becoming a positive influence is very important when it comes to your children. With all the improvements for safety on the roads, the one thing that still trumps them all is safe driving. As a parent, you can start to instill safety habits into your child’s mind before they are anywhere close to getting their driver’s license. Here are a few of the things you can do to keep your children safe and help influence their driving habits in the future.

father daughter safe driving

Wear Your Seatbelt All the Time

Any car accident attorney in Las Vegas will agree, wearing your seatbelt is the first step to showing your children safe driving habits. If you wear your seatbelt, they are more likely to follow suit and do the same. Many studies have shown that when parents wear seatbelts, their children will mimic their actions.

Children are like sponges and they soak up everything you do or don’t do. They also have a desire to be just like their parents, since you are likely their closest role model. If you want to instill the safe driving practice of wearing a seatbelt, start by doing it in front of your child and they will follow your lead.

Practice Safe Driving Habits

Have you ever seen the commercial with the young child in the back seat acting like they are driving the car, while dad drives it? This is exactly what children do and they will catch onto your driving habits. If you run stop signs, speed, break rules and don’t drive safely, this may stick with them. When they are old enough to drive, they may rationalize bad driving habits by thinking that mom or dad does it, so it must be right.

Drive like you’re carrying the most precious cargo possible, because your children are more likely to pick up on your good and safe driving habits.

Choose a Safe Car Seat

Choosing the right car seat may not influence your children, but it will help keep them safe. The right car seat isn’t the cheapest or the most expensive. Instead, it’s the one you feel most comfortable with and is the safest option for your children. Do your homework and make sure you choose a car seat perfect for your specific situation.

These are just a few tips to help instill safe driving habits into your children before they are old enough to drive. The last thing you want to find out is that your bad habit caused your child to get into an accident. Always wear your seatbelt and practice safe driving habits and you will be doing your part to positively influence your children.

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Will Crash-Avoidance Technology Help to Save Lives in 2015?

While car accidents may still take many lives every year, there are some key technological advances that could limit the number of traffic deaths and injuries in 2015. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is hoping technological advancements will help to eliminate up to 300 fatalities per year.

truck crash avoidance

The NHTSA currently has multiple projects going on, attempting to make advancements in the area of road safety. Most of these projects are very research-intensive, but recent reports have stated that one of these projects could create more than $3 billion in profits for the US economy and could save more than 300 lives per year on roadways.

The introduction of crash-avoidance technology for large trucks

Large trucks are involved in an alarming number of accidents every year. Unfortunately, most of the accidents involving a large truck are quite serious. The introduction of new crash-avoidance technology for large trucks could have large benefits for the general public.

The University of Michigan Research Institute did a study on the affects that crash-avoidance technology could have for the United States. They estimated that the economy would benefit from a $900 million boost for adding the new technology to heavy-duty trucks. They also estimated that the economy could see a $3.1 billion boost if the technology is installed on medium and large trucks.

Crash-avoidance already being utilized

The system has already sold more than 10,000 units and is expected to sell another 15,000 units this year. Each unit costs $2,400 and is built on the anti-lock brakes, using a combination of software and radar to help alert the driver to a potential collision. If the driver cannot react fast enough, the system will automatically engage the brakes to lessen the impact of the crash.

Since large truck accidents are a major issue and one of the major reasons a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas is hired for a wrongful death suit, this technology is very important for the future of driving. It addresses many problem areas related to driving, including blind spot detection, adaptive headlights, fatigue warnings, forward collision avoidance, curve speed warnings and much more.

As technology gets better, the roads may also get safer. New collision-avoidance technology could provide major benefits for large trucks, as well as other drivers on the road. For more information about safe driving habits or to speak with a qualified car accident attorney, contact Laura Hunt today at (702) 450-4868.

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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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