Tag Archives: driver safety

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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Preventing Child Injury In A Car Accident

While automotive safety technology has come a long way, car accidents are still a serious problem. Since automobile crashes are the leading cause of youth deaths, it is important to be aware of safety procedures when behind the wheel. Technology can help make roads safer, but is only one piece to the puzzle. There are certain things we can do as drivers to help not only keep ourselves safe, but also our child passengers.

Child passenger safety is a very serious problem. In 2011, over 600 children under the age of 12 were killed in traffic related accidents. Additionally, over 100,000 children are seriously injured in traffic related accidents each year. Since this is an issue that will continue to occur if steps are not taken, here are some tips for preventing child injury in car accidents.

young child in car

Parents are a huge risk factor

Unfortunately, parents are usually the biggest risk factor in fatal accidents involving children. About two-thirds of children killed in accidents were being driven by their intoxicated parents. Additionally, most children don’t wear their seat belts because their parents don’t wear theirs.

One of the best ways to prevent these types of accidents is to educate more people on how to keep children safe while riding in a vehicle. An idea that could be helpful in promoting safe driving with children is to offer free car seats to parents in need. Giving out car seats to those who might not be able to afford them is a great way to keep more children safe.

Child age limits for car seats

There are also some states that have increased the age requirements for when a child should no longer be required to sit in a car or booster seat. When states increase the age limit, studies show the number of children being restrained increases by three times. This in turn means less child deaths, as car seats significantly reduce the risk of fatal injuries. Always make sure you use the right car seat for your child’s weight and size. This alone can reduce the risk of injuring your child in a dangerous automobile accident.

As a licensed car accident attorney in Las Vegas, it is our goal to help reduce the number of preventable injuries and accidents happening in Southern Nevada. We are here to help victims of reckless or negligent driving, so if you feel you have a case, please contact us today at (702) 450-4868 for a consultation.

Photo by anitapeppers

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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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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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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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Distracted Driving-Related Car Accidents Won’t Stop Unless There’s a Cultural Shift

texting while driving

You may find it shocking to learn that in a survey by State Farm, 57% of drivers admitted to talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving. 77% of drivers aged 18-29 admitted to the same offense.

As far as texting goes, amongst drivers aged 18-29, 69% admitted to texting while driving. Of the general population, 35% admitted to this, an increase from 31% in 2009.

But despite these high numbers, Americans don’t condone distracted driving. In fact, half of survey respondents supported imprisonment as an appropriate punishment for fatal cellphone related crashes. Three-fourths of participants strongly supported a ban on texting while driving.

distracted driving

Americans clearly overestimate their ability to stay focused while driving and talking on the phone or texting.

In 2013, there were over 3,000 fatalities as a result of distracted driving-related accidents.

“People recognize these things are dangerous, but they think that they themselves are good at it,” says Robert Rosenberg, an assistant professor of philosophy at the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

If Americans recognized their own distractibility and advocated against distracted driving, it would be a critical cultural shift that could prevent further distracted driving-related accidents.

driving while on the phone

Many people assume being a responsible driver means using hands-free technologies such as headsets and voice activated systems. But according to Strayer, author of a study on distracted driving for AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, “There really is no difference between hand-held and hands-free.” Safety advocates are arguing that hands free communication devices still entail a degree of dangerous distractibility.

This is an emergent issue, as car companies have even begun to compete by luring customers with promises of greater, safer connectivity in their vehicles, including more cutting edge options for hands-free talking and texting.

Perhaps the greatest cultural shift of all would be curtailing our need to be continuously connected, especially while driving.

 

If you enjoyed this blog, check out:

The 6 Most Important Moments in Car Safety History (A Photo Essay)

 

 

Featured image provided by Jace

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The 6 Most Important Moments in Car Safety History (A Photo Essay)

Car safety is something that we all take seriously. As a vehicle component that is constantly evolving, car safety has a come a long way. Let’s take a look as some of the most important moments in car safety history.

1. The First Traffic Fatality

On Sept. 14, 1899, a 68-year-old man died after an electrically powered taxi ran into him in New York City’s Central Park. He is documented as the first victim of a fatal car accident.

vintage photo of traffic

but back then there were also no crosswalks or bike lanes.

 

2. The First Fender

In the early 1900s, John O’Leary developed the O’Leary Fender. He advertised his product in the New York Times claiming that the fender made it practically impossible to be seriously injured by an automobile, as it “scooped the person up out of harm’s way.”

cow on the back of a car

It also provided a convenient space for your cow, apparently.

3. Protecting Passengers with Padding

In the early 1950s, auto makers decided it would be beneficial to put padding on the inside of vehicles where the driver’s head might hit. This was just the beginning of safety changes to the interiors of vehicles.

interior padding

And it made the ride that much more comfortable

4. Seatbelts

There have been many ideas about how to improve the safety of those inside a vehicle. Some of these ideas include a pop-out windshield and rear-facing passenger seats. One of the most critical safety breakthroughs, however, has been the three point seat belt. This revolutionary safety device was introduced by Volvo in 1959, transforming car safety as we know it.

early model Volvo on display

An early Volvo on display

 

5. Highway Safety Laws

In 1965, Ralph Nader published an attack on GM’s Corvair compact car, ultimately leading to the National Highway Traffic Safety Act in 1966. As a part of this act, manufacturers were henceforth required to install seatbelts in all vehicles.

vintage junkyard photo

And all other cars that don’t meet the standards can take a hike.

6. Air Bags

In the 1970s Ford and GM began to offer airbags, but quickly pulled the plug due to lack of consumer demand. In the U.S., driver airbags were mandated in 1989, with passenger airbags lagging in legislation until 1998!

vintage car accident

Of course, airbags can only do so much…

Without some of these automobile implementations throughout history, driver safety would be quite different. More importantly, these innovations have saved thousands of lives over time. To learn more about driver safety, or to speak to a car accident attorney in Las Vegas, contact Hunt Law Offices at (702) 450-4868 for a free consultation.

 

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Can Longer Yellow Lights Prevent Car Accidents?

Imagine you’re driving through town, about to go through an intersection, when suddenly the light in front of you changes from green to yellow. What do you do? Slam on the brakes or floor it? Both actions could have negative consequences – slamming on the brakes could cause a possible rear end collision for cars behind you, and speeding up could mean accidentally running a red light and colliding with oncoming traffic. So what’s the best solution? Many researchers say that car accidents can be avoided simply by making yellow lights last longer.

yellow traffic light

Did you know that there is no universal rule regulating the length of time a yellow light lasts? Federal safety guidelines recommend yellow lights last between 3 and 6 seconds, but actual yellow light times vary greatly by city. Generally speaking, yellow lights in cities are shorter than those in suburban and rural areas, presumably because drivers  in congested areas are not traveling as fast and therefore do not require such a long warning period. However, data collected from several studies indicates that all intersections can benefit from a longer yellow light.

In one study, researchers found that accidents at intersections were reduced by 53% after extending the duration of a yellow light by just one second.

About 21% of all fatal accidents occur at intersections – that’s about 8,000 deaths per year. Researchers explain that many of the accidents happen because of the confusion created when drivers are forced to  make a split second decision about whether they should speed up or slam on the brakes. By increasing the length of time a yellow light lasts, drivers have more time to react, resulting in an overall decrease in car accidents.

 

If you were involved in a car accident at an intersection, or if you were hit by a driver through no fault of your own, call car accident attorney Laura Hunt at (702) 450-4868 to schedule a free consultation.

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