Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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We have all seen the army of Amazon delivery drivers throughout metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia.  They can be in box trucks, delivery vans or even passenger vehicles.  With the sheer number of deliveries being made by Amazon every day, one may wonder how many vehicle accidents involving these drivers occur on any given day. A recent article by ProPublica highlighted the retail giant Amazon and its policy regarding auto accidents involving delivery drivers.

Many of the deliveries made by Amazon are by drivers that are independent contractors, versus those with commercial delivery companies such as UPS or FedEx, or regular employees. The reason Amazon has chosen to use so many contractor drivers over the recent years is to cut costs.   This is because using contractors does not involve the overhead costs that are involved with regular employees.

The ProPublica article noted that since June of 2015, there have been more than 60 accidents involving the Amazon delivery drivers that resulted in very serious injuries.  Ten of these accidents were fatal.  These numbers were based on the limited data that was available, so there is a high likelihood of many more unreported accidents.

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Life expectancy rates are rising in the U.S., and seniors in Georgia now live longer and healthier lives. This means that seniors are also much more likely to drive well into their 70s and even 80s.  The rate of older drivers on our roads has increased over the past few years and is expected to increase in the future. Older drivers are also retaining their licenses longer than before. There are some facts of driving in the golden years, however, that seniors and their family members should be aware of.

Getting older does not necessarily mean that you have to give up your driving privileges. However, it does mean that there are a more few restrictions and testing that seniors must comply with if they want to continue to drive safely.   Georgia law require that seniors above the age of 60 get their licenses renewed every five years in person. Drivers above the age of 60 must take a vision exam when they renew their license. If there are any other signs of impairment, drivers may also be asked to take a written test before their license is renewed. All of these rules are in place to ensure that seniors are able to continue to drive safely, without being a threat to their own safety or the safety of other motorists on the roads.

There are undoubtedly more seniors driving on Atlanta roads now than a few decades ago. Medical advancements have meant longer, healthier and more mobile lives for Georgia’s seniors.  According to federal data, in 2017, there were as many as 28 million licensed motorists above the age of 70 living in the country. This is one of the most at-risk groups of drivers in the United States. Drivers above the age of 70 have higher crash rates per mile travelled compared to younger drivers. However, older drivers are not as much at risk of accidents as teen drivers, and their average crash rates continue to be lower than teens.

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It has been over a year since Georgia’s Hands-Free Law went into effect on July 1, 2018.  Since then, a few other states have joined Georgia in implementing bans on hand-held devices while driving.  It may be surprising to know, however, that while almost all states in the U.S. have no-texting-and-driving laws, only about one-third of the states in the U.S. have a complete cell phone ban while operating a motor vehicle.  But do these hands-free laws stop distracted driving, and more importantly, reduce the risk of deadly car accidents?  Not necessarily.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of fatal traffic accidents nationwide. A driver can be distracted due to a number of causes besides just using a cell phone.  Any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, even for a second, counts as distracted driving.  This can include eating or drinking in the car, putting on makeup and even changing the radio station.  Statistics on hands-free laws have shown that even though the number of drivers using cell phones may be down, the number of car accidents is not.  However, cell phone use while driving has been known to cause the most deadly results of the distracted driving car accidents.

Even with hands-free laws around the country, statistics show that man drivers are still using their phones while driving.   It is still pretty common to see drivers using their phones while stopped at red lights at intersections or stuck in traffic. And a fair number of drivers actively use their cell phones while actually driving on the roads.  Drivers who engage in active cell phone use while driving are usually the ones that engage in other high risk behaviors while driving as well.

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The term “PTSD” or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is typically associated with veterans returning from combat duty. However, the vast majority of Americans who suffer from PTSD attribute the symptoms to non-combat causes.  In fact, statistics indicate that as many as a quarter of all Americans have experienced some degree of PTSD after a car or truck accident.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that typically arises after a person has been involved in a frightening or life-threatening situations such as catastrophic car and truck accidents, train accidents, plane crashes, or natural disasters.  Being involved in any of these can trigger PTSD. Victims of robberies, rapes, shootings or other crimes may also suffer from mental trauma that can severely impede their ability to lead a normal life.

Truck accidents are very common in the Atlanta and North Georgia area.  We see them all the time on the highways.  These accidents are typically devastating and very serious. They often involve loss of life, and are very likely to cause serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. All of these factors combined can cause serious mental or emotional trauma which can manifest itself in symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Talk to an Atlanta truck accident attorney about claiming damages after a big-rig accident to see how you can recover in a claim for emotional distress.

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E-scooters have taken the globe, nation and even Atlanta by storm.  Since the fall of 2017, this convenient form of transportation has popped everywhere there is a need for alternate forms of mobility.  But not everyone is aware of the safety risks of riding one, or how to best accommodate these riders in the urban areas.

When they first appeared on the scene, e-scooters were seen as the latest and greatest form of micro-mobility.  However, now that their numbers have increased and clogged streets and sidewalks all over the globe, they are not as welcome as they once were.  This is mainly due the dangers they pose not only to the riders, but to those sharing the roads and sidewalks with them.

Some cities have gone so far as to claim them a public nuisance.  In a few states, there have been several lawsuits filed against e-scooter manufacturers for injuries resulting from faulty brakes and wheels, among other malfunctions.  In Atlanta, a recent law was passed that prohibits e-scooter riders from riding or parking the scooters on the sidewalks.  Anyone who violates these rules could face a fine of up to $1,000.

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In a recent criminal case in Georgia involving a hit-and-run accident, the court did not allow evidence that the car crash victim was not wearing a seat belt when he was ejected from his vehicle after impact and died.   The court stated that the victim’s failure to wear his seat belt was not relevant in determining the cause of his death.

Georgia law requires that all persons in the front seat of a passenger vehicle wear a seat belt.  The seat belt law applies to all occupants in any motor vehicle, including pickup trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles, and any vehicle designed to carry 15 or fewer passengers.

We all know that seat belts are one of the first lines of defense to protect you from injury while in a motor vehicle.  This is especially true in rear-end collisions, T-bone accidents and head-on collisions.  Wearing a seat belt is crucial in avoiding serious injury in such types of accidents.

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The Fourth of July falls on a Thursday this year, which means most people will make it a long holiday weekend from work.  The Fourth of July is not only one of the country’s most popular holiday weekends, but it’s also one of the most deadly. The holiday accounts for hundreds of deaths every year, and this year’s July Fourth is not expected to be any different.

The National Safety Council predicts that this Fourth of July weekend will be just as deadly as previous years, with an approximate 565 people expected to be killed in motor vehicle and other accidents. It also predicts around 64,000 injuries in accidents occurring over the holiday.

These predictions were made based on previous crash data. For instance in 2017, there were a total of 601 fatalities in traffic accidents over the holiday weekend. That was a significant 23 percent increase from the previous year. At least 39 percent of those accidents involved a drunk driver.

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We all know the campaign “Click It or Ticket” to encourage all people in passenger vehicles to wear their seatbelts.

The good news is that, nationwide, seatbelt use is at commendable highs. In 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use across the country was as high as 89.6 percent.  In 2017, Georgia’s seatbelt usage rate was an impressive 96 percent.

However, even with the high rate of seatbelt use, there were still more than 37,000 people killed in motor vehicle accidents in 201.  Of this number, as many as 47 percent of these fatalities were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.  This goes to show that there is still room for improvement in seatbelt use among car riders.

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Car designs of the recent past have focused greatly on improving the safety of front seat occupants.  Such safety improvements have led to better restraint systems, seat-belts, and airbags.  Advanced seat belt systems and airbags now make it easier for front seat passengers and drivers to escape serious injuries or death in the event of an accident.

However, rear seat passengers have not been as lucky.  Protections for passengers in the back seat have not kept up with the pace of other car safety improvements.  For instance, side airbags are present to protect back seat passengers in a side crash, but there are no front airbags for these passengers as there are for front seat riders.  Similarly, seat belts in the back seat usually do not have the same tension capacity as front seat belts. The result is that rear-seat passengers continue to be at risk of serious injuries in accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently analyzed more than 100 crashes where rear seat occupants were seriously injured or killed. They found that the most common injuries to back seat passengers were injuries to the chest. This was the most common cause of serious injury or fatality to back seat passengers, regardless of whether they were adults or children.

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Every year, hundreds of motorists and construction workers in Georgia are injured in accidents in highway work zones. To raise awareness about the important of safety in these zones, the Georgia Department of Transportation recently launched a special awareness and education campaign.

The campaign is called Drive Like You Work Here, and it aims to raise awareness about the special dangers construction workers face while working in highway work zones.  These construction workers provide a vital service to the nation, namely by helping with infrastructure development projects that are oftentimes the lifeblood of our state’s economy. However, they are also frequently at risk from motorists who fail to understand the need to pay special attention they drive through these congested work zones.

It is not just construction workers who are at risk when motorists drive through these highway work zones without paying attention, but the motorists themselves are also at risk for serious injury when they are inattentive or speed through a zone. In the year 2018 alone, there were 52 accident related fatalities in work zones in Georgia.  These fatalities were all members of the public, meaning none of the fatalities involved a construction worker.