Articles Tagged with lawyers

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Walking has probably never been more dangerous in the United States. Pedestrian fatality numbers in 2016 increased for the second consecutive year. What’s more, those fatality numbers are at alarming new highs.

Data presented by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) finds that projected pedestrian accident fatality numbers increased by approximately 11% between 2015 and 2016 – the biggest year-to-year spike since the organization began tracking those numbers. In the first half of 2016, there were 2,660 fatalities in pedestrian accidents. During the same period of time in 2015, there were 2,486 fatalities. The report projects a 22% increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2016 from 2014.

Overall, pedestrians now account for approximately 15% of all traffic accident fatalities in the United States. When the final numbers come in for 2017, the GHSA believes that the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities could actually be more than 6,000 pedestrian deaths for the first time in 20 years. Overall, the number of fatalities actually increased by 25% between 2010 and 2015. That is even as the total number of traffic accident fatalities overall increased by just 6%.

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This year, the trucking industry will push for legislation that will increase weight limits on tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers across the country. Unfortunately, heavier trucks on our highways will only increase the risk of accidents, and jeopardize the safety of motorists on the highways.

In 2015, legislators defeated an amendment that would have increased the maximum weight of tractor-trailers on highways to 91,000 pounds from the current 80,000 pounds. In fact, such proposals have been rejected several times by Congress, and with good reason.

It is a proven fact that any accident involving a massive truck weighing more than 90,000 pounds is potentially devastating to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. It’s not just the impact of the accident with a large truck that seriously jeopardizes the safety of the occupants of the smaller vehicle, but also the fact that these trucks are more difficult to maneuver, thus increasing crash risks.  They are more difficult to operate, and take a much longer time to come to a complete stop after the brakes are applied. Therefore, Congress has always rejected any legislation increasing weight limits for trucks.

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It’s not just young children who may be at risk of poisoning after ingesting brightly-colored and attractively packaged laundry pods. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is increasingly coming across cases involving seniors with dementia who have swallowed these pods by mistake, causing severe injuries, and in many cases, fatalities.

Laundry detergent pods are brightly packaged and come in several shiny hues.  These qualities make them extremely endearing to children. The pods are designed to dissolve as soon as the packaging comes into contact with water. Children are naturally attracted to shiny, colorful things.

Children can be at risk of poisoning as soon as they put these pods into their mouths. In fact, the CPSC is aware of incidents involving persons who died after swallowing or ingesting these laundry detergent pods. Ingesting even one such pod could be dangerous, and even lethal.

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You may have noticed an increase in your family’s auto insurance premium rates recently.  Average insurance payouts around the country are increasing, and distracted driving accidents are partly to blame.

The increasing numbers of people dying in distracted driving-related accidents are causing auto insurers to raise premiums.  The role of distracted driving in our traffic fatality toll cannot be overstated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported a 14% increase in the number of fatalities last year, for a total of 40,000 across the U.S.  Many experts believe that distracted driving is contributing to this spike.

Since 2011, American families have seen their average insurance premiums increase by as much as 16%, to a total of $906.  Insurers say that they have no other choice but to increase premiums because of the large number of drivers involved in collisions while operating vehicles and using smart phones.

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The horrifying fatal school bus accident in Chattanooga in November that killed five children has highlighted the frailties in the system that make it difficult to track accidents and take steps to effectively prevent similar deadly crashes.

In November, a bus left Woodmore Elementary School with approximately 37 students on board, crashed into a tree, and flipped over. Six children were killed, and several others injured, including six who were injured seriously enough to be rushed to the intensive care unit. The driver of the bus was arrested on charges of vehicle homicide. At least one of the children on the bus was a kindergartner.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), this year alone, there have been at least 700 accidents involving metro Atlanta school buses, or approximately 2 crashes a day.  However, that data may be incomplete.  Officials admit that the database lacks data on many accidents, and this makes it difficult for officials to track accident rates, pinpoint causes, and take steps to eliminate these accidents. Those steps include retraining school drivers, strengthening training and safety standards, and identifying accident trends in particular areas. Better accident data could also help identify dangerous drivers, who can then be removed from the system.