Rendering Aid After A Car Wreck: Should You Be A George Zimmerman?

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents, In The News

rendering-aid-after-a-car-wreckIn case you don’t know who George Zimmerman is, he was recently acquitted of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in what was one of the most publicized trials in recent history. On July 13, a jury found Zimmerman not guilty, and determined that he acted in self-defense. But that’s another story.

This story is about what happened last Wednesday. George and another man helped a couple and their two children escape from an Ford Explorer that had rolled over and caught on fire before the sheriff’s office got to the scene of the accident. So George made the news yet again. The incident happened in Sanford, Florida near the intersection of Interstate 4 and State Road 46. Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, didn’t witness the crash and left the scene after talking to police. Thankfully, there were no injuries.

Although there is no shortage of controversy surrounding Mr. Zimmerman, his actions at the crash were deemed by many as heroic. However, a public affairs representative for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue department said the appropriate action is based on each individual situation. According to the rep, “It’s always nice when a stranger is willing to risk their lives. But people should always call 911.”

Just in case you come across an accident scene, the following tips are some basic steps to follow:

 

  • Slow down and pull your car out of the way of emergency vehicles.
  • Turn your hazard lights on.
  • Call ‘911’ immediately as you check on the number of victims and their condition. Be as brief and calm as possible when you’re on the phone with the 911 operator and make sure to give the exact location of the wreck.
  • If you know CPR or other ways to help the victims, do so. If not, do your best to keep any injured victims calm. Then simply wait for authorities to arrive.
  • Don’t remove passengers from the vehicles unless they are in immediate danger. If they are in peril, weigh the risk of your own safety and act as you must.
  • Do not tell victims of another person’s death at the scene.
  • Stay at the scene until the first responders arrive. Ask them how you can help and follow their instructions without hesitation.
  • Be sure to stay long enough to give the police your statement.

 

When witnessing a serious car wreck, the main thing to remember is to call 911 before doing anything else. First responders are far better equipped and handle these situations than we are. But to reiterate, if victims are in immediate danger, it’s your decision to be a hero or bystander.

Crash In Burleson Texas Kills 4 and Injures 9

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents, In The News

burleson-crashAs is far too often the case, police believe alcohol was involved in a four-car crash this past Saturday. The incident happened just before midnight on Burleson Retta Road and caused so much destruction that police closed off a quarter-mile of road with crime tape and police cars until Sunday afternoon.

A youth pastor was one of four people killed in this horrific four-vehicle collision. Sadly, Brian Jennings and two other “good Samaritans” were trying to help a stranded vehicle when another driver hit it on the dimly lit country road. Nine people were also injured and two of those are in critical condition. According to Linda Caram, the crash was so loud, her husband and she thought it sounded like an explosion. They literally had car parts scattered across their driveway. After hearing the crash, Linda and her husband received a call from a neighbor saying his wife and daughter were among those killed.

Although the names of victims have not yet been released, Alsbury Baptist Church confirmed that its youth minister Brian Jennings was among those killed. Jennings was a father of three, and had just left a party held in honor of his oldest son, who had graduated from Centennial High School in Burleson. Jennings was once a troubled teen who had turned his life around as an adult by helping others. Brian apparently loved video games, board games, dancing and making people laugh.

A mother and her adult daughter were also trying to assist the disabled vehicle when they were killed. The daughter was home visiting from nursing school. Her father had gone inside the home to bring in a mailbox that was destroyed in the crash. When he returned, he found his wife and daughter dead.

Three vehicles, including the disabled one, were in the westbound lane. The fourth car was headed when the crash occurred. Authorities are still investigating whether alcohol was a major factor in the crash.

If you have sustained injuries from a car or truck wreck, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the the premier auto accident attorneys in Dallas at Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm at 214-526-7900, or submit the short case review form on the right. Remember – you’re under no obligation to use our services, and we charge nothing if you do not win your claim.

Driving Is Risky Business

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents

driving-300x200Driving is probably the most dangerous activity in which most of us engage every single day. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over 2,800 people were killed in auto accidents in Texas alone. The TxDOT also reported that October is the deadliest month and Saturday the most dangerous day to drive.

Nationally, fatal accidents on the roads totaled 29,757 in 2011. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control revealed that auto accidents are the #1 cause of death for people of ages 5-34 in this country.

Right now in North Texas, it’s mosquito season. Last year West Nile Virus was big news. Constant reporting on television and in newspapers warned of the immense dangers of this virus. In fact, it was such a scare, many North Texas cities went so far as to aerial spray toxic pesticides (called adulticides) while we are told to stay locked in our homes. Yet one’s chance of dying or even getting seriously ill from West Nile Virus are incredibly slim. So why are we so worried about mosquitoes and not the safety on our roads? Perhaps it is because driving is a necessity, and we simply take for granted that if we have somewhere to be, we must drive.

Or perhaps we’re just not as informed as we should be. It’s doubtful most people know that nationally, auto accidents account for approximately 110 deaths per day.

Texting While Driving Is Deadly

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents, In The News

Savannah-nash-300x167I’m not sure even where to start writing here. As a mother I was heartbroken to hear the news of the young sixteen-year-old girl named Savannah Nash who died this weekend as she ran her car into a tractor-trailer — an accident that investigators have found most likely was caused by her texting while driving. I cannot imagine the grief her parents are going through, but I can imagine that they likely warned her not to text and drive. I also realize young people rarely think anything bad will happen to them. I was young once too, and I know I didn’t always listen to warnings of danger either.

Now as a parent, my greatest fear is my children not listening to me about the dangers of distracted driving, although I warn them regularly. In fact, just last week after blogging about the staggering statistics of the dangers of texting and driving, I shared with my children the information I learned, hoping that if I continue to remind them enough, they will understand the serious nature of this issue. Specifically, I told them as we were driving down the highway at 55 mph that if I sent a text at that exact time it would be the equivalent of my driving the same speed blindfolded down the length of a football field. I figured it was a statistic they could understand.

I never imagined that so soon after, I would be following up that conversation with the news of young Savannah Nash’s driving accident. The fact is that however difficult it was for me to tell them about what happened or to write about it now, I hope that if I remind people to wait to answer that one text or email, everyone will understand.

While I’ve always known texting and driving was dangerous, my fear of the consequences has escalated greatly now that in my law practice I work with attorneys who represent people injured by distracted drivers. I see too often the devastation it can cause, yet each time I hear of another texting/driving tragedy, I am deeply saddened.

Savannah Nash will now be a poster child for the dangers of driving and texting – a role no one should ever have to take. Her parents simply let her drive to the grocery store at 4 in the afternoon; that was all. Her story reminds us that life is so fragile, and cars, while necessary and practical, are dangerous when people do not focus their full attention on driving.

I cannot repeat enough that distracted driving leads to nothing good. Distracted driving is an actionable crime and exponentially increases the likelihood of death or injury from a car accident. Please do not text and drive. We do not need any more examples like the one we got this weekend of why it is so dangerous.

If you or someone you care about has sustained injuries from a distracted-driver car or truck wreck, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the tenacious DFW car crash attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm at 214-526-7900, or submit the short case review form on the right. Remember – You’re under no obligation to use our services, and we charge nothing if you do not win your claim.

Recent Vets Have 75% Higher Vehicular Mortality Rates

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents, In The News

shutterstock_17890870-300x199As we all know, many veterans must deal with the devastating effects of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). But that’s not the only problem soldiers face. Believe it or not, veterans of both wars have a 75% higher rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents than civilians. In fact, those STILL in the military have a higher risk of crashing their vehicles months after returning home. And the men and women who served in multiple combat zones are at the highest risk of those accidents.

These findings are based on research and observation of service members, veterans and counselors. The explanation given is that soldiers who had to maneuver throughout roads in war zones did so with the intention of saving lives. However, those same driving habits are highly dangerous on America’s roads. Some of these maneuvers include racing through intersections, driving in two lanes, swerving on bridges and not wearing seat belts because they prevent them from what they perceive as a rapid escape.

Another major contributing factor is the obvious – PTSD. Thousands of veterans suffer from this horrible disorder, and unfortunately, a major symptom of PTSD is drunken driving. This evidence is based on both research and testimonies from other veterans.

According to Bruce H. Jones, a physician and epidemiologist who heads the Army’s Injury Prevention Program at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, “Before suicides became the leading cause of non-battle injuries, motor vehicle accidents were.”

Further research is needed but it is anticipated that findings will support the fact that motor vehicle crashes will rival suicide and interpersonal violence as a consequence of fighting overseas. Motor vehicle accidents in the military are nothing new, however. From 1999 – 2012, as many active-duty military personnel died in noncombat vehicle crashes both on and off duty as were killed in the Iraq war (with 4,423 deaths from accidents and 4,409 killed in Iraq). These are astounding statistics!

Men who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have a 76% higher rate of dying in motor vehicle crashes and women have a 43% higher rate than civilians. This same phenomenon happened with Persian Gulf War veterans.

Motorcycle crashes among veterans resulted in increased fatalities during these wars, accounting for 14% of military traffic deaths in 2001 and rising to 38% in 2008. The total rate of motorcycle deaths tripled during this period.

Don’t Text and Drive!

Angel Reyes III Aside, Auto Accidents

stop-texting-300x200According to a recent article in the Texas Tribune, texting and driving may become illegal later this year and rightly so.  Most of us are guilty of looking at texts while behind the wheel. For some reason, we’re unable to resist the temptation.  For some, there’s a misconception that a phone call can wait, but a text requires an immediate response.

And then there are those of us who would never text and drive.  But with voice-to-text technology that transcribes your spoken words into text form, we’re totally safe in doing so, right?  Wrong.  A new study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute finds that voice-to-text technology is just as dangerous as texting while driving. Coincidentally, this study was released while lawmakers are determining whether to pass House Bill 63, which would be a Texas-wide ban on sending text messages.  Many Texas cities already have their own bands in place.  This bill has already passed the House and the Senate will now vote on it. Two years ago, the bill was passed but Governor Rick Perry vetoed it.  According to Perry, the bill was “a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”  This past March, he was quoted as saying “The key to dissuading drivers from texting while driving is information and education, not government micromanagement.”

The lead author of the study said that new technologies such as speaking into a phone don’t protect drivers from having accidents. The study involved 43 research subjects who drove cars on a closed course.  The first time they drove, they did so with no distractions.  Then they were required to perform several activities, including texting, and voice-to-text technology.  Results indicate that driver reaction times were nearly two times slower than the baseline condition, no matter which texting method was used, according to the study.  Eye gazes to the forward roadway also significantly decreased.  Despite these findings, drivers perceived that they were safer using the voice method of texting.

Prior to approving any statewide ban, lawmakers want to see more data, as well as educational campaigns that will alert the public of the dangers of distracted driving. Earlier in April, the Texas Department of Transportation launched a campaign. On Monday, the House passed HB 437, by state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie.  This bill would enforce current laws which prohibit all use cellphones on public school grounds, protecting children from distracted driving.

Irving Texas Bus Crash Update

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents

irvingbuscrashupdate-april2013-300x194On April 11, 2013, a tragic bus collision occurred on the President George Bush Turnpike (State Highway 161) in Irving, Texas.  The bus was carrying many elderly citizens to Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma.  For an unknown reason, the bus driver lost control of the bus and it flipped on its side.

At this time, we don’t have all the facts.  We do know that prior depositions from a civil lawsuit filed against Loyd Rieve, Cardinal Coach Line’s bus driver, show the driver’s previous employer recommended firing him after several collisions, tickets and complaints.  For some unknown and grossly negligent reason, Cardinal Coach Line decided it was worth the risk to put many lives in his hands.  That decision, along with other negligent acts and omissions by Cardinal Coach Line has left two dead and over 40 others injured.

It is devastating that two families lost loved ones in this collision.  One family hired our law firm to uncover all the facts and bring justice for those suffering.  The family wants answers and we will work aggressively and diligently to get the family justice.  We filed suit on Monday afternoon against Cardinal Coach Line, Inc. and Loyd Rieve.  We already have a team of experts that have started their investigation as to what happened and how this deadly collision should have been avoided.

Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for victims and their families from tragedies such as this one.  If you or someone you know suffered injuries in this crash or any other type of accident, please call DFW’s elite car accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley for a complementary consultation.  You are under no obligation to use our services.  We will continue to work hard to keep our roads safe for our families.

Bus Accident Should Cause Awareness For Better Safety

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents

buscrash-300x225Around 9 a.m. this morning, there was a bus accident on Bush Turnpike in Irving, Texas.  The bus hit a rubber crash barrier on the east side of the tollway, swerved across two lanes of traffic, crashed into the middle concrete barrier, and finally flipped over onto the grassy area in the middle of the turnpike.  The flipped bus ended up on it’s right side (where the exit doors were located) and many passengers tried to climb out through the emergency hatches on the roof, or through the windows.  The reason for the crash is still under investigation.

There were 45 people on the passenger list at the time of the incident.  Most of them were reported to be elderly.  Two of these people didn’t survive this tragedy and 41 were injured.  When the emergency vehicles arrived, people were rushed to nearby hospitals.  Victims experienced everything from cuts and scrapes to severe internal injuries.  Sixteen of the patients are in critical condition.

Most of the bus passengers were not wearing seatbelts during the time of the crash.  As a result, when this crash occurred, many people ended up crushing each other in a pile.

Sadly, this is just one of many bus accidents reported annually.  A 2010 national report stated that there were 13,000 buses involved in crashes that year, resulting in 226 fatalities and countless injuries.  In Texas alone, there were 2,358 school bus accidents that occurred during the 2011-2012 school year (Texas Eduaction Agency report).

Safety should be taken very seriously.  Although we can’t completely avoid accidents like this because they’re unforeseen and can occur spontaneously, we can help save lives by enforcing safety rules.  Had passenger involved in this accident been wearing their seatbelts there would have been far less injuries.  It is crucial to follow safety rules and guidelines for any type of transportation.  Remember that buckling up can help save both your life and the lives of those around you.  Perhaps stricter laws should be enforced to ensure that all bus safety rules are followed.

Contact Reyes | Browne | Reilley today if you or someone you care about has been injured in a bus accident. Our Dallas auto accident lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve.  Call us at 214-526-7900 or submit the short Case Review form on the right.

Motorcycle Accidents in Texas

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents

reyes-blog-032513-300x310Texas is one of the most beautiful states for driving a motorcycle. With almost every kind of terrain and weather, wide open spaces, and long stretches of highway, you can pick and choose your riding scenery without ever having to cross the state. This is probably one reason that Texas has over 400,000 registered motorcycles.

Motorcycle accidents are a threat to bikers and passengers alike. If the bike slides on the road during bad weather, skids off the road during an evasive maneuver, or is hit by a car whose driver isn’t paying attention, head injuries and spinal damage can lead to expensive hospital bills, lifelong challenges and even death.

Although motorcycles may be fun to drive, they are extremely dangerous. In a 2011 report by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), there were 211,006 injured in motorcycle accidents in the last year. There were 5,970 serious injuries, and 479 fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents.

Over two-thirds of all Texas motorcycle accidents result in serious injury or death. Despite the high rates of accident fatalities caused by motorcycles, people still refuse to obey the law. 2,375 of the serious injuries, and 246 of the fatalities were not wearing helmets. 51% of the motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

If you or a someone you care about has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact Angel Reyes today for a free consultation regarding your case.

Deadly Statistics For Auto Accidents In Texas

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents

reyes-blog-031113-300x225According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) FARS Data, Texas is the most dangerous state for drivers in the US with over 3,000 traffic related fatalities reported in 2011. Most of these drivers were between the ages of 25-34.

These are the top 4 causes of accidents in Texas:

Speeding:

Speeding is the #1 cause of auto accidents in Texas. This is a common statistic around the country. Although almost everybody exceeds the speed limit every once in awhile, driving while speeding reduces the drivers ability to react in time to stop an accident from occurring.

Driving Inattention:

This includes everything from texting while driving, to talking on the phone, eating, looking at a map or just not paying attention. Even if it’s just for a second, not paying attention to the road can cause serious and even fatal accidents.

Failure to drive in a single lane:

Sometimes it can be difficult to see the line on the road in bad weather conditions, or if the road markings are worn, however swaying in and out of your lane while driving can cause very serious accidents, especially if you are crossing out of your lane into oncoming traffic.

Failure to yield while turning left:

It is difficult to judge the distance and speed of oncoming traffic during a yield on left turn. Driver error that occurs when the driver is turning into oncoming traffic can lead to very dangerous situations. The drivers that are making the turn typically get the worst end of the deal with the full force of the impact into the side of their vehicles.

The Texas Department of Transportation has compiled a list of traffic crash highlights with some shocking statistics on traffic fatalities that occurred.

Deadliest month to drive:

April is the month with the most fatal traffic accidents in Texas. The weather has a lot to do with this. April showers bring May flowers, but it also brings slippery dangerous roads. Be especially careful driving during this time of the year.

Driving without Restraint:

Texas has established the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, however out of all the fatalities that were reported 46% of the people were not restrained.

Driving Intoxicated:

1,039 fatalities occurred because of the driver being intoxicated. This was 34.5% of the people killed in traffic accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Angel Reyes and Associates today!