Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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buckles-032614Should a Person be Held Accountable for Texting a Driver Who is Involved in an Accident?

We all know that in many states it is illegal to text and drive. The dangers associated with such distracted driving are clear. However, the courts currently are trying to determine whether or not a person who knowingly texts someone who is driving can be held accountable if the person receiving the text is an accident. Recently in New Jersey, three judges decided that you don’t need to be the one driving to have accountability.

In 2009, a couple was badly injured when a truck driving in the opposite lane drifted into the center of the road and hit them while they were riding their motorcycle. As a result of the accident, both victims lost their left legs among other serious injuries. While they had already finished settling the case with the driver of the truck – who was convicted of texting and driving, they wanted to sue the driver’s girlfriend who had been sending him text messages right before the accident. Police were able to break down the events that happened during that day to determine that the driver had sent a text to his girlfriend mere seconds before the accident.

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car-accident-statistics-1Although automobile manufactures are always coming out with new and improved safety features, car accidents remain a leading cause of death and injury in Dallas and in the United States.

According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration), the amount of traffic accidents has slowly decreased in Texas, but on average there are still about 3,300 fatalities a year in the Lone Star State alone. Surprisingly, at least 10% of those accidents involve drivers who are 16-20 years of age.

The main causes of most automobile accidents are drunk or distracted drivers. Despite all the public service announcements and growing awareness of the dangers of using cellular phones while driving, recent surveys show that most drivers are willing to risk others’ lives and their own to answer a call or text while behind the wheel. Texting increases the risk of having a car crash by a whopping 23 percent! For more information about distracted driving visit www.Distraction.gov.

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Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 4.22.04 PMOn Dec. 3, The Texas DPS released a preliminary report into the crash investigation involving an Iraan-Sheffield ISD school bus late Friday night, about one mile west of Big Spring, Texas, on Interstate-20.

According to the report, Nijimbere Eliphase, 40, of Richardson, was eastbound on I-20 driving a 2007 Freightliner tractor towing a semi-trailer in the outside lane when he observed a black passenger car slam on its brakes, at which time Eliphase veered his semi to the right to avoid a collision.

During the maneuver, the semi went out of control and crossed the center median of the four-lane divided interstate and into the westbound lanes of I-20.

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Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

Often times we can think of a car wreck as potentially dangerous, but mostly a hassle with insurance companies, the other person, getting your car fixed, etc. – for the lucky ones.

But what happens when the wreck involves a vehicle against a pedestrian?

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iStock_000035666576_Large_zps5osr8rjoWhile some dislike the seasonal shifts of Daylight Saving Time (DST) for the minor inconvenience to their sleep cycles and busy schedules, there’s a more serious side to the scheme: the loss of an hour of afternoon sunlight when it ends—as it does this weekend—may increase the likelihood of traffic accidents.

In addition, cars kill more pedestrians nationwide during daylight saving time changes than at any other time of year, according to data from experts. This year, the fall time change occurs on Nov. 6.

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Two people died and one was injured in a wrong-way crash on southbound Central Expressway near Downtown late Monday. Although at this point the accident investigation is on-going, it is safe to predict a contributing factor for the accident will be a high level of distracted and/or inhibited driving.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents and the increase in road fatalities with young drivers. 

(Photo: Mike Forbes, WFAA)

(Photo: Mike Forbes, WFAA)

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Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm fatalities on the road

After decades of overall improvement in driving safety, traffic fatalities are again on the rise.

Traffic fatalities this year are on a pace to reach 40,000, which would be the highest total since 2007. That’s a vast improvement from about 55,000 deaths annually in the 1970s, but reverses years of declines that have been attributed to air bags, less drunken driving and more seat belt use.

The rebounding economy plays a large role, but safety experts say there is a new danger driving part of the increase: distracted driving.

Drivers now are not just talking on cellphones — they’re texting, using apps to follow directions, even playing games.

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Texting and Driving - Reyes Law - Dallas Texas

The technology exists — we just don’t have the stomach to implement it,” said Deborah Hersman, the president of the National Safety Council and the former chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board. In 2012, the safety board sent a letter to the wireless industry association urging the companies to prevent drivers from using their phones while driving.

“Technology got us into this situation. Technology will get us out,” she said. However, she added, “We’re so afraid to tell people what they should do that you can kind of get away with murder under these conditions.”

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The federal goveHPxse2e00siqKYsXh1S3EFRi5sUrnment is paving the way for self-driving vehicles to become commonplace on U.S roads. Tuesday morning, the Department of Transportation is slated to release guidelines for the testing and deployment of automated vehicles. Government officials say autonomous vehicles will make transportation safer, more accessible, more efficient and cleaner.

“Typically, we would say a car has to meet X standard a certain way,” said Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation. “We recognize that there are going to be different types of innovation that will come to us, and we intend to evaluate each of those on its own returns.”

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Texting while driving - Reyes Law - Dallas Texas

The increase in driving deaths could reflect new threats to auto safety, like driver distraction from infotainment systems and smartphones.

Based on recent crash death rates, which have been on the rise since 2014, the National Safety Council predicts this Labor Day will result in 438 people being killed during the three-day holiday weekend – proving to be the deadliest since 2008.

Despite better safety equipment in cars, car crash deaths are rising with about 19,100 people being killed on U.S. roads since January — enough to fill 382 school buses — and 2.2 million were seriously injured, the council says.

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