Nevada Considering ‘Textalyzer’ Cellphone Scan Technology For Police Use

Nevada Considering 'Textalyzer' Cellphone Scan Technology For Police Use - Reyes Browne Reilley

Although texting while driving is already banned in many states, one state is considering taking this safety measure to the next level. Nevada could potentially pass a legislation which would grant law enforcement officers the ability to search through drivers’ cell phone usage history after a car crash.

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Utah Lowers Legal BAC to 0.05% to Reduce DUIs

Utah Lowers Legal BAC to 0.05 to Reduce DUIs - Reyes Browne Reilley

While drunk driving accidents have been on the decline over the past three decades, many states across the country are starting to strengthening their regulations in the hopes of preventing the reported 11,000 people killed in such accidents nationwide.

Last December, Utah lowered their legal driving blood alcohol content limit to 0.05% in hopes of decreasing the amount of D.U.I arrests. At an average of 30 D.U.I arrests/day, Utah already holds the record for the lowest number of daily D.U.I. arrests across the country. Already recognized as the most heavily restricted state for alcohol distribution/consumption, this new legislation has angered many, including those from the American Beverage Institute, a trade group that is working with bars and restaurants against the new law. “Someone with a 0.05% blood alcohol level is not meaningfully impaired,” says the managing director, Sarah Longwall.

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U.S. Traffic Deaths Exceed 40,000 for the Third Year in a Row

For the third year in a row, there have been more than 40,000 traffic deaths throughout the United States. Although this number is startlingly high, there has been a slight downward trend over the past two years.

In 2017, the traffic death toll of 40,231 decreased by slightly less than 1% compared to 2016’s count of 40,327. The National Safety Council reports that 2018 is down another 1% with an estimated 40,000 traffic fatalities.

Annual Motor Vehicle Fatality Estimates - NSC

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Bird Box Challenge Gone Wrong

Bird Box Challenge Gone Wrong - Reyes Browne Reilley

Everyone is talking about the latest Netflix original movie, Bird Box. (For those who have not seen it yet, don’t worry, we won’t release any spoilers.) In the film, the characters must navigate through the world while remaining blindfolded. The internet took this idea and ran with it, thus giving birth to “The Bird Box Challenge.” This meme is centered around performing everyday tasks all the while, you guessed it, remaining blindfolded. Unfortunately, one risky individual took this challenge to the streets.

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The Greatest Risk For Teenage Drivers? Lack of Experience

The Greatest Risk For Teenage Drivers? Lack of Experience

Adolescents are known to take chances, succumb to peer pressure, overestimate their abilities, and have emotional mood swings. Each of these behaviors can increase the likelihood for the teenage driver to be involved in an automobile crash. Investigations have shown that “the cause of teenage crashes is not the skill with which they can drive, but the judgment they exercise while driving,” according to an editorial in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Holding Schools Accountable for Student Accidents

Teacher comforting a child after she has fallen and hurt her knee.

For most counties in Texas, students went back to school in August. Teachers, parents, and kids of all ages likely geared up for the summer to fall transition for weeks.

Returning to school not only means getting back in the classroom, but also the return to playgrounds, gymnasiums, forms of travel, and sports. While recess and extracurricular activities are often referred to as the “fun” part of school for many, they are also the setting for the potential of numerous accidents and injuries.

According to research conducted by the National SAFE KIDS Campaign (NSKC), an estimated 2.2 million children ages 14 and younger sustain school related injuries each year.

Many of these unintentional injuries are often caused by negligence, such as lack of adequate teacher supervision or poorly maintained facilities. In fact, lack of supervision is associated with 40 percent of playground injuries.

Among elementary school students, playgrounds are associated with the majority of injuries, and for secondary school students, athletics — including both physical education classes and organized sports — account for most injuries.

School bus-related accidents, often involving child pedestrians, also account for many injuries.

Common causes of these accidents and injuries include:

  • Failure to regularly maintain school equipment and facilities
  • Failure to properly train school staff to supervise children and administer emergency first aid and CPR when necessary
  • Asphalt, concrete, grass, and soil surfaces under playground equipment, as opposed to loose-fill materials such as shredded rubber, mulch, and fine sand
  • Failure to ensure children play on age-appropriate playground equipment
  • Failure to use appropriate safety equipment for sports activities
  • Failure to group children according to skill level, size, and physical maturity, especially for contact sports
  • A school bus driver’s failure to see children attempting to enter or exit the bus
  • Other drivers’ failure to obey school bus stop signs

Too often, parents and teachers blame children’s injuries on children’s behavior rather than their surroundings; however, budget cuts and overcrowding in Texas schools may not only diminish the quality of education received by students, but also may affect the safety and integrity of the environment in which they learn and interact.

By holding schools accountable for student accidents, concerned parents can help ensure schools take proper measures to protect children from injuries in the future.

Who’s Liable When Teen Drivers Have Car Wrecks?

liable-when-teen-drivers-have-car-wrecksStatistics show that teens are among the most dangerous drivers. This is not news to any of us. Many teens are just irresponsible, while others simply don’t have the experience necessary to be good drivers. The fact is that drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are the most dangerous drivers. According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, for each mile driven, teen drivers are approximately four times fore likely to be involved in an accident with another driver. They’re also involved in four times more fatal accidents than drivers between the ages of 25 and 69. Teens account for about ten percent of the population, and twelve percent of all fatal car wrecks.

So given these statistics, the question becomes, “Who is liable for these driving mistakes – the teen, the owner of the vehicle or the teen’s parents?” The following are some situations to consider when answering that question.

A Teen Crashes a Family Vehicle

Chances are, a teen is driving a vehicle that’s owned by the parents or guardian, who can be held liable for “negligent entrustment.” Further, most states will hold parents liable for damages while driving a family car under what is known as the “family car doctrine.” But even if states don’t have this doctrine, parents may be found negligent and responsible for the damages.

A Teen Crashes a Friend’s Car

If a friend owns a car and allows a teen to drive it, that person may be held liable for damages if the teen is involved in an accident. This is called “owner’s liability” in some states. A driver injured by the teen may sue both the teen and the vehicle owner. However, chances are the owner or his insurance company may end up paying for damages.

An Uninsured Teen Is in a Crash

Often insurance plans have a separate policy for uninsured motorists. This is beneficial for victims, and also means that insurance companies may make the teen pay for damages. If the teen driver is on the vehicle owner’s insurance policy, both parties’ insurance companies would work out the claims based on the owner’s policy limits and coverage of damages.

But with this scenario, injured parties and their insurance companies can sue any of the parties involved – owners, teen drivers, parents – to collect damages to themselves, their vehicle or their property.

If you live in the Dallas area and have had an accident involving an uninsured teen, your next step should be to contact a Dallas car accident attorney.

Could Dental Malpractice be Considered Murder?

Deadly Dentistry - Part 6 - Could Dental Malpractice be Considered Murder?

A California dentist, Dr. Claire, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his son, after performing a routine dental procedure. Patrick Claire, a developmentally disabled 36-year-old whose condition resembled autism, died shortly after having a painful wisdom tooth extracted by his father. Patrick died from respiratory failure and cardiac arrest as a result of an overdose of the sedatives morphine and valium. The dentist had been practicing for forty years and had a history of complaints filed against him for sedation-related issues. Morphine is not an approved sedative and Dr. Claire did not have a license to practice aesthetics.

What elevated the incident of death from dental malpractice to suspicion of murder was the testimony of an eyewitness to the entire procedure. Sandra Montoya was the dental assistant at the time and claimed that Dr. Claire did nothing when she tried to alert him that his son was struggling to breathe. She said that the doctor claimed that such was common and his son was prone to having seizures. After Ms. Montoya left work at 5:00 pm the doctor waited an hour and called 911. When police and rescue workers arrived around 6:00 pm they found Dr. Claire half-heartedly administering CPR to his son with a force the equivalent of “honking a car horn with one hand”. Patrick was taken to a local hospital where he was declared dead. Montoya told police that she did not see the doctor administer the required blood pressure tests to Patrick prior to giving him the sedatives and that there were no vital signs monitored during the procedure as required by law.

Although Dr. Claire claimed that he had given Patrick a standard intravenous dosage of valium and morphine, lethal amounts nearly three times the required level to sedate a patient of his height and weight were found in his system including some in his stomach. It was discovered that Patrick had sought medical attention at the local emergency room and was given pain prescription painkillers including novocaine. It is suspected that Patrick, a known local drug user, could have secured the morphine illegally and used it to relieve his pain without telling his father.

Because of the uncertainties of Patrick’s prior drug use the DA was unable to proceed with murder charges. Dr. Claire cut a deal with the DA’s office and plead no-contest to the charge of “unlicensed sedation under circumstances or conditions that caused death” and agreed to three years probation and surrendered his California dental license. No arrests were ever made.

Article and Image Credit: Original Dallas Morning News Deadly Denistry Series

6 Shocking Car Accident Facts

car-wreck-dangers-dallas-300x200A car accident is a traumatizing experience that can lead to serious injuries and well as long-term emotional troubles. Here are six things that might shock you about car accidents.

1. Thirty-One Percent of Fatal Accidents Involve Alcohol

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the U.S. involved an alcohol-impaired driver. There were 10,322 fatalities in the U.S. that involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

2. Most Car Accidents Occur Close to Home

The majority of car accidents occur very close to a driver’s place of residence, according to Esurance. While Esurance.com states that most accidents occur within 25 miles of a person’s home, a Progressive Insurance survey of people in accidents in 2001 found that about half were within five miles of home and about a third were within 15 miles from home.

3. Distracted Driving Causes Thousands of Accidents Each Year

Distraction.gov reports that distracted driving causes thousands of accident each year. In fact, in 2017, 3,328 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted driver. One of the most common types of distracted driving is texting while driving, or using any other type of handheld mobile device.

4. Rollovers among the Most Deadly Accident Types

According to SafeRoads.org, rollover crashes are one of the most dangerous types of accidents because of the high number of occupant ejections and head injuries in rollover crashes. According to the website, rollover accidents only account for three percent of all collisions, yet are responsible for more than 30 percent of all motor vehicle occupant fatalities.

5. Men More Likely to Cause an Accident Than Women

Men have a higher number of car accidents than do women, according to multiple data sources. A report by Howard University that studied car accidents in Washington D.C. from 2015 to 2017 found that men were the drivers in 65 percent of the accidents.

6. Someone Dies in an Accident Every 16 Minutes

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone died in an accident in the United States every 16 minutes in 2017. Ninety-two people died every day.

Were you in an accident? Get legal help at Reyes, Browne, & Reilley

An attorney can be a key aspect of getting a fair settlement following an accident. And a lawyer can help you pursue a lawsuit if an insurance company does not offer a sufficient settlement. At Reyes, Brown & Reilley, our Dallas car accident attorneys can help you. Call us today at 214-526-7900.