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11 Things An Injured Victim Should Do After A Car Wreck

More than 3.2 million people are injured in car crashes in the United States each year.  Many people will get into at least one car wreck in their lifetime, but that does not make the situation any less scary.

Being involved in a car crash is an overwhelming experience that can affect you physically, emotionally and financially.  Immediately after a car crash, you will likely have adrenaline coursing through your veins and be facing questions from emergency responders, the at-fault driver and others.  It can be hard to remember what to do and say; the sooner you contact a personal injury attorney, the sooner you can get tailored guidance about the best steps to take in your situation.

Keep your mind on the road: the dangers of cognitive distraction

In March 2018, a pickup truck driver in a rural area of Texas plowed into a bus carrying Baptist church members who were on their way home from a three-day retreat.  Thirteen bus riders were killed in the crash.   Near Houston, three teenage girls were killed when the driver of their car veered out of her lane and smashed into an 18-wheeler.  

What do these two tragedies have in common?   Drivers responsible for the crashes were distracted because they were texting.  Nearly 20 percent of all Texas crashes involve distracted driving.   In 2017 in Texas alone, 100,687 car wrecks were caused by distracted drivers, which resulted in 444 deaths and 2,889 serious injuries.

Is speeding to save time worth the risk?

Whether you are running late or just trying to shave some time off your commute, it can be tempting to speed, especially if you see others doing so.  But how much time can you really save?  And is it worth the risk of a ticket or a wreck?

It is relatively easy to calculate the time saved by speeding while driving at constant speeds for a long period.  For example, a 10-mile drive would take 10 minutes at 60 miles per hour, but only about 8 minutes and 34 seconds at 70 miles an hour, a savings of nearly a minute and a half -- as long as you can maintain that speed for the entire 10 miles.  However, most commutes do not take place entirely on open roads, making it difficult to calculate time savings, especially in urban areas.

Who is liable when self-driving cars hurt innocent victims?

In December, a self-driving Chevy Bolt in San Francisco collided with a motorcyclist who was attempting to pass the automated vehicle.  The injured motorcyclist is now suing General Motors, which manufactures the self-driving technology, saying that the automated vehicle was behaving unpredictably.

As self-driving technology is developed and tested on roads across the country, incidents like this are raising legal issues that will become increasingly important as driverless cars become more common.  Who is at fault when self-driving cars injure innocent people:  the person on board, the owner of the car, or the manufacturer of the technology?  To some extent, the answer depends on the level of automated vehicle technology in use at the time of the crash.

Wrecks caused by drunk drivers spike over holidays

The cold front that swept the nation at the end of 2017 made roads especially hazardous for holiday travelers.  However, one of the biggest dangers around the holiday season has nothing to do with the weather:  despite increased enforcement efforts, drunk drivers continue to cause a significant number of traffic crashes in Texas and across the nation.

From Dec. 1, 2016, to Jan. 1, 2017, at least 82 people were killed in crashes related to drunk driving in Texas - about 25 percent of all traffic deaths during this period - and an additional 199 people were seriously injured, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.   A total of 2,321 DWI-related crashes were reported in the state during that period.

What Are The Safest Cars On The Road?

When it is time to buy a new car, many people focus on the fun features:  heated seats, the latest audio electronics, a cool color.  Safety may not always be the most attractive feature we are considering, but it should be a top priority.

In a previous blog post, we discussed the deadliest cars on the road, looking at the different vehicles the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found were more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.  Not surprisingly, smaller cars had higher rates of driver fatality.

Do You Have To Wear A Motorcycle Helmet In Texas?

There's no question that motorcycle helmets can save lives.  Still, many people choose to ride without a helmet - and this can be a perfectly legal decision in some states, including Texas.

This wasn't always the case.  In 1975, nearly every state required all motorcyclists to wear helmets because of a federal law that tied highway construction funding to helmet laws.  However, states began to chip away at their helmet laws after Congress ended the funding incentive in 1976.  Texas was one of the first states to repeal its universal helmet requirement in 1977, although it was later temporarily reinstated between 1989 and 1997.

Texas' New School Bus Seat Belt Law Aims To Keep Kids Safer

You would certainly never let your kids ride in your car without making sure they're properly wearing their seat belts.  However, most parents across the country send their children off to school on buses that don't even have seat belts.

This is slowly starting to change.  A new Texas law went into effect this September that requires new buses to have shoulder-to-lap seat belts installed in all seats.  Six other states have enacted similar laws in recent years.

What To Do If You Are Hit By An Uninsured Driver

Nobody feels lucky after a car wreck, but you may feel especially unfortunate if your wreck was caused by an uninsured driver.  Although every driver is required to have insurance, many still do not.  About 13 percent of Texas drivers do not carry insurance, according to recent data from the TexasSure vehicle insurance verification program.

It's important to remember that you still have the right to seek compensation after a car wreck, even if the other driver isn't insured.  Texas requires all car insurance companies to offer coverage for property and bodily damage caused by uninsured and underinsured drivers.  Unless you signed a written rejection slip denying it, you are afforded uninsured motorist coverage per Texas law.

U.S. Bike Fatality Rates Are Rising, Especially Among Adult Men

Who is more likely to be killed in a bike accident: a child or an adult?  The answer to this question has changed dramatically over the last 40 years.

In 1975, most victims of fatal bike accidents were children or teenagers.  Today, the opposite is true:  people over age 20 make up the vast majority of people killed while biking on U.S. roads, according to a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Administration that analyzed 40 years of data on bike fatalities.

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