Cok Kinzler PLLP

Bozeman Personal Injury Blog

Child booster seats pass safety test despite dangers

As a parent, you likely have the safety of your children foremost in your mind from the moment they wake up until you put them to bed. You are cautious to protect them from harm. Every product you purchase, including diapers, toys and food, must meet certain standards of safety.

While you and many Montana parents may follow some of these precautions instinctively, choosing a car seat is something that you do consciously and with great care. You may research different brands, ask other parents for recommendations and read the information on the packaging. Unfortunately, you may not be able to trust the information the manufacturer provides.

Strategies for avoiding distracted driving

A study of drivers between the ages of 18 to 24 conducted by The Zebra found that 39% of respondents admitted to texting while driving. Interestingly, people do so despite knowing that it can be dangerous. Montana motorists who are tempted to drive while distracted can use several strategies to avoid doing so. For instance, they should set their GPS, find a radio station and otherwise get ready for their trip before the car starts moving.

Motorists are encouraged to pull over if they have a need to check a text message or confirm directions given by a GPS. Doing so can help them avoid driving while their eyes are not focused on the road. Ideally, drivers will keep their phones in a handbag or in the glove compartment while operating their motor vehicles.

Report lists 10 cities that experience the most car crashes

The transportation nonprofit Go Safe Labs has released a report listing the 10 cities with the highest car crash numbers in 2019 as well as the 10 most accident-prone regions in the U.S. Researchers hope that as residents of Montana and across the U.S. consider the lists, they can practice safer driving.

First of all, there were 953,630 car crashes nationwide in 2019, which was 6.8% more than in 2018. Of these crashes, 22,188 took place in Houston, Texas; 21,818 in Charlotte, North Carolina; and 19,660 in Los Angeles, California. In fourth and fifth place were two other cities in Texas: Austin with 16,635 accidents and Dallas with 14,685. Raleigh came in sixth with 12,846 crashes despite actually seeing a 25.5% decrease in crashes in 2019. The list ended with Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge, Nashville and Phoenix.

Traumatic brain injuries: causes and types

Traumatic brain injuries refer to any injuries that disrupt normal brain function. They can be caused by a blow to the head, by having the head violently shaken or by having something penetrate the skull. Montana residents should know that there are various causes of TBIs and many degrees of severity.

Across all ages, falls are the number one cause of TBIs. Motor vehicle accidents are behind most TBI-related deaths in particular. TBIs also occur when workers are struck against a hard surface or incur a blast injury. It should be kept in mind that stroke does not cause TBIs; the two may simultaneously occur, though.

Determining who was responsible in multi-car crashes

Multi-vehicle collisions can result in serious injuries for all parties involved; it can also be a legal nightmare as the victims and their attorneys try to determine who was at fault and to what degree. Montana residents can consider the following outline, which gives a few basics about determining fault. They may want a lawyer to assist with the gathering of evidence that supports the determination.

Most multi-vehicle incidents involve one rear-end collision after another. Drivers A and B may be stopped at a light, one behind the other, when Driver C, who is perhaps distracted or drunk, slams into Driver B. Driver B then collides with Driver A. In this situation, since Driver B did nothing wrong but was forced into Driver A, both Drivers A and B can pursue an injury claim against Driver C.

Carmakers criticized over rear-seat passenger protection

The new cars, SUVs and pickup trucks in dealer showrooms in Montana and around the country boast an impressive array of innovative safety features, but a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study reveals that many of them do little to protect rear-seat passengers. The Virginia-based advocacy group says that this is a serious problem because many people are now using ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft instead of their cars to get around.

The IIHS reached its conclusions after studying 117 car accidents that killed or seriously injured rear-seat passengers who were properly restrained by a safety belt. The researchers determined that many of these lives could have been saved if their seat belts featured tensioners that automatically tighten in the moments prior to and after a collision. Carmakers have been adding this feature to front seat belts for many years. Other safety features rarely found in the back of cars include force limiters that allow a small amount of seat belt webbing to spool out to prevent chest injuries and airbags.

The timing of SCI surgery could plot the course of your recovery

You may have heard the accident before you realized what was happening. It may have taken you a second or two to identify the crunch of metal, the skidding of tires and other sounds that indicate you were in a crash. In the next few minutes, you may have struggled to catch up with events.

Then, you tried to move. Adrenaline may have kept you moving at first, but soon your body took over. If you were out walking around, you may have collapsed or if you were still in the vehicle, your brain began to register that you couldn't move. When emergency medical personnel arrived, they quickly began assessing your injuries and stabilizing you for transport. You may not have immediately realized that you suffered a spinal cord injury.

Red-light cameras save lives but have not gained public support

In a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 42.7% of respondents admitted to running a red light at least once in the previous 30 days. This was in spite of the fact that 92.9% of respondents acknowledged that running a red light is wrong. Drivers in Montana should know that red-light running crashes claim the lives of hundreds of people every year.

There is a solution, though. Traffic-enforcement cameras have been shown to cut down on red-light running violations by 40% and crash deaths by 21%, at least when comparing large cities with cameras to large cities without them. But the way some cities implement these cameras has been a cause of concern for many.

Ignition interlock a source for driver distraction

Montana residents should know about the good that is being done through ignition interlock devices. These are in-car Breathalyzers that let drivers start their vehicle only after they are proven to be sober. Installing one is mandatory for DUI offenders in 34 states, and over the past 10 years, the number of IIDs installed rose from 133,000 to 350,000.

There are 15% fewer alcohol-related crash fatalities in those states with an IID law than in those without one. The CDC claims that IIDs lower the chances of a repeat DUI offense by 70% when installed. The devices are so well-regarded that lawmakers are proposing to make them, or something like them, a standard part of all new vehicles by 2024.

Automated car features may lead to more accidents

Montana drivers who have vehicles with automated safety systems might need additional education on how to use these systems effectively. A study by AAA has found that the dependence and incorrect use of these systems is increasing the risk of accidents. Interestingly, the drivers who are less familiar with the systems have a lower risk of accidents.

The car accidents might be partly a result of drivers trusting the systems too much and therefore becoming distracted as they drive. The systems, such as adaptive cruise control and other technology designed to keep vehicles within their lanes and at safe distances from other vehicles, are meant to assist the driver. However, they depend on the driver being alert and keeping their hands on the steering wheel. These systems are not capable of making important, complex decisions on the road. Drivers who misunderstand this might become dependent on these systems and lose focus as they drive.

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