Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Drugs versus Alcohol and CrashesFor decades, law enforcement officers have used proven methods for verifying suspicion of drunk driving by asking the suspect to perform three tasks including using their eyes to follow the officer’s finger moving back and forth, taking steps outside of the vehicle and standing on the leg for a one-half minute. Prosecutors and personal injury attorneys representing victims have used the result of a standard field sobriety test to prove how the motorist was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

Unfortunately, medical science has yet to create a device to detect all incidents of driving while under the influence of drugs. The law enforcement officer may be able to identify an alcohol-impaired driver who stumbles on one foot when taking a field sobriety test, but a driver under the influence of drugs might be able to maintain their balance indefinitely during the same test. In recent years, many more states have begun legalizing recreational, medical marijuana, which makes it more important than ever to understand how driving under the influence of drugs can negatively affect driver behavior.

In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a survey and found that the number of motorists driving under the influence of marijuana group approximately 50% during the previous seven years. This number grew sharply from 8.6% in 2007 to more than 12% in 2014. Even though the NHTSA said that drug-impaired driving was increasing, alcohol-related crashes had declined by approximately one-third during the same time. NHTSA spokesperson Mark Rosekind stated that “the rising prevalence of marijuana and other drugs is a challenge to everyone who is dedicated to waiving lives and reducing crashes.” The report revealed that “evidence that marijuana use impairs psychomotor skills, divided attention, lane tracking, and cognitive functions,” every skill essential for safe driving.

Pot Legalization and Traffic FatalitiesIn 2017, the Denver Post published an article rhetorically asking their readers if there was a link between the rise in traffic fatalities and legal marijuana use. The article stated that since 2013, the number of motorists that died in vehicle crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana in their system had risen significantly to almost double. This number coincides with a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) that was recently updated April 2017. That report showed that nationwide, “drugs were present in 43% of fatally injured drivers with a known test result, [that occurred] more frequently than when alcohol was present.”

In recent years, Colorado is among several states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use including Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Additionally, thirteen other states decriminalized possessing marijuana in small amounts. A 2013 study found a correlation between medical marijuana laws and the increased presence of marijuana in fatally injured drivers.

After Colorado enacted the medical marijuana law in 2000, residents could cultivate and distribute marijuana for medical purposes without restrictions. Between 2013 and 2015, marijuana-related traffic fatalities occurring in Colorado increased 48% after the state legalized recreational marijuana. This sharply rising number is in direct contrast to all other traffic deaths in the state that had increased 11% during the same time.

Depositphotos_25825003_xl-2015-1024x683With the holidays right around the corner, it’s a good time to be mindful of the risks associated with being on the roadways at this time of year and the need to drive with extra caution. While July 4th and New Year’s are statistically the deadliest holidays for traffic accidents, it might surprise some that Thanksgiving time is not far behind—even deadlier than Labor Day weekend.

In 2017, 528 people were killed nationwide in crashes during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the busiest travel time of the year.

Because of the alcohol consumption associated with holidays, accidents inevitably rise at these times of the year. The two holidays with the highest total number of traffic fatalities, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), are New Year’s Eve/Day and the Fourth of July, which were virtually tied between 2010 and 2015 at an average of about 118 deaths annually. (July 4th is the deadliest day of the year for motorcyclists.)

Car Accidents and CelebritiesCar accidents are tragic to everyone involved. Since the invention of the automobile, millions of individuals have been either severely injured or killed, including celebrities. Many of these accidents were the result of driver mistakes, distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, severe road conditions, speeding and more. The news takes notice when celebrities are injured or killed in car accidents, calling attention to how we all live vulnerable lives that could change instantly.

Famous individuals are not protected against tragic events that tend to affect each one of us the same way. The ten celebrities listed below were all severely injured or lost their lives in vehicle accidents.

Paul Walker

Different Ways to Commute and Get AroundDoes the way you choose to travel to work impact your likelihood of arriving in one piece? Although plenty of people are on-board with the concept of cycling for health or riding public transit for the environment, few consider changing their commuting practices for safety reasons. Here’s why they should probably start.

Commuting Around the US

It’s hard to get a feel for just how many accident victims got into collisions while they were on their way to work. In spite of highly detailed police reports, statistics agencies don’t really keep such fine-grained data. What one can reasonably say, however, is that commuters probably follow similar trends to those seen in the general population, albeit with a few critical distinctions.

We all try to be safe drivers, but every now and then we slip up. We’re human; it happens. But did you know that any time you are convicted of a traffic violation in Illinois, or you pay a ticket, points are added to your Illinois driving record? Unlike a shopping loyalty card, points on your driver license aren’t a good thing. The number of points assigned depends on the traffic violation and the severity of the offense, but if you receive convictions for multiple offenses in a 12-month period, Illinois authorities can revoke or suspend your driver’s license. Moreover, moving violations can drive up the cost of your auto insurance.

While you may receive points on your driver’s license due to traffic violations, the fate of your driving privileges is not the only consequence you have to worry about. These accidents often lead to severe injuries as well. In addition to facing fines from the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles, you can find yourself paying for thousands in medical expenses, losing hours of work due to recovery time, and dealing with the emotional repercussions of the accident. Here’s what you need to know about the Illinois driver’s license point system, and how to navigate the injuries that arise as a result of these motor vehicle violations.

How Does the Illinois Driver License Point System Work?

Back and Neck Injuries are a Result in Rear End CollisionsRear-end collisions are incredibly common—in fact, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 2 million rear-end collisions in the U.S. in 2017. The number of rear-end collisions has actually gone up in recent years. Not only are they responsible for numerous injuries, but they also led to almost 2,500 fatalities during 2017. Rear-end collisions account for by far the highest number of collisions among all collisions with motor vehicles in transport.

The nature of a rear-end collision, where your vehicle is hit from behind by another vehicle, means that back and neck injuries are quite common. A lot of force travels through your vehicle and through your body during a rear-end collision, even a minor one, and that force can cause all sorts of damage to your neck, back and other parts of your body.

How Rear-End Collisions Cause Back Injuries

Connection between Teen Passengers & Motor Vehicle Accident RateTeenage Drivers with Teenage Passengers – A New Study

A study by AAA was released in May 2012 and it discussed the connection between teen drivers with other young passengers and fatal accidents. The study showed that the risk of fatal car accidents are dramatically increased when drivers of 16 or 17 have other teenage passengers. We can all understand why this would be true, the lack of concentration when driving isn’t quite second nature yet, and “trying to impress” can both attribute to this.

  • When a teen driver had a passenger in the car under 21 the chances of a fatal accidents is increased by 44%

what-is-the-most-dangerous-time-of-day-to-be-on-the-roadsWhen people come into my office seeking legal representation it is sometimes interesting to note that they believe that the time of day that they were on the road had nothing to do with their accident. Make no mistake about it, an automobile  accident can occur at any possible time, but that does not mean that there is not a significant distinction that determines what the most dangerous time of the day is to be on the road.

Statistics can help here

For example, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most dangerous month to drive is August and the most dangerous day of the week to drive is Saturday. Considering it is always best to avoid potential problems and that 40,000 people lose their life in car accidents every single year in the United States alone, it is interesting enough to go beyond the numbers and see what he most dangerous time of the day to be driving is.

Famous People in Drunk Driving AccidentsWhile we often hold celebrities in high regard, in reality, they are everyday individuals like all of us. However, in some cases, their fame and unusual lifestyle create unique challenges that can result in making bad decisions that harm or kill others. Some celebrities have been filed guilty of drug charges, driving under the influence, manslaughter, financial problems and tax evasion that make headlines. Below is a list of 15 Famous individuals who work others in accidents involving alcohol.

Amy Locane

In 2010, law enforcement took Amy in the custody after she drove her vehicle into another car and killed a 60-year-old woman and critically injuring her husband. After being convicted of vehicular manslaughter, the judge sentenced the former “Melrose Place” actress to three years in prison.