December 18th, 2013
Driving on the snow (Photo credit: Benoit Dupont)
Driving on icy roads is no doubt more dangerous than any other weather-related road hazard. This is true for people of all ages, and the skill level of drivers makes virtually no difference. Driving slow can possibly help a motorist maintain control in mildly icy conditions, except in the case of black ice. It’s impossible to stay in control of a vehicle on black ice at any speed.
The kind of tires you have can potentially make a difference on icy Texas roads. While they may not help you stop or prevent you from losing control if you are driving at high speeds, good tires may help you move and get some traction on snow-packed roads when you need it most. The harsh reality is, however, that on iced-over roads, all tires are equally ineffective at helping to establish control over your car or truck. Not even safety features such as traction control, ESC, and ABS can help when you are spinning on ice on a highway.
A common mistake drivers make is thinking that safety features make it unnecessary for them to take special precautions when driving on ice. Drivers have the idea that good tires and features like stability control, antilock brakes, and traction control give them an advantage. But if a car begins to fishtail when driving at highway speeds, it’s doubtful that even the most experienced drivers can re-establish control.
The best thing to do if you find yourself suddenly driving in icy conditions is to go very slow and try to safely exit to an area away from the icy road as soon as possible. Of course, if you are in a remote area, you don’t want to end up being snowed in and trapped in the wintry weather. Use extreme caution and stay safe.
Learn more about driving on ice in Part 1 of this two-part series.
December 11th, 2013
English: Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge over Lewisville Lake, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A pickup truck driver was driving on an icy road in Lewisville, Texas, 26 miles north of Dallas, last week when he lost control. The truck went into a spin, over a guardrail, and into Lake Lewisville. Firefighters attempted to rescue the driver. They dove into the frigid lake and towed the truck out of the water. The pickup truck driver died at the scene.
Icy roads are extremely dangerous and should be avoided, but it’s not always possible to know when an icy patch is going to be encountered while driving because there are no advance warnings. A driver is not necessarily driving carelessly when an accident occurs in icy conditions. It does not help that media sources don’t raise awareness about the very real threat to life and property caused by icy roads.
Some suggest that crashes on icy roads are not caused by the ice but by motorists who drive too fast in hazardous conditions. Many drivers, however, don’t understand the limitations of their vehicle when encountering ice and snow. Another consideration is that icing is often an invisible condition.
Most data suggests that people are usually driving responsibly when they suddenly encounter ice, lose control, and crash. Overconfidence in either equipment or one’s driving abilities, however, has been a factor in many serious and deadly crashes. There is no amount of expertise in driving that can make a big difference when an ice patch is encountered while driving at a high speed.
Learn more about driving on ice in this continuing series.
December 5th, 2013
English: Slush, Omagh Somehow, I would think that the anti-lock brakes might not really be all that effective in this situation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
More safety tips for driving on Texas roads in wintry conditions:
- Plan all stops well in advance. Gently apply the brakes and add pressure slowly.
- If you have anti-lock brakes and drive on an extremely icy patch, it’s best to stop by applying constant, firm pressure to the brake pedal. If you suddenly need to stop on ice but do not have anti-lock brakes, repeated tapping provides the best results.
- If your car begins to skid, it is because the rear wheels have lost traction. During a skid, stop accelerating and turn the car gently in the direction you want to go. Be careful about over-correcting. Only accelerate when you are again headed in the correct direction.
- While making a turn in wintry road conditions, do not accelerate.
- When approaching a hill to go up, speed up slightly before reaching it, so that you have some momentum. Do not slow down before an incline or while going up the hill.
- When going down a hill, slow down before reaching the decline. Coast down as safely as you can for as long as you can without letting the car get out of control. Gently apply the brake to keep a manageable speed.
See this Part 1 of this two-part series for more tips on how to drive in wintry conditions.
Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence? If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Lubbock, Amarillo, Odessa, Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.
November 27th, 2013
English: Snow on the roads Took this out the front windscreen when the traffic stopped near the Station in Bolton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At about 2:30 p.m. Friday, November 22, as snowy weather blew into Lubbock, Texas, police report that they had already responded to 158 traffic accidents that day; 42 of the collisions resulted in injuries. The Lubbock Police Department, according to Sergeant Jason Lewis, advises people involved in collisions that they do not need to call police to the accident site if all cars are drivable, those involved are insured, and no one suffered from injuries. In those circumstances, everyone should share insurance and contact information with one another and fill out a crash report online. By doing this, more police officers will be free to either respond to more serious accidents or to respond to calls regarding criminal activity.
Sergeant Lewis also advises motorists to move off the road and out of traffic after a crash; people are often hit by cars at accident sites when the crashed vehicles aren’t moved off the road.
Even the southern parts of Texas sometimes get icy and snowy weather. The following are some safety tips for driving on roads in such wintry conditions:
- Allow double the space between your car and those in front of you. Watch closely for brake lights, as a way of avoiding slamming your brakes and sliding into other vehicles.
- If your car begins to slide while trying to accelerate from being in a standstill, ease up on the accelerator. Wheels don’t have good traction when slipping on ice.
- No matter the speed of other vehicles, drive slowly and cautiously. Anticipate stops and turns and approach them slowly. On icy roads or in deep snow, it’s best to coast through turns.
See this continuing series for more tips on how to drive in wintry conditions.
Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence? If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Lubbock, Amarillo, Dumas, Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas auto accident injury lawyer Dean Malone at (866) 670-9989.
November 20th, 2013
English: Renault Dump Truck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A 58-year-old grandmother was killed in a two-vehicle traffic accident on November 11 in Buda, Texas. The woman’s grandson was in the car with her, and they were traveling west on FM 1626. A man driving a dump truck was headed east; he lost control of the truck. The woman saw that the dump truck was out of control, and she pulled as far away from the truck as she could, against the guardrail. Unfortunately, her escape plan did not succeed. The dump truck rolled over her car. She died; but the grandchild escaped injury, which Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper Jacob Burlinson thought was nothing short of miraculous.
When the dump truck ran over the deceased’s car, the load of dirt buried it. The dump truck driver told police that he lost control after swerving his truck to avoid a collision with another vehicle.
The cause of the crash was not immediately ruled on. The fatal crash is being investigated by DPS and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office.
There are concerns about the safety of the stretch of road where this accident occurred. That part of FM 1626 is a primary connector between that section of Hays County and Austin. Road construction is underway in the vicinity, and it will expand the number of traffic lanes.
A driver who travels that area of the road daily and lives nearby commented on the traffic problem. His chief concern is that when construction is completed, if a light isn’t added at the intersection he frequents, entering the roadway will become even more dangerous.
November 13th, 2013
Distracted driving (Photo credits: www.smartsign.com)
On September 10, T.D. and Charlyne Mullikin of Trophy Club, Texas, were killed in an automobile accident on LBJ Freeway at Webb Chapel Road. A dump truck crushed a Toyota Camry, jumped a concrete barrier, and flattened much of the Mullikin’s Lexus. Incredibly, the man in the Toyota, who is from Garland, escaped serious injury. The cause of the accident was not immediately known.
Every day a fatal crash occurs in Texas. Records show that 3,015 people died on Texas roads in 2011. Every death resulting from a car crash represents loved ones that have suffered a devastating loss. The following are two of the most common causes of these tragic accidents:
Distracted driving can be defined as driving while attention is diverted to another activity besides driving. Distractions are hazards that create increased danger for the driver, passengers, bystanders, bicyclists, and other motorists. Common distractions for drivers include: Eating, drinking, changing the radio station, grooming, talking on the phone, and texting. Texting has been identified as an especially dangerous form of distracted driving. Arlington, San Antonio, Austin, and other cities in Texas have enacted laws banning texting and driving. In 2011 Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal statewide to text while driving.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous, since DUI amounts to driving without needed cognitive and perception skills. Texas drivers seem to be immune to the many national and local campaigns to end drunk driving. More than 1,039 people died in Texas in 2011 as a result of collisions which involved DUI.
November 6th, 2013
Crash Test Dummy (Photo credit: smjbk)
While airbags have saved many lives, they can also cause serious injuries when they do not work properly. Adults and children have been injured by defective airbags, though people who are small are more frequently injured by a defective airbag’s excessive force. Defective restraint systems also create a hazard for people of every size.
The following are some of the problems that can arise with airbags:
- If a manufacturer fails to properly test airbags, it can result in injuries. It is a reasonable expectation that crash test dummies of different sizes will be used to see how the airbags affect passengers of every stature, so that riders can be protected and not injured by airbags.
- Sometimes crash sensors are defective and cause airbags to be triggered too slowly to provide protection or to inflate when there has not been a crash.
- To reduce potential harm, airbags are supposed to inflate in the shape of a flat pillow, not in a round ball shape. Internal tether straps help the bag inflation to produce the right shape, but sometimes the tether straps are missing.
- When airbags extend horizontally, they endanger passengers. Approved airbag designs extend outward only after inflating upward.
- There are times when inflators are overly powerful and cause injuries. Single-force inflators are still widely used, even though for many years safer multi-force inflators have been available.
See Part 1 of this two-part series for more information about dangerous airbags.
Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence? If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, Rowlett, Sachse, or anywhere in Texas, contact Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.
October 30th, 2013
The driver and passenger front airbags, after having been deployed, in a Peugeot 306 car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Earlier this year approximately 3.4 million Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Nissan vehicles were recalled due to an airbag issue. Reports indicate that airbag inflators on the passenger side could explode and blast out plastic pieces. Taka, a Japanese airbag maker, says airbags on the driver side could fail to inflate, though there are no known injuries.
Toyota recalled 580,000 vehicles in North America; problematic inflators will be replaced with properly functioning airbags. Among the Toyota vehicles affected are Lexus SC, Tundra, and Corolla models made between 2000 and 2004. Civics and Odysseys are among the 1.14 million Hondas being recalled. Mazda has recalled 45,500 vehicles.
The safety issue in this recall is that the airbags or power steering could fail. There is a defect in which air conditioning condensers could cause a short circuit by leaking into the airbag control module. Short circuiting could disable the airbag, cause the airbag to inadvertently deploy, or initiate the airbag warning light.
The defect has also been known to affect power steering, making it much more difficult to steer.
While airbags can be life-savers, defective airbags are a hazard.
These aren’t the only types of airbag defects which have come up. See this continuing series for more information about dangerous airbags.
Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence? If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.
October 23rd, 2013
(Photo credit: Markus Wichmann)
Drunk driving is a problem that affects every person in the U.S. In fact, it costs $132 billion per year, which amounts to almost $500 per year for each adult. Seventeen million people have confessed to driving drunk; if they had their own state, it would be the fifth largest in the nation. The following are more facts about driving while intoxicated:
- On average, 27 people in the U.S. die every day in drunk driving collisions.
- The age range with the highest drunk driving rate is 21 to 25-year-olds; the group accounts for 23.4% of all drunk drivers.
- Almost 300,000 times per day, which is about 112 million times annually, adults drink too much alcohol and drive.
- It’s a myth that you can sober a person up with a cold shower, exercise, or strong coffee. Only with the passage of time does a drunk person become sober.
- According to research results from 2011, 31% of all drivers who were involved in a fatal crash on weekends were drunk. During weekdays, 15% of all drivers in a fatal crash were drunk.
- Nighttime drunk driving occurred 4.5 times more than daytime drunk driving in 2011.
See Part 1 of this series for more information about drunk driving.
Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence? If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Irving, De Soto, Arlington, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.
October 17th, 2013
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At about 2:30 am On October 10, a man who was allegedly intoxicated crashed into two vehicles on Interstate 635 near the Dallas North Tollway. Sadly, 34-year-old Pramod Paul, who was standing on the shoulder of the highway with another motorist, was killed after being pinned between two vehicles in the crash. Perhaps just as tragic is that, according to family members, the driver who has been charged with intoxication manslaughter in this tragic collision was Paul’s best friend. It is believed that Paul contacted his friend for help after getting into a wreck with another driver. The accused drunk driver suffered a serious head injury in the collision and is recovering.
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) campaigns tirelessly to try and put a stop to drunk driving. The following information is provided on their website:
- A person is injured in a drunken driving-related crash every 90 seconds.
- Before his or her first drunk driving arrest, the average drunk driver has driven while drunk at least 80 times.
- After their licenses are suspended, 50% to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue driving.
- Intoxicated driving is so common that one in three people are in a crash involving drunk driving in their lifetime.
- A person died in a drunken driving crash every 53 minutes the U.S. in 2011, which came to a total of 9,878 fatalities.
- Since MADD was founded in 1980, the number of drunk driving fatalities has been reduced by 50%.
- Approximately one-third of all drivers convicted of or arrested for drunk driving are repeat offenders.
See this continuing series for more information about drunk driving.