January 21st, 2015
Deutsch: Verkehrsunfall mit zwei PKW. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Two young brothers, ages 6 and 11, were killed in a head-on crash last Thursday night at about 6:30 p.m. at the San Jacinto River on Beaumont Highway. Their mother suffered a broken leg and two broken arms in the collision. According to Harris County deputies, a 19-year-old driver was attempting to pass another automobile when he crashed head-on into the SUV the children and their mother were riding in. The devastating collision occurred near Crosby, Texas.
The accident is still under investigation, but at least one deputy suggested that the 19-year-old was driving carelessly when the fatal crash occurred. There are risks involved with passing other vehicles. It’s best to weigh priorities and be careful not to take unnecessary risks. Passing vehicles on narrow highways frequently results in collisions for various reasons, such as:
- The driver who is passing misjudges the speed of the on-coming vehicle.
- The driver who is passing makes a wrong judgment about the amount of distance required to complete the maneuver.
- Motorists often pull out of intersections, not realizing a car is in the process of passing another vehicle.
- The driver who is passing fails to check to the rear and doesn’t realize a car from behind has begun trying to pass on the left.
Passing vehicles on Texas streets and highways is a complicated maneuver. A driver should never attempt to pass unless there is no doubt that there is plenty of time to safely pass. You can be confident it is the right time to pass when the following conditions exist:
- You can clearly see the oncoming lane, and no vehicles are approaching.
- There is no doubt in your mind that you can safely complete the maneuver.
- There are no double lines that indicate no passing is allowed.
- No intersections are ahead.
- No cars are currently behind you trying to pass.
January 14th, 2015
2005-2008 Chevrolet Cobalt photographed in College Park, Maryland, USA. Category:Chevrolet Cobalt Sedan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At about 3 a.m. on Monday, three women were traveling on the North Loop in Houston, Texas, when the Chevrolet Cobalt they were in was struck head-on by a wrong-way driver traveling at a high rate of speed. The two passengers in the backseat, both in their early 20s, were killed in the crash. The driver of the Chevy was seriously injured.
The wrong-way driver in this fatal crash suffered minor injuries. According to police, they smelled alcohol in his vehicle. Part of the investigation into this tragic incident involved determining whether or not the wrong-way driver was alcohol-impaired. According to officers, the wrong-way driver is being formally charged with one count of intoxication assault and two counts of intoxication manslaughter with a motor vehicle.
Another wrong-way crash occurred in Houston on Tuesday. At approximately 3 a.m. motorists called 9-1-1 to report that a silver Chevrolet was driving the wrong way on the Eastex Freeway. Moments later, a head-on collision was reported near the North Loop. The Chevrolet struck a Toyota Camry. The drivers of both vehicles were injured, though the driver in the Camry suffered more serious injuries.
Johanna Abad, Houston police officer, spoke about the fatal drunk driving crash. She urges drivers to pay special attention, particularly when traveling in the early morning hours. No one expects to see a driver coming at them head-on. Be alert to the unexpected. If you do see headlights coming your way, make every effort to avoid the vehicle, mindful not to get in a crash with your avoidance tactic. Keep in mind that when drivers are going the wrong way, they are usually intoxicated and unaware that they are traveling in the wrong lanes.
January 7th, 2015
Road construction has many hazards but with proper warning cones and safety equipment a road can be marked during a busy work day of traffic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Construction zones can be dangerous, with drivers getting frustrated because of the need to slow down and merge. Drivers need to take extra care when driving in construction zones. It seems that extra caution may not have been used on FM 43 in front of Church Unlimited in Corpus Christi, Texas, this week. According to Pete Nava, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the driver of a Grand Marquis failed to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign in that construction zone; and the result was a three-car collision.
DPS officials said that after the Grand Marquis driver failed to make the stop, a BMW struck it in a T-bone collision. The impact caused a Dodge Challenger to be struck, and one of the occupants was a pregnant woman, who was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution. DPS gave a ticket to the Grand Marquis driver for failure to yield the right-of-way.
Highway construction zones are hazardous areas. In a study of fatal road construction accidents covering the years 2003 through 2007, 639 workers were killed during that period in the U.S. Although workers are in danger, motorists are also placed at greater risk when special care isn’t taken by all drivers.
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, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.
December 31st, 2014
Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon, Austin Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tragedy occurred on the morning of December 23 near Baytown, Texas, when a wrong-way driver entered the westbound lanes of I-10 not far from Highway 146 and crashed into a car head-on. The 22-year-old occupant of the vehicle that was struck, a senior at Texas Southern University, died at the scene. An arrest warrant has since been issued for the wrong-way driver. No further details were released about the fatal collision, but it is reasonable to assume that the crash may have involved drunk driving.
The holiday season is historically the most deadly, as far as fatal crashes caused by drunk driving. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has issued public service announcements that on New Year’s Eve and January 1, 2015, law enforcement will be out in full force. The goal is to try to reduce the occurrences of drunk driving and alcohol-related collisions.
The annual Holiday Impaired Driving Campaign began December 1 and ends January 2, and it aims to promote the importance of making arrangements for a sober ride home. There is an increase in police patrols during the campaign. There are also no-refusal initiatives being implemented by numerous law enforcement agencies throughout Texas. A no-refusal initiative means that police can and will take a blood sample from any motorist who refuses to give a blood or breath specimen.
In Austin, Capitol Metro is offering free rides after 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, to give partiers another option for getting home safely.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), approximately every 53 minutes, on average, someone in the United States is killed in an alcohol-related crash.
December 29th, 2014
Texting on a qwerty keypad phone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some statistics can be a bit terrifying, as regards distracted driving. For instance, according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of teens and young adults surveyed, 71% admitted to composing or sending text messages while they were driving. Another 78% of young adults and teens said that they have read a text message while driving. What makes this news especially alarming is that texting is an activity that fully diverts attention away from the task of driving for a significant amount of time. The risk of getting into a traffic collision is 23 times greater when texting as compared with driving while not being distracted, according to a transportation survey.
There are a few things parents are urged to do when their teenagers begin driving:
- Be a good example. Children learn many things by the way their parents behave, and that includes how to drive. If they see you texting and talking while driving, they will consider it part of the driving experience. The best practice is to lead by example, demonstrating that no one should text and drive. Pull over to a safe place, if you need to talk or text on the phone.
- Instruct your children that when they are on the road, they are off the phone. Be sure the new drivers in your household understand that a few seconds of having your eyes off of the road can result in a crash that can lead to injuries and death.
See Part 1 of this two-part series for more information about the devastation that can result from distracted driving.
December 18th, 2014
stop sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On December 6, a fatal car accident occurred in West Texas near Andrews. According to authorities, the horrific accident happened as a result of a man driving a Jeep through a stop sign without stopping at an intersection at Texas Highway 176. A pickup truck crashed into the Jeep, and then an 18-wheeler slammed into both the truck and Jeep. The 18-wheeler driver was not injured, but the driver of the Jeep and the father and teenage son in the truck died at the scene.
The reason that the driver in the Jeep ran the stop sign is unknown, but there is a possibility that he was distracted when it occurred. Distracted driving is a growing threat on Texas roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 1 in 10 fatal traffic collisions in the U.S. can be attributed to distracted driving, which comes to 3,000 fatalities annually.
It’s possible that many motorists don’t have an understanding about the countless activities that fall under the category of “distracted driving.” When you take your eyes off of the road in front of you to read a billboard, look at yourself in the mirror, or look at vehicles involved in a crash, you are driving distracted and your risk of getting in a collision is increased. The following are more examples of distracted driving:
- Taking your mind off of the task of driving.
- Reading, including reading a map.
- Reaching to pick up something out of reach.
- Talking to passengers.
- Using hands-free electronic devices.
- Changing a CD or the radio station.
See this continuing series for more information about distracted driving.
December 10th, 2014
English: 190 proof, 95% alcohol content Everclear. Purchased in Colorado, November 2007. Image taken by me. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In early November two people were killed as a result of a collision caused by an alleged drunk driver in Arlington, Texas. Tiara Richard, spokesperson for the Arlington police, said that the alleged drunk driver ran a red light on Matlock Road at the Interstate 20 service road. His car struck another vehicle, which spun around and slammed into a light pole. One of the people in the car was pronounced dead at the scene and a second person was transported to a nearby hospital and died there. Two more people suffered life-threatening injuries and were hospitalized. The alleged drunk driver was also injured in the crash. After he received treatment at a nearby hospital, he was released, booked into the Arlington jail, and charged with intoxication manslaughter.
There has been a decline in alcohol-related traffic fatalities in recent years, but it is still entirely predictable that a certain number of highway fatalities involving alcohol occur during the holiday season every year. There is still such a prevalence of alcohol-related traffic accidents that about 40% of all people in the U.S. will at some point in their lives be involved in a traffic collision which is blamed on alcohol.
The facts about alcohol aren’t complicated. With every alcoholic beverage a person drinks, the likelihood of getting into a crash when driving is increased. Part of the problem is that alcohol slows down a person’s reaction time, yet the impairment isn’t noticed by the individual. A slowed response when driving can mean the difference between avoiding an accident and being responsible for a fatal crash.
December 3rd, 2014
English: A sign along Bellaire Boulevard in Southside Place, Texas indicating that mobile phone usage is prohibited while driving from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM and from 2:00 PM to 4:15 PM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), distracted driving has become a nationwide epidemic. Distracted driving was the cause of 3,328 traffic fatalities in 2012 alone. DOT has been leading the effort to put a stop to such dangerous activities as cell phone use while driving and texting while driving. Commercial drivers are banned from texting and using the cell phone while driving. States are being strongly encouraged to adopt tough laws dealing with distracted driving.
The following are key facts and statistics from various sources regarding distracted driving:
- Across the U.S., it is estimated that about 660,000 drivers are giving their attention to electronic devices while driving at any given time during daylight hours. The likelihood of getting into an automobile crash is increased by three times when drivers engage in activities such as making a call, reaching for a phone or other electronic device, or texting.
- The average time that a driver takes eyes off of the road to text is 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, texting is like driving blindfolded across the length of a football field.
- Of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes, 27% of them are drivers in their 20s.
- It is not significantly safer to use a headset cell phone as opposed to a hand-held phone while driving.
- According to December 2013 data, every month 153.3 billion text messages are sent in the U.S.
- About 25% of all teen drivers admit that they respond to a text message one or more times every time they drive.
Read Part 1 of this two-part series.
November 26th, 2014
English: A traffic collision in Boston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Earlier this month in Schertz, Texas, the friends and family of 29-year-old Adam Doiron organized a barbeque benefit in his honor and to help pay for medical bills. Another benefit is planned for December 13. Doiron suffered severe burns to over 90% of his body as a result of an 18-wheeler accident in which he was the passenger in a big rig. The crash occurred on I-10 in Orange, Texas, back in September. According to his father, Doiron, who has already been through 15 surgeries since the accident, will be in the hospital for at least a year and will undergo many more surgeries for years to come as a result of the fiery crash.
The deadly crash from which Doiron is recovering happened at 4:30 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon. The initial investigation revealed that eastbound traffic had completely stopped because of a traffic collision in Louisiana earlier in the day. For unknown reasons, the driver of the 18-wheeler Doiron was riding in did not notice that traffic was stopped. The 53-year-old driver swerved into the fast traffic lane, in an attempt to avoid hitting a vehicle. The big rig struck a concrete divider, the trailer became dislodged, and the cab quickly became engulfed in flames. The driver of the 18-wheeler was killed and Doiron emerged from the truck in flames. Witnesses quickly went to his aid, but he was already in critical condition by the time the flames were extinguished. Two people in a Toyota were also injured in the crash, transported to a hospital, and later listed in stable condition.
While the cause of the accident is unknown, it’s possible that the 18-wheeler driver was distracted, leading to his unawareness that he had come upon stopped traffic on the freeway. Drivers have a responsibility to other motorists and to passengers in their own vehicles to drive with a reasonable amount of care and attentiveness to the task of driving. Read more about distracted driving and other kinds of reckless driving in this continuing series.
November 19th, 2014
English: State Trooper of the Florida Highway Patrol supervises cleanup of a multi-car wreck on the Howard Frankland Bridge in St. Petersburg Florida on the morning of June 9, 2006. Category:Images of emergency vehicles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Early Monday morning in Dallas, Texas, police chased robbery suspects and the end result was a multi-vehicle crash that left four people injured. Prior to the chase, a witness reported seeing people in a white Lexus rob someone at a Texaco station. The victims, whose Suburban windows were shot out by the thieves, said that two pairs of Nike tennis shoes and four pairs of Air Jordan basketball shoes had been taken. Police were quick to identify the suspects, who tried to escape the police rather than stop. It was a short chase that ended in Oak Cliff when the Lexus slammed into the back of a truck. Three people inside the truck were seriously injured. The robbery suspect was transported to the hospital for injuries sustained in the crash and was later booked at the Lew Sterrett Jail. The aggravated robbery and the crash are both under investigation.
Every year in the United States, hundreds of people are killed in high speed police chases. This dangerous activity is a leading cause of automobile accidents. Suspects fleeing the police often show a lack of regard for the safety of other motorists, and the speed at which the vehicles are traveling is a danger in itself.
Statistics show that of those killed or injured in accidents caused by police chases, two-thirds are motorists or pedestrians who were not involved with the alleged crimes or the police activity.
There has been much public debate in cities throughout the U.S. about whether the public risk of allowing high speed police chases is too high.
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