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The Forgotten Killer

The Forgotten Killer

The New York Times ran an article stating that the Mayo Clinic had surveyed the five biggest fears of parents.

What do you think they were? What are you biggest fears as a parent?

Well, according to the article most parents fear these five things:

Kidnapping

School Snipers

Terrorists

Dangerous Strangers

Drugs

Did any of those hit home? Say, when I think about any one of those things, I admit that I could get concerned. “Dangerous strangers” – I get chills imagining the unknown.

Which one is the scariest for you?

Guess what is not on the list? Motor vehicle crashes. Wow. Even though motor vehicle crashes is the number one killer of teens, it did not even make the top five when parents revealed their fears.

That’s scary. Your son or daughter is more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash than all of those other things combined. But motor vehicle crashes is not even on your radar.

How do you explain that? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because we kill and injure so many teens (over 340,000 seriously injured last year according to the Center for Disease Control), that as a society we simply don’t even notice it. Except when it’s your son or your daughter, then you can’t help but pay attention.

But even then, nothing seems to change. We rack up another statistic and forget about it. That is, unless you’re the one who has to build a wheelchair ramp, forsake a promising career, or arrange for a funeral. Then, you notice and wonder “Could we have done something different?” “Are these the best choices we have?”

Drivers education has been around for over three generations and it still has failed to produce safer drivers. During all that time, motor vehicle crashes has remained the number one killer of teens. But, no one seems to notice what a poor job it does. It’s something we accept and don’t think about – like the Forgotten Killer.…

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Neck Pain Injuries From Driving, Are You Making These Fatal Mistakes?

Neck Pain Injuries From Driving, Are You Making These Fatal Mistakes?

When neck movements occur suddenly, or unexpectedly, it is very likely an injury will occur.

An injury occurs typically because the muscles of the neck are unable to tighten quick enough to the sudden or unexpected movement. When it is from a motor vehicle accident, especially from an impact from behind, it easy to envision the resultant injury to the neck.

The impact is surely forceful enough, and in most cases sudden and unexpected, to cause an injury to the neck. But even if the impending collision is expected, the muscle of the neck are overpowered to result in trauma as well.

That said, there are very basic pieces of advice to reduce the chances of being in a car accident in the first place. This may seem like basic suggestions, but prevention is always the best medicine, and when a neck injury and life long pain and suffering are common consequences of car accident, being reminded of these suggestions are helpful.

1) Consuming Alcohol and Driving: I know, simple, common sense advice, but you would be surprised how often this happens, and really neck pain and suffering is but one of many evils that happen with drinking and driving.

2) Using your Cell phone and driving: Again, seems like common sense, but having one hand on the wheel, and one hand on the phone, decreases reaction time, decreases concentration, and decreases physical ability to maneuver your vehicle.

3) Do not text on your phone and drive: How often do you see someone doing this? Scary is it not?

For the reasons above, and mostly not paying attention, will significantly increase your chances in causing a car accident.

University of Utah actually determined that being intoxicated was less of a problem for causing motor vehicle accidents, when compared with distractions from cell phone use.

Amazing!

Not paying attention while driving is hypothesized to be involved in 20-50% of motor vehicle accident, reported by police in which up to 13% resulted from the driver not paying attention.

Another reported study found that using the speaker component of your phone vs using the cell phone with your hands were alike. Both decrease the drivers ability to respond in time, when measured against a driver not using a phone at all.

It would seem that hands free would be less likely to result in an accident vs hand held. However, it is believed that the energy it takes our brain to concentrate or, the “thinking” part during the conversation causes the primary distraction, not the use of hands.

South Carolina University also found that when compared to talking with a passenger, planning to speak put far more demands on the brain than listening. Thus, we become “distracted”, and it is these “distractions” that increase the probability of an accident.

4) “Rubbernecking”:

Another form of “distraction”, the obvious concern are the eyes of the road, while the vehicle is still moving. We have a fascination with other accidents, and we rubberneck when an accident is ahead.

As we focus on the other accident, not only are our eyes off the road, more then likely, traffic ahead is slowed, if not stopped. Wham, another accident.

5) Changing Stations/CD Player: another distraction in which we are not focused on the road.

Of all the factors listed above, texting seems to be the most worrisome. The University of Utah study found a factor of 6x times more likely to be in a car accident due to being distracted because of texting.

It seems that texting while driving is more common with the young. Half the drivers asked between the ages of 16-24 admitted to texting while driving, whereas with drivers between the ages of 35 years old and 44 years, 22% admitted to texting.

6) Drowsiness: another significant distraction responsible for an increased risk for a motor vehicle accident is being drowsy, which increased the drivers risk of a crash or near crash by 4 times, according to a July 2009 Virginia Tech report.

They studies analysis of videos of 200 truck drivers, Combined, the drivers studied logged over 3 million miles.

Results indicated that texting while driving had the greatest safety risk at 23 times more likely to have their eyes being off the road.

Other variables for increase in safety risk was reaching for a moving object, with a 9 fold increase, while rubbernecking increased the risk 3.7 times, reading increased it 3 times, dialing a cell phone increased risk 3 times, and talking or listening on a hand held device increased the risk 1.3 times.

The bottom line: Neck injuries from motor vehicle accident, let alone fatalities, are a very real concern. Concentrating on the function of “driving” is paramount, but avoiding the …

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What Should I Do If I Have Been Involved In A Car Accident?

What Should I Do If I Have Been Involved In A Car Accident?

Your first concern should be your health and safety. You should always wear a safety belt. If you have the misfortune of being injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Indeed, if you or anyone is injured in an accident, steps should be taken to summon the police to the accident scene so that first aid or emergency treatment can be rendered.

It is also important to obtain information concerning the other parties involved in the motor vehicle accident as well as obtain the facts concerning how the incident occurred. You should keep a pencil and note pad in your glove compartment for this purpose. At a minimum, the information you should obtain includes:

• the identity, including name, address, telephone number, social security number or driver’s license information of all involved parties, operators or witnesses;

• the registration and motor vehicle license plate number of each vehicle involved, as well as descriptive information such as make, model and year of the vehicles;

• the automobile insurance carrier of each motor vehicle involved (not the insurance agent);

• the date, time, weather conditions and location of the accident, including reference to stop signs, traffic lights and intersections;

• a pictorial description of the accident scene with directions of travel of all involved vehicles is most helpful.

You must report the accident to your automobile insurance carrier and agent as soon as possible. This should certainly be done within one (1) business day of the incident. In most cases it is sensible to file a report of the accident with the police department of the town in which the incident occurred.…

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Using a Car Accident Lawyer for Small Minor Accidents

Using a Car Accident Lawyer for Small Minor Accidents

Many people never think about preparing for the likelihood of a minor car accident, but if you are thinking about it then you are smart to prepare ahead of time to ensure you will be ready and protected if the time comes. What you need to know is ultimately the best way to make sure you have your rights protected in the event of an accident. The foresight here will allow you to get ahead of the game when something does happen and the gains will be almost immediately seen.

The first thing you need to know is that when an auto accident happens you will need the accident report. The reason this is so crucial is that any benefit you are going to get is by design going to be based on the original accident report. After calling the police they will come and make a report of what happened. They will look at everything that happened and determine what needs to be said. The more complete the report the better chance you have of receiving benefits. After ensuring the report is as complete as possible, you can move to the second phase.

As drivers we have all seen our fair share of minor accidents. If you have not actually been a part of a minor accident then you can be sure the odds are against you avoiding one forever. That being said, minor accidents are better than major ones, and if you know you are likely to be involved in some sort of accident at some point then it is in your best interest to make sure the correct steps are taken to make the process as easy as possible.

In the event of an accident, for example, notify the police as well as any needed medical attention. Dealing with injuries is always a prime concern. Once this is taken care of, you can move to take pictures of the accident, collect information such as the names and license plates of cars, and phone numbers of witnesses. Make sure you get pictures of the cars as well as any injuries. Anything might become important later, so be sure to get as much information as you can, even if you think it might not be important later.

After collecting all of this information, make sure you ask the police to write a report and file it. You will also be calling not only your insurance carrier to let them know you have been in an accident, but you should also call your lawyer so they know what has happened. They will probably ask you for the information so they can get started on a claim. If you have a tow truck come and get your car then make sure you know where it is going to be taken and remember that you can choose the location.

Knowing the steps to take in the event of an accident is important, and equally important is knowing a good car accident lawyer. In the event of a minor accident it is important you have everything prepared, and having a lawyer lined up is key so it is time to prepare now in the event you have issues later.…

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Depending on Road Signs

Depending on Road Signs

Whether you are driving in a very familiar area or in a new and unknown location, road signs give you the information you need to make safe driving decisions. Road signs provide drivers with direction, warning of potential dangers, and help to control traffic. Without proper road signs our roads would be even more chaotic and dangerous than they already can be.

Unfortunately, there are situations in which a construction company, municipality, or state is negligent in repairing or placing crucial road signs. Without proper indication, drivers are at serious risk of getting in accidents with unexpected changes in the roadway or with other drivers. It is important for the safety of every driver that cities and states keep their signs properly maintained.

Road signs are necessary for proper flow of traffic. Without stop signs, dangerous accidents can ensue. This is especially true if traffic signs have formerly been in place and are removed or not repaired. Drivers may be involved in dangerous traffic accidents if they pull up to an intersection and expect to find a stop sign or expect that another driver has a stop sign.

Proper street signs are also crucial for indicating changes in the road way. If a street dead ends or becomes a one way street, without proper signage, a unsuspecting driver can find themselves in a dangerous situation. Street signs are crucial for letting drivers know what to expect and how to safely navigate the roads around them.

Areas of construction also require proper signage to indicate potential dangers or changes in the roadway. Road construction can often create dangerous situations for a driver by shifting normal lanes, closing off lanes, or imposing unsafe objects in the roadway. Proper signs are necessary to avoid dangerous accidents in these areas.

If you have been involved in an accident or if you were injured because of negligent maintenance of road signs, please visit the website of the Waco road defects lawyers at the law offices of Vic Feazell, P.C.…

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Help Your Teen Drive Safely

Help Your Teen Drive Safely

When your teenager obtains his or her first driver’s license or learner’s permit, the whole experience can be a little nerve-wracking. Auto crashes are a leading cause of major injuries among people in this age group. Even when young people are committed to driving responsibly, simple inexperience can contribute to serious accidents. As a parent, it is only natural to be concerned.

Does this mean you should ban your kids from ever getting behind the wheel? Of course not. The only solution to beginners’ mistakes is more experience and practice. Dangerous errors can be avoided with carefully supervised and informed training. This article will review some basic steps for helping your kids remain safe on the road.

Basic Tips for Parents

Teaching safety can be a slow process, but it is not hopeless. A few steps to take that can help you guide your children through the learning process include:

Refresh your knowledge. It is very difficult to teach a new skill when you do not have complete information yourself. A defensive driving course – whether in person or online – can help you practice the habits you want to pass on. Even sitting down with a copy of your state’s drivers’ manual to do a quick review can help.

Set a good example. Once you have brushed up your safety skills, demonstrate them to your kids. Even if they are too young to begin driving yet, they do observe you as you drive and will likely develop similar behaviors. One of the best ways to influence people’s behavior is to practice what you preach.

Talk to your kids. If you simply list dos and don’ts, you may come across as just being controlling for no particular reason. A few minutes online can provide statistics and facts that demonstrate the importance of what you are trying to teach. Sometimes kids need clear, evidence-based explanations of the potential consequences of dangerous behaviors.

Reward good behavior. Studies have shown that in all contexts, punishment of bad behavior is not enough to instill good habits. You also need to notice and praise responsible actions. It will not only make your teaching more effective – it will be better for your relationship with your children.

Look for programs in your neighborhood. There are many private and government-funded organizations committed to fostering safe driving behaviors. Classes, manuals, and online videos can all help new drivers learn the skills they need. There are even programs for parents and teenagers to take together.…

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Why Are All Accident Cases Different?

Why Are All Accident Cases Different?

You hear it all the time that no two automobile accident cases are the same. So why is that? Well the reason is there are many factors that go into determining a claim. We will cover some of the variations that can cause claims to be different from one another.

1. Location. Where someone gets involved in a motor vehicle collision is important because that may be where a jury is selected to listen to your claim if you are forced to go to trial. As with most areas some places are more conservative or have a more conservative jury pool and others are more liberal. The jurisdiction has a impact upon any settlement or verdict but is not the only factor considered.

2. Type of accident. There are various types of automobile accidents, for example head on collision, rear end collision, t-bone collision, failure to yield collision and side swipe. There may be some types of collisions not listed but these are the usual suspects when it comes to automobile collisions. Depending upon the nature of the collision will usually depend upon the seriousness of the injuries.

3. Amount of insurance coverage available. Some of the most severe injuries my firm has seen has been related with the most underinsured drivers and subsequently, the odds decrease dramatically at there ever being a recovery. When someone has insurance the insurance company will provide protection up to the amount contracted for. There are various policies but the important ones which are helpful when you are involved in a motor vehicle collision are; liability, uninsured motorist and medical payments coverage.

Liability insurance is the coverage you need if you are at fault for an automobile accident. The insurance company will cover you up to the policy limit amount you purchase. The minimum policy limit amount in Georgia as of the date of this article is $25,000.00/$50,000.00. These limits translate into no more than $25,000.00 per person and no more than $50,000.00 per accident regardless of how many people are injured.

Uninsured motorist insurance is insurance that protects you in case the at-fault driver does not have any insurance or if they are underinsured. This is the most effective way to protect yourself against other drivers. You can not control the way other drivers drive. You can not stop a drunk driver from drinking and getting behind the wheel, but you can attempt to reduce the impact it has on you and your family should that drunk driver chose to run into your vehicle. Not much of a consolation but the reality is it is the single best way to proactively protect your family from financial ruin if an unfortunate serious car collision occurs. Most insurance companies will allow you to purchase uninsured motorist coverage in the same amount as your liability coverage. If there is anything to take away from this article it is to go out and purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can afford. This coverage is an optional coverage and you must ask for it if you want it.

Medical payments insurance coverage is insurance that pays for medical care and prescriptions as well as lost wages and other payments based upon medical coverage you need. The policy amounts usually range from $500 to $50,000.00. This insurance would serve as the primary insurance even before any health insurance you may have. Very affordable and if you have no health insurance it is a good way to protect against the unexpected car collision and subsequent medical care you will be required to pay. This is also important because the number one complaint we here is the doctor wants $200.00 to see me and I can not work due to my injuries “how am I going to pay for this?”. The short answer is medical payments coverage. This is an optional coverage and must be requested if you want it.

4. Injuries caused by the automobile accident. Insurance companies will not pay for what could have happened to you in an automobile accident, in fact unless there is solid proof that you will need surgery then the insurance company may attempt not to pay for surgery. The important thing to remember is to keep your options open when discussing your medical care with your medical providers. If surgery is an option, do not tell the doctor you do not want it. The reason you should not state this is you may want the surgery later. If you tell the doctor under no conditions do I want surgery he/she may write that in the medical records the insurance company will receive. They love to see that they will not have to pay for a surgery and will not if you are adamant that you …