A Spike in Traffic Deaths

A Spike in Traffic Deaths

After years of declines in the number of traffic fatalities in the US, that number has suddenly spiked in the last two years. In 2015 there were, 35,092 fatalities, up 7.2 percent from the year before, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the first six months of 2016 the trend continued, with 19,100 people losing their lives in motor accidents, according to the National Safety Council. The figures for 2016 represent an 18 percent increase over the same period in 2014. Why the sudden increase in traffic fatalities? Experts attribute some of it to lower gas prices and a healthier economy, which have caused more people to drive lately. More people on the road means more chances for accidents, of course. But the troubling part of this trend is that many of these accidents are preventable, if drivers would follow some very simple rules. Buckle your seat belt whenever you get into a car. The NTSB reports that almost half of the recent deaths have come when drivers or passengers were not wearing seat belts. Don’t drink and drive. Almost a third of the fatalities involved a drunken driver or speeding. Pay attention, and don’t use your phone for texting while you drive. One in ten of the fatalities involved a distracted driver. A big distracting factor involves cell phones, and it’s particularly rampant among younger people. A recent survey of teenage drivers reported that 43 percent admit to texting on their phones while driving. If people followed these three simple rules, we could reverse this troubling rise in traffic fatalities. If you or someone you...
Get Expert Legal Advice After An Accident

Get Expert Legal Advice After An Accident

There are more than five million automobile accidents in the United States annually, according to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Almost two million drivers or passengers involved in those accidents receive serious injuries. To be a party in a traffic accident is a shattering thing, especially if it is more than just a minor, “fender bender” type of event. Accidents happen suddenly, and there is often confusion about how they happened and what actually occurred. Besides the initial shock and trauma, there are often other medical problems that crop up as time goes on. It can be a disturbing, scary time as the full effects of the accident begin to sink in. This is exactly why accident victims need the services of an experienced attorney like Michael W. McElroy, P.C. A top flight personal injury attorney can help you navigate the confusing landscape of legal, insurance, and medical issues that result from a serious traffic accident. Dealing with insurance companies in particular can be challenging for the layperson, and it’s advisable to get expert legal advice before you agree to any kind of financial settlement. There are many cases where victims have agreed to quick settlements to cover their initial medical bills, but the money is not enough to cover long term treatment for ongoing medical issues that result from the accident. If you or someone you love has been involved in a traffic accident, you need expert advice to help you get the best legal outcome. In Georgia, that means contacting Michael W. McElroy, P.C., for a free...
Medical Mistakes — More Common Than You Think

Medical Mistakes — More Common Than You Think

If someone asked you the top three causes of death in the U.S .each year, would you know the answer? Many of us would probably say heart disease, which is actually Number 1 on the list. A lot of people would know that cancer is a leading killer, and they’d be right — it’s the Number 2 cause of death each year. Do you know the third leading cause of death? The answer might surprise you — it’s medical mistakes. It’s not well known, and in fact there have been few studies on it, but Professor Martin Makary of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine analyzed the data and found that more than 250,000 people die in the US each year because of medical mistakes. You probably didn’t know that because medical mistakes are not commonly listed on death certificates, and they are the source of the statistics. The people filling out the death certificates use terms like “heart attack” or “respiratory failure”; instead of “medical error”. Doctors are not in the habit of admitting mistakes, for a variety of reasons. The biggest one is that they could be open to malpractice lawsuits if they admit they erred, but there’s also the issue of the doctor/patient relationship, and the trust involved. Patients need to feel trust in their medical team, especially when their life is in danger, and admitting mistakes may dames that trust. However, mistakes do happen, and they are more common than most of us think. There are mistakes in diagnosis and treatment caused by miscommunication, ignorance, equipment failure, and dozens of other reasons. If you or...
Tips to Avoid Making an Accident Worse

Tips to Avoid Making an Accident Worse

We cannot control what other drivers do on the road. Another driver’s thoughtless or careless act can change our lives forever in a matter of seconds. It is frustrating and frightening to think that our lives and the lives of our loved ones could be in the hands of a distracted, drunk, speeding, or reckless driver. avoid making accident worse Because we cannot control the other drivers, we need to take steps to protect ourselves in the event of an accident. In some cases, we may be able to avoid the accident. If we cannot avoid the accident, there are some things we can do to avoid making the accident worse. What Can You Do To Protect Yourself On The Road? Putting Your Feet on the Dash. This is probably something most of us have done at some point while riding in a car, especially on long road trips. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous practice that can result in catastrophic injuries in the event of a car crash. For one young woman, the decision to prop her feet up on the dash, which distracted the driver, changed her life forever. The physical injuries she suffered could have been prevented. You can read her story at: A Day in the Life of a Trauma Surgeon: Get Your Foot Off of My Dash. Distracted Driving. Distracted driving is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Any distraction that takes your focus off of driving, your eyes off the road, or your hand off the steering wheel is dangerous for you, your passengers, and every other person and bystander in your path. Examples of distracted...
Three Don’ts for Teen Drivers

Three Don’ts for Teen Drivers

It’s a rite of passage for teenagers to get a driver’s license, and many teens feel it’s the first step into adulthood. However, insurance companies know better — teenage drivers get into far more car accidents than adult drivers, and that’s why insurance rates for them are so much higher. Teenagers are inexperienced drivers, and parents should never forget that. Here are three “don’ts” to remember when it comes to teen drivers. Don’t neglect the statistics. The newest drivers are the ones who are most at risk. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that 16-17 year old drivers have twice the rate of fatal accidents as 18-19 year olds, and a whopping three times that of drivers who are age 20 and older. Don’t let them chauffeur their friends. A teenage driver with a carload of friends is at greater risk for an accident, according to statistics. One study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association found that the fatal accident risk for young drivers (16-17 years old) spiked when they had at least one passenger in the car. Don’t forget your legal responsibility. A 16 year old with a driver’s license is still a legal minor, and in some states parents can be liable for any injury or damage their child causes due to a car accident (especially if you have reason to know the child is at risk for hazardous driving). In addition, you can’t avoid responsibility if the child is at school, since as soon as he or she drives away from the parking lot the school has no responsibility for any accident that occurs. If you or someone you love has been involved in a traffic...
Tips for Avoiding Rear End Collisions on Rainy Days

Tips for Avoiding Rear End Collisions on Rainy Days

How to Avoid Rear End Collisions Rear end collisions account for thousands of traffic accidents every year, but sadly, many of them are preventable. They usually occur because someone is driving too close behind another vehicle, under the mistaken impression that he or she can stop in time if the first car stops unexpectedly. Stopping a car, especially at higher speeds, takes much longer than people think, and it can be affected by factors such as the driver’s reaction time and road conditions. Experts say that it takes a minimum of one second for a driver to react to a braking situation and apply pressure to the brakes, and then there are a host of other factors — i.e., the condition of the tires and brakes, the make and model of the vehicle, the condition of the road, the weight of the vehicle — that can determine when the car will finally come to a stop. A wet road surface can cause a particularly dangerous situation. The Federal Highway Administration named wet pavement as a factor in 80 percent of crashes that caused injuries in the period between 2004 and 2013. A rainy day can increase the stopping distance by up to 400 percent. Here are some tips to reduce the chance of rear end collisions on rainy days. Reduce your speed. Drive slowly, especially when turning. Put an extra cushion of space between you and the cars in front. You should maintain at least a two second following distance. To check your following distance, pick an object on the side of the road that the car in front...