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B. L. Jensen, L.P. Personal Injury Blog

Tired truckers put everyone on the road at risk of a crash

Many people make questionable decisions every day when it comes to driving motor vehicles. People choose to get behind the wheel after drinking, taking prescription or recreational drugs or even when so tired they can barely keep their eyes open. Other people choose to text, read, change clothing or apply makeup while driving, resulting in dangerous levels of distraction. All of those behaviors increase the risk of a serious motor vehicle collision.

Of course, some of these issues are easier to track and prove than others. Chemical tests reliably indicate when someone was under the influence of a drug or alcohol. Phone records and eyewitnesses, as well as traffic cameras, can help prove someone was on a phone or texting. When it comes to exhaustion, however, it is very hard to prove.

Distractions may have been the cause of multivehicle fatal crash

A number of people were injured in a multivehicle crash in Houston last Friday, and one child was killed. The cause of the accident is alleged to be a "distracted driver." The words sound innocent enough, but the reality is anything but.

Around 5:40 p.m., a high-traffic time of day, an 18-wheeler plowed into the rear of a Kia Optima. A mother and two children were in the Kia. A boy, aged somewhere between 8 and 10 years old, was in the back seat. According to an officer, the trunk and back seat of the Kia was crushed all the way up to the driver and passenger seat, leaving no chance for the child to survive. The mother and sister of the boy in the Kia suffered injuries and were both life-flighted to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Drivers from two additional vehicles -- results of a chain reaction from the first hit -- were transported to the hospital also.

Winter driving tips from Texas authorities

Soon families all over Texas will be preparing to set out on their annual Thanksgiving treks to break bread at laden dinner tables surrounded by family and friends. If your Thanksgiving holiday involves travel, pay attention to these winter driving tips from the Texas Department of Transportation.

  • Slow your speed. The posted speed limits may be too fast when wintry weather conditions hit the area.
  • Some areas freeze first. Be especially cautious traveling over ramps, bridges, overpasses and any portions of the road that remain out of the sun's rays.
  • Don't brake on ice. Houston drivers don't have many opportunities to drive on ice, so many don't realize that brakes and ice are a dangerous mix. Never slam on the brakes if you skid, but steer into the skid to regain traction.
  • Increase distance on ice. Triple your following distance if it gets icy or snowy.

Remember that you are only as safe as the drivers surrounding you on the highways and interstates. If you suspect that another driver is impaired or otherwise unsafe to drive, pull over to a safe spot off the highway and dial 911 to report him or her.

Is your loved one's nursing home well-staffed?

If you have a loved one in a Houston nursing home, you may wonder if his or her needs are being timely met and whether the facility is adequately staffed.

Understaffed nursing homes and long-term care centers are breeding grounds for neglect, abuse and medical mistakes. Yet, according to some sources, over 90 percent of the nursing homes in the United States are plagued by issues rooted in inadequate staffing.

Did another driver cause your vehicle to rollover?

With the exception of head-on collisions, vehicle rollover accidents are among the deadliest types of crashes. Accounting for no more than 3 percent of all accidents, vehicle rollovers are responsible for roughly 30 percent of all auto accident deaths.

Many newer model automobiles use technology to make cars less prone to rollover accidents. But because there are limits to the wonders of technology, drivers can improve their survival odds by always wearing seat belts.

Navigation systems cause driver distractions

If you drive a newer model vehicle, it may have an infotainment system installed by the manufacturer. These systems have dashboard-mounted screens that can distract drivers from the task at hand — piloting the vehicle safely through traffic to the destination.

As stated by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, even the features that are activated by drivers' voices can cause deadly preoccupation. The executive director of the foundation stated that "[s]ome in-vehicle technolog[ies] . . . create unsafe situations for drivers . . . by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel."

There are 3 primary types of distracted driving

When people get behind the wheels of motor vehicles, they must be prepared to follow the rules of the road at all times. Neglecting to do so can put many people in danger.

As you probably know, distracted driving remains a major problem. This is despite the many laws in place to help prevent this.

Older drivers' skills affected by aging process

Wines and some cheeses get better with age. Texas residents' driving skills — not so much. That's why older drivers need to understand how the aging process can potentially affect their driving skills.

There are physical changes associated with aging that can cause drivers to be at less-than-optimum performance behind the wheel. It's noted that drivers older than 54 tend to accrue many of the same traffic violations, including:

  • Turning improperly
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Failing to properly enter and exit the interstate
  • Switching lanes inappropriately

Rollover wrecks link severe injuries with extent of roof damage

Those who study auto accidents have long known there was a correlation between critical injuries and fatalities and vehicle rollover collisions. While this type of crash can cause many different kinds of serious injuries, passengers and motorists are especially vulnerable to spinal, neck and head injuries.

These injuries are all too frequently catastrophic even if they are survivable. Injured victims can wind up paraplegic or quadriplegic or suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that leave them severely brain damaged and dependent on others for the most basic care.

Fight for justice for victims of distracted driving

In one recent year, 3,179 people died in collisions involving distracted drivers. Another 431,000 suffered injuries. All of these unnecessary deaths and injuries were due to drivers checking social media, texting and engaging in other non-driving behaviors behind the wheel.

If a distracted driver causes an accident that kills a beloved family member, survivors want the courts to mete out fitting punishments for the drivers' fatal negligence. Nothing can ever replace the loss of their loved ones, but knowing that justice was served can help families reach much-needed closure.

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Brian Jensen

Representation in the Houston Area with 3 Convenient Locations:

Bellaire Office
Frost Bank Building, 6750 West Loop South, Suite 800
Bellaire, TX 77401

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Phone: 832-460-3366
Fax: 713-665-6818
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Suite 2080
Houston, TX 77002

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Phone: 832-460-3366
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14439 Twisted Oak Lane
Houston, TX 77079

Toll Free: 877-297-7414
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