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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Volvo to introduce onboard cameras that detect drunk driving

Volvo Cars wants to make Texas roads safer by installing in-vehicle cameras and sensors that will determine when a driver is drunk or distracted. The technology will be available on the Swedish automaker's vehicles sometime after 2020.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 30 Americans die in drunk driving crashes each day. In 2017, nearly 11,000 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents nationwide. Volvo's new technology could help reduce drunk driving and distracted driving crashes by monitoring drivers for certain behaviors that indicate they are impaired or not paying attention. Such behaviors include failing to steer the vehicle for a long period of time, dangerously slow reaction times and erratic driving.

Fatal storm-chasing crash leads to lawsuit for Weather Channel

On March 28, 2017, near the city of Spur, Texas, the two stars of "Storm Wranglers," the Weather Channel show, were speeding down the highway chasing a tornado when they ran a stop sign and crashed into a jeep, killing themselves and the driver of the jeep. The mother of the jeep driver is now filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the network for $125 million in damages.

The driver of the jeep was a 25-year-old storm spotter who was employed by the National Weather Service. He was heading away from the tornado at the time of the crash. The storm-chasing duo had broken a traffic law. Moreover, the Weather Channel knew of the duo's long history of reckless driving and could have hired a more responsible driver instead.

Reasons for truck driver fatigue

You're driving down a Texas interstate late one night, coming home from a work trip. It may be nearing midnight, but you didn't actually set out until mid-afternoon, so you feel pretty good. Just in case, you have a hot cup of coffee in the cup holder. You know the value of staying awake and alert behind the wheel.

Then you come to a work zone, and traffic is a bit backed up. They're down to just one lane. Even with the lighter late-night traffic, people have started slowing because the workers are on the job, with shifts running around the clock. They're being careful.

How to protect yourself from dog attacks

Most dogs are safe and friendly, but it's a serious risk to assume that's the case when the reality could be exactly the opposite. Remember, people get injured in dog attacks every year. Sometimes, the injuries are so severe that they pass away.

This isn't to make you feel afraid of every dog that you don't know, but you must be aware of this risk, especially if you have children or if you're a frequent jogger. Dogs often chase runners out of instinct, and kids are at greater risk than adults because more vital areas -- the face and neck -- are closer to the dog's level.

Ford uses 'Sleep Suit' to warn against drowsy driving

It's not uncommon for Texas residents to find themselves driving drowsy on occasion. However, they should understand how risky this can be. Fatigue is a major factor in up to one in five road accidents. Experts say that someone who drives after 18 hours or more of wakefulness can become as impaired as a driver who exceeds the legal limit for alcohol.

March 15 was designated as World Sleep Day to remind everyone of the necessity of a good night's rest. On this day, Ford unveiled a "Sleep Suit" that allows individuals to experience, in a safe environment, what a drowsy driver goes through. This suit consists of goggles and specially designed arm and ankle bands, a cap and a vest.

Who can file a Texas wrongful death lawsuit?

There are millions of cars on the Texas roadways, and a small portion of them wind up in crashes every day. Of those collisions, the majority result in only property damage or minor injuries. However, sometimes people get hurt badly. In fact, sometimes people die because of a collision.

When one person drives dangerously, breaks the law or is negligent in their operation of a vehicle, they can cause the death of another person. Those left behind after such a crash may find themselves wondering what rights they have after such a tragic accident. While nothing can undo the tragic damage caused by a fatal collision, it is possible for surviving family members to seek justice under Texas law.

How car crash victims should document damages

Documenting a car crash is an essential step for both parties to take as it can help the police write up their incident report, help determine legal liability and smooth the way for any insurance claims. Residents of Texas should keep the following things in mind.

First, it is important to remain as calm as possible after an accident. This will allow victims to remember the vital details. Next, victims should call 911 if anyone is in need of immediate medical treatment. If the vehicles are not blocking traffic or posing a danger in some other way, the crash scene should be left as is.

Safety tips for bicycle commuters

If you enjoy the outdoors, there's no better place to live than Austin, Texas. With enjoyable weather and bicycle-friendly roadways, you may want to experiment with this mode of transportation to commute to and from work.

While bicycling has many benefits, including the ability to save money on gas and protect the environment, there are some safety risks to be aware of. Here are four safety tips you can follow when commuting on your bicycle:

  • Watch for turning vehicles: Even if you're in a bicycle lane, it doesn't mean that every driver sees you. Every time you approach an intersection, beware of drivers who are making a right turn. If a driver doesn't see you, they could turn directly into your path of travel.
  • Avoid the door zone: It's easy to focus your attention on moving vehicles, but you also need to consider those that are parked. A driver or passenger could open a door in front of you, thus causing you to either swerve or strike the door head-on.
  • Take caution around pedestrians: Drivers aren't the only ones that can cause an accident. If you spook a pedestrian, for example, this person could jump into your path, thus knocking you to the ground. Take extra caution by always doing your best to pass behind pedestrians.
  • Use a bicycle lane when available: If there's a bicycle lane to use, don't ignore it. It's much safer than driving in traffic or on the sidewalk. If there's no dedicated bicycle lane, drive among the cars while following all the rules of the road.

Why fatal motor vehicle accidents are on the rise

Texas drivers may be a bit more anxious when they get into their vehicles these days, especially if they're aware of the latest statistics from the National Safety Council. The NSC reports that car accident fatalities increased nearly 15 percent over a two-year span. This marks the sharpest increase in more than 50 years. There are several factors that likely contributed to this alarming trend.

Some government officials attribute to spike in deadly crashes to a failure to fully enforce drunk driving, speeding and seat belt laws. Since many fatal accident victims are found not wearing seat belts and nearly a third of all deadly vehicle-related accidents involve an impaired driver, there may be a valid connection between lax law enforcement efforts and the NSC's accident stats.

Speeding and truck accident fatalities

Federal data shows that in all but six states, there was an increase in the number of large truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017 (the latest year for which statistics are available). Texas saw the greatest increase, followed by California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania. In all, 35,882 people died in large truck collisions during that eight-year period.

Referring to this data, the highway safety non-profit Road Safe America is calling for truck fleet owners to utilize vehicle safety technology like automatic emergency braking and speed limiters. The former is a device that can alert drivers to stationary or slow-moving objects and, in the last resort, brake in the drivers' stead.

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    Don Davis: 2003-2017, 2018
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    Derek Davis: Rising Star 2004

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  • Don Davis:
    Personal Injury Litigation 1993-2014
    Legal Malpractice Law 2014

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    Bet-the-Company Litigation 2010-2017
    Personal Injury Litigation 2011-2017
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