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T-bone-pictureThe National Transportation Highway Safety Administration has done research consisting of side impact collisions also most commonly known as T-bone collisions. They concluded about 13% of collisions in the United States involve a T-bone collision. Out of the 13%, 8,000 people are killed annually. These types of collisions are deadly because of the impact it has on the passengers. Since children sit in the back seat of a car, T-bone crashes are the deadliest for them.

What are T-bone accidents and why are they so dangerous?

T-bone accidents involve a car being hit on one side of the car by the front end of another vehicle. T-bone accidents are so deadly because depending on the force of the impact, it could lead the vehicle to collide with other vehicles or surrounding objects. If further collisions occur, it increases the likelihood of the passengers suffering sever injuries. For example, the Dallas Morning News reported a collision that happened late this July. The crash happened a half hour past midnight on Interstate 35. The deceased person’s vehicle struck a wall and was disabled. Another vehicle going northbound on the highway t-boned her car, which ejected the lady into a lane of traffic. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

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wrong-way-car-accident-pic In early August, the CBS news channel reported a car accident caused by a wrong way driver. The accident happened in the middle of the night near the Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth, Texas. The police reported showed the driver was driving east on a westbound lane when he struck a van head-on. This collision led a semi-truck to hit the negligent driver’s vehicle. At the time of the accident, the police believed the negligent driver was intoxicated. Furthermore, it was reported by new reporters that individuals in the van suffered severe injuries; thankfully, none of the injuries were life-threatening.

As you can image, wrong-way vehicle accidents can be one of the most dangerous auto accidents people can encounter. On average, wrong-way accidents cause 300-400 car accidents a year. In Texas, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio are the three leading cities to have the most wrong-way accidents. Some reasons for these accidents include the following:

1. The lack of safety measures taken by the city

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Pedestrian-accident-blogPedestrian/auto accidents are frequent among auto accident cases. Some of the most common areas for these accidents are in residential neighborhoods, parking lots, and crosswalks. These are also one of the most dangerous accidents to occur because the pedestrian will feel the full impact of force considering they are not in a vehicle to protect them from some of the impact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in 2016, 5,987 people were killed in traffic pedestrian/auto accidents. This averages out to every 1.5 hours a crash-related pedestrian/auto accident will occur. Unfortunately, both Dallas and Fort Worth has many of these accidents due to high traffic flow in heavily travelled areas. In downtown Fort Worth earlier this summer, a trolley bus hit two pedestrians. The trolley turned left at a green light when the vehicle hit two pedestrians while crossing at an intersection’s crosswalk late in the evening. There was another incident in Dallas two days after Christmas, December 2017, when a DART bus turning at an intersection struck, ran over, and killed a pedestrian.

Why do these accidents occur so often?

There are multiple factors that come into play when trying to understand why pedestrian/auto accidents occur and what can we do to prevent them from happening. Here are some reasons why these accidents occur:

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blind-spot-image One of the helpful tips we learn about in driver’s education is to check for blind spots and how to avoid them. Sometimes it’s a risk we ignore while driving until we nearly collide with another vehicle. Some of the most common blind spot accidents involve the driver not checking their surroundings before merging onto another lane and not adjusting their mirrors to see the blind spot as much as possible. We’ll discuss some ways on how to avoid an accident due to blind spots.

But first, what is a blind spot?

A blind spot is an area around your vehicle that is not viewable from the driver’s view. Individuals who drive SUVs, large trucks, or vans are the ones who experience significant blind spots. When they are not able to see smaller cars in their view, the likelihood of an accident happening increases. It is important to understand the dangers of blind spots and how to prevent them from being the cause of an accident. Here is a chart showing the blind spots for the driver of a car:

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drowsy-driving-picture We have become accustomed to living a fast pace life. We are continually trying to keep up with the business of life. For example, we strive to make it to appointments on time, complete specific tasks to meet a deadline or manage parenthood with young and energetic children. As we continue to live up to the expectations of our responsibilities and schedules, we get fatigued. To compound the problem, we often don’t get the proper sleep we need.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest study in 2107 concluded that 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. Out of the 91,000, people were injured in 50,000 of those crashes, and 800 resulted with fatalities. They also reported accidents that involve drowsiness occurring more frequently between midnight and 6 am as well as in the afternoon. Why is that? Because the circadian rhythm is known as your internal clock that is a part of the hypothalamus. The internal clock cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. Adults commonly experience these cycles during these times because between midnight and 6 a.m., a time period when we people normally sleep. We become drowsy in the afternoon because we want to rest or nap after lunch, so it signals our body to release melatonin; thus, we become sleepy.

It is a false statement to conclude that driving tired or sleepy is safer than driving drunk. For example, an individual might be the designated driver when spending a night out with friends. If he is tired from a long, busy, hectic day without proper sleep the night before, even without drinking alcohol with his friend, he could very well be impaired and an unsafe designated driver. The reason for that is because the result of either driving intoxicated or driving sleepy is the same- impaired cognition and performance.

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road-rage-picture Why does road rage contribute to auto accidents?

As a society, we tend to be emotional drivers. Throughout the day, an individual can feel emotions such as excitement, anxiety, sadness, or frustration, depending on what a person deals with daily. All of these emotions hinder our ability to pair attention to the dangers of the road; thus our emotions become distractions. We develop these emotions when we get into a fight with a spouse, learn some frustrating news with work, or by the actions of other drivers. Statistically, Texas is one of the top states to have the most road rage drivers. One of the reasons could be that many of the Millennial generation consists of road rage drivers. This may be because this generation was taught to inhibit those behaviors while they drive. Children learn by example, so parents who expressed road rage taught their children to believe it is okay to act on their emotions while driving. This learn habit problem has caused many young drivers to exhibit road rage while driving.

How do you know if you have dealt with a road rage driver?

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motorcycle-picture In 2017, James Burton, an author for Worldatlas rated Texas as the third highest state, with a number of 443,856 registered motorcyclists. Many of these motorists choose to drive a motorcycle because of the purchase price compared to a four-door vehicle, affordable fuel costs, and the enjoyment of riding along on the motorcycle-friendly roads. The unfortunate factor of motorcycles, like unlike four-door cars, is they are more susceptible to experience a more serious vehicle accident. Motorists tend to use more speed on the roads to bypass traffic. Some motorists like to test their skills on the road, such as doing tricks while riding or zipping through lanes on the highway underestimating vehicles getting in their way. For example, earlier this summer a motorcycle driver died after a collision. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the motorcycle driver drove across three lanes colliding with another vehicle, and lastly, he hit a concrete barrier.

These accidents have the potential to be fatal because motorcycles lack the exterior steel frame, seat belts, and air bags. Since the motorist does not have these protections, they are more likely to experience serious injuries compared to the other driver involved. Some common injuries include extensive head/brain injuries, broken bones, burn marks from the pavement, and soft tissue injuries.

Regardless of the bias against motorcycles, they are not bad vehicles to invest in. However, there are some precautionary measures the riders should take into consideration as they are maneuvering through the roads, such as:

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teen-driver-picture August is the time of year children return to school. Many teenagers work all summer long to meet the requirements to receive a Texas driver’s license, so they can drive to school on their own. Although these young individuals might have met all of the requirements, they still lack the experience to maneuver through the fast pace of Texas roads. According to the Texas Department Transportation’s statistics, there were 211,803 car crashes of teen drivers who were younger than the age of 21 in 2017. 42,890 of those drivers were in accidents due to distractions, such as eating, drinking and/or focusing their attention to backseat passengers. 2,075 of those car crashes were a result of the teenager texting while driving. These statistics can be alarming for parents who know their teenagers are driving daily on busy highways and roads.

One way to reduce these horrifying statistics is to encourage parents to continuously remind their teen of safe driving tips; such as:

1. Millennials and Generation Z are the two generations who use cell phones. These two generations will not leave their destination without their phone on hand. However, cell phones are not entirely wrong, especially when parents need to get in touch with their child for specific reasons or emergency use. The problem with cell phone use is when the driver chooses to extend its use in the car by always choosing which song to play or responding to a message. It is encouraged for drivers to turn off their notifications on their phone. If the child has an iPhone turn the “Do Not Disturb” option on. This option silences calls, text messages, and notifications until the user turns it off.

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multi-car-collision-picture- Who’s at fault in a multiple vehicle collision?

Multiple vehicle car accidents can be one of the most dangerous collisions an individual can experience. These types of collisions can cause severe injuries to the parties involved. Some of the most common causes of multiple car accidents come from distracted drivers. Distracted drivers consist of people using their cell phone while driving, eating, or focusing their attention to the backseat passengers. Speeding is another well-known cause. People who are in a rush to get to another location tend to accelerate their speed as they drive reducing their ability to stop in time for traffic. Another common cause is weather. Inclement weather, such as fog or heavy rain cause drivers to have poor visibility on the roads. When an accident occurs due to one of these common causes the parties involved immediately question who’s at fault for the collision.

The question of who’s at fault is not always easily answered. In these situations, the parties involved tend to point the finger at each other. When liability is disputed, there are various factors to be taken into consideration.

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comparative-negligence-picture-I was hit in a car accident, but the other driver wants to blame me. Who’s at fault?

In the busy state of Texas, people are constantly going their own directions to get where they need to be. Many are in a rush to get to work, drop the kids off at school/day care, or arrive at an appointment on time. The craziness of everyone’s schedules can lead the driver to be negligent in some way, such as answering a phone call on their cell phone, or eating on the go. Along with many other common causes, these distractions can be one of the reasons why two drivers may be at fault for their collision. For example, a police officer gave one driver a ticket for speeding and gave a ticket to the other driver for reckless driving. This type of situation evolves into a comparative fault issue.

Depending on how the accident happened, it can become difficult to determine who caused the accident, which is how these cases can involve a Texas doctrine called comparative negligence. Section 33.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code refers to this concept as proportionate responsibility. When one party (plaintiff) brings a personal injury claim against another party (defendant), the jury will determine the percentage of negligence (if any) of each party based on the evidence presented to them.