Tag Archives: car crash

Over the years cars have gotten safer as more safety features have been introduced; safety features can help reduce car crashes. Sometimes vehicle manufacturers have taken their own initiative to produce additional safety features and sometimes the federal government has had to step in to legislate safety changes. Take a look at these five new […]

Running-red-light-accidentCar accidents happen for a variety of reasons but when a person drives their vehicle through a red light they are putting themselves and other drivers or pedestrians in grave danger. Studies have found that on average, an intersection sees a motorist run a red light every 20 minutes. In 2012, 683 people were killed and 133,000 were injured in crashes that involved red light running.

Red Light Running Defined

A red light running violation occurs when a driver enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. In intersections where a right turn on a red light is permitted, drivers are expected to come to a complete stop before turning; failure to do so could be considered running a red light.

Red Light Cameras

Red light cameras have been implemented in many cities and are an effective way to reduce red-light running violations. In general, people follow rules more closely when law enforcement is present but it is clearly not viable to have a police presence at every intersection. Red light cameras work by taking a picture of the person and license plate when the vehicle enters an intersection after the light has turned red. IIHS conducted a series of studies on red-light traffic violations in different communities and found that red light violations are reduced by 40 percent after red-light cameras were installed. As a bonus, red-light running was also reduced by similar rates in nearby intersections that did not have cameras.

Red light cameras should not be considered a violation of privacy as we cannot expect privacy on a public road. Additionally, driving is a regulated activity and we are obligated to follow the rules of the road or face tickets. A red light camera acts as a replacement for traditional law enforcement.

In 2013, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a national telephone survey and found that in cities without red light cameras, 93 percent of drivers said that it was unacceptable to run a red light if it was possible to stop safely but 35 percent of respondents had run a red light in the past 30 days. In cities with long-standing red light cameras in place, 93 percent of respondents said that running a red light was unacceptable but only 7 percent admitted to running a red light in the past month.

Some industry studies indicate that as a group, red light runners are more likely to be young, male, less likely to wear seat belts, and have poor driving records with multiple convictions or alcohol related convictions on their records. Of the red light runners who caused an accident, they were also more likely to be speeding or driving while impaired at the time of the crash and less likely to have a valid driver’s license.

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is two to three times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation!

teen-driversCar crashes are the number one killer of teens. The younger the teen, the higher the rate of car crashes. Teenage brains are still developing and as a result teens tend to be impulsive and use poor judgment. Poor decisions often include drinking and driving or texting and driving, two of the most risky behaviors when getting behind the wheel.

How Do We Protect Teen Drivers?

Graduated licensing is a highly successful idea and has been implemented in many states: it allows teens to gain driving experience under certain restrictions while they work toward getting their full license. The law is different from state to state but often includes restrictions such as:

  • the number of passengers
  • the age of passengers
  • a minimum number of supervised driving hours with a parent or driving professional
  • nighttime driving
  • zero alcohol limits

Teen deaths from car accidents have dropped 62 percent since 1975 and graduated licensing is given a lot of the credit as studies have shown a clear link between these programs and lowered crash rates.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website has a calculator that estimates how many lives could be saved if states strengthened their graduated licensing laws. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers incentives like extra highway safety funds to states that improve their graduated licensing laws.

If your state has poor graduated licensing laws, consider creating your own contract with your teenager. Talk to your teen about the risks of driving while intoxicated or distracted. Help them understand that while they are learning it is best to be alone in the car or with one adult and avoid driving at night.

Technology like Ford’s MyKey is also proving helpful in reducing teen accidents. MyKey allows parents to set the driving rules and store them electronically in the ignition key. Features that can be controlled include the vehicle’s top speed, the volume of the radio, or even whether the radio can be turned on until the driver’s seat belt is secured.

Driver education in the form of advanced driver training can help reduce teen car crashes. When drivers are taught what to do when they are faced with an emergency they are more likely to avoid a car accident. There are many defensive driving courses available through public and private organizations such as the Tire Rack Street Survival School. These courses help teens to improve their driving skills, gain confidence, and learn the limits of their cars.

What to Look for in Car for a Teenager

If you are buying a car for your teen you may be deciding what you can afford versus what is safest. You should be looking for a vehicle that has advanced safety features like electronic stability control and third-generation air bags. Read consumer reports for a vehicle that has performed well in independent crash tests. Avoid a large truck or SUV because their high center of gravity makes them more prone to a roll over. Other disadvantages to a large vehicle include poor handling, poor fuel economy and more passenger seating which is just asking to be filled with distracting teen passengers. Sports cars are too tempting to drive fast. Choose a modest car with the best possible safety features.

If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident, do not hesitate to seek the help of a knowledgeable car accident attorney. The insurance companies are there to pay you the lowest settlement possible; it is not uncommon that a victim who hires an accident lawyer receives up to three times the settlement of someone who fights alone. Please call the caring, experienced accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation.

Teen-texting-drivingTexting and Driving has been in the news a lot the last few years but despite the media coverage, social campaigns, and changes in law enforcement many people continue to text and drive. This year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated and that it has now replaced drinking while driving as the leading cause of car accidents among teenagers. Texting while driving causes over 3,000 deaths and 330,000 injuries every year according to a study by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.

Texting and Driving Facts

  • One quarter of teenagers admit that they respond to a text message while driving at least once every time they drive while 20 percent admit to sending and receiving multiple messages per trip.
  • 47 percent of adults admit to texting while driving and 10 percent admit to sending and receiving multiple messages per trip.
  • Reaching for a phone, dialing or texting are a serious distraction to your primary task: driving. These sub-tasks increase the risk of getting into a crash by three times.
  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds; while driving at 55 miles per hour that is like driving the length of an entire football field, blind.
  • 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in a fatal car crash were distracted while driving. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted while driving.
  • For drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of the distracted drivers were distracted by their cell phones.
  • To date laws against texting while driving are not proving effective: in states with anti-texting and driving laws, fifty-seven percent of teenage boys admitted to texting and driving, compared to 59 percent in states with no texting law.
  • By texting and driving you are 23 times more likely to crash your vehicle.

The question is what can we do to stop people from texting and driving? We know that over the years, less people are drinking and driving which can be attributed to public service messages, strict laws and enforcement, and increased social stigma. Cell phone manufacturers could do their part through advertising and developing apps that restrict texts and calls from coming in when it detects the phone is in a moving car.

Lawmakers have been pushing for tougher distracted driving laws including increased fines for talking or texting on a cell phone and stricter measures for repeat offenders. A survey conducted by NHTSA found that 90 percent of drivers support laws that ban texting while driving; 80% support a ban on e-mailing while driving; and almost 75% believe that restrictions should apply to all drivers, not just specific groups such as teens.

If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident, please don’t fight your insurance company alone. Do not underestimate the ability of an accident attorney to get the job done: the Insurance Research Council found that insurance payouts to clients are 3.5 times higher to those who hired an accident attorney. Call the experienced accident lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. to setup your FREE CONSULTATION today!