Is There Something More Dangerous Than Texting And Driving?

Yup!  Sadly there is.

The latest craze, particularly among young drivers, is “Vining” and driving.

What you ask is “Vining”?  Vine is a social media platform (think Facebook and Twitter – in fact Vine is owned by Twitter) that loads easily into a cell phone and allows people to share short video clips with followers and the world. It was one of the most popular cell phone applications of 2013 . “Vining” is the act of taking a video and sending it using this application.

The problem… drivers, particularly young drivers, are using Vine to record personal video messages while they drive.

And you thought texting causes lots of car accidents!

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Can Computers Stop Car Accidents?

Did you know that almost 40% of all fatal car accidents involve alcohol?

What if technology allowed humans to remove alcohol from the equation by creating cars that drive themselves?

Did you know that by the end of this decade driverless cars may be a reality here in Connecticut and around the world?

Auto companies are already testing technology systems that warn drivers in advance of road hazards, that adjust cruise control when one gets too close to the car in front, that allow drivers to see better at night, and that warn drivers when they are drifting in their lane on the highway and more.

Driverless cars could become a commuter’s dream too.  The technology will exist that will allow onboard computers to avoid congested areas on the highway while adjusting the speeds of every car on the road allowing for smoother movement – with fewer stops and starts – thus reducing commuting time – and car accidents.

Are there obstacles to be overcome before you will be riding in your driverless car?

Yes.  Here are just a few:

  • Significant liability issues for automakers if these vehicles cause car accidents.
  • Concerns about terrorists hacking into the systems.
  • Privacy concerns.  Cars that have the ability to navigate without human help will also be cars that can be tracked.

So – what will your driverless car cost the family?  Estimates start at $100,000 and go up from there.

Will these cars ever really become a reality?  Remember, there were once predictions that we’d all be driving flying cars.  It seemed like a fantasy at the time.  Turns out it was.

 

Watch Out For Flying Ice and Snow!

Has a car ever passed you loaded with ice or snow – in fact so loaded as to make you wonder how the driver of that vehicle could see to drive?

Have you ever been driving along only to have a large piece of hardened snow or a piece of ice come flying off another vehicle, hitting yours?   How scary is that when that debris comes off a big truck??

Frightening – right?  Easy to see how either example could result in a serious car accident.

Did you know that many states, including Connecticut, have passed laws making it illegal to drive a motor vehicle covered in accumulated ice or snow?

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Is Your Designated Driver Really Sober?

We have all heard the infomercials – “don’t drink andIs_your_designated_driver_really_sober? drive and make sure you have a designated (sober) driver if you’re going to be drinking while at a party or a restaurant”.  Drinking and driving kills.  We all know it.  It’s a fact.  Not a year goes by without reading about someone in the area who was badly injured or killed by a drunk driver.

Well there is a new study out by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. It shows that over 30% of designated drivers surveyed drink even though they are “designated” not to drink and breath tests showed 20% blew higher than a .05% on a breathalyzer test – enough to impair driving skills.

While the population studied for this report was generally homogenous, over 1,000 people were interviewed for the study with researchers stopping people leaving bars near a college in the southeastern part of the U.S.  “It is noteworthy that nearly 40% of DDs did not refrain from alcohol use,” the researchers wrote. “Of the 165 self-identified DDs, only 65% had a .00 g/210 L BrAC reading.”

So what can you do to insure your safety if you are going to need a designated driver?  Here are a number of steps to consider:

1. Choose the designated driver before drinking begins.

2. Be aware that a designated driver who is a friend may face behaviors in the car that he or she cannot control making the ride more dangerous.

3. Choose the designated driver fairly – distributing the burden to different people at different times.

4. Make sure you choose an experienced, seasoned driver.

5. Ask your designated driver about his or her driving record – and make sure they have a valid drivers license!

If you are ever the victim of a car accident with a drunk driver, call a qualified Connecticut car accident lawyer.  A knowledgeable Connecticut car accident lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.

RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of car accident cases over our more than 55 years serving the people of Connecticut.

What’s more, our attorneys have received local and national recognition for our handling of these cases including:

  • Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms”
  • Top listing by Martindale-Hubbell as a “New England Top Rated AV Preeminent® Law Firm.
  • Admission of five of our personal injury lawyers as members in the very prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.  The American College is a professional society of Fellows who become members only by invitation, with admission limited to experienced, outstanding trial lawyers who are unquestionably and eminently qualified as actively engaged trial lawyers.  Only 1% of all trial lawyers in any state are offered admission as members to the College.
  • Listing in New England Super Lawyers published by Connecticut Magazine.  Less than 5% of attorneys in the New England states receive this honor
  • Lifetime Achievement awards from the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
  • Board Certification by the National Board of Trial Advocacy

We have a great team dedicated to car accident cases.    Our offices are in Hartford but we are available to meet with you in your home or office if that is easier for you.  Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind.

 

 

 

Is Hands Free Technology Causing More Car Accidents?

Talking to your car??  What?Is_hands_free_technology_causing_more_car_accidents?

Yes – consumers are demanding more and more advanced computer technology for their cars – and much of that technology is voice-activated.

According to a just published study from the Applied Cognition Lab at the University of Utah – that technology – while “cool” – is making our roads even more dangerous and car accidents more likely.  Eight million cars are now outfitted with this technology and that number is expected to rise to 62 million by 2018.

This same research team had previously found that drivers using hands-free or hand-held cell phones are as impaired and as dangerous as drunken drivers at the legal limit.

The new research on voice-activated technology in cars shows that drivers distracted by this technology in their automobiles tend to enter a tunnel vision state or develop what is called “inattention blindness”.  Inattention blindness produces drivers less aware of what is going on around them and less likely to check their mirrors.  A driver distracted in this fashion will often miss other cars, bikes and pedestrians with predictably bad consequences.

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Distracted Driving Is Not Limited To Cell Phone Use…

A new analysis of national traffic data shows that drivers involved in fatal carDistracted_driving_includes_more_than_just_cellphone_usage. accidents as well as non-fatal crashes were “more often lost in thought than distracted by mobile phones.”

Ten percent of the time, car accidents that ended in a fatality involved at least one motorist who was distracted according to the study.  Sixty-two percent of the time those distracted drivers were “lost in thought” or daydreaming as opposed to 12 percent who were distracted from cell phone use.

This study is interesting because so much attention has been paid to cell phone use (texting, calling, surfing) as a major cause of accidents.  This study is the first one to draw attention to other distracters.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is asking drivers to stay vigilant about the dangers of the road “by playing the “what if” game and asking themselves how they would react to unexpected events on the road…Treat driving as a complicated task requiring your full attention,” the foundation said.

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Federal Government Joining The Fight Against Distracted Driving

Your federal government wants car makers to make it impossible for you toFederal_government_getting_behind_the_fight_against_distracted_driving. text, check Facebook and watch a video while you’re driving.  Sounds sensible – right??  If successful, their efforts may stop a number of senseless and often fatal car accidents.

The recommendations are laid out in a 281-page report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation.  The DOT has made distracted driving a focal point of their current driver safety efforts.

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What To Know About The Psychological Impact of Car Accidents

Anyone who has ever been in a car accident knows the physicalCar_accidents_can_also_have_negative_psychological_impacts. injuries as well as the emotional trauma that can occur.  While the physical wounds are often easy to recognize, the emotional ones are often overlooked.

Victims of car accidents and their families need to be aware of the emotional impact an accident can have and how to get help.

Psychological trauma is just as real, and potentially damaging as physical trauma. According to a report in Achieve Solutions, “auto accidents are one of the most prevalent sources of psychological trauma, with over 6 million car accidents and over 40,000 traffic fatalities reported annually”.

When a person has been through a car accident many emotional responses are possible from denial, anxiety, shock, confusion, social withdrawal and dramatic mood swings.  Debilitating phobias are also known to arise from car accidents, leaving accident victims unable to perform routine functions like driving on interstate highways or in some cases even leaving their homes.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a motor vehicle accident or other traumatic event, watch for any symptoms that continue for more than a few weeks, as well as difficulty accomplishing normal tasks, avoidance issues, or drug or alcohol abuse.  All of these things are a sign that help from a qualified psychologist is in order.

If you or a loved one is ever injured in a car accident in Connecticut– call us.  We will help protect your rights.  The car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been helping victims of car accidents for over 55 years.  What’s more, our Connecticut car accident lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of car accident cases including:

  • Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms”
  • Top listing by Martindale-Hubbell as a “New England Top Rated AV Preeminent® Law Firm.
  • Admission of five of our personal injury lawyers as members in the very prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.  The American College is a professional society of Fellows who become members only by invitation, with admission limited to experienced, outstanding trial lawyers who are unquestionably and eminently qualified as actively engaged trial lawyers.  Only 1% of all trial lawyers in any state are offered admission as members to the College.
  • Listing in New England Super Lawyers published by Connecticut Magazine.  Less than 5% of attorneys in the New England states receive this honor
  • Lifetime Achievement awards from the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
  • Board Certification by the National Board of Trial Advocacy

The Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis are committed to helping Connecticut drivers.

If you would like a free consultation about your car accident, please contact us today.  There is no obligation of any kind.  We are ready to help.

 

 

 

Car Accidents Kill More Teenagers Than Anything Else…

(From CNN 3.11.13) “The eight teenagers crammed into an SUVCar_accidents_kill_more_teenagers_than_anything_else. that was only supposed to seat five.

They were driving a vehicle they didn’t have permission to use.

And they were speeding down a two-lane northeastern Ohio road, authorities say.

But any poor judgment was quickly eclipsed by a tragic crash that cut short six young lives.

The black Honda Passport veered over the left side of the road, crashed into a guardrail and flipped over into a pond near the city of Warren.

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Traffic Safety Bills Aim To Reduce Car Accidents

Each year the Connecticut State Legislature looks at initiativesTraffic_safety_bill_aims_to_reduce_car_accidents to improve traffic safety on our roadways.  A number of bills are currently under review that may affect you.

House Bill 6021 would mandate safety inspections for cars that have logged 100,000 miles or more.  The bill does not specify how the motor vehicles department should create a network of inspection locations, or detail what those inspections should cost.

House Bill 6247 would require drivers 65 and older to get a vision exam when obtaining or renewing a Connecticut driver’s license.

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