Halloween is Scary and Not for the Reasons You’d Think.

While Halloween is a day children love, sadly it’s also a day almost as dangerous as New Year’s Eve if you’re driving or walking.

Hard to believe – right?

Here are some of the scary facts…

Fifty-two (52) percent of all fatal car accidents in the U.S. that occur on Halloween involve a drunk driver. Twenty-three (23) percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involve an intoxicated driver. On average, 4.5 times as many children are struck and killed Halloween night as any other night of the year.

Young male drivers – age 21-34 – make up almost 50% of the fatalities in drunk driving car accidents during this one night.

Is the danger tied solely to intoxicated drivers?

No.

Here are some more facts that will turn your head:

  • Eleven percent of parents in the U.S. allow children under 5 to trick or treat alone.
  • Only twelve percent of parents have their children wear appropriate clothing – clothing that includes reflective materials.

Continue reading “Halloween is Scary and Not for the Reasons You’d Think.” »

Why Young Drivers Have More Car Accidents…

It’s long been known that adolescent drivers are more likely than adult drivers to have car accidents. And most of us think we know why they do… inexperience.

Well – researchers have recently looked at data to try and gain a better understanding of why teenager drivers crash and here is what they’ve found:

  • Peer relationships shape teenage behavior. Adolescents sometimes act irresponsibly when they are in groups – a result of peer pressure. These pressures can impact driving behavior in dangerous ways.
  • Teenagers tend to exhibit optimistic bias – thinking bad things won’t happen to them – resulting in poor decision making and dangerous behavior.teen_driver_distraction
  • Hormonal shifts in males and cultural beliefs about maleness and driving fast lead to dangerous driving behavior.
  • Teenage drivers tend to be emotional and the mood swings of adolescence seem to adversely affect driving behavior.
  • Good parenting matters. A study of 2,000 young drivers in Michigan found that the level of parental monitoring and permissiveness was strongly associated with driving behavior. Permissiveness in general and early adolescent drug/alcohol use (before the age of 15) linked to parental permissiveness of this behavior was associated with a higher risk for car accidents.
  • There appears to be a subset of the population that is known as sensation seekers, individuals who enjoy risky behavior. Teenagers in this group appear much more likely to drive at dangerous speeds and experiment with drugs and alcohol and drive while impaired.
  • Yes – experience matters. Researchers have found that new drivers experience about 5.9 car crashes for every 100 licensed drivers during the first six months of driving; a rate that subsequently falls to 3.4 car crashes per 100 drivers for the next six months, and then to between 1.3 and 3.0 crashes per 100 drivers for the months following. Another study looked at environmental factors like narrow roads, curves and steeply graded roads and their impact on accident rates. In this study, 16 year old drivers showed a greater likelihood of crashing than older drivers.
  • Speed (and poor judgment) kills. In one recent study – teenage drivers – both boys and girls, reported driving at speeds of 80 miles per hour or more in the last year.
  • Distractions are a menace – and getting worse. We have written extensively about the influence of cellular technology on driver safety. This factor is a significant problem for both adult and teen drivers – but a particularly dangerous one for inexperienced drivers.

So, what is a parent to do?

Continue reading “Why Young Drivers Have More Car Accidents…” »

Does the Success of Your Favorite NFL Team Effect Your Driving?

The popularity of football in America is undeniable. In fact, watching games on Sunday is a time honored tradition.

With Super Bowl weekend upon us, we thought it would be worth asking a bit of an odd question – do you think game outcomes have an impact on the number of car accidents on a given Sunday?

What do you think?

Continue reading “Does the Success of Your Favorite NFL Team Effect Your Driving?” »

Did A Defect in Your Car Cause an Auto Accident?

auto_accidentsIf you live in the U.S., there’s a good chance you’re driving a car with a defect that could cause a  car accident or cause injuries in the event of an accident… and it’s a car that would have been recalled and fixed if you lived outside the U.S.

The New York Times just released findings of an investigation showing that car companies – in dozens of instances – skirted recalls here but not in foreign countries for identical safety problems.

Why?

Good question…

Continue reading “Did A Defect in Your Car Cause an Auto Accident?” »

Deadly Guardrails On Connecticut Roads?

 

Guardrails made by a Texas company called Trinity Industries are under investigation by the New York Times for allegedly turning guardrails into spears that shear through car sidewalls during collisions with the rails.  The rails are allegedly to blame for as many as five deaths and scores of injuries nationwide.

The guardrails in question are approved for use by the Federal Highway Administration and have been installed in virtually every state in the country – including Connecticut.

Are  the rails a danger to drivers in the event of a car accident?

Continue reading “Deadly Guardrails On Connecticut Roads?” »

Know How To Avoid A Car Accident Near Highway Work Zones

Highway work zones are hazardous places to drive – and to work.  For drivers, there is often a phalanx of signs, flashing lights, lane changes, barrels and flag men to navigate.

Sadly – each year many accidents and worker fatalities occur in these work zones.

Nearly all states have laws meant to limit the risk of car or truck accidents in these areas.  In fact, almost every state in America has laws that increase the penalties for traffic violations, including speeding, in work zones.  In many cases, these laws double the applicable fine that would have applied outside that work zone.

Avoid A Car Accident Near Construction Zones:

  • When you approach a worksite on the highway – always reduce your speed.
  • Look carefully at the scene as you approach it so that you understand how you will pass through the area safely.
  • Always look carefully to see how the equipment in the area is moving.  Anticipate possible unexpected maneuvers.
  • Watch very carefully for workers in the area.  Some can be momentarily obscured by equipment or signage.
  • NEVER operate a cell phone in these areas – even if your car has come to a stop and never take your eyes off the work area.
  • Watch for pavement edge drop-offs.
  • Never attempt to pass a work area by sneaking out onto the shoulder of the road.
  • Always leave room between your car and the vehicle ahead of you.
  • And when you can – check traffic reports for the roads you will be traveling and either give yourself extra time to travel or choose an alternate route.

If you or a loved one are ever in a car accident in Connecticut, it is important to gather all the information you can and then call a qualified Connecticut car accident lawyer.  A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.

RisCassi & Davis has handled thousands of car accident cases in Connecticut over our more than 55 years serving the people of this state.  Our car accident lawyers have received significant local and national recognition for our handling of injury cases including:

  • Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms” and much more (for more on our honors and awards, click here).

If you would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, contact us today.  There is no obligation of any kind.

 

 

New Data on Teen Drivers Reveals Dangerous Trends

A study just published in the journal Pediatrics shows that close to 50%50%_of_teenagers_admit_to_texting_while_driving. of all U.S. high school students text and drive.  This extremely dangerous habit is known to increase the risk of fatal and non-fatal car accidents significantly in adults.  With teens – the risk is even higher.

The study looked at responses from 8,500 high school students who were asked in a national survey if they texted while driving in the last month.   Forty-four percent said they had done so on one or more days and 25% of that number said they text while driving on a daily basis.  Male teenage drivers were the worst offenders as were older teens.

Teens who reported texting while driving also admitted to other risky behaviors including driving under the influence or driving without a safety belt.  It is a known fact that texting while driving can impair a driver’s abilities much like alcohol.

A number of national experts have expressed concern about the large percentage of teens texting and have asked parents to get more involved in supervising their teenage drivers.   Here are a few suggestions as to how you can help keep your teenager safe:

  • Never use your cell phone while driving for any purpose.  Children learn from the example you set.
  • Explicitly set rules about driving and cell phone use – with penalties if those rules are ever violated.
  • Explain to your teenager that cell phone use and driving can be a deadly combination – putting them and their young friends at grave risk.
  • Give them details.  Help them understand that taking their eyes off the road even for a few  seconds can cause a car accident. And explain to them that in addition to hitting another car – they might hit a pedestrian, a cyclist, or swerve and hit a tree or guardrail.

 

Now what can you do to protect yourself from drivers who text?   When you drive – wherever you drive, watch carefully for what is called “car drift”.  Car drift is when the car ahead of you or coming towards you is meandering on the road and not holding a straight or steady line.  A number of things can cause drift.  The two most common are impairment from alcohol or drugs – and texting/cell phone use.  If you see a car drifting, be prepared to take immediate defensive action – either by creating space with the car in front of you or by pulling off to the side of the road if the offending car is moving in your direction.  You can often tell if the cause of drift is from cell phone use by looking at the other driver’s head.  If he or she is looking down rather than at the road in front of them – they are likely using a cell phone.

If you or a loved one are ever the victim of a car accident caused by a careless driver in Connecticut, it is important to gather all the information you can and then 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 thousands of car accident cases in Connecticut over our more than 55 years serving the people of this state.  Our car accident lawyers have received significant local and national recognition for our handling of car accident cases including:

  • Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms” and much more (for more on our honors and awards, click here).

If you would like a free consultation with one of our accident lawyers, contact us today.  There is no obligation of any kind.

 

 

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.

Continue reading “Is Hands Free Technology Causing More Car Accidents?” »

Don’t Drink & Drive This Memorial Day Weekend

The long holiday weekends of summer are some of the greatest days of the year. Don't_drink_and_drive_this_holiday_weekend.Sadly they also come with an increase in car accidents in Connecticut.   What causes the spike?

Alcohol.

What can you do to make sure you have a safe holiday?

Simple.  Don’t drink and drive.  And if you do drink – make sure you have a safe, sober driver for the ride home and identify that driver before the party begins.  Why before?

Continue reading “Don’t Drink & Drive This Memorial Day Weekend” »