November 2012 Archives

Buckle Up: Holiday Driving Accidents on the Rise as Thanksgiving Approaches

November 13, 2012

The end of the year is characterized by many changes. Events like a change in weather and temperature, coupled with daylight savings time serve to both symbolically usher in the holidays and bolster the economy, especially since consumers are more prone to willingly open their wallets in preparation for Christmas. However, aside from these things, and even more significantly, the holidays also herald the most dangerous time of the year for motorists.

Thanksgiving, in particular, is the most traveled holiday period of the year, as revelers load up their vehicles and head for the highways. Unfortunately, this means that Thanksgiving is also the deadliest holiday period of the year- surpassing the 4th of July, Memorial weekend, and even Christmas - as approximately 90% of those traveling elect to do so by passenger vehicle in lieu of other modes of transportation. Car accident attorneys recognize that an increased number of motorists on the road also translates into an increase in the number of both fatal and non-fatal car accidents.

For example, during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday (which ran from 6 p.m., Wednesday, November 24, to 5:59 a.m., Monday, November 29) 337 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide. This year, the Thanksgiving travel holiday period began at midnight on November 12 and ostensibly continues through the 26th. In an effort to curtail the number of accidents this year, the Buckle up America initiative began proactively urging people to be cautious on the roads, with the simplest tip offered being (not surprisingly) to buckle up. Their website this year first greets viewers with a simple message beneath a photo of a sumptuous holiday spread. "Your family is expecting you. So, please buckle up," the caption reads.

Continue reading "Buckle Up: Holiday Driving Accidents on the Rise as Thanksgiving Approaches" »

Police Resort to Spying on Distracted Motorists in Order to Curb Car Accidents

November 8, 2012

Georgia is one of 38 states that currently have a ban on texting while driving. Previously, we've discussed the distracted driving law that passed in Georgia nearly two years ago. As a recap, current prohibitions include:

- Text messaging banned for all drivers. Fines of $150.
- Drivers under the age of 18 prohibited from using cell phones, regardless of whether a hands-free device is attached. Also bans computer use. Fines of $150.
- School bus operators prohibited from using cell phones while driving, if passengers are present.

However, news coverage since the passing of the legislation has served to only highlight the statute's many flaws and arguable ineffectiveness. In fact, as of October 2012, only about 1300 tickets have been issued under the distracting driving laws, according to the Department of Driver Services in Georgia. It has been so unsuccessful that many senators are considering presenting supplemental hands-free legislation during the 2013 session. Young drivers continue to struggle with compliance (http://blog.attorneyclientmatch.com/2011/12/texting-while-driving-a-problem-for-young-motorists-nhtsa-unveils-new-distracted-driving-measure-and.html) and car accidents brought on by distracted drivers continues to plague the country with ever-increasing frequency.

Both personal injury attorneys and law enforcement officials, it seems, are taking notice. Many have noted that enforcing the laws are extremely difficult, if not borderline impossible. A driver may indeed be pulled over for texting while driving, but officers are hard-pressed to confirm their suspicions, especially when gaining clear evidence may entail illegal search and seizure of a motorist's mobile device. In light of this, many states are considering an experimental technique - actually "spying on motorists while they drive."

Continue reading "Police Resort to Spying on Distracted Motorists in Order to Curb Car Accidents" »

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