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Odessa Texas Personal Injury Law Blog

Certain in-car features could reduce the number of auto accidents

Human error is to blame for most auto accidents. From speeding to distraction, Texas drivers can make various mistakes that can lead to serious or fatal auto accidents. Automakers are trying to improve auto safety and reduce the number of accidents by including certain types of features in newer vehicles. There is evidence that some of these safety features could go a long way in making the roads safer for everyone. 

One way that car features can help improve safety is by allowing the driver to see better and in more directions. Many newer cars come with back-up cameras, which allow the person behind the wheel to see what's behind the vehicle, whether it's a person, a stationary object or another vehicle. Some vehicles even have camera features that allow the driver to see in multiple directions.

Auto accidents caused by older drivers often due to distraction

Distraction is a major safety concern to Texas drivers and others across the country. One of the main sources of this dangerous behavior is the use of cellphones. Studies have found that for elderly individuals, distracted driving is a significant issue. Any time a person is not focused on safe driving, he or she is at an elevated risk of causing auto accidents. 

With Bluetooth technology, many phones automatically connect with the vehicle. This allows a driver to control certain phone functions with voice commands, but this is not always safer than holding the phone. Cognitive distraction happens when a person is focused on something else, and it can be dangerous even when both hands are on the wheel. While elderly drivers may take advantage of these tools, they can still be driving while distracted

The most dangerous aspects of working in oil and gas extraction

Studies, statistics and reports have made it very clear: working in the oil and gas extraction industry can be incredibly dangerous. Workers often put themselves at great risk simply by doing the routine parts of the job.

Texas, with its hundreds of rigs, often sees the highest number of oil and gas extraction worker deaths every year. But which activities tend to be the deadliest? Federal figures offer some insight.

Motorcycle accident kills 1, other driver at fault

Texas is home to many motorcycle enthusiasts, and especially during the summer months when the weather is nice and there is lots to see and do, it is not unusual for passenger vehicles to share the road with motorcycles. Drivers must remain alert, as motorcycles are much smaller than most other vehicles and are usually difficult to see. Even experienced riders are at risk to be hurt or killed in a motorcycle accident, often in the blink of an eye. 

There are things that a motorcyclist can do to reduce the risk of injury or death on the road. Wearing proper safety gear, such as a helmet, is a good start. Obeying traffic laws and using turn signals where appropriate can help avoid a crash. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent an accident. 

A driver doesn't have to be legally drunk to be dangerous

You never know what the drivers around you did before getting into their cars. You could be on your home one day, minding your own business, and end up in an accident.

Afterward, you may discover that the driver behind the wheel was drinking prior to driving but did not have a blood alcohol concentration at or above the Texas legal limit of 0.08%. The reality is that an individual does not have to be legally drunk in order to endanger your life and the lives of those around him or her.

Vehicles getting safer, but auto accidents still major concern

Many vehicles now come with various types of technology that is intended to keep drivers safe and help them make safer choices behind the wheel. Many of these tools were designed in response to growing safety concerns related to distracted driving and the many auto accidents it causes. Despite vehicles that are safer and more advanced than ever, the rate of Texas auto accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles continues to rise. 

According to numbers released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of accidents involving bicycles is up by approximately 10%. This brings the number of bicycle-involved fatalities up to its highest rate since 1998. Statistics also indicate that pedestrian deaths were up by approximately 4% as well. 

Is drug use a leading cause of truck accidents?

The drivers of semitrailers and commercial vehicles are behind the wheels of vehicles that are larger and heavier than other types of vehicles on the road. In an accident, a truck can cause significant damage and injuries, and truckers have a specific responsibility to drive safely. While Texas truck accidents are often the result of careless driving, distraction and speeding, a safety group recently released findings that reveal drug use could be a significant problem in the trucking industry.

The group states that it has evidence that drug use is more prevalent than many realized, and there may be thousands of drug users behind the wheels of large trucks. In fact, this same group presented its findings to the U.S. Congress, stating that the truck industry must act quickly to put a stop to this issue and make the roads safer for everyone. The results of this study came from urine and hair analysis that may drivers submitted to when applying for jobs.

Summer marks ‘100 deadliest days’ for teen drivers

As schools begin to let out for the year, more novice teen drivers will take to the streets. Statistics show that teens are more likely to be in a fatal accident than any other age group. In fact, since 2014, there have been nearly 3,500 deaths from crashes involving teen drivers.

The number of teens in crashes rises drastically between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with AAA dubbing the period the 100 deadliest days. It’s imperative to talk to your teen children about safe driving habits to help keep them safe behind the wheel this summer.

Avoiding truck accidents with safe driving

Large trucks and semitrailers play a crucial role in the economy in Texas. There are thousands of trucks on the roads at any given time, and every driver should learn how to safely share the road. Each person behind the wheel should be aware of how they can avoid truck accidents by practicing certain habits and committing to be as safe as possible.

Sharing the road with trucks can be especially harrowing for younger drivers. Inexperienced drivers are more likely to make mistakes, which can sometimes lead to devastating consequences. One way to avoid accidents is to be aware of trucks' blind spots and avoid them when possible. Drivers can also increase safety by driving at consistent speeds and not swerving in front of trucks.

How distraction is impacting the rate of auto accidents

Texas drivers have probably noticed the impact of distracted driving while on the road. Most people have probably seen another driver texting, looking at his or her phone, putting on make-up or eating while driving. These drivers are probably driving at erratic speeds, swerving and placing everyone else at an increased risk for an accident. There is clear evidence that distracted driving has had a significant impact on the overall rate of auto accidents. 

Statistics indicate that about nine people die each day in accidents related to distracted driving. In 2017, over 3,100 people died in accidents in the United States because of some form of distraction. More statistics indicate that in a significant number of fatal accidents, the driver was doing something other than driving at the time of the crash, often engaging in a distracting behavior

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