McAllen, Texas Personal Injury Law Blog

Car crash numbers go up in summer

It's no surprise that car crash numbers go up during the summer when more motorists are on the roads. Since some of the most frequent outcomes of car crashes are traumatic brain injuries, Texas motorists should understand the nature of these conditions. It turns out that TBIs are frequently subject to misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses.

A mild traumatic brain injury is called a concussion, and this can be incurred through any blow or jolt to the head. The symptoms range from loss of cognitive function to exaggerated mood swings to slurred speech. They may appear minutes after the crash or perhaps two or three days later. Medical experts recommend that crash victims get examined right away to reduce the chances of a false diagnosis.

Ford recalls vehicles that could roll away while parked

Texas motorists may have heard that Ford Motor Co. is recalling 550,000 sedans and SUVs over fears the vehicles could roll away while parked. Around 504,000 of the affected vehicles are located in the U.S., and the rest are in Canada and Mexico.

According to Ford, the recall involves 2013-2014 Ford Escape SUVs and 2013-2016 Ford Fusion sedans made in Michigan, Kentucky, and Mexico. The vehicles have a transmission issue that could allow them to be in a different gear than drivers believe they are in. As a result, the vehicles could appear to be in park when they are actually still in gear, potentially allowing them to roll away. The problem occurs when a bushing that holds the transmission shifter cable becomes disconnected.

Larger cars are safer according to HLDI study

Many of the new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs on sale in Texas and around the country are packed with innovative passive and active safety features, but figures from the Highway Loss Data Institute suggest that the size and weight of a vehicle may be more important than the number of airbags it contains. The nonprofit group collects and analyses traffic accident statistics to help insurance companies manage risk and set premiums, and its study of 2014, 2015 and 2016 vehicles reveals that safety increases along with vehicle size.

All new vehicles in the United States must meet minimum safety standards and pass federal crash tests, but the data suggests that some offer their occupants far more protection in a crash than others. HLDI researchers studied insurance claim data to give each car, pickup truck or SUV a safety score based on the number and size of insurance claims filed by injured road users. More claims and larger claims resulted in higher scores. The baseline for the automotive industry as a whole was set at 100.

Texas intersections: Dangerous places for drivers and pedestrians

If you have been driving in Texas for any length of time, you can likely relate to those who say they feel like their lives are at risk every time they get behind the wheel. High-speed traffic, distracted drivers and the sheer volume of vehicles can leave motorists feeling nervous, even if they are only taking quick jaunts to nearby convenience stores or commuting to and from work. Some road locations typically feel less safe than others do.  

Intersections are high-risk areas, whether entering them by car or on foot. If you come to a secured crossroads, meaning one with traffic lights or stop signs, you may feel a bit safer as you wait your turn to move. By being aware of the different types of intersections there are and the standard safety rules that apply, you may lower your chances of a collision. Still, all it takes is one negligent driver to cause disaster, in which case it's important to know where to turn for support

Distracted driving during the summer

Drivers in Texas may want to be extra conscious of distracted driving during the upcoming summer months. In response to the increased risk of summertime driving, the Travelers Institute has issued a warning to motorists.

According to a study conducted by a leading smartphone telematics platform that evaluated the driving behaviors of over 20,000 users from January 2017 through May 2018, drivers spend more time preoccupied with their phones during June, July and August. Based on those findings, summertime drivers spend an average of 15 minutes an hour being distracted while behind the wheel. This statistic is almost 10 percent more than that for the remainder of the year.

Infotainment systems linked to distracted driving

Distracted driving is becoming more of an issue with the development of mobile tech and automated features. Drivers in Texas should know that according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, last year saw 37,150 fatalities on the roads. This is a 10 percent increase from 2014, and while the increase has not been definitively linked to technology, the parallel is clear.

Built-in infotainment systems demand an especially high level of attention from drivers. A recent AAA analysis compared infotainment systems to interfaces like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which run off smartphones. University of Utah researchers had 64 participants drive five different vehicles; at certain points, the participants used the features of the infotainment systems and those of the interfaces. They found that the smartphone-run systems were less distracting. Certain features were less demanding than others.

Avoiding injuries on the Fourth of July weekend

Texas residents who want to have fun on Independence Day without injuring themselves should first of all know what the most common dangers are during this holiday period.

For example, a barbecue party could end in food poisoning if someone eats undercooked meat, and those who drink to excess are at a high risk for alcohol poisoning. Having a party by a swimming pool or lake could be hazardous for children or inexperienced swimmers. Standing too close to fireworks that are shot into the air could end in burns to the head, face, ears and eyes. 

GHSA analyzes role of marijuana, opioids in fatal car crashes

In 2016, 44 percent of fatally injured drivers with known drug test results had drugs in their system. This is according to a new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association. Drivers in Texas will want to know more about the study and what its implications are.

Of those fatally injured motorists, 38 percent tested positive for pot, 16 percent for opioids and 4 percent for both. Just over half of the drug-positives were found with two or more drugs. In all, 2016 saw an increase in drugged-driving related fatalities. Only 26 percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive back in 2006.

Regulators question Goodyear about RV tire injury claims

Motorhome owners in Texas anticipate long trips with their recreational vehicles, but an RV tire produced by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. appears likely to fail during extended use at highway speeds. In June 2002, the manufacturer issued a service bulletin about tire model G159 that authorized free replacement tires for some owners. At that point, Goodyear had processed at least 20 claims about tire failures that caused injury or death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and attorneys for victims want to know why the company did not issue a recall.

A former official at the NHTSA said that the number of claims associated with G159 tires should have triggered a legal obligation to recall the tires. In the past two decades, 41 lawsuits have attributed the tires to accidents because of their tendency to fail under hot conditions. The opinions of product experts and internal Goodyear reports indicate that the G159 was not appropriate for use on RVs.

When should you increase your following distance?

Car accidents come in many forms. Vehicles can crash into the front, sides or rear of another vehicle, and in any of these instances, there is the potential that the outcomes could prove severe. Because you want to avoid being involved in a car accident as best you can, you need to remain aware of your surroundings.

In particular, you can take many precautions to help avoid a rear-end collision. These actions may apply to helping you avoid striking a vehicle in front of you or in hopes of preventing a driver from hitting the rear of your vehicle. When working to avoid this type of incident, remember this phrase: following distance.

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Law Office of Roberto Salazar
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McAllen, TX 78504

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