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Marietta Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

McIntosh County crash kills mother and daughter

Most in Marietta likely believe that their own well-developed driving skills will help them to avoid accidents. While that may be true in many cases, one can never fully eliminate the potential of encountering a reckless driver on the road (at which point control over avoiding an accident may be taken completely out of their hands). Reckless drivers may often leave a great deal of devastation in their wake, including serious injuries and even fatalities on top of the damage they cause to others vehicles. Some such cases may require that accident victims seek legal action, either to secure adequate insurance coverage or collect damages from the responsible party. 

Just such an accident was recently witnessed in McIntosh County. A man driving a Honda Accord reportedly struck a Volvo carrying four passengers. Those passengers exited the vehicle and stood on the shoulder of the road as they waited for help to arrive. Yet just minutes later, several other vehicles struck those already disabled by the accident. These multiple collisions ultimately resulted in the deaths of a mother and daughter. 

Technology may encourage more distracted behavior

People in Georgia who are concerned about the prevalence of distracted driving and the safety risks this behavior raises may have even more reason to be concerned in the future. As consumers' reliance on technology seems only poised to grow, not wane, technology companies may well be building devices that all but encourage dangerous actions.

As reported recently by The Verge, there are rumors abounding that some new models of Apple smartphones may start to be produced with multiple wireless audio inputs. To make matters worse, there are people actively recommending that people could use one input for music and another for navigation purposes while driving. This would only add to the number of cognitive inputs that a driver would be trying to focus on at one time, further taking their attention away from the road.

Is distracted driving normalized in society?

Georgian residents likely spend a fair amount of time on the road. Though there are plenty of roadway dangers to be on the lookout for, some of the most common fall under the umbrella of distracted driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is a blanket term that includes many different dangerous driving behaviors. For example:

  • Texting while driving
  • Operating handheld electronics
  • Putting on makeup or doing your hair
  • Eating
  • Having involved discussions with other passengers

Proving who is to blame for tractor-trailer collisions

Most of the time, you would not be trying to prove that you were injured when you bring a civil suit in Georgia. Most injuries are often relatively easy to establish. This area of the law is much more frequently concerned with the topic of who is to blame for your injuries. At Sams, Larkin, Huff & Balli, LLP, in Marietta, we stand by our clients' sides to make sure that the court knows who bears the real responsibility.

Establishing fault is essential to the process. That is because the parties that are liable for your losses are also usually responsible for paying any costs you incurred due to those injuries. However, in collisions with commercial vehicles, this liability could be more complicated than in other situations. Here is a brief explanation of how you might go about establishing this vital foundation of your personal injury law case.

How common is substance abuse among truckers?

When cars and commercial trucks collide in Georgia, the people in the smaller vehicles typically find themselves on the losing end, and if they are lucky enough to live through these crashes, they often end up facing serious injuries and hardships. While even the most careful and conscientious truck drivers pose a threat to the public simply due to the size and weight of their trucks, those who use drugs or alcohol on the job pose a particularly substantial danger.

Unfortunately, the American Addiction Centers report that substance abuse in the trucking industry is a pervasive problem, and that there are several possible explanations as to why this is the case. The truck driving profession, for example, is an inherently lonely one, and some truckers turn to alcohol or drugs simply because they are lonely, bored or a combination of the two.

Georgia sees spike in pedestrian fatalities

With what may have felt like a crazy winter to many people in Georgia, spring has finally begun to arrive. This often encourages more people to be outside and enjoying the temperate weather before the heat and humidity of summer sets in. While this can be good for people's health, especially if they are active when outside, it can also be dangerous to their health when they must be on roads or sidewalks next to vehicles. 

According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2017 was a particularly deadly year for pedestrians in Georgia. With 253 fatalities that year alone, it recorded more pedestrian deaths in the state in at least a decade. In 2016, there were 232 pedestrians killed and in 2015, another 194 people on foot lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents.

Crash sends three to hospital, kills unborn baby

For residents in Georgia, the tragedy associated with many motor vehicle accidents can be hard to accept. Too often, innocent people end up spending the rest of their lives dealing with injuries or disabilities that forever changed the course of their lives because of some reckless choice made by another driver. In other situations, friends and family members are forced to work through the loss of a loved one due to the negligent actions of another person. 

The reasons for these type of situations vary and may include things like driving with excessive speed or driving after drinking alcohol or after using drugs. In some situations, it may not be quite so clear as to what makes a driver choose to take a particular action. Maybe someone feels like they are in such a hurry that they cannot appropriately yield the right of way to another driver.

How to spot the signs of an aggressive driver

If you are like many other drivers, you may get frustrated when stuck in traffic or struggling to get to work on time. Your anger may settle anywhere from mild to infuriated and may rise from slightly frustrated to enraged in a matter of minutes. Problems occur, however, when angry motorists engage in dangerous driving habits that threaten other motorists and people on the road. Road rage is a serious problem in the United States, as the National Safety Council reports one in three people admit to engaging in aggressive driving behaviors. It is crucial that you are on the lookout for these behaviors, so you can keep yourself safe on the road and possibly avoid becoming the victim of a car accident.

According to the NSC, some common aggressive driving behaviors include the following:

  •          Speeding and weaving between vehicles
  •          Tailgating or driving too closely behind another car
  •          Excessive horn honking
  •          Using profanities or obscene hand gestures
  •          Failing to yield to other drivers’ right of way
  •          Running stop lights and failing to obey traffic signs

Bleckley County truck crash highlights shoulder dangers

Large trucks can be dangerous to encounter in any type of traffic, but they are especially hazardous on freeways and interstates, where speed, distractions, visibility and weather can play a part in endangering the lives of Georgia residents. Drivers may not realize the extreme danger trucks can pose when they pull over at the side of the road in an emergency or to assist someone else.

Tragically, an accident that occurred this February on Interstate 16 in Bleckley County illustrates this point. According to the Macon Telegraph, two friends of an ambulance driver, who had become stranded at the side of the highway, pulled over to deliver fuel. After pulling away, their vehicle was hit from behind by a big rig, which propelled the smaller car into the ambulance, then under the tractor trailer. The ambulance driver’s friends, who were 21 and 22 years old, were killed. Authorities are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident.

The controversy surrounding electronic logging devices

Residents who live in Georgia should have the right to feel safe when sharing the road or highway with a large commercial vehicle. They deserve to know that truckers are properly trained on how to safely operate their rigs. Part of this safe operation includes knowing when to take a break to avoid becoming fatigued while driving. 

Business Insider explains that trucker fatigue has become something of a controversial topic in the last few years. For starters, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted its Hours of Service rule that restricts the number of hours a driver can work or drive in a single day. It also outlines specific requirements for daily and workweek breaks.

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