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Raleigh Personal Injury Law Blog

Volvo working on drunk driving prevention technology

Accidents caused by impaired drivers claim far too many lives each year in North Carolina. Ignition interlock devices provide an effective way of preventing motorists who have consumed alcohol from operating motor vehicles, but they require drivers to submit breath samples and are considered too invasive to be fitted as standard equipment to new cars. Auto manufacturers are working on systems that can detect alcohol without breath samples, and Volvo says that it hopes to introduce such a system within five years.

It has been testing an impaired driving system that uses cameras to monitor motorists and watch for signs of intoxication. Types of driver behavior that could trigger the system include slower than normal reaction times, weaving between lanes, not watching the road for extended periods and not making needed steering corrections. When alcohol impairment is detected, Volvo says that its system will slow the vehicle down and park it safely.

Drugged driving on the rise across America

Recently on this North Carolina blog, we discussed how marijuana can negatively affect driving abilities, thereby increasing the risk of a car accident. Now, a recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that driving while under the influence of marijuana has increased by 47 percent over the last four years. That equates to 12 million motorists admitting to driving while high in 2018, accounting for 4.7 percent of all drivers. The increase is likely on account of society's increasing acceptance of the drug, including legalization in some states for medical and recreational purposes.

The numbers are nothing short of staggering. Perhaps, most concerning is the fact that younger driver, those between the ages of 16 and 25, saw a three-fold increase in those who admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana. Also of concern is the fact that more than two million motorists admitted to driving while under the influence of other drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamine. These numbers may fall short of reality, too, given the fact that many of these intoxicated drivers are less likely to self-report.

How to safely cross the street

As a pedestrian, there are often times when you need to make your way from one side of the street to the next. While this sounds easy enough, once you're ready to make your move you'll realize that danger is lurking.

Even though no two instances of crossing the street are ever the same, there are steps you can take every time to enhance your safety:

  • Plan your move: For example, if you're thinking about crossing the street before reaching a crosswalk, take a step back so you can realize just how dangerous it is. By planning ahead, you're more likely to prevent a mistake that could result in an accident.
  • Always use a crosswalk: When available, you should always use a crosswalk to cross the street. Here's why: The law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Of course, this doesn't mean you should streak into moving traffic and expect everyone to stop.
  • Follow the "walk" and "don't walk" signal: If there's a traffic signal telling you when to walk and when to stay put on the sidewalk, let it guide you. Even if traffic appears clear, don't make your move until the signal changes.
  • Look both ways: You've been hearing this since you were young, and it still holds true as an adult. Looking both ways before you cross allows you to pinpoint any potential dangers, such as a vehicle that is speeding toward the intersection.
  • Avoid distractions: For instance, if you're listening to music while crossing the street, you may not hear a driver beeping as they approach you. It's best to avoid all distractions as a pedestrian, just as you would if you were operating a motor vehicle.

Car accident claims and the discovery process

North Carolinians who have been injured in a car accident often have extensive damages with which to deal. They may suddenly be subjected to physical pain and limitations, their emotional well-being may be threatened and their finances can take a significant hit in the form of unexpected medical expenses, rehabilitative costs and lost wages. The good news is that compensation may be recoverable if a negligent driver was responsible for the injurious car accident in question.

Succeeding in personal litigation can be challenging, though. There are evidentiary rules that must be adhered to, and failing to utilize them to one's advantage to buttress a persuasive legal strategy can be severely damaging to a case. This is why it is often beneficial for injured individuals to engage in thorough discovery when pursuing one of these claims.

Federal regulations seek to curtail CMV texting and driving

Texting and driving is dangerous regardless of the circumstances. However, some motorists who engage in this behavior can impose a greater risk on other drivers. Amongst them are those who operate commercial vehicles. The size of these vehicles in conjunction with the speeds at which a distracted driving accident can occur often cause catastrophic results. This may mean that victims suffer permanent disability or death.

Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that commercial vehicle drivers who engage in texting and driving are more than 23 times more likely to commit an act that puts safety at risk, such as swerving into another lane or causing a commercial vehicle accident. The risk is so high because an individual who takes his or her eyes off the road for even four or five seconds can travel about the length of a football field without seeing the road. This means that many distracted commercial vehicle drivers wind up deviating from their lane, failing to yield to pedestrians or failing to slow for stopped traffic.

How contributory negligence factors into your car accident case

In the blink of an eye, a negligent driver can slam into your vehicle, leaving you or a loved one seriously injured. You may wind up with a permanent disability that completely reshapes your life, or you may be fortunate enough to survive with only moderate injuries. In both cases, though, the physical, emotional, and financial toll can be significant.

Many car accident victims who find themselves in this position don't know where to turn for relief, oftentimes because they are simply trying to focus on recovering their health. Yet, these individuals should know that legal action might be warranted in these circumstances. If successful on a personal injury claim, then a car accident victim may be able to recover compensation for his or her damages.

How are car accident pain and suffering damages calculated?

While motorists attempt to drive safely, collisions unfortunately occur and are often caused by negligent, distracted, reckless or intoxicated drivers. The damages suffered in a car accident can be quite extensive. The most obvious harm that befalls car accident victims is the physical pain and suffering that is unjustly thrust upon them. While the pain and suffering in some accidents may be relatively minor, in others it can be excruciating and devastating.

This pain and suffering can lead to other damages, too. Medical expenses and therapy costs can quickly mount, and one's injuries may lead to missed work and lost wages. In total, then, a car accident victim can face a very challenging road on their way to recovery.

Violating hours of service regulations may lead to truck accident

Semi-trucks are oftentimes an ominous presence on North Carolina's roadways. Although these vehicles play an integral role in our economy, they can also pose a significant risk to other motorists. This is especially true when semi-trucks are driven negligently or they are improperly maintained. Under these circumstances, a serious truck accident can occur. Far too often these wrecks result in severe injuries that can send a ripple effect of harm throughout a victim's life.

Compensation may be recoverable for these damages, but that is often contingent upon showing that negligence caused the accident and the injuries that resulted. One way to do this is to determine whether a trucker violated any federal trucking regulations. Amongst the most important of these regulations are those pertaining to hours of service, which dictate when and for how long truckers can be on the road.

Avoid holiday crashes with these 3 tips

With the holidays approaching, it can be hard to get where you want to go without running into heavy traffic. Between people shopping for Christmas and individuals rushing to get from place to place, there's a real risk of a crash happening.

Most people know that holiday traffic can be frustrating. There are generally delays, and what might normally be a short trip could end up taking much longer. Fortunately, there are some ways to reduce the chances of getting involved into a crash as a result of the increased traffic during the season.

Pursuing a vicarious liability claim? Consider legal assistance

Recently on this blog, we discussed how vicarious liability applies to truck accident cases. Considering this legal theory can be crucial to successfully recovering the compensation you need and deserve, but going up against well-known trucking companies can be unnerving. This is especially true given the fact that aggressive, experienced law firms often represent them.

Therefore, in order to stand a chance against these companies, commercial vehicle accident victims need to think about seeking out a legal advocate who can help them develop the winning arguments they need to maximize their chances of success on a vicarious liability claim.

Here's what other attorneys are saying...

"John is a great lawyer who works super hard for his clients. The results he obtains for his clients are phenomenal." - Brian Davis

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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