Preventing A Car Accident

Traffic Accident Resulting in a Crushed CarWhether you are living in a big city or a small town, if you drive a car, there is a chance that you might be involved in a car accident.

While car accidents are certain to occur every day, there are preventative measures to lower the chances of one happening to you.

Here are some tips that you should try to implement in your everyday life.  

Plan Ahead 

You should always plan ahead when you decide to drive. Planning includes: 

  • Looking at a map to determine your route  
  • Determining what time is best to drive to avoid traffic 
  • If you know you are going to be driving, do not drink or take drugs 
  • Know how long it will take you to arrive at your destination without speeding 
  • Answer any important text or call before driving so you can put your phone away  
  • Give yourself extra time and leave early because you never know when you may come across unplanned traffic 
  • Be mindful of the weather conditions and possible setbacks 

Purchasing Safe Cars 

Today, vehicle technology has greatly advanced. Several cars have blind spot monitors that will alert you when another car is in your blind spot. Furthermore, newer cars can also alert you when you start driving over the road line. Lastly, most cars now have back-up mirrors that project exactly what is behind you as you are reversing. If you decide to purchase a new car, you should certainly do your homework about what the safest cars are out there and ensure that the airbags, safety belts, and quality of the car are up to par.  

Control Road Rage 

A common way for a car accident to happen is road rage. Whether you are cut off on the road or run into someone having a bad day, you should always take a deep breath and not react. At the end of the day, retaliation will not be worth the injuries, stress, and time required following a car accident. Maintain your anger and keep in mind that some people will not be able to maintain theirs’. Sometimes, it may seem as though someone has completely forgotten how to drive, but you must remember that you should be the bigger person and remain calm. 

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings 

While you should do your best to drive safely, you have to always keep in mind that some people won’t do the same. People speed, have blind spots, and some are simply careless and even reckless. You can only do so much when you are near these kinds of people, but if you consistently check your mirrors and are aware that those people are on the road, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming involved in an accident. 

Call An Attorney 

Even if you take all the safety precautions possible for you to avoid a car accident, it can still happen any time you enter a vehicle. If an accident happens to you, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney. Sometimes, it takes time for injuries to develop and you may not be able to foresee the extent of your injuries at first. An attorney will be able to guide you and see how you can receive compensation.

Call our helpful attorneys at The O’Brien Law Firm if you are involved in a car accident so we can begin the initial process for your compensation at (716) 907-7777. 

Moving Truck Accidents 

Logging Truck Accident On Highway Hiring a professional moving company can sometimes cost thousands of dollars depending on the distance, number of belongings, and company prices.

Renting a box truck to move everything yourself is not only more convenient than using a regular car but is also usually much less expensive.

However, most companies only have valid license and age requirements, so inexperienced people can rent moving trucks without realizing the potential dangers. 

Safety Concerns 

Moving trucks are much larger and heavier, making them harder to maneuver and guide than a regular car. Furthermore, because of the large box-size without windows, there are many more blind spots, so you can’t see behind yourself while driving in addition to lowered visibility. An inexperienced driver may not realize whether anything is wrong as well. For example, there have been cases where the back latch was not securely fastened, and items spilled out. This can cause severe accidents for other drivers on the road and could cause immense traffic jams. 

Driving a moving truck requires: 

  • Using additional caution 
  • Making wider turns 
  • Taking note where your blind spots are 
  • Guidance when backing out, as you will not be able to see behind your rental 
  • Driving slowly and patiently 
  • Carefully maneuvering the large size of the truck when driving through narrow streets 
  • Securing the back latch securely to avoid belongings spilling out 
  • Paying close attention to your surroundings 
  • Adhering to the rules of the road 

Who Is Liable? 

If a company allows someone without a valid license to rent one of their trucks, they could be held liable for injuries following an accident. Likewise, if a company rents to someone who has clearly been drinking or under the influence of drugs, they will not escape liability. Furthermore, they are required to complete a safety check prior to renting to make sure that the latch, lights, and brakes are in proper working condition. Companies are required to upkeep and maintain their trucks. Proving that a company was negligent in the rental process or inspection could allow you to sue them following a wreck. 

On the other hand, the driver of the moving truck can also be liable. Just like driving a regular car, drivers must abide by the laws and drive safely. Inexperience and the fact that the rental company properly rented a truck to the driver, does not mean that the driver won’t be held liable for his own negligence or mishandling of driving a rental truck. Because moving trucks are much harder to drive than a regular car, you must be confident in your ability to drive one and take all the precautions listed above. Otherwise, you should thoroughly consider spending the extra money on professional movers to avoid an accident, injuries, and possible liability. 

Contact Our Attorneys 

If you or a close family member has been involved in a moving truck accident, you should contact our skilled attorneys as soon as possible to see what we can do for you. We will be able to review and evaluate the unique facts of your case and let you know what your options are to pursue a suit. Call us at (716) 907-7777 today for a free consultation.

Dealing With Car Accidents 

Accident of two cars on a highwayDriving on the road can be nerve-racking.

Even when you try to drive safely, there are always careless drivers around you that won’t take the same precautions as you do.

Not only must you make sure that you are driving well, but you must also be aware of your surroundings so that other drivers don’t cause you to have a car accident. 

 

Safety Tips 

While driving, there are certain safety precautions to keep in mind. Always make sure that you: 

  • Know where your blind spots are 
  • Adjust your mirrors so that you have the best visibility possible 
  • Secure your seatbelt as soon as you sit down and ensure that your passengers are buckled up as well 
  • Look around at your surroundings before backing your car out 
  • Do not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol 
  • Do not drive while angry or emotional 
  • Avoid driving in poor weather 
  • Keep away from distractions such as your phone calls and text messages until you are parked 
  • Enable voice-controlled Bluetooth so that you do not have to use your mobile device

What To Do and Avoid If An Accident Occurs To You 

As soon as possible after a car accident, you should contact an attorney. The statute of limitations will begin running for you to file suit, so the sooner you call an attorney, the better the chance you will receive compensation. While this will clearly be a stressful time for you, you must make sure that you remain calm, proactive, and aware of your next choices. After calling and speaking with the police, your next step should be to contact legal help so that you do not hinder your claim. 

Things to remember for your possible suit to be successful is to be extremely careful about what you say to people, including on social media and to insurance companies.  

  1. Stay off social media: do not post anything on social media regarding your accident. This can possibly be misconstrued and/or used against you in your case. Insurance companies can easily find your profile and see what you have posted. Photos, medical concerns, and/or your injury status are all things that should be kept confidential between you and your attorney.  
  2. Do not talk about the accident: While you may want to update your friends and family about how you are doing, it is often best not to. You never know what they will repeat that could unintentionally hurt your case. Limit your updates as much as possible until your case is complete. 
  3. Do not give a recorded statement to an insurance company: After an accident, you are not obligated to talk to anyone about it. Insurance companies will likely try to contact you and ask for your statement, but you should refuse to do so without an attorney present. While it may not seem like a big deal, insurance companies will want to compensate you with the least amount of money possible to save money for their company. Additionally, you may not even know the extent of your injuries because you will not have had time to consult with a doctor or feel any symptoms.

Contact Us 

If you are involved in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact our experienced legal team at O’Brien Law Firm. We will be able to review what happened and advise you on what you should do next. Call us at (716) 907-7777 as soon as you can.  

What You Need to Know About Drug Impaired Driving 

Drug Impaired Driving

Everyone knows the dangers of drunk driving. Drug impaired driving, however, is on the rise.

In a 2013 -2014 survey done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly one in four drivers tested positive for one or more drugs.

These drugs could have an impact on safe driving skills. 

 

 

Marijuana and Its Impact on Driving 

Marijuana is second only to alcohol as the drug most often found in a driver’s system after a car crash.  Studies show marijuana can impact driving skills in the many ways, such as: 

  • Impaired psychomotor skills 
  • Difficulty with lane tracking 
  • Impaired cognitive functions 
  • Slowed response times as well as 
  • An inability to correctly judge time and distance. 

Research has shown drivers high on marijuana have an increase in unsafe driving conduct, such as: 

  • in lane weaving  
  • altered attention as well as 
  • poor reaction times.  

Coupled with alcohol use, unsafe driving conduct increased.  While more research is needed, several studies show that drivers with THC (the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana) in their systems are almost twice as likely to be at fault for fatal crashes than drivers who hadn’t used drugs or alcohol prior to the crash. 

Other Drugs and Their Impact on Driving 

Studies show both cocaine and methamphetamine can result in aggressive and reckless driving.  Ecstasy and amphetamines have also been shown to lead to erratic driving, reduced vision, and an increase in risk taking.  Certain sedatives, called benzodiazepines, or “Benzos” in street parlance, can cause dizziness and drowsiness.  Both over the counter and prescription pain relievers can slow response times.  They also affect a driver’s ability to do more than one thing at a time.   

In a 2010 study, 47 percent of drug impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes had a prescription drug in their system.  37 percent had used marijuana.  10 percent had cocaine in their system.  The study did not distinguish between those who had a valid prescription and those who were using prescription drugs illegally.  Even if one has a valid prescription, however, this does not give them a license to drive if they are impaired while taking the drug.   

As with marijuana, combining drugs with alcohol can lead to even greater impairment. This may lead to even more unsafe driving conduct.   

Drug Impaired Driving Hurts Families 

Drug impaired driving can result in injury or death to innocent people. At O’Brien & Ford, we have seen many people suffer the consequences of someone else’s choice to use drugs and get behind the wheel.  We work hard on our clients’ behalf.  In a drug impaired driving suit, we seek to recover lost wages and the costs of medical bills.  We also pursue claims for pain and suffering as a result of drug impaired driving crashes.  Call us to schedule your free consultation at (716) 907-7777..  We are happy to meet with you at a time that works for you.  If it is easier for you, we can come to your home to meet.  We pride ourselves in excellent customer service, as well as superior legal representation.  Contact us today.

The Special Dangers of Head-on Collisions

Two Car Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions are one type of car crash.  The term “head-on collision” refers to crashes where the point of impact is in the front of the car.  For two car head-on collisions, this refers to both cars’ impact point in the front of the vehicle.  Head-on collisions are more likely to occur on roads with narrow lanes, where there is high traffic volume, where there is no separation of lanes between the different directions of traffic, and on sharp curves.   Head-on collisions also commonly occur when one driver passes without providing enough room to get back into their own lane before completing the pass.

As one might imagine, the risk of death and severe injury, as well as property damage, increases as the speed of the vehicles increases.  People who don’t wear seat belts tend to sustain more injuries and more serious injuries than people who do wear seat belts.  Without a seat belt, the risk of ejection from the vehicle at the time of impact increases substantially.  Ejection can lead to greater injuries.  In 2015, head-on crashes were responsible for 10 % of all fatal crashes.

Single Car Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions can also occur in single car crashes, such as when a car veers off the roadway and hits a stop sign, traffic light, street light, guardrail, or a building.  As with two car head-on collisions, a single car head-on collision increases in severity as speed increases.  Single car head-on collisions frequently occur when a driver is distracted.  Additionally, falling asleep behind the wheel can lead to single car head-on collisions.

Reducing the Likelihood of Head-on Collisions

Studies show medians can reduce head-on collisions by up to 70 percent.  Obviously, drivers have no control over how roads are constructed.  However, if you happen to be on a road with more than one lane of traffic in a single direction, traveling in the right-hand lane reduces the likelihood of a head-on crash.  Additionally, if faced with the choice of hitting another car head on, or hitting a barrier on the side of the road, such as a guard rail or light pole, the stationary object is the safer choice.  This is because the stationary object does not have their own momentum contributing to the accident and subsequent injuries.  Finally, drivers are encouraged to scan the road ahead for hazards.

Common Accident Injuries in Head-on Collisions

Of course, there are any number of types of injuries one might sustain in a head-on crash.  However, due to the nature of the crash, some of the more common injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury;
  • Concussion;
  • Whiplash;
  • Neck and back trauma;
  • Lacerations;
  • Contusions;
  • Broken bones; as well as
  • Injuries to internal organs.

If You Have Been Injured in a Head-on Collision

If you have been injured in a head-on collision, you need an advocate on your side, fighting for your rights.  At the O’Brien Firm, our team is with you every step of the way.  From the first time you call, through settlement or verdict, we work with you and your family, making sure we understand your situation, your loss, and the best ways to compensate you for your injuries.  This way, you can focus on healing.  Contact us today for a free consultation at (716) 907.7777.

 

Winter Driving in Snow

Winter is here.  Like it or not, the next several months require driving in snow if we want to drive anywhere.  Whether this is your first winter driving in snow, or you are an old hat at winter driving, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on a few winter driving tips.

Tips for Driving in Snow

The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends the following:

  • When approaching a hill, get some forward movement going. While on the hill, do not stop if at all avoidable. 
  • Do not apply extra gas on a hill. Slow and steady will get you to the top.
  • Once at the top of a hill, reduce your speed.
  • Drive down hills as slowly as possible.
  • Understand the challenge of starting a vehicle from a full stop, rather than accelerating a car that is still moving. Don’t stop if you can avoid it safely.
  • Stop your vehicle by keeping the heel of your foot on the floor. Use the ball of your foot to brake.  Apply steady, firm pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Put eight to ten seconds between yourself and the car in front of you. This will provide you a longer distance for stopping.
  • Remember, nothing happens as quickly on snow covered roads. Plan on needing more time to stop, accelerate, and turn your car in snow.
  • Applying the gas slowly is best for avoiding skidding out.
  • Use your headlights to make your vehicle more visible.
  • Consider staying home. If you don’t need to go out, stay put.  Just because you are familiar with driving in snow doesn’t mean your fellow travelers are similarly skilled.

Areas of Additional Concern

There are certain portions of the roadways that may be more dangerous than others.  Be advised, for example, that bridge decks freeze first.  Even if the snow is melting elsewhere on the roadway, bridge decks should be approached with caution.  They may be icy.

Exit ramps and entrance ramps may be more icy than the main roadway.  Be aware of this when entering and exiting the freeways.

There is also vehicle specific information you should be aware of.  Sports Utility Vehicles, 4 x 4 vehicles, and trucks weigh more than other passenger vehicles.  This means they need more time and space to stop.  If you are driving one of these vehicles, give yourself more time.  If you are passing one of these vehicles, give them wide berth.  Avoid cutting in front of larger vehicles.

Plows require special attention.  Give them plenty of room.  Do not pass plows on the right.  Stay at least 200 feet behind plows.

Let someone know where you are going.  Provide them with your expected route.  Also, get the Buffalo, New York traffic and road conditions.

Stay Safe this Winter

As the winter season progresses, we at The O’Brien Firm wish you safe travels.  If you or a loved one does get hurt in a car crash, we are happy to come to you to discuss the facts in your case.  You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  At The O’Brien Firm, we have over 35 years of experience representing clients in car crash cases.  There is no cost to you unless we win your case.  Contact us at (716) 907-7777.

Winter Is Coming: How Drivers Can Prepare

The National Safety Council encourages drivers to plan ahead! Winter is coming whether we like it or not. Winter driving is different. In Buffalo in the winter time, blizzards can come out of nowhere. Icy conditions happen as often as not. While newer model cars have more and more safety features, there are still steps all drivers should take to minimize danger and maximize safety.

Create a Winter Safety Kit
Don’t wait for the first snow fall to create a winter safety kit for your car. As a starting point, make it a goal to always have a full or almost full tank of gas. Never let the gas tank get below half full in the winter time. Also, make sure your car has fresh antifreeze and plenty of wind shield fluid. Finally, take a moment to ensure your spare tire is properly inflated, you have a wheel wrench, and a working tripod jack.
Your emergency safety kit within your car should also include the following items:
• A shovel for digging out of snow;
• Jumper cables;
• A tow line;
• Bag of salt to melt snow;
•Kitty litter for increased tire traction;
• Blankets;
• Mittens;
• Hats;
• Warm socks;
• Boots, if the driver doesn’t wear boots in the car as a matter of course;
• Tool kit;
• Nonperishable foods like nuts, dried fruits, and granola bars;
• Flashlight, along with fresh batteries;
• Scissors and twine;
• Reflective triangles;
• Wood matches in a waterproof container;
• Flares;
• Ice scraper;
• First aid kit;
• Portable phone charger (make sure it is fully charged!);
• Snow brush; and
• Compass.

Give Your Car a Winter Weather Check
It is a good idea to have a qualified mechanic review your vehicle systems before winter arrives. They should check the ignition, brakes, spark plugs, hoses, and fan belts. They should also check wiring, the battery, the distributor, air filters, fuel filters, and emission filters. Finally, they should check the PCV valve, the battery, air pressure in the tires, tire wear patterns, and the antifreeze level. A few dollars of preventative maintenance can go a long way this winter when the temperature drops.

Before You Leave. . .
Any time the weather gets really cold, it’s natural to want to warm up the car before taking a trip. While warming up a car ahead of time is fine, never warm up the car in an enclosed area. Even if the garage door is open, it is not safe to leave a car running in an attached garage. Rather, let the car warm up out in the open, in the drive way or in front of the house.
When the weather appears dangerous or unpredictable, consider waiting out the storm. If that is not possible, make sure you inform a family member or friend of your planned route. Call them when you arrive safely. In the unlikely event your car goes off the road or is involved in a crash, knowing your route can shave valuable minutes off rescue efforts.
If you find yourself stranded in an unfamiliar area, the National Safety Council recommends you don’t leave your car. Instead, remove the flares from your winter tool kit and light them. Place the flares in front of and behind your car. Take a moment to make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t blocked by snow, garbage, mud, or other objects.

If You Get Hurt in a Crash
In winter driving, crashes are inevitable. While we hope you never need us, The O’Brien Firm is here for you if you do. If you have been hurt in a crash, we will come to you to meet with you and discuss your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Big Trucks and Blind Spots

Understanding the “No Zone”

The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) identifies large blind spots as one of several operating limitations of large trucks and buses, along with long stopping distances and making wide turns.  Big truck blind spots include 20 feet in front of the truck, 30 feet behind the truck, as well as blind spots to the right and the left of the vehicle.  As a simple rule of thumb, passing vehicles should presume they are in a truck driver’s blind spot unless they can see the truck driver’s face in the truck’s side mirror.

Safety Tips in Blind Spots

The FMCSA offers several suggestions for driving safely around large trucks and buses.

Be Aware of Your Position

Because truck driver blind spots are large, drivers are encouraged to stay out of “no zones” whenever possible.  Obviously, this isn’t always possible.  Drivers should bear blind spots in mind when passing a big truck, or merging next to a big truck.  Drivers should also watch for trucks turning, backing up, or changing lanes.

Passing Safely

When you pass a big truck, recall first the blind spot up to 30 feet behind the truck.  Make sure you are out of this blind zone.  Signal your turn before moving into the left lane.  Accelerate to pass the truck quickly and safely.  Do not linger in the blind spot on the side of the truck.  Make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror before you return to your own lane in front of the truck.

When a truck is passing your car, stay in the right lane and slow down slightly.  This gives the truck driver room to pass safely.  It also allows the driver to pass more quickly, getting you out of the blind spot faster.

Watch for Signals

Buses and trucks need more turning room.  Consequently, they may initiate turns from the middle lane, rather than the far right.  If a truck driver is signaling a turn, believe them, even if they don’t appear to you to be in a turning lane.  Never try to speed by a truck on the right when they are signaling a right – hand turn.  Recall, you are driving directly in a “no zone,” and the truck driver may not see you.  Similarly, when a truck comes onto the highway, merging from the right, bear in mind the driver’s extended blind spot.  If you can slow down, or change lanes further to the left, do so.

Big Truck Statistics

FMCSA offers some sobering facts about accidents with large trucks and buses.

  • 7 out of every 10 people killed in crashes with large trucks are occupants of other vehicles.
  • 30 % of all fatal crashes that occur in work zones involve one or more large trucks.
  • 61 % of all fatal crashes involving large trucks happen on rural roads.

If You Have Been Injured by a Big Truck or Tractor Trailer

If you are injured by a big truck, or if you have lost a loved one in a crash with a big truck, you may be entitled to compensation.  At The O’Brien Firm, we will come to you to discuss your case at no cost to you.  We only charge a fee if we recover for you.  Give us a call at 716-907-7777 today.

 

 

More Driving Accidents Happen In The Summer Months

Summer is here and along with the beautiful weather and sunny skies, there is also a greater risk of being in an automobile accident for drivers and their passengers on the road.

Many drivers think that they’re more likely to be in a driving accident during the winter months when it’s darker outside for more of the day, and when there’s bad weather conditions like snow and ice on the road.

Peak Months for Car Accidents

But according to data from car insurance companies as well as NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the peak months for car accidents from year to year are typically July, August, and September.

While drivers tend to be more alert when it’s darker outside or when there are inclement weather conditions, clear skies on a bright summer day can lull some drivers into a sense of safety and complacency that leads to distracted driving.

NHTSA also points to the higher number of holiday travelers in the summer months, and the markedly higher number of drivers impaired by alcohol, causing almost twice the number of traffic fatalities in the summer months than during the rest of the year combined.

Teen Drivers and Distracted Driving

Traffic researchers have also found that teen drivers spend 44 percent more time on the road during the week in the summer months than they do during the school year, so the most inexperienced drivers, who are the most prone to distracted driving accidents, will be out in greater numbers for longer periods of time over the next few weeks.

In fact, the stretch of calendar from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which is summer vacation for most students, is called “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers, and nine out of the ten deadliest days in the year for young drivers on U.S. highways are between May and August.

The Deadliest Day of the Year for Car Accidents

The #1 deadliest day of the year for automobile accidents on America’s roads is right in the middle of “The 100 Deadliest Days.” A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the Fourth of July holiday is the most dangerous time to drive all year, with more car accidents than New Year’s Eve, Saint Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, or Super Bowl Sunday.

Summer Roadway Hazards

Another reason for the increase in driving accidents during the summer months is the increase in equipment failure caused by the summer heat. Engines in older cars are more likely to overheat and worn tires are more likely to blowout, creating road hazards and increasing the chances of a car accident.

There are also more complicated and hazardous road conditions during the summer months, especially as roadway construction crews are at the peak of their activity all year, shutting down traffic lanes, increasing congestion, creating detours, and creating more chances for distracted driving to cause an accident.

Avoiding Automobile Accidents in The Summer Months

Rather than allowing the clear, sunny weather and the excitement of summer time lull you into a state of complacency and distraction, know that responsible, alert, defensive driving is more important now than at any time all year, and could save you from a damaged vehicle, a personal injury, even death in an automobile accident.

(Though you should make sure you are alert and drive responsibly every time you get behind the wheel, and know how to engage in the best driving practices referred to as “defensive driving” year-round.)

Best Practices While Driving

Never drive while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or medication, or if you are sleep deprived or in a state of extreme emotional distress. Leave your phone in your purse or pocket and keep your eyes on the road as you drive and each hand at the “ten” and “two” o’clock positions on the steering wheel.

Have a good awareness of the road around you, looking ahead to see what’s down the road, keeping your eye on what other drivers are doing in front of you, and to the left and right, and glancing occasionally at your rearview mirror to know what’s going on behind you.

What To Do If You Are in An Automobile Accident

Stay calm and remember safety first. Making sure you and everyone else is safe and unharmed, and calling 911 if anyone is injured should be your first priority.

Don’t take responsibility for the accident and don’t assign blame to the other driver either. Get their contact, vehicle, and insurance information, and take pictures of the accident. Document everything you can and look for any witnesses that might have seen what happened.

We highly recommend that before you make a statement to an insurance company, you call an experienced vehicle accident attorney to make sure your best interests are protected.

If you or a loved one has been in an automobile accident, contact The O’Brien Firm at (716)- 907-7777 if you have any questions about your rights.

The Effects of Distracted Driving Accidents

The task of driving is a privilege, not a right. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are controlling, potentially, a deadly weapon. Sadly, many drivers do not take this responsibility seriously. They use driving time to multitask, engaging in dangerous habits such as texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, personal grooming, and chatting with passengers. In 2014, 3,179 people died in distracted driving crashes around the United States. Learn how distraction kills to better understand how to prevent these accidents.

 

Visual and Manual Distractions

 

Distracted driving is any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. For example, reading or typing a text message distracts for an average of five seconds. Five seconds may not seem like a lot of time to take your eyes off the road, but it’s the same amount of time it takes a vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour to cross an entire football field. Reading a text is the equivalent of traversing a football field blindfolded. Cell phone use is often a double whammy – a visual and manual distraction. Teens and young adults are the most likely to be distracted, due to higher rates of cell phone use.

 

On the road, distraction vastly increases the chance of injury or death. Around 8 people are killed and over 1100 are injured in crashes from distracted driving everyday within the United States. Young people are four times more likely to be involved in these accidents – five times more likely if there are two or more passengers along for the ride.

 

How to Prevent Distracted Driving

 

The easiest way to prevent distracted driving accidents is to not participate in distracted behaviors. Put your phone away and on silent before you begin to drive, and don’t read or send text messages, even when stopped at a red light. Avoid other manual distractions, such as eating or applying makeup while operating your vehicle. Don’t fiddle with buttons on the car’s radio or GPS, and avoid participating in emotional discussions with passengers. Whenever you’re riding passenger, be aware of the driver’s actions and do your best to prevent them from driving while distracted. Educating friends and families on the dangers of distraction while on the road can help save your life as well as the lives of other drivers.

 

A distracted mind cannot safely operate a motor vehicle. If you or a loved one have been involved in a distraction-related car accident in New York, contact The O’Brien Firm at (716)- 907- 7777. Our staff will thoroughly investigate the details of the accident to determine if distracted driving was a factor, so you can be best represented.