Traffic lights are placed at intersections for a specific purpose – to control traffic and make the roads a bit safer. While traffic lights are clearly visible to drivers, there continue to be drivers who run a red light for a variety of reasons. Some drivers misjudge the timing of a yellow light, while others are just in a hurry to get from Point A to Point B. Some drivers are distracted by their phones. Whatever the reason, running a red light can have terrible consequences including but not limited to the death of innocent victims who were at the wrong time and wrong place.
One of these consequences could be getting pulled over by a police officer. However, the more serious and troubling danger is that running a red light could result in a car accident. Over 200,000 of the almost 6 million car accidents that occur in the United States each year are the result of rushed red lights; more than 800 of these accidents are fatal. Worse yet, the number of deaths caused by collisions due to red traffic lights in the United States have increased almost 30% since 2012. Researchers at the American Automobile Association found a 60% increase over a ten-year period in these kinds of accidents in Nevada. Given this substantial increase in the number of accidents, what are some actions one might take to keep from running a red light?
The first, and most important, step a driver can take is simply to pay attention while at the wheel. Mistakes often come while drivers are distracted, so putting the phone down and focusing on the road will significantly reduce the risk of accidentally running a red light. Of course, not all red light runs are accidental. Some drivers will intentionally rush through when to save some time. Those people just need to make a conscious effort to break their bad habit, because, if not, there is always the risk that they might harm themselves or others.
In Georgia and other states, there is a daily weekday routine that all drivers should be well aware of – children crossing the street prior to loading a school bus OR after unloading from a school bus. Most buses are a bright yellow color with stop signal arms and flashing lights. Despite the obvious visual presence of a school bus, school bus zones, street signage, and traffic signals, there are still pedestrian accidents and school bus accidents that cause serious injuries to children. Tragically, some children die as a result of these incidents.
A recent accident in Georgia demonstrates the unfortunate reality of these tragedies. News reports indicate that one child died and another child sustained serious injuries when a car hit them as they crossed a road to board their school bus. It was reported that the car hit the two brothers because the driver attempted to pass their idling school bus even though the school bus had its stop signs out. It was reported that the driver had a suspended license.
Unfortunately, incidents of this nature occur all too frequently. According to statistics released by Stanford Children’s Hospital, twenty-four percent of all school bus injuries occur when students enter or exit a school bus. Additionally, the ten-foot radius around a school bus constitutes a “danger zone.” In the danger zone, children are two times more likely to die than they are likely to die in a traffic accident on the school bus. Thus, it is more dangerous for a child to be near a school bus than it is for them to ride a school bus. See Stanford Children’s Hospital – How Safe Is School Bus Travel.
In New York and other states, people wisely hire limousine and bus companies for parties, events, and celebrations. Rather than drink and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle, the safer way to travel is to have a professional, trained driver handle the transportation. However, at times, commercial drivers fail to pay attention to road conditions, traffic, traffic signals, and /or signage and end up being responsible and liable for a crash that injures and, in some instances, kills passengers. It is important for all drivers to remain alert, keep distractions to a minimum, and concentrate on the legal duties and responsibilities of operating a motor vehicle, van, bus, limousine, or other vehicle transporting passengers.
Nonetheless, even professional drivers get into accidents.
The recent tragedy in Schoharie, New York exemplifies this. It was reported that twenty people died when a limousine driver ran a stop sign and crashed into a parked car. All eighteen people in the limousine died, including the driver, as well as two pedestrians. This crash, dubbed the deadliest transportation accident in almost a decade, demonstrates just one of the many accidents involving commercial drivers in the past year.
By David A. Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer Blog
In Michigan and other states, semi-tractor trailers and commercial vehicles are commonly seen on the roads, streets, highways, and interstates. Because of the size, weight, and power of these vehicles, it is vital that truck drivers are alert and attentive to their driving responsibilities. Unfortunately, just one inattentive moment on the part of a commercial truck driver can cause a significant impact to the driver and passengers of other vehicles and a lifetime of injuries for the innocent victims of the crash. While it seems quite basic, many such crashes can be avoided if the truck driver maintains a safe speed, maintains a safe distance from other vehicles, and otherwise avoids distractions in the form of eating, drinking, mobile phone usage, texting, and other activities that take away from the primary job at hand – namely the driving of a commercial vehicle.
In a recent news story out of Oceana County, Michigan, it was reported that a four year old child suffered serious, lifelong injuries after a truck driver rear-ended the family’s car which had five people in it at the time. The driver was originally charged with felony reckless driving, but at the district court level the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor. If the driver is convicted or accepts a plea deal, the crime is punishable by up to 93 days in jail. The truck driver will be entitled to the services of a public defender or a private criminal defense attorney. Like other criminal cases, there are procedures and processes to go through and a criminal Defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog
In Tennessee and other States, parents rely upon bus transporation for their children during the school year. Most bus rides to and from school are quite uneventful which is a good thing. There are days in which a school bus accident results in serious personal injury and even death to innocent children riding a school bus. From a legal standpoint, a school bus accident case can be quite complex. If a public or government entity is involved, there can be procedures to go through and caps or limits on the amount of damages that can be recovered. In addition, a school bus crash often involves multiple victims and families who may be arguably competing for a limited pool of money or insurance. It was recently reported that there was a deadly school bus accident in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In multiple media outlets, the crash involved a single school bus that turned over on its side after hitting a tree. There were 35 students on the bus with 23 individuals transported to the hospital for medical care. Tragically, initial reports indicated that there were 6 fatalities / deaths resulting from this school bus crash. Due to the nature of the crash, serious personal injuries, and deaths, local and state police officials will conduct a detailed investigation to determine the cause, manner, mechanism, and preventability of this Tennessee school bus crash.
In the State of Tennessee and other states, government entities are protected some extent from lawsuits and personal injury claims. The manner in which a government entity can be sued is typically proscribed by statute. In Tennessee, a claim or case can be pursued against a government entity for the negligent driving of an employee, official, or agent of the government. While a claim or case can be pursued, there are caps or limits to recovery in Tennessee. An individual or surviving family member can recover up to $300,000 incident; however, there is an aggregate cap of $700,000 per incident. As such, the amount that a government entity can be held liable for in a school bus crash in Tennessee can be quite limited if there are more than a couple of claims. Certainly, the financial recovery in a wrongful death case against a private entity or individual can easily exceed the $300,000 as provided in Tennessee law.
By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog
In Texas and other states, commercial trucks and semi-tractor trailers are common on the streets, roads, and expressways. Due to the size of these trucks, it is important that the truck driver take all proper and necessary safety precautions for the safety of other drivers and passengers who will travel on and through the same streets, roads, and expressways. One measure that should be taken is to inspect the vehicle before departure to make sure that the height and width of the truck can safety travel under and through all bridges and overpasses. For instance, if the truck is equipped with a boom or crane, it is vital that the boom or crane is lowered and otherwise secured that the truck is safe for travel through all roadways on the intended itinerary. If there are any objects that are too tall or wide for safe travel, there can be disastrous consequences, accidents, crashes, personal injuries, and wrongful deaths.
By David Wolf, Attorney and Samantha Vloedman, Law Clerk
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog
In Tennessee and other States, children are at risk for serious injuries and even death anytime that they cross a street or are playing near a street. Some children even get hit by a vehicle in a driveway or parking lot.