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Norwich Personal Injury Law Blog

The dangers of driving a vehicle that needs to be repaired

Motor vehicle accidents have a myriad of causes, whether they are the result of a driver’s mistake or negligence (speeding, drinking and driving, and so on) or are caused by the environment (snow or ice on the road, etc.). However, vehicle-related problems also account for many of the traffic accidents that occur. For example, something may go wrong with a vehicle’s tires, brakes, or another crucial part of the vehicle, which can cause a crash. When a driver loses control of the vehicle due to one of these problems, they pose a threat to themselves and everyone else on the road.

The sight of a vehicle careering out of control after the brakes gave out must be terrifying for anyone in the vehicle’s path. Sadly, people operate vehicles that are in dire need of repair for a number of reasons. In some cases, a driver may be facing financial problems and unable to afford the cost of repair. However, driving a dangerous vehicle can result in even greater financial hardships and should always be avoided. Other times, drivers may not even be aware that something is wrong with their car or they may be too busy with work and other responsibilities to have it checked out promptly.

Pedestrian accidents and outdoor maintenance

There are many ways in which pedestrians are struck by vehicles, whether someone is trying to walk to work in the morning or they are hit by a truck while trying to cross the road. Sometimes, people are even hurt while walking on their own property or in front of their house. In the spring months, many people spend time in their yard due to outdoor maintenance, which may include lawn care, gardening, trimming trees, and other tasks. Unfortunately, these activities can be dangerous, especially if they are working near the road and there is a lot of traffic in front of the house.

There are a number of reasons why a pedestrian accident may be even more likely with regard to outdoor maintenance. For example, someone who is working may not be able to hear a car coming due to the loud sounds that emanate from equipment they are using, such as a mower or a weed whip. Moreover, some people wear headphones while working, which can also interfere with their ability to hear traffic. To add to these risks, some people become exhausted while working in the yard during a hot afternoon, which can further increase the chances of something going wrong.

Social media, before and after a car accident

There is a plethora of issues to consider with respect to motor vehicle collisions and many have been covered on this blog. From intoxicated driving to distractions that interfere with a person’s ability to drive safe, collisions take place for countless reasons. It is important to keep in mind that in the digital age, social media is intertwined with traffic accidents in different ways. On the one hand, social media can actually cause a traffic accident, while the way in which a person uses social media following a collision could have an impact on their case if they decide to go to court.

For starters, social media use can lead to distracted driving, which is especially prevalent and responsible for many of the fatal accidents that happen. It is very dangerous when a driver is live streaming, capturing video to share online, uploading a photo, or posting a message while they are behind the wheel. Regrettably, many drivers ignore the risks associated with smartphone and social media use while driving, putting lives in danger.

What can be done to decrease distracted driving?

Distracted driving has been a major cause of car accidents in Connecticut and across the country, and it does not seem to be getting better. To help decrease the number of these crashes, individuals, law enforcement and government agencies are taking steps to increase awareness and pass laws to make the roads safer for all drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teenagers are involved in the majority of fatal crashes involving distracted driving. Distraction can be seen in a number of forms including:

  • Playing with the radio
  • Drinking and eating
  • Interacting with passengers
  • Fiddling with navigation system
  • Looking for something in the back seat
  • Talking or texting on the phone

How do I pursue a medical malpractice claim?

Patients in Connecticut who have been injured by a medical procedure may feel like it was a result of negligence by the health care team. Before filing a claim, the patient should first determine if it is really a medical malpractice issue or not. If so, there are certain steps that should be followed in order to get the best outcome.

According to Forbes, just because someone experiences a bad outcome does not necessarily mean negligence is to blame. Negligence occurs when the health care professional strays from the normal standard of care, which is what other providers would have done when faced with the same situation. If negligence is determined, the claimant should take care when taking the next steps, as prosecuting these types of cases can be lengthy and expensive, and many of them are unsuccessful.

Why is a trucking log important?

The trucking industry in Connecticut and throughout the country is very important to the economy. Because of this, some truckers are expected to drive long hours. This, combined with the fact trucks take a longer time to stop and are large, heavy vehicles, can pose a hazard to other drivers on the roads. To help manage the hours truckers drive and keep things safe, federal requirements state truckers need to keep a log book to track their hours.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the hours of service regulations apply to those who operate a truck that is involved in interstate business. The type of vehicle can be any of the following:

  • Carries nine or more customers for payment
  • Carries 16 or more passengers not for payment
  • Weighs at least 10,001 pounds
  • Carries hazardous materials which require placards 

How can you prevent accidents with large trucks?

As summer approaches, there will be more drivers out on the road in Connecticut. Automobile drivers will be sharing the road with a variety of large trucks, and this can lead to more accidents on the road. Crashes involving trucks are typically more devastating because of their size, and car occupants often suffer serious injuries and even death. To help prevent these collisions, there are things both truck and car drivers can do to stay safe.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that even well-trained truck operators have moments in which they conduct themselves in unsafe manners. A common mistake is driving too fast in poor road conditions and in inclement weather. Other risk factors include:

  • Unexpected distractions
  • Fatigue or daydreaming
  • Failure to look at their surroundings

Car accidents and employer-owned vehicles

An employee in Connecticut who gets into an accident driving his or her employer's vehicle may wonder who is liable for damages. While most employers should have a certain amount of insurance to cover employee-related accidents, there are certain instances in which the employer is found not to be responsible and the employee will have to use his or her own insurance.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, business owners who have vehicles that are used for company-related business should make sure they have the right type of insurance coverage. Some owners may think their Business Owners Policy covers motor vehicles, but this is not the case and separate car insurance needs to be purchased. The minimum requirements in most states include liability coverage for both property and bodily damages. Owners may also choose to add physical damage, uninsured motorist and medical coverage to have a more comprehensive policy.

Are two-lane roads especially dangerous at night?

When it comes to motor vehicle collisions, so many factors should be taken into consideration when assessing the likelihood of an accident. Certain behaviors can increase the chances of a wreck, such as irresponsible driving and fatigue, as well as environmental factors (snow and heavy rain). That said, there are certain types of roads that may be more dangerous to drive on and times of day where the likelihood of a serious collision is higher as well. For example, it might be helpful to review data on two-lane road accidents that take place during the night, especially if you find yourself driving on these roads frequently.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, there are various reasons why nighttime driving on two-lane roads can be especially dangerous. For example, nighttime glare caused by headlights can be particularly risky on a two-lane road that is not lit very well, interfering with driver visibility. Moreover, the layout of two-lane roads is often more complex (steep grades and abrupt turns), which can be very problematic during the night. Furthermore, it can be more difficult to see pedestrians or bicyclists on roads which are not well-lit.

Anesthesia errors and proposed solutions

Patients in Connecticut who have an upcoming surgery should be aware of the potential dangers related to anesthesia. Due to the high-stress environment, there tends to be more errors in the operative setting, so meeting with the anesthesiologist beforehand can help reduce the chances of mistakes that can ultimately lead to serious consequences.

The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists reports on a study of 277 operations involving medication administrations. The findings concluded that 1 in 20 included a medication error or adverse drug event. While none of the reactions resulted in death, the effects were serious with some being life-threatening. The most common error was found to be inappropriate medication doses, followed closely by failure to act/omitted medications, and almost 80% of the errors were found to be preventable. Some causes of these errors included incorrect labeling, documentation inaccuracies, wrong medication and wrong timing. 

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