The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recently released data on traffic fatalities brought some good news. Fatal crashes last year reached an all-time low since record-keeping of such accidents began in 1949. The decline was nearly countrywide, with all but a few states reporting improved safety numbers. Illinois was among the states showing improvements, with fatalities decreasing 26% since 2006 on state roadways. However, just as safety officials were heralding the good news, some surprising news emerged. Despite the long trend of incredible improvements, initial figures on the first quarter of 2012 showed traffic fatalities had increasing dramatically.
Each year in the United States there are approximately 5 million police-reported motor vehicle accidents. At this high rate, odds are good you will personally be involved in a car accident at some point in your lifetime. Many of us, thankfully, never experience more than mild fender benders or parking lot scrapes. However, around half of these reported accidents involve some sort of injury. In other words, over two million people a year are injured in the U.S. as a result of a motor vehicle crash. If you are a driver, you likely understand your rights regarding insurance and coverage. But what about passengers? A passenger rarely has any culpability when a crash occurs, putting them in the unique position of being a victim regardless of whether the car they were in or another’s caused the accident. If you are injured in a crash, therefore, it’s helpful to know what compensation you may be eligible to pursue for your injury and damages.
If there is one thing as common as the use of cell phones, it’s concerns about the safety of cell phones. We worry about the safety of our information on cell phones -- as they may get “smarter”, so do their hackers. Scientists even disagree about their effect on our health – maybe they cause cancer, maybe they don’t. But one thing we know for sure: cell phone use does and has led to an increase in traffic accidents and fatalities. This is why more and more states have enacted laws regarding cell use while operating a vehicle. Today, most are aware not only of the physical risks, but that we risk tickets, fines, and even jail time. There is little doubt that such a driver can also be held liable for any damages and injuries they cause. But in a recent surprising lawsuit, the question was raised, “Can the person on the other end of the line be held equally liable?”
Ice and snow are major contributors to auto accidents. Whether you are a seasoned driver or are just learning to drive in hazardous weather you should always use extreme caution when traveling in a winter wonderland. Some drivers do not take extra precaution when driving in hazardous conditions, are reckless, and could cause an accident. If you have suffered physical or emotional harm because of someone else’s negligent or reckless actions including reckless driving, you are entitled to file a claim against the party at fault. Here are some tips to help you avoid an accident in the winter months and when to contact a personal injury lawyer in the event of an automobile accident.