Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Published on:

iStock_000003411145XSmall-200x300

Recently, I was a featured speaker at a National Business Institute educational program about auto injury litigation. This reminded me how important it is that drivers know what to do after an Atlanta auto accident. Some alarming statistics show why we should be concerned for highway and road safety. Georgia’s 2018 Labor Day reports indicate that twice as many lives were taken over this past Labor Day than in 2017. The Georgia Department of Public Safety maintains these statistics and has issued them to the public. Given the rise in serious auto accidents in and around our area, it is more important than ever that you know what to do and what not to do if you are involved in an accident.

Keep These Items in Your Vehicle

Most drivers know that they need to keep important documents in their vehicle in case of an accident or law enforcement stop. Registration and proof of insurance should always be at hand. If you don’t have a cell phone with a camera, put a disposable camera in your glove box. If you are involved in an accident are able to do so, take some photos of damage to your vehicle and that of the other driver or drivers. It is also helpful to take some photos of the scene. Only do this if it is safe to do so. Other items that are helpful to keep in your car or truck include a first aid kit, flashlight and flares in case you need to warn other drivers to use caution.

What to Do After an Accident

Accidents can be disorienting and sudden. You could have suffered injury after an auto crash and not know it. Once you are not in harm’s way, take a moment to collect yourself and remain calm. If you are able to get out of your vehicle safely, do so. If other vehicles are involved, check on the driver and passengers in case they need medical support. Call 911 for help if that is the case. They should also be checking on you. If your vehicle is operable, move your vehicle off the road to the shoulder if at all possible. Continue reading

Published on:

DSC00671-300x200We are experiencing extreme temperatures for our area. Governor Deal has issued a state of emergency for 28 Georgia counties until Friday. We are concerned that Atlanta and Georgia residents may not be used to these temperatures and also may not know some of the unseen dangers during periods of extreme cold. We want to make sure our readers know what to do in these freezings temps. There are several areas of danger. From heating your home to driving, to keeping your kids warm while waiting for the school bus … we have a few tips for readers and suggest that you review important winter safety tips from the American Red Cross.

Driving in cold weather. As many of you know, the temperatures are below freezing right now especially when the sun goes down. Some areas are expecting snow and many counties are under a state of emergency. Even if it has not rained or snowed recently, there can be ice on the roads. This can be very dangerous. If you have to drive, slow down and put your car into a low gear. DO NOT brake quickly and if you need to brake, apply it slowly. If you begin to slide, steer into the slide. Make sure to turn your steering wheel in the same direction as your rear wheels are sliding. So if you feel the slide to your right, turn your steering wheel to the right. This will help you straighten out your vehicle. Be particularly careful on overpasses and bridges which can ice up quickly.

Heating safety. If you use a space heater make sure the heater is not near anything that is flammable, such as a curtain. Keep your space heater three feet away from other objects. It is not safe to use your stove as a heater. This can lead to fire and can also result in a build up of carbon monoxide which can be deadly. If you are home bound and without heat and need support, call 911 for help. These temperatures are dangerously low. If you have a friend or relative who might need heat, check in with them.

Published on:

iStock_000000947969XSmall-201x300 Across the country and around Atlanta, we brace ourselves for the injury and crash statistics after holidays. The Georgia State Patrol reported 12 total fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend which traditionally begins on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and ends on the Monday after. Overall, there were nearly 300 accidents that caused injuries with an overall motor vehicle crash count at over 600. The good news is that fewer resulted in fatality than last year — from 20 last year, to 12 this year. Only one local fatal accident was reported statewide, which tragically occurred in Gwinnett County.

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that more people lost their lives on our roads and highways in 2016 than in 2015. Over 350 fatal alcohol related accidents occurred in Georgia last year. As we approach the end of 2017, we are mindful that the upcoming weeks are among the most dangerous for motor vehicle crashes. Although most states around the country increase enforcement over the holiday season, driving over the holidays can result in accident or injury. The increased enforcement is intended to save lives, by taking impaired or aggressive drivers off the roads before they cause tragedy or loss of life. This can save lives of course. But every holiday season we learn about tragic circumstances that involve drivers who are distracted or under the influence.

Those who have been arrested or convicted of driving under the influence have a greater likelihood of doing this again. The period between Christmas and New Year’s day is a time to be cautious about the potential that drivers around you have been drinking and may be impaired. On average, during this time frame about 300 fatalities have occurred in past years. Our federal and state agencies take the lead over this period to remind drivers of the dangers of impaired driving.

Published on:

Truck7

Get Ready for Safe Winter Driving

For those who prefer the warm months, transitioning to early sunset and cold, wet, rainy weather is not the most welcome change. But as Atlanta residents know, eventually winter will be here and before it arrives in earnest, we should prepare. Putting the cover on the grill and closing up the pool, with our memories of spring and summer, we look to winter and holidays to keep our spirits lifted until the sun returns. As the weather cools and heavy winter rains, ice and wind arrive, there are risks for Atlanta motor vehicle accidents and injury. Now is the time to prepare and to get our vehicles ready for winter-weather driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an excellent resource for winter driving preparation. NHTSA’s recommendations are very helpful and could keep you and your family protected and out of harm’s way this winter. One of their top suggestions is to get your car or cars serviced. When the weather is cold and your vehicle breaks down, you and your family could end up waiting on the roadside for help. Getting your vehicle checked out thoroughly could avoid this potentially dangerous situation.

Continue reading

Published on:

car-harmed-300x199We recently posted a series about several motor vehicle technologies that are now, and will be in the future, helping to avoid accidents. These technologies provide information to drivers about potential dangers and can even control the vehicle to avoid a crash and injury. Some technologies are being developed based on the data that has been collected over the past decade about why car and truck crashes happen in the first place. There are varied circumstances that can be involved in a vehicle crash, and particularly a multiple vehicle crash. While we wait for these technologies to become more standard in our vehicles, we hope readers will be mindful of the things they can do to help avoid accidents.

The federal government has engaged in several studies to determine what happens just before a collision and to identify the critical reasons for motor vehicle collisions. In a large National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS) which took place over a two-year period, data was collected about factors leading up to collisions. The study looked at what the experts called the “critical reason” or the last link in the chain that results in a crash. The study was not assigning fault, but rather looking at the final snapshot before an accident. Many factors can lead to an accident and the “critical reason” is not the same as who is at fault for the event. Literally millions of incidents were studied and experts found that the critical reason or the final piece of the “crash causal chain” turned out to be what the driver did or did not do in response to the situation.

Continue reading

Published on:

6d15d15970fbc3199681f82df666c287-300x169

In our last post, we shared innovations involving braking systems and how those systems can help avoid crashes. In this post we continue with tech innovations for motor vehicles with support systems that can help avoid rear-end and side-collisions. In most of these systems, the driver must still maintain control of the vehicle, but can get some assistance when a crash is imminent.

Our federal agencies, including the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and vehicle manufacturers continue to be at the forefront of promoting technologies that will work to protect us while driving. From vehicle to vehicle communications to advance braking systems, these vehicle crash technologies are, and will continue to be, a part of our driving experience as technology integrates into our vehicles. This could not only lower the number of accidents we see every day, but help to save lives and avoid injuries. A few technologies are being tested now that are of great interest and provide promise for the future of motoring safety. From braking systems to video systems, we share some of the technologies that will be integrated into our cars and trucks now and in the future.

Forward Collision Systems, Lane Departure and Blind Spot Guides

Most drivers have experienced cars and trucks that follow too closely behind them. But what if drivers can be warned they are tailgating, a reminder that they are too close to the vehicle in front of them. This is how forward collision systems can help. Although the driver must maintain control of the vehicle, these systems can let the driver know that their speed is too high, they are too close to another car or truck in front or that a crash is about to happen. The driver still must do something to avoid the accident from happening. But both audible and video warnings could help.

Continue reading

Published on:

6d15d15970fbc3199681f82df666c287-300x169

Tech Aids in Crash Avoidance 

Georgia drivers, get ready for big innovations in cars and trucks. Highway accidents are an everyday occurrence. We know that the vast majority of accidents, and the injuries that can result, are caused by driver choices or driver mistakes. In fact, statistics show that almost 95 percent of all accidents are caused by these human factors. So one of the big ways to avoid accidents is taking the human error out of the equation and letting technology help. Some of these technologies are a by-product of the driverless car research and others have been around for some time. In this two-part series, we will bring our readers some of the latest innovations that are available now and in the future.

New Braking Systems Anticipate Collisions

First up are braking systems that anticipate what is in front of the driver. These systems provide warnings to the driver that an accident is imminent. If the driver doesn’t brake sufficiently, the braking system will apply the brakes to avoid the accident. Some cars already having city braking systems that will stop a car before it hits another in front of it. This system warns the driver and then takes evasive action if there is no response or an inadequate response. The experts say these systems are still being made smarter and the technology will continue to develop. But one thing is fairly certain, eventually all vehicles will have some sort of warning braking system that is intended to avoid collision.

Continue reading

Published on:

iStock_000017099921XSmall-300x199Here in Atlanta we have had our share of big traffic news. The I-85 overpass bridge collapse this past March brought our city into the national headlines, but also brought it to a slower pace. Drivers maneuvered around the collapse using detours. The cooperation of drivers and efforts by the Georgia Department of Transportation led to the recent reopening of this part of I-85 in time for the Memorial Day holiday. At the recent ribbon cutting ceremony, Governor Deal and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and others celebrated the opening of the 700-foot section of our highway that caused so much disruption in Atlanta. The rebuild included the removal of millions of pounds of debris, The rebuild took an impressive 54,000 hours of human construction time.

Amidst “I survived” parties, we are all grateful to have this portion of Interstate 85 open to traffic. Weather cooperated as the rebuilding process went forward. Patience has its virtues and Atlantans pulled together to get through this big inconvenience. Safety in the rebuilding process was top of mind for the contractor in charge of the project. Many safety inspections later, we are all relieved that the collapse is now part of Atlanta history.

Continue reading

Published on:

iStock_000017099921XSmallAs the holiday season approaches, we want to focus on two important things: your family’s safety and the kindness in our country and how these sometimes merge together when we least expect it. Rather than focusing on our divides, we want to focus on what makes us great as a nation — our community spirit. We work very hard to bring information to our readers about vehicle safety and staying safe on our roads. We have written recently that some of the news is not good — our fatality rates are on the rise in America. When accidents do happen and injury occurs, we find ways to cope. One of those ways is to focus on the good things that happen every day in America and how we help one another.

One recent story has not only warmed our hearts, but is a testament to the kindness of our first responders. In Hall County, Georgia earlier this week, a story emerged about firefighters who calmed the fear of a child by singing to her. The story which first appeared on MyAtlantaMomsClub.com is now going viral. Earlier this month, a mom lost control of her car. After her vehicle struck a tree, her hand was severely injured and she was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Her autistic daughter was frightened and crying. Her daughter is not able to speak. The injured mom asked the firefighters to sing the children’s song Wheels on the Bus to her daughter. They did, for the entire 20 minutes on the way to the hospital. The mom said as long as they were singing and her child was not crying, she knew that her daughter would be ok. Stories like this of kindness and caring are important. They remind us that we need one another and at times of crisis, we often find the kindness we need in unexpected places.

Continue reading

Published on:

6d15d15970fbc3199681f82df666c287The federal government is preparing. Georgia Tech is preparing. When will Georgia and Atlanta see driverless cars on our roads and highways? The headlines are consistent: driverless cars seem to be inevitable. In our last post, we updated our readers on the guidelines published in September 2016 by the federal government on research areas and safety issues with driverless vehicles. Right here in Georgia, our renown Georgia Tech, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is hard at work looking at what appears to inevitable — cars and trucks driving themselves. In other words, get ready Georgians, we may one day be sharing the road with robots … also known as autonomous cars and trucks.

The researchers at Georgia Tech are looking at the way our future roads will look. Despite the claims that driverless vehicles will make our roads safer, researchers are looking at many potentially problematic aspects of their widespread use. For example, the researchers are looking into whether autonomous vehicles could actually cause more traffic nightmares by disrupting traffic flow that could lead to surface-street bottlenecks. While research currently underway and while we believe a world with driverless vehicles as the norm is a while off, the first driverless truck delivered beer in Colorado this week. Yes, that’s right, a driverless truck delivering beer. Continue reading