July 2011 Archives

July 28, 2011

July and August typically the Deadliest Months for Alabama Car Accidents

SafeMotorists.com reports July and August are two of the three deadliest months of the year to drive on American roadways.

Many families are preparing for a final summer get away in August before school starts up, which causes roadways to be more congested and increases the odds of being involved in a car accident in Alabama or elsewhere in the country.
Our Alabama car accident lawyers know that families want to spend a little quality time before the kids head back to school; motorists should expect to see more vehicles and use caution when it is needed.

Not only are drivers likely to become distracted this time of year but you may notice a few who have partied too much at a summer barbeque or otherwise made the decision to drive after having too much to drink. If you are hit by a distracted or drunk driver, contact an experienced car accident attorney to make sure your rights are fully protected and you are provided the resources necessary to seek a complete recovery.

Al.com reports that traffic fatalities in the first quarter of this year were up compared to last year during the same period according to the Alabama Department of Public Safety (ADPS). Officials report a total of 137 fatalities this year through March compared to 129 deaths from January through March, 2010. According to the Department of Public Safety, there were a total of 774 fatal wrecks in 2009, claiming the lives of 848 motorists. Another 35,000 were seriously injured. Almost two-thirds of the fatal wrecks were in rural areas.

A traffic safety study in Indiana reported by Pharos-Tribune indicated that July and August are the deadliest months to drive. Not only were motorists' fatalities high during these months but the risks for motorcycle accident peaked. Nationwide, states (including Alabama) report similar trends.

Safemotorist.com reports that Fourth of July weekend is typically one of the deadliest weekends of the year, most likely due to the high volume of traffic and the number of motorists who drive under the influence. However, when listing the 10 deadliest days, 7 out of 10 were in July and August. These dates include July 2, 3, 4 and August 3, 4, 6 and 12. Saturday and Friday have proven to be the most fatal days of the week in terms of motor vehicle crashes in recent past and the deadliest times to drive during the day are 3:00 - 6:00p.m. and 6:00-9:00p.m.

ADPS's plan to countermeasure traffic fatalities in our state is to incorporate more driver license checkpoints and patrol more in areas with high crash rates; motorists are warned to always have their license, registration and proof of insurance card with them when they are driving in order to avoid penalty. Always remember safe and defensive drivers keep families safe and should always be a priority when you get behind the wheel.

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July 20, 2011

Summer Driving Hazards Increase Chances of Car Accidents in Alabama

Warmer temperatures during the summer months create many risk factors that Alabama motorists need to be aware of in order to reduce the number of car accidents in Montgomery and elsewhere.

One thing most motorists probably don't think to do is check their tires for wear and proper inflation. But a consumer advisory from the U.S. Department of Transportation is alerting motorists to do just that. From 2005 to 2009, there were roughly 116,000 people injured and almost 3,400 more killed in tire-related crashes in the U.S.
"While its true improperly maintained tires can contribute to a crash at any time of year, it is particularly critical for motorists to check tires during hot weather, when families and luggage often overload vehicles for long vacation trips," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned. "Underinflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for extended periods of time can be a recipe for disaster."

Before you head out on your next road trip, make sure you check your tire treads and test your air pressure for proper inflation. Older tires can't handle the stress that heat creates, which can lead to a highway blow out and loss of vehicle control.

Safercar.gov offers an array of information on tire safety. Some recommendations include purchasing an accurate tire pressure gauge to keep with you in the vehicle, not overloading your vehicle on long road trips and checking your owner's manual for proper inflation amounts for your vehicle.

For more information about tire safety, visit Rubber Manufacturers Association online at betiresmart.org.

An article in Reader's Digest points out several other summer driving hazards that motorists should be aware of. In order to avoid costly property damage or severe injury sustained in an accident, keep the following summer dangers in mind while you hit the roadway:

-Small critters like groundhogs, opossum, or skunks in addition to large wild animals like deer, mountain lions or black bears can run onto the roadway without warning. Though larger animals are easier to detect, it doesn't make them any less dangerous or easy to avoid when traveling at normal speeds. Motorists should look for animal crossing signs and know the area in which they are driving to avoid hitting wild animals.

-Planning travel around inclement weather isn't always possible so be alert for dangers of hydroplaning or poor vision, which can lead to a loss of control of your vehicle. Motorists are advised to keep all windows and mirrors clean, check to make sure lights and turn signals are working efficiently and always use your headlights when severe weather strikes.

-Symptoms of fatigue or drowsiness are often associated with warm weather. Ten percent of drivers admit to having dozed off behind the wheel within the past year. Before long road trips, make sure your air conditioning is working in your vehicle and you are well rested before you leave. It is also recommended to share the driving with another passenger or take lots of rest breaks throughout the trip.

-Bicyclists and motorcycle riders hit the roads in force in summer; motorists are advised to be watchful for two-wheeled vehicles because they are often difficult to see.

-Speeding is never a good idea no matter what time of year, yet many motorists think when the weather is pleasant they can make up for lost time by driving fast. Speeding is a leading contributor in motor vehicle accidents and is a factor in roughly 30 percent of fatal crashes.

Motorists, who control their speed, and those who stay alert for animals, poor weather conditions, bicyclist or motorcycles, will improve their odds of arriving at their destination safely.

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