August 2011 Archives

August 22, 2011

Back-to-School Brings Risk of Child Injury in Montgomery

"State troopers and local officers statewide will be watchful for any traffic violations in
the areas of school zones, bus stops and stopped school buses," said Public Safety Director Col. J. Christopher Murphy. "In every state, it is illegal to pass a school bus that has stopped to load or unload students. Motorists need to be observant of all the traffic laws that serve to protect our children's safety."
Kids are heading back to school and they're also heading towards increased risks of child injury in Montgomery. Every year, roughly 25 million students across the country jump on board the big, yellow buses to get to and from school, according to the National Safety Council. There are also many children injured and several killed in school bus accident every year. In 2005 alone, there were more than 130 people killed because of school bus-related traffic accidents. Another 11,000 were injured in these incidents.

Our Montgomery personal injury attorneys would like to ask that all motorists practice extra cautious driving habits as the school year begins -- school buses and young bicyclists and pedestrians will be commonplace. We ask for caution not only to avoid a motor-vehicle collision, but to avoid hitting a child entering, exiting or waiting for the bus. Of everyone that was injured in a school bus accident from 2000 to 2004, nearly 50 percent of injuries were sustained by school bus passengers, nearly 10 percent were by bus drivers and approximately 40 percent were occupants of other vehicles. The rest of the injuries were sustained by pedestrians, bicyclists and others.

The Alabama Department of Public Safety offers these safe driving tips for motorists to help keep our young bus riders safe:

-Keep an eye out for children when backing out of your driveway or when exiting your garage.

-Watch out for students who are walking or biking to the bus stop and to school.

-When driving through neighborhoods and through school zones, be sure to watch out for children as they may be more focused on getting to school instead of getting there safely.

-Keep an eye out for children who may be walking where there are no sidewalks.

-Watch for children who are gathering or playing near their bus stop.

-Be ready to stop at all times. Children may dart out into the street without checking for traffic first.

-Always stop when you are directed to do so by a school patrol sign, designated crossing guard or school patrol officer.

Laws in all 50 states make it illegal to drive pass a bus that is stopped and loading or unloading children.

It's important to talk to your little student about proper bus behavior. Talk to them about the importance of keeping quiet on the bus, keeping the bus aisles clear and never walking within 10 feet of the bus except when boarding.

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August 13, 2011

Flat Tire on I-85 Causes Five-Car Accident in Montgomery

According to the local authorities, a five-car accident in Montgomery on I-85 took the life of one and injured others. The accident blocked rush hour traffic for roughly 6 hours. Involved in the accident were three cars and two trucks.

The Montgomery Police Department says that the accident was caused by a pickup truck that swerved into the emergency lane after it blew a tire on the Interstate. Because of the quick swerve, an SUV and a flatbed truck collided and caused a domino effect of collisions.
The accident happened on the northbound lanes of the Interstate between Bell Road and Taylor Road just before 4:00 p.m. Police were forced to reroute traffic down Eastern Boulevard, to Atlanta Highway and back up to the Interstate using the Mitylene exit, according to Alabama Live.

Our Montgomery personal injury attorneys understand how dangerous interstate driving can be, especially in summer's heavy traffic and during rush hour. Motorists are urged to drive with extra caution on these busy roadways as small incidents, like a flat tire, can return catastrophic results if you're not practicing safe driving habits. Take a safe following distance: You may tailgate for years and get away with it -- or you may face this type of situation in front of the nose of your vehicle and having a little extra time could save your life.

"As traumatic as it was, the city did a good job diverting traffic and getting people around the scene. When you clog up the interstate like that, you really face some challenges," said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

During the accident, two of the tractor-trailers involved spilled lumber all over the Interstate.

"Everyone did an outstanding job [rerouting traffic and cleaning up], especially since it could not have happened at a worse time," said Christopher Murphy Director of Public Safety.

Here are some Interstate driving tips to help keep you safe during your summer travels:

-Entering the Interstate: Make sure you abide by ramp speed, which is usually 45 mph. Then gradually increase speed and you get near the Interstate roadway.

-Changing lanes: Make sure you use your blinkers. Check your vehicle's surroundings to make sure you lane maneuver will not obstruct anyone's driving path.

-Speed: You shouldn't exceed the speed limit. It's important not to go too slow either. Travel at a steady, and legal, pace with cars around you.

-Passing: Make sure to look all around before passing. Be sure that you can do so safely. One you've passed the vehicle, make sure to check to ensure that you've completely passed the vehicle before entering back into the lane. Try not to fly past the vehicles you're passing. Pass at a safe and steady speed.

-Exiting the Interstate: Get to the right-hand lane as soon as you know you're approaching your exit. Do not wait until the last minute. Once you've spotted your exit ramp, put on your turn signal, exit cautiously and begin to slow your speed.

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