November 2011 Archives

November 28, 2011

Lee County Trucking Accident Closes Interstate 85, Shows Danger of These Vehicles

A recent tractor-trailer accident in Lee County caused Interstate 85 to temporarily close, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Two southbound lanes and one northbound lane was closed when the tractor-trailer crashed in a work zone. It happened near mile marker 49.5.
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Troopers were forced to reroute traffic through Wire Road. Officials are asking motorists to be careful when driving through that area, according to Alabama Live. Construction zones have reduced speed limits for a reason. Speedy traffic is not safe through these areas and can cause serious accidents. It's also important to curb all distractions. Work zones require a driver's full attention to avoid an accident.

Our Montgomery truck accident attorneys recently discussed the dangers that motorists are facing on our roadways with the holiday traffic and with daylight saving time. Drivers are asked to be extremely cautious and to drive defensively throughout the remainder of the year. Typically, we see more fatal accidents during the last quarter of the year than during any other time. Many of these accidents can be avoided if drivers can change their driving skills to accommodate traffic and environment conditions.

Trucking accidents are some of the most dangerous traffic accidents on our roadways. These vehicles possess so much weight and power that they can destroy a passenger car in mere seconds. Drivers are asked to be careful when driving near semis. It's important to always be able to see the driver of the truck and to never linger on the roadway near it. Allow these trucks with plenty of room and to steer clear of their danger zones.

According to Alabama's 2008 traffic statistics:

-There were nearly 900 fatal traffic accidents that took the lives of more than 960 people.

-There was a traffic accident reported every 255 seconds.

-Someone was injured in a traffic accident every 15 minutes.

-Someone died in an accident every 9 hours.

A car accident can happened anywhere at any time. More than 70 percent of car accidents happen in the state's urban areas, which more than 65 percent of traffic-related fatalities happen in rural areas. Nearly 80 percent of all fatal accidents happen within a 25 mile radius of the victim's home. Nearly 50 percent of these accidents occur at night.

In Alabama, more than 70 percent of accidents involve one vehicle hitting another. When a truck is involved in these accidents, the results can be deadly. You're urged to drive cautiously around semis and tractor-trailers.

The top causes of car accidents in Alabama are:

-Failure to yield the right of way.

-Driver not in control.

-Misjudging stopping distance.

-Tailgating.

As the holiday season approaches, we can expect more vehicles on our roadways. During this time, traffic accidents increase significantly. The good news though is that they're preventable with responsible driving decisions and cautious navigation. Enjoy your holiday season, but do so safely.

Continue reading "Lee County Trucking Accident Closes Interstate 85, Shows Danger of These Vehicles" »

November 22, 2011

Car Accidents in Alabama over Thanksgiving A Top Concern

The Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend will be attracting drivers to roadways across the country and increasing risks of car accidents in Alabama and elsewhere. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 43 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles for their Thanksgiving Day destination, despite higher gas prices.

Only about 41 million Americans traveled last year, when gas prices averaged $2.88 a gallon. This year, prices sit at about $3.39 a gallon. We're expected to see a four percent increase in the number of travelers from the previous year.
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Other holiday periods throughout 2011 haven't been as active on our roadways. Many credit the economy for the minimal travel. Memorial Day travel remained about the same from the previous year while travel during Labor Day and Independence Day actually decreased. AAA believes that travelers initially stayed home to save money, but are brushing off their financial concerns for the Thanksgiving Day holiday and are hitting the roadways for a much needed vacation.

Our Montgomery car accident attorneys understand that the end of the year brings about a number of road trips and vacations for families across the country. This increase in travel brings increased risks of serious accidents on our roadways. Travelers are urged to venture out with a plan and with the proper tools to help ensure a safe trip. All drivers should have their car checked out before make a trip and should also carry the necessary equipment to deal with a driving problem, including a car problem, a navigation problem or an accident.

"Driving AAA's projected increase in the number of Thanksgiving travelers is pent-up demand from Americans who may have foregone holiday travel the last three years," said Bill Sutherland, vice president of AAA Travel Services.

Most travelers will be getting around in a motor vehicle over the holiday period. Air travel is expected to decrease, according to Air Transport Association of America, while AAA expects a 2 percent increase.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the Thanksgiving holiday kicks off on November 23rd at 6:00 p.m. and ends on November 27th at 11:59 p.m. The NSC estimates that more than 430 people will die on our roadways during this year's holiday period. It also estimates that about 43,400 people will be injured and will seek medical assistance during this time.

The average number of the deaths experienced over the last six years of the Thanksgiving Day holiday was more than 10 percent higher than the average for similar non-holiday periods.

NSC Fatality Estimates/Actual for recent Thanksgiving Day holidays:

-2004: 556/556

-2005: 610/605

-2006: 555/623

-2007: 564/542

-2008: 479/484

-2009: 447/401

The NSC urged drivers to slow down and buckle up. Seat belts can increase your odds of surviving an accident by 45 percent. Seats belt are expected to save at least 150 lives through the weekend.

Continue reading "Car Accidents in Alabama over Thanksgiving A Top Concern" »

November 15, 2011

Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents in Alabama Increase with Fall Time Change

Car-pedestrian accidents in Montgomery typically happen more frequently when it's dark outside. With the recent Daylight Saving Time adjustment, the sun sets earlier, increasing the chances for accidents after dark. Although only about 25 percent of travel happens during the nighttime, about 50 percent of fatal accidents occur during this time. Pedestrians are oftentimes overlooked after the sun sets.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges pedestrians and motorists to be safer on our roadways to avoid an accident. Drivers should alter their driving habits to compensate for the reduction in visibility. It is interesting to note that some drivers will focus on the windshield as it's the most visible object. It's important for drivers to consciously look passed the vehicle's windows to ensure alertness of your surroundings, including the dangers.

Our Montgomery pedestrian accident attorneys understand that even drivers with perfect vision experience difficulties seeing at night. There is less to see when the sun sets and our eyes have to work hard to focus on our surroundings. Drivers oftentimes have a misconception of dangers on our roadways at night because they're unable to see everything. By adjusting our driving habits, we can help to steer clear of any accidents.

The NHTSA reports that there were more than 4,000 pedestrians killed in the country in traffic-related accidents in 2009. Reports indicate that about a quarter of these fatalities occurred between 4 and 8 p.m. Another 13 percent occurred between 4 and 8 p.m.

The NHTSA is asking drivers to be cautious when navigating after dark. The low-light driving conditions can take some time to get used to. During this time everyone faces a greater risk for injury and death, especially pedestrians. Here are some safety tips to help drivers and pedestrians decrease their risks of an accident.

Nighttime safety tips for motorists:

-Slow down. During nighttime driving, motorists need more time to see a pedestrian. Reaction time is delayed because visibility is reduced. Slowing down will give you more time to react.

-Keep in mind that pedestrians can be wearing headphones. While wearing these, pedestrians are less likely to hear your vehicle approaching.

-You should always keep your windows and mirrors clean to enhance visibility. Keep your windshield wiper fluid full.

Nighttime safety tips for pedestrians:

-To help motorists see you along our roadways, you should always carry a flashlight or wear fluorescent tape on your clothing.

-You shouldn't depend on traffic lights and traffic signals. Motorists can be distracted or have total disregard for these devices. Walk defensively and alertly.

-You should never jaywalk. Cross streets only at street corners or at sidewalks.

-Allow pedestrians with the right-of-way to ensure they cross the street safely.

-You should always walk on a sidewalk when one is available. When there's no sidewalk, you should walk safely away from the roadway, facing traffic.

Continue reading "Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents in Alabama Increase with Fall Time Change" »

November 1, 2011

Loose Trailer Involved in Fatal Car Accident in Lauderdale County

A recent car accident in Alabama killed a man after his vehicle was hit by a trailer that broke loose from a utility vehicle. After being struck by the trailer, his vehicle was thrown off the road and into Cypress Creek, according to Times Daily.

The accident happened on Alabama 20 just after 4:00 p.m. The creek was between 12 and 15 feet deep.
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Andy High, the Lauderdale County Coroner, pronounced the 70-year-old passenger dead at the scene of the accident. The SUV that flew into the creek was driven by the man's son who was 34-years-old from Florence. The two were on their way to visit their mother/grandmother in the hospital; she was recovering from surgery.

Our Montgomery accident lawyers understand that the impact from the loose tractor-trailer was so powerful that it sent the SUV across lanes of oncoming traffic and then into the creek. Witnesses reported that the SUV sank into the water quickly.

According to accident reports, Sgt. Chris Ticer and officer Troy Gruley from the Florence Police Department both dove into the water after the 70-year-old man. Both were unable to rescue him. Members of the Florence Fire and Rescue Team and the Florence Police Dive Team also dove in after the victim, but had no luck.

The trailer was reportedly being pulled by a Toyota T-100. The driver of that truck was not injured.

The Florence Police Department's Crash Reduction Unit is investigating the accident.

The 70-year-old man is the 52nd individual to die in a car accident in the southern Tennessee counties of Lawrence and Wayne and in Northwest Alabama this year. This was also the second fatal accident experienced in this region during the month of October.

What to do if your vehicle goes into the water:

-Remove your seat belt once you've hit the water. Crashing into water is much like crashing into a brick wall, so it's important that you always wear your seat belt when driving. Don't unbuckle your seat belt before you've opened your window.

-Your car will not sink immediately once you hit the water. You'll typically have a minute or two. The first thing you need to do is open a window. If the water has already reached your window, wait for the water level to rise above the window so that pressure is stabilized. That way it'll be easier to open your window.

-If you can't roll down your window, break it open. Electric windows should work for a few minutes after hitting the water.

-Back-door windows don't always roll all the way down, so remember your back-seat passengers. They may have to climb up to the front seat to escape with you.

Continue reading "Loose Trailer Involved in Fatal Car Accident in Lauderdale County" »


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