June 2012 Archives

June 30, 2012

Montgomery Personal Injury Attorneys Wish You Happy Fourth of July!

Our Montgomery injury attorneys wish you a safe and enjoyable Independence Day.

The risk for Alabama traffic accidents will remain high all week. The Birmingham News reported record numbers of travelers are expected to hit the road through the upcoming weekend. In fact, with Fourth of July falling in the middle of the week, the rush has already started -- significant numbers are expected to hit the roads over the weekend and through the first part of the week. 1375076_fireworks.jpg

The long holiday week is one reason AAA is forecasting a record number of travelers. Some 40 million will hit the road Friday, accounting for about 25 percent of holiday travel. About half of all travelers will hit the road Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Alabama Highway Patrol plans a statewide enforcement blitz beginning Wednesday July 4 and continuing on through the weekend.

"We urge motorists to focus on the road (and not cell phones and other distractions) and to obey all traffic laws, said trooper spokeswoman Robyn Litchfield. "We want people to buckle up, avoid drinking and driving and pay attention to speed limits."

The National Safety Council estimates 173 motorists will die this year in holiday traffic accidents. The defined holiday travel period is Tuesday at 6 p.m. until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. More than 17,000 will be injured. That is an increase of 50 percent compared to a non-holiday period.

Alabama fireworks accidents are also a concern. The National Fire Protection Association reports more than 8,000 people are treated each year in U.S. emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries. Injuries to the hands, arms, face and eyes are most common.

The Birmingham News reported fireworks sparked 20 fires in Birmingham last year, injuring 8 people and causing some $80,000 in damages. City ordinance prohibits firing firearms or fireworks in the city limits and is punishable by a $500 fine and up to 6 months in jail.

The United Eye Injury Register reports 400 Americans suffer permanent vision loss in fireworks accidents each year. About half of injury victims are children. Frequently, it's bystanders who are injured. This can also be true at professional shows when debris rains into the crowd or onlookers are otherwise injured.

Swimming pool accidents, boating accidents and drowning are also primary threats through the height of summer -- particularly around the trio of summer holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

More than 3,500 people a year die in unintentional drowning accidents. Please remember to pay special attention to children, even when lifeguards are present. Teach your child never to swim alone. Always use approved life jackets and flotation devices. And celebrate responsibly.

Lastly, authorities remind you to get plenty of water. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are serious threats as the country simmers beneath a summer heatwave. These illnesses can result in extreme rise in body temperature and may be life-threatening. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat illness, move them into the shade and contact emergency medical assistance.

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June 19, 2012

Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Montgomery and Elsewhere Taking Innocent Lives

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released brand new statistics regarding alcohol-related car accidents in Montgomery and elsewhere.

The newest statistics are from 2010 and they again point to drunk driving as the leading cause of motor-vehicle fatalities. These kinds of accidents account for about 30 percent of all fatal car accidents nationwide year after year yet they're all completely preventable.

In 2010, drunk driving-related accidents took the lives of nearly 10,500 people, many of them completely innocent. In a drunk driving car accident, at least one driver returned a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
We saw a near 5 percent decrease in these kinds of accidents from 2009 to 2010, but safe driving officials aren't hanging their hopes on these numbers. Our Montgomery car accident attorneys understand that the summer travel season is here and so are the increased risks for accidents.

During this time, more and more motorists will be hitting our roadways and visiting with friends and family members and making their way to their vacation destinations. Unfortunately, many of these destinations involve family gatherings, parties and alcohol. With more motorists on our roadways we have higher risks for an accident.

In 2010, someone was killed in an alcohol-impaired-driving accident every 51 minutes. Every state in the country has by law created a threshold making it illegal per se to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. Of the near 10,500 people who were killed in alcohol-related car accidents in 2010, nearly 70 percent were drivers who had a BAC of .08 or higher.

There are innocent people who are killed in these kinds of accidents, too. Of the remaining 3,000 people who were not the intoxicated drivers, about 30 percent were motor vehicle occupants and another 10 percent were nonoccupants.

These accidents can also impact children. In 2010, there were more than 1,200 children under the age of 15 who were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents. More than 60 percent were occupants of a vehicle with a drunk driver, more than 10 percent were pedestrians who were hit by a drunk driver. Of all of the kids who died throughout the year, more than 15 percent were killed in these kinds of accidents.

In the state of Alabama, there were nearly 900 people who were killed in car accidents in 2010. Of these fatalities, nearly 315, or close to 40 percent, were the result of alcohol-related car accidents. All of these accidents could have been prevented and the victims could be here with us today if drivers were a little bit more responsible behind the wheel and made alternative plans to get home and stayed out of the driver's seat after consuming alcohol.

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June 13, 2012

Sleepiness Causing Car Accidents in Montgomery

Drivers know the dangers of drinking and driving, but does anyone know the real dangers associated with driving while sleepy? The answer is no. Most people overlook the dangers that are associated with drowsy driving.

According to a recent study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, there's virtually no difference between driving drunk and driving while sleepy, both have alarmingly high risks for car accidents in Montgomery and elsewhere.
The recent study examined the accidents of nearly 700 people who were hospitalized between 2007 and 2009. The findings illustrate that drunk driving and drowsy driving were equally dangerous.

Researchers concluded that both young drivers and male drivers were the ones who were most likely to drive while sleepy. But everyone else isn't off the hook. Drivers of all ages are hopping behind the wheel without enough sleep and the safety of motorists nationwide is at risk because of it.

Our Montgomery car accident lawyers understand that residents are spending more time on the roadways during this time of the year. It's the summer travel season and it's dangerous out there. More and more motorists are hitting the streets and setting out on their summer vacations. With a higher volume of traffic, risks for accidents increase. When you throw drowsy drivers into the mix, the risks are even higher. Every year, thousands are killed in these kinds of accidents. And officials believe there are more accidents that result from drowsy driving than are actually reported. The problem is that it's difficult to determine if a driver was drowsy during an accident as there's no way to test for it, like a breathalyzer tests whether or not a driver was drunk.

"Anytime you're feeling sleepy behind the wheel is a danger sign," said Christopher Drake, with the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Center.

A number of studies have determined that just four hours of sleep loss is the same as if a driver was to drink an entire six pack. If a driver loses a whole night of sleep, that's equivalent to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.19.

Drivers are warned! Be safe and stay awake behind the wheel. Make sure that you get plenty of sleep before heading out. If you start to feel sleepy behind the wheel, it's very important for you to stop driving. You're recommended to either switch drivers with an alert passenger or to pull over and take a rest. You never want to power through your tiredness behind the wheel. It's a recipe for disaster.

Continue reading "Sleepiness Causing Car Accidents in Montgomery" »

June 5, 2012

Swimming Pool Accidents in Montgomery and Elsewhere Likely through Summer

The summer is here and it's time to pack away those jackets and scarfs and pull out the swim trunks and the pool toys!

It's also time to be on the lookout for swimming pool dangers and to take the proper safety precautions to help to eliminate the risks of swimming pool accidents in Montgomery and elsewhere. Drownings and other pool-related accidents are in fact 100 percent preventable when the proper safety precautions are taken.
During this time of the year, we see the highest risks for these kinds of accidents. We all need to keep an eye on our children especially. It's our young ones that face the highest risks for fatal pool accidents during the summer season. As a matter of fact, about 20 percent of drowning-related accidents occur to residents who are under the age of 15-years-old. For every child who suffers a fatal drowning accident, another 5 are sent to the emergency room for related injuries. Luckily, there are some safety steps that we can all take to help to reduce these risks. Our Montgomery child injury attorneys are here to share that information with you and help to keep everyone safe during this year's summer season.

From 2000 to 2009, there were nearly 4,000 fatal drowning accidents that happened in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This doesn't even count boating accidents. It's most important that we keep an eye on our youngest children. Kids between the ages of 1- and 4-years-old have the highest swimming pool-related accident rates. In 2009, of the young ones who died from an unintentional injury, about a third of them died in drowning-related accidents.

What can help to keep our little ones safe near the pool?

-Consider swimming lessons. Kids who are, and have been, enrolled in swimming lessons have a smaller change of drowning. Unfortunately, most young ones don't have formal swim training.

-Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). When seconds matter, this is going to be your life-saving tool. When CPR is performed by bystanders, the chances of surviving increase dramatically.

Tips to help keep you safe in the water:

-Always supervise young ones near a pool.

-Always use the buddy system. Never allow anyone to swim alone.

-Learn to swim. Make sure everyone in your household has undergone professional swim training.

-Remember that floating toys are not a substitute for safety devices.

-Never swim and drink alcohol. The two don't mix and can produce deadly results.

-Know about the weather conditions before scheduling your pool party.

-Consider installing a four-sided fence if you have small children in your home.

Continue reading "Swimming Pool Accidents in Montgomery and Elsewhere Likely through Summer" »

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