December 2012 Archives

December 27, 2012

Alabama Drunk Driving Accidents a Holiday Risk

In 2011, there were 259 drunk driving deaths in the state of Alabama and drunk driving was a factor in 29 percent of all traffic deaths according to MADD statistics. These deaths were tragic and avoidable, and are a reminder that it is very important to refrain from drinking and driving this holiday season.

Over the holidays, the number of drinking and driving deaths normally increases as two of the biggest drinking days of the year are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. Our Montgomery accident attorneys want to remind everyone of the dangers; we urge you to stay safe and keep your friends and family safe over the holidays. 1174747_by_a_beer.jpg

Drunk Driving and the Holiday Season

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is supporting a national drunk-driving prevention campaign called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. As part of the campaign, traffic safety offices throughout the U.S. are partnering with the GHSA to launch public education campaigns and to step up enforcement of drunk driving laws.

In Alabama, the Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division is participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Efforts. Their efforts include:


  • Establishing checkpoints, especially in areas where high numbers of crashes related to alcohol have occurred in the past.

  • Using social media to educate the public of holiday alcohol dangers.

  • Hosting events to increase awareness of holiday drunk driving.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will run from December 13 through January 1. Maximum enforcement efforts, including an increase in law enforcement and the establishment of DUI checkpoints, will occur during the highest risk days including New Years Eve.

How to Stay Safe
While the efforts of law enforcement may help to stop drunk drivers before they do any danger to themselves or others, ultimately it is up to each individual to make the choice for himself or herself to be smart and not drink and drive.

When you are going out this holiday season, it is important that you make the wise choice to protect yourself, your passengers and innocent drivers who have to share the road. Some of the things you should do include:


  • Always having a designated driver whenever you are going to be consuming alcohol. If you are going out to celebrate, you should name your designated driver prior to going out so that everyone is on the same page.

  • Stepping in if you see your friend's make dangerous choices. If you believe that your friend is too drunk to drive, take his or her keys, call a taxi or do whatever it takes to get him home safe.

  • Having the phone number of a taxi with you whenever you are going out drinking and bringing enough money to pay for a cab if necessary.

  • Talking to your teenagers about drunk driving if you are a parent, and making a house rule that they can always call for a ride no matter what.

By making the choice not to drink and drive, you can potentially prevent a devastating accident. You also need to be aware that there may be more drunk drivers out over the holidays and be watchful for others who might be driving erratically and who could cause you to be harmed in a crash.

Continue reading "Alabama Drunk Driving Accidents a Holiday Risk" »

December 18, 2012

Accident Fatalities Up Throughout Alabama

The number of trucker, pedestrian, bicyclist and motorcyclist fatalities is on the rise.

While officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are focusing on an overall reduction in traffic deaths nationwide, the fact remains some of our most vulnerable travelers continue to face increased risks on the road.
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We're not discrediting the decrease, we're just saying that maybe a little more attention needs to be paid to the categories that are seeing significant increases in fatal accidents. Our Montgomery accident lawyers understand that there was a near 2 percent decrease in the number of highway fatalities overall. The numbers dropped to less than 32,400 in 2011, making it the lowest number witnessed in the U.S. since 1949. Sounds promising, but did you know that Americans drove less in 2011 than in 2010? And that number is back on the rise amid a recovering economy and falling gas prices.

"As we look to the future, it will be more important than ever to build on this progress by continuing to tackle head-on issues like seat belt use, drunk driving, and driver distraction," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Officials with the NHTSA report that there was a more than 1 percent drop in the number of vehicle miles traveled among Americans in 2011. Fewer miles driven means that drivers are spending less time on the road and are seeing fewer risks for accidents.

In the state of Alabama, there were close to 1,000 people killed in traffic accidents in 2011, according to statistics released this week. This serves as a more than 3.5 percent increase from the previous year. So much for any of that good news affecting us. Our drivers are facing more dangers across the board.

The largest increase in fatalities nationwide was among motorcycle riders. There were 80 motorcyclists killed in 2010 and close to 140 killed in 2011, illustrating a near 90 percent increase.

The number of distracted-driving car accident fatalities saw a steep increase too. Even with all of the newly-enacted distracted driving laws and with the advancements in hands-free technology, we're still seeing thousands die on our roadways because of careless driving.

Females may be getting a little safer behind the wheel. According to the most recent statistics, there was a drop of over 500 fatalities among females.

Head up! Fridays were a little safer in 2011 than they were in 2010. There were actually close to 400 fewer fatalities witnessed on Fridays in 2011.

Overall, there were 36 states that saw a reduction in the number of traffic fatalities. But the work is far from over!

We're not trying to focus on the bad news, we just want to bring it to your attention so we can all make the proper changes needed to improve roadway safety. Some of the simplest moves can help to reduce these accident risks. Wear a seat belt, stay sober behind the wheel and pay attention. The truth of the matter is that most traffic accidents are preventable.

Continue reading "Accident Fatalities Up Throughout Alabama" »

December 12, 2012

Alabama Injury Lawyers: Talk To Your Teens About Safe Driving This Holiday Season

According to a publication called "Alabama's Teenage Drivers at Risk," auto accidents involving teenagers are a critical problem and one that requires immediate attention.

The CDC also reports that auto accidents are the number one cause of death in kids between the ages of 16 and 19. Many of these accidents occur either when a teen is driving or when he or she is in the car with friends.

These statistics are frightening to parents, but it is important for parents to read them and to be aware of the risks that their kids face. Parents who know of the dangers of teen driving can talk to their kids about staying safe. As winter approaches, our Montgomery accident lawyers believe that this holiday season is the perfect time for parents to sit down with their kids and go over some driving risks and driving rules. 1140184_heather.jpg

Talk To Your Kids About Alabama Auto Accidents
The holiday season is a time when the weather gets bad and many kids may face driving in winter conditions for the first time. The holiday season is also a time when college kids may come home from school, driving long distances. With holiday vacations and so many parties and celebrations going on, kids may also spend more time driving during the holidays. For all of these reasons, the risk of accidents may increase.

The holidays are not only the most dangerous driving times, but they also present parents with the opportunity to spend time with their kids. During this time, it is a good idea to go over safe driving tips and to help your children to better understand how dangerous driving can be.

Alabama Auto Accident Risks for Teen Drivers
When you talk to your kids about car accidents and the risks they face, it is helpful for you and your children to understand just how serious the problem is. According to "Alabama's Teenage Drivers at Risk," an AAA publication:


  • There were 708 fatalities among teenagers in Alabama from 2004 and 2008.

  • Teen drivers ages 15 to 19 suffered 38,233 injuries in car wrecks between 2004 and 2008.

The crash data in Alabama indicates that every single day in the state, there were 21 injuries or deaths among teenagers in auto accidents. This is a staggering number of teens each day who experienced life-changing injuries or who lost their lives.

What Should You Know
As parents, it is important to make sure your kids not only know the risks but also understand the most dangerous driving behaviors. There are many top causes of teen car accidents but some of the most common reasons for wrecks included speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving and drowsy driving.

Teens especially may be at risk of driving distracted or driving when they are too tired. Distraction.gov, for example, reports that fatal wrecks with teens involved a distracted driver in 11 percent of cases. Further, the outcome of an AAA study published in Auto Blog revealed that drowsy driving was a bigger problem among teens than among the general population, and that teens were less likely to stop and rest if they were nodding off or exhibiting diminished ability to drive due to being tired.

Parents should discuss these specific behaviors with their teens and should forbid driving late at night, after having had a drink, or when talking or texting on a cell phone. Parents should also discuss the dangers of speeding, tailgating, aggressive driving, failure to yield, or failing to use proper turn signals.

For parents who want to go a step further in educating their kids and in enforcing safe driving rules, the website of the Alabama Department of Public health http://www.adph.org/teendriving/Default.asp?id=4448 also has a driving contract that parents and kids can sign that outlines the requirements and limitations of a teen having the privilege to drive.

Continue reading "Alabama Injury Lawyers: Talk To Your Teens About Safe Driving This Holiday Season" »

December 5, 2012

BLS Data on Workplace Injuries Highlights Risks of Alabama Work Accidents

In October, our Montgomery work accident attorneys discussed the release of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on fatal Alabama work accidents. The 4,609 people who died in 2011 in workplace accidents represent only a small portion of those who were involved in workplace accidents during the year.

Unfortunately, many more people suffered injuries of varying degrees of severity.

Reviewing BLS data on workplace injuries in 2011 shows that an injury can occur in any field or any location. While some industries such as construction are inherently more dangerous than others, no one is immune from a potential accident on the job. As such, every worker and employer needs to be aware of workplace accident risks and needs to take steps to improve and encourage safety. 1170139_worker_and_the_excavator.jpg

Workplace Injuries in 2011
In addition to their data on workplace deaths in 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides a report on Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. According to the BLS:


  • Almost 3 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses acquired at private sector workplaces were reported in 2011. This means that 3.5 injuries occurred for every 100 full-time workers in the private sector.

  • Among state and local government workers, there were approximately 820,900 cases of workplace injury and illness reported in 2011. This means that, on average, there were 5.7 injury cases for every 100 full-time workers. Although this means that the rate of government employees injured is significantly higher than the rate of private sector employees injured, this is not an increase over past years.

  • The majority of the injuries suffered by government workers -- almost four out of every five -- were suffered by those employed in local government.

  • More than half of the three million injuries suffered in private industries in 2011 were serious enough to require a worker miss at least some days of work.

  • The overall rate of injuries and illnesses that were serious enough to lead to restriction or job transfer declined in 2011.

  • The rates of illness and injury increased in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. This sector was one of only two private sectors that had an increased number of illnesses and injuries from 2010 to 2011.

  • The rate of injuries in both the healthcare industry and the social assistance industry declined, as did the rate of injury in retail establishments including grocery stores.

  • Workplace illnesses accounted for around 5.2 percent of the total number of non-fatal workplace injuries. The majority of reports of workplace illness came from goods producing industries.

These statistics also demonstrated clearly that injuries can happen anywhere. Although workers in animal production; workers in beverage and tobacco manufacturing; and couriers and messengers had some of the highest incidents or injury, even merchants and car salesmen were reported to have recordable cases of workplace injury.

While workplace injuries are always going to occur, employers should ensure that they do everything possible to reduce the risk of work accidents. This includes complying with all OSHA regulations and having clear and well-enforced company safety policies.

Continue reading "BLS Data on Workplace Injuries Highlights Risks of Alabama Work Accidents" »


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