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Charlotte Personal Injury And Workers' Compensation Blog

IIDs involved in many distracted driving crashes

In North Carolina and across the U.S., the number of ignition interlock devices installed into vehicles has almost tripled over the past decade. IIDs are in-car breathalyzers that prevent drunk drivers from starting their vehicles, and their success has been well-attested. The CDC says they lower repeat DUI offenses by 70% when installed. The 34 states with an IID law experience 15% fewer alcohol-related accident fatalities than the other 16.

An investigation instigated by the New York Times, however, has found that IIDs have been a factor in more than their fair share of car accidents. Drivers report being distracted by the IID when it requests a "rolling retest." This retest is crucial because it prevents drunk drivers from having a sober friend blow into the breathalyzer and then driving off.

Three major factors in truck accidents

Some North Carolina drivers are nervous on the road near large trucks. This is a valid concern considering that these huge commercial vehicles are capable of causing catastrophic damage. While there are many reasons for truck accidents, a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration established the top three causes.

In 2007, the FMCSA released the Large Truck Causation Study that included in-depth investigations into 963 cases pulled from 120,000 fatal and injury incidents that included 141,000 trucks. The study revealed the main factors that led to trucking crashes, many of which were preventable. One factor involved in 22% of truck crashes was unfamiliarity with roads, usually a result of the driver's failure to plan their route. Another main factor was speeding based on the conditions, which was a factor in 23% of truck crashes. Depending on conditions such as wet or snowy roads, a vehicle that's going faster than the posted speed limit can be considered speeding. The FMCSA recommends that truck drivers should reduce their speed by one-third from the legal limit when going through wet roads and by half or more if they are on snowy roads. The third, and largest, factor was brake problems. These were involved in 29% of crashes.

Drunk drivers can be deadly

There is no doubt that consuming alcohol in excess is harmful to the human body. Yet, millions of people are able to drink socially without any apparent adverse effects.

However, the same cannot be said for those who drink alcohol and then drive. The damage they cause to themselves and innocent others is clearly documented.

Five common causes of truck crashes in North Carolina

Truck accidents are unfortunately common in North Carolina and the rest of the country, and they almost always end badly for those who were in a passenger vehicle. Big rigs, after all, weigh up to 80,000 pounds while the average car weighs 4,000 pounds. Drivers should be aware of the most common factors in truck crashes so that they can be more responsible on the road.

First, there are crashes that arise because of driver error: speeding, driving drowsy, intoxicated or drugged driving, etc. Studies show, however, that 81% of truck crashes that are due to driver error are actually the fault of passenger vehicle drivers. Second, crashes can occur because truckers do not drive safely over rainy, icy or snowy roads. Such weather will increase the stopping distance for heavy trucks.

Fatal truck crashes continue to rise with no solution in sight

Drowsy and distracted truckers are behind many accidents in North Carolina and across the U.S. In 2017, a total of 4,102 people died in large truck crashes: a 28% increase from 2009. Of the fatalities, 17% were truck occupants whereas 68% were in passenger vehicles, and 14% were pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Despite the danger in having 80,000-pound trucks share the road with 3,000-pound cars, efforts to fights it have stalled.

In particular, safety groups are advocating the use of forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems on all heavy trucks. The National Transportation Safety Board has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to come up with a mandate for their use; in fact, it has done so at least 10 times since the 1990s, but the NHTSA is not budging. According to a written statement, the NHTSA is still studying automatic emergency braking tech, but critics say the agency is over-analyzing things.

Cyclist and pedestrian fatalities soared in 2018

North Carolina residents may have heard that the number of road users killed around the country fell slightly in 2018, but pedestrian and cyclist deaths rose sharply. Data released by the National Highway Traffic Administration reveals that 36,560 people died on the nation's roads in 2018, which represents a 2% decline over grim 2017 figures. However, pedestrian deaths rose by 3% to 6,283 and cyclist fatalities increased by 6% to 857.

The worrying pedestrian and cyclist fatality figures are likely to increase calls for more thorough crash-test standards. Accident survivability tests are currently not as rigorous in the United States as they are in Europe. NHTSA says that it plans to publish a proposed update to its crash-test standards in 2020 that will better determine how vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists would fare in an accident. Updates the agency is said to be pushing for include formal ratings for pedestrian detection and emergency braking systems.

Vehicle crashes are a major cause of brain injuries

If you are a football fan, you have no doubt seen a player leave the game with a concussion, and you may think that brain injuries most often occur to athletes.

However, vehicle crashes and falls are the two most common causes of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. The traffic accident need not even be a major crash, just a rear-end collision.

Latest motorcycle accident moves SC death toll over 100 this year

While accidents happen simple because it was an accident, others are caused due to negligence. South Carolina has not had a great year when it comes to the number of motorcycle accident related deaths. A recent crash that happened on a Midlands road became the 102nd death this year involving a motorcyclist or moped driver. The state had only 88 of those same death in the entire year of 2018.

In the most recent accident, the rider of a 2000 Honda motorcycle struck a 2007 Ford Edge at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Sprinkle Avenue in Orangeburg County. While making a left turn, the north bound vehicle was struck by the South bound motorcycle. The rider was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene. Both parties in the vehicle were uninjured. The accident is still under investigation. It remains unknown whether criminal charges, such as drunk or distracted driving, are possible.

Stray bullet strikes bystander after fight in uptown Charlotte

A tragic incident can strike at any moment. This can cause many unsuspecting individuals to suffer grat harm. This can leave them feeling overwhelmed and confused, unsure about what they can do. In some cases legal courses may be available.

A fight broke out in uptown Charlotte near Trade and College streets recently. The suspects began shooting, and a stray bullet struck an innocent man standing nearby. Approximately an hour earlier, a three-alarm fire was reported at a nearby uptown restaurant in a high-rise building. Due to that fire, the occupants of the high-rise had been evacuated, and the streets were very crowded with people.

Girlfriend of NFL player killed while standing on side of I-90

Because of their size and strength, professional athletes, especially football players, often appear to be immortal. Sometimes, this image of immortality extends to their families or girlfriends. When death or serious injury strikes one of these elite people, the reaction can be intense grief mixed with disbelief. These emotions were on the loose recently after the girlfriend of Cleveland Browns player Chris Smith was struck and killed by a car while she was standing on the shoulder of I-90.

Both Smith and the woman were residents of Charlotte, and she had flown to Cleveland to watch her boyfriend perform as a member of the Cleveland Browns. The two were traveling west on I-90 when one of the tires on Smith's Lamborghini suddenly deflated and caused the vehicle to strike the retaining wall. Smith stopped the car, and he and the woman got out to inspect the damage. While the woman was standing on the shoulder of the freeway, she was struck and killed by a Mazda heading west on I-90.

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