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Houston Personal Injury Law Blog

Specially designed apps can help you after a car crash

No one ever wants to be in a car crash, but fender benders happen every day, and rear-end collisions are among the most common types of traffic accidents in the country.

Following even a minor collision, your nerves are sure to be unsteady, and you might not be thinking clearly. However, there are a few steps you must remember to take and some clever smartphone apps that can help.

Different ways an auto accident can disrupt life

For some auto accident victims, the crash is so severe that they pass away, which can leave their loved ones in a permanent state of depression and with plenty of financial challenges. In many accidents, however, victims are lucky to survive. However, they may suffer various injuries and these injuries can disrupt their lives in many different ways. While physical pain and immobility are common problems brought on by auto accident injuries, there are many other ways these injuries can have a negative impact on a victim’s life and make things hard for those they love also.

For starters, the financial impact of an auto accident can be devastating. Setting aside costly medical bills, someone who is hurt because of a crash may be unable to continue working, which can lead to lost wages and an inability to stay current on their mortgage, student loan payments and other financial obligations. Moreover, injuries can keep victims from participating in hobbies or events they have planned for, such as a marathon. Between the pain, limitations, and financial hardships that often come with car accident injuries, it is no wonder that many victims also experience negative emotions during this time, such as depression or even anger.

How does sleep apnea affect driving abilities?

A person’s ability to drive may be adversely impacted by a number of factors, from alcohol consumption to stress and distractions in the car, such as talking with passengers. However, drowsy driving is particularly concerning, and many people get behind the wheel even though they are too sleep deprived to drive safely. For some people, such as those who have sleep apnea, this can be especially problematic. Regrettably, some people with sleep apnea do not realize how dangerous this condition can be.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, sleep apnea can adversely affect a person’s driving abilities in multiple ways, potentially leading to a motor vehicle collision. Since sleep apnea interferes with a person’s ability to sleep well, it also affects them during the day. For drivers, this can have a negative impact on alertness and reaction time. Moreover, the FMCSA points out that studies draw a connection between sleep apnea that is left untreated and a higher risk of being involved in a traffic collision.

How can fatigue affect driver performance?

Many different risk factors can lead to an auto collision, such as the use of an intoxicating substance or reckless behavior on the road (speeding, failing to observe common sense driving rules, etc.). Unfortunately, fatigue is yet another concerning cause of crashes and some people do not even recognize that they have become dangerously tired and put lives at risk (including their own life) by driving while drowsy. It is important for drivers to be aware of the different ways in which fatigue can impact a person’s ability to drive.

There are many ways in which fatigue can affect a driver’s performance behind the wheel, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA reviewed data that was obtained from traffic collisions which took place between July 2005 and December 2017 and found a number of performance errors that may occur when a driver is fatigued. For example, fatigue can lead to weaknesses with respect to directional control, overcompensation, and panicking behind the wheel. Moreover, there are other types of performance errors that may occur when a driver is very tired.

Energy drinks and the risk of a collision

Virtually all drivers are aware that certain substances, such as street drugs and alcohol, can impede a person’s driving abilities and make a collision more likely. However, it is important to keep in mind that even seemingly harmless chemicals, such as caffeine, can increase the likelihood of an accident as well. For example, someone who is sensitive to caffeine may notice a decrease in their ability to drive safe after consuming an energy drink and the same may be true for someone who has consumed multiple energy drinks.

Caffeine can make an accident more likely in multiple ways. For example, it can make a driver overly excited, lead to heart palpitations, or cause them to feel ill. With high levels of caffeine, energy drinks can be especially dangerous in this regard. Furthermore, the consumption of any beverage can increase the probability of an accident because drivers remove their hands from the wheel in order to drink.

Recovering from a crash as a garbage truck driver

There are many different examples of truck accidents, such as semi truck drivers who suffer from fatigue or people who are involved in a crash while driving a delivery truck. However, there are additional concerns related to this facet of traffic collisions, such as garbage truck accidents. If you drive a garbage truck, or someone you love drives one of these vehicles, it is important to be aware of the different hazards on the road. Unfortunately, accidents keep happening for countless reasons and it is essential for victims to focus on recovering when they are involved in one firsthand.

As a garbage truck driver, an accident could shatter your life in different ways. You may not be able to work for a lengthy time period, which can bring on financial troubles that you never saw coming. Moreover, the physical pain may be significant, and you may have to miss out on key events in your life due to the injuries. Hospital bills, costs associated with rehabilitation, and other financial demands can make the situation even more challenging.

Understanding insurance protection following a vehicle crash

In the state of Texas, drivers must pay for vehicle accidents if they are at fault, and most have liability insurance for this purpose. To meet the financial responsibility requirements under Texas law, a motorist must carry the minimum liability coverage: $30,000 per injured person, but only up to $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. This basic, minimum coverage is known as 30/60/25.

However, some drivers have no auto insurance and no way to provide financial compensation. Therefore, if you are the victim of a crash caused by an uninsured motorist, how will your medical bills and the damage to your car be paid for?

Opioid use can lead to more car accidents

Drivers in Texas who are taking a type of opioid for pain or other health condition need to be aware that driving while under their influence can result in an increase in motor vehicle accidents. Opioids include prescription drugs, such as codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl and morphine, as well as heroin. 

According to the American College of Surgeons, using opioids can result in impaired driving. In fact, years of research has concluded that there is a direct association between opioid use and crashes involving cars and other vehicles. Because many patients are not aware of the damaging effect these drugs have on driving and other activities, the ACS is focused on promoting legislation and educating patients about the risks involved when taking these controlled substances.

How can skateboarders stay safe on the road?

From bicycle accidents to injured motorcyclists and head-on car collisions, there are many types of traffic accidents that take place. However, it is essential for parents, drivers, those who are near traffic to realize that there are other ways things can go wrong on the road. For example, someone may be hit by a car while riding a skateboard. Sometimes, a skateboarder may veer off of the road an into traffic, but it is also essential to keep in mind that skateboarders may be hit by negligent drivers, such as someone who is drunk and veers onto a sidewalk. Moreover, there are a number of ways skateboarders can protect themselves on the road.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, skateboarding can be dangerous, and some riders have been seriously hurt or have even lost their lives in an accident. The CPSC points out that skateboarders should avoid riding when lighting is poor, such as dawn or dusk hours, since this can increase the likelihood of being struck by a vehicle due to poor visibility. Instead, skateboarders should try to ride during daylight and avoid moving vehicles. For example, skateboarders should never try to hitch a ride on a vehicle. Those riding a skateboard should watch out for rocks, bumps, and other problems on the surface that may cause them to fall down.

Are pedestrian deaths more common in rural or urban areas?

When some people think about fatal pedestrian accidents, they might picture a pedestrian being struck while trying to use a crosswalk in a suburban area, or someone being hit while walking on an interstate highway. However, it is essential to keep in mind that pedestrian accidents happen in various areas. If you regularly walk for any reason or drive a vehicle, it may be useful to go over statistics regarding fatal pedestrian accidents to better understand the problem.

Pedestrian accidents occur in many ways, from poor lighting to drivers reaching excessive speeds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more pedestrian lives were claimed in urban areas during 2013 as opposed to rural areas. Throughout 2013, 73 percent of pedestrian fatalities took place in an urban setting, while 27 percent happened in a rural area. It is also important to point out that the majority of fatal pedestrian accidents took place outside of an intersection in 2013 (69 percent), while 20 percent occurred within an intersection. Furthermore, the majority of pedestrian lives were claimed during nighttime hours (72 percent).

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