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Houston Personal Injury Law Blog

What you should know about gap coverage

Car insurance can seem like a simple issue until you get into a crash and actually have to deal with trying to get a fair settlement. One issue many people have questions about is gap coverage.

Generally speaking, when you sustain a car accident and suffer a total loss to your car, if the other driver was at fault, his or her insurance should pay for your loss. Assuming everything else goes smoothly, the insurer will pay for the total value of the car.

Driving in a new city can be dangerous

We have covered so many of the risk factors that often cause motor vehicle crashes, and drivers should definitely keep these concerns in mind while they are on the road. However, there are many other hazards that can increase the probability of a crash, and some may not be so obvious. For example, someone who finds themselves in a new city for the first time may be more likely to collide with another vehicle. Not only do some drivers have a harder time in new cities because they are not familiar with the roads and have to constantly look for directions, but they may also be tired and very stressed out.

Some people drive through new cities on their way to another destination, while others get behind the wheel in a new city for the first time while they are visiting. Moreover, some people find themselves in this position after moving to somewhere new. Regardless, it can be dangerous when a driver does not have a lot of familiarity with local roadways. For example, they may be less aware of potentially hazardous parts of the road and they could be distracted by something that would not have drawn the attention of someone who has driven down the road many times.

When a tire blows out on the road

Roads across the country can be hazardous for different reasons. Sometimes, poor weather and chaotic streets due to large events can make driving more dangerous. There are times when an increased accident risk is somewhat predictable, such as expecting an increase in the number of drunk drivers during a holiday weekend. However, some accidents are completely unpredictable, such as those caused by a driver whose tire blew out on the road.

It is essential for you to maintain your vehicle properly and make sure that any areas of concern are addressed before taking to the road. Sadly, some people do not, whether they are experiencing financial problems and cannot afford to fix their vehicle or because they procrastinate and have a tendency to push these types of things off. Sadly, when their poorly-maintained vehicles fail while they are behind the wheel, they pose a serious risk to others around them.

How many older adults are killed and hurt in crashes?

If you are an older driver, you may worry about many risks while on the roadway, such as drunk drivers, those who go over the speed limit, distracted drivers using their phones and so on. However, some older drivers also need to keep an eye out for certain risk areas that may involve their driving abilities. For example, issues related to poor vision and other difficulties that have been brought on with age may increase the chances of a collision and drivers should take the appropriate course of action, which may mean staying off of the road in some instances. Sadly, many deaths and injuries involving older adults have taken place.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that over 260,000 older adults received treatment in an emergency department due to injuries they suffered in a motor vehicle collision during 2015. Furthermore, traffic accidents claimed the lives of more than 6,800 older adults over the course of 2015. To look at these statistics from a different angle, 712 older adults were hurt and 19 passed away in motor vehicle collisions each day during 2015.

Can the economy affect the number of fatal crashes?

When it comes to auto accidents, many consequences may arise, but the loss of life is especially devastating. Sadly, fatal accidents happen for a variety of reasons and there are many different factors which can affect the likelihood of a collision occurring. Drivers should be aware of the different hazards they face and recognize certain times when the chances of a crash may be especially high, such as at night. Moreover, there are other considerations when it comes to the prevalence of deadly crashes that drivers should be aware of.

There are many factors which may affect the number of fatal motor vehicle crashes, including the economy, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA points out that there are a number of reasons why the health of the economy could influence the number of people who pass away in wrecks. For example, the number of traffic crash fatalities typically declines during a weak economy and increases in a recovery. Unemployment can have an impact on the number of traffic deaths, since people may be less likely to get behind the wheel for recreational purposes and in order to drive to work.

How can bicyclists reduce the chances of a traffic accident?

On the road, there are all sorts of dangers and these risk factors can be especially concerning for bicyclists. As a result, it is essential for bicyclists to do all that they can to reduce the likelihood of a traffic accident taking place. Whether you bike to work or regularly ride a bicycle to get some exercise, it is vital to recognize the risks you face and do what you can to stay safe on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has provided a number of tips that can help bicyclists avoid a bicycle accident while on the road. For example, bicyclists should carefully plan their route beforehand and try to find the safest route, which may include riding in a lane that is intended for bikes or off the road altogether. Reflective gear and bright clothes can help make bicyclists more visible to drivers, reducing the chances of an accident. Bicyclists should also make sure they ride bikes that are maintained properly (functioning brakes, etc.) and appropriate for their size.

Big rigs, training, speed and the space cushion

If you are operating a passenger vehicle on a crowded highway and the grill of the big rig behind you is all you see in your rearview mirror, your anxiety level may rise a bit.

Commercial truck drivers must be well-trained. They must practice safe driving behavior, which means no speeding or tailgating. If you should have to stop suddenly, will that big rig end up in your trunk?

Allergies and motor vehicle accidents

Auto collisions can be caused by many different factors, but people may forget about some of the risks that are mentioned less frequently. For example, those who struggle with seasonal allergies (caused by tree pollen, ragweed, and so on) could be more likely to cause an accident while driving. Sometimes, allergies can flare up and cause someone who suffers with this condition to drive erratically. Moreover, medicines that are taken to address allergies can also cause a driver to become drowsy behind the wheel, which is incredibly dangerous.

Sometimes, those who struggle with seasonal allergies ignore their symptoms and try to push on. For example, they may need to get to work or handle other responsibilities and they may feel as if they have no choice but to drive, regardless of the symptoms they are experiencing. Unfortunately, their ability to abide by traffic safety rules may be adversely affected by the symptoms they are struggling with, such as sneezing, headaches and nasal drip. A driver may reach for a tissue while driving, causing them to take their eyes off the road for a couple of seconds and cause a motor vehicle collision. Moreover, a driver who is constantly sneezing may struggle to focus on the road as well.

When a driver becomes startled

Auto accidents have many causes, a number of which have been covered on this blog. However, it is essential to keep in mind that completely unexpected problems can arise for experienced and responsible drivers. For example, someone may do their best to abide by traffic safety laws, obey signs, stay within the speed limit and so on. However, they could cause an accident when they become startled for one reason or another. It is important to be aware of these potential challenges and make sure that you continue to drive safe and remain calm in the event that you come across something that is startling.

There are all sorts of reasons why a driver may become startled behind the wheel. For example, a wild animal such as a bear or deer may run onto the road. On a smaller scale, insects such as spiders and bees can also cause drivers to become startled. Fireworks, the erratic behavior of other drivers and even severe weather are some of the other reasons why drivers may become startled while they are on the road.

When an on-the-job car crash occurs

Motor vehicle accidents happen at all times of day (and night), from the early morning hours on weekdays to weekends. Some occur while people are driving to or from work or running personal errands, but others happen while people are on the job. Not only do large truck drivers, taxi drivers and others whose job revolves around driving a vehicle run the risk of being involved in a work-related crash, but people employed in other types of fields may face these threats as well. Moreover, work-related accidents can be devastating in more ways than one.

A construction worker may be involved in a collision while driving a truck, or someone working on a job site (including a road construction site) may be hit by a truck. Even office workers may be involved in a job-related accident, such as those who are asked to run an errand (pick up lunch, buy supplies, etc.). Regardless of the reasons why work-related motor vehicle wrecks continue to happen, the consequences can be damaging for workers as well as their employers.

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