Whether it’s Selfies, Texts or Talking, Distracted Drivers Cause One in Five Texas Accidents

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April 18th, 2014    Posted in Accident News

accidents 300x199 Whether it’s Selfies, Texts or Talking, Distracted Drivers Cause One in Five Texas AccidentsHouston, TX- We’ve all seen those drivers who are more concerned with their cells phones, their make-up or their fast food to pay attention to the road. These drivers don’t always create car accidents but it’s only a matter of time when they hurt or kill someone. Even though drivers know they need to pay attention to the road, distracted driving is becoming increasingly common on Texas roads.

Data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that in 2013, distracted driving accounted for 94, 943 car accidents, a four percent increase over 2012, according to the Daily Toreador.

“The statistics in Texas are sobering,” John Barton, deputy executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, said in a statement. “One in five traffic crashes in Texas is caused by a distracted driver, and last year 459 people were killed as result.”

Distracted driving is not a new traffic safety issue by any means, but technology has presented Texans will a host of new distractions between their smart phone and in-car entertainment systems. After analyzing data from three different distracted driving studies, the NHTSA estimates that during day hours at least 660,000 drivers used their cell phones and smart phones to talk, text, email, check social media or take driving selfies.

The NHTSA estimates that in 4.6 seconds – the time it takes to read a text—a person driving 55 mph travels the length of a football field. That’s a long distance and anything can happen in that time; traffic could come to a stop, someone could turn in front of another driver and child could step into the road, forever changing the lives of a distracted driver and anyone they hit.

Texas has laws which ban drivers from using cell phones, smart phones or hands-free devices while they are behind the wheel. But the laws are somewhat limited, it’s as secondary offense which means police cannot stop a driver if they see them using a cell phone; they can only issue a ticket if the driver violates a primary traffic law, like speeding.

To combat distracted driving and all the unnecessary deaths and injuries that follow in its wake, the NHTSA dedicates the month of April to combat distracted driving by warning people and teens especially of the risks they are taking whit their lives and the lives of others.

Distracted drivers are not only endangering others but they are disobeying the law with their careless actions. When these drivers have the misfortune of causing a serious or fatal accident, a Houston accident attorney will hold them accountable for their negligence.

Settlements from negligent drivers are often handled by their insurer, but victims should be aware that hiring a Houston accident attorney will help them get a larger settlement amount; two to three times more than injury victims who don’t retain legal representation. A Houston personal injury attorney knows what a victim’s injuries or actually worth and won’t allow an insurer or negligent to shortchange a victim on their final settlement.

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Four People Seriously Injured and One Killed in Drunk Driving Accident

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April 17th, 2014    Posted in Accident News

Salt Lake City, UT- Police suspect a Utah woman was drunk when she veered into oncoming traffic on Twentynine Palms Highway in Joshua Tree, California, killing one person and injuring three others

The California Highway Patrol believes Jennifer Zapata, 22, of Magna, Utah was intoxicated when she crossed over the center line of the highway a slammed head-on into vehicle driven by Christopher Matthews, the Desert Sun reported.

Matthews was traveling east on Twentynine Palms Highway with his wife and one-year old daughter when Zapata’s eastbound vehicle lost control and veered into their lane. Zapata’s Hyuandai and struck the family’s Mazda 6 around 6:45 p.m.

Matthews, a service member based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, survived as did, his wife and daughter. They were all taken to Deseret Hospital, but, on Tuesday, Matthews his wife, Angela finally succumbed to her injuries.

Zapata and her passenger a 20 year-old passenger, Evelyn Martinez, suffered serious injuries and were taken to Loma Linda University Hospital for treatment. Both women are from Utah.

“Everyone’s injuries were pretty severe,” Joan Griffin, a spokeswoman for the CHP told the Deseret News.

Zapata was arrested after following the accident on suspicion of driving under the influence causing injury. She has since been released from custody due to her injuries.

“The officer had reason to believe she was drinking at the time,” Griffin said, but added that the investigation is ongoing.

Twentynine Palms Highway was closed in both directions for a couple of hours while the accident was investigated and debris was cleared.

The Desert News pointed out that this is the second Twentynine Palms Marine to be involved in a fatal accident.

Earlier this month Cpl. Elmer VanHoorebeke Jr., 27, was killed in a two-motorcycle collision. He was riding his Yamaha sport bike when he collided with a woman on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. They were both pronounced dead on the scene.

Victims of drunken driving accidents often suffer serious injuries if they have the fortune of surviving. These accidents can especially dangerous because the drunken driver is typically committing other careless acts such as speeding or running a red light. It is often easy for an accident attorney to prove the drunken driver was negligent and secure a favorable settlement for the victims and their families.

The loved ones of fatal accident victims have the expectation that the responsible party will pay for their medical and funeral expenses along with any property damages. Even though accident settlements are often paid for by the negligent driver’s insurance companies, accident victims and their families should always consult with a wrongful death or personal injury attorney before agreeing to any settlement amount they initially receive. An accident attorney can anticipate the total costs of an accident victim’s injuries and will guide them on whether to take a settlement of hold-out for a better payout.

Car accident and drunken driving accident victims who have legal representation are able to obtain settlements that are typically two to three times larger than victims who have decide to pursue and injury claim on their own.

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Bus Driver Involved in Fatal Pasco County Bus Accident Put on Leave

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April 15th, 2014    Posted in Accident News

Pasco County, FL- A bus driver who ran a red light, causing a multi-vehicle collision that left a Dade City woman dead and another woman seriously injured has been placed on leave.

Bonita Mayle did not have any students on her bus at the time of the crash, but she has been placed on leave pending the results of drug or alcohol testing. If she is cited or charged for the accident she could be suspended without pay, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune.

Mayle was driving southbound on U.S. 301 after 3:00 p.m. on April 9th when she ran a red light and collided with a Smart Car sitting at a red light on Morningside Drive.

According to the police report, the Smart Car was pushed into a center median. Meanwhile, Mayle’s bus broadsided a Chevy Malibu which had just entered the intersection.

The driver of the Malibu, Harian McDonald, a resident of Dade City, was killed. Her two grandchildren, 14-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy were also injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The Smart Car driver, Patricia Austin, 61, sustained serious injuries and was flown to the Lakeland
The accident investigation is still pending but police do not suspect alcohol as a factor in the crash

Neither Mayle nor her aide was injured in the crash.

District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said Mayle has been driving for the district since 1996 and has had a “spotless driving record,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

This crash may have been a simple mistake, but it caused the death of one person and sent another to the hospital with serious injuries. Along with their emotional distress, the victims of this accident will be faced with costly medical bills and funeral expenses. But they don’t have to cover those costs out of their pockets and can enlist the services of Pasco County accident attorney to assist them with their personal injury claim.

While most insurance companies are willing to settle injury or wrongful death claims quickly, a victim cannot be assured that the settlement offer they receive is fair or adequate enough to cover their expenses until they speak with an accident lawyer. They understand the true cost and future consequences of your injury that don’t anticipate. With the backing of an attorney, accident victims have more leverage to negotiate for better settlement from an insurer if your initial offer is less than adequate or fair. If the victim choses a personal injury attorney is also prepared to take a case to court. Either way a victim decides to settle their claim, they will benefit from having legal representation.

Accident victims have enough to deal with without the additional headache of fighting for a fair settlement. The frustrations of medical and financial problems caused by a negligent or careless driver can be alleviated with the help of a Pasco County accident attorney. They have the experience necessary to build a solid injury claim and maximize the settlement they ultimately receive.

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Driver Accused of Killing Girl and Injuring 14 Others in Hit-and-Run Accident Turns Himself In to Police

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April 10th, 2014    Posted in Accident News

Winter Park, FL- The hit-and-run driver accused of killing one girl and injuring fourteen others at Winter Park daycare center has turned himself in Thursday.

Orange County police booked Robert Corchado, 26, around 4:30 Thursday for multiple charges including leaving the scene of an accident causing great bodily harm and death, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The manhunt for Corchado, who is a felon, began Wednesday night after police discovered he caused a deadly accident at the KinderCare
Learning Center on Goldenrod Road.

Corchoda was driving a Dodge Durango Wednesday evening when he struck another driver in a Toyota. The impact of the crash pushed the Toyota over a curb into a play yard of the daycare center.

Ronny Avellan was working in the area and saw the accident. He told the New York Times, “What I saw, I can’t take the picture out of my mind.” He said, “It was chaos everywhere. The vehicle was inside the day care, almost in the middle, and there were kids everywhere, on tables and running around. I saw one of the teachers giving CPR to a child.”

Emergency crews rushed to the scene and took 13 people, 12 children and one adult, to the local hospitals for treatment. Two teens were also injured and were treated at the scene.

Four-year-old Lily Quintas survived the initial impact, but doctors could not save her. Doctors said that at least three children are in serious to critical condition; one child was pinned by the Toyota. Most of the children had less serious injuries and were sent home with their parents after they were treated.

The driver whose car was pushed into the daycare was not injured. The Los Angeles Times reported that Toyota driver traveled some distance before he slammed into the KinderCare building because he either panicked or couldn’t stop. Police have not ruled out citations for the driver.

There were at least fifty children at KinderCare at the time of the accident.

After striking the Toyota, Corchado fled the scene, and shortly after the accident which occurred just after 3 p.m. his Durango was located at abandoned house in Winter Park. Police said he rented another car and was attempting to flee the area; they believe friends were helping him hide.

Just hours before Corchado turned himself in, authorities announced a $5,000 reward for anyone who could help locate the ex-con.

An investigation also revealed that Corchado has a long criminal history including previous hit-and-run charges. The Orlando Sentinel reported that just last week; he was cited for careless driving after he rear-ended a car at a red light. Corchado has also faced a string of drug charges for possession and intent to distribute. Police also said he was affiliated with the Latin Kings.

This accident, like all car accidents, was a tragedy and the families deserve to be generously compensated. An accident attorney will make it possible for the victims to get a just settlement.

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Young Boy Killed in Bay Area Head-on Collision

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April 8th, 2014    Posted in Accident News

San Francisco, CA- A four-year-old boy is dead and four other people have been injured following a head-on car accident in the Bay area over the weekend.

The deceased boy and his mother were passengers in a Chevy driven by 23-year old Flavio Castellanos. Castellanos lost control of his vehicle on State Highway 121 in Napa Sunday afternoon, and swerved into the path of oncoming traffic. As he was attempting to correct his path, an oncoming SUV also made evasive maneuvers. But both drivers put themselves on course for a serious head-on-accident and violently collided, KTVU reported.

The four-year old boy, who was properly restrained, initially survived the collision and was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Witnesses at the scene told KTVU they tried to give the boy CPR at the scene.

Castellanos and the boy’s mother, who has not been identified, both suffered “significant injuries,” CHP spokesman Jaret Paulson said. The passengers of the SUV only suffered minor to moderate injuries.

California Highway Patrol said drugs or alcohol was not involved, but told KTVU there is a possibility that
Castellanos may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

“In a collision of this magnitude we will look at what was each person doing for a given length of time,” Paulson said of the investigation.

The Institute of Medicine estimates that roughly 70 million Americans suffer from a variety of sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. This means that many drivers are in danger of causing a deadly or injurious car accident. In fact, federal data indicates that 15 to 33 percent of fatal traffic accidents in California and the nation are caused by drowsy or fatigued drivers.

Anyone can be a drowsy driver; just losing one night of long, restful sleep can lead to a drowsy driving car accident. The person, who may be picking up more hours at work, just took an out-of-town trip or had a long night of drinking (alcohol disrupts a person’s sleeping patterns) can be sowing the seeds of a potentially deadly accident. No one who gets behind the wheel when they are fatigued intends to hurt others, but they are liable is a serious accidents occurs.

Drowsy driving is a negligent action however unintentional. And when that driver causes an injurious or fatal accident, the victims can seek out the assistance of a Walnut Creek accident attorney to file a personal injury or wrongful death suit.

When you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, you are going up against the negligent driver’s insurer. An insurance company can be a formidable force, and accident victims need a knowledgeable San Francisco accident attorney protecting their rights and fighting to make certain you get the compensation you need and deserve.

The personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Steven L. Weiner & Associates will use decades of experience to get you a fair and just accident settlement.

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