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Delaware Injury Law Blog

Renewed proposal to reduce truck accidents through speed control

Earlier this year, a trucking safety advocacy group requested that the federal government require tractor-trailers to use speed restrictors. That request was recently acted upon by two senators, one of whom represents Delaware, who have introduced the bill to Congress. It is hoped that speed restictors will reduce serious truck accidents.  

The Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019, calls for all new trucks 26,000 pounds or larger,  to be equipped with speed restrictors set to 65-mph. The bill does not require that the devices be retroactive to older vehicles. Several of the major carriers in the country, such as Knight-Swift and J.B. Hunt, support the measure and the Trucking Alliance director expressed confidence that the bill could reduce deadly crashes, which resulted in an estimated 140,000 victims either injured or killed in 2018.

Understanding the scope of the texting and driving problem

Whether you live here in Delaware or somewhere else in the country, you know that texting while driving increases the potential for accidents, but the problem is actually much worse than that. If you text while behind the wheel, you increase your risk of crashing by 23 times.

Even though the general consensus is that texting and driving is dangerous, many people continue to do it, even those who say it's dangerous. Knowing more about the problem could deter more drivers from doing it. Teenagers are particularly at risk due to the combination of distraction and inexperience behind the wheel.

How driver behavior affects rates of auto accidents

One of the main reasons that traffic accidents happen is because drivers are not paying attention or they make a mistake while behind the wheel. One type of behavior that could impact the rate of auto accidents is zombie driving, which happens when a driver arrives at his or her destination with no recollection of what happened on the way there. When polled, over half of all drivers say they often feel like they are on autopilot when behind the wheel.

Other drivers admit to zoning out while they are behind the wheel, even multiple times per week. These numbers could indicate a rise in a troubling trend of tired or inattentive driving. In many cases, the things that cause Delaware drivers to do this are driving on familiar roads, having a lot of things on their minds and driving while tired. Cognitive distraction, which is mental distraction, can be just as dangerous as texting or scrolling social media while behind the wheel. 

Technology is helping lower the number of auto accidents

Even the most experienced of drivers will make mistakes from time to time, and sometimes, those mistakes can lead to accidents. In addition to simple driver error, other reasons for auto accidents include distracted driving, speeding, recklessness and drunk driving. While auto makers cannot control the behavior of drivers, they are working to implement technology in newer vehicles that can help Delaware drivers stay safe. 

Through various types of driver alert systems, car manufacturers are making vehicles with the capability of altering drivers when there is a potential hazard. Some of these systems include things like backup cameras, crash avoidance alerts and notifications when there is something in the blind spot that the driver may not see. There is evidence that these things have been successful in reducing accidents. 

Nursing-home abuse: Recognize the signs

Relocating an elderly parent to a nursing home or other long-term care facility is always a difficult decision. But often, when your parent can no longer care for themselves and you cannot provide adequate care, it’s in their best interest.

When you choose a nursing home for your parent, you expect the staff there will care for them with all the respect and dignity they deserve. But a new report released by the U.S. Senate shows a shocking number of nursing homes providing subpar care. When your parent is in a nursing home, you are their best advocate. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs that show abuse is taking place.

Avoiding auto accidents when sharing the road with teen drivers

While car accidents can happen during any time of year, they are especially prevalent during the summer months. There are more travelers on the road during the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and many of these are young drivers. The combination of summer vacation, inexperienced Delaware drivers and increased travel can be a combination that results in more fatal auto accidents.

Statistics indicate that during the summer, approximately 10 people will die every day as a result of injuries suffered in an accident involving a teen driver. Other statistics are just as concerning, including the evidence that a significant portion of fatal teen-involved accidents happen at night. There are probably many reasons for this, but teens are typically out and about during the evening hours more often during the summer. 

Advice for How to Handle a Slip and Fall Accident

When people go out for work, visit a loved one, or run errands, the last thing they probably anticipate is slipping or tripping and then falling onto the ground. The injuries of hitting the floor or pavement can do serious damage on the human body. A person may suffer from mild cuts and bruises, to more critical conditions like a traumatic brain injury. In some cases, an individual or entity may have had an influence in the accident happening. So, those who have slipped and fallen may want to know what their options are in seeking compensation from the party at-fault for their injuries, damages and other losses.

Reducing workplace injuries due to fire hazards in construction

Delaware construction workers face unique challenges every day when they are at work. From electrical hazards to moving equipment, there are many things that can increase the chance of an accident. This also includes fire hazards. There are specific steps employers can take to reduce the number of workplace injuries caused by fire risks on construction sites. 

Every year, there are thousands of fires in buildings that are currently under construction. A closer look at the high rate of fires on various types of construction sites found that there was a distinct need to update codes and enforce them, specifically those related to potential ignition sources. It may also help for construction companies to work closely with fire departments, getting the information they need to keep workers as safe as possible on specific types of job sites.

Does banning cell phone use while driving work?

The temptation to check your phone while driving is very real. The traffic isn’t too bad, there aren’t any cops around, and you know that you’re a pretty good driver. What’s the worst that could happen?

Delaware drivers should know the answer is potentially fatal. Using your cell phone while driving is incredibly risky.

Dog bites in Delaware: should we be focused on breed?

Few things are as scary as being attacked (or seeing a loved one being attacked) by an aggressive animal. It is even more frightening when it happens in your own neighborhood and the attacking animal is someone else’s pet. Yet each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are severely injured by dog bites and attacks.

We are not immune from the problem here in Delaware. A few months ago, in fact, the Delaware News Journal ran a story about “out of control” pit bulls in various cities throughout the state. What the article fails to stress, however, is that the breed of a dog is far less relevant than how it is treated, socialized and managed by its owners. When dog bites occur, dog owners are ultimately to blame.

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