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Houston Personal Injury Law Blog

Silent injuries after an accident can have severe consequences

After a car accident, you may want to get home and get some rest. Even though the crash was pretty bad, you do not feel hurt.

Some injuries do not manifest as severe pain immediately following a crash. It is important to spot the signs of these silent injuries. Failing to get medical help after an accident may result in permanent consequences.

Government planning to relax federal rest rules

A previous post discussed the hours of service rules that truckers regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, must follow. This post discussed how these rules are supposed to prevent truck driver fatigue and thus ensure the safety of all motorists traveling on the Texas highways and roads.

As a result, Houston victims of truck accidents could find it easier to hold truck drivers and their employers accountable for negligence should it become apparent the trucker involved in the accident violated the rest rules. Now, the FMCSA is planning to give these rules some additional flexibility, which will supposedly allow drivers to comply with the spirit of the rules without having to follow the current requirements to the letter. Critics, however, call this move a change that will compromise safety on this country's highways.

Houston below average in terms of safe driving

An annual report prepared by a major insurance company ranked Houston as the 158th safest city when it comes to driving, at least for 2019. Although the report is prepared by an insurance company, it has broader ramifications, as at least one major media source used it to identify safe and unsafe cities for drivers.

The report determines safety based on the average length of time that passes between when motorists in the area file insurance claims. In this respect, the residents of Houston are falling short. While on average a motorist will file an insurance claim about every 10 years, in Houston a person will typically file a claim approximately every seven years and nine months.

A properly secured load is important

The whole point of having large trucks on the roads of Houston and in the rest of the country is that they can carry a lot of heavy items relatively easily. While this is, of course, an advantage because it allows for the efficient transportation of all kinds of goods and equipment, it is also a risk. After all, if heavy items were suddenly to fall from the back or the sides of the truck, they may strike other vehicles or otherwise cause a serious trucking accident.

Drivers who are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as well as their employers, have an obligation to make sure that if they are transporting cargo the load is properly secured. This is particularly important when the cargo is heavy, awkward or hard to balance.

Mother, son, police officer injured in accident

An officer with the Houston Police Department, along with a toddler and his mom, were all hospitalized after an accident.

According to reports, while the officer apparently was on duty at the time of the wreck, he was not responding to a call. In such situations, police officers are generally expected to follow the laws of the road.

Common causes of distracted driving (other than cell phones)

Thanks to state campaigns, virtually everyone behind the wheel is now aware of the dangers of distracted driving. A group of students at Pflugerville High School even created a PSA to warn people of the dangers of distracted driving, and so far, it has garnered over 3,000 views on YouTube. 

However, there are many other ways to end up in a car crash other than by looking at your phone. Thousands of Texans end up in car accidents every day due to common tasks they think they can handle simultaneously while driving. Everyone needs to do better when it comes to driving safely. 

Parents disapprove of distracted driving, but do it themselves

According to a recent study, about half of all parents who are from the Millennial generation disapprove of distracted driving, saying that it is never a safe practice while behind the wheel. Among parents from earlier generations, closer to 60 percent say that the practice is always unsafe.

However, this same study also suggests that these parents may need to do a better job practicing what they preach. Indeed, over 66 percent of those asked admitted that they had on at least one occasion tried to read a text while driving, while a little over half also admitted to composing texts while driving.

Common causes of slips at retail stores

Even in this age of online shopping, people in Houston still have to visit the traditional brick-and-mortar stores from time to time. They may not think about it, but like any other activity in life, going to the store or shopping mall is risky in that people can get hurt. In particular, there a lot of ways a shopper can slip and fall while visiting a Texas store or shopping mall.

For instance, although Houston does not see a lot of snow and ice, it often experiences heavy rains. People coming in to the store from the rain will make the entrances wet and slippery. Moreover, people may spill their drinks or other liquid while shopping. At times, even the store's own staff may leave a floor wet after mopping up a mess or just trying to clean the floor.

Texas bus driver cited in motorcycle accident

A bus driver affiliated with a major university in Texas received a traffic citation for failing to yield to a motorcyclist. The end result was a motorcycle accident that sent the motorcyclist to the hospital. Thankfully, the motorcyclist is expected to survive, but the full extent of his injuries is not known.

Nevertheless, the motorcyclist is lucky to be alive. Buses are large vehicles that can do a lot of damage even to full-sized cars if involved in a collision. A motorcyclist that gets involved in an accident with a bus is likely to be significantly injured, even if he or she was wearing all the proper safety equipment.

Insurers going high-tech to curb distracted driving

Distracted drivers are to blame for many accidents in the Houston area, particularly accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians. After all, pedestrians and bicyclists can be hard to spot just because of their size.

If a driver takes his or her eyes off the road for even a moment, perhaps to send a quick text message, the driver can wind up striking a pedestrian with his or her car. This can even happen if a driver is texting and driving while stopped at an intersection but fails to check for pedestrians before hitting the gas again.

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