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Hammond Personal Injury Law Blog

Report offers governors tips for improving road safety

Louisiana motorists who are dissatisfied with the current safety conditions on the road may want to know about a new report published by the National Governors Association. The report provides states across the U.S. with tips on how to improve road safety and reduce the number of crashes.

State governors, the report states, have a key role to play in the implementation of new and improved safety rules. For example, they can lead the way in coordinating the efforts of state agencies, such as state highway safety offices. The report has the support of the Governors Highway Safety Association, an organization based in Washington, D.C.

Study finds collision avoidance systems prevent accidents

Louisiana motorists who have collision avoidance systems in their vehicles might be less likely to be in an accident than those who do not. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2015, the rate of head-on crashes, sideswipes and accidents involving a single vehicle was 11 percent lower and injury crashes were 21 percent lower when vehicles had this technology. The IIHS estimated that if all vehicles had collision avoidance technology in 2015, there would have been at least 55,000 fewer injuries that year.

However, the IIHS said the study also showed that many drivers turned off their collision avoidance systems. By comparison, studies of cars in Sweden and of trucking fleets in the United States found that accident rates were halved when vehicles had lane departure warning systems. According to the organization, some people may be turning the system off if it beeps instead of vibrating because they find it annoying.

How TBIs can impact long-term health

Louisiana residents who experience a traumatic brain injury may have memory or emotional problems. However, they may also be at a higher risk for dementia. This was the finding of a study conducted by researchers at Umeå University in Sweden and published in PLoS Medicine. The study analyzed the medical records of 3 million Swedish people at or over the age of 50 who were diagnosed with TBI or dementia from 1964 to 2012.

Those who had been diagnosed with a TBI had a 25 percent greater chance of getting dementia compared to those who hadn't had a TBI. The risk increased if a person had a severe injury or had multiple head injuries. However, it is important to note that there is no conclusive evidence that a head injury can cause dementia. Researchers did say that this knowledge can help those who have had a TBI take steps to avoid future head injuries.

Long commutes for truck drivers under scrutiny

Some Louisianans are seriously injured or killed in accidents with large trucks every year. These accidents may be caused by a number of factors, including truck driver fatigue and medical conditions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently announced that it will be conducting a study concerning the impact of what it terms to be excessive commuting by truck drivers. The agency defines excessive commuting as driving more than 150 miles to get to work. Many drivers live in less expensive areas and drive long distances to larger population centers in order to go to work.

Are you sure you have enough auto insurance coverage?

Obtaining an auto insurance policy can be costly. Information such as your age and location affect the price of your plan. In addition, the industry jargon can make knowing what to get and how much to get very confusing, especially if you sign up without the help of an agent. Perhaps you think the minimum state requirements are enough because you have never gotten in an accident or assume another driver's insurer will pay for damages; maybe cost affects your decision.

All these factors may cause you to get less coverage than you should. Do not wait until an accident occurs to increase your policy, or you may face severe financial consequences.

The importance of filing lawsuits quickly

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a traumatic experience for road users in Louisiana. Emergency personnel respond quickly to accident scenes when lives have been lost or injuries are serious, and law enforcement generally investigates these incidents thoroughly. For minor collisions, however, the motorists involved usually file claims on their auto insurance policies to cover damages.

However, car accident victims may choose to take legal action if they suffer injuries or financial losses due to the reckless behavior of others. The actions they take following a collision can greatly impact their chances of prevailing in court. For example, it's important to take photographs of an accident scene before the vehicles involved have been moved. Furthermore, collecting the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses will likely make scheduling depositions and gathering evidence far less challenging.

New research may help people with spinal cord injuries

Louisiana residents who have been paralyzed may have limited treatment options. However, a new study from the University of Louisville School of Medicine will test the effectiveness of epidural stimulation in spinal cord injuries. The study, which has gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will include 36 people who have a device implanted in their spinal cord that sends electricity though the nervous system.

Previous research has shown that such a technique may allow patients to stand or regain control over their movements. According to a doctor from the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, controlling movement and regulating blood pressure may be as important as being able to stand or walk. One of the goals of the study is to determine if this technique can be used clinically to help patients regardless of the severity of their injuries.

Deescalating road rage situations

Most drivers in Louisiana and around the country have either witnessed or been involved in a road rage incident. The pressures of modern life and the increasingly busy schedules of many Americans are among the reasons cited by experts for the alarming increase in road rage over the last few decades, but motorists may be able to reduce their chances of becoming embroiled in a dispute with an enraged driver by remaining calm and taking steps to deescalate tense situations.

Not responding to drivers who seek to bully or intimidate other road users can be difficult, but remaining calm is the best way to prevent anger from boiling over into violent or dangerous behavior. Experts advise drivers to be particularly watchful for aggressive driving and move out of the way when they see vehicles approaching quickly from behind, and they urge them to only use their headlights or horns to warn of their approach and not to chastise other road users.

Creating a strong brain injury case

A car accident can be a traumatic experience that leads to various injuries. Brain injury is a common type of injury that may have lasting issues.

If you or a loved one is suffering injury due to an auto accident that is not your fault, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim. To create a strong case, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Drowsy driving, loss of control among causes of car accidents

Louisiana drivers and their passengers might be more likely to be in a fatal car accident than in previous years. The fatality rate for motor vehicle accidents climbed 8 percent in 2015 around the country, and in 2016, more than 40,000 people died in U.S. car crashes.

Many of these accidents have common causes. For example, cars straying out of their lanes or off the road, often due to distraction, causes 33 percent of crashes. Not all rear-end crashes are minor accidents, and many of them happen when one car runs into the back of another. Motorists who run through red lights, turn despite their views being blocked by large vehicles or make other errors related to driving blind causes 12 percent of crashes.