Archive for February, 2015

Protect Yourself from Road Rage Car Crashes

February 26th, 2015 at 3:00 pm

road rage car crash, Westport personal injury attorneyMost drivers have experienced being the target of an aggressive driver or have been involved in a road rage incident. Unfortunately, many of these incidents can end up turning into fatal car crashes.

Recent Road Rage Incident Goes Viral

One woman recently experienced road rage and recorded her experience on video. The video has gone viral and helped police arrest the aggressive driver.

The victim, a disabled grandmother who had her six-year-old granddaughter in her car, was driving on a two-lane road when an SUV began tailgating her. The SUV tried to pass her, and almost crashed head-on into another vehicle traveling the other way.

When the SUV tried to pass a second time, the woman pulled off to the side to let her do so, but the SUV almost ran her off the road. The woman then called 911 to report the SUV and began recording with her phone, which was in a holder mounted to the dashboard.

The video shows the SUV braking and stopping multiple times, and swerving and crossing the double line before coming to a complete stop in the middle of the road. The driver then gets out of the SUV and comes over to the victim’s car and tries to reach into the open window, which the victim rolls up.

Clearly angered, the SUV’s driver begins yelling and pounding on the victim’s car. The victim’s granddaughter can be heard screaming and crying in the background of the video, clearly terrified by the SUV’s driver’s actions. The driver of the SUV then took off, but was later identified. The 40-year-old driver has been charged with reckless endangerment, assault and battery, damaging private property, crossing the center highway line and making threats.

Protect Yourself from Road Rage

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), road rage is defined when a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property” or is “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.”

Road rage is responsible for almost 70 percent of traffic fatalities each year. When encountering an aggressive driver, there are several steps you can take to avoid becoming a crash statistic. These tips include:

  • Do everything to get out of the aggressive driver’s way;
  • Do not “challenge” your right to be there by speeding your vehicle up or slowing it down;
  • Do not make eye contact with the other driver;
  • Do not respond to any obscene gesture the other driver makes;
  • Do not honk your horn at the driver;
  • Report the driver to law enforcement;
  • Keep your doors and windows locked; and
  • Do not go home if you are being followed. Instead, drive directly to a police station.

Contact a Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a car accident caused in a road rage incident, please consult an experienced Westport personal injury attorney today to find out what legal action you may be able to take against the aggressive driver for your pain and loss.

BLS Finds Nurses More Susceptible to Chronic Back Injuries

February 19th, 2015 at 7:00 am

chronic back injuries, Westport personal injury attorneyWhen most people think of nurses, they imagine a person who is there to care for the sick and injured. However, it is becoming a more common scenario for nurses to end up on the other end of the stethoscope and in need of medical care themselves. According to data gathered from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurses suffer from over 35,000 occupational back and other injuries every year. These injuries are serious enough to cause a halt to lifestyle and missed days at work.

Those particularly susceptible to back injuries are nursing assistants and orderlies. In fact, musculoskeletal injuries to nursing-field workers occur triple the amount than they do for construction workers. Moreover, these workers have more of these types of injuries than truckers, warehouse workers, and stock clerks. The BLS statistics also reveal that the main way these injuries occur is from lifting and moving patients.

The hospital industry has recently come under fire for failing to develop safe patient handling protocols in order to protect nursing staff from chronic back injuries. There has been much criticism of hospital administrators for not making this issue a top priority, even from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A spokesperson from OSHA says the agency’s hands are tied in protecting nurses unless new laws are passed granting OSHA the powers to do so.

There are safety protocols which could easily be put in place to protect nursing staff, and some hospitals have already implemented them. One hospital, which uses a procedure referred to as “safe patient handling” has already seen an 80 percent reduction in back injuries to nurses—their staff has received extensive training on safe lifting and special machines are used to lift the patients.

If you are a member of the nursing field and have suffered from back, neck, or other musculoskeletal injuries, contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss.

NTSB Releases Truck Safety Recommendations

February 17th, 2015 at 7:00 am

truck safety recommendations, Westport personal injury attorneyThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a list of what they say should be safety priorities for 2015. According to the NTSB, there are over 100 truck safety recommendations that have been made by the agency, but highway regulators have failed to act on those recommendations, contributing to the number of truck accidents that occur every day.

There are more than two million commercial truck drivers on the nation’s roadways. There are also more than 4,000 people killed every year in truck crashes. One of the most publicized crashes from 2014 involved comedian Tracy Morgan, who was seriously injured when a commercial truck plowed into the limousine in which Morgan, along with five other people, were traveling. One person was killed in that crash. Walmart, the owner of the truck, recently settled a wrongful death suit with the dead victim’s family. There are also criminal charges pending against the driver of that truck.

The NTSB’s statistics show that there has been a 17 percent increase in the number of fatal truck accidents, since 2009. One of the biggest causes of these accidents is driver fatigue. In the Morgan accident, police records show the driver had not slept for over 24 hours. The NTSB says that trucking companies should be putting policies into place that to not only ensure their drivers are not struggling with fatigue, but to also screen them for any sleep disorders which could also affect their driving.

The dangers of driver fatigue may play even more of a role in trucking accidents thanks to a move by Congress which did away with a regulation which prohibited truck drivers from working more than 82 hours in an eight day period.

Another issue the NTSB points out in their report is the lack of enforcing safety regulations. Too many trucks—more than 20 percent on the road—fail safety inspections. The agencies stresses there should be much more enforcement by highway regulators of these inspections.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver, contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the driver and company for your pain and loss.

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