Kokomo Personal Injury Law Blog

Advanced tech in new vehicles can lead to distracted drivers

Drivers in Indiana and across the nation can take advantage of the improved technology in vehicles in myriad ways. These advancements are meant to make the roads safer and give drivers peace of mind. Still, as with any improvements, there are always adjustments that must be made. For those who were concerned about distracted drivers, the infotainment systems that are in most new vehicles were designed to reduce the tendency and need for people to continually reach for their smartphone when behind the wheel. Even if it has done that, it has created a new batch of problems, especially for older drivers. This should be considered after motor vehicle accidents.

According to research from the AAA Foundation, the systems themselves are causing a distraction. Although their intent is to let drivers worry about driving, using them is worrisome. The driver often needs to remove his or her eyes from the road to operate it for minor tasks, like checking navigation or adjusting the radio.

Scooting along to danger

When it comes to scooters, it appears our grandmothers were right.

"It's all good fun until somebody gets hurt." 

Accidents involving electric scooters have been steadily on the rise in recent years with more than 1545 accidents reported this last year. Scooters are a popular rental option for both locals and tourists alike to see the city without having to be concerned about traffic congestion. 

Rise in serious injuries and deaths linked to ride sharing

Ride sharing has become popular in Indiana and across the U.S. With the advent of Uber and Lyft, it has become trendy to leave the car at home, forget about public transportation and simply press a button on a smartphone to have a vehicle pick up its passengers and take them to their destination. Even though there are obvious benefits to this, there are always caveats with technological and practical advancement.

A recent study indicates that there has been a rise in traffic and traffic fatalities that has coincided with ride sharing. People who are on the road should be aware of this for safety and to avoid serious injuries and wrongful death due to a ride share. In fact, a study from the University of Chicago says there was an estimated 3 percent increase in fatal auto accidents and fatal accidents in general.

Turning vehicle causes motorcycle accident, injuring rider

Indiana has many motorcyclists on its roadways. It is expected that drivers of passenger vehicles and trucks will pay close attention to motorcycles and share the road to keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, there are drivers who do not watch for riders, are negligent, reckless, function as a distracted driver and make other errors leading to a motorcycle accident. Since riders have such little protection, there can be serious injuries and death from such a crash. Even when the injuries initially do not appear serious, there can still be long-term damage. Considering a legal filing is a wise step to be fully protected against every eventuality.

A 69-year-old motorcyclist was injured when his bike collided with a truck. The accident happened when the vehicle's driver, a 73-year-old woman, turned in front of the man's bike. The rider tried to swerve to avoid the truck, but could not. He was thrown off the motorcycle. Emergency crews came to the scene. The man's injuries were not considered life-threatening, but he was taken to the hospital via for treatment. The investigation is continuing.

Summer means more teen drivers and motor vehicle accident risk

Indiana teens will inevitably look forward to the summer when they can drive from one place to another. However, there are inherent risks with teen drivers as they generally lack the experience and understanding of what it takes to be safe on the road. Statistically, the time from Memorial Day to Labor Day is considered the riskiest for teen drivers and has sparked the designation of "100 Deadliest Days." For those who are on the road with young drivers, it is important to understand the increased danger.

According to AAA, the past five years have been particularly deadly for people on the road in the 100 Deadliest Days. Almost 3,500 people have lost their lives in accidents with teen drivers. National statistics say that 260 teens lose their lives in accidents for every month of the summer. That is a rise of 26 percent from the months in the rest of the year. Research indicates that most fatal accidents stem from distracted drivers.

Indiana's mandatory driver safety program

The State of Indiana takes driving safety seriously. Besides requiring persons seeking their first driver's license to take mandatory road safety instruction, the state imposes additional driving safety training requirements on persons who have had more than one driving offense.

Anyone convicted of two or more traffic violations within a 12-month period may be required to complete a Driver Safety Program that has been approved by the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Drivers under the age of 21 are required to take such a course if they have been convicted of two violations, regardless of the length of time between convictions. A person who receives notice from the BMV of the necessity to take the mandatory course has 90 days to complete the training or driving privileges will be revoked. Courts often require a driver to take a DSP course in lieu of the suspension of driving privileges.

Remember, life jackets are the law

Would you allow yourself or your child to not wear a seatbelt in a moving vehicle? Probably not, right? That’s because research has shown that wearing a seatbelt is the most basic thing you can do to protect yourself in a car accident. Now, what about wearing a life jacket on a boat this summer? If the answer to this question is “no,” you may want to reconsider.

Life jackets are the law, like seatbelts

Report highlights motorcycle safety concerns for all drivers

As the weather in Indiana warms up, motorcycle owners are taking to the roads in greater numbers. In order to celebrate Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and Indiana University Public Policy Institute have released their annual motorcycle crash fact sheet. The report contains both good news and bad news.

Perhaps the most important good news is the fact that motorcycle deaths in Indiana in 2018 fell to 118 from 147 in 2017. Moreover, the state's five-year trend of motorcycle accidents is also declining. Perhaps the state's "Share the Road" safety program is working. More numbers show that more work is required.

State police correct misidentification in accident report

News reports of traffic accidents in Indiana often state that the names of persons involved have not been released because the identities of those persons have not been verified. A striking example of the need for this caution was displayed when the state police revised its accident report to correct a transposition of the names of two drivers involved in a pedestrian fatality.

The car accident occurred on the edge of a construction zone on I-65 when a woman driving southbound on the interstate pulled her car onto the median. She climbed out of the vehicle and walked into the southbound traffic lane. She was struck by a southbound 2015 Volvo that was pulling a trailer. She died instantly. A semi-trailer truck then crashed into the Volvo. Neither the Volvo driver nor the semi driver were injured, but police have ordered toxicology studies on both drivers and the victim. The results of these studies are still pending.

Addressing distracted driving before summer break

We’re now just over a month or so away from the end of the school year. If you have a teen driver at home, he or she will likely be driving more this summer than during the school year. In fact, driving among all ages tends to increase when the weather is nice. Now is the perfect time to be thinking about one of the most important safety issues all drivers face: distraction.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are doing all they can to spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving, which killed at least 3,166 people on U.S. roads in 2017. While this behavior is unsafe for any driver, teenagers appear to be the most likely to drive distracted and the most at-risk for a crash (because of their already underdeveloped driving skills).

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