Georgetown Legal Blog

Summer sun glare could cause a crash, so invest in sunglasses

As our hemisphere tilts closer toward the sun, many incredible things happen. Weather becomes warmer, thanks to stronger solar radiation heating up our part of the planet. The days also become longer, meaning that there are more minutes and hours of sunlight. The intensity of the light we experience also increases, meaning there's now more risk than in other seasons of both sunburn and serious glare in your eyes.

Glare is a risk factor that many people in vehicles overlook. Drivers are often so excited to get out and enjoy warmer weather that they simply don't consider the shifting risk factors for a motor vehicle collision in the summer. Failing to seriously consider glare as a risk and take steps to reduce it could leave you in danger of a crash while on the road.

Watch out for people handling phones while driving

You try your best to be a responsible driver. That means avoiding alcohol when you know you have to drive and ensuring you are alert enough to safely manage a car. It also means that you keep your hands and your eyes off your smartphone while you're driving. Unfortunately, far too many other people make the opposite, less responsible decision. They choose to indulge in distraction and put others at risk for a crash.

You likely already know that there are probably people on the road sending texts, dialing phone numbers or looking down at their phone for some reason. You likely don't realize how serious and prevalent of an issue it is.

Changeover to electronic logs highlights truck risks on roads

Sharing the road with massive commercial trucks can be terrifying, especially if you're traveling at high speeds on a freeway or interstate. It only takes a momentary mistake or lapse in judgment by a commercial driver to cause a catastrophic crash that destroys smaller vehicles and leaves people severely injured or even dead. These vehicles can take a long time to stop and require more space to turn. They also have huge blind spots that prevent them from seeing everyone else nearby.

The size discrepancy between commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles is one of the major concerns in these crashes. Roughly 97 percent of fatalities in crashes between commercial and passenger vehicles are the people in the smaller vehicles. In other words, when commercial drivers cause a crash, they almost never pay the price directly. This can lead to questionable decision-making about driving, including deciding to drive past the point of exhaustion.

Pedestrian accidents can result in major injuries or even death

Texas is a huge state with a large population. That means that there are a lot of crashes taking place on Texas roads and highways. Many of these crashes are minor, creating only slight injuries and moderate property damage. However, some of these collisions are more serious, resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death.

When there is a significant discrepancy in the size or weight of vehicles involved in a crash, the people in the smaller vehicles are usually at much higher risk. When vehicles collide with pedestrians, pedestrians often wind up hurt or even killed. Pedestrians in Texas should be careful when crossing or walking near any major road.

Federal regulations prohibit truck drivers from texting at the wheel

Massive commercial trucks pose serious risk to everyone in passenger vehicles. The immense discrepancy in weight and size between a commercial truck and the typical car, truck or SUV on the road leaves those in the smaller vehicle at increased risk. Many times, the large 18-wheelers or semi trucks completely destroy the passenger vehicles they collide with, severely injuring or even killing the people inside.

In order to reduce the threat to the people on the road, there are special rules, laws and requirements in place governing commercial driving. These laws, like those requiring extra driver education for commercial drivers, should reduce collisions. Sadly, truck drivers, like others on the road, can choose to violate the law. One that gets broken far too often is the law against texting and driving.

Motorcyclists: Avoid accidents with a pre-ride safety checklist

Riding a motorcycle is one of the most enjoyable -- and dangerous -- things someone can do in Texas. For that reason, every motorcyclist needs to take precautions to prevent the threat of a collision so they can enjoy their hobby (or passion) injury-free for many years to come.

One way that motorcyclists can stay safe and avoid crashes is to ensure that their bikes are in proper working condition. Having a well-oiled and smoothly running machine will allow motorcyclists to better avoid collisions and sidestep a catastrophic event.

Are you protected if an uninsured driver causes an accident?

You may think that because you carry an active auto insurance policy on your vehicle, you are protected in the event of a crash. In reality, insurance coverage is more complex. Depending on the kind of policy you have and the riders it includes, there could be circumstances when you find you don't have adequate coverage.

One of those situations is when another driver without insurance causes a collision. Your insurance company generally seeks compensation from the policy of the driver at fault. When the person responsible for the collision doesn't have any coverage, there is no way for your insurance company to recoup payout on your claim.

The goal: Making co-parenting be mutually respectful

Having to work with your ex on parenting matters can be a challenge, especially if the divorce was contentious. Finding ways to work through the issues and encourage a healthy co-parenting relationship might make the situation a bit easier.

As you work through the challenges that come with co-parenting, make sure that you are keeping some important points in mind.

Watch for signs of a brain injury after a car crash

Getting into a car crash is a terrifying and frustrating experience. It doesn't matter where you were headed, your whole day grinds to a stop. You may think you weren't hurt and simply want to move on, but you will have to wait for law enforcement to come before you can leave the scene. In your rush to put the experience behind you, you may accidentally overlook signs of a potentially serious injury.

If you don't have any broken bones or obvious signs of trauma, you may assume you don't need medical care. However, it is often in your best interests to see a doctor, just in case you're missing something. Adrenaline from the crash can keep you from noticing pain and other symptoms. Also, in the case of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), the worst symptoms may not develop right away after the collision.

Don’t ignore abdominal pain after a car accident

Not all injuries a person might suffer in a car accident cause pain immediately. In some cases, it may take hours or even days for an injury to cause pain, and some of these injuries are potentially very serious.

Any time you experience a car accident, it is wise to have a medical professional examine you for injuries, even if you do not think you suffered any serious ones. Car accidents are often much more physically harmful than people realize, and you may be injured more seriously than you realize.

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