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North Georgia Personal Injury Law Blog

Accidents caused by spending too much time behind the wheel

There are different areas of concern when it comes to factors that can cause a collision, from those which are more common (speeding, etc.) to those which are far less common. One potential risk factor that drivers should be mindful of involves spending long amounts of time behind the wheel. When someone is driving for too long, such as someone who is on a road trip, for example, they may become mentally exhausted and lose focus. Moreover, they may become cramped and more likely to cause an accident due to physical discomfort.

During the summer months, many people go on day trips or longer drives during a vacation, so it is especially important to be aware of this risk. If you plan on driving for a long time, it is important to do what you can to reduce the likelihood of an accident and ensure that your driving abilities are not adversely affected by your trip. You should make sure you get out of the vehicle and stretch regularly and if you think that your driving is being negatively impacted by any factor you should address it at once. For example, if you are struggling with fatigue, you should not push yourself to continue driving when your driving abilities are affected by being tired.

A jury may not understand why people ride motorcycles

Many people, including some of those who sit on juries during motorcycle accident cases, may not understand riders and what motivates them, especially riders who are older. While it is true that motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injuries than motorists who are inside vehicles, most have a built-in respect for the possibility of crashes and do what they can to protect themselves.

Getting older

Unfamiliar roads and the risk of a crash

Driving in a new city or even country can be tough for many reasons. For example, a driver may not be familiar with roads in a particular area, causing them to accidentally drive the wrong way down a one-way road or be unaware of certain spots that are especially dangerous. Furthermore, people who find themselves in new areas may be tired due to jet lag or driving for long hours on a road trip. Aside from these potential areas of concern, distracted driving is especially problematic for those who are operating a vehicle in unfamiliar territory.

When a driver uses a GPS system or tries to read a map, they can become distracted and divert their attention from the roadway. Not only do some drivers read maps that have been printed, but some may use their smartphone as well, which can also be distracting. Moreover, drivers who are in a new place that they have never been may be more likely to look at various attractions and sites while behind the wheel. Distracted driving is especially concerning in the digital era and has claimed many lives over the years.

Aggressive driving, road rage and car wrecks

From illegal street racing to using unlawful drugs or drinking too much, many behaviors can increase the chances of a car wreck. Moreover, a driver’s emotional state can also play a role in their ability to drive responsibly. For example, someone who is very angry, for whatever reason, may be more likely to cause a motor vehicle collision. A driver may become angry after losing their job, finding out that their partner was unfaithful, experiencing challenges with their child or having a negative interaction with another driver, among many other reasons. Regardless of why a driver is upset, anger can affect how someone drives in various ways.

For starters, a driver who is angry may exhibit road rage and pose a threat to others. They might drive too fast, pass other vehicles abruptly, follow vehicles that are in front of them too closely or drive dangerously in some other manner. Anger can affect a driver’s ability to stay focused, with so much of their attention devoted to a problem that has left them very upset. These drivers not only pose a risk to themselves, but innocent people on the roadway.

Motorcycle “no collision” negligence claims

The legal team at Cromartie Law understands that motorcycle accidents in Georgia happen for many of the same reasons that car and truck accidents occur. However, without the safety features of an enclosed vehicle such as airbags, seat belts and a durable metal frame, the crash impact can be devastating for the rider. If you have been in a “no collision” accident, the driver of a car or truck can be held liable for any injuries you incurred.

According to Findlaw, the motor vehicle statutes of “fault” are the basis for identifying the responsible party in an accident. While many of the statutes are versions of common law, others result from legislation. Negligence, as defined by common law, is codified and the basis for claims in motor vehicle accidents.

Falls are among the top preventable accidents every year

Injuries happen in myriad ways and circumstances in Georgia, and every person's experience is unique. Statistically, though, people are most likely to suffer a preventable fatal injury in one of three situations. According to the National Safety Council's Injury Facts, between 1999 and 2016, the top three for all ages were motor vehicle accidents, falls and poisoning (which includes overdoses).

When separated out into age groups, not everyone faces the same risk from falling. However, they continue to be in the top three for everyone over the age of 35. For those over the age of 65, falls are by far the most fatal preventable accident. 

What can you do to prevent drowsy driving?

You have recently been hired as a truck driver in Georgia and are learning about different safety topics to help you drive a big rig with confidence and responsibility. One of the points of concern that your employer has mentioned is driver fatigue. Fortunately, there are prevention techniques that you can implement from the get go to help you stay alert and avoid the dangerous habit of drowsy driving.

As you may have begun to notice, being a truck driver often means you are required to work long hours, travel far distances in consecutive hours and drive during the nighttime. In situations where your freight's arrival is highly anticipated, you may be feeling the pressure of delivering it on time despite feeling too tired to carry on. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, statistics have shown that nearly 13 percent of all truck-related accidents were caused by drivers who were fatigued at the time of the accident. They suggest some great tips to help you avoid becoming one of those statistics. Some of the things you can do include the following:

  • Never take medications that make you feel drowsy if you plan to be traveling for a while. 
  • Do not think that just because you are eating, listening to music or drinking caffeine that you are no longer at risk of falling asleep if you are feeling tired. 
  • During your periods of rest, make sure you get enough sleep and use the time to recover and refresh. 
  • Be aware of symptoms that indicate that you are getting tired. If they become too prevalent, pull over and take a nap.

How can your employer prevent OSHA violations in your workplace?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, incidence of the top 10 OSHA violations were down in Georgia and across the United States in fiscal year 2017 from where they were in 2016. While that is undeniably good news for you as a worker, the bad news is that workplace fatalities are more likely to result from these types of violations because they represent the most severe workplace safety hazards.

The top five OSHA violations include failures in respiratory protection, hazard communication, lockout/tagout and fall protection in the construction industry. While already the number-one OSHA violation on the list, falls may be a bigger concern than the list indicates because OSHA lists ladder and scaffolding violations as separate items, yet improper use of ladders and lack of scaffolding guardrails could lead to falls that result in injuries or potential fatalities.

Scabies infestations put nursing home residents in danger

As other states do, Georgia has a regulatory agency that provides oversight to nursing home facilities. Such agencies should investigate reports of hazards and safety violations and ensure that these are corrected. According to the Washington Post, the Georgia Department of Community Health was notified of more than one scabies outbreak at a for-profit nursing home facility.

The local health department received reports of infected residents and staff members at the Georgia facility in 2013 and 2015, and an unreported outbreak occurred in 2014. One resident, who initially broke out with the rash that indicates the parasites in 2013, died two years later due to bacteria in the bloodstream caused by scabies. The Georgia DCH is not required to investigate scabies outbreaks and did not do so in this circumstance. Someone from the agency did send the state's handbook on how to control and eradicate scabies.

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