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North Georgia Personal Injury Law Blog

Negligence: how it works in car accidents

Car accident victims in Georgia may be eligible for compensation under personal injury law, but they must prove that negligence on the other side caused their injuries, property damage or other losses. Negligence is anything that goes against the reasonable care that one should exercise toward others, such as the lawful entrants of a business property or for drivers and pedestrians.

One common way that drivers are negligent is by breaking traffic laws. They may fail to signal a lane change, run red lights or exceed the speed limit. In bad weather, they may be negligent even in following the speed limit if it is still too fast for road conditions. Tailgating is another negligent action as drivers must keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

Media investigation exposes Amazon warehouse accident cover-up

Online retailer Amazon has been harshly criticized in recent years for providing its warehouse workers in Georgia and around the country with unsafe conditions. The Seattle-based company has repeatedly denied allegations that it concealed workplace injuries and manipulated warehouse accident reports, but a recent media investigation claims that the organization either refused to share injury logs with its employees or provided them with redacted records on at least a dozen occasions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has rules requiring employers to provide workers with complete safety records and prohibits them from placing restrictions on how the records are shared. The media investigation contains interviews with Amazon workers who say they were only given records covering the hours they actually worked and were told that the documents had to be kept confidential. One worker says that they feared being sued or terminated if they shared the information.

Slip-and-fall injuries are a risk during holiday shopping

With the holiday season underway, you will likely be trying to get some shopping done in the next few weeks along with many other Georgia residents. You may have some items you can purchase online from the comfort of your couch, but for others, you may need to head to the stores to look over some gift ideas.

Whether you dread shopping or feel as if it is a relaxing activity, you need to stay focused on a vital aspect of your outing: safety. You may not consider shopping an inherently dangerous activity, but there is always a chance that you could be involved in an injury-causing accident at a retail location.

Five of the most common reasons for truck crashes

Georgia residents should know that there are a number of ways that a collision can occur between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle. There are at least five extremely common causes of truck accidents, the first being driver error. Truckers may speed, drive drowsy or be negligent in some other way. However, studies show that in 81% of truck crashes caused by driver error, it's the passenger vehicle driver who is to blame.

Second, truck accidents can be caused by bad weather. Truckers who have not been trained on proper braking techniques may skid, hydroplane or jackknife on wet, icy and snowy roads. Third, truckers may neglect to maintain their trucks and even fail to inspect them before every shift. Worn brake pads and cracked windshields, if left alone, raise the risk for a crash.

New tools could reduce distracted driving

Distracted driving is a significant problem on roads in Georgia and throughout the country. Each year, it causes $40 million in economic losses, and cellphone use is the most common distraction that drivers encounter. However, other distractions exist such as rubbernecking, changing a radio station or talking to a passenger. According to a 2016 study, 60% of respondents said that they had used a cellphone while driving at least one time.

Artificial intelligence may be able to solve many problems that can lead to distracted driving. For example, AI could monitor a driver to determine if he or she is experiencing cognitive issues while driving. This could occur if a driver was impaired or was too tired to operate a motor vehicle. An artificial intelligence system may also be able to create a warning that people would react to as intended.

No solution in sight as truck crash deaths continue to rise

Commercial truck crashes are on the rise in Georgia and across the U.S., and so are the number of deaths arising from them. Between 2009 and 2017, there was a 28% increase in them with 4,102 deaths in the latter year. The majority of those who lost their lives were occupants in passenger vehicles. To lower the number of crashes and fatalities, safety groups have pushed for the incorporation of new safety tech on commercial trucks.

The National Transportation Safety Board, for example, has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at least 10 times since the 1990s to come up with a regulation that requires all heavy trucks to be equipped with forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems. It argued that these would greatly reduce the number of rear-end collisions in particular. Yet the agency has not followed through with even so much as a proposal for a regulation. The NHTSA has not stated why it has ignored the NTSB's petition, but it has stated that it is conducting field operation testing for next-generation automatic emergency braking. This testing will be completed in 18 to 24 months.

Collision risk increases as daylight saving time ends

As the clock turns back with the end of daylight saving time, drivers in Georgia may face more dangerous roads. While the clock change itself is always scheduled for 2 a.m. on a Sunday to avoid unnecessary disruption, even a one-hour shift in sleep schedules can cause surprising effects. The end of daylight saving time can change the body's internal clock and circadian rhythms, contributing to greater feelings of sleepiness. Of course, these are the immediate effects of the clock change. Because it is a one-hour change, most people may be able to adjust to the difference over a short period of time.

However, many of the dangers that accompany the shift in time also reflect the changing seasons. Car accidents may be more likely in the winter and fall months because of longer hours of darkness, increased precipitation and greater likelihood of snow and ice. When people need to drive to work and home in the dark, they are more likely to feel drowsy, especially if they are already sleep-deprived. National Sleep Foundation statistics indicate that 6,400 people are killed every year in motor vehicle accidents linked to a lack of sleep. Another 50,000 people are seriously injured in these types of crashes.

More pedestrians, cyclists died in car crashes in 2018

After several years of increasing figures, the number of people who died in motor vehicle crashes on U.S. roads finally declined in 2018, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. However, that decrease was offset by the news that more pedestrians, cyclists and senior drivers are dying in traffic accidents in Georgia and across the country.

The NHTSA report found that 36,560 people were killed in U.S. car crashes in 2018, which represents a 2% decrease from 2017. The rate of traffic fatalities is also decreasing. In 1975, an average of 3.4 Americans died for every 100 million miles driven. By 2018, that number had dropped to 1.1 deaths per every 100 million miles driven. However, the news is not all good. The agency also found that 6,283 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roads in 2018, which is 3% more than died in 2017. In addition, 857 cyclists were killed, which is a spike of 6% over the previous year.

Christmas lights for running at night and other safety tips

Autumn is upon us, and the daylight hours are shorter. If you are an outdoor exercise enthusiast and tend to walk or jog after dark, safety is key.

As a pedestrian, you are vulnerable to traffic accidents, especially in the pre-dawn or post-sunset hours. Here are tips to make yourself more visible after dark.

Operation Safe Driver Week ends in nearly 47,000 citations

Truckers in Georgia may know that for 2019, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held Operation Safe Driver Week between July 14 and 20. This week of increased traffic law enforcement ended with officers issuing 46,752 citations and 87,624 warnings to passenger vehicle drivers and CMV drivers across the U.S.

Drivers' actions are behind 94% of all traffic crashes, according to the CVSA, so this initiative is meant to deter drivers from violating traffic laws. The focus of the 2019 Operation Safe Driver Week was on speeding offenses. Speeding, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, has been behind a quarter of all crash fatalities since 2008.

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