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North Haven CT Legal Blog

Springtime motorcycle accidents: It's a dangerous time of year

Many Connecticut motorcyclists are excited to get on the road after a long winter. But wet roads, rusty reflexes and oblivious drivers can make April and May rides dangerous.

Motorcyclists are already at a big safety disadvantage as compared to others on the road. According to 2014 stats provided by the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than car occupants, per mile traveled. So extreme caution is important for riders under adverse weather conditions and when seasons change.

Will technology stop teens (and adults) from texting while driving?

Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States. In Connecticut alone, hundreds of catastrophic injuries have resulted from mobile use on the road. Though nearly everyone knows they shouldn't text, use social media or access websites while they're driving, distracted driving is still very common.

Teenage drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, and they may be especially vulnerable to the temptation of their mobile devices. Can technology help stop teens -- and adults for that matter -- from wreaking more havoc?

Why are distracted drivers a threat to motorcyclists?

Distracted driving is dangerous. It is a major problem on our roads. According to government statistics, it claimed more than 3,000 lives in 2014.

Research shows that drivers are simply not paying attention to the road.They might be texting, they might be eating, they might be grooming, but whatever they are doing, they are not focusing on the road. And this is deadly.

What should cyclists do after a vehicle accident?

After an accident

If you are a cyclist who has been involved in a vehicle accident, there are a few things you can do to exercise control over an otherwise chaotic situation. Knowing what to do in the moment and having everything covered on your end will not only make things easier immediately after the accident, but also further down the road.

· Get medical attention

After an accident, the highest priority should be the health and safety of everyone involved. If it is needed, call emergency medical services. Nothing else can be done if people are too injured to function.

· Document the scene

If you are able, take pictures of the scene including any vehicles involved and any damage that was caused. Having photographic evidence will only serve to back up your side of events. It may also be helpful for law enforcement agencies and insurance companies.

· Call law enforcement

Having a legal police report on record may be essential for an insurance claims. Once the police file a report, find out how to get a copy of the report to make sure that it lines up with your understanding of the event.

· Gather information

This includes the names and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident take place. This also includes the names and badge numbers of law enforcement officers involved, the names of the streets where the event took place, etc. The more information you have, the better.

It should be noted that just like other vehicles drivers, cyclists have a legal obligation to follow all traffic laws and regulations. Every cyclist should be familiar with the local cycling laws before they start riding.

These types of accidents can feel frightening and overwhelming. Fortunately, you do not have to deal with them alone. There is legal help in the situations and it can make a huge and positive difference. If you are involved in this type of accident, it is recommended that you obtain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional.

What to know about back injuries in the workplace

You had all the safety courses in training, including on how to lift a patient twice your size. You followed protocal, and yet, a sudden pain surged through your back, bringing tears to your eyes.

You have to give up your nursing job, but, all you care about is being able to walk down the stairs without collapsing in pain. What can you do now?

Misconceptions about pedestrian accidents

Any car accident can be damaging, but collisions between a car and a pedestrian are especially fatal. Because cars weigh so much more and move so much more quickly than humans, being hit by one as a pedestrian can cause permanent injury if the person survives.

Being hit by a car is already very traumatic, but the uncertainty and confusion that can surround this event makes it even more distressing. Here are two big misconceptions people have about pedestrian accidents.

Drunk driving deaths on the rise

Many can't wait for 2016 to end. Some cite the relentless election cycle that's finally run its course and others name the loss of beloved celebrities. For far too many, 2016 will be remembered by the loss of loved ones to fatal car crashes. 2016 goes on record as one of the worst years for drunken driving deaths, with nearly 28 drivers killed each day on US roads, CBS News reports.

2016 statistics

In September we discussed sobering statistics from the first half of the year, with Connecticut showing an especially alarming increase in traffic deaths. The CBS report further confirms a safety problem on our highways that includes drunk driving along with distract driving, driver fatigue and other causes.

Hurt by a distracted driver in Connecticut? Know your rights

By now, we all know that distracted driving kills. Despite public warnings, educational campaigns and ads, though, distracted driving remains a serious problem in Connecticut.

Court websites offer lots of information about the state laws that apply to driving while texting, using social media or talking on the phone. But how can you protect yourself and your family when something horrible happens? What should you do if you or someone you love gets hurt by a distracted driver?  

Study: Ending helmet laws for motorcyclists increases head injuries

A study by the University of Michigan provides a sobering example of what can happen when helmet laws change. Studies by various entities have found similar results; that helmet laws reduce motorcyclist deaths and serious head and brain injuries.

Michigan partially repealed its motorcycle helmet law in April 2012, and has seen a 14 percent increase in head injuries since. Emergency doctors and trauma surgeons have even seen a difference in the kinds of head injuries suffered since the law changed - concussions fell 17 percent, but skull fractures increased 38 percent during the same time period.

Wisconsin school under fire for fake student death announcement

Distracted driving has become an epidemic, and the problem heavily affects teen drivers. According to AAA, in 60 percent of crashes involving a teen, the driver had been distracted by something for the six seconds before the accident happened. AAA investigated these accidents and found that 12 percent of the distractions were caused by mobile phone usage.

Many officials and experts argue that education is gravely needed to teach teens how to put their phones and other distractions away while behind the wheel. However, one school in Wisconsin is under fire by parents and students alike for staging the deaths of four students to teach the school a lesson about distracted driving. Was the outrage worth the educational moment?

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