Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

North Haven CT Legal Blog

Pedestrian fatalities have increased every year since 2005

In 2015, we saw the economy improve; gas prices dropped, and more drivers spent time on the road. Reports show that we also saw an estimated 10 percent increase in pedestrian deaths. The Governors Highway Safety Association points to an overall increase in cellphone use for both drivers and pedestrians as a contributor to the higher fatality rate. In general, the researchers responsible for the report are concerned that pedestrian safety is at risk, not just in Connecticut, but all over the nation.

The report, which is based on state traffic fatality figures for the first half of 2015, suggests that that year may have seen the highest increase in year-to-year pedestrian deaths since 1975. According to the report, there were 2,368 fatalities in the first half of 2015 while there were 2,232 during the same time in 2014.

You don’t have to deal with insurance companies on your own

After an injury accident, you may feel overwhelmed with what to do next. This is completely normal. Anyone who has not dealt with insurance companies or an accident investigation might easily feel overwhelmed at the process.

Furthermore, if you suffered injuries, you should be able to concentrate on recovery, not insurance claims. Some injuries may require you to undergo physical therapy to regain use of injured areas; others may make it difficult for you to return to work.

Don’t get doored on your next bike ride!

Every time you put wheels to pavement and pedal down the street, you may spend half your time watching for hazards and the other half praying that the next car that passes you does not pick the wrong moment to cross into the bike lane. Trying to watch what is going on behind you while keeping one eye on the road ahead can seem very difficult. Some bikers are afraid that a driver parked on the right is going to throw its door open and strike them.

One of the top goals of all cyclists riding in urban areas is to avoid dooring accidents. While you have absolutely no control over when and how a driver opens their door, there are defensive techniques you can use to limit the probability of being the victim of an accident. Read further for some tips to dodge a dooring while riding in the city.

What to do RIGHT AFTER a motor vehicle accident

Nobody wakes up and thinks, "Hmm. I wonder if I'll be injured in a car crash today." But serious accidents happen all the time. It's important to be prepared in case you or one of your family members is hurt by a driver -- whether the injury happens while you or your family member is in a vehicle or is a motorcyclist, pedestrian or biker.

What steps should you take right after a collision? Are there specific things you can do to protect yourself? Are there particular actions you should avoid? Where does the lawsuit thing come into play if the driver is negligent, distracted or drunk?

Distracted driving: It's more than just texting

While texting is vilified for being a distraction behind the wheel, there are many other kinds of distractions that can put your life at risk while you are driving. Not getting enough sleep, eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone and other actions are all potential hazards.

Not all distractions are equal. Some are more dangerous than others. For example, turning the radio on or off may take only a second, while sending a text takes an average of five. The longer you look away from the road, the more dangerous you become. Here are a few more things to consider.

Traffic and motorcycle safety: Highway traffic vs. country roads

When you first purchased your motorcycle, perhaps you had dreams about riding mile after mile across open roads, taking in majestic scenery and fresh air. Maybe things changed when you started to use your bike to commute to and from work.

Now, you spend more time sitting in traffic and avoiding distracted drivers than you do enjoying country views. Riding your motorcycle on the highway comes with a completely different set of dangers than riding through the country on the weekends. Even if you take every precaution, it may be impossible to avoid every type of accident.

The hazards of teenage driving: How can we reduce accidents?

We all want to be safe on the road. Most parents work hard to protect their kids from harm as they navigate the teen years. Sometimes it seems like we're spinning wheels when it comes to the problem of dangerous teenage drivers.

With challenging issues like inexperience, distracted driving, drunk driving and the impulsivity that seems to pervade much teen behavior, auto accidents remain the number one cause of death for 15 to 19-year-olds in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On its fact sheet, the CDC says that in 2015, an average of six people aged 16-19 died every day from accident injuries. Is there anything we can do to stem the tide of harm?

Was your pain delayed after a car accident?

Car accident injuries come in many shapes and sizes, and many problems are not apparent until well after the accident occurs. Some significant injuries take time to express themselves.

In fact, depending on the type of injury, delayed pain can indicate a serious or even fatal condition.

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?

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