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Blog Archive - January, 2017

31 Articles

Distracted Driving & Disregard of Seat Belt Laws Led to Increase of 2016 GA Death Toll

January 31, 2017

Georgia continues to be plagued by distracted and irresponsible drivers who put themselves and others at increased risk. Georgia increased again in 2016, just as they had the year before, after consistently falling each year between 2006 and 2014. Fatalities on Georgia roadways topped 1,450 in 2016, surpassing the 1,432 deaths that occurred in 2015. Georgia's Department of Transportation and Georgia's state police indicated that the primary reasons for this increase were distracted driving and the lack of seatbelts, notwithstanding that Georgia has enacted laws intended to minimize both.

Milledgeville High Speed Car Chase Leads to Serious Accident

January 30, 2017

On December 28, 2016, it is reported by the Union-Recorder that a 20-year-old woman stole a 2015 Toyota Corolla from a male acquaintance in Milledgeville, Georgia. She ignored the owner when he tried to retrieve his car. He then called the sheriff's office to report the theft. While talking to the victim outside his home, the investigating deputy spotted a car matching the description of the stolen vehicle at a nearby intersection. The woman, seeing the patrol car, took off at high speed, trying to elude the police. She ran red lights and stop signs. When the deputy finally stopped her, she fled on foot. After a several blocks, she surrendered and was taken to the Baldwin County Law Enforcement Center.

New Study Examines Traffic Deaths and Their Relationship to Medical Marijuana Laws

January 29, 2017

Are accident rates lower in states that allow medical marijuana?

As more states continue to pass laws legalizing medical marijuana, it is important to examine the effects of such laws. One new study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, examined traffic fatalities from the years 1985 and 2014. The study found that traffic accident deaths were actually reduced by an average of 11 percent in states that had passed medical marijuana laws. In fact, medical marijuana laws were associated with a considerable decline in traffic deaths among younger drivers.

The Atlanta Metro Area Saw More than 700 School Bus Accidents in 2016

January 28, 2017

The Chattanooga school bus accident last year has raised awareness about school bus safety and whether our children are safe when riding on a school bus. While the Atlanta area has not seen any school bus accident as serious as the one in Chattanooga, the Atlanta metro area did see more than 700 (approximately two per day) school bus accidents in 2016, which may come as a surprise to many people. The Georgia Department of Education reports that this number is only based on reported accidents and that the number of school bus accidents could be higher.

Are Some Dog Breeds More Dangerous Than Others?

January 27, 2017

Our Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Dog Bites by Breed of Dog

All dogs are capable of inflicting serious bite wounds, but some breeds of dog may pose a greater threat than others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites happen across the United States. Approximately one out of every five dog bites become infected, leaving the bite victim at risk of considerable complications. Below, we examine which breeds of dog are statistically most often involved in attacks on people.

NHTSA’s V2V Rule May Not Be an Effective After All

January 25, 2017

NHTSA Promotes a Rule Requiring V2V Technology

We recently reported that in December 2016, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed a rule that seemed poised to take advantage of cutting-edge technology when it suggested that all new cars manufactured for sale in the United States be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology. Unlike current collision avoidance technology, V2V would allow cars to detect other nearby vehicles even if the other vehicle is not within the line of sight of the driver (such as a vehicle approaching the driver perpendicularly or a vehicle that cannot be seen because of trees or another obstacle). If adopted, NHTSA hoped that the technology would reduce the number of fatal and injury traffic collisions by providing drivers with information (speed, direction, location, etc.) about other nearby vehicles. In fact, NHTSA's own estimates suggest that over 1,300 traffic-related fatalities could be avoided each year if V2V technology were to be implemented.

Tesla Autopilot May Predict Crashes Before They Happen

January 24, 2017

Our Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Discuss Technology and Car Accidents

Tesla has been a pioneer in the development of new technologies aimed at improving vehicle safety and preventing car accidents. One of these features is Tesla's autopilot mode. Drivers of newer Tesla models have the option of switching on "autopilot" while driving, but are reminded to keep their hands and focus on the wheel. When autopilot is activated, the vehicle has the ability to keep itself in its lane, change lanes if appropriate when the driver taps the turn signal, slow down or speed up as needed, and avoid vehicles and other hazards approaching. The autopilot feature is groundbreaking, but it has not been without flaws. In fact, at least one fatal tragically accident occurred while a Tesla was in autopilot mode.

Whiplash Injuries Can Be Serious – When to Seek Monetary Damages

January 23, 2017

We all know or have met someone, a friend, acquaintance, or even a stranger, who has experienced whiplash from an automobile accident. Sometimes we see that person wearing the familiar collar used to stabilize the neck during recovery. Sometimes we hear or are told about the pain, discomfort or stiffness someone is experiencing in his neck, shoulders, low back, arms or hands. Depending on how well you know the person, we are sometimes sympathetic, sometimes skeptical, about the existence or extent of their injury. Is this person really suffering from whiplash or is he or she just gaming the system?

Overheated Tap Water Can Cause Serious Injuries

January 22, 2017

Being in hot water can mean more than just being in trouble. Excessively hot water, at temperatures above 135 degrees, can result in serious, sometimes permanent, injury. Scalding injuries, particularly to children, are serious and all too commonplace. Consider the following true story.

Defective Air Bags Cause or Worsen Injuries in an Auto Accident

January 21, 2017

Recalls of Defective Air Bags Confirm - Defects May Cause or Worsen Injuries in an Auto Accident

Air bags are meant to protect drivers and front-seat passengers from potentially devastating consequences of a front-end or front-side collision. Statistics show that air bags are 14% effective at saving lives in a serious accident. However, in 2016, safety inspectors discovered that this may not be the case for millions of cars in which air bags made by the Japanese manufacturer, Takata, have been installed. Tests have shown that this manufacturer's airbags can explode when deployed with too much force. The explosion causes a metal canister inside to shred, sending shards of metal throughout the automobile's passenger compartment. Injuries resulting from defective air bags are uncommon. Still, hundreds of people have been injured; sixteen have tragically died to date.

Atlanta Single-Vehicle Accident Leaves Driver With Catastrophic Injuries

January 20, 2017

A 49-year-old man is tragically on life support after suffering catastrophic head injuries following a recent single-vehicle accident on I-75. According to the local news report, the man was ejected from the vehicle when he slammed into the highway's median and flipped over onto the exit ramp from northbound I-75 to Langford Parkway. There was a four-year-old child in the vehicle at the time of the accident, but luckily the child survived the accident unharmed. Numerous variables likely played a role in this accident, and the outcome could have been much worse for the innocent young child.

Road Debris From Truck - A Frightening and Potentially Deadly Reality.

January 19, 2017

Imagine that you are motoring along in the left lane of I-95 at 9 p.m. on a weeknight in moderate to light traffic. It is raining. Suddenly, a tractor trailer--150 feet in front of you--begins to swerve erratically from lane to lane before toppling over on its side into a wooded median. It caroms into a stand of trees, its rear doors fly open, its cargo spills out, rips open and scatters debris in every direction, some onto the highway. Naturally, you are startled and terrorized as this event unfolds. You apply your brakes firmly, glancing quickly at your right-side mirror to see if another car is close enough that prevents you from suddenly swerving to right. Fortunately, the lane is clear and you can ease right, onto the shoulder. You stop. Your heart is pounding. You glance in your rearview mirror to see if other cars following manage to maneuver around the scattered debris from the mangled semi. You pick up your cell phone and call 911. All in an instant. You heave a sigh of relief that you miraculously avoided a potentially life-threatening accident.

Indoor Rock Climbing in Georgia and Signing Liability Waivers

January 18, 2017

Indoor rock climbing has become a growing sport for children and adults alike all over the country. Little if any experience is required, and indoor rock climbing is often an enjoyable group activity for birthday parties and other celebrations. While indoor rock climbing can certainly be fun, it can also be very dangerous, especially for younger children. So, what happens if someone suffers injuries while indoor rock climbing?

Black Ice - One of the most treacherous of winter driving conditions

January 17, 2017

Seldom do Atlanta drivers pay attention to national winter weather forecasts about an approaching Polar Vortex, a powerful cold front that surges down from the artic once or twice a winter, bringing a sudden, bone-chilling blast of frigid air to the Upper Midwest, Northeast, and occasionally, the mid-Atlantic. But they should. If a Polar Vortex is strong enough to reach Atlanta, it can generate the most treacherous of all driving conditions, black ice. Some of the worst multi-vehicle crashes--often involving one or more fatalities--result from a surprise encounter with black ice.

Pedestrians and Drivers May be Held Responsible in Motor Vehicle/Pedestrian Accidents.

January 16, 2017

Whenever a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, the results are often tragically fatal. Take, for example, the recent incident that happened in Jonesboro at GA 138 and Devonshire Drive, near Swint Elementary School. According to initial newspaper reports, an unidentified individual was struck by two different vehicles and ultimately killed as a result of the accident. Clayton County officials have not completed their investigation, and as such, the details of the incident are not yet available. While we do not know the age or identity of the victim or what the victim may have been wearing, we do know that the person was struck before dawn while crossing GA 138 outside of any crosswalk and not at a traffic signal. Given the time and location of the incident, the victim may have been a parent, schoolchild, or teacher heading for the nearby elementary school. Regardless, this accident is tragic, and ultimately could have been prevented. 

Lawmakers Push for Georgia to Go 'Hands-Free'

January 15, 2017

Could Hands-Free Laws Save Lives in Georgia?

Distracted driving is a tremendous national problem, killing an estimated 3,000 people each year. Distracted driving can encompass any activity that pulls the driver's attention from the road ahead. The main types of distraction include texting, talking on the phone, eating or drinking, grooming, adjusting the radio, using the GPS, and more. Instances of distracted driving continue to plague the nation, despite laws in place in most states banning texting and driving, and aggressive anti-distraction public awareness campaigns.

Apple Sued After Facetime Causes Fatal Car Accident

January 14, 2017

A case recently filed in California seeks to hold Apple accountable for a fatal car accident that happened in Texas. The facts of the accident are as follows: A husband and wife were traveling with their two children on Interstate 35W. All were secured with seat belts and the youngest child was in a booster seat. James was driving when traffic slowed down. Simultaneously, Garrett Wilhelm was traveling on the same stretch of road behind the Modisette family. As traffic slowed, Wilhelm failed to also do so because, it is alleged, he was using FaceTime on his iPhone 6 Plus. Wilhelm was distracted by the app and hit the Modisette's while driving at 65 miles per hour. All members of the Modisette family were seriously injured in the accident, and the youngest child tragically died in the crash.

Atlanta Woman Dies in Gun Range Accident

January 13, 2017

A 24-year-old Gwinnett County woman was recently killed at a gun range in South Carolina. The young woman was visiting friends and family for the holidays when she and another friend decided to make a trip to a gun range in Anderson. Out of nowhere, a bullet from someone's gun hit the Georgia woman in the head. She was on life support for several days, but ultimately did not survive the accident. Now, authorities, friends, and family members are struggling to make sense of the tragic accident. It remains unclear who fired the fatal shot and why it strayed.

Your Self-Driving Car May Kill You

January 12, 2017

Artificial Intelligence in Vehicles May Decide Your Life Does Not Matter

Autonomous vehicles are being heralded as the next great innovation in automotive technology, but is this technology ready to make the profound ethical decisions that human drivers make on a regular basis? Ethicists and scientists alike are now suggesting that unless specific algorithms exist telling an autonomous vehicle how to weigh the facts and circumstances in an ethically-challenging situation, an automated vehicle may be your salvation – or the instrument of your death – in the event of a crash.

Coming Soon to a Car Near You: Alcohol Detection Equipment

January 11, 2017

NHTSA Desires All Cars to Be Equipped with Alcohol Detection Equipment

Drivers convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other driving-and-alcohol-related offenses may be court-ordered to only operate personal vehicles that are equipped with ignition-interlock devices. These devices operate by requiring the driver of a vehicle to provide a breath sample before the device will allow the car's ignition system to start the vehicle. In addition, some devices require the driver to provide periodic breath samples while the vehicle is in motion to ensure the driver did not consume any alcohol after starting the vehicle. These devices are regarded as effective tools in decreasing the incidence rate of repeat drunk driving events. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now pushing for a similar device to be standard equipment on all new cars.

Disturbing Study Establishes Road Rage is Dangerous

January 10, 2017

Disturbing Study Establishes Road Rage is Dangerous

During the busy post-holiday season, to-do lists are long and tempers are short. This creates the perfect conditions for road rage to develop. Whether you find the antics of aggressive drivers amusing or intimidating, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Auto Vantage club (compiled by clearly demonstrate that road rage is dangerous and can be deadly:

Balancing Independence and Motor Vehicle Safety for Elderly Drivers

January 09, 2017

The balance between maintaining independence and safety as motorists grow older is never easy. The ability to drive is often critical to a senior citizen's sense of living independently. However, sometimes seniors experience declines in their sensory perception, including poor eyesight and loss of hearing. Seniors may also experience age-related medical conditions that impact their cognitive abilities like Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Although driving ability is very important for many seniors, the question is how to protect both seniors and others on the road while allowing seniors the maximum amount of independence that is safe.

Distracted Commercial Truck Drivers in Georgia Still Pose Serious Danger

January 08, 2017

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has enacted a series of measures to deter commercial truck drivers from multi-tasking while operating a commercial truck. Despite several mobile phone bans involving commercial drivers, distracted driving in other forms continues to be a serious problem. Most commercial drivers are law-abiding, safe drivers, but some struggling with the tediousness of the road may engage in inattentive behavior such as reading, adjusting the stereo and other activities to fight off the monotony of many consecutive hours on the road.

Traffic Congestion in Atlanta Does Not Mean More Fatal Collisions

January 07, 2017

Many Georgia drivers assume that they are at a greater risk of being involved in a fatal accident when driving in heavy populated areas like downtown Atlanta. This assumption is fairly reasonable because it is based on the theory that less traffic congestion and smoother traffic flow should mean fewer collisions and, consequently, fewer traffic-related fatalities.

Understanding the Forces that Cause Georgia SUV Rollover Accidents

January 06, 2017

There is always a risk of suffering life-altering injuries or the loss of a loved one in a motor vehicle collision, but rollover accidents pose unique risks. When a vehicle rolls over in a collision, occupants may suffer roof crush injuries or vehicle ejections. These types of motor vehicle accident scenarios involve a significant risk of head injuries, spinal cord injuries, damage to vital organs and even fatalities. Although many fatal rollover accidents in Georgia are caused by driver errors, litigation of these types of accident claims can be complicated because other causes may also be relevant.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Really Make a Difference in a Georgia Motorcycle Accident?

January 05, 2017

There has been a recent trend to repeal or modify mandatory helmet laws for those who ride motorcycles over the course of the last decade. The justifications for this trend are varied ranging from concerns about individual autonomy and personal choice to theories that motorcycle helmets may increase the likelihood or severity of a motorcycle accident. The statistical evidence in states that have eliminated mandatory helmet laws for motorcycle riders suggests that mandatory helmet laws do save lives.

Atlanta Distracted Driving Frequently Asked Questions

January 04, 2017

Despite efforts of federal and state motor vehicle safety agencies to enact legislation and invest substantial public resources intended to discourage distracted driving. Many drivers continue to multi-task and place others in harm's way. While cell phones pose a common form of distraction while driving, the issue of drivers with divided attention has long been a significant cause of serious injuries and fatalities in collisions. When drivers divert their eyes, mind and hands from operating a motor vehicle, the consequences can be horrific accidents resulting in painful debilitating injuries or even tragic death.

What types of activity while driving causes collisions?

January 03, 2017

Inattentive drivers pose a danger to other drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians akin to the risk posed by alcohol impaired drivers. Federal motor vehicle safety regulators refer to distracted driving as the "new DUI." While most motorists acknowledge that driving while intoxicated is an unacceptable and risky practice, fewer drivers have the same negative attitudes toward distracted driving that they have toward DUI. Because inattentive drivers have a devastating impact, we have provided additional answers to common questions about distracted driving:

Subrogation in the Context of a Georgia Auto Accident

January 02, 2017

If you are involved in a car accident, you will likely hear the term "subrogation" mentioned by medical providers, insurance companies, or attorneys. While subrogation issues can be extremely complex, the term means that one party stands in the place of another. This principle is important when pursuing a lawsuit or insurance claim following a collision because the right to pursue a legal claim belongs to the party who suffered property damage, bodily injury, or other forms of loss. The principle of subrogation permits third-parties to assert a legal claim in the place of the injured party under certain circumstances.

Liability Claims for Defective Motorcycle Parts

January 01, 2017

Of course many motorcycle accidents are the result of reckless behavior or negligence, whether on the part of the motorcyclist or the driver of the automobile, but other accidents are caused by defective motorcycle equipment. Because a motorcycle is made up of many complex parts and pieces which work together to ensure your safety, if even one of these pieces is designed improperly, the entire motorcycle can fail.

Blog Archive

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.