Oct 17 2012

War Veterans Are Involved in More Accidents After Returning from Deployments


Many of our war veterans have seen horrifying scenes on the streets of Baghdad and Kabul.

Research suggests some of the chaos of the war zone is being brought home with them. A recent article in the New York Times quoted the case of  Todd Nelson, a 39-year-old retired Army master sergeant from San Antonio.

A car bomb that exploded close to his truck in Kabul in 2007, left him severely burned with broken bones and blind in one eye.

“Back home in Texas months later, he resumed driving but didn’t realize he was aggressively cutting off other drivers and getting angry when vehicles moved into his lane until other people pointed it out,” the New York Times reported.

As an experienced San Antonio car accident injury lawyer, I’m sad to say this is not an isolated case. Many war veterans are experiencing problems driving when they return home to the USA. And it’s putting other drivers at risk.

The New York Times reported a large insurance company that takes out policies for active-duty troops, USAA, released a study of troops returning home from Iraq or Afghanistan, earlier this year.
It revealed the number of crashes caused by the troops was 13 percent higher in the six months following a deployment than in the six months just before deployment.
The most significant increase, 23 percent, was found in Army soldiers, followed by a 12.5 percent rise in Marines.
The more deployments a soldier had, the more likely he or she was to be involved in a crash. The evasive driving techniques instilled in troops in the war zones have only added to their problems back on the roads of the United States, leading them to be jumpy and to swerve at the first sign of danger.

Currently, the Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System is working with Fujitsu Laboratories of America (FLA) on research intended to bring about better treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in war veterans, Information Week reports.

The research is looking into the problems many war veterans experience in driving cars, leading to a higher-than-average accident rate.

 

The VA investigators will be gathering data on the reactions of veterans in certain situations as they drive while administering treatments that include “cognitive appraisal and breathing re-training.” Sensors will be fitted on their cars as part of the program.

 

It’s all part of a driver rehab program that a third of all VA hospitals are offering to help veterans get back on the right road.

 

As an experienced Houston auto accident attorney, I hope these men and women who have served their country can be successfully integrated back to driving at home.
If you have been hurt in a car accident contact our Houston Injury Attorneys. For a free case evaluation by an experienced Texas auto accidents injury attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.

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Sep 26 2012

Two Are Injured in Another Crash Involving a Houston METRO Bus

by admin in Auto Accidents

A Houston METRO bus has been involved in another accident with injuries. Two passengers were treated at a hospital after a collision with a pick-up truck.

I have written about crashes involving a number of METRO buses in recent months. In some cases bus drivers have been to blame.

But a pick-up truck driver appears to be at fault for the crash that occurred on the afternoon of September 22, 2012

The Houston Chronicle reported two passengers were transported to local hospital after a pickup ran a red-light and hit the bus.

The accident occurred at the north-bound feeder road along U.S. 59 near the intersection of Laura Koppe, at about 4:30 p.m. The location is about seven miles north of downtown, according to police.

 

“Two occupants of the bus were transported to hospitals with minor injuries,” the Houston Chronicle reported.

In July 2012, I reported on a crash with injuries that involved a public transit vehicle in Houston. A METRO bus and a pickup collided on the 610 Loop service road n south Houston on the morning of July 13, 2012.

On May 1, 2012, I reported on a more serious accident involving a METRO bus in downtown Houston.

Preliminary investigations suggested a bus crashed into the back of a number of cars before coming to a stop on a median. METRO said eight vehicles were involved in the crash, but at least 11 were seen to be damaged at the wreck scene by reporters.

Bus drivers appeared to have been at fault in those two crashes.

When a driver runs a red light he or she is clearly the at fault party and can be liable for injuries caused at the scene.

If you have been hurt in a bus crash or another type of crash contact our Houston Injury Attorneys. For a free case evaluation by an experienced bus accidents injury attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.

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Sep 24 2012

Man From Sugarland is Killed on a Horse Carriage Ride in Galveston by Suspected Drunk Driver


When you take a ride in a horse drawn carriage you don’t expect it to be your last.
But in a recent accident in Galveston, a tourist who took a horse drawn carriage rode was killed when a suspected drunken driver slammed into the back of the carriage. Four other people were injured in the accident, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The dead tourist was identified as Bobby Mc Kelvey, 57, of Sugar Land, Texas. His wife Renee Mc Kelvey, 46, was injured but was listed in a stable condition at Galveston’s University of Texas Medical Branch.
The other people who were injured in this accident were the operator of the carriage,Joe Hodsdon, 26 of Galveston and Holli Vowell, 18, of Galveston County, another passenger. Their injuries were not life threatening.
Police pointed to the inherent dangers of horse drawn carriages which afford little protection to people who ride in them.
The driver of the car that hit the carriage failed field sobriety tests, police said. He was charged with three counts of intoxication assault and one count of intoxication manslaughter.
“Police said the car slammed into the back of the carriage near the intersection of 21st Street and Avenue L as it was headed south to the beach. The victims reportedly had celebrated a birthday and were en route to the Hotel Galvez & Spa at 20th Street and Seawall Boulevard,” the Houston Chronicle reported.
Police said accidents involving horse drawn carriages are very rare.
I’m sad to say as an experienced Houston auto accident injury lawyer, accidents involving alcohol are not.
In a recent blog I described how a man from San Antonio was charged with intoxication manslaughter after a crash that wiped out four members of his family.
If you have questions about an injury you suffered from a drunk driver or if a family member was killed, please complete our online contact form or call us at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888. We provide a free consultation.

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Sep 22 2012

Officials Test Smart Technology that could Cut Auto Crashes

by admin in Auto Accidents

Smart technology that could prevent or reduce the seriousness of many auto accidents is being tested by researchers in the biggest pilot project to date.


Researchers have fitted almost 3,000 cars, buses and trucks with “connected” Wi-Fi technology as part of a year-long safety initiative to improve traffic flow and make the road safer by avoiding auto crashes.
Vehicles and infrastructure will be able to “talk” to each other in real time, a press release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated.
The trial on the streets of Ann Arbor in Michigan began on August 2012 and forms an important part of a 12 month safety pilot project by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
As an experienced Houston auto injury lawyer, I can see this technology has potential to make our roads safer, although its effects may not be felt until some time into the future.
I have reported on numerous crashes at times of peak congestion in Houston.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and elected officials and community and industry leaders attended the launch at the University of Michigan campus in August 2012. They said the largest road test to date of connected vehicle crash avoidance technology, offered great potential.
“Today is a big moment for automotive safety,” said Secretary LaHood. “This cutting-edge technology offers real promise for improving both the safety and efficiency of our roads. That is a winning combination for drivers across America.”
The project is the world’s first test of connected vehicle technology under real road conditions.
“The test cars, trucks and buses, most of which have been supplied by volunteer participants, are equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication devices that will gather extensive data about system operability and its effectiveness at reducing crashes,” stated the NHTSA press release.
NHTSA officials say the safety technology could help drivers “avoid or reduce the severity of four out of five unimpaired vehicle crashes.”
Under the test vehicles will send electronic data messages and receive them from other vehicles making them aware of dangers such as hazards of an impending collision at an intersection with bad visibility, a car switching lanes in the blind spot of another or a rear end collision with a vehicle stopped ahead.

“Vehicle-to-vehicle communication has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in roadway safety – but we need to understand how to apply the technology in an effective way in the real world,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

For a free case evaluation by an experienced Car /Houston Auto Accidents attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.

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Sep 10 2012

Safety Fears as the Fastest Road in the Nation is Completed in Texas

by admin in Auto Accidents

As an experienced San Antonio auto accident injury lawyer, I help many victims of car crashes who have been hurt by speeding drivers.

I was, therefore, alarmed to read on the Associated Press that Texas will be opening a stretch of highway with the highest speed limit in the country.

Construction crews have already started posting 85 mph speed limit signs on a section of toll road that is being completed between Austin and San Antonio. The signs started to go up early in September, 2012.

Speed limit sign
Chris Lippincott, an official with the State Highway 130 Concession Co., told AP the 41-mile segment is due to open to drivers by Nov. 11. He said the “Texas Department of Transportation has determined that the area may be safely traveled at 85 miles per hour.”

The company building the road is part of a consortium led by Spanish toll road firm Cintra.

Texas has some of the fastest speed limits in the county. It currently has 80 mph speed limits on some highways in rural West Texas, AP reports.

In a recent article Slate.com asked if higher speed limits cause more accidents. The answer is apparently no, but accidents at higher speeds are typically more serious.

“They do cause more severe ones. Accidents that occur at high speeds are more often fatal, since high-velocity objects collide with greater force. Overwhelmingly, studies show that freeway deaths increase with freeway speed limits, although it’s hard to know how much of that upturn stems from the greater volume of overall traffic that’s drawn in by looser speed regulations,” stated the article.

The key to road safety is uniform traffic flow. Accidents are more likely to occur when cars move at divergent rates, the article states.

In a recent article I wrote about how excess speed has caused a spate of fatal accidents in Houston. Drivers have even traveled too fast during congested rush hours, often with devastating results.

For a free case evaluation by an experienced Houston or San Antonio Auto Accidents attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at   (713) 888-8888 or   (281) 888-8888.

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Aug 05 2012

Passengers Are Injured in Another Houston METRO Bus Crash


The driving of another METRO bus driver is being questioned following another crash with injuries that involved a public transit vehicle in Houston.

In the latest accident, a Metro bus and a pickup collided on the 610 Loop service roadin south Houston on the morning of July 13, 2012.

The wreck occurred on the westbound South Loop service road at Scott at about 7:20 a.m., Jerome Gray, a Metro spokesman, told the Houston Chronicle.

Gray revealed both the bus driver and several passengers onboard were rushed to a nearby hospital. Details of their injuries and conditions were not released at the time, but Gray indicated their injuries were non life-threatening.

He said the METRO bus was traveling north on Scott when it crashed into the side of a trailer being pulled by the pickup that was traveling west on the South Loop service road, according to Gray. The collision occurred in the intersection.

Although no charges have yet been brought and the cause of the crash is being investigated by police, it appears to me as anexperienced Houston bus accident injury lawyer that the driver of the bus was at fault.

I reported on a more serious accident involving a Houston METRO bus on May 1, 2012. That crash involved a METRO bus and 11 vehicles in total and it sent seven bus passengers to a local hospital.

“The bus, which serves Route 85, was stopped on top of a grassy median. Behind it, three cars with severe damage were smashed together,” the Fox TV station reported.t

Preliminary investigations suggested the bus hit the back of a number of cars before coming to a stop on a median. METRO said eight vehicles were involved in the crash, but at least 11 were seen to be damaged at the wreck scene by reporters.

Buses are heavy vehicles that can cause considerable damage and injuries, if they are driven carelessly. These crashes have demonstrated passengers are as vulnerable as other road users when buses crash.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a METRO bus you may be able to make a claim and should contact ourHouston Injury Attorneys. For a free case evaluation by an experienced bus accidents injury attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.

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Jul 29 2012

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of the Summer Road Trip

by admin in Auto Accidents

Thousands of families from Texas are heading away on their summer road trips amid soaring temperatures.

But while a summer vacation can be a highlight of the year, it can also become a nightmare if it ends in a car wreck.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published advice to help you reach your destination safely.

Although the summer road trip can be a fun time there are also dangers. Roads are often more congested, leading to frustration. Recently I highlighted some of the accidents seen during times of congestion in Houston.

You may find more inexperienced teenage drivers on the interstates because school is out for summer and more people have been consuming alcohol. As a Houston car accident injury lawyer, I am concerned about the additional risk of death and injury to drivers.
The message from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is be prepared for all eventualities. “Prevention and planning are much easier than dealing with the consequences of a breakdown, or worse yet, a highway crash,” the federal agency states in a press release.
An important part of that planning exercise is a vehicle safety checklist. Drivers should check.

  • Tires
  • Belts and hoses
  • Lights
  • Wiper blades
  • Cooler systems
  • Fluid levels
  • Air conditioning

The NHTSA says drivers need to check their tires at least once a month – and that includes the spare tire.

“A tire doesn’t have to be punctured to lose air. All tires naturally lose some air over time. In fact, under-inflation is the leading cause of tire failure,” the release says.

The blow out of a tire at a high speed can be  serious and can results in deaths. If a blow out is caused by a faulty tire and you are injured you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

If you are traveling with children, their safety is vital. Very many parents fail to heed the advice and travel with badly fitted car seats or defective seats that can result in injuries and deaths.
“Make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and that any children riding with you are in the restraint system best suited to protect them. All children 12 and younger should ride in the back seat,” the NHTSA said.
certified technician can check your seat is fitted correctly free of charge whether you live in Houston, San Antonio or somewhere else in Texas.
Once you are on the road the NHTSA said you should stop regularly to avoid driver fatigue and avoid distractions such as texting and the temptation to be distracted by kids. Seat belts are also vital on road trips.
“If you’re not buckled up, you could be thrown through a window, sent skidding along the pavement, or be crushed under a vehicle in a crash. Wearing a seat belt is also the best defense against a drunk-driving crash,” states the NHTSA.
You should also avoid alcohol. Even small amounts can prove dangerous. In recent weeks I have highlighted a number of harrowing deaths caused by alcohol.
Every 45 minutes and 32 times a day, somebody in the United States dies in an alcohol-impaired-driving crash.
“Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out,” states the NHTSA.
Drivers should be equipped with an emergency roadside kit that includes a first aid kit, a flashlight, a cell phone, windshield washer fluid and basic repair tools.

Basic protects can’t guarantee you won’t be in a wreck but they will improve your odds of enjoying your summer road trip.

For a free case evaluation by an experienced Car or motorcycle /Houston Auto Accidents attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.

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Jul 24 2012

Pickup Crash in Texas Kills 13, Injures 10

by admin in Auto Accidents

Single vehicle accidents cause the most significant loss of life on the roads of Texas.

But I am yet to see a single vehicle accident that has caused the extent of carnage as seen in Goliad County, Texas where a pickup accident killed 13 and injured 10.

Texas Department of Public Safety Senior Trooper Gerald Bryant said a total of 23 people were in a white 2000 Ford F-250. Some of them were in the passenger compartment and others were in the truck bed, abc news reported.
It’s not clear why so many people were in the truck. What is clear is the horrendous results of the crash on July 22, 2012.
The pickup was traveling on northbound on Highway 59 just north of Berclair when it veered off the road and smashed into two large trees on the right side, officials said. The cause of the accident is unclear.

Gerald Bryant, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, told Associated Press they he saw the bodies of at least two young children at the scene.

“This is the most people I’ve seen in any passenger vehicle, and I’ve been an officer for 38 years,” Bryant said.

As an experienced Texas auto accident injury lawyer, my thoughts are with the families of the deceased.

Single vehicle accidents account for 58 percent of crashes on the roads of America. Very few are as devastating as this one.

This pickup truck was obviously seriously overloaded but the relatives of dead passengers could certainly have grounds to bring wrongful death suits against the driver.

If you have questions about an injury you suffered as a passenger or if a family member was killed, please complete our online contact form or call us at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888. We provide a free consultation.

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Jul 22 2012

Man is Charged with Intoxication Manslaughter After Single Car Crash Kills Four in San Antonio


You don’t need the specialist knowledge of a Texas auto accident injury attorney to know driving and alcohol or drugs don’t mix.

But even by the standards of alleged drunk driving accidents a recent crash in San Antonio was heartbreaking.

A wreck in the city in the early hours of June 18, 2012 claimed the lives of four people, and injured two others.

The occupants of the car were killed when it slammed into construction equipment by the side of the road.

The Associated Press cited jail records showing 35-year-old Larry William Demers was jailed on three counts of intoxication manslaughter, two counts of intoxication assault and a probation violation. His bonds total $420,000.

The driver only suffer minor injuries. Passengers in the car he was traveling in were less fortunate.

A police statement said a 31-year-old woman and two children, ages 2 and 3, were killed outright in this crash. And a 5-year-old child died later at a hospital.

Another child aged 12 is hospitalized in critical condition at University Hospital. Our thoughts are with the relatives of those who died in this tragic crash.

If this driver was intoxicated at the time of this horrific crash there can be few more damning indictments than the four deaths that resulted from the accident.

As well as the criminal charges he could also face a wrongful death lawsuit brought by relatives of those who died.

 

In 2009 Texas recorded 1,235 road deaths linked to DWIs. This represented 40 percent of all deaths on the roads of the state that year, indicating Texas has one of the most significant drunk driving problems in the United States.

If you have questions about an injury you suffered from a drunk driver or if a family member was killed, please complete our online contact form or call us at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.  We provide a free consultation.

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Jul 20 2012

How A Speeding Ticket Will Sour Your Summer Road Trip


As the school year ends many families are planning their summer road trip. What they are unlikely to be factoring in is the cost of a speeding ticket or a reckless driving charge on their insurance premiums.

According to research from Insurance.comwhich tracks industry trends and provides comparisons, the true cost of a citation goes well beyond the initial fine.

Insurance.com has now come up with a new tool called the “Uh-Oh!” calculator which estimates how violations such as speeding or failure to yield can impact your insurance premiums.

“We all make mistakes, and doing so while driving will cost you. Of course, you’ll know immediately how much you owe for your ticket, but often you won’t know the impact of the ticket on your car insurance rate until you get your renewal from your insurer,” said Michelle Megna, managing editor of Insurance.com. “The ‘Uh-Oh! Calculator’ helps ease ticket trauma by showing how much more you’ll likely pay.”

 

According Insurance.com’s analysis of how much a violation will hit your pocket book your average insurance rate will rise 22 percent for a reckless driving citation, 19 percent for a DUI first offense, 16 percent for careless driving and 15 percent for speeding 30 mph or more over the speed limit.

 

Although the table covers most violations, one dangerous habit that’s outlawed in most states, texting while driving, is not listed.

 

In a recent article our experienced Houston auto accident injury lawyers described how a teenage girl died in Texas after she lost control of her car while texting a friend.

 

Although people of all ages use cellphones behind the wheel teens are particularly susceptible and are most likely to risk flouting texting bans.

Recent research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found teenage girls are the group most likely to use cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. They are twice as likely as newly licensed teenage boys, to use their cell phone while driving.

The new information published byInsurance.com could ruin the summer road trip for some families if they are pulled over by the police. But more serious than the increase in insurance premiums are the dangers this kind of driving places on other road users.

Time and time again I have seen speed or impatience lead to death and maiming on the busy highways of Houston and beyond.

If you have been hurt by a speeding, reckless or distracted driver you should contact an experienced Houston Injury Attorney. For a free case evaluation by an experienced injury attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888, or simply text the word INJURY to our short number: 313131 to communicate via text.

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