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New Orleans Personal Injury Law Blog

Keeping teen drivers safe

Many parents may feel a mix of anxiety and excitement when their teens get old enough to learn how to drive. While getting a driver's license is an exciting sign of growing independence, it may also introduce new risks into a teen's life. While car accidents involving teens are an unfortunate occurrence on Louisiana roads, there are some important things parents may do to help their teen drivers stay safe behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are responsible for more teen deaths than any other cause. In 2017, there were 3,255 fatal accidents involving teen drivers.  Some of the most common reasons teen drivers get into accidents include immaturity, lack of experience, speeding and distracted driving. Parents may help combat some of these risks by demonstrating safe driving practices themselves, such as obeying speed limits and refusing to use cell phones while driving. It is also essential for parents to spend adequate time teaching teens to drive so they feel confident after they get their licenses.

Fetal distress: Signs your Louisiana obsterician should recognize

Having a baby is often an exciting time in a woman's life. If this is your first child, you are likely a bit anxious or nervous as well as excited. Even if you've already given birth one or more times in the past, you no doubt understand that every pregnancy is different and problems can arise at any time. This is one of many reasons it's so important to attend prenatal visits on time.

Whether you are working with a licensed obstetrician or midwife during pregnancy, as a trained medical team member, he or she should know how to recognize possible signs of fetal distress. Appropriate action depends on various factors and events that happen to be unfolding in a particular set of circumstances. If a medical team member is negligent, you or your infant may suffer serious, even life-threatening injuries.

Staying safe when using a ride-sharing service

Many residents of Louisiana enjoy the convenience of ride-sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft. These companies allow riders to quickly and easily get places without having to worry about finding parking. While there are potential risks to using a ride-sharing service, there are several simple steps riders may follow to drastically reduce those issues.

Ride-sharing services are becoming more popular in most areas of the country. According to data from a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, over one-third of Americans indicated that they had used ride-sharing services. This number represents a significant increase in the three years since the 2015 survey, where only 15% of people stated they had used such a service.

Do drivers always have to yield to pedestrians?

When you are driving in Louisiana, you may encounter pedestrians often, especially when you are in cities or residential areas. Most busy intersections in cities have traffic signals and signs that indicate when you need to stop your vehicle to yield to a pedestrian. However, it is not always as clear in residential neighborhoods or on rural roads. You may have a hard time determining who has the right-of-way when there are no active traffic signals.

The Louisiana State Legislature provides details on the sections of the traffic code that apply to interactions between drivers and pedestrians. According to this governing body, you must always give the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is in a crosswalk in places where there is no functioning traffic signal. This statute includes crosswalks that are in your path on the road where you are driving as well as those on a road you want to turn onto.

When should a child move to a front-facing car seat?

Figuring out how to keep your children safe in the car may seem overwhelming, especially with all the different types of car seats. If you want to know when you should switch your child from a rear-facing car seat to a front-facing seat, you may have to consult both the manufacturer's instructions and local regulations. In Louisiana, there is a recent law that includes new rules for when children may use different types of car seats.

According to a KSLA News report, there are updated rules for car seats in the Louisiana Child Passenger Safety Law. Under the new requirements, you must keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until he or she is two years old. Additionally, you may not begin using a front-facing car seat until your child has outgrown the rear-facing seat's height or weight restrictions.

The sorry state of America’s bus systems

Every motor vehicle accident in Louisiana is a bad one. Even if it is just a minor scrape or a fender bender, it creates an inconvenience for the parties involved and may decrease the value of the car. Of all the many accidents drivers fear, however, commercial vehicle accidents stand at the top of the list.

This is because commercial vehicles are usually larger, such as trucks and buses. This makes it easier for them to cause more damage. They also travel longer distances, which can lead to bored or sleepy drivers at the wheel.

Drive safe around cyclists

Riding a bike is a good way to get around Louisiana, and there are more cyclists on the road when there is warmer weather. Because bikes are harder to see, there is an increased chance of collisions with other vehicles. To keep things safe, drivers need to understand how to maneuver around bikes, and cyclists also need to take the right precautions to prevent accidents from occurring.

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, when there is a collision between a vehicle and a bike, the cyclist is the one who sustains the most, and worst, injuries. Drivers should always yield to bicycles and not underestimate how fast they are going. Drivers should also be especially cautious when turning in an intersection or coming out of a driveway. When making a right turn, vehicle operators should always check their mirrors and look over their right shoulder to make sure there is not a cyclist coming up on the right side. In order to safely share the road, everyone should give cyclists adequate room and only pass when no one is coming in the opposite lane.

How to deal with kids in the car

If you are a parent in Louisiana, you are probably aware of how distracting it can be to drive with your kids in the car. Whether you have a young infant or unruly teenagers, you are at a higher risk of getting into an accident than drivers who are not driving with young ones. The next time you get in the car, there are certain things you can do to improve safety of you and others on the road.

According to Parents, moms and dads make a lot of mistakes when driving, and this can lead to risky behavior. Many are short on sleep, and this fatigue can cause slowed reaction times and even brief periods of sleep while behind the wheel. As a parent, you deal with more distractions than other drivers do. Whether the baby is crying, someone dropped a toy on the floor or a child asks for a snack, taking the eyes off the road for even a little bit can be disastrous.

Simple tips for staying a safe driver

Driving in and around New Orleans is not always a leisurely activity. Many times, you have likely found yourself astounded at people's actions while they are behind the wheel of a vehicle, and you probably had a few close calls when someone runs a red light or suddenly turns in front of your vehicle. In some cases, confused tourists can also cause their fair share of problems.

Unfortunately, numerous major accidents happen every year because of seemingly minor issues. In many cases, if drivers had been paying more attention or appropriately following traffic rules and directions, serious crashes could have been avoided.

Do rideshare services require background checks for drivers?

You expect rideshare companies to take all the proper precautions when hiring drivers. While it's true background checks are performed on drivers, many complain that these don't go far enough to establish a person's full history or fitness. CNN explains how popular rideshare services like Uber and Lyft conduct their background checks. 

Both companies use third-party services to conduct background checks on prospective drivers. While the exact processes can vary, in most cases checks use a person's social security number and public record searches to determine if there are any significant issues. For instance, Uber won't hire drivers with DUIs or serious moving violations within the last seven years. Felonies involving violent or sexual offenses also prevent drivers from being hired by the company.