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New Orleans Personal Injury Law Blog

Taking a look at improper lane usage

On the road, there are all sorts of hazards that can lead to a fatal crash or seriously injured victims, such as icy roads. However, many wrecks are caused by a person’s carelessness or irresponsible behavior, which includes speeding, getting behind the wheel after drinking and so on. Lane usage is another important aspect of safe driving and sadly, some people fail to use lanes properly. Improper lane usage puts lives at risk, including the lives of those who fail to follow traffic safety guidelines.

There are many examples of improper lane usage. A driver may change lanes abruptly and fail to use their signal, without giving another driver enough time to slow down or even realize that they are switching lanes. Moreover, drivers may fail to give enough space when switching lanes. In fact, some drivers may operate their vehicle in the wrong lane altogether, such as those who are headed in the wrong direction.

What should I do in a hit and run accident?

As a driver in New Orleans, being involved in any kind of accident is usually stressful. Hit and run accidents are particularly so, as you may not be able to find the responsible motorist in order to file an accident claim and receive compensation for damage. However, there are steps you can take to seek justice while also preserving the safety of yourself and others. State Farm offers the following advice to help you do just that.

Stay on the scene

Defective windshield wipers and car crashes

Motor vehicle wrecks can occur because of weather conditions, which are completely out of a person’s control, or factors that are fully within a driver’s ability to control, such as excessive speeds and failure to stop. Moreover, some wrecks occur because a vehicle is not maintained properly, whether brakes fail or a tire blows out. Additionally, some people drive around with windshield wipers that are not working properly, and this can be very dangerous.

When windshield wipers are not working properly, a driver may not be able to see very well while it is raining. Decreased visibility can increase the chances of them causing an accident in different ways, whether they do not see a vehicle in front of them, they are not able to see traffic signs or they have trouble staying in their lane. Sometimes, windshield wipers may fail unexpectedly, in which case it is important for drivers to immediately address the situation. If it is raining, staying off of the road until the windshield wipers are working again is very important.

Kids returning to school and auto crashes

Once again, it’s the time of year when many families are preparing to send their children back to school. This season can be full of hope, stress and chaos for parents and their children and there may be an increased risk of a car crash for some families. For example, parents may be under a lot of pressure and more likely to crash due to sleep loss, anxiety, distractions and other factors. It is important to be vigilant during this time of year, especially since an accident can be particularly hard for a child who is focusing on returning to school.

Often, parents face some hurdles during back-to-school season. For example, a parent may have to adjust his or her schedule to drive their children to and from school each day. Before school starts, parents may be running around trying to buy school supplies and clothes. Sadly, accidents that have taken place during this season have resulted in the loss of lives and devastating injuries that have a major impact on a child’s ability to study. Moreover, parents may become involved in a crash regardless of how safe they drive. For example, another parent may be under the same pressures but fail to drive safely, causing a wreck that involves multiple vehicles.

With school back in session, pedestrian traffic is on the rise

With school back in session, there may be a significant increase in pedestrian traffic on many Louisiana roads. Whether you are a college student walking to and from class, or a parent with children that use the sidewalk to travel to school, you likely consider pedestrian safety a serious concern.

On some level, the safety of a pedestrian may lie partly in the hands of nearby drivers. However, you may still wish to educate yourself or your children on pedestrian safety procedures and traffic laws in hopes of reducing the likelihood that a potentially disastrous accident will occur.

When drivers are struggling with strong emotions

Drug and alcohol use, smartphones and other auto accident risk factors often receive a lot of attention and are widely recognized as threats to safety behind the wheel. There are many other potential areas of concern when it comes to the likelihood of a motor vehicle collision, however. For example, someone who is struggling with debilitating negative emotions may be more likely to cause an accident while they are driving. From a recent divorce to the loss of a loved one or a cancer diagnosis, there are many reasons why people struggle with these challenges and it is important to be aware of this if you are dealing with strong emotions.

From intense depression to anger and high levels of stress, many different negative emotions can be problematic with respect to driving. Whether someone found out that their partner was unfaithful, or they were unexpectedly fired, people can become overwhelmed by a wide variety of unfortunate and upsetting events in life. When these emotions run high, they can cause drivers to become distracted while operating a vehicle. In fact, some drivers may be physically affected by their emotional state (shaky hands, abrupt movements, etc.).

Live streaming and car collisions

In the digital age, technology has brought many different innovations and people are able to interact with each other like never before. One of example of this is live streaming, where people are able to record themselves before an online audience in real time. People may live stream while they play video games, but some people also stream while walking around in public or even driving a car. Unfortunately, live streaming while driving can be a major distraction and lead to a car collision.

Some people may stream with a camera that is mounted on their dashboard. Although this may seem safer, a driver can still become distracted because their mental focus is not on the road or they have to make adjustments to their camera or interact with viewers. There are a number of reasons why live streaming can be distracting and this can prove fatal when someone is behind the wheel.

Auto accidents and language barriers

Motor vehicle crashes have all sorts of causes and many drivers realize that intoxication, speeding, distractions and other behaviors can significantly increase the likelihood of a wreck taking place. However, there are many other factors that cause motor vehicle wrecks, such as language barriers. There are different ways in which a person who is unable to speak or read the local language may find themselves in an accident and language barriers can be difficult for many reasons.

When someone cannot read a particular language, they may struggle to make sense of signs or be unable to follow directions. This can be challenging for people who may have moved to a new country or are driving during their vacation. Not only do some drivers potentially put themselves in danger by getting behind the wheel when they are unable to read signs on the road, they may endanger other peoples’ lives also.

Risks associated with eating while driving

There are many examples of reckless and careless driving, from someone who uses their phone when they should be paying attention to the road to a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, there are many distractions that can interfere with a person’s ability to safely operate their vehicle, some of which may seem harmless. For example, eating while driving a car can be extremely dangerous for different reasons and many drivers have consumed food or drinks while behind the wheel, putting their lives and the safety of others at risk.

A person might eat food while driving for many reasons. For example, someone may be running late to work and not have enough time to eat breakfast, prompting them to eat in the car. Unfortunately, eating behind the wheel can be dangerous for all sorts of reasons. Not only can a driver become distracted when they grab or prepare food, but their hands may be taken off the wheel to eat and they could lose focus on the road for other reasons, such as spilling food on their clothes or on the floor. Drinks can also be dangerous, especially hot drinks such as coffee that might burn a driver and cause them to veer into oncoming traffic.

When products cause harm

When you go into a store and buy a product, you expect that it's safe for use. After all, it's on the shelves -- so it must be safe, right?

Unfortunately, though, this is not always the case. Rather, people end up hurt by unsafe products, defective car parts and dangerous medications all the time.