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Teenagers and distracted driving

When teenagers begin driving in New Jersey, parents typically worry about their safety on the road. They may not realize, though, that one hazard rides inside the car with their teenager--a cellphone. These devices can easily distract teens behind the wheel and may cause them to be involved in more collisions.

One of the reasons distracted driving leads to more accidents is that teenagers have their eyes on their cellphones instead of the road. CNBC says that before a collision occurs, adolescent drivers have their eyes away from the road for about 4.1 seconds. Drivers should typically look away from the road for three seconds at most. Other behavior behind the wheel can distract teens. Singing along with the radio or trying to grab an object, as well as speaking to multiple passengers, can take a teenager's mind off the road. Additionally, looking at an object either outside or inside the car can be a distraction.

What construction dangers could pedestrians or drivers face?

You may already be aware that construction is a dangerous industry to work for. However, what if you are minding your own business walking or driving past a construction site in New Jersey? It may interest you to find out that being in the wrong place at the wrong time near roadwork or a new building site may be dangerous for you, an innocent bystander.

FindLaw explains that there are numerous common accidents that endanger people at construction sites. These include falling, electrocution, being caught in between objects or machinery or being struck by objects. The latter is especially true for those who do not work in construction but might be near a worksite. For example, you could be walking down a sidewalk next to a building being renovated and get hit on the head by a falling plank. You could also trip over construction debris on the walkway or fall into an excavation that was not adequately blocked off. As a driver, your vehicle might get hit by falling objects from the construction site, or you could be in an accident with a construction vehicle.

What is New Jersey’s storm in progress doctrine?

As a New Jersey resident, you are all too familiar with the havoc Mother Nature can wreak on streets, sidewalks, parking lots and outdoor stairs during the winter. Getting where you need to go when you need to be there often is challenging, if not downright hazardous. Your risk of falling on a slippery sidewalk or sliding on an icy road becomes greater with each snowflake or sleet pellet that hits the ground.

While property owners have the duty to take reasonable care to maintain their premises in a manner safe enough for employees, tenants, invitees and the general public to be there, FindLaw explains that their duty to keep their property free and clear of snow and ice is not absolute. Under New Jersey’s storm in progress doctrine, property owners can wait until the storm is over before starting to remove the accumulated snow and/or ice. Therefore, if you slip and fall or have an auto accident before the property owner is required to clean up his or her property, he or she may not be liable for any injuries or property damage you sustain.

How underride guards can protect you in a car-truck accident

Many New Jersey drivers own small cars that cause them and their passengers to ride at eye level with the wheels of the large trucks with which they share the roads and highways. Crashing into the back or side of one of these high-riding trailers invariably results in serious injuries, if not death, for the car’s occupants.

As reported by Forbes, cars that rear-end semis often do not stop at the moment of impact. Instead, they keep going, sliding underneath the trailer while shearing off their roofs and hoods in the process. The car’s occupants, particularly the driver and front seat passenger, are at grave risk for death by decapitation.

Who is responsible when you slip and fall?

As a New Jersey resident, you know how hazardous outdoor walking can be, particularly during the winter months when the possibility of snow- or ice-covered sidewalks and parking lots always exists. Should you happen to slip and fall, however, exactly who do you sue to recover your medical costs and other damages?

As FindLaw explains, a slip-and-fall action is a form of premises liability lawsuit. Under the legal theory of premises liability, the property’s owner is the person responsible for keeping the property in a state of good repair so that it is safe for visitors to be there. Sometimes, though, the responsible party is a lessee of the landlord who owns the property, such as in the case of a commercial property. Other times the responsible party may be the person who has actual control of the property, whether or not he or she is the owner.

What is distracted driving?

As you drive New Jersey’s roadways, you see evidence of distracted driving all around you. You may even practice such dangerous driving habits yourself. Given the sobering statistics, however, you may wish to rethink that decision. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives nationwide in 2015 alone. In the same year, 391,000 injuries resulted from distracted driving.

Distracted driving is anything that takes your mind and/or eyes and/or hands away from your only purpose while behind the wheel: driving safely and defensively so as to make the roads as safe as possible for not only yourself, but also for others. Distracted driving covers a multitude of activities, including the following:

  • Talking and/or texting on your cellphone
  • Fiddling with your heater, air conditioner, radio, CD player or MP3 player
  • Reading anything inside your car, including texts or a map
  • Watching anything inside your car, including your GPS system or any other video display
  • Snacking and/or drinking
  • Combing your hair and/or freshening your makeup

Pedestrians injured after driver allegedly suffers medical issue

For many New Jersey drivers, having a vehicle to get from one place to another is a matter of convenience. Because it is a commonality for many people, it can be easy for some to forget that driving a vehicle is a privilege that should be carefully enjoyed to stay safe and protect others safety as well. However, there are times when unforeseen events can present risks to everyone, despite how attentive and experienced a driver may be. 

This was the case in a recent car accident that happened in lower Manhattan, New York. A man was behind the wheel of a sedan when he seemingly lost control and crashed into an SUV. After the initial impact, he kept going and plowed into a group of people that were on a sidewalk. Several pedestrians were hit and sustained a range of injuries although none of them were found to be life-threatening. As investigators worked to piece together the scene, witnesses reported that the driver seemed to make no effort to prevent the collision. When the man was being interviewed by detectives, he complained of pain in his chest ultimately leading authorities to believe the accident could be linked to a medical condition the man had suffered. All of the injured were taken to local hospitals to be treated for their injuries. The driver is not expected to be charged. 

Understanding bicycle accidents

People in New Jersey may not be well-informed about the ways in which most bicycle accidents occur and what they can do to prevent being involved in one. Because bikes are a popular mode of transportation, it is important for bikers to understand how they can be safe. 

Although there are many causes of bicycle accidents, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center says that most people are harmed by cars. Collisions with cars account for 29 percent of the injuries which occur, while failing to pay attention to the road only accounts for 13 percent of these injuries. It is difficult to know just how many bicycles crashes occur each year, as this kind of accident is not often documented by law enforcement.

Reducing your chances of winter-related falls

Winter is a highly anticipated time of year for many people in New Jersey. However, as you may be well aware, with winter comes a heightened risk of slipping, tripping and falling due to weather related dangers. At Lee Law Firm, LLC, we have been able to help many people who have been injured in falls. 

While you are subject to an increased risk of falling during the winter months, UPMC has provided several helpful suggestions of things you can do to reduce your chances of being injured. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • When walking on a visibly icy area, keep your foot as flat as possible and walk slowly and cautiously.
  • Invest in slip-resistant footwear that is designed to provide extra protection with thicker tread.
  • If you notice areas that have been poorly maintained by a facility you are visiting, notify maintenance immediately.
  • Do not put your hands in your pockets while you walk or load excessive items into your arms. Doing so greatly inhibits your ability to catch yourself if you begin to slip and fall.
  • If you are questioning whether or not an area is slippery, gently tap your foot on the surface to get a better idea.
  • Try to avoid areas that are uneven as they pose an extra threat when iced over.

What kind of injuries can you get after a slip-and-fall?

While you may view a slip-and-fall as a minor incident, you can sometimes sustain serious injuries. A previous blog discussed brain injuries incurred after a slip-and-fall. This blog will cover the other kinds of wounds you might experience.

When you fall, you might harm your knees. The Brain Injury Society says that if your knees twist as you fall, you might dislocate your knee or sustain an injury to the ligament or cartilage. These wounds can cause you to feel much pain because your knees support a significant portion of your body weight. You may also wound your shoulders. Your rotator cuff might be strained or sprained or even torn if your fall is a particularly bad one. These injuries occur because you may sometimes use your hands to catch yourself or your shoulder may take the brunt of the fall.


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