A motorcyclist died in a crash with UPS truck

A fatal crash occurred on Highway 813 in Waxahachie, Texas between a UPS truck and a motorcycle.

According to police reports, the UPS truck was traveling west and the motorcycle was traveling east on Highway 813. The accident happened as the UPS truck proceeded to turn left and the motorcycle hit the side of the truck. The motorcyclist died at the scene.

Motorcycle accidents are common. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycle accidents have been on the rise since 1998. Drivers in other vehicles cause most motorcycle accidents.

The IIHS recommends helmet use by all motorcyclists. According to statistics, motorcycle helmets are roughly 37 percent effective in preventing deaths and helmets are about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. However, only 19 states and the District of Columbia have helmet laws.

According to the data collected from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the IIHS calculates that:

  • 4,295 bikers died in collisions in 2014
  • Per mile traveled in 2014, the number of motorcycle deaths was 27 times the number in cars

Never try to handle a motorcycle accident claim on your own. Always reach out to speak to a competent motorcycle accident attorney who can advise you on what compensation you may be eligible for and how to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Boating accident in Texas reveals potential safety hazards

Waterfowlers face many dangerous conditions when out hunting. Consider the recent accident involving a 26-year-old man and his 5-year-old son. Both drowned in Lake Tawakoni in Texas while waterfowling.

Waterfowl hunting is a risky sport. Some of the dangers associated with the sport include: limited visibility, cold and unpredictable weather, overloaded and small vessels. If safety precautions are not strictly followed any accident can be a matter of life and death.

The father and son had been caught in a storm, and their 12-foot aluminum boat was found by Texas game wardens the day after they were reported missing. The little boy was found the first night of searching and the father found the next day. Neither of them were wearing a life jacket. The family dog, a Retriever, survived and managed to make it to shore.

Waterfowling boats are often loaded with heavy decoys and assorted hunting gear. Falling overboard while wearing thick layers of hunting clothes is very dangerous and can result in hypothermia. Unless a boater strictly follows the rules and regulations pertaining to safe boating, boating accidents will continue to occur.

Wear a life jacket – even over heavy winter clothing — and watching the weather can make a difference if an accident occurs.

Man on the run for seven years finally apprehended

Vincente Gonzalez, a man on the run for seven years was hiding from intoxication manslaughter charges relating to a June 2009 accident that killed three. Gonzalez was finally apprehended by U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force.

The accident killing three — a 48-year-old male from Alto, a 29 year-old female from Lufkin and a four-year-old boy — happened in 2009. Gonzalez, the drunk driver, was taken to hospital for his injuries, a brain bleed and broken leg. He was not considered to be a flight risk and was not arrested.

Gonzalez subsequently disappeared from the hospital and remained a fugitive from justice for the last seven years. According to court documents, he had been back and forth between the United States and Mexico and had been hidden for a time by his family.

Federal and state officials arrested Gonzalez in January. Police were pleased to hear that he had finally been apprehended. The man is now in custody.

Although he was apprehended and appeared in court, he was not given bail as Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a hold against him. The man is being held on a third-degree intoxicated assault charge, three second-degree felony intoxicated manslaughter charges and a third-degree felony intoxicated assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injury and an Immigration and Customs detainment order. He may spend the next 7 decades behind bars.

In Texas, drunk drivers are taken seriously and never more so than when multiple individuals lose their lives because someone chose to drive inebriated. Although the man going to prison will not bring the three who perished back, it will help send a message that drunk driving is not tolerated in Texas.

Police Chief gets rear-ended by distracted driver

A Police Chief, Michael Galvan, was rear-ended by a driver who was texting at the time of the accident. The crash happened in San Benito, Texas. The Chief was subsequently faced with $6,000 in repairs and had to deal with injuries to his lower back, wrist and shoulder.

Partly in response to this particular incident and the very prevalent unsafe use of mobile devices while driving, San Benito city commissioners gave their approval to an ordinance banning texting while driving. The new ordinance does have a 90-day grace period to allow local residents to get used to the law. However, at the end of the 90-day period, police start enforcing the law and fines may reach up to $500.

While some locals think the ordinance was put in place as a form of punishment and it infringes on their rights, police and the city commissioners insist the law is to prevent unnecessary accidents and deaths. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there are more than 100,000 crashes every year caused by distracted drivers.

“Distracted drivers are dangerous,” Galvan said. “You need to keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road and be able to look at your mirrors.”

Texas the state with the worst drivers in the United States

According to the CarInsuranceComparison.com company, Texas — together with Louisiana — now ranks as the state with the nation’s worst drivers.

CarInsuranceComparison.com, has been collecting driving information statistics for the past five years. This year is the first time for Texas to reach the No.1 place on the list.

The yearly report is put together with information gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). CarInsuranceComparison.com collects the material and compiles a score for each state based on the number of road deaths, DWI/DUI citations, careless driving, speeding and failures to obey traffic laws. Using those five categories, Texas scored in the top 15 nationwide for an overall ranking of No.1, a tie with Louisiana.

Why does Texas score so poorly on this ranking? According to Ann Littman, the vice president of Safeway Driving, “Careless and distracted driving has joined drunk driving as a major hazard.” The growing population in cities crates more congestion which makes driving more dangerous. People attempt to pass the time while driving, by being on their phones.

If Texas does not want to remain at the top of the list as the state with the worst drivers in the nation, here are some tips that can make a difference:

  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Do not eat while driving
  • Do not drink and drive
  • Do not perform any personal grooming activities while driving
  • Do not text and drive
  • Do not talk on the phone while driving – either handsfree or handheld
  • Do not fiddle with equipment inside the vehicle
  • Do not Snapchat, Tweet, Instagram or use other social media while driving
  • Keep a safe distance from surrounding vehicles

Pickup driver runs red light, killing motorcyclist

A recent motorcycle accident in Austin saw a truck running a red light collide with a motorcyclist. The accident happened in the early afternoon, near Pecan Park Boulevard. The biker was 34-years-old and died at the scene. His passenger, a 20-year-old woman was taken to hospital with life threatening injuries.

According to eyewitness testimony and the initial investigation into the accident by the police, the Chevrolet truck was headed east on the Boulevard and ran the red light on the 183 service road. The motorcyclist collided with the passenger’s side of the truck. None of the individuals involved in this crash showed signs of being under the influence, and the truck driver remained at the scene.

Until the investigation is completed by the police, it is difficult to know if there were any other factors that caused this accident. Although there is evidence to suggest that the truck ran a red light, it is not known if the motorcyclist was speeding, not paying attention or had mechanical issues.

Motorcycle accidents are often deadly and those who survive such collisions often need extensive medical care for a prolonged period of time or for the rest of their lives. In order to claim compensation after an accident, it is best to connect with an experienced motorcycle attorney who can inform you of your rights, walk you through how a lawsuit is filed and what you may expect as an outcome.

It is important to remember that after any accident you do not speak to any insurance company representative, sign any documents or allow any insurance company to tape an interview with you. Any information you provide will be used against you later. If you want to be able to claim the compensation you are entitled to and deserve, consult with your lawyer first.

Amarillo cracks down on texting while driving

Texas is one of only four states without a ban on texting while driving. Instead the individual counties and towns attempt to ban distracted driving by introducing their own legislation.

Over the last few years, there have been numerous attempts to bring in legislation addressing one of the biggest problems nationwide — texting while driving. In 2015 there were 5,364 accidents in Texas caused by distracted driving. Of those 5,364 accidents, 70 were fatal.

Making any kind of law to ban or restrict texting while driving has been met with opposition at the state level. The proposed Senate Bill 31, is the fifth attempt to bring a ban on texting and driving into life. This resistance has resulted in a number of cities, counties, towns and municipalities passing their own laws. Amarillo is the latest to make it illegal to text in a vehicle unless it is completely stopped.

Cities like Amarillo are prepared for Bill 31 to pass. Amarillo, for example, has a local ordinance from 2012 already in place, focused on educating people on the dangers of texting while driving. The city wanted to wait for a statewide ban on texting and driving.

Since the state has not banned texting and driving, Amarillo has moved forward and began enforcing the 2012 ordinance. The ordinance reads: “It is an offense for the operator of a motor vehicle upon a public road, street, highway, or alley within the city limits to use a wireless communication device.” There are some exceptions to the rule, which drivers must prove to police to avoid a ticket. Some of the exceptions for using a phone while driving include: emergencies, bluetooth and using the phone as a GPS.

Corpus Christie police effectively coped with DWI offenders during the holiday season

Even though the Corpus Christie Police Department (CCPD) put extra manpower on duty for the holiday season, they are a police department that continually works to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents. This year they had the financial assistance of the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) and received the Impaired Driving Mobilization (IDM) grant to have more officers on duty.

Of course, DWI is not just a seasonal issue, but it is a daily problem. However, the highest rate of fatal DWI accidents tend to happen over the holidays. The years 2012 and 2013 saw between 1,203 and 1,036 DWI arrests. In 2014, the CCPD made 1,407 DWI arrests, and 2015 they made 1,331 DWI arrests.

The statistics show a small decline between 2014 and 2015 since the implementation of several major drunk-driving campaigns. However, the police want to decrease those numbers more.

Despite the fact there are numerous and often graphic drunk driving campaigns, the message does not seem to reach the public. People often feel that nothing can happen to them. It is not totally up to the police to stop drunk driving. More social and education campaigns are need to be implemented.

CellSlip allows drivers to keep phones on while driving, but block incoming communications

Many smartphone-addicted individuals cannot or will not turn their phones off when they are driving, knowing it is not a safe. A new invention, however, might diminish texting while driving.

The invention is called CellSlip and its simplicity makes it appealing. It is a bright red nylon slip-on sleeve reinforced with a conductive fabric that blocks radio frequencies. Thanks to the sleeve, the phone cannot ring with its various notifications of incoming texts, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and phone calls. Once the slip sleeve is removed, all notifications pop on.

Creator Mitch Bain, a software engineer, said that even though many people realize they should not be texting while driving, the instant they are alerted to a message arriving, their first impulse is to grab the phone to see who is messaging and reply. Those few seconds can kill.

Recent research from the AAA Foundation on Traffic Safety shows 70 percent of drivers admit to talking on a cellphone while driving. Over 42 percent read text messages or e-mail while driving. Nearly a third type or send e-mails and/or texts.

Bain’s invention works to remove the human error factor by making the phone unable to receive any communication. Why not just turn off the cellphone? According to surveys, over 81 percent of smartphone users indicate that not only is their device is always on, but they check it, on average, 35 times per day (at home and while driving).

Could CellSlip save a life? It could if people choose to use it.

Drunk or sleep deprived? Both are deadly

Driving while drunk and driving while sleep deprived are equally dangerous, study finds

A new study, released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA), indicates that a drowsy driver, with fewer than five hours of sleep, has a crash risk comparable to a drunk driver with a blood alcohol content at or higher than the legal limit.

The study also revealed that sleep deprivation increases accident risk. According to the study, those who clip 1 to 2 hours off of the standard recommended 7-hour sleep stretch double the chances of being involved in a wreck.

The finding of AAA’s study are surprising to many because many people do not thing fatigued driving is dangerous. However, according to Doug Shupe, an AAA Texas spokesperson, “It is just as dangerous as distracted driving and drunk driving.”

Physicians appear to agree with the report, saying that an individual cannot go without enough sleep and then expect to be a safe driver. The frightening part of driving while sleep deprived is there are usually no warning signs/symptoms before a driver drifts off while behind the wheel.

AAA advises for drivers to try and get the recommenced amount of sleep. If unable, AAA asks drivers to schedule breaks during long trips, avoid medication and large meals before taking the wheel. It is important to evaluate the condition you are in before driving.

Located in Austin, Texas, Lee, Gober & Reyna represents clients throughout Central Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, including the cities of Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Temple, Waco, Bryan, Houston, Conroe, Baytown, Galveston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, San Antonio, Kerrville, New Braunfels, Seguin, San Marcos, San Angelo, Abilene, Laredo, Corpus Christi, McAllen and Harlingen, as well as Williamson County, Travis County and Hays County. Sitemap
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