Articles Posted in Auto Safety

When is owner at fault for letting unsafe driver drive his car?

Drinking and Driving

People usually cannot be found to be responsible when someone else is negligent. But what happens when someone loans his vehicle to another person who he knew — or should have known — was not a safe or qualified driver? A car accident could result due to the negligent entrustment of the vehicle and in some cases, the owner can also be at fault. Giving a dangerous driver access to a potentially deadly 6,000 pound vehicle can be just as deadly as handing a child a loaded gun.

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Wrecks and bad roads increasing at rapid pace.

Between all the drivers staring at their cell phones, our roads that are rated a D, and the thousands of new residents pouring into North Texas, you are probably lucky not to get into a car accident when you drive around Dallas-Fort Worth. Adding to the chances are the pavement problems caused by last year easily being the rainiest in our history with a whopping 53 inches falling, a lot of it last month. The latest reported example is a  10 foot wide pothole in Fort Worth that shut down an intersection for two weeks after a car sank into it and had to be towed out. You may be wondering if the state or local government is liable for your damages if you are injured in a car or truck wreck caused by bad roads, broken stop lights, missing stop signs, or poor highway design or maintenance. This post will explain how Texas law works.

Road Defects

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Enjoy Family Dinners and Football Games … and Try to Stay Clear of Drunk Drivers 

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I thoroughly enjoy sharing a meal with my family and enjoying my blessings. I’m looking forward to seeing my Texas Longhorns win and there are a lot of other great games on this weekend. 

I will also be very careful about when I drive this weekend. 

Electric Bicycles To Be Available in Fort Worth Soon

2-riding
You are starting to see a few people riding around on electric bicycles and electric scooters and might think they are good ideas. They encourage people to exercise, reduce our ever-increasing road congestion, and help protect the environment, so I was interested when Fort Worth just announced that its B-Cycle bicycle sharing program will add 50 electric assisted bicycles in April.

B-Cycle had test rides available yesterday so I hopped on one at City Hall before work to check them out.

Future transportation vehicles on display here this weekend

On Saturday I drove my wife and myself to Arlington to demo some crazy future transportation shuttles and I was very impressed with what I saw. The van we rode in drove, stopped, and steered safely all by itself. There was no chance of any distracted driving, driving while intoxicated, speeding, or other stupid driver actions that anger me as a Fort Worth car accident lawyer that I see on a daily basis.

I hope these new vehicles can help make our roads safer and reduce the 54 car wrecks in Tarrant and Dallas Counties on an average day. With the rapid changes technology is bringing to our lives, we are on the cusp of innovative changes in the way we move around. Within our lifetimes, it is predicted that vehicles out of a sci-fi movie will be norm.

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But are self-driving vehicles safe?

Three vans that move slowly without drivers will be available to ride around the stadiums/Six Flags area in Arlington starting today. Presumably other Texas cities are considering the use of self-driving vehicles. But while some people say they are the future of transportation, most are frightened.

Proponents of this new technology say that these vehicles are far safer than the ones on the road now. With 84,000 crashes each year just here in Tarrant and Dallas Counties, that’s hard to dispute. And disability advocates argue that handicapped people will be able to get around easier.

On the other hand, skeptics point to several fatal collisions and argue that there are not enough safety procedures to protect the driving public from robotic vehicles on the open roads.

Both sides are right.

Congrats to Arlington, “America’s Dream City,” for pushing the Dallas-Fort Worth area forward and trying to make our streets safer. The new service from an exciting California start up company called driver.ai starts this weekend. Next weekend, the hours will be from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

I am always advocating for safer roads and am planning to ride one of the vans tomorrow to learn more. I’ll give you a full report Monday.

The future is now, at least with regards to our roadways. Self-driving cars are already legal in some states and some serious issues have already come to light. A concept that we once thought of as something out of a sci-fi movie is already a reality in a few areas of DFW, including Frisco in a closed business park and on public streets in Arlington starting next month.

Although it’s difficult to say when autonomous cars will become the standard, there’s already been an impact on personal injury law. Even if it is gradually implemented into our roadways over time, now is the time to determine some important issues about liability.

Changes in Legislation

Proving fault has always been the primary task of any personal injury attorney. Without it, there is no way to make the liable party pay for the damages he or she has caused. But who is liable when there is NO driver behind the wheel? Some legislation is already law and more is in the works. But some of the new laws are leaving drivers unhappy with the potential effect it could have.

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School started today and the streets of Dallas-Fort Worth have suddenly changed. Roads that were not busy in the morning and afternoon are now crowded school zones. Buses are back on the roads carrying one million of our precious students between their homes and schools in Texas.

Unfortunately there were 671 accidents in school zones throughout Texas during the 2015-2016 school year.

UPDATE 8/22/18: The Star Telegram reports that a car crashed into a school bus in north Fort Worth this morning causing one child to be rushed to the emergency room and injuring nine other children. It’s only the third day of the new school year.

One collision or injury is too many. We adults have to use extreme caution to make sure no more children are injured this year.

Ways to protect our kids

These accidents most often occur as children are walking or riding their bikes to school. When you fail to heed the school zone laws including the slower speed limits, you could be the cause of a child getting injured. We all know how frustrating it is to get stuck behind a slow school bus or waiting while a group of children cross a crosswalk. But these rules protect kids from getting serious injuries. We have to be responsible for them and assume they might be careless.

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Sure, Ride-sharing is Convenient — But Are You Always Safe?

Last week police arrested an Uber driver charged with a shocking crime: sexually assaulting a 77-year-old Fort Worth woman.

Another Uber driver was convicted in Boston several weeks ago for having sex with his passenger, a young college student who was intoxicated.

Colorado officials have fined Uber almost $9 million for contracting with drivers who had criminal records or serious driving offenses on their motor vehicle records.

A self-driving Uber struck and killed a pedestrian on Monday. It unfortunately won’t be the last time this happens.

The 49 year-old woman was walking her bike across the road in Tempe, Arizona when the SUV ran over her. A “driver” was behind the wheel of the SUV but the vehicle was set to the autonomous mode. The person sitting in the driver’s seat was supposed to safeguard against this type of collision but it clearly didn’t work.

This horrific accident highlights an important question: is this new technology ready to hit public streets?

I am a big fan of vehicle automation because it takes human error out of the equation. Self-driving cars may one day finally put an end to drunk, distracted, speeding, and tailgating car accidents. But those advantages are too far down the road at this point.

As I discussed in a previous post, these cars should not be raced onto our roadways without thorough testing and strict safety regulations. We aren’t there yet. Continue reading

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