Articles Posted in Traffic safety

Does the State of Texas have a duty to warn drivers about a dangerous road condition? Last week’s decision by a Texas appellate court ruling said that it did.The Dallas court affirmed a jury’s verdict in favor of a motorcyclist who crashed when his wheels hit a large crack in the highway. The trial court capped the $1,200,000 verdict at $250,000, the maximum damages allowed under the Texas Tort Claims Act, and the state appealed.

Brian Milton was traveling on FM Road 148 in Kaufman in 2012 at night. He couldn’t see the deep cracks in the road pictured here until he hit one and crashed his bike into a ditch. Milton had never driven on this road before. He was severely injured.

Testimony from state employees and other evidence showed that the TxDOT clearly knew about the problem before the crash. The responding officer noted the “big cracks” in the roadway.

A few days later, Milton’s wife took this photo of the severely eroded highway. And just one month earlier, a TxDOT worker had taken pictures of the poor road conditions and ordered signs to warn drivers about the failing road but the signs weren’t placed in the correct location.

In addition, the agency had begun roadwork nearby but had not yet made its way to the area of the crash where work orders were in place.

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Dallas Has Almost 3rd Worst Traffic in the Country.

We all know how dangerous and frustrating driving on Dallas-Fort Worth roads can be.

And if you think Dallas is the worst city to drive in, you’re close. It was recently ranked almost tied for the #3 spot on the list for cities with the worst traffic in the United States. Only Los Angeles and New York City, the top two most densely populated cities and famous for their bumper-to-bumper gridlock, have more traffic jams. Remember the opening to the movie La La Land when people danced on their stopped cars?

The study analyzed 108,000 “hotspots” in American cities to identify where they are and why they happen. They represent problem areas that cause congestion and crashes.

The researchers found 6,720 traffic hot spots in Dallas. The worst area was on Interstate 20 West from south of downtown to Collins in Arlington. Improving these areas would make our lives better and reduce the enormous number of car wrecks we have – over 80,000 a year in Dallas and Tarrant Counties each year. Continue reading

National Teen Driver Safety Week Is A Good Start.

Here’s a great idea that gives parents and schools the chance to focus on this critical safety issue and stop teenage car accidents.

Teenage Car Accident

The U.S. Department of Transportation devised this excellent awareness program to curtail the tragic loss of 2,333 teens and 221,313 teens severely injured after being in an auto accident in 2015.

Parents are not usually usually driving with their teens so they must teach and enforce these five crucial driving behaviors to prevent car and truck crashes:

  • No using a cell phone or texting
  • No piling passengers in the car
  • No speeding
  • No drinking alcohol
  • No driving without wearing a seat belt

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One driver pulls up to another driver and points a gun at him. After a high speed chase, police officers lose control and crash into a bank. The armed driver races into a neighborhood where he wrecks his car, flees on foot, and breaks into a house. The officers are rushed to emergency rooms and one is seriously hurt. Other police officers eventually arrest the man.

This unbelievable police chase was not a scene in the latest Hollywood action movie. It happened yesterday afternoon in Fort Worth. It was so violent it made national headlines.

The driver, a 21-year-old male, was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, evading arrest, and unlawful possession of a firearm and already had seven outstanding arrest warrants. His passenger, a 21-year-old female, was arrested for possession of marijuana and had five warrants.

Our residents are almost always known for their hospitality and courtesy. But our roadways are sometimes turning into battlefields. Road rage has become a  common occurrence. Continue reading

If you drive near a school, you noticed all the children walking and riding their bikes and their moms and dads driving them this morning. And of course, you saw the big yellow school buses. And soon we’ll have an eclipse of the sun, well, mostly. Not a typical day to be driving, right?

As our students dive into their books, it’s time for drivers to do a little homework. Here’s a quick refresher on the traffic laws that will keep kids safe and help you avoid a very expensive traffic ticket.

School bus laws

Getting stuck behind a school bus can be frustrating. Can you pass one that is stopped in the other direction? Here is the law in Texas: Continue reading

If you could (somehow) avoid certain areas on our Dallas-Fort Worth highways, you might be safer. That’s the conclusion of a new traffic study.

Sections of eight DFW roads were the sites of almost 200 deaths in 2015, adding to the dismal total that makes Texas the #1 ranked state for traffic fatalities in the U.S.

So which of our highways are the worst?

The misspelling on the sign is a clue as to North Texas’s #1’s most frightening road — and the area near mile marker 124 on I-30 just east of downtown Fort Worth is almost the deadliest place to drive in the entire state of Texas.

Stretches of Interstates 35, 20, and 635 and US Highway 175 in our Dallas-Fort area were also deadly. Here’s the list:

Rank in DFW Rank in TX City Road Mile point Crashes Deaths Miles Deaths/ mile
1 2 Fort Worth I-30 124 8 14 1.99 7.05
2 7 Dallas I-35 91 11 14 2.67 5.25
3 9 Duncanville I-20 70 11 11 2.16 5.1
4 13 Dallas I-35 161 38 42 8.87 4.74
5 15 Dallas US 175 129 29 36 8.01 4.49
6 18 Dallas I-635 66 37 39 9.54 4.09
7 22 Lancaster I-20 133 16 20 5.21 3.84
8 24 Grand Prairie I-20 94 10 10 2.62 3.81

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Last evening’s downpour dumped two inches of rain on North Texas — and that was on top of the huge storm last week and eight inches of rain last month. Hundreds of motorists have been in automobile accidents or stranded in high water.

Miraculously Fort Worth firefighters reported no major injuries from car accidents last night. Apparently most people used common sense and stayed off the roads or drove safely.

A man got swept away in a flashflood behind the Denton Wal-Mart and drowned but two other men with him were fortunately rescued.

If there is a car wreck during bad weather, which driver(s) is legally at fault and how is this determined?

And what are some tips to avoid getting into an automobile collision in poor driving conditions in the first place?

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Many ER doctors and surgeons prescribe narcotics to their patients since many are in dire pain after a car accident or surgery. Opioids provide quick relief, so what harm can a script for some OxyContin possibly do? Plenty, according to a new study.

Opiate addiction in patients of “high-intensity prescribers” was 30 percent more likely than in patients who saw “low-intensity prescribers.” The study shows that doctors who were overly generous with the prescription pad may be causing addiction to high potency medications.

Texas has a serious addiction problem. So does the rest of the country. Almost 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2014 according to the CDC. Back in 2003, Rush Limbaugh famously admitted he was addicted to OxyContin. Addiction to opiods is a raging epidemic in the U.S.

What does this have to do with driving? Personal injury lawyers are seeing more and more crashes caused by drivers intoxicated on these prescription drugs. A man who crashed into our client’s car said he had taken 12 pills and had no idea how the collision happened.

Medications like Vicodin can impair a driver just as much as illegal drugs or alcohol. But shockingly there is no law that effectively stops the use of prescription medications while driving. Continue reading

It has been a terrible few weeks on our area roads. Three automobile accidents have tragically taken the lives of at least five teens and injured many others.

Saturday night a beautiful 17-year-old senior at L.D. Bell in Hurst died in a collision in Arlington. The Star Telegram reported that the young woman loved singing and helping other people and animals. She had just been accepted to college at Texas Woman’s University and wanted to be a nurse. The vehicle driven by her boyfriend, also a 17-year-old senior at Bell, hydroplaned as he changed lanes on a wet Interstate 20. His vehicle spun sideways and was hit by an oncoming car. He broke his jaw and will have to undergo major reconstructive surgery. The other driver was also injured and was taken by ambulance to an area hospital.

In a second crash late Sunday night in Everman, police arrived at Roy C. Brooks Drive and found that a Ford Mustang had rolled over. The two occupants, who were 18-year-old students at Everman High School, were pronounced dead at the scene.

And a few weeks ago, a drag race ended in a horrible accident in Plano when the driver lost control and hit a tree. The Porsche Macan burst into flames, tragically killing the two beautiful 16-year-olds pictured above and severely injuring a third young woman who remains hospitalized.

These stories are incredibly gut-wrenching. I extend my sincere condolences to the families and surviving victims.

Why are so many teens dying on Dallas-Fort Worth roadways? And more importantly, what can we do to stop this from happening over and over? Continue reading

The number of people driving in the Dallas – Fort Worth area has exploded and of course there are many more car wrecks here. Most of them are caused by drivers running lights, speeding, and texting while driving.

But certain intersections and roads are literally accidents waiting to happen.

Many Of The Most Dangerous Intersections in Texas are in Dallas

A lawyer analyzed crash data from the Texas Department of Public Safety and identified about 300 of the places you are most likely to get into a collision over three recent years.

Fort Worth and Arlington fared pretty well. Only six Fort Worth intersections made the list, including Henderson/Weatherford on the west side of downtown pictured here which had 119 collisions. My office has represented people injured in crashes at all of the locations, including the man who was broadsided in the red car and is about to have back surgery as a result.

Arlington had four of the worst intersections, all of them along Watson Road/Highway 360.

But Dallas had 39 of the most dangerous intersections in Texas.

See the full list of the worst intersections in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, and other cities below.

Hopefully if this list is publicized, it will encourage drivers to use extra caution and cities to act and thus reduce the number of automobile collisions in the Metroplex.

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