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Articles Posted in Traffic safety

The forecast calls for freezing temperatures here in the next few days. It’s time to pull out the warm clothes and prepare for driving on possibly treacherous roads, if not this week in the next month or two.

Every year 6,253 people tragically die and more than 480,000 are injured in weather-related accidents. Of course, the weather is not always the reason for the crash — it’s often the way people drive in it.

Driving on wet, icy roads with poor visibility is very different than in our usually good North Texas weather conditions. Yet many drivers make no changes to their typical driving patterns, even on interstates. Add that to the fact that Texans usually have little experience driving in winter conditions and you can expect a lot of crashes.

Reckless and inexperienced drivers may not adjust their speed, braking, steering and vehicular distance to the slick roads. And they don’t know how to react when they come upon an accident or their wheels start to slide and crash into other vehicles. No one can drive safely on poor roads. Continue reading

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hannukah. Now that you are getting ready to celebrate the New Year, here’s another reason to be joyful.

It was just announced that more highways will be built and existing ones will be expanded.

This news came after the media reported that that one-third of the fastest growing U.S. cities were again in Texas, including our Dallas and Fort Worth. Since our Texas population exploded by over 20%, 27%, 19%, and 23% each of the last four decades and we have no real public transportation, our roads are often gridlocked.

The huge influx of new drivers means more cars, congested roadways, and accidents causing deaths, injuries, and huge expenses and misery.

At least there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Hallelujah. Continue reading

Self driving vehicle

Terrorists? Immigrants? You can bet that Trump and Clinton don’t talk about this tonight in their first debate, but one of the worst problems we have in our country are the millions of car and truck collisions each year.

Did you know that a whopping 37,000 people are killed and 2.35 million are injured here each year on our roads but by comparison, 32 Americans were killed by terrorists in the five years from 2010 to 2014?

Could technology make our highways safer? Of course. But when the U.S. Department of Transportation made an announcement last week that it will allow our car manufacturers to design self-driving vehicles, but that our government will somehow regulate their safety, you have to wonder if we can trust GM and Toyota to protect us.

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Get used to school zones and slow buses

A lot of changes happen on the first day of school …. for children and drivers alike.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve lived by the same school for years, you might easily forget about school zones and slow buses during the blissful summer months when those driving issues don’t exist.

The first few weeks of school can be a shock to the system. Last week, you were driving at 35 or 40 MPH down the street. This week, you have to slow down to 20 MPH.

But just as your children have to get their minds into gear, so do we drivers. Continue reading

Last Tuesday a 17 year-old teen was tragically killed in a mid-day car wreck on the North Side of Fort Worth. At this stage, investigators have released little information about the crash, including its cause.

What we do know is that teen traffic deaths is that they are far too common. In fact, more 15 to 20 year olds die in vehicular crashes than in any other way. 1,678 drivers in this age group died in 2014. That means that 1,678 families will not see their kids graduate, get married, have a child or do the other things parents proudly look forward to.

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Workers and Motorists Put at Risk, Often Deadly

At any given time in Texas, 2,500 work zones are active.

Especially here in North Texas we motorists have come to dread the signs warning them to merge, detour and expect delays. Funneling two lanes into one is a challenge for many drivers that can get blood boiling, as this adds time to already long commutes.

But more than an inconvenience, construction zones are a serious danger to motorists and workers. Slowed traffic, bottle necked lane merging and use of heavy equipment can add up to a deadly combination.

A shocking 21,886 accidents occurred in work zones in Texas in 2015, killing 138 people. The number of work zone accidents shot up by 13 percent in 2015 from the previous year. Clearly, not enough is being done to keep work zones safe.

The Texas Department of Transportation identifies speeding and distractions as the leading causes of work zone auto crashes. Even doubled traffic fines do not deter some motorists from speeding through a work site. Or, perhaps they are too busy texting to notice the warning signs, flagmen and traffic cones – if they are there.

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Who Pays?

You’re driving on I-35 or I-30 when – wham – you feel a hard jolt as your vehicle nose dives into a deep hole in the pavement. If you’re lucky, hitting a pothole only knocks your car or truck out of alignment. 

But swerving to avoid holes and blown out tires have sent vehicles careening out of control resulting in serious accidents. And motorcyclists and bicycle riders have been thrown off their bikes after hitting them.

A few potholes are inevitable after an icy winter. But local Department of Transportation officials blame our heavy rain — you may remember that last year set a new record – and the need to wait for dry weather to patch up the pavement cracks and holes. 

Crumbling DFW roadways are causing dangerous driving conditions for motorists.

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Shocking New AAA Safety Report Shows Causes

A study released yesterday found that 87 percent of drivers engaged in risking behavior while they were behind the wheel. In other words, almost every driver may be about to crash into you at any moment.

Dangerous driving like speeding, texting and talking on a cell phone, running a red light, driving drunk and not wearing a seat belt contributed to a staggering 33,000 traffic fatalities in 2014. That would fill up the AAC in Dallas almost two times over.

What is going on out there, as I often have to say here?

80% of drivers recognize distracted driving problems

There is no reason that 3,000 people should die in distracted driving crashes every year, is there? But despite realizing the dangers, a high percentage of drivers admitted that they engage in distracting conduct.

  • 70 percent talked on a cell phone during last 30 days
  • 31 percent do this on a regular basis 
  • 42 percent read an email or a text during the past 30 days
  • 12 percent do so regularly
  • 32 percent typed a message during past 30 days
  • 8 percent do so regularly 
Based on my personal observations and those of my injured clients, these numbers are much higher than reported.

10,000 deaths per year result from speeding

10,000 people are killed in traffic accidents each year because of speeding, with many thousands more suffering serious injuries. Despite the risks, drivers refuse to slow down:

  • Almost 50 percent went 15 mph over the posted speed limit during past month
  • 15 percent do so often
  • 45 percent went 10 mph above the speed limit during past month
  • 11 percent do so often

Tired drivers cause about 328,000 accidents

Sleep-deprived drivers account for about 328,000 accidents per year, 6,400 fatal and 109,000 that cause injuries. But, about 32 percent of people have driven while tired over the past 30 days and about 22 percent have done so more than once in the past month.

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The Dallas City Council announced plans to start repairing the city’s most dangerous intersections last June. The price tag? A whopping $290 million — just to replace obsolete traffic signals. How long will this take? An incredible 25 years. 

This high priced project does not even cover other desperately needed repairs to the intersections like removing visual obstructions, filling potholes, improving lighting and redesigning intersections with up-to-date safety features.

Numerous Dallas intersections — and hundreds of others across the Metroplex —  need complete overhauls too. 

Murderous Uber Driver Shows Failure to Do Adequate Background Checks

An Uber driver went on a horrifying killing spree while driving around Kalamazoo, Michigan Saturday night. The lunatic driver even picked up a family in between his gunfire. Six people were killed and two remain critically injured.The man had only driven for Uber for a month.This sounds straight out of a horror movie, doesn’t it?

Car-hailing accidents are not unusual

The possibility of being injured by a dangerous driver like this is not isolated to Michigan, nor does it only happen with Uber, Super Shuttle, Lyft or other services. 

In July a Dallas Uber driver was accused of sexually assaulting a passenger. The Uber background check failed to uncover assault and weapons charges for which the driver had previously spent 6 ½ years in prison. Uber executives promised to do better background checks but clearly have failed miserably at that.

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