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Personal Injury Blog

Young Motorists Underestimate Drowsy Driving Risks

Friday, September 21, 2012

A new study finds that young drivers are less likely to view drowsy driving as dangerous, as compared to drunk driving. This is in spite of the fact that there is enough evidence to indicate that both impaired driving as well as drowsy driving are equally dangerous as causes for auto accidents.

Recent research by the National Safety Council that was published in the Journal of Safety Research finds that young drivers have lackadaisical attitudes about the risks of drowsy driving. This is in spite of the fact that young drivers are at a much higher risk of fatigued driving and drowsy driving-related accidents than older drivers.

This category of drivers is at a much higher risk of being involved in an accident caused by sleep deprivation, as well as alcohol use. However, while young drivers seem to be fairly attuned to the risks of impaired driving, and an overwhelming majority of them believe that driving while drunk increases accident rates, they do not seem to have the same kind of attitudes when it comes to driving while fatigued.

In fact, as Burbank car accident lawyers have found, drowsy driving and distracted driving seem to be fairly underestimated by young drivers as far as their dangers are concerned.

Federal and state transportation agencies are at least partly to blame for these attitudes. They simply have not made enough of an effort to educate young drivers about the need to drive only after they have had plenty of rest. Young drivers have more hectic social lives, and consequently, may suffer from sleep deprivation. Getting enough sleep may not be high on their priority list.

That's all the more reason why safety initiatives pushing for measures against fatigued driving, should be focusing on young drivers. That doesn't seem to be happening.

Focus on Distracted Pedestrians Loses Track Of Real Safety Issues

Monday, August 06, 2012

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the risks involving distracted pedestrians who are using cell phones or MP3 players while walking are very real. Across the country, several state and local administrations are devising pedestrian safety campaigns that are aimed at encouraging pedestrians to switch off their cell phones, MP3 players and other distracting devices while walking.

Philadelphia will soon launch a pedestrian safety campaign that will be targeted at pedestrians who are walking with their eyes on their cell phones instead of the road. Several other states are also planning similar campaigns. In some states, there are also attempts being made to pass legislation that would fine pedestrians who are distracted while walking.

Thousand Oaks car accident lawyers find that all of this focus on distracted pedestrians seems to take away from the real crux of the problem - the fact that most pedestrian accidents are caused as a result of motorist negligence. More pedestrians are killed every year in accidents caused by distracted, aggressive, and intoxicated motorists, than by their own distractions. An average of 4,000 are killed in accidents every year, and most of these deaths are caused by motorist failure to yield, and other forms of driver negligence.

That isn't to say that pedestrian distractions are not a problem. Many pedestrians use their cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. If a person is near an intersection or crosses a crosswalk, such behaviors could possibly increase the risk of an accident. However, there are other pedestrian safety factors to blame here, like the behavior of motorists when they near intersections, or crosswalks.

More pedestrian lives could be saved every year, if motorists were educated about the need to look out for pedestrians at all times, especially when they near crosswalks. In so many cases, this does not happen, leaving pedestrians at risk of injuries.

Dog Bites May be Linked to Illness

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A friendly dog, that otherwise has no history of aggression or bites, may be much more likely to be involved in dog bite incidents if it is ill. According to the results of a new study, approximately 50% of dogs that were involved in dog bite incidents and other behavioral problems suffered from an undiagnosed medical condition which caused the animal great pain, and left it feeling aggressive and impulsive. These dogs were much more likely to bite without warning.

Every Thousand Oaks dog bite attorney has come across this person - a dog owner who is baffled by why his friendly dog suddenly attacked a little child. The dog may have had no history of viciousness, and may have no history of being involved in such attacks. According to the research which was published recently in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, friendly dogs who are in pain, may respond to the pain much differently from aggressive dogs.

A friendly dog will become impulsive, and will bite without warning when it is in pain. Aggressive dogs, on the other hand, are much more likely to growl before the bite. There may be a number of reasons for this difference in behavior. Owners of friendly dogs, for instance, may be less likely to exercise caution in their dealings with other animals and human beings. That's because these dogs are friendly, and not likely to bite, at least that's what their owners think.

However, owners of aggressive dogs are likely to be much more cautious when their dog is around other human beings. Besides, friendly dogs are not able to communicate their discomfort with being touched, as aggressive dogs are able to do. An aggressive dog is used to growling or baring its teeth when it feels uncomfortable or threatened - behaviors that a friendly dog is not familiar with.

Therefore, there are behavioral differences when such dogs are suffering from muscular pain, joint pain or other symptoms of their illness.

Postal Employees are Frequent Dog Bite Victims

Friday, June 15, 2012

Last month, the U.S. Postal Service in collaboration with medical groups, dog breeding groups, pediatricians and insurers joined forces to raise awareness about dog bite-related injuries. According to the U.S. Postal Service, more than 5,600 postal employees are victims of dog bites every year.

Overall, there are approximately 4.7 million dog bite attacks in the United States every year. Not every bite will result in a serious injury or even any kind of injuries at all. However, many dog bites result in serious injuries that include facial injuries, injuries to the scalp, and eye injuries.

Burbank dog bite lawyers find that children, because of their tender age, size and lack of strength may be at a much higher risk of serious injuries in an attack. Children are not only at a higher risk of suffering serious injuries because of their fragility, but are also at a much higher risk of bites. Out of those 4.7 million dog bites every year, a majority involve children below the age of 5. In fact, children are 3 times more likely to be involved in a dog bite compared to adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 20 people die from dog bite attacks every year. In 2011, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that more than 29,000 reconstructive surgeries had to be performed on persons who had been left severely injured as a result of a dog bite. An attack may last just a few seconds, but can leave a horrific impact.

What dog owners must realize is that even the friendliest of dogs has the potential to bite. Dog owners must be responsible. Invest in socialization and dog training, secure your dog in public, and make sure that the dog is safely restrained inside your property.

Increase in Dog Bite Claims and Costs

Monday, June 04, 2012

Insurers are reporting an increase in the number of dog bite claims as well as the cost of these claims in 2011. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites cost the insurance industry more than $478 million last year.

In 2010, the industry had paid out $412.6 million in claims. What has spurred this increase in costs has been an increase in the cost of the average claim. According to industry experts, the cost of the average dog bite claim in the United States jumped 12% to a total value of $29,396.

Much of the increase was due to higher medical costs associated with these bites. A dog bite can last just a few seconds, but many dog bites can be devastating in their impact. Victims may require not just emergency treatment in the hospital, but, in many cases, will also require hospitalization. Apart from this, there are the costs of cosmetic surgery and facial restoration when victims have suffered a devastating dog bite. Many dog bites involving children, for instance, involve the face, neck, and head region, and may necessitate restorative surgery. Dog bite costs paid out by insurers also increased due to settlements with plaintiffs and jury awards.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bite attacks accounted for more than one third of all home insurer liability payouts made by the industry. Last year, dog bite victims filed a total of 16,292 dog bite claims. That was a decline from 2003 when the Insurance Information Institute first began listing the data, but the cost of the average claim has increased 50% since 2003.

As Thousand Oaks dog bite lawyers see however, the causes of most dog bites have not changed over the years. Most dog bites involve animals that attack as a result of irresponsible dog ownership, shoddy or poor training and poor breeding practices.



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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.