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The Woodlands Personal Injury Law Blog

How to spot the signs of road rage

Road rage is a very real problem in the United States. Stories in the media tell of people who lose their temper while behind the wheel and, as a result, initiate altercations with other drivers. In some cases, people may use weapons to physically harm others who have made them mad while driving. According to AAA, nearly 80% of Americans admit that they have driven aggressively within the past year. These aggressive driving behaviors were involved in 56% of deadly car accidents, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is important to know how to spot the signs of an aggressive driving, so you can minimize your chances of becoming involving in a deadly car accident.

The Insurance Information Institute lists the following as warning signs for road rage:

  •          Swerving in and out of lanes between vehicles
  •          Speeding and cutting other drivers off
  •          Failing to adhere to traffic signals, pedestrian crosswalks and stop signs
  •          Failing to yield to other drivers’ right of way
  •          Tailgating or following too closely behind another vehicle
  •          Honking excessively

Attentive drivers can save the lives of motorcyclists

People on motorcycles are extremely vulnerable to injuries in the event of a collision with another vehicle. Even with helmets and other types of protective gear, an accident can have detrimental consequences for a biker. Sadly, many Texas motorcycle accidents are the result of the negligent and reckless actions of other motorists.

Drivers are responsible for sharing the road safely with other types of vehicles, including motorcycles. When drivers are attentive, they are more aware of their surroundings, and they are more likely to see a motorcycle, yield properly and react to hazards. Reducing distractions, driving safely and being attentive can make the roads safer for everyone.

What types of product defects incur liability?

When you purchase a product, there is generally an expectation that, provided you take the appropriate precautions and use it as directed, it is safe. Unfortunately, however, numerous people in Texas and elsewhere suffer injuries each year due to using dangerous or defective products. In some circumstances, the manufacturers or sellers of these items may be held financially responsible for the injuries they incur.

According to the Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, product manufacturers or sellers may be held liable for three types of product defects that cause injury to consumers. These are design defects, manufacturing defects and defects in marketing.

Why is tailgating dangerous?

There are many actions you may take when driving that could put yourself and others at risk in Texas. Some habits you may have could be very dangerous. One of those is following too closely to the vehicle in front of you on the roadway, which you may know better as tailgating. Tailgating is a very hazardous practice.

The Texas Department of Insurance warns that tailgating prevents you from having the ability to stop quickly enough to prevent a rear-end collision. It may also lead to other types of accidents. The main issue is you simply do not have enough reaction time. You need at least two second in good conditions. If the weather is bad, such as heavy rain, you need even more time.

Study shows hands-free cellphones a source of distraction

Although it is illegal to use a hand-held cellphone while driving in many states across the nation, Texas has yet to pass legislation prohibiting this act. Yet, the deaths caused by cellphone use and distracted driving cannot be overlooked. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2016. In an attempt to minimize these deadly accidents, some drivers have turned to using hands-free cellphones. Hands-free devices allow drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road while talking on the cellphone. However, studies show that even maintaining a conversation using a hands-free cellphone can cause significant distraction and may lead to a catastrophic car accident.

In the study released by AAA, researchers measured the amount of cognitive distraction participants experienced as they were engaged in several tasks while driving. Drivers were asked to do the following while driving a simulator, as well as an actual vehicle with monitoring devices:

  • Listen to an audio book
  • Listen to the radio
  • Use a hand-held cellphone
  • Talk on a hands-free cellphone
  • Compose an email using a voice-activated device

Paralysis isn't the only effect an SCI has on your body

When most people think of serious spinal cord injuries, they think of paralysis. While this is often a component of such an injury, an SCI will affect much more than your ability to move or feel anything below the site of the injury.

In the days and weeks following your injury, you could experience total loss of spinal cord reflexes below where you suffered the SCI. This is temporary, untreatable and unpreventable, but probably not entirely unexpected. You may already know that messages from your brain will not get through to the nerves below the injury site.

When can you file a wrongful death claim in Texas?

If you have suffered the loss of your spouse due to a motor vehicle collision in Texas or another such accident, you may be left grief-stricken and struggling with several challenges. Although it cannot bring your loved one back, you may consider filing a wrongful death claim seeking financial compensation. Therefore, it may be of benefit to understand the cause of action for such cases.

Under Texas state law, liability must exist for there to be a cause of action for wrongful death claims. This means that the injury resulting in your spouse’s death must have been caused by the wrongful, neglectful, careless, unskillful or default actions of another. For example, if your loved one was struck from behind by a semitrailer that was speeding, the trucker or trucking company may be held liable. On the other hand, the responsibility may lie with your spouse if he or she ran a red light and struck the tractor-trailer from behind.

The connection between talcum powder and cancer

Talcum powder has long been a staple in many Texas homes. Known for its ability to absorb moisture and reduce friction, this product has been used for decades as a personal care item. However, recent findings have demonstrated a link between talcum powder and cancer. 

Talcum powder is derived from the mineral talc. Talc has been used to make many different kinds of cosmetics products and powders throughout the years. Sometimes talc is found to contain asbestos, a mineral that is known to cause a cancer called mesothelioma when inhaled. In recent years, allegations that use of talcum powder has caused ovarian cancer have resulted in many products liabilities lawsuits against manufacturers. According to the National Institute of Health, studies have shown that genital usage of talc has been linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Are CBD oils safe?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has been in the news quite a bit in recent years. While many people tout this is a veritable wonder drug, there are still safety issues that all consumers should be aware of. Harvard Health Publishing details the common uses of CBD oil, as well as some of the associated risks.

CBD oils have been deemed useful for treating serious medical conditions. While laws vary from state to state, for the most part, the substance is legal and easily obtainable. When it’s derived from hemp, it’s not associated with the high caused by the THC found in marijuana. As a result, it’s often used to treat childhood epilepsy. It’s also used to treat chronic pain, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and inflammatory conditions.

The dangers associated with eating while driving

If asked, most in The Woodlands would likely say that they are responsible drivers. Many would claim to follow speeding regulations and to practice defensive driving tactics, and to also express a belief that their driving habits help them avoid accidents. Yet thousands of car accidents still occur in Montgomery County each year (9,417 in 2017 alone, according to the Texas Department of Transportation). While many traffic accidents are just that, oftentimes there are distinct reasons behind them. A common one may be something that those mentioned earlier as classifying themselves as responsible drivers do every day. 

Eating while driving is an activity that many may not classify as distracting. Statistics suggest otherwise. Data compiled through a joint effort between the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance shows that drivers who eat and drink beverages behind the wheel are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in car accidents than those who do not. Such information implies that eating while driving can be as dangerous as other more common forms of negligent driving, such as operating a vehicle while intoxicated, driving while drowsy or texting while behind the wheel.