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Stop sign don't walk

It is well established that talking on the phone or texting is a major distraction to drivers that is dangerous and likely to lead to accidents. As a matter of fact, there have been studies saying that a texting driver is more likely to be involved in an accident than a drunk driver.

Now a study conducted at the University of Washington has revealed that 30% of all pedestrians crossing a street are distracted by some mobile communication device. It also concluded that pedestrians who are texting were four times less likely to look before entering the street, follow pedestrian traffic control devices or cross streets at designated cross walks.

After monitoring some of Seattle’s busiest intersections, researchers found that pedestrians who are texting took two seconds or more longer to cross the road than people who are not texting. Other past studies have documented pedestrians taking more risks crossing streets when talking on their cellphones or while wearing headsets.

Dr. Beth Ebel, who led the team conducting the research, said they observed over 1,100 people crossing Seattle’s busiest streets at random times. The result was astounding. Nearly 30% of all pedestrians were distracted in some way while crossing busy streets. Some of the primary distractions included listening to music (11.2%), texting (7.3%) and talking on a cellphone (6.2%).

Interestingly, those pedestrians using I-phones or some other smart phones walked even more slowly than others using other mobile devices and were more likely to walk into the street without looking or cross against the pedestrian traffic control device.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some 60,000 pedestrians are injured and 4,000 killed each year.

Dr. Ebel says that this is much like Pavlov’s experiment in behavioral psychology in which he would ring a bell and give them food. After a while, the dogs would begin to salivate after the ringing of the bell, even when there was no food. She compared getting a text message to the ringing of the bell, knowing that we are about to receive the treat of a message.

Pedestrians in many states could possibly recover damages from the driver of a vehicle that struck them, even if the pedestrian was partially negligent for not paying attention. Those jurisdictions have some form of comparative negligence. However, since North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state, pedestrians cannot recover if their negligence in any way contributed to the cause of the accident and resulting injuries.

Nevertheless, drivers need to be on the lookout for distracted pedestrians who are not paying attention when crossing busy streets in front of them.

If you or a family member have suffered any type of personal injury or lost loved ones in a fatal accident, it is best that you seek advice from a North Carolina attorney experienced in handling personal injury cases.

Auger & Auger has devoted 100% of its practice to nothing but serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience and are highly regarded in the legal community. Let us help you.

Contact us through our website or call directly at (704) 364-3361 to set up an appointment for your no obligation consultation.

You will never owe us anything unless we make a recovery for you.

Other Resources:

Texting pedestrians asking for trouble, study finds
, NBC News, Article by Maggie Fox, December 12, 2012

Related Blog Posts:

Pedestrians and Cyclists Are No Match For Any Kind of Vehicle
, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 10, 2012

Dangerous School Crossings in North Carolina Result in 3 Major Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, March 26, 2012

Pill Bottle

A couple of studies conducted by the University of North Carolina have revealed that genes affected the study participants’ response to pain shortly after the accident and up to six weeks later.

The studies were conducted using information gathered from nearly 1,000 adults who have been involved in automobile accidents. Because of inherent genetic variations in the test group, different people responded differently to pain intensity.

Dr. Samuel McLean said the findings are significant especially for people who seem to have substantial persistent pain, without visible objective findings. Typically, those people with only subjective complaints are considered to be suspicious and sometimes do not receive treatment they need. This study now provides a genetic basis for these different responses to pain.

Prior studies have shown that pain following an automobile crash is not entirely related to traumatic damage to tissue but might be further influenced by physiological responses to the collision. In the current study, participants had a blood sample taken immediately after the accident in the emergency room and again six weeks later. On both occasions the extent and severity of the pain suffered by the participants was documented.

One study looked at the role played by dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with processing pain. The result was that the severity of pain felt by someone immediately following a collision would vary because people had different genes.

Another study looked at the role played by the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis, which helps individuals respond to stressful events. The resulting discovery was that different gene variations were related to more intense body pain and a 20% higher risk or moderate to severe neck pain after six weeks.

Dr. McLean said that this opens new doors for treating people who have been exposed to traumatic events like an automobile accident. Until now, physicians have always been told that if there is something wrong with a patient, there would be objective evidence of it in the form of an X-ray, an MRI or some other diagnostic tool. Based upon these new findings, subjective pain can be caused by genes, which have nothing to do with physical evidence such as a fracture.

It is thought that these developments can lead to dramatic new ways to treat pain in different individuals. For now, the doctors who are involved in pain management for patients see the identification of the biology of pain as being a giant step forward.

If you, or a close family member, have been injured in a car accident, you need to seek advice from a North Carolina attorney experienced in handling car accident cases. We can help you get the medical care you need, work with the insurance company to get your car repaired and negotiate the best possible settlement for you when your medical care is completed.

Auger & Auger is a Charlotte law firm that has 40 years of experience handling serious personal injury and wrongful death cases arising out of car accidents.

We have five offices for your convenience, Charlotte (3), Greensboro (1) and Raleigh (1).

Contact us through our website or call us direct at (704) 364-3361 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation. All cases handled on a contingency basis. No fee is owed our firm unless we make a recovery for you.

Other Resources:

Pain Level After Car Crash Could Depend on Your Genes, Studies Say
, US News, Article by Maureen Salamon, October 16, 2012

Related Blog Posts:

AAA Carolinas Study Reveals Safest and Most Dangerous Counties For Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 16, 2012

Eleven People Die From Car Accidents in One Week
, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, July 18, 2012

Motorcycle

Recently, an article in The Huffington Post confirmed what our North Carolina personal injury attorneys had known for years. People either just do not “see” a motorcycle because they are looking for a car, truck or they misjudge its speed and distance.

Accidents involving a car, truck or any other vehicle usually results in serious injuries or death to the motorcyclist. They are vulnerable because they have little or no protection other than a helmet, if that, and impact with the pavement or another vehicle can cause irreparable damage. Sadly, even though motorcyclists have just as many rights and responsibilities as any other motorist, they are the ones that usually suffer the brunt of the impact.

A study conducted by Patricia DeLucia, a perception specialist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas reveals that a fundamental perception problem might be causing these accidents. It is possible that the reason motorists routinely misjudge a motorcycle’s speed and distance is its size.

Essentially, when motorists see an object in the distance their brains take into account two pieces of information. One is derived from an objective calculation based on size of the object and the rate of expansion as it gets closer. Another piece of information comes from depth clues as a mental shortcut. In processing this data, our brain concludes that the bigger an object is, the closer it is. Often, this is not always true.

Undoubtedly, when observing a motorcyclist approaching another motorist is more likely to inaccurately calculate its distance away than another car or truck. This causes accidents by pulling out in front of them, changing lanes into them and rear ending them.

Because of our beautiful scenery and winding roadways, North Carolina is a very attractive place for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, the number of fatalities has continued to rise. In 2010 there were 20% more motorcycle fatalities than in 2009. Another tragic statistic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 80% of accidents involving motorcycles result in serious injury or fatalities. That compares to only 20% for accidents involving cars.

Riding a motorcycle can be lots of fun. Some riders simply love the independence it gives them. Some like the feel of the wind in their face and hair. Others love to feel the vibration and hear the sound of their bike. Many new friends are made while riding alone or in groups. You just need to beware of the fact that other motorists either don’t “see” a motorcycle or they drastically misjudge distances, if they do.

If you, a family member or friend have suffered serious and disabling injuries or lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident, you need to seek advice from an experienced North Carolina motorcycle crash attorney.

Auger & Auger is a Charlotte, North Carolina law firm with over 40 years combined experience in handling a wide variety of serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, including motorcycle accidents.

We have five offices conveniently located in Charlotte (3), Raleigh (1) and Greensboro (1).

Contact us through our website or call directly at (704) 364-3361 for a free consultation. All of our cases are handled on a contingency basis so there is no fee unless a recovery is made.

Other Resources:

Crash! Collisions in the Mind’s Eye , The Huffington Post, Article by Wray Herbert, November 28, 2012

Related Blog Posts:

Caution! Curves Ahead, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog,
September 28, 2012

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Are On The Rise in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 11, 2012

Cabbage Patch Dolls

Renezia Fisher, age 2, who was left at Above & Beyond Child Care Center in Henderson, North Carolina, was discovered to have suffered a broken collarbone while at the facility. Local authorities and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are investigating the circumstances.

Andrea Hawkins, the child’s mother reported the incident to Henderson Police back on October 25th because her daughter told her that she had injured her arm at day care. When Hawkins confronted an employee at Above & Beyond Child Care Center, she was told that Renezia was knocked down by another child. They said that Renezia did not complain about the incident and continued to play. No incident report was completed and Hawkins had not been previously told of the incident. It was later confirmed that the little girl had broken her collarbone in the fall.

Vance County Department of Social Services conducted an investigation and issued a statement that the injury was determined to be accidental. Above & Beyond issued no comments about the incident.

Another day care story that we wrote about on November 1, 2012, the Jessica Tata case in Houston, Texas, has ended. She was accused of murder for the deaths of four children left in her care in February 2011. Testimony was that she left children unattended while she went to shop at Target. A fire ignited from a frying pan with oil in it, which was left on a burner. The case brought day care tragedies to the forefront of national news.

On November 20, 2012, jurors sentenced the 24 year old Tata to 80 years in prison for felony murder in the death of one child. Other felony murder charges are pending for the other three children who died. It is reported that she will have to serve 30 years in prison before she is eligible for parole. She was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.

Unfortunately, it is stories like these that make parents fear for the safety and well-being of their children when left in a child care facility. As a parent, it is important that you do your homework to choose a child care facility that is ranked highly by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education. Go to the facility and talk to the director to determine what their state ranking is, what training employees have had, are background checks performed on all employees and observe the staff with the children.

If you or someone you know has had a child injured, molested, kidnapped or killed while at a day care facility, you need to get in touch with a North Carolina attorney experienced in handling day care accidents.

Auger & Auger is a Charlotte, North Carolina law firm that has helped people throughout the state when their child has been somehow injured or mistreated at a day care center. Our attorneys have been practicing law for 40 years and are experienced in representing clients who have sustained serious injuries or lost loved ones.

We have three offices in Charlotte and one each in Greensboro and Raleigh.

Contact us through our website or call us direct at (800) 559-5741 toll free, to schedule a no obligation appointment to discuss your situation. There will be no fee unless we make a recovery for you.

Other Resources:

Henderson day care under investigation after child injured, WRAL.com, Article by Beau Minnick, November 14, 2012

Jessica Tata Sentenced To 80 Years For Texas Day Care Fire , Huffington Post, Article by Juan Lozano, November 20, 2012

Related Blog Posts:

Texas Case Brings National Attention To Day Care Operations, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 1, 2012

The Harsh Reality of Care At Daycare Facilities , North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 24, 2012

 

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