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Accidents & Self Driving Cars

Imagine that you're on a cross country road trip in your brand new self-driving car. It's hour six with only two hours to go. You've been enjoying the scenery, maybe a book and pleasant conversation with your fellow passengers. Suddenly, a large deer crosses your path and the vehicle's brakes lock. Will you be able to react fast enough?

Self-driving cars may sound like something straight out of Blade Runner, but these automated vehicles have been road legal since 2011. Google, Tesla and even mainstream manufacturers like BMW and Toyota are preparing self-driving cars for the road. Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia have addressed laws and concerns specific to driverless cars. While there aren't many on the road yet, 2016 saw the first incident of a fatal accident in a self-driving vehicle. Considering the 1.25 million people who die each year from collisions, one fatal accident in five years is not a bad track record. However, there are deeper implications to this technology.

Avoiding Ski Injuries

At Handy & Handy Law we can help you out with your injury claim if you are harmed while skiing. However, there are some ways you can avoid a skiing accident in the first place. First and foremost, all skiers and snowboarders should become familiar with the Skier Responsibility Code. As for protecting yourself from injuries, here are some pointers:

Avoid: ACL Injuries

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are the most common of all skiing injuries. They can cause issues in the future, which can make it difficult to ski or even walk. ACL injuries can happen if you catch the edge of a ski and abruptly rotate your leg or in a jump or fall. Rigid ski boots lock the ankle and lower leg into one position, making it impossible to transfer the shock of a fall through the legs and placing pressure right on the knee. To avoid injury, skiers shouldn't ski on slopes they are unfamiliar with or do tricks that could cause a fall. In addition, keeping a 45-degree angle on the skis can help avoid catching.

Best New Vehicle Safety Features

Backup Camera

Backing up your vehicle in a crowded parking lot is stressful, especially when children, shoppers or objects seemingly appear from nowhere. When you're simply trying to get out of your parking spot without hitting anyone or anything, backup cameras can be a literal life- saver. The backup camera on your back bumper sends video to a monitor on your dashboard. Many of these monitors overlay graphics to show the path of your vehicle. These devices are so useful, the US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) passed a law that will require all new vehicles under 10,000 to have a backup camera by 2018.

Forward Collision Warning

Even careful drivers can be in the wrong place in the wrong time. Forward collision warnings vary between vehicles, but most often use all-weather radar, lasers or cameras to detect oncoming crashes. Depending on the vehicle, these systems alert the driver to act or take action automatically through brakes or steering. You can expect this to be a standard feature in new vehicles by 2022.

Accident with an uninsured motorist? Don't panic

The weather forecast called for perfection, so it was a perfect time to pack up the car and head for Zion National Park. A weekend of hiking and star-gazing was just what the doctor ordered.

You had barely made it out of Salt Lake City before your plans drastically changed. Instead of spending the weekend hiking, you were now spending it recovering from a car wreck.

What to do if you are in an accident with a commercial truck

Winter driving in Utah can be nerve-wracking. No one wants to get into an accident, but they still happen. All too often, drivers suffer injuries in accidents with commercial trucks. In cases where a personal vehicle is struck by a large commercial truck, the potential for injury and property damage is higher.

Semitrucks and 18-wheelers have a harder time than usual making turns and coming to a stop in snowy and icy weather. If you or someone you love has been in a vehicular accident with a large truck, you can seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney.

MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH DEATHS ON THE DECLINE

By Garrett Handy

Last month, AAA released a study titled, Motor Vehicle Crashes, Injuries, and Deaths in Relation to Driver Age: United States, 1995-2010. I was surprised to learn from motor vehicle crash death statistics that deaths are on the decline. In 2008, nationwide annual motor vehicle deaths fell to its lowest level since 1961. The study points out that from 1995 to 2007, annual motor vehicle deaths were consistent at about 42,500. However, beginning in 2008, we started to see a sharp decline in the number of deaths. Here's some data regarding deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents:

COUNTERFEIT AIRBAGS

Some startling news is out today that if you've had your airbag replaced in the last three years and if the work was not performed by a car dealer, the airbag may be a counterfeit. Various new outlets are reporting about this issue which could have serious consequences in a car accident. Of course, if you have replaced your air bag in the past three years, please take it to your dealer to get checked out.

TBI - TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

It seems that concussions sustained by athletes are a big topic right now. Whether we're talking about top NFL players or pee wee football kids, or girls soccer, this is an important issue. New rules are even being implemented regarding sitting out games and other precautions when a concussion is diagnosed or suspected. For example, as I watched a college football game over the weekend, a player had to go to the sideline and sit out the next a play if his helmet came off while on the field. Even if it was a "minor" hit and the helmet came off, he had to go to the sideline. When this happened in the game I was watching, the announcers complained that it was a ridiculous rule. I had to wonder, with all of the recent studies and brain science out there, can we really take too many precautions when it comes to protecting the human brain? 

5400 SOUTH 'FLEX LANES' IN TAYLORSVILLE

As a personal injury lawer, I am all about public safety and as a driver on Utah roads I am not a fan of traffic congestion. UDOT has made an attempt to work through both of these issues in Taylorsville by creating 'flex' lanes that run one way during the morning rush hour and the opposite direction during the evening rush hour. Check out the video on UDOT's website. 

OHIO WOMAN ORDERED TO WEAR "IDIOT" SIGN

When I read about a woman who was caught driving on a sidewalk to avoid a school bus, I didn't know whether I should laugh or be appalled. Honestly, I often find myself scratching my head wondering what people are thinking. Apparently a 32-year-old woman in Cleveland, Shena Hardin, pulled her car up onto the sidewalk to get around a stopped school bus. It was reported that the bus driver had observed Ms. Hardin doing this maneuver on a number of occasions and he was able to catch her in the act by using his cell phone to get a video. Fortunately, the police were called and she was apprehended. As a result of her reckless behavior, she was fined $250 and her license was suspended for 30 days. But the kicker is, the judge has ordered her to wear a sign that says, "Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid the school bus." She has to stand near the "crime scene" and wear the sign for a total of two hours. 
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