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Middleton Wisconsin Personal Injury Law Blog

Volvo plans more safety technology for its cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2017, more than 10,800 people died in auto accidents that were caused by drunk driving. Starting in the early 2020s, Wisconsin drivers will be able to purchase Volvos with safety features that help prevent accidents caused by drunk and distracted driving. The company says it will begin rolling out the features in early 2020. Starting in 2020, the company's cars will not allow speeds higher than 112 miles per hour.

Volvo made its announcement about the new safety features on March 20. The company says it wants to focus on accident prevention over minimizing the impact of accidents once they happen.

Wisconsin intersection safety: Keep these things in mind

When you approach an intersection, it can be a stressful driving situation. You might have to cooperate with numerous other drivers simultaneously, so that each of you safely makes it through the crossroads. If one of the vehicles is turning or someone fails to yield the right-of-way, there is a high risk for collision that might result in serious injuries to you or a passenger in your car.

Another factor that poses a potential hazard at intersections is pedestrians. You just never know when someone is going to step into your path, even if he or she does not have the traffic light in his or her favor. Because of these and other issues, intersection safety should always be a main concern to licensed drivers in Wisconsin and elsewhere. If you suffer injury in a collision that someone else has caused, it is also important to know where to seek recovery support.

Weather Channel sued over death of storm spotter in 2017

Wisconsin residents who view the Weather Channel may remember an incident back in March of 2017 that involved the stars of the show "Storm Wranglers." The duo was driving near the city of Spur, Texas, to chase a tornado when they ran a stop sign and collided with another vehicle. The two stars and the 25-year-old driver of the other vehicle died upon impact.

Everything up to the accident was being livestreamed on the Weather Channel's Facebook page. Those familiar with "Storm Wranglers" know that the duo was known for their dramatic chases. Other storm chasers had expressed their concern over the duo's driving behavior long before the accident took place.

Drowsy driving a factor in many crashes

Wisconsin residents and others celebrated World Sleep Day on March 15. To highlight the importance of not driving while tired, Ford created a special sleep suit. The garment allowed individuals to see what the microsleeps felt like that a driver can experience without even realizing it. Although microsleeps only last for up to 10 seconds, they can make it harder to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Individuals who wore the suit were given a pair of goggles to wear that was connected to a smartphone. They also had weights attached to various parts of their body to further simulate the feeling of driving while tired. While drivers may believe that drowsy driving isn't dangerous, it accounts for roughly 20 percent of serious car accidents. In some cases, the level of impairment can equal that of being above the blood alcohol limit.

Pedestrian fatalities now exceed 15 percent of all traffic deaths

The roads in the U.S. are becoming more dangerous for pedestrians, according to recent data provided by a non-profit organization that targets traffic safety. Wisconsin residents may be shocked to learn that 6,227 people died while traveling on foot in 2018.

The Governors Highway Safety Association, which has members in all 50 states, publishes data on traffic safety annually. The report for 2018 that was recently released shows major areas of concern. Pedestrian fatalities now comprise over 15 percent of all traffic fatalities. The death rate is the highest in 28 years.

Reasons car accidents occur

There are many different factors that can contribute to drivers in Wisconsin being in an accident. It is the duty of the claims adjuster for the insurance company and the responsibility of law enforcement to determine the causes of an accident and who should be considered at fault. The police require the information in order to know to whom to issue a ticket. The insurance company has to know who is at fault to determine which party should receive a claims payment and the amount of the payment.

Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents and appears to be on the rise due to the prevalence of technology devices that are brought into vehicles or have become standard built-in features of vehicles. Drivers can be distracted by not only DVD players and cellphones but also children in the back seat and trying to eat or drink while driving. Although multi-tasking is considered a valuable skill in some arenas, it has no place behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Staying safe by identifying the risks you face while on the road

Being involved in a car accident can be a scary and stressful experience, and unfortunately, a collision can take place at any given moment. While you may seek to avoid a similar outcome by driving defensively and having constant awareness of your surroundings, this might not always be enough.

Even as the safest of drivers, you could be at risk of suffering injury in an accident if you encounter negligent behavior from another driver. Those who exhibit dangerous driving behaviors may inherently increase the chances that an accident will occur, and you might not always be able to spot them in time to steer clear.

Death on subway stairs highlights accessibility issues

Wisconsin parents may have struggled at times to take a stroller down a flight of steps. This was what a woman in a New York City subway station was attempting to do when she fell and died. Like about 75 percent of the city's 472 stations, this one did not have an elevator.

The lack of accessibility in the city's subway systems has been an ongoing issue. In 2017, the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York was the main plaintiff in state and federal lawsuits filed by the national nonprofit legal center Disability Rights Advocates. The lawsuits, which allege that the MTA is in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the New York City Human Rights Law, are ongoing.

BLS releases 2017 workplace fatality report

Companies in Wisconsin and throughout the country have a responsibility to keep their workers safe. While it is perhaps their top priority, many of the same mistakes are made in workplaces every year. The recently released 2017 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows this.

According to the 2017 report, workers were most likely to be killed by moving vehicles. Falls from heights, being struck by falling objects and interacting with electricity were other common reasons why workers were killed in 2017. These have also been common reasons for employee deaths in the past.

New study links infotainment systems with increased distraction

Drivers in Wisconsin who wish for an infotainment system in their vehicle would do well to understand what the drawbacks can be. In a nationwide AAA survey, 70 percent of respondents said they desired new vehicle tech, but only 24 percent felt confident that the tech can work without flaws. New technology is complex, and it can make dashboards unnecessarily complicated for some drivers.

These are not the greatest dangers, however. Infotainment systems, burdened as they are with so many features that are irrelevant to driving, can increase driver inattention. Researchers at the University of Utah studied 30 infotainment systems on 2017 vehicles from automakers like Ford, Dodge, Hyundai, Toyota, Tesla and Audi. All of them demanded a moderate or high level of attention.

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