August 2011 Archives

Poplar Bluff Missouri Car Accident Lawyers Promote Scooter Traffic Safety and Awareness after Fatal Hit and Run Accident on Missouri Highway 142

Traffic accidents produce a constant need for offering condolences. Everyday someone is 585806_scooters_3.jpgseriously injured or killed in a traffic accident. Poplar Bluff Missouri car accident lawyers share in the sorrow over the latest tragedy on our southeast Missouri roadways.

Investigators from the Butler County Sheriff's Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal hit and run accident that occurred Sunday around 10 p.m. August 14. An 18 year-old boy from Poplar Bluff, Mo was riding his motorized scooter on Highway 142. He slowed to make a turn and was struck from behind by a pickup truck. The driver of the truck then fled the scene. The driver of the scooter was pronounced dead. The hit and run traffic accident occurred just east of Poplar Bluff.

Scooter Traffic Safety and Awareness for Southeast Missouri Motorists
Motorized scooters have become a very popular mode of travel. Light weight and with high fuel economy, scooters are a great way to get around. From students to senior citizens, they make a great choice for a quick trip to the store or other errand. They are easy to park and easy to handle, which makes them a great alternative to a motorcycle.

However, like motorcycles they are harder to see and have none of the protective barriers of a car. Another drawback is acceleration and top speed capabilities. Many scooters can only reach 45 mph and most take longer than a motorcycle to accelerate and match traffic speeds. This puts drivers of motorized scooters, motorized bicycles and mopeds at a greater risk for a traffic crash.

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Hot Cars a Danger for Child Injuries

The summer months come with some dreaded summer temperatures. So far this summer, there have been 21 reports hyperthermia-related child deaths. These types of car accidents in Perryville, Charleston and elsewhere in the Southeast Missouri are 100 percent preventable.
To help prevent these deaths, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held a roundtable with key stakeholders to brainstorm ways to help step up efforts to prevent these fatal incidents. When children are left unattended in a vehicle during in the summer heat, they face a tremendous risk of death from hyperthermia. The NHTSA reports that hyperthermia is the number one cause of non-crash vehicle deaths for children that are under the age of fourteen.

"These twenty-one deaths were tragic and preventable - not one of those children should have lost their lives in this horrible way," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We need to do everything we can to remind people to be vigilant and never leave a child alone in or around a motor vehicle."

According to the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences, nearly 50 children under the age of 14 years died because of hyperthermia in 2010. There have already been 21 deaths so far in 2011.

"We know hyperthermia is a serious threat that needs to be better addressed immediately," said David Strickland, Administrator of NHTSA. "A coordinated, targeted approach to increase public awareness of this very serious safety danger should help prevent unnecessary tragedies and near-misses moving forward. We need to come together and give the best information to parents, caregivers, and our communities to protect children in vehicles."

It is important to speak with your child's daycare center, their babysitter, their churches, their schools and anyone else who may transport them throughout the day about the dangers of hyperthermia.

Child hyperthermia prevention tips:

-Never leave a child alone in a vehicle.

-Never let child play in an unattended vehicle. You should teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.

-Be sure that you never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if you keep the windows partially open.

-Make a habit of looking in the vehicle, both front and back, before you get out and lock the car door and walk away.

-Ask your childcare provider to call you immediately if your child does not show up for childcare.

-Be sure to keep your keys out of children's reach. If your child is missing, make sure you check the vehicle first, including the trunk.

-If you observe a child alone in a hot vehicle, call the police immediately. If they appear to be in distress beaus of heat, get them out as quickly as possible. Try to cool the child as quickly as possible and call 911.

-Keep a little reminder in your vehicle to check for children when exiting.

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Southeast Missouri Accident Lawyers Provide Ways to Avoid Accidental Drownings

Almost everyone loves to cool off in the 63171_first_one_in__its_cold_too.jpgwater. And as Southeast Missouri continues to experience high heat and humidity, Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Perryville and surrounding areas remain under excessive heat watches from the Weather Service. Southeast Missouri Accident Lawyers want you to stay as cool as possible, but also want to remind you of the dangers of high heat combined with cooling off in pools and lakes.

From the Weather Service, an excessive heat watch means a prolonged period of hot temperatures combined with high humidity. These conditions create an increased danger of heat exhaustion and heat stroke which can both lead to death.

To help you better protect yourself, we offer the following information.

These factors influence drowning:

  • Lack of supervision

    • 2 out of 10 people who drown everyday are children aged 14 or younger. It is important to supervise children in the water.

    • Many people over-estimate their abilities in water, a life guard or designated water-watcher will reduce the danger.

  • Natural water settings

    • 65% of drownings of those 15 and older occur in natural water settings.

    • Currents change, water levels change, and entanglements are possible. We encourage the use of personal floatation devices.

  • Personal floatation devices

    • 9 out of 10 people who drown in natural water settings were not wearing a life jacket.

    • Use water wings for toddlers and life vests or jackets for everyone else. Even if you know how to swim.

  • Alcohol use

    • Alcohol is involved in half of adolescent and adult drownings.

    • Alcohol impairs judgment and dehydrates you even further. It is better to avoid alcohol during high heat conditions.

  • Medical conditions

    • Seizure disorders as well as other medical conditions can increase the risk of drowning.

    • If you have a medical condition which could lead to unconsciousness or a semi-conscious state, swim with a buddy or in a life-guard protected area.

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Crash Study Looks for Ways to Prevent Dexter Missouri Car Accidents Before They Happen

A new crash study will be handing out $500 a year to each driver that participates. The Naturalistic Driving Study is the world's largest study of its kind to look at the driver's behaviors right before and during traffic collisions, according to Forbes. The data obtained from these 3,100 drivers will be used to create countermeasures intended to save lives before a car accident in Dexter, Popular Bluff Missouri or elsewhere in the United States occurs.
"Collision prevention is the central goal of the study" said Ken Campbell, chief program officer overseeing safety for the Strategic Highway Research Program, which is part of the non-profit Transportation Research Board. "And the driver is the key to prevent collision."

Most other studies have mainly focused on countermeasures that protect drivers and passengers after a collision has already occurred, like seat belts, airbags and crash-worthy vehicles. What's so different about this study is that researchers are focusing on collision avoidance, but more specifically driver behavior, which is the primary cause of most crashes.

During this two-year study, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, monitoring equipment will be installed into the chosen participant's vehicles. This system will continuously record their reactions to things like vehicle speed, traffic, lighting and weather conditions. The equipment consists of four video cameras that will record forward and rear views as well as the driver's face and hands. All of this data will be stored in a box about the size of a text book in the vehicle. It will be retrieved by researchers every four to six months.

"You can't just look at collisions or near collisions to know what risk factors are. It's that comparison with what the driver is doing when there is not a safety-related event that tells you what the risk factors are," said Campbell.

After all of this data is collected and analyzed, it will then be used to aid the development of safety improvements. These improvements will be made in road design, cars and driver training programs. Researchers will be examining crashes at intersections and accidents where the driver runs off the road first.

Want to get involved? Unfortunately, the Transportation Research Board isn't looking for anyone in Missouri to participate, but if you know someone in Buffalo, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Durham, central Pennsylvania or Bloomington, you can urge them to sign up. Drivers can participate for either one or two years and will be paid $500 for each year they participate.

"We are particularly interested in people under 25 and over 65" Dr. Campbell said. Both groups represent a small percentage of all drivers and have high collision rates.

For each driver that participates, they must have a valid driver's license, proof of insurance and an approved vehicle. The monitoring equipment is easy to install and typically takes less than four hours to do so.

"This study is long overdue and has the potential for providing the most comprehensive look at why highway crashes occur," said Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research and educational organization that provided technical advice for the study. "It is unprecedented in its scope and approach. It will be a wonderful supplement to other ongoing and planned traffic safety research efforts. My only disappointment is that the transportation research community didn't initiate the study several years ago."

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