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Give one pint of blood: Save three lives!

aid-box-911442-m.jpgHere at Aaron Sachs and Associates, our car accident lawyers were honored to sponsor the 2014 KFVS Heartland Blood Drive, which set a new record for collections. The Red Cross collected donations at seven locations across the Heartland (Cape Girardeau, Dexter, Poplar Bluff, Perryville, Sikeston, Carbondale and Marion), and this year, the blood drive set new records for collections. A total of 1,550 people donated blood, which garnered 1,441 productive units, shattering the goal of 1,100!

However, there's still a tremendous need for donations. This season's severe winter weather has forced the cancellation of several Red Cross Blood Drives, and many donors simply haven't been able to get out in these icy, cold conditions. We'd like to encourage you to get out and give blood, or to contact the Red Cross about hosting a blood drive of your own.

Why give blood? Facts and statistics to consider:

• Giving just one pint of blood can ultimately save up to three lives.

• In the Missouri-Illinois region, the Red Cross needs to collect almost 800 blood products every single day in order to keep up with demand in our area.

• Every two seconds, a person somewhere in the United States needs blood, which means that more than 41,000 donations are needed nationwide each day. In all, 30 million blood components are transfused in the U.S. every year.

• Since red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days, blood supplies must be replenished constantly.

• One car accident victim may need as many as 100 pints of blood.

• All blood types are needed, but the Red Cross has special need for donors with type O negative blood, as it can be transfused to anyone, regardless of the recipient's blood type. Type O is particularly essential in emergency situations, when there simply isn't time to cross-match a recipient's own blood type. Only seven percent of Americans have type O negative blood.

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Preventing Child Injuries in Kennett: Drowning, Burns, Poisoning too Common

1134596_swim_time_.jpgRecently, a 2 year-old Missouri boy was saved from drowning by a political candidate who just happened to be knocking on his front door. It happened in St. Charles County: according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an O'Fallon parent had stepped inside his home for a moment, and when he returned, he found his young son unresponsive in a small rubber swimming pool. Luckily, just about then, state representative candidate Rod Hoffman approached the family's front door, and heard a scream. Hoffman ran to assist the child and immediately performed CPR. The boy survived and has since been released from the hospital.

Hoffman, a former assistant principal, said his former employer required CPR training. "I would sit in those meetings, and it would be pretty much the same stuff over and over, but I'm glad they made me go," he told the Dispatch. "I recall a couple of instances in the last four or five years that a co-worker, teacher or administrator saved a kid or two from choking. It has paid big dividends."

Drownings are the number one cause of injury deaths for children age 4 and younger. Every single day, at least three children die because of drowning. What's more, there are roughly 7.1 million children under age 16 who visit the emergency room each year for various injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a majority of child injuries are unintentional, like suffocation, burns, ingestion of harmful substances.

There are nearly 450 children under the age of 20 that are treated in emergency rooms for burns every day. Of these incidents, roughly two die every day. Young children oftentimes acquire these injuries because of steam or hot liquids, while older children experience more of the burns as a result of direct contact with fire.

Children are also commonly injured in non-fatal accidents like falls. This type of accident is the number one cause of non-fatal injuries for those under the age of 20. There are approximately 8,000 children sent to emergency rooms in the U.S. for fall-related injuries every day - which means roughly 2.08 million kids are treated every single year.

Finally, it's prudent for parents to monitor their children's access to dangerous chemicals.Children can be poisoned from a number of products, not just marked products in your home. The most common dangerous chemicals that your child can be exposed to are medicines and household cleaners. Nearly 400 children under age 19 are taken to emergency rooms every day. About two children die every day from unintentional poisoning.

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Personal injury claims: Basic information for car accident victims

68916_law_education_series_2.jpgThe period of time following a serious car accident can be extremely stressful. From medical bills to insurance coverage, you want to make sure your rights are protected and that your expenses are covered. That is where a personal injury lawyer can step in to act as your advocate, explaining your options and guiding you through the process.

Personal injury is a legal term used for an injury suffered to your body, mind or emotions, as opposed to property. A personal injury lawsuit alleges that an injury was the result of someone else's negligence or intentional wrong-doing. (For more information about personal injury visit LawInfo.com.)

What are the benefits of hiring a lawyer?

Hiring a lawyer can be an intimidating process, but doing so can be beneficial for many accident victims. A lawyer can handle your case in a professional, objective manner. They are familiar with both the laws and how insurance companies handle claims and benefits. Consulting a lawyer gives you a chance to find out whether you have a viable case and how much compensation you may be entitled to receive. But most importantly, a personal injury lawyer can answer your questions and explain what you can expect to happen next.

What can I expect from an attorney?

We can't speak for all attorneys, but at Aaron Sachs and Associates, our attorneys do the following:


  • Focus on your rights and interests.

  • Apply the most recent statutes and case law to your case.

  • Handle all communications with the court, other attorneys, insurance companies, and the medical staff and administration for medical bills.

  • Collect and preserve case evidence.

  • Interview witnesses.

  • Hire expert witnesses as necessary.

  • Obtain a fair settlement or take your case to trial.

  • Apply the formulas to ensure you receive financial compensation for the damages you've suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, lost benefits, and pain and suffering.

  • Reduce your stress and take the burden off of you so you can focus on healing and getting your life back on track.

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Be Prepared for a Car Crash in Southeast Missouri: Tips for Drivers

fire_rescue_003.jpgCar accidents happen in fractions of seconds. No one expects to be involved in a collision, and thus many drivers find themselves completely overwhelmed in the aftermath of a crash - especially when they're dealing with extensive property damage and serious injuries. Our Cape Girardeau car accident attorneys want you to be equipped with the knowledge you'll need under these circumstances, just in case the unexpected happens to you.

Being prepared for a Missouri car accident...

• The best offense is a good defense - it's an old cliché, but it's especially applicable here. Take simple steps to ensure you're driving safely: wear your seatbelt; avoid distractions; don't drink and drive; keep an eye on your speed. Unfortunately, these measures won't guarantee that you'll always be able to avoid an accident, but they will give you better odds. What's more, if a collision does occur, your chances of escaping serious injury are much higher.

• Be sure you carry your insurance card with you at all times - apart from being good common sense, it's also state law. Also, it's a good idea to keep a pencil and notepad in your vehicle so you can write down important information. After a collision, you'll need the other driver's name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance info.

• Take some time to program important phone numbers into your phone: i.e., your doctor, your car insurance company, emergency contacts, etc.

• If your cell phone doesn't have a camera, keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment.

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New Technology Aims to Decrease Pedestrian Deaths in Cape Girardeau and Elsewhere in Southeast Missouri

Our Cape Girardeau car accident attorneys know that car/pedestrian collisions are often accompanied by devastating injuries: spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and severe trauma often result. Soon, there may be a new way to help reduce the risk of these accidents: engineers are currently developing technology that could help cars avoid pedestrians, just as there are other currently technologies that help cars avoid collisions with other cars and with road debris. This new system is designed to override driver instruction if the car approaches a pedestrian too closely, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
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"The best way to protect pedestrians is to separate them as much as possible from vehicle traffic," says David Zuby, the Institute's chief research officer. "But the paths of walkers and drivers inevitably are going to intersect at some point, and new warning systems, as well as vehicle design changes required in Europe, have the potential to make those meetings less deadly."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 4,000 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2009. Another 59,000 pedestrians suffered injuries in these accidents. These statistics average out to a pedestrian being killed every two hours (and one injured every nine minutes). Missouri saw nearly 100 pedestrian fatalities in 2009.

The technology is still being developed and engineers have several kinks to work out, but many drivers worry the technology will never be accurate enough.

"Pedestrians can change course quickly, so just as it can be hard for a driver to know what a person at the curb is going to do, it also can be tricky for a computer," Zuby says."It's important to get that right because too many false alarms could turn a warning system into an annoyance and make drivers reluctant to accept the new technology."

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NHTSA Wraps Chevy Volt Investigation: Is the Volt Safe for Drivers in Kennett, Missouri and Elsewhere?

mgyoaZ2.jpgOur Kennett, Missouri car accident attorneys have been following the media storm surrounding the controversial safety issues plaguing the Chevy Volt. Back in November, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating the Volt in response to reports of unexpected fires under the hood. When these vehicles were tested for occupant protection and crash safety, it was discovered that the vehicle's lithium-ion battery could be damaged in a side-collision car accident, causing the coolant line could rupture.

After engineers conducted a test side-impact accident, the car's battery caught fire some days later, all by itself. The NHTSA has worked alongside General Motors, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to figure out more about the problem, to correct the situation, and to alert vehicle owners.

This week, officials closed that investigation, announcing that GM would install a protective casing around the battery in existing Volts, which would resolve the issue and make a recall unnecessary. While the NHTSA concluded that electric cars are no more likely to catch fire than gas powered cars, they also released new guidelines for firefighters and other emergency responders, outlining the appropriate approach to an electric vehicle fire. (To read these guidelines, click here.) Notably, the guidelines warn that toxic fumes can leak from damaged batteries long after a fire has been put out. Additionally, according to NHTSA's report, "The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist."

Vehicle recalls are inevitable, even when we think we've purchased a safe car. For this reason, it's important to keep an eye on the current vehicle recalls. You can do so by visiting the Recalls.gov website. Recall announcements frequently offer free repairs or replacements, but it's important for consumers to stay well informed about the most recent recalls to prevent a serious accident.

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MoDOT Reminds Southeast Missouri to "Be Safe, Be Seen" After Rise in Pedestrian Accident Fatalities

Pedestrian Sidewalk (1).JPGAs Poplar Bluff car accident attorneys know, collisions involving pedestrians frequently cause injuries and fatalities. A recent public safety announcement from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is titled "Be Safe. Be Seen." The report contains statistics for pedestrian accident fatalities in Missouri through the majority of last year. MoDOT wants to remind Missourians, pedestrians and drivers alike, to pay close attention: know who's sharing the road with you.

At the end of September 2011, there were 54 pedestrian accident deaths in Missouri. This means the state ended the year with more pedestrian accident deaths than in 2010. In 2010, 57 pedestrians died from traffic accidents, and there were 68 fatalities in 2009. Higher numbers were reported in early 2011 than last year: there were 21 deaths during January, February and March, as compared to 9 in 2010 during the same period.

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Pedestrian accidents occur in both urban and rural settings. And remember, walkers and joggers aren't the only pedestrians out there: these accidents also involve kids, shoppers, and stranded motorists, for example. A pedestrian is any person on foot: it doesn't matter why they are on foot. Pedestrian accidents happen when a person on foot is in the area of a roadway or other area designed for vehicle traffic.

Both drivers and pedestrians are expected to follow traffic laws. But even beyond that, as a pedestrian, you should be especially observant, keeping in mind that drivers might not see you. Or they might see you and react too slowly. Or they might see you and overreact. So, it's extremely sensible to adopt defensive safety practices when you're on foot near a roadway.

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Risks of Parking Lot Accidents in New Madrid Increase with Holiday Traffic

Parking lots are considered to be a part of a business owner's property. These lots are connected to shopping malls, stores, gas stations and other retail facilities. Missouri law states that property owners have an obligation to keep parking lots, ramps, stairwells, sidewalks, etc., safe for public use. When these areas are not properly maintained and hazards are ignored, parking lot accidents in New Madrid, Kennett, Sikeston and elsewhere throughout Missouri are significantly more likely. Many parking lot accidents leave residents with serious injury and an abundance of bills.
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For people who have been injured in a parking facility accident due to the negligence of a property owner or a motorist, it's critical to contact an experienced parking lot attorney in New Madrid. You may be entitled to compensation for damages, including pain, suffering, lost wages and medical bills.

Property owners are required to make parking lots and parking garages as safe as possible. There are a number of preventative measures that should be taken to make these areas safe for the public, especially during the busy shopping season.

Parking lot safety measures:

-Keeping the area free of debris.

-Keeping the surfaces of sidewalks smooth and well maintained.

-Providing pedestrians with crosswalks and sidewalks to keep them safe from vehicular traffic.

-Posting signs to help direct traffic and warn of known dangers.

-Removing snow and ice when present.

-Making sure that all areas are properly lit.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 20 percent of all traffic accidents happen in parking lots. Pedestrians are also warned to be on the lookout for vehicular traffic. Many of these accidents seriously injure pedestrians even though they happen at a low rate of speed. When walking with young children, always hold their hand and keep everyone buckled in the car, even through you're traveling slowly.

With the holiday season approaching, parking lots are expected to be jam packed. If possible, avoid shopping on a Saturday. This is typically when most shoppers head out and parking lots will not only be full, they'll be more dangerous. Try shopping during the weekdays and during the morning hours.

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Woman Charged with Six Felonies after Missouri Boating Accident

September 25, 2011

A boating accident that killed two people and injured three others will go to trial in the spring of 2012. A Poplar Bluff woman has been charged with a felony of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, three felonies of second-degree assault with a vessel, and two felonies of involuntary manslaughter with a vessel, according to the Southeast Missourian. The accident took place back in July near Worley's Rock.
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Boating accidents in Southeast Missouri can be avoided if all boaters practice responsible boating habits. This recent accident occurred when two boats heading in opposite directions took a curve in the river. The boaters attempted to swerve to avoid a collision, but failed to do so. Boaters from each vessel were ejected upon collision, and one died from abdominal and chest trauma while the other drowned.

Our Poplar Bluff boating accident attorneys understand that Missouri State Water Patrol reported that there had been a strong odor of alcohol on the woman's breath. Officers also noted that she had dilated pupils and glassy eyes. Officers administered a number of field-sobriety tests to the woman, and a breath test revealed that she was in an "intoxicated condition."

Boaters are asked to follow laws similar to roadway laws. Boaters are prohibited from driving while drunk, exceeding speed limits and driving in restricted areas.

After the field-sobriety test, officers took the woman to the Doniphan Police Department where she took another breath test that produced a reading of .123 percent.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics from 2010 reveal that:

-There were more than 4,600 boating accidents reported. Nearly 700 people died and more than 3,150 people were injured in these accidents.

-Accidents resulted in nearly $40 million in property damage.

-There was a death rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. This is nearly a 7 percent decrease from the death rate in 2009.

-About 75 percent of boaters who died throughout the year drowned. About 88 percent of these victims were reported to not be wearing a life jacket.

-Eighty percent of boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.

-The top five contributors to fatal boating accidents included operator inattention, operator inexperience, alcohol, improper lookout and excessive speed.

-Alcohol consumption is the number one cause of fatal boating accidents. This cause was listed as a contributor in nearly 20 percent of all boating deaths.

-More than 20 children under the age of 13 were killed in boating accidents, and more than 40 percent of them drowned. Nearly 45 percent of those who drowned were wearing a life jacket.

-Motorboats accounted for 46 percent of vessels involved in boating accidents. Personal watercraft accounted for 20 percent and cabin motorboats accounted for 14 percent.

-There were nearly 12,500,000 registered recreational vessels.

Continue reading "Woman Charged with Six Felonies after Missouri Boating Accident " »

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.
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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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Summer Traffic Could Increase Aggressive Driving, Road Rage Car Accidents in the Bootheel

It seems like nowadays everyone on the road has somewhere to be in a hurry. This rushed driving is just another characteristic of aggressive driving, which may lead to road rage.

These driving behaviors are a serious problem on roadways nationwide and greatly influence your risks of being involved in a car accident in Cape Girardeau, New Madrid, Perryville and in the Bootheel.
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In an attempt to curb these dangerous driving habits, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has joined forces with local law enforcement and the judiciary to focus on enforcement efforts. The administration defines aggressive driving as when "an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property."

Our Bootheal car accident attorneys would like to warn all drivers about the dangers of aggressive driving and road rage. These driving habits affect the safety of everyone on the road, and it is only with the proper preparation that we can aim to eliminate these unnecessary road dangers. Aggressive driving increases the chances of a car accident.

The Automobile Association conducted a survey to get an idea of just how prominent aggressive driving habits are on the road. The survey concluded that roughly 90 percent of surveyed motorists had experienced an act of aggressive driving within the last 12 months. Nearly 60 percent of these drivers admitted to losing their tempers behind the wheel.

The driving survey also revealed that:

-More than 60 percent of drivers were guilty of aggressively tailgating. This is the most common form of aggressive driving and often leads to road rage.

-Nearly 60 percent of drivers admitted to headlight flashing.

-Close to 50 percent of surveyed drivers reported that they had flashed obscene gestures to another driver.

-More than 20 percent of these drivers said that they had deliberately obstructed other vehicles.

-More than 15 percent admitted to participating in verbal abuse on the road.

-1 percent of surveyed drivers claimed that they had been physically assaulted by other motorists.

Legally, there is a difference between and aggressive driving and road rage. There are a few states that have enacted aggressive driving laws. Typically, road rage cases include assault and battery, and -- in the worst cases -- vehicular homicide.

According to Anger Management Groups, road rage, or intermittent explosive disorder, is defined as violent acts resulting from stress that is caused by accidents or incidents that occur on roadways. They conclude that road rage is oftena natural extension of aggressive driving.

If you find yourself facing an enraged driver on the road:

-Avoid eye contact.

-Keep your vehicle away from them.

-If you feel you're being followed, call 9-1-1 or drive to the closet police station.

-Do not return any hand gestures of any other instigating movements.

-Do not retaliate.

-Stay calm behind the wheel.

-Keep your doors locked and your windows up.

Aggressive driving habits and road rage can be caused by a number of circumstances. Summertime traffic will likely increase such driving habits. Drivers are urged to keep their cool behind the wheel. Knowing exactly where you're going and allowing yourself plenty of time to get there will help to ease your anxiety and frustration behind the wheel.

Continue reading "Summer Traffic Could Increase Aggressive Driving, Road Rage Car Accidents in the Bootheel" »

New Recommendations for your Child's Car Seat to Prevent Injuries during Car Accidents in Kennett, Missouri and Elsewhere

Revised recommendations for your child's car seat have been recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These new recommendations urge that you judge the amount of time your child stays in each of their child seat's based on their height and weight rather than their age. These new recommendations come as an attempt to keep up with the ever growing scientific and medical research and the development of newer and newer child restraint technologies.
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The new guidelines ultimately suggest that parents and caregivers keep children in each type of car seat, including forward-facing, booster and rear-facing child seats, for as long as possible before moving them up to the next level. The extra time will help keep them even safer in the event of a car accident in Jackson, Charleston, Dexter or elsewhere in Missouri.

Our Cape Girardeau Missouri car accident attorneys understand the importance of keeping your child in the correct safety seat. Parents and caregivers are urged to keep their child in rear-facing safety seats for as long as possible. Keep them in these seats until they've exceeded the height and weight limits of that particular car seat. These limitations are provided by the seat's manufacturer. It is these rear-facing car seats that reduce the stress of the spinal cord and neck that can occur when involved in a motor-vehicle accident. This reduction is especially important for growing babies.

"Safety is our highest priority," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "The 'best' car seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle and one you will use every time your child is in the car."

The guidelines are consistent with the more recent recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. They advise that you keep your child passenger in their rear-facing car seat until they've reached the age of two or until they reach those height and weight limitations. Parents are urged to slow down their child's car seat graduations for as long as safely possible.

All car seats that are sold in the United States are required to meet a number of standards set forth in child restraint safety.

"Selecting the right seat for your child can be a challenge for many parents. NHTSA's new revised guidelines will help consumers pick the appropriate seat for their child," says NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

Strickland also recommends that parents consider a number of factors aside from height and weight when choosing the perfect child seat for their vehicle. It is also urged that they consider their child's physical development and behavioral needs, as well the family's economics and type of vehicle.

Important safety measure to parents and their child's car seats:

-Be sure to read the manufacturers' instructions and the owner's manual of the vehicle for important information regarding the weight and height limitations for the car seat. These manuals will also instruct you on how to properly install the car seat, whether it's by a seat belt of by using the LATCH system.

-Parents should keep all children under the age of 13 in the back seat of the vehicle.

-Children in rear-facing car seats should never ride in front seat when there is an active passenger-side air bag.

More than 1,000 children under the age of 13 are killed in passenger-vehicle accidents every year. An additional 100,000 children are injured in these incidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The IIHS offers a complete detailed report to help parents to safely buckle-in a child in their motor-vehicle. You can view this information through a number of informational pages and videos.

Continue reading "New Recommendations for your Child's Car Seat to Prevent Injuries during Car Accidents in Kennett, Missouri and Elsewhere" »

Car Accidents in Cape Girardeau Less Likely to Occur than those in Rural Areas

More than 34,000 fatal car accidents in Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, Kennett, Dexter and elsewhere in the United States occurred in 2008. These accidents took the lives of more than 37,200 people. Approximately 56 percent of these accident happened in rural areas. Urban areas only claimed the lives of roughly 44 percent of these car accident deaths.

It's a surprising statistic recently released by the government; most of us think city driving puts us at highest risk. As it turns out, it is those country roads that are most likely to result in a serious or fatal Southeast Missouri car accident.

Rural areas also witnessed more injuries from car accidents than urban areas did, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
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Farms roads, highways and interstates like the ones we have spread across a large portion of Missouri result in more accidents than those in cities, both large and small.

The disparity is even more obvious when you consider the population. In 2008, only 23 percent of the entire population of the United States lives in rural areas, but the number of fatalities caused by car accidents in these areas counted for roughly 56 percent of all of the traffic fatalities for the year.

The fatality rate per million vehicle miles traveled, in 2008, was 2.6 times higher in rural areas than the rate in urban areas. Rural areas had a 2.11 rate which urban areas had only a 0.81 rate.

One-third of all people that died in motor-vehicle accident over the year died because of a speeding-related motor-vehicle accident. Roughly 33 percent of all accidents in rural areas were the result of a speeding-related accident while only 30 percent of urban car accidents were speeding-related crashes.

According to this recent data, traffic accidents in both areas are more likely to occur during the evening and weekend hours. Of course, more of them happen in rural areas than in urban areas.

Another area in which rural roads were more dangerous was in the number of fatalities caused by alcohol-impaired drivers. During the entire year of 2008, nearly 12,000 people were killed in these accidents. Roughly 57 percent of these accidents occurred in rural areas while only 43 percent happened in urban areas.

In 2008, there were 960 traffic accident fatalities in Missouri alone. According to the NHTSA, 356 people, or 37 percent, died in urban areas of the state whereas 604 people, or 63 percent, died in rural areas of our state.

It is because of these statistics that our residents and visitors need to be safe on our roadways. You may think you're safe on the open road without the crowded streets and overwhelming number of cars and traffic lights of urban areas, but statistics prove that you're more likely to die on roadways like our rural roads here in Missouri than those in our cities.

Continue reading "Car Accidents in Cape Girardeau Less Likely to Occur than those in Rural Areas" »

Taking a Look at Your Driving Behavior May Reduce Risk of Cape Girardeau Missouri Car Accidents

In the last 25 years in the United States, more than 1,000,000 lives have been violently ended as a result of a car accident in Southeast Missouri and elsewhere across the country. These accidents are the number one of cause of deaths for citizens, according to United States Department of Transportation. In 2009 alone, nearly 34,000 people lost their lives in these unfortunate, and oftentimes careless, accidents. Even though 2009 represents the lowest number of fatalities from car accidents witnessed since 1950, we're still seeing an average of 95 lives lost each day.
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A recent survey, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, revealed that roughly 75 percent of American believe that we would benefit from stricter government enforcement of traffic safety rules and regulations. They also believe there is a need for more safety initiatives.

Our Missouri car accident attorneys understand that the AAA Foundation has been searching for answers to reduce the risks of car accidents through their annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which first started in 2008. This survey is conducted over the phone and aims to analyze key indicators of the degree to which traffic safety is valued and is being pursued.

Major findings of the Traffic Safety Culture Index survey:

-More than half of all drivers report that driving feels less safe today than it did 5 just years ago.

-Nearly half report that some form of driver distraction is likely the main reason for them feeling less safe on our roadways.

-Half of all Americans have been involved in, or knows someone that has been involved in, an accident involving serious injured or death.

-There is almost 100 percent support for having alcohol-ignition interlocks in cars of those drivers that have been convicted of DWI more than once. More than 75 percent of those surveyed support requiring interlocks for first-time DWI offenders.

-75 percent of Americans support banning some use of hand-held cell phones while behind the wheel, but more people oppose, rather than support, a full-out ban on using any type of cell phone, even hands free, while driving.

-Nearly 50 percent of drivers say they have gone 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway in the last 30 days.

-Two-thirds of Americans support laws that would allow police to stop and ticket a driver for not wearing a seat belt, even if they're not breaking any other law.

-Most drivers view driving while intoxicated as a very serious threat. Virtually all drivers disapprove of the act and acknowledge that others also disapprove of it. Very few drivers admit to drinking and driving (less than 2 drivers of 100 surveyed admit having done so in the last 30 days).

-Most of those surveyed viewed driving while drowsy as a serious threat and an unacceptable behavior, yet more than a quarter admit to driving when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at some point in the last 30 days.

These survey results illustrate that while we find many driving behaviors to be dangerous, we are guilty of participating in them ourselves. The only clear way to help decrease the risks of a car accident is to look inward and focus on our own driving behaviors first. We should all try to lead by example.

Continue reading "Taking a Look at Your Driving Behavior May Reduce Risk of Cape Girardeau Missouri Car Accidents" »

Emergency Medical Services Week Highlights Risk of Missouri Car Accidents Involving Emergency Vehicles

The 38th annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week serves as an important reminder about what EMS providers, police and other emergency responders, do for us on a daily basis. National EMS Week features hundreds of activities and events across the country. Some events included safety demonstrations, EMS essay and poster contests, CPR classes and at least one auto extrication demonstration, according to The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACAP). The theme for this year's recognition month is "Everyday Heroes."
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"As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, these 'everyday heroes' deserve special recognition for their willingness to face danger in order to help people in trouble," said ACEP's president, Sandra Schneider, MD, FACEP. "All emergency physicians salute the brave men and women who sometimes put themselves in harm's way in order to assist the sick and the injured. Their selflessness sets an example for all of us."

Our Southeast Missouri car accident attorneys understand that emergency responders are on-duty 24-hours a day and help us in our greatest time of need, whether it be help with flood rescue efforts after the recent and devastating tornado or a car accident in Perryville or elsewhere in Missouri. While we take the time to recognize their efforts, it is important to remember that these emergency responder vehicles are involved in accidents themselves more than we may realize.

"Statistics support the need for traffic laws dealing with emergency vehicles," according to Terri Durdaller, spokesperson for the department of public safety. "In 2004, there were three fatal accidents, three fatalities and 221 total injuries in highway incidents involving emergency vehicles. Just this year, 16 Highway Patrol cars have been hit on the shoulder while pulling a motorist over for a violation."

In an effort to help out our emergency responders, Missouri has enacted a move over law that requires drivers to move over and slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle with flashing lights.

"Proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be unsafe or impossible," reads Missouri's Move Over Law.

The 19th annual National EMS Memorial Service is scheduled to be held on June 25th in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This event is designated to honor responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty. So far this year, more than 40 honorees from 18 different states will be added to the 538 honored in past years.

In an effort to help preserve the safety of our emergency responders, drivers are asked to follow these tips to react quickly and clearly when you witness an emergency responder approaching:

-Pull your vehicle as far to the right as you can and then stop until the safety vehicle safely passes.

-If there is no safe way for you to pull over and stop, you should slow your vehicle down to at least 20 mph under the posted speed limit, or down to 5 mph if the speed limit is already 20 mph or less. Then let the emergency vehicle go around you.

-When you approach an emergency vehicle on the side of the road with their lights activated, you are asked to remain focused on the road. No rubber-necking. Slow down, stay focused and watch for any emergency personnel that may be on foot in the area. Be sure to keep your distance until you've safely cleared the scene.

While motorists must do their part, emergency personnel are not without responsibility. There is a growing body of evidence that contends drivers of emergency vehicles are some of the most distracted drivers on the road -- radios, telephones and onboard computers are used at a high rate of speed in emergency situations. Police chases are another situation in which motorists may be at high risk of an accident. Anytime you are involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle, an attorney should be called in to protect your rights.

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