Articles Posted in Auto Accident

Indiana hit-and-run accidents can prove challenging from a civil litigation standpoint for a myriad of reasons, sometimes even if the driver is found. Contacting an experienced Highland injury lawyer is imperative to maximizing the chances of accountability and compensation. mirror

A recent Indiana hit-and-run crash resulted in one woman losing her life and a man facing a felony charge. Investigators in Indianapolis told the Indy Star on early Sunday morning that a car accident occurred on 34th Street, where officers responded to the scene to discover a passenger car literally split in two. There was no one in it. But nearby, occupants of a Dodge Neon, a man and woman both age 22, were critically injured. The driver was treated at a local hospital, while the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers discovered a man believed to be the driver a short time later. He is believed to have fled the scene on foot, and authorities suspect alcohol was a factor in the crash. He has been arrested on a charge of failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving death, a felony.

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A 2008 National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Survey provided a number of conclusions concerning pre crash factors, including, but not limited to destructed driving, crash ability, road construction and environmental considerations.United States Department of Transportation Causation Survey.pdfAn assessment of the roadway design, environmental conditions, and participant interviews. Among such cases, roads slick with ice and other debris were the most frequent roadway-related critical causes of accidents.

The incredibly bad weather in Northwest and Central Indiana clearly reflects how the current icy and snowy weather and resulting slippery road surfaces have resulted in accident after accident. Perhaps the worst of which took place, January 23 2014, on Interstate 94, and US 421.The collision involved over 40 vehicles, including 15 tractor trailers and at least three fatalities. Whiteout conditions probably played a role making it difficult for truck and automobile drivers to see the road in from of them. displaymedia photo in michigan city.jpeg

Just days ago, another multiple vehicle crash involving semi-trucks and other vehicles took place on Interstate 65, just outside Lafayette, Indiana. As a result, northbound and southbound. Lanes were closed for hours. Slick roads,winds, snow and fog limited visibility.
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With all of the anti-drunk driving campaigns, residents and visitors may be more likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident blamed on alcohol. While drunk driving campaigns are great in preventing drunk driving accidents, they only increase the risk of drunk walking accidents.
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According to Associated Press, there were more than 1,500 pedestrians who were legally drunk and the time of their fatal accident in 2011. This means that close to 40 percent of all of the pedestrians killed in 2011 were legally intoxicated. This is a new epidemic and we’re seeing an alarming increase in the risks. It’s a particularly important message as college classes resume.

Our Highland accident lawyers understand that there were nearly 100 pedestrians killed in the state of Indiana in 2011. These accidents accounted for close to 10 percent of all the traffic fatalities recorded during the year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is making prevention a priority. The agency recently announced a new set of tools to help communities fight to problem, allocated roughly $2 million in pedestrian safety grants and launched a new one-stop shop website with resources for community leaders as well as safety tips for residents.

“We all have a reason to support pedestrian safety, and now, everyone has new tools to help make a difference,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The problem here is that alcohol can negatively affect a pedestrian’ judgment too, just as it would a driver’s. It can lead them to make poor decisions while traveling, like trying to beat a vehicle heading down the road, crossing against a traffic light or even crossing in the wrong place. Any one of these wrong decisions (among a multitude of other wrong decisions) can land you in the hospital or leave you for dead.

On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic accidents in the United States last year.

But it’s not just the pedestrians that have officials worried. They’re also seeing an increase in the number of intoxicated bicyclists who are injured or killed.

While you may think that walking home after a night of drinking is your safest bet, you might want to think again. Consider getting a cab or calling a friend or family member to come get you. Whatever you do, you want to stay away from moving traffic. It’s a move that could save your life.

Thanks to the AAA DUI Justice Link, that connection can be made. On this site, officials with the NHTSA created a listing of sober/safe ride programs across the country. Save a number in your phone, and you’re sure to have a save and sober ride home every time.
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It’s been nearly 10 years since every state in the U.S. agreed to alter the legal definition of drunk from 0.15 percent blood-alcohol content to 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content.

Now, federal officials are urging another reduction, this time down to 0.05 percent BAC.
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Our Gary DUI injury lawyers are in full support of this proposal, which was made recently by the National Transportation Safety Board as one of 20 recommendations to reduce the death toll on U.S. highways.

Every year, some 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving crashes. That’s about one-third of the total number of people who die on our nation’s roads.

The board indicated that it has tried other measures in recent years to drive down those rates, but with little success. Other efforts have included bolstering law enforcement initiatives and funneling money into public advocacy and awareness campaigns. And yet, the number of DUI deaths has hovered around 10,000 since 1995. In the last 30 years, we’re talking some 440,000 lives lost.

The board predicts that lowering the legal alcohol limit will save somewhere between 500 and 800 lives each year. The reason it isn’t higher is that the majority of drunk driving deaths are caused by individuals who have BACs that are well above 0.08 percent. This has been a point of contention for opponents of the measure. However, what the opposition is failing to consider is that in addition to the number of lives saved – each of which is precious – we will be also significantly reducing the number of injuries. Not everyone involved in a DUI crash dies. Many survive, but they may suffer lifelong, debilitating injuries that require surgeries, intensive treatments, rehabilitation and medication for chronic pain and other disabilities.

Lowering the threshold is also not an obscene intrusion. First of all, 100 other countries in the world have already adopted the 0.05 percent rate, including most of Europe. Secondly, consider that the average, 180-pound male will usually not hit the 0.08 percent limit until he’s had about four drinks in a little over an hour. By contrast, under the new limit, he would only be able to indulge in two or three. So this argument that someone couldn’t have a glass of wine with dinner simply doesn’t hold water.

Research has shown that the majority of drivers are going to experience a decline in both visual and cognitive functions once their BAC tops 0.05 percent.

It’s also an important measure in light of the recent ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against police with regard to warrantless blood draws in DUI cases. In that case, Missouri v. McNeely, the court found that in order to take a blood sample from a suspected drunk driver, an officer would first have to obtain a warrant from a judge. Because alcohol dissipates quickly from a person’s system, every minute may be valuable to the case. If we are going to bolster the protections for drunk drivers, we should also do the same for their victims.

The NTSB’s recommendations, however, won’t automatically become law. It’s an independent agency that is influential on matters of public safety, but it will require the support of Congress and state legislators to actually implement such a measure.
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With the spring season, we can expect motorcyclists to hit the roads of Northern Indiana. We’re already seeing temps in the high 70s, which serves up some fine motorcycle weather. Unfortunately, the increase in this kind of traffic comes with some serious risks for accidents.
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Our Highland motorcycle accident attorneys understand that there were close to 3,500 motorcyclists involved in traffic accidents in the state in 2009. More than 110 of those motorcyclists were killed in those accidents. We’re turning to passenger car drivers to help with the safety of these vulnerable travelers.

With help from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, we’re dropping a little knowledge on drivers to help to raise awareness about motorcyclists out there. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation urges drivers of all kinds to give these two-wheeled travelers their space. You don’t want to cause an accident. Injuring or killing a motorcyclist rider is something you would have to live with for the rest of your life — and nobody wants that guilt.

Here are some things you should know about motorcycle riders:

-There are a lot more passenger vehicles, cars and trucks out there. Because of that, some drivers don’t even recognize motorcyclists. It’s important that we don’t ignore these drivers. They might actually need more attention than any other vehicle out there.

-They can easily get lost in your blind spots. This is why you want to make sure that these spots are clear before making a maneuver in traffic. Physically turn and check your blind spots before turning or changing lanes.

-They can look farther away than they actually are. Because they’re so small, it may be tough to judge their distance as well as their speed. If you see a motorcycle at an intersection or anywhere near you, make sure you always predict that it’s closer than it appears to be.

-The brake lights on motorcycles don’t always activate when a motorcycle is slowing down. Many riders slow down by simply downshifting, which doesn’t turn on the brake light. This is why it’s important not to tailgate these drivers.

-Turn signals on motorcycles aren’t always self-canceling. Don’t ignore the turn signal, but you should know that it may not be on and flashing to indicate an immediately turn.

-Motorcycles can’t maneuver out of everything — although maneuverability is one of their best characteristics. Don’t put them in a squeeze.

-Motorcycles can’t stop easily on wet surface. On dry, normal pavement, motorcycles can stop in about the same distance as our passenger cars.

-When a motorcycle is on the move, treat it as any other vehicle. They follow the same road laws — and you should treat them the same. Don’t share lanes with them.

With participation from drivers across the board, we can help to make our roadways a safer place for everyone — and especially for our motorcyclists. With the springtime weather rolling in, check in with your driving habits and toss out those irresponsible ones. It’s like spring cleaning for safety.
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Three people were killed in an early morning crash in Lake County, and rescuers reportedly found the vehicle submerged in a creek off Belshaw Road. water.jpg

Our Lowell car accident lawyers understand that the deceased were identified as a 21-year-old male driver, a 20-year-old female passenger and a 40-year-old male passenger.

While investigators are still looking into how events unfolded, we recognize that Indiana’s numerous bodies of water (18 rivers and four lakes – not including Lake Michigan) create ample opportunity for tragic scenarios such as this to occur. It’s important for drivers and passengers to know what to do in the event of vehicle submersion. Fast, decisive action can often mean the difference between life and death.

In this case, authorities believe the vehicle was moving east on Belshaw when for some reason it left the road as it was rounding a curve. After digging into the grass, the car flew into the air and hit a tree before plunging into the creek and coming to a rest on its roof.

What we don’t know at this point is whether the individuals inside were killed upon impact or whether they drowned. In many submerged vehicle situations, surviving the initial impact is the biggest challenge. That is why is is so important to always, always, always wear your seat belt. There is the mistaken belief that somehow wearing your seat belt is going to mean you’ll be stuck in a vehicle if you land in the water. This is false. What’s more, your ability to be alert and conscious upon impact is going to make all the difference in whether you’ll be able to survive the vehicle’s entry into the water.

If this is a situation in which you ever find yourself, the National Safety Council suggests the following:

  • Brace yourself for the impact. As soon as you realize you are going to go off the road and into the water, put your hands on the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 position. This reduces your risk of injury or unconsciousness from the airbag’s deployment.
  • Do your best to stay calm. Panic consumes energy and air – neither of which you can afford to lose right now.
  • Unbuckle your seat belt. People often forget to do this, but it’s the very first thing you need to take care of.
  • Unbuckle the children, starting with the oldest, who may be able to help with the others.
  • Forget your cell phone. People have lost their lives trying to dial 911 in a sinking car.
  • Open the window. Forget the door. An electric window should still work for up to three minutes in the water.
  • If you can’t get the window open manually, your focus needs to be on breaking it, either with an object or your foot.
  • Once the window is open, grab the children, take a deep breath and swim out and up.

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Even though it’s been about a year since teens in our state were banned from texting behind the wheel, about half of all teenage Hoosiers admit to still doing it. With these young drivers out of school, they’ll be hitting the road for what’s become known as the 100 Deadliest Days for car accidents in Highland and elsewhere.

The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the deadliest of the year for young drivers, according to INC NOW.
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For this reason, AT&T members are hitting the road and reaching out to teens across the country through the “It Can Wait” campaign. This is a campaign to get teens to stop texting behind the wheel. Statistics prove that teens between the ages of 13- and 18-years-old send about 60 text messages a day. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined other leaders around the state, AT&T representatives and students at New Tech Academy recently to raise awareness about the importance of keeping their eyes and their mind on the road while keeping electronic devices out of the driver’s seat.

Highland car accident lawyers understand that it’s not only about the safety of these young drivers, it’s also about the responsible motorists that share the road with them. When a driver is distracted, everyone is at risk. To help to educate our state’s teens about these dangers, students were offered a try in a new simulator to see just how good their skills were behind the wheel when engaging in distractions. The simulator showed all of the teens that they were at some serious risks for an accident when they were texting behind the wheel.

“It was hard to see what else was going on. People would just walk out and there were deer and dogs and kids,” said Haleigh Hunly, a student at New Tech Academy.

When it all boils down, a driver who is texting behind the wheel is close to 25 times more likely to get into an accident. There’s no getting around it, texting while driving requires your eyes to come off of the roadway. For text messages, drivers take their eyes of the road for about 4.5 seconds. If you’re driving at 55 miles per hour and text message, then you could drive the length of a football field during that time and never see what’s going on around you.

In the state, drivers who are busted text messaging while driving face a fine of $25. For the second offense and so on and so forth, drivers face a $50 fine. Drivers who are 18-years-old and younger are not only prohibited from talking on a cell phone behind the wheel, but they’re also prohibited from texting, too.

Parents are asked to reinforce our state’s laws and ask their teens to be responsible behind the wheel and to keep the distractions out of the driver’s seat. Working to raise awareness about the risks and consequences of distracted driving can help to improve roadway safety for everyone.
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Indiana drivers are still coping with the dangers of winter weather conditions on our roadways. To help to reduce the risks of a weather-related car accident in Indianapolis or elsewhere throughout the state, there are a few safe driving tips you should keep in mind on every car ride.
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Our Indiana car accident attorneys and the Indiana State Police are offering Hoosiers and visitors a few winter driving safety tips to help to keep drivers safe. First, we ask all motorists to prepare themselves for the dangerous conditions. Before you head out, check the weather and traffic conditions. If you have a passenger riding along with you, make sure they know where you’re headed so they can help you with driving directions. This way you can keep all of your attention on the roadways and avoid the distractions of a map or a GPS.

Before you head out, also make sure your gas tank is full. You don’t want to get stranded in the biting cold because you failed to put gas in your car. You’re also urged to keep a winter driving kit with you at all times. This kit should include a flashlight, some extra batteries, blankets to keep you warm in case you break down, a brightly colored cloth to tie to your antenna to signal help, sand (or cat litter), a candle, some matches, a shovel, non-perishable foods that have a high calorie count, a cell phone, jumper cables and a first-aid kit.

Adjust your driving to the current road conditions:

-When there are poor weather conditions, give yourself extra time to get there by leaving earlier.

-Be sure to clear all your vehicle’s windows of ice and snow. Remove snow and ice from the hood, the headlights, the roof and the taillights as well.

-Be cautious when traveling near bridges, shaded areas, underpasses and intersections. In these areas ice forms more quickly and takes more time to melt.

-Slow it down. Traveling at a slower speed will help you to increase traction between your tires and the roadways.

-Avoid using your cruise control on slick or icy roadways.

-Try not to start or stop abruptly. Slow down and accelerate at a slow speed. Keep your wheels turning to stop you from losing traction.

-To reduce the glare of your headlights on the ice, use your low-beam headlights.

If you get stranded, there is a whole new list of things you should do. Listen up! If you’re car breaks down in the middle of winter conditions, your best bet is to stay with your car. It is the best protection you have after all. This is where that brightly-colored cloth comes in. Tie it to the antenna of your vehicle to signal to passing motorists that you need help. It may be cold outside, but you want to keep your window cracked to get some fresh air. Keep an eye on your exhaust pipe. If you allow it to get blocked, you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep your exhaust pipe clear of snow and ice. Avoid panicking. Remember that an idling car uses about a gallon of gas every hour. If you kept your gas tank filled, you should have no problem.
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In the state of Indiana, all drivers who are over the age of 18 are allowed to use hand-held cell phones behind the wheel. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, every single driver is prohibited from texting behind the wheel. With such relaxed cell phone laws for drivers, distraction-related car accidents in Indianapolis continue to take the lives of far too many innocent people.
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How do law enforcement officers know what a driver is doing on their phone? Are they dialing a phone number? Replying to an email? Typing a text message? According to Indiana police officers, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference and for this reason, tickets are difficult to write.

Our Indiana car accident attorneys understand that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is working to get lawmakers to embrace a nationwide ban against the use of any portable electronic device by all drivers. This type of ban would help eliminate the confusion for officers in areas like Indiana that have varying text and cell phone laws for drivers.

Since Indiana officers decided to tighten their distracted driving-related laws and make it illegal for any driver to type at the wheel there’s hasn’t been a lot of drivers busted for texting, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier. In the six months following the enactment of the law, the Purdue University Police Department hasn’t issued a single ticket, says Capt. Eric Chin.

The same results have been reported by the West Lafayette Police Department.

“Quite frankly, the same movements required to do other things — calling someone, checking a map — are similar to texting,” Lt. Gary Sparger told the newspaper. “Basically we have to see into the vehicle.”

The law was passed as a part of HB 1129 and took effect last July. If busted, drivers can face fines up to $500. But officers are having a tough time pushing this law because law enforcement isn’t allowed to take a driver’s cell phone to determine is the driver was dialing a phone number of sending a message.

Only one ticket has been written since July in Tippecanoe County.

Sparger says that if officers are going to enforce a text message ban, then the laws need to prohibit drivers from using any type of cell phone or electronic device. Officials need to repeal the current law or rewrite it completely to make all of these activities illegal.

According to CNN, the nationwide ban on portable electronic devices for drivers is a long way from reality. Experts believe elected legislators will be hesitant about upsetting constituents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,000 people were killed in distraction-related car accidents in the U.S. in 2010. While most people recognize that distractions are dangerous for drivers and cause thousands of fatal accidents every year, drivers just aren’t ready to hang up the phone.
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The end of the year beings increased risks for serious car accidents in Highland. Thanksgiving is typically Indiana’s second deadliest holiday season. Officers responded to more than 40 rural-area accidents, 20 of them involving deer.
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Our Indiana car accident attorneys understand that we’ll be soon experiencing another wave of increased risks for serious accidents as the end of the year draws near. With Christmas and New Year’s upon us, residents across the country will be hitting our roadways in route to their holiday gatherings with friends and family. The increase in traffic leads to an increase in traffic accidents and ultimately an increase in the number of traffic-related injuries and fatalities. Motorists are asked to drive carefully, cautiously and alertly to avoid an accident this holiday season.

Drivers are urged to check out Indiana road traffic on WTHR 13’s website before heading out on our roadways. It’s wise for drivers to avoid congested roadways and to avoid driving during rush hour, nighttime and weekends. During these times on our roadways, accident risks are increased significantly.

To help ensure a safe arrival to your holiday destination, consider the following safe driving tips:

-Get Your Car Ready: Make sure that your car is serviced and that you’re prepared for an unexpected emergency. Always carry a first-aid kit, a torch and a blanket.

-Get Yourself Ready: Make sure you’re well rested. Plan out the trip before heading out and share the driving responsibilities. Take regular breaks to avoid driver fatigue.

-If You’ll Be Drinking: Never drive after drinking. Plan a safe way to get way home. Have a designated driver or call a cab. If you can’t find a driver, find a place to stay. Stay at a friend’s house or get a hotel room for the night.

-Buckle In Children: Make sure that all children are placed in the proper child restrain during every car ride.

-Safety For Pets: Make sure your pets are properly restrained as well, for the safety of everyone.

-Towing: Always tow check when you’re towing a trailer or a caravan.

-Brush Up: Revamp your driving techniques to avoid an accident through the holidays.

As our roadways get more and more crowded and as we head towards Christmas and New Year’s, drivers are urged to be courteous and cautious on our roadways. Spread some holiday cheer and be polite on our roadways. Let’s all have a safe and Happy Holiday Season.
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