Don’t Tread on Me

Bicycle Safety

Bicycle Safety

Oftentimes, motorists are frustrated by cyclists on the roadways.  Anyone can say, “Share the road,” yet cyclists need to take special precautions not only to follow the rules of the road but also to ride defensively.  Instead of being a passive cyclist, be defensive about your road space and safety measures you take in preparing for a ride.

Take the lane.  Don’t timidly pedal in the shadow or blind spot of a motor vehicle.  This is, in fact, more dangerous than actually taking the entire lane.  By riding closer to the center of a traffic lane, this increases your visibility and decreases the risk of being caught in a motorist’s blind spot when turning or merging.  Maintain the lane at red lights, too.  If you fall to the side of the vehicles stopped at a red light, you are in their blind spot.

Go with the flow.  Always ride with the flow of traffic—never against it.  Riding against the flow of traffic may be a good idea, in theory, to make sure motorists see you head on.  However, motorists turning on and off the road will not think to look for you if you are traveling against the flow of traffic.

Give yourself the silent treatment.  Take out the earbuds.  You, as a cyclist, need to have not only your eyes but also your ears open to the sounds of approaching vehicles, car horns, other cyclists, and pedestrians.  If you’re listening to music as you ride, you are far less likely to notice the sensory cues that cannot be seen.

Pipe up when passing.  Don’t forget to pipe up when passing other cyclists and pedestrians.  To safely maneuver around another cyclist or pedestrian, yell out “on your left,” then safely maneuver around to the left of the person and fall back into the lane.  Use arm signals, as well, to warn before passing, turning, and stopping.

If you find yourself or someone you know injured in a cycling accident, contact a board certified Houston personal injury lawyer.  Also, check the uninsured motorist clause in your auto insurance policy.  It may provide coverage if you are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle while cycling.

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Uptick in Texas Traffic

Houston Traffic

Why has Texas Traffic Gotten Worse?

Frustrated when you are late for work but left at the same time you do each morning? Can’t leave the office for lunch because you’ll never make it back in time? Tired of crawling home in the evenings? Here’s why.

According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard, a study released by Texas A&M Transportation Institute and INRIX, Inc. this month, Houston traffic peaked last year. Houston ranks eighth nationally, coming in at a whopping 61 extra annual hours spent in cars because of delays and $1,490 in additional costs in time and fuel. Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington comes in just behind at spot number 11, with 53 extra hours and $1,185 in additional expenses.

More unfortunately, it looks like congestion may get worse before it gets any better. Many companies are becoming more flexible by letting their employees work remotely, but the trend is not catching on quickly enough to notice a significant decrease in rush-hour traffic. That will take changes to infrastructure and traffic patterns. To keep you safe on the road during your commute, keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • No cell phone
  • Use voice commands.
  • Adjust your commute and errands around peak traffic hours.
  • Carpool, if possible.
  • Don’t tailgate.
  • Beware of blind spots, especially when merging.
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Texas Accidents In The News: Day of August 26, 2015

Crashed 18 wheeler

Crashed 18 Wheeler Leaking Fule on Eastex Freeway

Today’s news article covers a severe auto accident in north Houston.  On Wednesday morning, a collision involving four vehicles and an 18-wheeler occurred on the Highway 59 (Eastex Freeway) near the Rankin exit.  According to witnesses, the 18-wheeler was traveling  in the far right lane  southbound lost control and veered across multiple lanes of traffic crashing into the HOV lanes and jumping over the concrete barriers.  In losing control, the 18-wheeler caused damage to 4 vehicles flipped one onto int’s side.  After the severe impact, the 18-wheeler began leaking gasoline.  In all, the authorities estimate about 200 gallons of gasoline were spilled onto the Eastex Freeway.

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Texas Accidents In The News: Day of August 25, 2015

Today’s news article involves a deadly motorcycle accident in Houston, Texas.  According to local authorities, a young black male was speeding on his motorcycle eastbound on the West Park Tollway near the Fondren exit when he struck two slower moving vehicles.  The severe impact claimed the young man’s life at the scene of the incident and resulted in the closure of the Westpark Tollway for several hours while clean-up crews attended to the large amounts of debris.

16 tips to avoid a motorcycle accident can be found below:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  2. Be visible and make sure others know where you are at all times.
  3. Check rearview mirror prior to slowing down of stopping.
  4. Be extra careful at intersections.
  5. Never ride tired, drowsy or impaired.
  6. Don’t tailgate other vehicles/Leave enough space.
  7. Ride with people you know and trust.
  8. Look where you are going-Avoid distractions.
  9. Be wary of large trucks and turbulence they cause.
  10. Invest in good gear-Protect your ankles.
  11. Wear the proper size gloves to avoid interference with the clutch.
  12. Never ride faster than you are comfortable even if in a group.
  13. Keep an eye on the weather for your rides.
  14. Be courteous to other while sharing the road.
  15. Keep your attitude in check/Don’t ride angry or upset.
  16. Wear a helmet.
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Back to School, Back to Safety

What Is School Bus Safety?

School Bus Safety

School is back in session, and every morning on the way to and from work, the roads are filled with school buses and school zones changing the flow of traffic. It is easy to get distracted while trying to make it to the office on time or checking a quick email, but drivers need to be careful to follow the laws designed to protect school children on their way to and from school.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 20 children is killed in school bus loading and unloading accidents each year. Between 2003 and 2012, 174 students died in school-transportation related accidents. Of these, 55 were in vehicles and 119 were pedestrians. Here are simple things to keep in mind to help:

  • Don’t pass a stopped school bus on an undivided road! However, there is no need to stop if the if there is a median or physical barrier between oncoming lanes of traffic.
  • Look for school children on foot! Always make sure that the children have safely exited the school bus and cleared the roadway before continuing your route.
  • Yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk! School children and other pedestrians have the right-of-way when walking across the road in a crosswalk. You, as a driver, must yield to the school children.
  • Don’t stop in a crosswalk! This forces school children outside of the crosswalk and into vehicular traffic.
  • Take cues from the crossing guard! Crossing guards may alert you to school children who are not tall enough to be in your line of vision.
  • Slow down in school zones! This will help you brake more quickly if school children wander out into the road.
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Texas Accidents In The News: Day of August 23, 2015

Today’s news article involves a deadly auto accident collision and a chemical plant fire.

Late Friday evening, a couple died after their vehicle left the roadway slamming int a tree in southwest Houston.  According to local authorities, the incident occurred on the 11900 block of Hillcroft Avenue and Ludington Drive.  A black Nissan Altima was traveling southbound on Hillcroft Avenue prior to losing control striking a median and crashing into a tree.  Both the male driver and female passenger passed away at the scene of the incident.  Investigators have ruled out alcohol as a contributing factor in the unfortunate incident and continue the painstaking process of sifting through the debris and reconstructing the final moments.

Several hours later during the early hours of Saturday, a fire erupted at a local chemical plant in La Porte, near Houston.  According to Kristin Gauthier, the La Porte Emergency Management Coordinator, the blaze commenced in a warehouses located at the South Coast Terminals on the 10900 block of Strang Road.  Fortunately, the lack of chemical involvement permitted firefighter to manage the fire in a quick and efficient manner.  No injuries were reported linked to this incident.

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Why Burn Injury Victims Need a Lawyer

Fire, Firefighters

Each year, more than 17,000 Americans are injured in fires and more than 3,000 are killed. The majority of these are house fires, but they can also be fires at work, vehicle fires and fires at places people frequent like restaurants and retailers.

Why You Need a Burn Injury Lawyer

It is of particular importance to have a good personal injury lawyer on your side when you or someone you care about has suffered a burn injury due to the negligence of another person or business. This type of injury is especially painful and requires extensive treatment and time for the person to heal. If you or someone close to you has suffered such an injury, you need to concentrate all of your energy and efforts on healing, not on confronting the lawyers and insurance adjusters representing the person or business that caused your injury.

With the assistance of an experienced Houston burn injury lawyer, a personal injury case can be settled out of court. Knowing the legal format for depositions and negotiations helps to speed up the process and helps ensure a favorable outcome for your case. That is where a skilled burn injury lawyer can help. He or she knows the people who can make things happen at the courthouse. You need a person like this on your team, so you can direct all of your energy to only getting better and getting back to your family and your job.

Getting the money you deserve to pay your medical bills and take care of your family while you heal does not have to be an impossible task. With the proper guidance, you too can stand up to big insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve.

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Texas Accidents In The News: Day of August 19, 2015

288-fatal-crash Imari Richards

Today’s news article involves a deadly auto accident collision south of Houston in Brazoria County.

Imani Richard, a 17-year-old female about to begin her junior year in the Houston Independent School District, is dead after a serious collision Tuesday evening.  Richard and several other teenagers were northbound on Highway 288 in a silver Pontiac when it suddenly became disabled in a moving lane of traffic.  According to local Manvel Police Department, a Subaru impacted the rear of the silver Pontiac at almost full speed resulting a catastrophic clutter of metal debris.  While Richard passed away at the scene, emergency personnel transported the other teenagers via Life Flight and ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital.   Despite ruling out alcohol and drugs as contributing factors, local authorities continue their investigation into the tragic incident.

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Why It is Important to Seek a Tow Truck Injury Lawyer

According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, there are more than 300,000 accidents annually in the United States between trucks and cars and more than 100,000 people are injured. Many of these collisions involve tow trucks, the very vehicles that are sent to help clean up after accidents. Though this may seem ironic, tow truck drivers are also human and are subject to visibility challenges and hazardous weather just like other drivers.

Tow Truck Accident Lawyers

As with any personal injury situation, it’s imperative to have someone to looking out for your interests if you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident involving a tow truck. Although the insurance carrier that represents the trucking company may seem sympathetic to your situation, at best, they have a conflict of interests. After all, it’s their job to minimize the cost of the accident for the trucking company.

Equally, it’s usually a poor idea to represent yourself in such cases. Not only do you not have the training that a personal injury lawyer has, you most likely lack the contacts and personal relationships needed to get a satisfactory settlement.  Keep in mind that most personal injury cases are settled over a conference table, not in a courtroom. The consequences are too great for you and your family to risk making a legal mistake.

A Houston tow truck injury lawyer will assist in protecting your interests by developing a thorough investigation which may include but is not limited to an accident report, black box data from the vehicles and eyewitness testimony.  The catch is that this information much be obtained early in the process to ensure the evidence is available later. 

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Texas Accidents In The News: Day of August 14, 2015

Today’s news brings us yet another fatal head-on collision involving a wrong-way driver in Houston.

The Eastex Freeway (Highway 59 ) was the scene of a major crash during the early morning hours of Friday causing a shut down for several hours.  A black pick-up traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of traffic struck an SAIA 18-wheeler near the Laura Koppe exit resulting in a spectacular array of metal wreckage and debris.  According to local investigators, the wrong-way driver in the black pick-up passed away at the scene from his injuries.  An ambulance transported the 18-wheeler driver to a local hospital.  During the clean-up process, a garbage truck somehow struck the disabled 18-wheeler causing further damage and fled the scene without stopping.

Wrong-way drivers causing damage to property and death are nothing new in the Houston area.  As recently as eleven days ago, a similar incident claimed the life of a female on Highway 59 north of Houston.  The real question is, “When will it stop?”

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