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Raleigh Personal Injury Law Blog

Serious truck accidents are not limited to big rigs

When you think about deadly truck accidents, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the type of truck you regularly see on the freeways of North Carolina – namely, those huge 18-wheelers that carry one or two trailers behind them. It is true that big rigs can cause devastating crashes, especially chain reaction collisions that result in numerous injuries or fatalities. However, you need to understand the risks that you can face from smaller commercial trucks on any city street.

There were 184 fatalities in North Carolina in 2016 due to utility truck crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In contrast, there were just 20 fatalities resulting from large truck collisions in the state that same year. You might wonder what qualifies as a utility truck. These are generally the commercial vehicles you see around town that contain equipment for working on phone lines, utility boxes and the like. They represent a fraction of the trucks of similar size that are on the roads every day for such purposes as package deliveries, mail and home repair.

4 outcomes of dog attacks and what should happen next

Your neighbor's dog has a tendency to be noisy when people come near, but today it got out and snapped at the boy across the street. Did it think there was a threat? Or is the dog a danger?

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers has an evaluation tool for determining what action the owner of an aggressive dog should take next.

Dressers, TV, other furniture could tip and injure consumers

North Carolina parents who are buying a television or dresser might want to make sure it does not present a danger of tipping. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, these are particularly dangerous to children who might climb the furniture and pull it over on themselves although they can injure adults as well. More than 500 people died between 2000 and 2016 because of tip-overs, and most of them were children. More than 30,000 people are treated in emergency rooms annually because of appliance, furniture and television falls.

Items can be secured for greater safety. In bedrooms that have sheetrock walls, the studs can be located and furniture secured against it. Professionals may need to be called in if the walls are made of brick or other material that cannot be easily drilled into.

Responding to aggressive drivers

Drivers in North Carolina probably know about road rage, either at first or second hand. They should know, then, how important it is not to provoke other drivers who are being aggressive or bullying. The following are just a few tips on how to handle common situations.

When drivers see someone riding close behind them on a multi-lane highway, that person most likely wants to pass. Drivers are advised not to slow down or speed up, as this may block a passing lane and anger the other even more. Instead, signal for a turn and do so when it's safe. It would not be good for the other to have to pass on the right.

Can technology keep your teen driver out of a car crash?

As the parent of a young driver, you know that distractions are everywhere. For a teenager, a distraction is only as close as a cellphone.

Technology has brought the cellphone into our lives, but the tech innovators have also produced apps to help parents control the driving behavior of their teenagers and keep them accident-free. Here are five apps to consider:

OSHA and NAWIC working together to promote safety

In North Carolina, many women work within the construction industry and have issues that are particular to them. In an effort to help to address the safety needs of women in the construction industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently announced its partnership with the National Association of Women in Construction.

The NAWIC and OSHA renewed their partnership for five years in an effort to focus on improving workplace safety for female construction workers. Women who work in the construction industry face different problems than men. They may have increased safety concerns with the selection of personal protective equipment that is designed to fit them correctly. They may also have different sanitation concerns, and there may need to be programs in place to help to protect them from workplace violence and intimidation.

How to keep workers safe near a dock

Roughly a quarter of warehouse injuries occur on a loading dock. Therefore, those who work on docks in North Carolina or elsewhere may need to be cognizant of their surroundings. Injuries may occur when a truck separates from a dock or a forklift falls off the dock. While simply closing dock doors when they are not in use may be a valid safety measure, it may present issues from a ventilation standpoint.

When dock doors are open, a fall protection barrier may need to be in place if workers could fall 4 feet or more. However, states may have their own regulations on top of what OSHA requires. While most trucks have bed heights of about 4 feet, refrigerated trucks may have bed heights closer to or exactly at 60 inches. Therefore, a guardrail will be needed if a refrigerated truck is used at a dock.

Common reasons for car crashes

Most people living in North Carolina today will experience a car crash at some point during their lives. Most of the accidents are minor, but in 2016 alone, there were more than 40,000 deaths in the U.S. caused by car accidents. Scientists have been working to understand why car accidents happen to hopefully make roadways safer for everyone.

Naturalistic driving studies have contributed to advances in automotive technology designed to make cars safer. Drivers sign up to participate in these studies so that researchers can analyze what happens if their vehicle becomes involved in a motor vehicle accident. Modern cars are equipped with safety features such as cameras, sensors and accelerometers that were designed with these studies in mind.

Why do some people text and drive despite the risks?

Everyone knows that texting while driving is dangerous, yet some people still do it. In fact, a survey by AT&T and The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction says that 75 percent of drivers text and drive even though 98 percent of them know doing so is dangerous. 

Why do some motorists put themselves and others at risk just to connect with others on their phones? Here are some reasons people text and drive, putting drivers like you at risk of sustaining an injury in a car crash.

Drivers urged to stay sober over holidays

North Carolina residents may be familiar with the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. It aims to increase driver awareness of the dangers related to driving drunk or otherwise under the influence. It is being run during the Christmas and New Year holiday period as it is one of the busiest for travelers. According to the NHTSA, there have been an average of 300 drunk driving fatalities between Christmas and New Year's Day over the past five years.

NHTSA data indicates that there were 781 people killed because of drunk drivers during December 2016. The NHTSA will release a commercial as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled over campaign. It features a 360-degree view of a drunk driving accident to provide a fuller view of what actually happens during a crash. It also features commentary from police and others who respond to such accidents.

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