The rain and snow of the fall and winter season produce hazardous highway conditions each year. However, one way to make sure you’re ready for the weather is to check your car for safety issues. AAA Automobile Club issued some of the following advice for avoiding crashes and insurance claims.
- Be certain your lights are working: And always use them in bad weather. They not only permit you to see better, but they also allow other drivers to see you properly. Oklahoma law requires the use of full lights during bad weather, as well as properly functioning brake lights at all times.
- Don’t drive worn or flat tires: Old or worn tires do not grip the road properly, and they can result in skidding or loss of vehicle control. This is especially the case in bad weather. Be sure to check your tire tread and have tires rotated regularly to maintain their best condition. Also, routinely check your tire pressure. Proper pressure and tire tread are crucial to vehicle control.
- Get new windshield wiper blades: If you can’t properly see the road, you won’t be able to react properly to a threatening situation. According to the AAA, windshield wiper blades only work properly for about a year or less. Check them often and replace them if they are worn (wiper wear and tear happens faster in bad weather). If the wipers make noise or leave marks on the windshield as they move, replace them.
- Check the fluids: This includes windshield wiper fluid, oil, and any others. Also, inspect your heating and defrosting system to make sure it’s functioning properly which is another component to maintaining a clear windshield.
Make sure your car is safe and ready for the road before you get in it; overlooked car problems often result in bad weather accidents. Have you been injured in a highway accident that you believe to be the fault of another driver’s negligence? Contact an Oklahoma car accident lawyer with the Maples Law Firm at (888) 226-6159 for a complimentary consultation.
While Halloween is one of the most festive and celebrated holidays of the year, accidents and injuries regularly occur for many reasons. Some of the common culprits include accidental fires, pedestrian visibility, and dangerous costumes. Thankfully the majority of these incidents can be avoided, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The agency outlined a few of the main offenders for producing Halloween injuries and a safety checklist for preventing them in a recent release. Let’s take a look at the key points.
Fire ranked among the largest causes of dangerous accidents. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says Halloween is one of the worst days every year for accidental fires. To minimize fire risks, use battery operated devices in lieu of candles, lanterns, or pumpkins. Also, only choose costumes made of flame resistant materials, and be careful when constructing your own as they will not be subject to the Federal Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA), which mandates costumes offered at stores to be certified flame retardant. If you do make your own costume, fabrics like nylon and polyester have natural fire resistant qualities.
In addition to staying clear of open flames, the CPSC advises trick or treaters to make sure they’re visible while walking and to keep an eye out for others. This can be achieved by using flashlights, battery operated illuminated devices, and reflective portions of costumes. The agency also said to pay attention to costume sizes, as poorly fitting wardrobes can cause falls, as well as obstruct vision and airways. If you’ve been injured during an accident that took place on Halloween that you think was the result of another party’s neglect, contact the personal injury attorneys in Oklahoma City with the Maples Law Firm at 1(888)226-6159. Call for a free case review.
Previously, in preparation for Teen Driver Safety Week (October 16 to October 22) we blogged about a program called “Take The Wheel” offered by the AAA Automobile Club designed to help teenagers and parents learn safe driving with a combination of road training and home coursework. According to reporting by News OK, it seems that these kinds of programs that promote education and safety awareness may be making a positive impact.
According to research by the AAA, there were 68 fatalities of people 16 to 20 years of age in all recorded car accidents in Oklahoma in 2010, a significant drop from 2009, 89 fatalities, and an even greater decrease from 2008, which recorded 112 deaths. Along with increased efforts toward education, civic change may also have played a role. Oklahoma’s “graduated driver’s license law” mandates that drivers between 15 and 18 years old are required to drive under family supervision with a learner’s permit for a minimum of six months, which is then followed by an intermediary trial period of another six months before a teenager can become fully and legally licensed.
If a teenage driver receives a driving violation during either six month training phase, they are required to stay at the probationary trial level for an additional six months. During the two learning levels, or any probationary periods that follow, a teenage driver is limited on how many other teenage passengers are allowed in the car with them.
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety claims that after the driver’s license law became effective in 2005, the percentage of fatalities involving drivers 16 to 20 years old dropped from 13.3 percent of all deadly crashes to 9.1 percent in 2010. However, teenagers still face more distractions behind the wheel than any other generation before them, so the issue is one that needs continued attention, education and awareness to keep the numbers in a positive decline.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact the Oklahoma car accident attorneys with Maples Law Firm. Call (888) 226-6159 for a complimentary consultation.
New preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that fatalities in the Oklahoma work place rose during 2010. The data exhibits that 91 deaths occurred on the job in the state last year, an 11 percent jump from the 82 work place deaths that the Labor Department reported in 2009. On the national scale, over 4,500 occupational deaths were documented in 2010, within close range of the number of deaths in 2009.
Why the rise in on the job fatalities in Oklahoma? As reported by News OK, the rise may be deceiving according to one official with the Labor Statistics Bureau. Cheryl Abbot, an economist with the agency based in Dallas, told the website that although the rise “was substantial, the number of fatalities was in line with 2002 through 2008 and it’s actually the sharp decline in 2009 that is unusual.” She attributed the 2009 drop to a swell of unemployment during the economic recession’s peak.
According to the numbers, the construction industry produced 24 deaths, among the largest in the state. One positive note in the negative data was the significant drop in highway-related job fatalities from 34 to 21 between 2009 and 2010. Deaths in the workplace in Oklahoma range from a recorded peak of 200 in 1995 (the year of the Oklahoma City bombing) to a low of 75 in 1998. 27 other states and Washington, D.C. reported a rising number of fatalities for 2010. The 2010 numbers are considered preliminary until the final report is made public in the spring of 2012. If your loved one has been killed in a workplace accident, contact the Oklahoma City wrongful death attorneys with Maples Law Firm at (888) 226-6159 for a free case review today.
As state budgets continually tighten, Oklahoma has seen cuts across all sectors. Schools have especially felt the squeeze, and unfortunately key programs such as driver’s education have been shelved. Safe driving has always started at home, but in the current environment it’s extremely important for parents to educate and train teens on the subject. As part of Teen Driver Safety Week, observed from October 16 to October 22, the AAA here in Oklahoma is reminding parents about a tool they can utilize to instill safe driving techniques for their kids.
The program is called “Take the Wheel,” and combines materials to be used by families during home study as well as in behind the wheel training sessions. According to the AAA, the course meets Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (ODPS) certification standards and it counts as legitimate driver’s education credit by the state’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law. It also makes teenagers eligible for discounts honored by the majority of car insurance providers for those completing a driver’s education program.
The AAA reports that in the United States car accidents remain the number one cause of death for teens. Over 730,000 teenage drivers, from 15 to 18 years old, were in crashes documented by the police in 2009. Out of these accidents, 280,000 of those young adults suffered injuries and 2,805 tragically lost their lives. If you or a family member has been injured in an Oklahoma car accident that you think was the fault of another driver, contact the Oklahoma City traffic accident attorneys with Maples Law Firm. Call 1 (888) 226-6159 for a free case review today.
Every family should spend time developing and practicing a plan for fire prevention, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Both groups are encouraging families make this plan as part of their collaborative campaign on Fire Prevention Week.
The CPSC cited data that shows there were over 386,000 accidental home fires every year from 2006 to 2008. Those fires caused approximately 2,400 fatalities and over 12,500 injuries annually. The fire prevention initiative, in action during October 9 to October 15, stresses the correlation between preparedness and prevention. They provided a set of government approved safety guidelines, including a few of the tips listed below.
- Always install smoke alarms: They should be on each level of a home and in every bedroom. Use a variety of models with both photoelectric and ionization alarms, and make sure they have battery backups. Connected smoke alarm systems are the best, which trigger all the alarms to sound whenever one does. The agencies estimate that around two thirds of fire fatalities happen in residences without smoke alarms (or with ones that don’t operate properly).
- Put together a family fire escape plan: And practice it so everyone knows what to do! The plan should include at least two routes to get out of a given area or room, clear directions for all family members, and a designated outside meeting location.
Fire safety and preparedness is crucial. Have you or a family member been injured in a fire that you believe was caused by another party’s negligent actions? Contact the Oklahoma premises liability attorneys with Maples Law Firm at 1-888-226-6159 for a complimentary consultation.
There’s no argument regarding the serious nature of the distracted driving problem in the United States. However, there is some debate on how to properly curtail it. Many believe primary laws by states that ban cell phone and texting use naturally discourage and thus decrease the amount of accidents resulting from distracted driving. But a recent story in The Reno-Gazette Journal’s Fact Checker column challenged the preventative worth in these kinds of laws, alleging inadequate research by those supporting the laws. The piece was in response to Senate bill 140, which bans all handheld cell phone use in Nevada and goes into action on Saturday, October 8.
The column did not dispute the dangers of using cell phones and handheld devices while driving, noting University of Utah research that claimed drivers using cell phones were as impaired as those who were drunk with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit at 0.8 percent. It also pointed out tragic accidents in the Nevada area resulting from distracted driving. But its question lied in numerous conflicting studies concerning whether the bans decrease the occurrence of dangerous driving, as well as a recent Governors Highway Safety Association report that claimed, “there is no evidence that cell phone or texting bans have reduced crashes.”
But despite its lack of evidence regarding ban effectiveness, the column went on to say that Nevada should be considered another important part of the research pool and if data is ultimately quantifiable enough to prove positive results, “law enforcement officials and transportation employees who backed the law should be praised for getting out in front of a problem before it became more serious.”
But perhaps it’s a moot question when battling such an insidious and often lethal opponent as distracted driving, and anyone presenting solutions should be applauded for taking steps in the right direction, regardless of what the early data insinuates. If you’ve been injured in an Oklahoma car accident that you believe was the fault of another driver’s distracted driving, contact the Oklahoma City car crash attorneys with Maples Law Firm at 1-888-226-6159 today.
Every two weeks a child dies due to a falling piece of furniture or an appliance, according to a recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). However, the agency urged that these deaths can be prevented with education and awareness, specifically calling parents and guardians to carefully examine these kinds of items and either fasten or anchor pieces that have any chance of falling.
From 2000 to 2010, the CPSC received accounts of 245 tip-over accidents that resulted in fatalities of children 8-years-old and younger. Over 90 percent of those accidents included kids 5-years-old and younger. Approximately 67 percent of these cases involved fatal trauma to the head. Additionally, from 2008 to 2010, over 22,000 kids 8 years of age or under are given medical care in hospital emergency rooms each year for these types of injuries. Similar to the fatalities, most of the injuries (56 percent) are trauma to the head. And 70 percent of these incidents involved televisions, while only 27 percent included furniture alone.
The most familiar tip-over situations include small children who unknowingly climb on, attempt to pull themselves up, or fall into some kind of weighty furniture or appliance. The CPSC offers of the following tips to help stop these types of tragic accidents:
- Always fasten movable items to the wall or ground.
- Anchor both the furniture and the television on top of it.
- Place the television as far back on the stand as possible.
- Keep toys, remotes, or other enticing items away from stands to avoid attracting kids’ attentions.
- Make sure cords cannot be reached by children.
- Ensure that any freestanding appliances are equipped with anti-tipping mechanisms.
- Always supervise children in rooms with these items regardless of the precautions.
Has your child been injured in a furniture or appliance tip-over accident that you believe was the fault of manufacturing errors or the failure to warn? Contact the Oklahoma dangerous product attorneys with Maples Law Firm at 1-888-429-0609 for case guidance today.