August 2011 Archives

August 18, 2011

Greg Hardy Misses Carolina Panthers' Training Camp after Tennessee Motorcycle Accident

Greg Hardy, the defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, will be sitting out for at least two weeks of the team's training camp after a motorcycle accident in Tennessee. The football star wrecked his bike on Interstate 40 just outside of Knoxville. The entire left side of his body was badly skinned during the accident. He was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, according to The Charlotte Observer, where he was treated for abrasions on his leg, foot and arm.
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The accident happen when Hardy was heading east on Interstate 40 and slammed into the vehicle traveling in front of him causing him to lose control of his bike. The collision caused his bike to roll several times before coming to a rest on the shoulder. He has been charged with driving without a license, failure to exercise due care, following too closely and failure to yield.

Our Knoxville motorcycle accident attorneys recognize that the number of motorcycle accidents in our state continues to increase. Unfortunately, the rate of injury also continues to grow. These riders are often overlooked by passenger-vehicle motorists on our roadways. The lack of understanding regarding the functions of motorcycles leaves the two-wheeled motorists at great risks for a deadly accident.

Between the years of 2004 and 2008, motorcycle accidents in the state of Tennessee rose by a yearly average of 9.2 percent. Since 1999, motorcycle accident deaths increased by more than 145 percent.

Here are the yearly increases, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety:

-2003: 90 deaths: a 20.0 percent increase from 2002.

-2004: 97 deaths: a 7.8 percent increase.

-2005: 129 deaths: a 33 percent increase.

-2006: 141 deaths: 9.3 percent increase.

-2007: 149 deaths: 5.7 percent increase.

You may think that motorcycles are more vulnerable to traffic accidents during the evening hours, but the truth is that nearly 75 of motorcycle accidents in Tennessee happened during daylight hours.

The Tennessee Department of Safety offers these safety tips to help passenger-vehicle motorists avoid an accident with a motorcycle:

-Stay out of their lane. Motorcyclists need a full lane and enough space to respond to a number of roadway hazards and they need to have full visibility of the area around them.

-Check your vehicle's blind spots. Many accidents occur because vehicles don't check these areas where motorcyclists can get lost.

-Always make use of your turn signal. Making your maneuvers known will help them to anticipate traffic flow.

-Lookout at intersections. Nearly 70 percent of accidents that involved a car and a motorcycle happened when a car turned in front of a motorcyclist.

-Don't follow too closely. You should allow at least a four-second following distance between your car and a motorcycle. Give them extra space in bad weather.

Continue reading "Greg Hardy Misses Carolina Panthers' Training Camp after Tennessee Motorcycle Accident" »

August 16, 2011

Early Morning Tennessee Trucking Accident Shuts Down I-75

The southbound lanes of Interstate 71 near mile-marker 16 at the Hamilton-Bradley county line finally reopened after being closed most of Thursday morning because of a fatal trucking accident in Tennessee.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a pickup truck ran head-on into a tractor-trailer around 4:00 am. The driver of the pickup truck was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene while the driver of the big rig suffered no injuries, according to NBC 3.
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Our Knoxville trucking accident attorneys understand that this accident contributed to the sixth traffic-accident fatality in Bradley County in the last five weeks. County officials continue to investigate all of the accidents. Most of the people who were killed in the recent accidents were under the age of 30. The Bradley County Sheriff's Office, Bradley County Fire Rescue and Bradley County Emergency Medical Service all assisted with the most recent accident.

It's no surprise that accidents with semis oftentimes produce fatal results. Their large size and tremendous weight overpowers every vehicle on our roadways. Along with their size come large blind spots. It is in these large blind spots that many motorists get lost and forgotten. When a tractor-trailer driver is unable to see a passenger vehicle, the result is oftentimes catastrophic.

Another common problem that leads to fatal accidents that involve semis and tractor-trailers is when they attempt to negotiate a right-hand turn. When a truck does this, the driver of the big rig is required to swing the truck far to the left just in order to make the right-hand turn. This wide swing can leave a smaller vehicle in a tight squeeze between the truck and a curb.

Semis and tractor-trailers also need a greater stopping distance than smaller passenger-vehicles. It is not uncommon for a large truck to rear-end a passenger vehicle simply because of a lack of stopping distance. All of these scenarios can quickly turn deadly.


According to 2007 national truck accident records:

-More than 4,584 trucks involved in fatal accidents.

-More than 4,800 deaths resulted from accidents that involved a semi.

-Nearly 140,000 commercial trucks were involved in non-fatal accidents.

-Nearly 57,000 semis were involved in injury collisions.

-More than 3,900 injuries resulted in accidents involving commercial trucks.

-Approximately 83,100 trucks were involved in tow away accidents.

-There were nearly 2,250 large trucks involved in Hazmat placard accidents.

"We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Motorists who are involved in traffic accidents with tractor-trailers and are severely injured can unfortunately expect to look forward to overwhelming medical bills, lost time from work, pain and suffering. Contacting an experienced lawyer can help you to determine fault in the accident and help you take on the driver and quite possibly the trucking company to get you the compensation you deserve.

Continue reading "Early Morning Tennessee Trucking Accident Shuts Down I-75" »

August 11, 2011

Back to School Means Increased Risks for Child Injury in Tennessee

Early August means it's time for kids to gear up for another school year. While children may be most worried about the new clothes and which teacher they'll have this year, parents are busy worrying about getting their kids to school safely and the risks of child injuries in Tennessee.
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According to the Nation Safety Council (NSC), about 25 million students around the United States will be climbing aboard big, yellow buses this month and heading back to school. Unfortunately, this is also a time where we see a number of injuries and deaths because of school bus-related accidents. As a matter of fact, school bus-related accidents took the lives of 134 people in 2005 alone. During that year, another 11,000 were injured. Of the people injured in these accidents from 2000 to 2004, roughly 46 percent were school bus passengers, about 8 percent were school bus drivers and another 41 percent were occupants of other vehicles. The rest of the injuries were sustained by pedestrians, bicyclists and other persons.

Our Knoxville personal injury attorneys would like to wish all the kids a happy and successful year back at school and we'd like to talk to the parents about important safety tips that can help to keep your child safe this school year.

If your child is walking to school:

-Make sure they walk with a group of kids and always with a responsible adult.

-Be sure that they stay on the sidewalk, if available.

-If there's not sidewalk, remind them to always walk facing traffic.

-Require them to always cross the street at a street corner or at an intersection. It's the safest!

-Make sure they check both ways before stepping off the curb and crossing the street.

-Walk. Don't run across the street. Running makes your child more likely to fall in the street.

If your child rides a school bus, make sure they:

-Stand at least three giant steps, or 6 feet, away from the curb.

-Make sure they cross the street at least 5 giant steps, or 10 feet, in front of a school bus.

-Make sure the bus driver can see them and they can see the bus driver.

-Alert them of the dangers of walking behind the bus.

-Tell your child to never put their head, hands or arms out of the bus window.

-Shhh! Ask them to keep an indoor voice while riding the bus.

-Make sure they keep the bus aisles clear.

-Keep them away from the wheels of the bus at all times.

While parents should be concerned with their student's focus on their studies, you should also be concerned with their safety both getting to school and while they're at school. Equip your child with the knowledge of safety before sending them off to school this year.

Continue reading "Back to School Means Increased Risks for Child Injury in Tennessee" »

August 10, 2011

Motorcyclist Run Over and Killed in Tennessee Trucking Accident

A trucking accident in Tennessee in Blount County, on "The Dragon," turned deadly earlier this week. The fatal accident happened on Highway 129, near the North Carolina state line, according to WBIR 10.
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The accident happened when the tractor-trailer, traveling near mile marker 5, crossed over the center line while taking a curve, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The motorcycle and the driver slid under the truck and were run over by its wheels. Officials took the rider to Blount Memorial. Officials say that the motorcyclist was alive and talking at the scene of the accident, but he later died on his way to the hospital. Charges for the incident are pending.

Our Knoxville trucking accident attorneys often emphasize the dangers of traffic accidents that involve a tractor-trailer. Occupants of smaller vehicles are more likely to sustain serious injuries, if not death, during an accident with a big rig. But add a motorcycle in the mix and there's bound to be catastrophic results. Motorists are urged to use extra caution around these large vehicles to help prevent a serious accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were roughly 380,000 large trucks involved in traffic accidents in the United States in 2008. A large truck is defined as a vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more. More than 4,000 trucks were involved in deadly accidents during that same year. A total of 4,229 people were killed in these accidents, accounting for more than 10 percent of all of the traffic fatalities reported in 2008. Another 90,000 were injured in these accidents. In 2008, Tennessee witnessed nearly 100 fatal trucking accidents.

Also in 2008, the United States witnessed nearly 5,500 motorcyclist deaths. This is a number that illustrates a 2 percent increase from the previous year. They accounted for 14 percent of the total number of traffic fatalities for that year. In 2008, 14 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved light trucks. Another 4 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved a heavy truck. That same year counted for the 11th consecutive year that there has been an increase in motorcycle accident deaths.

The NHTSA offers these safety tips to help keep motorcyclists safe when traveling among large trucks:

-Do not tailgate.

-Don't linger in front of a large truck.

-Avoid riding between lanes of slow moving or stopped traffic.

-Know and obey traffic all laws, including specific ordinances in your community.

-Use signals when appropriate.

-Remember to always drive defensively.

-Check your rear view mirrors before changing lanes or stopping. Making a quick stop without checking the traffic behind you can result in a rear-end crash.

-Make sure you can always see the eyes of a truck driver. If you can't see them, they're unable to see you.

-Don't travel next to a truck. Play it safe and pass when needed. Don't linger.

-Don't pass a truck taking a turn. They typically swing wide turns.

Continue reading "Motorcyclist Run Over and Killed in Tennessee Trucking Accident" »

August 5, 2011

FMCSA to Take Jurisdiction over Shippers to Reduce Drowsy Driving Trucking Accidents in Tennessee and Elsewhere

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) might be taking jurisdiction over shippers, receivers and brokers who 'unduly detain' drivers if the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) gets its way. Recently, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro received a letter from David Parker, chairman of the MCSAC, that said that the agency should seek legal authority to be able to take action against and reprimand entities other than motor carriers or drivers that cause or contribute to FMCSA safety violations.

This includes regulating the amount of time that a driver can be detained during the loading and unloading of trailers.
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Parker also said in his letter that while the FMCSA has authority over drivers and carriers, they need to have more authority over shippers who play an important role in highway safety and significantly contribute to drowsy drivers. He recommends that the FMCSA looks into putting a cap on the amount of time that a shipper can detain a driver in an attempt to reduce the risks trucking accidents in Tennessee and elsewhere throughout the state.

Our Tennessee trucking accident attorneys would also like to point a specific section of that letter than mentions HR 756, a bill sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., which would essentially cut down on the number of hours a shipper can detain a driver. Previously, trucking rules pertained to the number of hours a driver could spend behind the wheel. Now concerns are spreading around to all contributors to fatigued driving, especially detained drivers.

The bill is currently in the House subcommittee on Highways and Transit, according to Truckinginfo.com.

The issue was brought to light after a study, conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), concluded that 65 percent of the 300 surveyed drivers reported detention in a one-month period. Of those that reported detention, approximately 80 percent said that they had difficulty complying with hours of service.

According to FMCSA, undue detention costs the industry approximately $3 billion each year. The MCSAC recommend that the FMCSA conduct some of their own studies into the dangerous issue to supplement the GAO research.

Parker also suggested that FMCSA create a complaint line drivers can use when they're being unduly detained. This way they could seek action against detaining parties that place drivers in violation of HOS rules. He also recommends that they develop a 'Truck Driver's Bill of Rights.' He says that the bill of rights should include detention compensation for drivers, like roadside amenities and access to showers and food.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Driver's Association says that driver detention is the number one productivity and efficiency problem in trucking. The Association says that drivers continue to spend far too many hours each week on loading docks and something needs to be done.

Continue reading "FMCSA to Take Jurisdiction over Shippers to Reduce Drowsy Driving Trucking Accidents in Tennessee and Elsewhere" »

August 3, 2011

Picking a Vehicle: Help Keep Your Teen Safe in a Tennessee Car Accident

Three Tennessee teens were recently injured when a wrong-way driver plowed into their vehicle. According to the Highway Patrol, the 17-year-old's vehicle was hit head-on around 2:00 a.m. The driver of the other vehicle and one passenger of the teen vehicle were killed in the accident, according to ABC 11.
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As parents, we worry about our new licensed teen drivers on the roadways. They are extremely vulnerable to car accidents in Tennessee as they are very inexperienced behind the wheel. Parents are urged to get involved in their teen's learning process, including offering them plenty of supervised driving time and laying down ground rules to keep them safe. But there's one additional step that a parent can take to help keep their teen safe in the event of a traffic accident.

Tennessee car accident attorneys encourage all parents to do their homework when thinking about your child's first car. You're going to want to think about purchasing a new or a used car, how often it will be driven and which type of vehicle can protect them best during an accident. It can be a long and involved task as there are so many available cars and so much to consider. Don't worry. We're here to help you get started.

First you're going to want to figure out if you'd like to purchase a new or a used vehicle. While buying a new car will provide you will peace of mind and you'll have the assurance of a warranty, new cars can get pretty pricey.

"A first time driver doesn't need a new car, but of course they want one," says Lori Mackey, president of Prosperity4Kids. "The depreciation, probability of fender benders and the price tag [means new] is not the most logical way to go."

You are almost always better off buying a used vehicle. If you choose a certified pre-owned vehicle then you can still have the advantages of a new-car like warranty.

Yes, new cars will come with all the latest and high-tech safety features, but a late-model used vehicle will still have airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Used cars are less likely to come equipped with the type of power and performance that will overwhelm your teen, too.

"I see these young, inexperienced drivers in Mustangs, BMWs, and large SUVs. These automobiles are big, powerful and difficult to control for even experienced drivers. In the hands of a new driver, they can be deadly weapons," says LeeAnn Shattuck, co-owner and chief car chick with Women's Automotive Solutions.

Now it's time to start thinking about what kind of car to look into.

This is a good time to start looking into safety and crash-test information. This type of information can be found on websites from organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. You should also check out websites like J.D. Power and Associates for quality and reliability ratings.

"Don't feel you have to buy the first car you see," says Jack Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book.

You want to make sure you're not only looking at smaller vehicles because they're oftentimes cheaper. Smaller cars can less likely to protect passengers in the event of an accident, according to Forbes.

"The teens realize that their parents are involved in these decisions," says Mike Wood, a vice president at Teenage Research Unlimited. "They're a very pragmatic generation. A car is a purchase that has to satisfy their needs and get their parents' approval at the same time. It's not like going out and buying a pair of jeans."

Continue reading "Picking a Vehicle: Help Keep Your Teen Safe in a Tennessee Car Accident" »