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San Jose personal injury attorneysAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 years old are at a higher risk for a car accident than those in any other age group. In facts, teenage drivers are three times more likely per mile driven to be involved in a fatal accident that drivers over the age 20. Some teens, of course, are very conscientious drivers, but unfortunately, accidents still happen. A recent study suggests that that monitoring levels of a certain stress hormone may help predict how likely a teen is to be involved in an accident.

Testing Cortisol Levels

The study found that newly-licensed teenagers who produced lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol were more likely to be involved in an accident or near-accident. According to Dr. Dennis Durbin, co-scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, this may indicate that people who experience heightened emotions in stressful situations use those emotions to learn more quickly when behind the wheel. Dr. Durbin did not conduct the study, but he did co-write an editorial that was published along with the findings.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec and involved newly-licensed drivers from the state of Virginia. Each of the drivers was 16 years old and had received their probationary driver's licenses less than three weeks prior. Saliva samples were tested while the subjects were subjected to increased stress during a timed math test. The teens' vehicles were then fitted with technology to record accidents or near-accidents for the next 18 months. Those who had the highest levels of cortisol had the lowest crash or near-crash results.

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San Jose hit and run accident lawyerBeing in any type of car accident can be a terrifying ordeal, but being involved in a hit and run may be the worst type of accident to be involved in. When a driver causes a car crash and then intentionally leaves the scene of the accident without providing contact information, the victim may incorrectly assume there is nothing they can do to get compensation for their damages. However, there are several things hit and run victims can do to maximize their chances of getting reimbursement for their injuries and property damage.

Always Call the Police Immediately After a Hit and Run

It can be infuriating to be the victim of a hit and run accident. Understandably, some people feel tempted to chase after the person who hit them and sped away from the accident scene. However, doing this can make your situation much worse than it already is. You could cause another accident or exacerbate your injuries by attempting to catch the person who caused the crash. You could also face criminal charges if you break traffic laws in your pursuit of the other driver. Instead, call the police immediately after being involved in a hit and run. A police report chronicling the details of the accident is almost always needed to pursue a civil claim for a hit and run. Furthermore, a police report will likely make your auto claims process faster.

Collect Evidence and Speak with Witnesses

If you are not too injured to do so, make sure to gather as much information as you can about the circumstances of the accident. Take pictures or make note of the make, model, and color of car that hit you. Also speak with any witnesses to the accident and write down their contact information. These witnesses may be a valuable asset when it comes time to proving your claim.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyMany people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of summer fun. You may have plans to take a boating trip, enjoy a backyard barbeque, or visit family this Memorial Day. Whatever your plans may be, make sure you are always taking steps to keep yourself and your family safe. Memorial Day is considered one of the riskiest days on which to operate a motor vehicle in the United States. The increase in the number of vehicles on the roads plus the common presence of alcohol at Memorial Day celebrations can be a deadly combination. Boating accidents are also common on Memorial Day for similar reasons.

Drunk Driving on Memorial Day

According to The National Safety Council, approximately 400 people may lose their lives in traffic accidents this Memorial Day weekend across the country. This estimate is based on the number of fatal accidents from previous Memorial Day weekends plus other data. Drunk driving is an especially concerning risk factor during this time because many people attend gatherings in which alcohol is served.

If you are planning on driving during the holiday period, make sure to take extra precautions to keep yourself and other motorists safe. Avoid drinking and driving, and always wear a seatbelt. Additionally, keep your eyes open for motorists who are making erratic lane changes, speeding, drifting between lanes, or otherwise driving dangerously as these motorists may be intoxicated.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyWalking instead of using a car for transportation has many environmental and health benefits. Unfortunately, recent studies show that simply walking down the street is now more dangerous than ever. According to a report published earlier this year from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian deaths from car accidents are higher than ever. In 2008, a little over 4,000 pedestrians lost their lives in the United States. In 2017, that number had risen to just under 6,000 deaths. If you or someone you love was struck by a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Night Continues to Be the Most Dangerous Time for Pedestrians

The overall number of pedestrians who were killed in traffic incidents has risen dramatically in recent years. In fact, pedestrian fatalities for 2018 are projected to be the worst in nearly 30 years. Interestingly, daytime pedestrian fatalities have remained relatively constant while nighttime incidents have increased dramatically. During the period from 2008-2017, approximately 90 percent of pedestrian deaths happened at high. Experts suggest wearing reflective clothing when walking at night whenever possible.

Intoxicated Drivers are a Major Risk to Pedestrians

Not surprisingly, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol drastically increases the chances of being involved in a car accident. Nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities in 2017 involved a driver under the influence of one or more substances. Federal regulators are working to figure out other reasons for the extreme rise in pedestrian fatalities. Some believe that the rise in deaths could be related to the increasing number of larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs on the road. Distracted driving is also a major concern for both motorists and pedestrians. Texting and driving is a disturbing trend which is especially hazardous.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyGetting into a car accident can be terrifying. In the moments after an accident, most people are not considering the financial cost the accident will bring. However, after the accident is over and their injuries have been treated, the question of expense arises. If you have been hit by a distracted driver, you may wonder whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim. There are many factors which can contribute to the success or failure of accident injury claims. If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, read on to learn more.

Drivers Texting and Driving Are Usually Considered Negligent

Texting and driving has become a serious danger in the United States. A shocking number of car accidents are directly linked to distracted, including texting or otherwise using a cell phone while driving. The statistics involving the dangers of distracted driving are sobering. Over 1000 people are injured every day in traffic accidents involving a distracted driver and approximately nine individuals die from these accidents each day.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving at any one point in the day. Texting and driving is expressly illegal in California. The Wireless Communications Device Law states that drivers must not write, send, or read text messages while driving. Bluetooth technology or other hands-free devices may be used by drivers 18 years old and older, but certain restrictions still apply. If you can prove that the diver who hit you was illegally using his or her phone or other electronic device when the accident occurred, you will likely have a successful personal injury suit. 

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John J. Garvey, III
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