Chattanooga Personal Injury Law Blog

Why is sleep-deprived driving so dangerous?

It might seem like it could never happen to you, but if you had a bad night's rest – or for some reason you couldn't get enough sleep – you too could fall asleep behind the wheel. This is why every driver must pay close attention to how rested and alert he or she feels before driving a motor vehicle. Deciding to drive a car while fatigued is not only irresponsible, but it could also leave the at-fault driver financially liable for the injuries, deaths and property damages he or she causes.

Why is sleep-deprived, drowsy, fatigued and sleepy driving so dangerous? Aside from the obvious fact that no one can drive while he or she is unconscious because of sleep, even if you don't literally fall asleep behind the wheel, fatigued and sleepy driving will make you more accident-prone for the following reasons:

  • When you're sleep deprived or fatigued, you won't be as attentive to the traffic around you because you'll be more prone to daydreaming and being distracted
  • Being sleepy or fatigued slows down your reaction times in a way that's not so different from being drunk or intoxicated
  • Sleepy and fatigued driving also affects the mental faculties of motorists, so they won't be able to make clear and wise choices when trying to avoid a collision

Is a rearward-facing car seat really better?

The sheer number of car seat options available to parents of young children can be unnerving. How do you know which car seat is safest for your child? Considering the fact that the price of the car seat is not always an indicator of quality, parents have to do a lot of sleuth work when selecting the best seat on the market. One piece of information revealed by a recent safety study, however, will put parent's minds at ease concerning the safety of rear-facing car seats.

Rear-facing car seats have been the recommended choice for toddlers for quite some time. Most safety experts agree that these seats provide the best protection for children up to about 3 years of age. Previous studies backed up these claims for side- and front-impact crashes, but for rear-impact crashes, no studies had been performed until the Ohio State University Injury Biomechanics Research Center published its safety study findings earlier this month.

Tragic car accident leaves 1 woman dead in Louisville

No one goes out for a drive expecting to get involved in a serious accident -- especially not an accident that claims the lives of the driver or any passengers. Nevertheless, fatal automobile collisions are common in Tennessee, and many of them are the result of driver negligence, recklessness or unlawfulness. One of the most deadly causes of car accidents, for example, is drunk driving.

One such fatal drunk driving accident happened on a recent Friday evening. The crash resulted in the death of a 28-year-old woman from Blount County. The woman was driving her car at approximately 9:30 p.m., in Louisville, Tennessee, along Topside Road when the collision occurred.

What are 2 ways I can avoid a motorcycle accident as a biker?

When you're riding a motorcycle, you're a lot smaller than every motor vehicle on the road; therefore, you're at a severe disadvantage. Not only will other motorists have a harder time seeing you, but if you get struck by one of them, there's a high chance you'll suffer from a catastrophic injury, or worse, death. As such, it's vital that motorcyclists ride their bikes as safely as possible.

Here are two tips that will help motorcyclists stay safe on the road:

Southwest accident sparks concerns over self-driving car safety

Readers of this blog may remember the last post regarding the safety of self-driving technology as it pertains to autonomously-driven commercial trucks. The idea was that these trucks could help combat accidents caused by sleepy and distracted driving.

If self-driving technology progresses to such an advanced level, it very well may be the cure for distracted and fatigued driving, but a recent fatal accident shows that we might not have reached this stage yet.

Self-driving trucks: The best answer to sleepy drivers?

Federal regulators have instituted numerous laws that govern how many consecutive hours truck drivers can stay behind the wheel, and how much rest time truck drivers need to take every week. These laws are intended to prevent sleep-deprived drivers who push themselves beyond human capacity and are in danger of falling asleep behind the wheel. However, the laws are not perfect -- and drowsy truck drivers continue to wreak havoc on the safety of America's highways.

Uber claims that it has the answer to sleepy truck drivers: Get rid of the driver altogether. Uber has built self-driving delivery trucks that are currently transporting beer in Colorado. The company is now expanding into Arizona with its robotic trucks.

Steering wheel detachment danger sparks recall by Hyundai

Unless it's a fully automated self-driving automobile, steering wheels are not optional pieces of equipment in vehicles. For this reason, Hyundai announced that it was recalling almost 44,000 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sports in the United States. The vehicles have steering wheels that can fall off while driving. Fortunately, it appears that the automaker issued the recall in advance of any reported injuries, accidents or fatalities relating to the defective steering assemblies.

Hyundai says that the problem relates to a manufacturing defect. Temperatures were likely too high when affected steering wheel assemblies were molded at the production facilities, the automaker says. Regardless how it happened, though, the problem is dangerous.

Regulators finalize rule for foreign medical device trials

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized its rule on the requirements for medical device trials and testing performed outside the United States. With the updated standards, these trials must be carried out under the standards of good clinical practice (GCP).

According to the regulator, GCP refers to "a standard for the design, conduct, performance, monitoring, auditing, recording, analysis, and reporting of clinical investigations." These investigations must be carried out "in a way that provides assurance that the data and results are credible and accurate." Furthermore, the standard requires the protection of the safety, rights and well-being of the test subjects involved.

Medical device recall affects 6,000 asthma inhalers

Patients with serious asthma symptoms never leave their homes without their inhalers in their pockets and in their purses. You simply never know when an attack or difficult symptoms are going to strike, and immediate treatment is vital to ensure that minor symptoms don't worsen into a health event that requires a trip to the emergency room.

For this reason, it's absolutely vital that your inhaler works to deliver the medicine you need quickly and accurately. However, like all human-made products, asthma inhalers can fail and they can also be defective, which can result in serious health complications for their users. This is exactly what has happened in the United Kingdom, where government regulators announced the recall of 6,000 defective Ventolin Accuhaler Inhalers.

Nursing home warning signs

You're touring nursing homes. You've heard plenty of stories about neglect, abuse and injury. You want to make sure your parent gets a great home where he or she will be safe and happy.

Below are some warning signs to look out for. If you notice them on your tours, neglect may be a real problem.

  • The workers talk to the residents, but they never use their names. Instead, they use informal titles like "Grandpa." This could mean workers aren't engaged in getting to know the residents and taking care of them.
  • The home smells terrible, especially if it smells like urine. Some bad smells are to be expected, as accidents happen. If it's overwhelming, though, that could mean accidents are not being cleaned up properly and it's not a healthy living environment.
  • The staff works too much. Workers look tired or talk about desperately needing a break. When you ask a worker if he or she works overtime, the person laughs and says it happens every week. This could mean that the home doesn't have enough staff on the payroll. When there are not enough workers and the ones who are working are burned out, neglect is a real threat.
  • The staff doesn't get along. You see workers arguing and interacting aggressively with one another. This is not a healthy workplace environment, and you can be sure that's going to spill over and impact the residents who live at the home.