Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

Road Safety for NJ Walkers and Bikers

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 19, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

Relying less on automotive transportation and choosing to walk or bike, either recreationally or as part of your daily commute, is often characterized as a frugal, healthy, and eco-friendly choice. Being a pedestrian or cyclist is not without its hazards, however; 2018 saw the highest number of pedestrian accident fatalities across the country since 1990. In the last decade alone, pedestrian deaths have increased by more than a third. These troubling trends persist despite pressure from pedestrian safety groups on states and municipalities to implement policies and modify road designs to protect pedestrians.

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Topics: Distracted Driving, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Bicycle Safety

Increased Cell Phone Usage While Driving Creates Greater Accident Risks for Drivers

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 29, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

For years,a common rallying cry used in efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, especially involving the use of mobile devices, has been, “Hang up and drive!” While the intent behind this slogan remains as relevant as ever, the language may be due for an update, based on roadside surveys conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. While distracted driving involving the use of cell phones remains a major contributing factor to deadly automotive collisions, the manner in which drivers are interacting with their mobile devices has changed over the past few years.

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Topics: Distracted Driving, Text While Driving

Driving Danger Increases When Daylight Savings TIme Springs Forward

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Mar 25, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

Despite the stubborn residue of the last snowstorm still clinging to curbs and lawns, spring is only a matter of weeks away, and with it comes one of the more curious phenomena of the modern era: Daylight Savings Time. However, as we “spring forward” to chase the gradually-expanding daylight hours, it’s worth taking a moment to consider how the transition will affect our bodies and our safety as we make our daily commutes.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving, Pedestrian Accidents, drowsy driving

Alarming Pedestrian Accidents and Deaths

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 22, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

While automotive accident fatalities overall have been declining over the past few years, one kind of traffic-related death is dramatically bucking that trend. The rate of pedestrian deaths in motor vehicle accidents has been steadily increasing since 2009, to an estimated high in 2018 that hasn’t been equaled since 1990. These projections have been compiled in a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit group that represents and draws data from highway safety offices nationwide. Using reported pedestrian death statistics from the first six months of 2018 and coupling those figures with historical trends in fatal accident data, the Association has produced an estimate that 6,227 pedestrian fatalities occurred as a result of automotive accidents in the whole of 2018. This figure, the largest number of pedestrian deaths in almost 30 years, represents a 35 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities over the course of a single decade. Coming at a time when other motor vehicle accident fatalities have been declining, this trend of increasing pedestrian deaths is a dangerous aberration that demands explanation.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving, Drunk Driving, Pedestrian Accidents

Car Accidents and Collisions in NJ: Year End Review for 2018

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 06, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

The start of a new year is a natural time for looking at past trends and reflecting on ways to improve them going forward. As a personal injury attorney with extensive experience handling cases involving automotive accidents, I tend to turn that reflective impulse toward collision trends, in the hope of gaining a better understanding of the causes of the accidents that affect my clients. The New Jersey Department of Transportation compiles statistical records of collision rates throughout the state, broken down by county. It’s no surprise that more heavily-populated and urban counties tend to see more auto accidents than their less-populous neighbors, but what is remarkable is the way some counties see major fluctuations in the number of collisions that take place from year to year, while other areas experience a fairly consistent rate of crashes. Understanding what causes those changes, and why they affect some counties more strongly than others, may help uncover ways to keep all New Jersey road users safer.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Distracted Driving

Young Drivers at Risk During 100 Deadliest Days

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jun 15, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

The highest cause of death for teens and young adults between 15 and 24 years of age are accidents. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 49% of all deaths that occur in those 10 years of age are caused by accidents – more than any other cause of death.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving

Driving Myths - Distracted Driving Risks Injuries and Lives

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 23, 2018

Just Drive.

No phoning, texting, interacting with dashboard infotainment. No eating, grooming, daydreaming. Anyone who does risks serious injuries to themselves and to you. It only takes a second of distraction to cause a serious accident with pedestrian, bicycle, or motorcycle, another car or truck.

When behind the wheel, Just Drive.

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Topics: Distracted Driving

Safe Drivers at Mercy of Unsafe Drivers

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Mar 19, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

Careful and responsible drivers take numerous precautions to keep themselves and their families safe on the road, from the scrupulous use of their turn signals to coming to a full stop when required by a stop sign to regular maintenance of their vehicles. Unfortunately, no matter how cautious and well-prepared a motorist tries to be, there is one variable he cannot control: the behavior of others. The safety of everyone on the road depends on the agreement of everyone who gets behind the wheel to abide by the same set of basic rules- we sometimes call them "the rules of the road". All it takes is one person deciding he is in too much of a hurry to follow those rules, to put a dangerous snarl in that carefully constructed system. In moments, the poor choices of an unsafe driver can result in a serious collision affecting not just himself, but anyone unlucky enough to be sharing the road with him.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving

Does SnapChat Encourage Speeding by enabling Users to “Snap” their speed to friends

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Oct 06, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Distracted driving is a major contributor to serious automotive accidents, playing a role in thousands of fatal crashes nationwide each year. In response, law enforcement, insurance companies, and public safety interest groups have enacted campaigns to raise awareness among motorists of the dangers of driving while distracted by other activities such as eating, grooming, or -- most significantly -- the use of mobile devices. Using a cell phone is one of the most common forms of distracted driving, and with the diverse capabilities of today's smartphones, the potential for distraction goes well beyond talking and texting. This problem is compounded when social media companies add features to their platforms that seem specifically designed for use behind the wheel.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving, Speeding

Can Pokemon Go be Made Safer for the Road?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jul 31, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Since its debut a little over a year ago, Pokemon Go has captured the interest of a huge and surprisingly diverse player base. The ability to encounter and capture animated creatures "in the wild" as you walk around your neighborhood appeals to more than just the children that the colorful characters seem designed for. Many adults who have enjoyed the franchise since its beginning 21 years ago have seized on this new iteration of their favorite game series, while newcomers to the Pokemon world have quickly found themselves drawn into the excitement of "catching them all." As a smartphone app, the game is even more easily able to reach a wide range of potential players, since mobile devices are rarely far from the hands of most Americans.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving, Pedestrian Accidents

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