Teenagers are often excited to get their license, and many are unaware or unconcerned about the fact that car crashes are the single leading killer of young people in the United States. Teen car accidents are a terrible tragedy, and innocent victims could be hurt or killed because teenage passengers make dangerous decisions behind the wheel. disturbed-teen-2-1499259

When a teen crash occurs, a car accident lawyer can help the victims of the accident- including passengers and other motorists- to take legal action against the teenager who was responsible for causing the crash to occur. Teen drivers and their parents need to be aware of some of the common causes of teen collisions, and of ways to prevent them, to avoid liability and to save lives.

Tips for the Prevention of Atlanta Teen Car Accident Deaths

Insurance.com recently reported on some of the problems contributing to the high death rate among young motorists. The report focused on research conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which suggests that one of the biggest dangers faced by teens is being underestimated. AAA did a study of more than 1,700 collisions involving teenagers, and looked at footage from the seconds immediately before the accident happened.  Based on this research, it was concluded that distracted driving is the cause of far more teen collisions than originally thought.

Much of the data on distracted driving crashes caused by teens is cobbled together from police reports, but police repots are incomplete and may be inaccurate since many teens won’t admit to being distracted behind the wheel.  Assessing the six-second period right before a crash gave AAA Foundation more insight than simply a review of crash reports.  The assessment performed on the teen’s performance in the seconds before a crash revealed that 58 percent of the crashes was likely caused by some form of driver distraction. Obviously, this is much higher than official estimates suggesting around 14 percent of crashes involving teen drivers.

Part of the reason why distraction may be under-counted as a cause of teen crashes is that there are many different kinds of distraction, but the focus is often heavily on cell phones and not other high risk behaviors. Common distractions affecting the safety of teen drivers include:

  • Talking or interacting with passengers, which was a causal factor in 15 percent of accidents.
  • Using a cell phone, which caused 12 percent of crashes.
  • Looking at something in the car, which was a cause of nine percent of teen collisions.
  • Looking at something outside of the car, which was a close second to an interior search at eight percent of accidents.
  • Singing to, or moving to, music. Eight percent of crashes were attributed to this behavior.
  • Grooming, which has been identified as a causal factor in six percent of collisions.
  • Reaching for objects or other items in the vehicle, which causes around six percent of crashes.

When a driver of any age is focused on these or other distractions instead of the road and a crash happens, victims should pursue a civil claim against the driver so their damages can be paid by the person who hurt them.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Every pedestrian is vulnerable on the road because drivers may not pay enough attention and may be unaware of how to safely share the roads with walkers. When a car strikes a pedestrian, the walker isn’t protected by any safety equipment. As a result, a pedestrian faces a much more significant risk of serious or fatal injuries as compared with people who are involved in car crashes as either drivers or passengers. wheelchair pedestrian accident

While any pedestrian could be hurt, recent research shows that wheelchair users are more likely to be killed in pedestrian auto accidents. When a pedestrian is injured or killed, whether the pedestrian is in a wheelchair or not, it is important to determine whether the driver was negligent or careless and whether the driver’s actions led to the crash occurring.

If the driver was responsible for the accident, an attorney in Atlanta with experience in pedestrian crash cases can help victims to pursue a case for compensation for losses. When the crash is fatal, surviving family members of the deceased pedestrian can also make a case.

Wheelchair Users and the Risk of Atlanta Pedestrian Collisions

CBS reported on the troubling research from the online journal BMJ Open, which demonstrated the added risk of pedestrian collisions for people in wheel chairs. Between 2006 and 2012, 528 wheelchair users died in road traffic collisions across the United States. The added risk is very significant, with wheel chair users as much as three times as likely to be killed in a pedestrian/car crash as compared with the rest of the population. The majority of the accidents which result in the death of wheel chair users happen at intersections and the traffic flow was not controlled in four of the 10 incidents in which fatal collisions occurred when cars hit pedestrians.

Wheelchair users face this elevated threat at a time when pedestrian accident fatality rates have been remaining steady or rising, even as other kinds of crash deaths declined. Each year, close to 5,000 pedestrians die in car crashes and another 76,000 suffer injuries in motor vehicle collisions. When an accident takes a life or causes an injury, the financial and emotional loss for the victim and families is unmeasurable. The rates of death are already far too high for all pedestrians, so it is especially troubling that wheelchair users are so vulnerable to an accident that could take their lives. Among wheelchair users, men have the greatest chance of dying in pedestrian crash, especially men between the ages of 50 and 64.

Wheelchair users face this added danger on the road because drivers often fail to yield the right-of-way and because drivers often do not see wheelchair users. In close to ¾ of the crashes involved in the study, there wasn’t any evidence the driver took evasive measures to try to avoid the accident. This suggests that drivers aren’t looking and aren’t reacting when there is a wheelchair user in their path. Drivers who fail to yield or who do not pay attention should be held liable when a person in a wheelchair is injured or killed.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Motorists who are fatigued can face many risks similar to the dangers faced by drunk drivers. Driver fatigue can result in impaired judgment, a delay in reacting to objects or obstacles, and lane departures if motorists begin to doze.  Getting enough rest is recommended to help prevent drowsy driving accidents in Atlanta. Unfortunately, some motorists who work night shifts cannot get rest at the normal time of the day when the body is primed to sleep. As a result, even seasoned night-shift workers can face an added risk of a drowsy driving crash. starry-starry-night-1251246

When a motorist causes a collision due to fatigue, the driver who was too tired to be behind the wheel can be responsible for compensating collision victims for all losses they have experienced. Motorists, and especially night shift workers, need to be aware of the added dangers of drowsy driving collisions and need to ensure they are taking appropriate precautions to try to prevent collisions.

Night Shift Workers and the Risk of Atlanta Drowsy Driving Crashes

Sleep Review Magazine published research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital warning of the dangers of drowsy driving by night shift workers. The researchers conducted a comprehensive study of night shift workers, including those who had extensive experience in the field. The workers were asked to participate in a simulated driving course both after they had gotten a full night sleep and after they had worked for 7.6 hours the night prior to the test.

The test took place at the same time each day, with the only difference being whether a shift had been worked the night before or not. The driving ability of the motorists was measured in two-hour driving sessions to compare the ability of the motorists to drive safely both after the night of rest and after working their shifts.

The research showed that there was a dramatic difference in the performance of the night shift workers when they had gotten full sleep versus when they had worked. In fact, 37.5 percent of the participants in the research experienced a near-crash event when operating a vehicle in the driving test after working a shift the night before. More than a third of motorists who had worked the night before also had to do an emergency braking move at least one time over the course of the driving testing and close to half of the motorists had to terminate the test early when they’d worked the night before because they were not able to keep control of the cars.

A variety of different measures were used to measure how fatigued the drivers were, including recording when the motorist’s eyelids closed partially and recording micro-sleep episodes. Using these metrics, driver fatigue was evident within 15 minutes of the motorists beginning the test drive.

Drivers need to be aware that operating a vehicle after working a night shift can significantly reduce the risk of collisions occurring.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

The two groups most likely to be injured in pedestrian collisions include children and the elderly. When a child sustains injuries or is killed in a pedestrian crash, a lifetime of potential can be lost. Children could need costly medical care to deal with permanent injuries for the remainder of their life, causing significant strain on families. Even when children recover from pedestrian crash injuries, the medical expenditures can drain a families budget and the child can be left with permanent physical and emotional scarring. pedestrian accident

Prevention of child pedestrian accidents is essential, and new research can help by shedding light on some of the behaviors that promote collisions. While children may engage in activities that make crashes more likely, however, drivers still maintain a responsibility to ensure they operate vehicles safely in a way that does not cause harm to kids. If a collision occurs, an attorney with experience in pedestrian auto accidents should be consulted by the family to get help pursuing a claim for compensation for losses.

Risks of Atlanta Pedestrian Crashes for Children

News Medical reported on the research conducted to determine the behaviors on the part of child pedestrians that promotes accidents. The study included groups of children between the ages of seven and nine; between the ages of nine and 10; and between the ages of 10 and 13. Experienced adult pedestrians were also included as a control group. The researchers simulated typical streets and used eye-tracking devices to determine how both the children and the adults determined when it was safe to cross the road.

Younger children under the age of 10 had the greatest difficulty in making an accurate assessment regarding whether crossing the road was safe or not. Younger children were also least able to recognize hazards which could affect safe crossing, such as a curve in the road that restricted their view of oncoming traffic or a parked vehicle that blocked visibility and made it difficult to see if safe crossing was possible.

While younger children had the most trouble, even older kids did not do much better. Children aged 10 to 13 tended to linger on the curb for a longer period of time than adult pedestrians, which indicated to researchers that children within this age group had a harder time distinguishing between hazardous situations and situations which were safe.

Children of all ages were also interviewed on factors that could affect safe crossing, such as the speed of approaching vehicles and their field of vision. None of the children in any age group expressed a strong understanding of these important concepts.

Because children may not understand as clearly as adults how to cross the road safely, drivers in areas with lots of children such as school zones and pedestrian neighborhoods need to ensure they are driving slowly, paying careful attention, and taking steps to make sure they observe and stop for children.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, around 25,000 collisions occur in the United States each year as a result of debris on the road. Accidents caused by debris cause anywhere from 80 to 90 deaths annually on average, and cause a significant number of property damage only crashes or collisions where injuries happen. Road debris can come from a lot of different sources, but debris commonly ends up falling off of or out of trucks or other vehicles. car crash

Truck drivers are obliged to follow cargo-loading rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and truckers and their employers can be held responsible when unsecured or unbalanced cargo causes a car crash to happen. These professional drivers, however, are not the only ones with safety obligations when it comes to securing cargo. An Atlanta car accident attorney can provide assistance to victims involved in accidents caused by debris on the roadways, even if the debris was left by a regular driver. If you can prove negligence led to the debris that caused your crash, you should be entitled to compensation for all resulting economic and non-financial losses.

Responsibility for Atlanta Car Accidents Due to Improperly Secured Cargo

Every driver who transports items is responsible for making sure the items are secured, no matter what the items are. Regardless of whether a driver is transporting a Christmas tree on top of a vehicle, furniture in the back of a pickup truck, or any other items, the driver must follow basic safety precautions to ensure the items he’s transporting don’t cause harm to others.  This means not only making sure items are tied down and secured so they don’t blow off the vehicle, but also making sure roof rack weight limits and vehicle weight limits are followed. A car that is too overloaded could have problems like a tire blowout, which also can cause crash risks.

When a driver fails in the obligation to secure items that are being transported, the driver’s items can fall off the vehicle, landing on the road and becoming a part of the road debris that other motorists must navigate around. If something falls off and the driver behind can’t get around it without causing a crash, the driver whose item fell from the vehicle could potentially be held liable for any resulting collision.

TheDay also warns there are other possible causes of crashes from unsecured cargo as well, including items falling off vehicles and obstructing the vision of drivers behind them or drivers colliding with cars or motorists who have stopped to pick up the fallen items.

Regardless of exactly what scenario occurs that causes an accident, the bottom line is items coming off of vehicles- whether they are trucks or personal cars- can present an unacceptable hazard.  An experienced attorney can help those who are hurt by improperly secured cargo to pursue a claim for compensation for all resulting losses.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 



In-vehicle technologies are supposed to make drivers safer and reduce the chances of serious or fatal injuries when accidents happen. Unfortunately, despite the advances in technology, car accident costs are actually rising and not falling. A recent study released by Insurance Research Council revealed that there has been a continued increase over the past 10 years of auto insurance claim costs per vehicle insured. rising crash rates

Rising auto insurance claim costs mean victims of collisions are suffering greater damages and more significant financial losses. The more serious the losses you experience in car accidents in Atlanta, the more important it is for you to speak with an attorney to pursue a claim for monetary compensation. An attorney can assist you in dealing with the insurance company who must pay your crash bills so you can fight for the money to move on after a crash has changed your life.

Atlanta Car Accident Injuries Leading to More Costly Auto Insurance Claims

According to Insurance Research Council, the frequency of claims has declined in recent years but the amounts paid out have gone up. From 2005 to 2013, there was a 14.5 percent reduction in bodily injury claims being made nationwide. During this same period of time when claims rates fell, however, the average cost paid out per bodily injury liability claim rose from $11,738 to $15,506. This is a 32.1 percent increase in the money that is being paid out to compensate for bodily injuries.

Personal injury protection, or no fault claims, also declined in number. There was a 15.6 percent decline in the frequency of claims made under PIP insurance coverage. These claims, which are no fault claims, dropped from 1.49 claims paid per 100 insured vehicles to 1.25 claims paid per 100 insured vehicles. The increase in payouts, however, was even more substantial than in the category of bodily injury claims. The average amount of money paid out for personal injury protection claims rose from $5,802 to $8,017.

The decline in the frequency of claims has come at a time when crash rates have fallen due to tough economic conditions, but the economy is turning around and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced crash rates are rising, with an 8.1 percent increase in fatalities in 2015 compared with 2014 and a 4.4 percent increase in the fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled. This means insurers could soon end up paying out even more because costs of injuries have gone up and the number of claims may rise instead of continuing to decline.

As insurers face more claims, they may fight even harder to avoid paying out the full amount policyholders should be entitled to get after getting hurt. Victims of collisions need to understand exactly what their rights and obligations are when making insurance claims and should ensure they have professional legal representation. A lawyer can deal with an insurer for you and can bring legal knowledge and top-notch negotiating skills to the table when trying to get you the compensation you deserve after a crash.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a  collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Certain medical conditions can make driving dangerous. For example, patients who have epilepsy may have a seizure while behind the wheel and could cause a collision as a result.  In other situations, an unexpected medical problem could develop with no warning, like if a driver has a heart attack. medical condition accidents

When a person suffers a medical event when driving and causes a collision, it is important to determine who is to blame.If a driver was aware of the risk he presented due to a health condition and opted to drive anyway, victims could file a civil lawsuit to obtain compensation from the driver, even if the crash was actually caused by a medical episode. Determining whether you have a case or not is complicated, but an Atlanta car accident lawyer can assist you in evaluating the facts of your collision so you can understand your rights.

Atlanta Car Accident Injuries and Crashes Caused by Medical Events

Recently, ABC News reported on one tragic case involving a driver with a history of crashes related to a medical condition that caused him to experience seizures. The driver’s license has been suspended at least six times since 2002, and after he caused a crash in 2013, he was required to submit letters from a doctor certifying his ability to drive. His medical condition was described as “on-going” and the letters from a doctor need to be submitted annually in order for him to keep his license.

Unfortunately, this past June, he felt a seizure coming on but he chose to get into the car anyway. He suffered a seizure on his way to the grocery store and caused a car accident that killed two young children. He faced criminal misdemeanor charges for his recklessness, but the charges were dropped after he settled his case with the family of the children who were killed.

This case was an unusual one because it was clear the driver not only knew of his medical condition and the dangers it presented, but also because the driver admitted to feeling that a seizure was coming in before he got into the car.  It is not difficult to argue that a driver who knows he is going to have a medical episode is negligent in getting into the car.

While the seizure was not his fault, the negligence came earlier- with his decision to drive- and it is this act of negligence which can be considered a breached legal duty entitling victims and their surviving family members to damages.

Many cases in which medical episodes occur are far less clear-cut than this one. If a driver has a medical episode but doesn’t admit to anticipating the episode and/or doesn’t have a long history of similar problems, a victim of a crash could face a greater challenge in proving negligence. To recover compensation for crash losses, the victim would need to show a reasonable person wouldn’t have driven under the circumstances and will need to show foreseeable harm occurred as a direct result of the driver’s making an unsafe choice to get behind the wheel.

An experienced attorney can provide help in conducting an investigation, subpoenaing medical records, and otherwise gathering appropriate proof to show a driver who had a medical episode was aware of the risks and chose to drive anyway, even though he shouldn’t have.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Side impact accidents are also called T-bone crashes because the vehicles form the shape of a T when one car hits the side of another vehicle. These crashes are common at intersections, but can also occur when drivers leave parking spaces or driveways and strike the side of an oncoming vehicle. Regardless of where the collisions occur, the side of a vehicle absorbs almost no force and provides very little protection to occupants when a car is struck. This is true even with side airbags, which are not nearly as effective as front airbags. traumatic brain injury

Side impact collisions are extremely dangerous due to the limited protection provided by the side of a vehicle. In fact, Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine indicated that in a study of crashes, 19 percent of the collisions were side-impact crashes but these collisions caused 32 percent of all car accident deaths.  Side impact crashes are more likely to be deadly in part because there is a greater risk vehicle occupants will suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI). Anywhere from  51 to 74 percent of deaths in side impact collisions are caused by the victim sustaining a brain injury.

Even when TBI is survivable, it is generally life-altering. A brain injury lawyer in Atlanta should be consulted by victims who sustain a TBI or by those whose loved ones lose their lives due to a brain injury caused by a side-impact crash. With help from an attorney, victims can get the money they need to get treatment and begin to rebuild.

Atlanta Side Impact Collisions a Leading Cause of TBI

A recent study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine evaluated the risks of brain injury after a side-impact crash. The researchers who conducted the study, who were from University of Rochester, determined a side-impact crash causes brain injury so commonly that the crash should be considered a risk factor prompting medical professionals to evaluate the patient for TBI even without obvious outward symptoms.

The researchers narrowed down NHTSA data on collisions involving 6,780 people in 5,483 vehicles. They focused on 1,115 people who had been in crashes and who were in a car at the time of the crash where at least one person got seriously hurt. The researchers then looked at the types of accidents that occurred and the injuries which were sustained.

They discovered side impact collisions were three times as likely to result in vehicle occupants sustaining a TBI, compared with other crash types including head-on accidents.  In cases where victims did sustain traumatic brain injuries, these injuries were also significantly more likely to be classified as severe. Women were at a greater risk of a TBI due to a side impact crash than men were, likely because their necks are not as strong as a man’s neck.

For victims who sustain these TBIs, mood and personality changes, cognitive impairments, and a reduction in reasoning abilities are all common symptoms. Patients often need intensive care and sometimes lifelong care after a brain injury. An attorney can help victims to get the money they need to pay for their medical expenditures and other damages.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision causes brain injury. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Safety belts are one of the single most important technologies in terms of saving lives.  The simple seat belt saves more than 15,000 people each year from death in motor vehicle crashes, according toEveryday Health. Yet, despite the importance of the seatbelt in restraining the strongest parts of the body, ensuring vehicle occupants don’t fly out of vehicles, slowing down the motion of the body, spreading the collision’s force, and protecting the spinal cord and brain, seat belts are not found in every vehicle. In fact, seat belts are not found in one of the vehicles where they are needed most to protect vulnerable children: school buses. school bus accidents

When children or adults are in a bus crash, there is a good chance they will be unbuckled because most buses do not have safety belts at every seat. This can create a significantly greater risk of death or permanent injury after a collision occurs on a school bus. Victims need to know their rights, and an Atlanta bus accident lawyer should be consulted after the collision to pursue a claim for compensation. Bus passengers are never responsible for a collision occurring, so someone should always be held accountable, whether it is the driver, the school district, or another motorist who caused a crash.

Regardless of who is at fault, if school buses were equipped with safety belts, there would be far fewer cases in which victims sustain permanent life-changing injuries and significant financial losses.  The importance of safety belts for child safety are one key reason why the new leader of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has now come out in favor of adding seat belts to every school bus.

Seat Belts on School Buses Could Prevent Child Injuries in Atlanta Collisions

Daily Progress reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not previously made its position clear on whether it should be a requirement for seat belts to be installed on all school buses. The new leader, however, has now come out and said the Administration is in favor of a mandate for safety belt installation. Mark Rosekid, who now heads up NHTSA, spoke to the National Association for Pupil Transportation, acknowledging that NHTSA had not always been clear on its position in the past but indicating the agency’s official stance is now to impose a requirement for every child to have a three-point seat belt on all school buses.

Three point safety belts cross over a child’s lab and shoulder. Installing these belts in every new bus would cost an estimated $7,000 to $10,000, which is a small amount of additional money since buses cost anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000.  Retrofitting existing buses, however, would be a more costly proposition with a price tag of $20,000. Nationwide, this means the cost to add belts to all buses currently transporting children would come in at around $2.34 million.

While this cost is high, children are currently losing their lives in school bus accidents when fatalities could be prevented if seat belts were installed. Unless and until safety belts are put into every bus, it is even more important for drivers to exercise reasonable caution when operating a bus or driving close to a bus on the roads. Drivers who make dangerous mistakes must be held accountable for harm they cause to children and their families.

The Atlanta bus accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision occurs. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Motor vehicle accidents remain the top cause of teen deaths throughout the United States, despite efforts made to make the roads safer for young people. Governors Highway Safety Association is calling for new efforts aimed at preventing deadly accidents involving teenage drivers. The report was written by experts in teen driving and was guided by a panel with special experience in teen crash risks. It focuses on how adults who influence teenagers can help to stop dangerous behaviors, and how states can partner with these adults in an effort to reduce collision risks. traffic-jamz-1446911

Crashes involving teen drivers are devastating, as these young people often injure their friends or family members who are in the car with them, along with injuring strangers. Anyone who is a victim of a crash as a direct result of a negligent, careless, or illegal action by a teenage driver must understand his or her rights. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can provide help to motorists who have been harmed. You may be entitled to receive monetary compensation from the teen’s insurer for all of the damages and losses you have been forced to endure because of the collision.

Prevention of Teen Driving Collisions

In 2013, close to 4,000 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 became involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents. This number is on the rise, and preliminary data suggests there will be more teens involved in fatal car accidents this year.

An improving economy means more teenagers have disposable income and thus are more likely to be frequent travelers on the nation’s roadways. These teenagers are often in older cars that do not have modern, advanced safety features that help to mitigate collision risks. These teens also lack in experience necessary to respond in dangerous driving situations, and may make unsafe choices like drinking, which significantly increases the likelihood of a collision occurring.

GHSA suggests parents can make a big difference in shaping the behavior of teenagers, helping them to be safer behind the wheel. However, parents are not the only ones who can assist young people in making safer driving choices. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 generally spend five hours per day in school on average, and spend several additional hours per week participating in activities like sports or other extracurriculars. GHSA believes coaches, teachers, employers, and all other adults in a teens life all can play an important role in bringing down the rate of teenage driving crashes.

A GDL game plan has been established to assist coaches and athletic directors in talking about graduated licensing with teenage sports players, while some consumer safety groups are providing grants to high school activity directors to promote conversations between teachers and parents about drugged driving.

When events are organized, the school is awarded up to a $300 stipend. The youth-based organization, 4-H, also has a 2015 NYSD kit which includes an experiment aimed at providing more insight into distracted driving for young people.

If all adults work together to try to help kids be safer drivers, hopefully fewer accidents will be caused by inexperienced young motorists.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a teen driving collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.