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Toms River New Jersey Personal Injury Law Blog

September 15 marks beginning of Brake Safety Week, 2019

Brake violations among commercial truckers is a widespread issue. Many truckers in New Jersey and across the U.S. fail to maintain their vehicles, which only raises their chances of being in a crash. During the 2018 International Roadcheck, a three-day inspection spree, over 4,500 CMV drivers were put out of service for brake-related violations. They were responsible for 45% of all out-of-service orders.

It makes sense, then, that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance would have an annual inspection spree that treats solely of brake safety. This spree is called Brake Safety Week, and it encompasses all of North America. For 2019, it will take place from September 15 to 21.

How flaggers can stay safe while on a job site

Flaggers in New Jersey and throughout the country can be at high risk for getting hurt or killed on the job. In 2017, 132 flaggers were killed in traffic crashes that occurred in work zones. However, there are things that these workers can do to minimize the chances of a serious accident taking place. For instance, it is a good idea to wear clothing that's highly visible both during the day and at night.

Those who are working as flaggers should also be sure to face traffic at all times and to refrain from listening to music on the job. Furthermore, it's important to plan an escape route as well as pay attention to traffic and weather conditions at all times. Ideally, flaggers will stand at least two lanes away from any vehicles that are using a road or highway.

Injured in a distracted driving accident? You are not alone

Like many other people in New Jersey, you probably feel pretty attached to your smartphone. These small devices are much more than just phones, providing everything from GPS directions to internet access to video games. While undoubtedly entertaining -- and maybe even a little addictive -- you know how dangerous it is to use a phone while driving. Not everyone feels the same way about distracted driving.

The reality is that using a phone behind the wheel of a vehicle is dangerous. Fatalities are not uncommon in distracted driving accidents. Despite repeatedly demonstrated evidence, the number of drivers using smartphones is rising.

Summer's biggest safety hazards for construction workers

There are five safety hazards that construction workers and employers in New Jersey need to look out for during summer. Some of these are linked to one another. The most prominent danger is fatigue from the heat. Fatigued employees will make poor judgments, have slow reactions and feel less motivated to work. This is where plenty of liquids and mandatory breaks in shady areas are vital.

The second hazard is heat-related illness. From heat rash to heatstroke, workers can develop a number of illnesses if they are unequipped with the right personal protective equipment or unable to rest in the shade. For physically demanding tasks, employers may want workers to be cycled in and out.

Truck crashes: the five most common causes

New Jersey residents should know that there are various reasons why a large truck accident can arise. Five are especially common. First, it can arise because of an error on the trucker's part. According to some studies, around 20% of truck crashes due to driver error are the fault of truckers, but truckers are just as likely as passenger vehicle drivers to be negligent behind the wheel. For instance, they might drive drowsy, drunk or inattentively.

A second reason has to do with truck maintenance. Before every shift, truckers are supposed to check their rig, and they must also submit vehicle maintenance reports. Trucking companies must ensure that their fleet is regularly inspected and maintained. The impact that a worn brake pad or a cracked windshield can have on crash risk cannot be overstated.

Car safety devices like AEB, blind spot alert save lives

Many drivers in New Jersey are ambivalent about the benefits of new car safety tech like blind spot alert, automatic emergency braking and lane centering devices. While there is the danger that such tech will make drivers complacent, it appears that the benefits are real and substantial. A 2018 study from J.D. Power illustrates this.

Of all the new car owners who participated in the study, more than half said that the new tech, collectively known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, helped them avoid an auto wreck within the first 90 days of owning the car. Nearly half said it was the blind spot alert that did it for them while 42% credited the backup cameras and parking sensors with preventing the crash. Lastly, 35% credited the forward collision alert or the AEB with helping them avoid a collision.

How slip and fall cases work

A New Jersey resident who slips, trips or falls on another's property may be able to recover damages via a premises liability claim. Several requirements must be met, though. First, victims must be lawful entrants. Second, it must be clear that the property owner failed in their duty of care to entrants either by neglecting to repair a safety hazard or failing to foresee a hazard. Hazards range from wet floors and cracked pavement to poor lighting and loose rails.

Other conditions must be taken into account. The property owner must have had a reasonable amount of time to fix a dangerous condition; otherwise, they cannot be considered negligent. Also, the victim must have been using the property in a reasonable way. If they were not, then it was their own carelessness that led to the injuries.

Study pinpoints likely causes of mine injuries

Workers in New Jersey may be at a higher risk of injury if they work long hours or aren't properly trained. This has been found to be true as it relates to accidents involving mine workers. A study from the University of Illinois at Chicago analyzed roughly 546,000 mine injury reports from 1983 to 2015. The study found that 9.6% of injured miners in that time period had worked nine or more hours on the day that they were injured.

Working such long hours puts other mine workers in danger as well. According to the study, those who worked nine hours or more in a day were 73% more likely to cause an accident that injured other workers. There were many reasons why an individual would be on the job for so long in a given day. Having less than two years of experience was one of the factors cited.

Drugged, distracted and drowsy driving should concern teens too

Teens are just as liable as adults to engage in what one National Safety Council representative calls the Three D's: drugged, distracted and drowsy driving. In New Jersey and across the U.S., 3.6 million teens will be graduating from high school, which means graduation parties and more inexperienced drivers on the road.

Many high school students are no stranger to alcohol and drugs, both prescription drugs and illegal ones, and even those who do not partake of them likely know someone who does. Part of being a friend means offering a ride to those who become impaired by drugs or alcohol. Teens must not drive after taking any amount of these substances.

Adhering to safe riding procedures might not always be enough

A motor vehicle accident can take place at any given moment, and the fallout of a crash can be devastating under any circumstance. However, if you consider yourself an avid biker, you may have increased concerns about the ramifications of being involved in even a minor crash.

Unfortunately, accidents involving motorcycles run a much greater risk of ending in disaster. While you may wish to take every precaution necessary to prepare yourself to ride in traffic, you might be unaware of all the hazards you may face while out on New Jersey roads.

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We offer free initial consultations. For an appointment with Donald Bedell, please call us at 732-965-3246 or at 866-625-9523. You can also reach us via email. We have offices in Brick and Toms River, New Jersey.

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