Tag Archive for: car accident injuries

Dangers of Driving with Headphones

It’s a common sight nowadays, the use of headphones while driving. Smart devices gave us the ability to listen to our favorite music and podcasts anywhere, anytime, including while driving a motor vehicle. But have you ever stopped to think about the potential dangers of driving with headphones? Headphones can cause a serious accident, or even worse, death.

When a driver is wearing headphones, they may not be able to hear the car horn of another vehicle, emergency sirens, crosswalk alarms, or railroad crossing arms. The decrease in awareness and limited hearing can make a driver cause an accident that severely harms another innocent driver. The American Automobile Association (AAA), has stated that wearing headphones while driving could intensify a person’s sensory deprivation and cognition distraction level. The AAA also added that distracted driving laws have not kept pace with the changing technology and many drivers are clueless what is legal or illegal regarding wearing headphones while operating a vehicle. Distraction caused by the use of electronic devices, whether it be headphones or a cell phone, has been deemed “inattentional blindness.”

A few statistics to be noted when it comes to the dangers of driving with headphones, is that 1out of every 10 deadly car wrecks in the United States involves some sort of distraction. A recent study revealed that approximately eight people are killed every day by distracted driving, and six of those eight are teens. In 2012, a survey found that using portable music players is one of the “most commonly performed potentially distracting behaviors while driving.” And in 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that distracted driving was a factor in 18% of all crashes resulting in an injury.

The AAA Digest of Motor Laws revealed that there are 14 states that implement restrictions on wearing earbuds, earplugs, or earphones while driving. Out of those, only four states have complete bans on distracted driving with headphones. This rule, however, is not without exceptions. One exception is if you’re hearing impaired. Unfortunately, as of today, Alabama has no prohibition on wearing headphones, or any type of headset, while driving. In Florida, wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing, is not permitted while driving. Although, wearing a device, such as a Bluetooth earpiece, in one ear for communicating with a central base operation or with a cell phone is permitted. Mississippi, like Alabama, also has no prohibition on the wearing of headsets while driving.

Headphones compromise a person’s ability to drive safely. If you’re injured in an accident where the driver of the other vehicle was wearing headphones, contact the lawyers at Greene & Phillips. We don’t get paid unless we are able to get money for you. You can come by our office anytime at 51 North Florida Street, call us 24/7 at (251) 478-1115, and visit our Car Wreck Page for more information.  Call or come by anytime; you never need an appointment.

Seat Belt Laws in Alabama

Did you know that everyone in a vehicle traveling in Alabama must wear a seat belt? Seat belt laws in Alabama have recently changed. The state’s seat belt law used to apply only to those in the front seat, and minors in the backseat. However, under a bill approved by the Alabama Legislature during its last session, the rule was expanded to cover anyone who is riding in the back seat as well.

While seat belt usage has grown in recent years, with the national rate at 90% in 2018, fewer people take the time to buckle up in the back of the vehicle. Law enforcement officials say that this is a mistake. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, 60% of the people who died in traffic accidents in the state in 2017 weren’t wearing seat belts. Seatbelts alone are credited with saving over 15,000 lives last year.

The new law is a secondary violation, so a ticket can only be issued if the driver was pulled over for another reason.
The bill was named after Roderic Deshaun Scott, who died in an accident on I-65 between Montgomery and Birmingham in 2016. Roderic was a student and athlete player at Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery. Roderic was one of three students in the back of the car who were not wearing their seatbelts, and was ejected from the vehicle. This accident caused legislators in Montgomery to begin to rethink Alabama seat belt laws.

With the new law passed, it is now not only important to buckle up everywhere in the car, it’s the law. Staying up to date on the seat belt laws in Alabama can help make you both a safer and more informed driver. If you’ve been injured as a result of a car accident, or if you have any further questions regarding Alabama’s seat belt laws, come by our office anytime or call us at (251) 300-2000. If you would like to tell us about your injury, please fill out our free case evaluation!

Summer Driving Tips

Summer is here, and that means more people are out on the roads visiting family and going on vacations. With all the added traffic, that means more of a possibility for car wrecks to happen.  Driving during the summer months really can be that much more dangerous. The Fourth of July is the deadliest day to drive, and August is the deadliest month. So, safety is a really big issue when considering your summer driving plans.

Before you leave on a road trip, be sure to take the necessary steps to ensure your car is as safe as possible. Check all your fluids, tire pressure, and your brakes. Also, make sure that all your lights and windshield wipers work. You can also make a pit stop at Autozone, where they will test you battery for free! Throughout the year, you might put off doing these things, but they could potentially save your life.

To avoid the hazard of distracted driving, let the passenger control the radio, GPS, and answer phone calls or text messages.  As the driver, your responsibility is to keep your eyes on the road, and even glancing down for a second could be a costly mistake.

It’s also really important to know when to stop.  Be sure to take breaks every couple hours, walk around, get a cup of coffee, etc. Sometimes, you might even need to find a safe place to get a few hours of sleep. It’s extremely important not to drive when you’re tired. Not only are you putting your own life at risk, but everyone in your car and everyone who’s sharing the road with you.

If you are involved in an accident, call 911 as soon as possible, and make sure that an accident report is done. Second, seek medical attention. Then, be sure to call an injury attorney that handles car wrecks. You can call Greene and Phillips at 251-300-2000 or come by anytime.  You never need an appointment to meet with one of our injury lawyers.