June 2011 Archives

Branson Missouri ATV Accidents as Dangerous as Any Other Vehicle Accident

Two people were taken to Skaggs Regional Medical Center in Branson last Friday after being injured in an ATV accident. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that Joseph Schall, 55, suffered serious injuries and Michelle Schall, 16, suffered minor injuries.

1109243_quad.jpgThe accident happened at 7:10 p.m. Friday on Panorama Point Road four miles northeast of Blue Eye. Apparently, Joseph Schall was backing out of his driveway when the ATV somehow ran off the road and overturned. Both passengers were thrown off and injured. The police noted that neither was wearing a helmet at the time, although helmet use is required by Missouri law for anyone under 18.

Branson ATV accident lawyers want to point out that an ATV accident can be just as dangerous as an auto accident or motorcycle accident. All Terrain Vehicles are increasingly popular, and with that popularity come the inevitable accident statistics: the US Consumer Products Safety Commission reported 376 ATV related deaths in 2009 nationwide and 131,900 other ATV related injuries requiring emergency room treatment.

Many people use their ATV's for summer fun, and seem to treat them like a giant toy. ATVs are covered under Missouri Laws however, just like other motorized vehicles.

Causes of Branson ATV Accidents include:

• Improper driving techniques (taking an ATV training is highly recommended)
• Rollovers (ATVs are particularly prone to this if the driver takes a curve too rapidly)
• Traveling too fast for the prevailing conditions, especially on paved roads where ATVs don't navigate as well

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Teens Pledge to Drive Safely to Avoid Car Accidents in Springfield, Missouri and Elsewhere

Teens met in Washington D.C. recently to make a pledge be alert when driving near large trucks and to not text while driving during the summer months. Teen drivers pledged to practice safe and alert driving habits in an attempt to reduce the risks of a serious or fatal car accident in Dixon, Monett, Aurora and elsewhere in Missouri. School is out, the summer is here and teens typically hit our roads in full force over the new few months.
Teen's met at the nation's capital for a rally put on by U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). Officials from these organizations met with teens to talk about the importance of safe driving habits, especially near big trucks. During the summer season we typically see an increased number of large trucks, tractor-trailers, big rigs and teen drivers on our roadways.

Our Springfield car accident attorneys urge all drivers, but especially inexperienced teen drivers, to be alert around these large vehicles. It is important to stay out of their blind spots, or "No Zones," and to allow them plenty of room to maneuver. Experiencing an accident with one of these large trucks oftentimes results in serious, if not fatal, consequences as their vehicles overpower passenger cars, trucks and even SUVs.

"We want everyone to be safe, but as newer drivers, teens must adhere to a few simple rules," said Anne Ferro, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. "They are: buckle up, don't drink and drive; don't speed, don't text or use your phone, and steer clear of a truck's blind spots."

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System reports, according to their most recent data, that the deadliest days of the year for teen drivers ages 15 to 19 are in the months of May through August. It is during these four months that we see nearly twice as many teen deaths from traffic accidents each day than the rest of the year on average. The average for these months is about 16 deaths per day while the average for the year as a whole is roughly 9 deaths per day.

"Do not expect that having a driver's license is a right that comes without responsibility or risk," said Steve Keppler, Executive Director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). "Be accountable for your actions, spread the word to your friends and parents, and help create a culture of safety. Most importantly, take the driving task seriously. You never know the impact you can have that ultimately could save your life or someone else's."

Drivers that are ages 16- to 24-years old have the highest motor-vehicle accident death rate in the country. Their death rate is higher than that of any other age group. From 2005 to 2009, approximately 4,0000 teens from this young age group were killed in traffic accidents that reported the involvement of large trucks.

"Prom, graduation, and summer are fantastic times for youth to celebrate and enjoy. However, with these fun times come unfortunate tragedies," said Sandy Spavone, President of the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS). "Through education, enforcement, and legislation lives can be saved and injuries prevented."

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AB - Springfield Missouri Car Crash Caused By Construction

A loose drainage grate on US 65 in Springfield Missouri caused a single car accident last Wednesday. Two people were traveling southbound when their car hit a loose drainage grate between Chestnut Expressway and Sunshine Street and flipped over.

According to police, both people walked away from the crash uninjured. Highway workers will work to repair other drainage grates as a precaution.

Although there were no reported injuries in this case, more than 1,000 people die each year as a result of highway construction related accidents, and thousands more are seriously injured. Some of the causes of these accidents are:

  • Inadequate signs, construction area not clearly marked, no warning signs, warning signs not visible

  • Narrow lanes, no shoulder, lanes not properly marked

  • Careless or reckless operation of construction machinery or construction vehicle

  • Inadequate buffer zone prior to construction zone, not enough time to slow down or react

  • Open trenches or open pits

  • Uneven pavement, broken pavement

Highway construction areas can be difficult to navigate for even the best of drivers. The presence of pedestrian construction workers, heavy trucks and industrial equipment can lead to a confusing maze, often at rapidly changing speeds.

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Consumer Advisory Urges Motorists to Check Tires to Help Prevent Car Accident in Springfield, Stockton, Bolivar Missouri and Elsewhere

A recently released consumer advisory, from the U.S. Department of Transportation, urges that all motorists take a look at their tires for signs of tread wear or damage and to make sure they're properly inflated. Just by simply checking the condition of your tires and making sure they are up to par, you can greatly reduce your risk of a serious car accident in Fair Grove or elsewhere in Missouri.
This consumer advisory comes as heat of the summer months begins to take a serious toll on our tires. Driving with poorly maintained tires in the summer heat can have serious consequences. In an additional effort to raise awareness about this safety precaution, the DOT is launching its National Tire Safety Week to kick-off of the summer travel season.

Our Purdy car accident attorneys understand that the condition of your vehicle can make all the difference in your safety on our roadways. All residents are urged to conduct routine checkups on their vehicle to make sure that everything is in proper working order. It is especially important during this time of year to check the condition of your tires before setting out on the scorching-hot pavement.

"As the weather warms up, it's especially important for drivers to ensure their tires are properly inflated," Secretary Ray LaHood said. "For your safety and the safety of others on the road, inspect your tires regularly and maintain the proper inflation."

The Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that through the years of 2005 and 2009, nearly 3,400 people died in tire-related car accidents. Another 116,000 were injured in these types of crashes during the same year.

"While it's true improperly maintained tires can contribute to a crash at any time of year, it is particularly critical for motorists to check tires during hot weather, when families and luggage often overload vehicles for long vacation trips," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned. "Underinflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for extended periods of time can be a recipe for disaster."

The Department and safety advocates around the country urge that all motorists check their tire pressure periodically, but especially before long trips. They also suggest that motorists keep an eye on aging tires. Old tires and the summer heat can turn out deadly results because older, more warn tires are more susceptible to heat stress. These risks only increase if the tires are not properly inflated. Be sure to regularly check the tire sidewall to check the tires wear. It is also a good idea to check with the vehicle's manual or the manufacturer for recommendations on how often to change tires.

Properly maintaining your tires will not only help to keep you safe on our roadways, but it will help to keep some extra cash in your wallet. The Department of Energy reports that under-inflated tires can lower your vehicle's gas mileage by nearly 0.5 percent for every 1 PSI (pound per square inch) drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires can save you nearly 3 miles per gallon.

Continue reading "Consumer Advisory Urges Motorists to Check Tires to Help Prevent Car Accident in Springfield, Stockton, Bolivar Missouri and Elsewhere" »

Elderly Drivers in Springfield, Nixa and Ozark Missouri and Elsewhere Worry Local Motorists

It is not uncommon for us to worry about the safety of our parents and grandparents and with good reason: Older drivers are at high risk for a car accident in Ozark or elsewhere in Missouri. It's no secret that along with old age comes diminishing function, eyesight, coordination and other driving skills, according to US News. Do you know when it's time to hang up your keys or urge a loved one to stay off our roadways?
A Springfield Missouri auto injury can lead to a difficult recovery -- particularly for older motorists who may never regain their quality of life after a serious accident. Our Springfield injury lawyers understand that there are a plethora of risks that motorists face on our roadways on a daily basis, whether it be road construction, drunk drivers, varying weather conditions or distracted driving. The best way to protect yourself from a serious accident is to practice safe and defensive driving habits. But at some point in each of our lives, driving because too much of a risk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), offers you these key points to help you determine if it may be time for you to retire, or urge a loved one to retire from driving:

-Noticing scratches and dents on your car.

-Becoming lost when taking a familiar route.

-Receiving tickets for a number of traffic violations.

-Getting into accidents or having near-misses.

-Receiving a recommendation from your doctor urging you to reduce your driving.

-Experiencing health problems that could intentionally affect your driving abilities.

-Taking medications that urge you to refrain from using a motor-vehicle

-Finding that road signs or road markings are suddenly overwhelming.

-Driving too slow or too fast for no apparent reason.

The NHTSA reports that people over the age of 64 made up nearly 15 percent, or 40 million, of the total population of the United States in 2009.

On the bright side, nearly 80 percent of the individuals in this age group that were involved in motor-vehicle accidents were reportedly wearing their seat belts. This is greater than the percentage of any other age groups, which sat at roughly 60 percent.

In that same year, nearly 5,500 people age 65 and older died in motor-vehicle accidents in the United States. Another 187,000 were injured in these incidents. The fatal accident that occurred within this age group made up nearly 20 percent of all traffic fatalities throughout the year. They also totaled nearly 10 percent of all the people injured in traffic accidents. This number of injuries from traffic accidents increased 2 percent from the previous year.

In 2009, Missouri saw nearly 150 fatalities result from traffic accidents involving those ages 65 and older.

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Young Driver Faces 15 Years in Prison for Drunk Driving Car Accident in Springfield, Missouri

An involuntary manslaughter charge from a drunk driving accident that happened four years ago could land a Springfield man behind bars for as many as 15 years, according to The News-Leader. The jury recently handed him a guilty verdict, he only awaits the scheduled sentencing now.
The 23-year-old driver was convicted by a jury late last month, according to the Greene County Prosecutor's Office. The jury reported to have deliberated the case for approximately three hours before concluding that the young driver was guilty of the Springfield car accident.

Our Springfield Missouri car accident attorneys understand that drunk driving oftentimes result in serious consequences -- including death. Not only is the act of driving while intoxicated illegal, it's also extremely dangerous. Drunk driving places the lives of all motorists in peril. Residents are asked to practice logical decision making before a night on the town to help prevent getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

The young driver had been placed on probation for leaving the scene of that accident and had also had a subsequent conviction for driving under the influence.

The accident happened back in November of 2007. The driver measured a blood alcohol content of 0.146 at the time of the accident near the intersection of Weller Avenue and Dale Street.

The driver that was hit by the drunk driver reported suffered a "cardiac event" before rolling into the intersection. The intoxicated driver, who was speeding at the time of the accident, collided with the other vehicle.

The other motorist died as a result of his injuries from the intersection accident.

The young, intoxicated driver faces a minimum of five years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. His maximum penalty is 15 years behind bars. The man remains in Greene County jail until his sentencing that is scheduled for August.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 11,000 people killed in car accidents that involved a driver impaired by alcohol in 2009. These accidents made up more than 30 percent of all traffic accidents in the United State during that year.

In these fatal accidents, drivers ages 21 to 24 represented the age group with the highest percentage of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Nearly 2,000 drivers from this age group were involved in motor-vehicle accidents while driving legally drunk during 2009.

Missouri saw nearly 300 motor-vehicle accident fatalities caused by intoxicated drivers in 2009.

Missouri Drunk Driving Fines and Penalties (for nonfatal, first offenses):

-Fines: up to $500.

-Jail: up to 6 months.

-License Suspension: 30 Days Full Suspension.

-License Reinstatement Fee: $45 .

-Missouri SR22 Insurance Requirement (Proof of Insurance).

-Ignition Interlock Device Possible

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New Report Shows Springfield Missouri Motorcycle Accident Deaths Hold Steady While Many States Show a Decline in 2010

856888_bobs_choppa_1.jpgThe Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has released the results of the first ever state-by-state look at motorcycle fatalities, for 2010. Springfield Personal Injury Attorneys are pleased to hear that motorcycle fatalities declined in 2010 by at least 2 percent nationwide. This information is based upon data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 2009 showed a dramatic 16 percent drop from the previous year, so apparently the nation is continuing this downward trend. Prior to 2009 though, there were eleven years in a row of increases in the numbers of motorcycle deaths.

How did Missouri do in this report? Well, unfortunately the amount of fatal motorcycle accidents in Missouri was unchanged from the previous year, although many states showed a decline of much higher than 2 percent.

What Can Missouri Do to Decrease Motorcycle Accidents and Fatalities?

Here are the GHSA's Recommendations:

Increase helmet use: Missouri's helmet law is still on the books. Motorcycle helmets have been repeatedly proven to save lives; they show a whopping 37 percent effectiveness at preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders.
Reduce Alcohol Impairment: by conducting checkpoints and other high visibility drunk driving enforcement measures. State police need special training to help them be able to identify drunken motorcyclists.
Reduce Speeding: A whopping 35 percent of motorcycle fatalities involved speeding. More than fifty percent of these did not even involve a collision with another vehicle.
Provide Ongoing Motorcycle Operator Training: All fifty states have motorcycle training courses, but not all riders take full advantage of it.

Continue reading "New Report Shows Springfield Missouri Motorcycle Accident Deaths Hold Steady While Many States Show a Decline in 2010 " »

Newly Released Data Reiterates Risks of Bicycle Accidents in Springfield, Missouri and Elsewhere

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its latest information illustrating the dangers of being involved in a bicycle accident in Springfield, Missouri and elsewhere in the United States.
In the U.S., 630 bicyclists were killed in 2009 because of traffic accidents. Another 51,000 suffered injuries from these incidents.

Our Springfield car accident attorneys recognize the dangers of bicycling on our Missouri roads, especially during the spring and summer months when traffic increases significantly. Even though the number of bicycle fatalities decreased from 2008 to 2009 by 12 percent, the roadway is still a very dangerous place for our two-wheeled travelers.

The NHTSA's release reports that 70 percent of the bicycle fatalities that occurred in 2009 happened in urban areas and non-intersections. This number jumped 5 percent from 2008 calculations.

Roughly 75 percent of bicycle fatalities happened during the daytime hours, between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This is also an increase from the previous year -- 6 percent.

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation urges bicyclists to enroll in Bike Education Classes to help decrease your risks of a serious accident.

Ken Kifer's Bike Page would like to tell you about these common mistakes that bicyclists make. Making tiny adjustments can help you increase your safety on our roadways:

-Making your seat too low. Folded legs are more likely to result in cramping. Just as you shouldn't drive while fatigued, you shouldn't bike that way either. Make sure your bike is positioned comfortably for your size and weight. Make sure your leg can fully extend when pedaling.

-Be sure to stop for stop signs and follow all of the other road rules that motorists do. As a biker, you are to abide by the same laws as a motor-vehicle driver. This goes for red lights as well. By Missouri state and local law, bicyclists are allowed to use the road and by law they have the same rights and duties as other drivers.

-Be sure you're riding in the correct lane. Always ride with traffic, never against it. Avoid riding on sidewalks. Sometimes sidewalks can be more dangerous than the roadway because of pedestrian congestion.

-Make sure your headlight and taillight is working. These lights help you to be more visible to motorists during the evening hours. Also, remember to wear light colored clothing. Every little bit helps. Do as much as you can to be seen by motorists.

For your enjoyment, a complete list of Missouri bicycle trails and trail maps can be found on the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation website.

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Car Accidents in Springfield, Missouri and Elsewhere Cost the U.S. More than $41 Billion in a Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that estimated motor vehicle accident-related death costs in the United States. The accidents resulted in roughly $41 billion dollars in medical and work loss costs in 2005. The data from that year is the most current available data for the study. The CDC also found that nearly half of the $41 billion was a result of the accidents in 10 states.
"Deaths from motor vehicle crashes are preventable," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Seat belts, graduated driver's license programs, child safety seats, and helmet use save lives and reduce health care costs."

Our Marshfield car accident attorneys know that following too closely and failure to yield are just a few of the common causes of car crashes in Springfield and the surrounding area. would like to continue to urge all drivers to practice safe driving habits as a car accident can cause a ripple effect in consequences. A traffic accident can cause a vehicle occupant to suffer from serious injury, death, lost time at work, expensive medical bills, drawn-out insurance claims or life altering damages. If you've experienced a car accident in Missouri, you are urged to contact an experienced attorney to help you protect and fight for your rights.

According to the CDC, Missouri racked up more than $1 billion in medical and work loss costs.

The CDC releases this new fact sheet to highlight the costs of these accident deaths to coincide with the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety campaign. The United Nation's kicked off the campaign to raise awareness of the widespread effects of car accidents in an attempt to enhanced focus on reducing and stabilizing the number of car accidents across the world by 2020.

Through these statistics, the CDC found that children and teens under the age of 19 contributed roughly $856 million to the total, making them the main contributor to the total number of costs related to car-accident deaths.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 200 teens were killed in motor vehicle-related accidents in 2009 in Missouri alone.

"It's tragic to hear that anyone dies on our nation's roads. But it's especially so when the person who loses his or her life is a child or teenager," said Linda Degutis, Dr. P.H., M.S.N., director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. "Child passenger safety laws and comprehensive graduated driver licensing laws are proven to protect young lives. We encourage states to strengthen and enforce these laws to help keep more of our young people safe."

The complete list compiled by the CDC for the 10 states with the highest medical and work loss costs is as follows:

-California ($4.16 billion)

-Texas ($3.50 billion)

-Florida ($3.16 billion)

-Georgia ($1.55 billion)

-Pennsylvania ($1.52 billion)

-North Carolina ($1.50 billion)]

-New York ($1.33 billion)

-Illinois ($1.32 billion)

-Ohio ($1.23 billion)

-Tennessee ($1.15 billion)

Continue reading " Car Accidents in Springfield, Missouri and Elsewhere Cost the U.S. More than $41 Billion in a Year" »

Springfield Missouri Personal Injury Lawyers Provide Information on Support for Victims of Catastrophic Injuries

upside down car.jpgCatastrophic injuries resulting from vehicle accidents are all too common across Missouri. Many citizens of Springfield, Cassville, Monett, Lebanon and other Missouri towns have known a friend, colleague or loved one who has suffered from a catastrophic injury due to a car wreck.

Catastrophic injuries refer to any injuries that have serious, long-term effects on the victim. As Springfield Missouri Catastrophic Injury attorneys know only too well, it's not only car wrecks that cause this grievous level of injury--a fall, being hit by a falling object and all sorts of "freak accidents" can cause them as well.

Help and Support Available for Ozark Victims of Catastrophic Injury

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury--don't go it alone. You need all the support you can get. Nixa Missouri personal injury lawyers want to let you know about the various organizations which can provide assistance for Springfield, Ozark, Branson, Nixa and other Greene county catastrophic injury victims and their families:

Partnership for Prescription Assistance-- helps patients who are without prescription drug coverage find access to free medications- no charge applied.

On the Move: A Financial Guide for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury
-- from the PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America) containing invaluable information including financial planning, adapting your home, available benefits, and much more. Download an order form for the book on the site.

National Transplant Assistance Fund & Catastrophic Injury Program (NTAF)
NTAF helps organ transplant and catastrophic injury patients pay for critical but uninsured medically related expenses through fundraising guidance and patient support, as well as financial and other resources.

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