September 2011 Archives

Greene County Sheriff Joins Statewide Effort to Crack Down on Distracted and Impaired Drivers

September 27, 2011

photo_6246_20080609.jpgIf you were driving through Greene County Missouri on Interstate 44 at the end of summer, you probably noticed more Greene County Sheriff officers than usual. That is because the "HEAT was On". The weekend of September 17 and 18, 2011 was the last weekend for the Summer of 2011 HEAT Is On Campaign and the Greene County Sheriff's office used grant money to beef up traffic enforcement along I44. In fact officers from the Oklahoma state line to the Illinois border were all part of the statewide effort to crack down on distracted and impaired drivers on I-44.

The Heat is On is a national campaign designed to reduce the number of traffic injuries and traffic fatalities by reducing the number of car accidents through awareness and enforcement efforts. HEAT stands for High Enforcement Action Teams. And the campaign uses federal grant monies from the Division of Highway Traffic Safety to pay extra officers to perform targeted enforcements while still keeping the normal patrol levels throughout the rest of the county.

HEAT in Greene County and Throughout Missouri
The HEAT officers target drivers who are speeding and driving aggressively. They also look for impaired drivers and the lack of seat belt use. But the ultimate goal is to stop anybody who is not driving safely. Programs like this one have contributed to a large reduction in car accident related injuries and deaths.

In Missouri the largest number of fatal and serious car accidents over the past five years has occurred between July and September. In 2005 more than 1,200 people died in car accidents in Missouri. With strong efforts and powerful campaigns such as the HEAT Is On, this number dropped to 821 in 2010. And nobody wants to stop there.

Continue reading "Greene County Sheriff Joins Statewide Effort to Crack Down on Distracted and Impaired Drivers" »

Fatal Accident in Stone County Missouri a Reminder to Slow Down and Pay Attention

September 20, 2011

Stone County car accident lawyers want you to know about the dangers of speeding and the lack of driver attention as contributing factors to car accidents. The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) responded to another fatal car accident on Sunday afternoon September 18, 2011. This is the 73rd fatal car accident for Troop D, or southwest Missouri, for MSHP this year. This one was a single car accident which occurred northeast of Galena, Mo. on Horsecreek Road around 2:30 in the afternoon.

A 1987 Ford F350 ran off of the roadway, overturned, and struck a tree. Downed Tree.JPGThe male driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The specific factors of this accident have not been made public and it is hard to know exactly what happened to create this type of car accident. An investigation reveals the specific facts. But we do know that single car accidents are often preventable and may involve driver error.

Main Causes of Single Car Accidents in Missouri
A single car accident, especially one involving rollover, often indicates excessive speed. However, every case is different. Sometimes, other factors can be involved that increase the likelihood of rollover and impact the severity of the car accident. A single car accident almost always occurs because the driver's attention lapsed somehow, sometimes for only a few seconds.

Common Driver Errors

  • Driving too fast for the road, not prepared for curves or other hazards

  • Driving too fast for road conditions, unable to slow or break because of wet roads or other hazards

  • Driving too fast at night, unable to see or react to road changes or approaching hazards

  • Driving while intoxicated, slow reaction times and poor decision making abilities

  • Driving while drowsy, slow reactions or falling asleep while driving

  • Distracted driving such as texting, cell phone use, map reading, or other activity requiring the driver's attention

  • Over-correcting when the vehicle drifts or while steering to avoid a hazard

Two of the most common causes of fatal single car accidents are falling asleep at the wheel or driving while drunk. Distracted driving is a huge contributor to all car accidents. And in almost all cases excessive speed was involved and always contributes to the severity of the car accident.

Continue reading "Fatal Accident in Stone County Missouri a Reminder to Slow Down and Pay Attention" »

Missouri State Highway Patrol Reminds Bolivar, Missouri Drivers about National Farm Safety and Health Week

September 17, 2011

Bolivar Missouri car accident lawyers join Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) in reminding drivers to stay alert during harvest time. National Farm Safety and Health Week is September 18 -24 this year. Part of this week is about remaining alert while driving, particularly on Missouri's rural highways.

747926_tight_squeeze.jpgNational Farm Safety and Health Week is an annual promotion designed to celebrate the hard work, diligence and sacrifices of our nation's farmers and ranchers. And it is a great time to promote traffic safety. Harvest week means more trucks and heavier farm machinery will be on the road and we should all be prepared to share the roads. Drivers and farmers alike should be extra vigilant for potential car accidents.

Missouri Car Accidents Involving Farm Equipment

Last year, in 2010, there were 157 car accidents involving Missouri farm equipment. Of those one driver was killed and 23 were injured, while 3 farm tractor passengers were injured. Many car accidents during harvest week can be avoided. The following safety guidelines should be followed to reduce your risk of being in a car accident on a rural road during harvest time.

Driver Safe Travel Recommendations

  • Stay alert for slow moving farm equipment.

  • When you come upon a tractor or other farm machinery, slow down and be patient. Many car accidents occur when a car crosses into oncoming traffic to pass slow moving equipment.

  • Make sure you have a clear view of oncoming lanes before you pass.

  • Make sure the tractor or farm machinery is not turning left in front of you. Like a large truck, they must pull to the right to make a wide left turn. Pay attention to hand and vehicle signals before you pass.

  • Be prepared at all times for equipment entering the road.

  • Remember that it is harder to see at dusk and dawn and farmers are working during both time periods.

Continue reading "Missouri State Highway Patrol Reminds Bolivar, Missouri Drivers about National Farm Safety and Health Week" »

Greene County's Annual Missouri Seat Belt Survey Reviewed

September 13, 2011

For decades now the repeated public safety announcements and the enacting of seat belt laws remind us that seat belts save lives. Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers agree with all the experts and all the studies and all of the data that says the same thing, "Seat belts save lives." But it might surprise you to know how many people in Missouri still do not wear their seat belt. Together with the Highway Safety Division (HSD) of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the Missouri Safety Center (MSC) conducts an annual survey to determine seat belt use in Greene County and throughout Missouri. The results of the last survey are in and the Greene County car accident lawyers want you to know.

Greene County and the Annual Missouri Seat Belt SurveySeatbelt_02.JPG
Since 2004, the MSC has conducted an annual observational study to determine the percentage of Missouri drivers wearing seatbelts. The sad truth is that Missouri seat belt use is 6 percent under the national average. The annual observation involves observing drivers and passengers from 460 locations in both urban counties like Greene County and in rural counties.

The HSD of MoDOT provides federal funds for the study. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed uniform criteria for the seat belt survey. The funds are part of grant moneys designated by the Transportation Equity Act, which provides grant money for States based on the State's seat belt use rate. So the annual Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use not only works to reduce the amount of traffic accident related injuries and fatalities but to also obtain federal grant monies to work toward that goal.

Missouri 2011 Operational Survey of Seat Belt Use Results
Nearly 128,000 observations were made. Notations are made based on vehicle type, age of driver and passenger use of seat belts.

  • 79 percent of Missouri's general public use a seat belt.

  • 85 percent seat belt use is the national average.

  • 66 percent of pick up drivers wear a seat belt.

  • 67 percent of teenagers wear a seat belt.

In 2010 the general public rate in Missouri was 76 percent. And the teenager rate has also increased but only by 1 percent. In 2010, 392 of the people killed in traffic crashes were unbuckled.

Continue reading "Greene County's Annual Missouri Seat Belt Survey Reviewed" »

Catastrophic Injury Reveiwed After a Fatal Traffic Accident Near Gainesville

September 10, 2011

A catastrophic death and catastrophic injuries occurred Saturday evening August 21 about 15 miles east of Gainesville, Missouri. The Ozark County accident lawyers review the facts as reported by the news and highway patrol Trucks_Assorted_2209 (10).JPG. The couple was traveling southbound on Missouri Route PP when a pickup bed trailer came loose from a pickup traveling northbound and struck the couple's Jeep head-on. The driver was killed and his wife, the passenger of the southbound vehicle, was flown to St. John's in Springfield with serious injuries.

Ozark County Missouri Accident Lawyers Explain Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injury law is Tort Law. This means a civil lawsuit may be filed to recover monies in a lump sum monetary settlement or in partial payments in an on-going compensation. The victim of a catastrophic injury must prove that the defendant was indeed liable, was the responsible party and that the defendant was negligent or acted with willful disregard.

Catastrophic injuries are usually injuries which are devastating in nature and quite often are permanent, though some catastrophic injuries are followed by recovery. These injuries can range from neurological damage to severe damage to the muscular or skeletal systems. The common thread is that these injuries have a major impact on the victim's life and on the lives of the victim's loved ones. The victim of a catastrophic injury maybe permanently disabled, subject to extreme long-term suffering, or even a shortened life span.

Most catastrophic injuries often occur from a very sudden incident or accident, such as the traffic accident on Saturday or an industrial accident, or can occur as the result of some type of toxic or hazardous materials exposure. Catastrophic injuries are not always immediate, as with an exposure the injury may take years to develop.

Continue reading "Catastrophic Injury Reveiwed After a Fatal Traffic Accident Near Gainesville" »

Missouri State Highway Patrol Starts Operation C.A.R.E. in Springfield, Missouri and throughout the state for Labor Day Weekend

September 5, 2011

In Springfield, Missouri and the rest of the surrounding state, you are likely to see a lot more law enforcement personnel this Labor Day. That is because Labor Day weekend usually results in a surge in the number of traffic accidents on our 977785_dont_speed_2b.jpgMissouri roadways. The Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers applaud Operation C.A.R.E. and the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) and all the local law enforcement agencies as they take to the streets this weekend to promote driver safety and traffic accident awareness.

What is Missouri State Highway Patrol's Operation C.A.R.E.?
Operation C.A.R.E. is actually a national campaign and it is designed to keep motorists safe. C.A.R.E. stands for Combined Accident Reduction Act and focuses on enforcing speed limits, seat belt laws, and alcohol related driving laws. From Friday through Monday night MSHP and other law enforcement agencies will increase the number of officers on the road, conduct spot sobriety check points and target aggressive driving.

Last year's Labor Day weekend saw more than 1,000 traffic accidents on Missouri roadways, which included 10 fatalities and 515 people injured. The hope is that Operation C.A.R.E. will help deter drinking and driving and encourage people to drive safely and wear their seat belts. These three factors continue to be major contributors to both traffic accidents and the injuries and deaths that result from those traffic accidents.

Operation C.A.R.E. was launched in 1977 and was formed as a multi-jurisdictional program of patrol, enforcement, and planning. All of this is designed to reach the goal of accident reduction. And the goal of accident reduction is part of efforts to reduce the pain and suffering that is a result of traffic accidents on our Springfield and surrounding Missouri area roads.

Continue reading "Missouri State Highway Patrol Starts Operation C.A.R.E. in Springfield, Missouri and throughout the state for Labor Day Weekend" »

Legal Analysis of Decision Finding City of Springfield, Missouri Partially at Fault for Accident at Grant and Portland in Midtown Springfield

September 2, 2011

One of our Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers shares the results of a recent personal injury case. Read this article to learn how personal injury cases can work.

1232540_statue_of_wisdom.jpgSpringfield Mo. Traffic Accident Results in Personal Injury Suit
In Lampe v. Taylor, 338 S.W.3d 350 (Mo. App. S.D. 2011), the Southern District Court of Appeals upheld a judgment in favor of an injured driver holding a negligent driver and the City of Springfield Mo. jointly and severally liable for $399,322.71 in damages to the injured driver. In October 2001, Hunter and Summer Lampe were driving southbound on Grant Avenue when they were t-boned by a car driven by Bette Taylor at the intersection of Grant and Portland in midtown Springfield. Ms. Taylor, who was driving westbound on Portland toward Grant, ran a red light at the intersection causing the accident with the Lampes. Summer Lampe sustained significant injuries in the accident. Ms. Lampe brought suit against Taylor alleging she was negligent in failing to obey the traffic signal, and against the City of Springfield alleging the city negligently maintained a dangerous condition at the intersection. Under Missouri law, a lawsuit for negligence against a public entity may be brought in certain situations if the public entity created a dangerous condition on public property.

Springfield Mo. Personal Injury Case Goes to Trial
At trial, Lampe offered the testimony of a traffic engineer, Dr. John Glennon, who testified that the authoritative manual on minimum traffic standards, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (Manual), required that the intersection have continuous visibility of the traffic signal for a minimum of 270 feet. According to Dr. Glennon, the city failed this requirement in that various obstructions blocked the continuous visibility of the light, including foliage, utility poles, and the traffic signals on Grant. Dr. Glennon concluded that the obstructions would have been obvious to utility workers who had visited the intersection for inspections numerous times in the several years prior to the accident. Dr. Glennon also testified that the failure to comply with the manual made the intersection dangerous, and this dangerous condition caused or contributed to the accident.

Additionally, Dr. Glennon testified that the City's installation of a "signal ahead" sign did not comply with the Manual. Under the Manual, if it is possible to meet the continuous visibility requirement, then placing a warning sign instead is not sufficient to be compliant with the Manual. Dr. Glennon testified that the 270 foot visibility requirement could be met in this specific situation, and thus the "signal ahead" sign was insufficient to make the intersection safe. Further, the "signal ahead" sign had its own visibility problems that minimized its effectiveness. Dr. Glennon concluded and testified that the intersection was dangerous despite the "signal ahead" sign.

Continue reading "Legal Analysis of Decision Finding City of Springfield, Missouri Partially at Fault for Accident at Grant and Portland in Midtown Springfield" »