October 2011 Archives

Safety Tips for Halloween Celebrations in Springfield Missouri

October 28, 2011

Halloween is a very popular holiday for young and old alike, especially here in Springfield, Missouri. But like all fun things, Halloween can also be a little risky. From pedestrian accidents to drunk driving car accidents, it is a good idea to take extra precautions while you celebrate this year. With that in mind, Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers have put together a list local safe celebration ideas and a list of safety tips.

Safe Halloween Celebration Ideas in Springfield, Missourijackolantern.jpg

For everybody:

  • Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze -Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park, Thursday, October 06, 2011 - Sunday, October 30, 2011, Fri 5:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m.; Sat & Sun 12:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.

  • Spooktacular at Dickerson Park Zoo, Friday, October 21, 2011 - Monday, October 31, 2011, 6:30-9 p.m.

  • Halloween Hustle 5K/10K to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Courtyard by Marriott, 8 a.m. Saturday, October 29, 2011.

  • "THEY HAVE RISEN" spooky art show at Squidfoo Art Gallery Friday, October 7 at 6:00pm - October 31 at 10:00 p.m.

  • Ghost Tour at Pythian Castle, Saturday, October 29, 2011, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

  • Hotel of Terror haunted house and scary movies, 7 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. or later thru November 4.

Just for Kids:

  • Halloween Stories and Parades at local libraries; The Library Center and Brentwood Branch Library.

  • Undead Prom at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, October 31, 2011, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m

Adults Only:

Halloween Safety Tips

  • First and foremost remember to choose a designated driver or arrange for a transportation service.

  • Remind kids about the importance of watching for cars and how to cross the street.

  • Make sure everybody has a flashlight or glow sticks.

  • Remind your kids never to get into a car with a stranger or go into a stranger's house.

  • Make sure costumes are fire proof and provide adequate breathing and peripheral vision.

  • Make sure any costume props are dull edged and flexible.

  • Remember tricks should not include vandalism, respect others and their property and pets.

  • Coordinate the route and a time limit for trick or treating.

  • Use cell phones or cell phone aps for tracking your trick-or-treaters.

  • Carry a whistle or other warning device.

  • Everyone should have a good meal before leaving for any festivities.

  • Have your kids bring home the candy to be checked before they eat any.

Keep the distractions to a minimum while driving and keep an extra sharp eye out for all of the little spools and ghouls. Remember everybody gets excited and caught up in the fun of the holiday and may forget to look before they cross the road or pull out into traffic. By keeping a few simple safety tips in mind and remembering to look out for each other while driving and while walking, this Halloween will be as fun and enjoyable as ever.

The Springfield, Missouri car accident lawyers wish you a safe, car accident free, and fun Halloween.

Reminders for Pedestrian Safety after a Pedestrian Accident in Wright County Missouri

October 27, 2011

Walking is a great activity for so many reasons. In Wright County Missouri people walk for personal and environmental health. From saving money and fossil fuels to enjoying being outside and getting more exercise, more and more people are walking. However walking can also have some dangerous components, such as pedestrian car accidents. Wright County Missouri pedestrian accident lawyers want to improve safety for pedestrians and offer the following facts and tips.

Recent Pedestrian Accident In Mansfield, Mo
The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) is investigating a pedestrian traffic accident in Mansfield. An 89 year old man was left with serious injuries after a pick-up truck hit him while he was walking north on the edge of the southbound lane on Old Missouri 5. He was walking less than half a mile south of Mansfield when he was struck. The accident happened around 9:45 a.m. on the morning of September 20, 2011. The driver of the 1997 Dodge pickup left the scene.

Missouri Pedestrian Accident Facts
In 2009 there were 4,092 pedestrians killed and an estimated 59,000 injured in the United States. In Missouri there were 68 pedestrian fatalities that same year. This equates to a pedestrian being killed every two hours and one injured every nine minutes in pedestrian accidents nationwide.

And it is important to note that for the purposes of statistics a pedestrian is anybody on foot, including anybody sitting or lying down. And the accident statistics for pedestrian involvement does not include any accidents on private property, such as parking lots or driveways. So the numbers of pedestrians hit by vehicles is actually higher.

Continue reading "Reminders for Pedestrian Safety after a Pedestrian Accident in Wright County Missouri " »

Springfield Missouri Driver's Education and St John's Health Center

October 24, 2011

1334532_ER sign.jpgWhat do driver's education and a level 1 trauma center have in common? Springfield Missouri's St John's Health Center believes they have everything in common. As a level 1 trauma center, and the largest trauma center in Missouri, St. John's emergency room is where car accident victims with the worst injuries are brought. Accident victims with serious injuries are even flown by helicopter from as far away as northern Arkansas.

A level 1 trauma center means, in part, that St John's has a full surgical staff available at all times. And the most serious injuries generally require surgery. And as such St John's sees a lot of patients. They have found that injuries resulting from car accidents involving teen drivers and their passengers are the leading cause of trauma in teenagers admitted to the trauma center.

How Driver's Education Fits In

With the current economic times most schools throughout the country are forced to cut programs. And in southwest Missouri several schools have had to cut driver's education. Studies show that driver's education produces safer drivers with fewer accidents. So St. John's has decided to take a proactive step and provide a driver's education course through the hospital as part of their Kohl's Injury Prevention Center.

Funded by a grant from Kohl's, St John's driver education program is unique. It was actually created in 2010 and has had a 95 percent success rate for students passing the Missouri driver's exam. The curriculum is taught entirely behind the wheel. There is no classroom time and it is taught one-on-one. Through polling they discovered that teens learn how to drive best by doing and with the focused attention of a one-on-one setting. From the beginning the student is taught without distractions.

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Bolivar, Missouri Teen Joy Ride Turns into Tragic Car Accident and Fire

October 21, 2011

A recent tragic car accident in Bolivar, Missouri is a good example of how dangerous teenage drivers can be. Bolivar Missouri car accident lawyers have seen teen accidents ranging from inexperience and feeling invincible to showing off and driving distracted. Teenagers can easily put themselves in harm's way. And nothing is more dangerous than bravado and joy-riding.

Joy riding is a term that has been around for a long time. It has even been given larger-than-life and legendary status in movies and TV dramas. Joy riding is defined as taking a fun and often reckless drive in a car, usually one that has been stolen. The intent is not to steal a car so much as to have fun. It is a tempting practice to tweeners (pre-teens) and teenagers who do not have a license to drive yet, do not have a car of their own, or who just want to impress everybody with their driving prowess. And it is extremely dangerous.

headlights in the dark.jpgJust Google teenage joy riding. You will find lists of news articles about joy riding and its devastating results, including the one that happened in Bolivar on Saturday.

Bolivar Missouri Joy Riding Tragedy
The car accident happened at the intersection of Mt. Gilead Road and South 140th Road east of Bolivar. It was around 11 p.m. on Saturday night, October 15, 2011. Three teenage girls are now dead. The vehicle, a small Chevrolet pickup, ended up on fire.

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Distracted Drivers and Motorcyclists Don't Mix in Springfield Missouri

October 17, 2011

Before winter sets in, the call of the open road is stronger than ever in the Fall. The sun on your back, the fresh air on your face, the wind bustling around you as you drive your motorcycle down the road, these are the very reasons many people choose to travel by motorcycle.1016169_speed_of_motorcycle.jpg Nothing can beat traveling along a road and feeling so close to it and your surroundings. However, as with everything, there are perils. And the Springfield, Missouri motorcycle accident lawyers want to remind you and also point out the dangers of sharing the road with distracted drivers. Motorcycle accidents are primarily caused by another driver's failure to see or allow for the motorcyclist. Many of these types of accidents are caused by a distracted driver.

Distracted Drivers and Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents lead to greater injuries and loss of life than car crashes. The very thing that makes a motorcycle appealing also makes it more dangerous for the rider in an accident. The lack of a protective roof and doors also makes the motorcycle more difficult to see and to detect in traffic. Add to this a distracted driver and the chances of a motorcycle accident increase dramatically.

A distracted driver is anyone not paying full and careful attention to the task of driving. From talking on a cell phone to texting to trying to read a map a distracted driver has their attention on something other than driving. During the moments of shifting focus from the road and the traffic to some other task, a driver becomes a hazard to other motorists but this hazard is especially great for a motorcyclist.

Risk of Injury High for Springfield, MO Motorcycle Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 80% of motorcycle accidents involve at least one fatality. Many times a motorcycle accident involves cuts, scrapes and bruises. The more serious injuries are broken legs and head injuries. Without a helmet the possibility of spinal injuries greatly increases, as does the chance of serious head injuries. And no matter what the physical injury, the emotional trauma suffered in a motorcycle accident can be quite severe. Add in the costs associated with motorcycle repair and a motorcycle accident can be debilitating.

Continue reading "Distracted Drivers and Motorcyclists Don't Mix in Springfield Missouri" »

Defensive Driving Techniques to Help You Avoid a Car Accident in Springfield Missouri

October 13, 2011

It is a sad fact that most car accidents are caused by driver error and by lack of driver attention. So what can Greene County Missouri drivers do to reduce their chances of a car accident? Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers put together a list of defensive driving techniques to help you be more aware when you are driving in southwest Missouri.

Defensive Driving for Southwest Missouri
Defensive driving is all about driving from the aspect of being prepared.atthewheel.jpg It means you are driving with a sharp attention or awareness of what is going on around you and anticipating what may happen. This means you are better prepared to react to any changes in traffic or road conditions or to anything another driver might do. It is a form of driver training that goes beyond the rules of the road and the basic mechanics of driving. People with defensive driver training tend to be in fewer car accidents. And in fact that is the goal of defensive driver training, to avoid car accidents. The Missouri Department of Motor Vehicle explains that defensive driving is to avoid mistakes or avoid being in a car accident because of someone else's mistakes.

Specific Defensive Driving Techniques

We urge you to take a defensive driving course. The cost and time associated with the course are minimal, particularly when compared to the injuries, property damage, stress and time associated with car accidents. Here are few tips on how defensive driving works.

  • Stay focused on your driving and the conditions around you.

  • Scan ahead, always be looking at least 3-4 seconds down the road in front of you.

  • Scan around; repeatedly look from in front of you to both sides and to each mirror.

  • Anticipate problems: look for cars pulling from side streets or parking lots, children at play, animals that may dart out, another driver making a lane change or slowing to stop or turn.

  • Put away all of the distractions, from cell phones to problems at work, stay focused on your driving.

  • Take your foot off of the accelerator and cover your brake if you anticipate a problem.

  • Keep both hands on the wheel for ease in steering around hazards or maneuvering out of harm's way.

  • Look out for other drivers and possible hazards so you are ready to react and not caught off guard.

  • Have an escape route planned.

The key to defensive driving is being aware of potential problems and staying alert so you are prepared to stop or maneuver to avoid a car accident.

Continue reading "Defensive Driving Techniques to Help You Avoid a Car Accident in Springfield Missouri" »

Uninsured Drivers Mean Greater Financial Burden from Car Accidents in Springfield, Missouri

October 10, 2011

photo_13073_20090812.jpgIn Springfield and in all of Missouri we are feeling the impact of a weak economy. Times are tough, unemployment is up and almost everybody has to stretch their income as far as they can to get by. With the economy the way it is right now, the last thing any of us wants is to add to our financial burden with a car accident. The Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers work with people injured in car accidents all the time. We know the huge financial impact and burden a car accident creates. A car accident involving an uninsured driver makes this impact even greater.

Missouri Uninsured Driver Numbers
If you have not had the experience yourself, you probably know someone who has been involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver. The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that 1 in 7 drivers (14 %) were uninsured in Missouri in 2009. This was the same number nationwide in 2008 and the number nationwide only improved slightly for 2009, 13.8%. These numbers are of course just estimates. They are determined by comparing the rates of uninsured drivers claim frequency to that of bodily injury claims over all. The research numbers come from about 50% of the private passenger auto insurance market. There are numerous accidents involving uninsured drivers that do not make insurance claims.

Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Tickets Uninsured Drivers
MSHP issues tickets for uninsured drivers. And while sometimes the citation is issued because the driver does not have the proper proof of insurance card in the vehicle, more often than not the ticket is for no insurance at all. And a proof of insurance card does not always mean a current policy.

  • 2008 - 19,938 tickets for driving uninsured

  • 2009 - 21,113 tickets

  • 2010 - 22,331 tickets

MSHP represents just a small portion of these traffic citations. All law enforcement agencies issue tickets to uninsured drivers. The County and local agencies issue these tickets and can provide additional numbers also.

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Greene County Missouri Serious Injuries are Best Reminder to Wear Seat Belts

October 5, 2011

78225_driving.jpgGreene County Missouri car accident lawyers want to remind you of the benefits of seat belt use. All too often car accidents involve injuries. And the facts show that a seat belt can keep a serious injury from happening and greatly reduces the chances of death. A recent Springfield, Missouri car accident is a good example of what can happen and should serve as a reminder to always put on your seat belt.

The accident occurred on US 65 near Saddlebrooke. A woman was traveling in the southbound lanes when the car she was driving ran off the road and hit a pile of rocks. She was seriously injured. Also hurt was her passenger. Neither the driver nor her passenger was wearing a seat belt.

Facts About Seat Belt Use in Car Accidents
In 2009, which is the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 23,382 occupants of passenger vehicles were killed in traffic accidents, 53 percent were unrestrained. The NHTSA estimates that if seat belts had been worn in those cases at least 3,688 more lives would have been saved. In Missouri, that same year, 61 percent of occupants killed were unrestrained.

The NHTSA estimates that seat belt use saved 12,713 lives in 2009.

According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, the 2010 seat belt use data showed passenger vehicle usage was 85%. Of the 85% of people who wear their seat belts it can be broken down even further. 86 percent of people who drive passenger cars wear seat belts, 88 percent for vans, and 75 percent for pickup trucks.

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Arrive Alive Tour Comes to Springfield, Missouri

October 2, 2011

Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers were pleased to see the national Arrive Alive Tour in our own city of Springfield last week. The Springfield, Missouri Police Department, Greene County Sherriff and the Central Bible College partnered together to bring the tour to Greene County. The Arrive Alive Tour was held at Central Bible College's main campus on Wednesday September 21, 2011.

Arrive Alive Tour in Springfield, Missouriphoto_18058_20100529.jpg
The Arrive Alive Tour is a national tour that travels across the country to demonstrate the dangers of driving while distracted and also driving while intoxicated. Each year Arrive Alive focuses on the major issues causing car accidents in the United States. Distracted driving continues to be a major problem. So this year the tour is about showing the dangers of driving while texting.

The Tour allows people to get into a vehicle with a simulator. Discs are placed under the wheels of a real car so the driver gets a true experience of riding and turning on the road. Sensors are connected to the steering wheel, brakes, and gas pedal of the car to allow the driver to steer and accelerate and brake as if they are actually driving while the sensors interact with the computer that runs the simulation. The driver wears a 180 degree virtual reality headset so they are totally immersed into the driving experience, including images showing the windows and the rear-view mirror.

While driving in the simulator, the driver receives a text message and attempts to read and answer the text. The driver gets to see what can happen in real time, from driving off the road or crashing into another vehicle to running over a pedestrian. The simulation is made even more real by the issuance of citations to the driver after they exit the vehicle. Law enforcement officers are on hand to explain the legal ramifications of what the driver just experienced, including court costs, lawyer fees, jail time, insurance issues and injury results.

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