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Glenda Mitchell Law Firm

Breakthrough made in external air bag technology

German components manufacturer ZF recently announced that it has developed an external air bag that could reduce car accident injuries in Georgia and elsewhere by as much as 40 percent. The announcement could compel automakers to implement the technology on new car and truck models in the near future.

ZF's external air bag is designed to deploy during impacts to the side of a vehicle, acting as an extra crumple zone. Like an interior air bag, it is supposed to inflate like a pillow and cushion a vehicle's occupants from the force of a crash. However, this can be tricky because a vehicle's sensors need to accurately predict when a crash is imminent and inflate the air bag a split second before impact. If the timing is off, the air bag could inflate unnecessarily or fail to inflate when needed.

Avoiding escalator accidents

The National Elevator Industry, Inc., offers several safety tips that Georgia residents may want to take into account. Elevators are among the safest forms of transportation, but accidents are not unknown. First, passengers should watch the direction that the escalator is going and step carefully, grasping the handrail with one free hand. They should have an arm around their young children or take the child's free hand.

The following should never be taken on an escalator: wheelchairs, electric scooters, strollers, hand carts and luggage carts. Passengers should be careful about loose clothing getting caught in the steps and sides. Children should not get too close to the sides, sit on the steps or climb onto the handrails. Everyone should stay facing front. Those who are wearing footwear made of soft resin or other rubbery materials should avoid escalators.

Driver involved in fatal Georgia accident likely to be charged

The Georgia State Patrol say that charges are likely to be filed against the driver of a Lincoln Aviator involved in a fatal accident in Laurens County on the evening of Nov. 25. Initial reports indicate that the SUV ignored a stop sign at the intersection of Holliday Road and Scotland Road just seconds before a 15-year-old girl was thrown from the vehicle and killed.

According to a GSP report, the Aviator was preceding westbound on Holliday Road when it was struck by a Ford F-150 pickup truck that had been traveling southbound on Scotland Road at about 7:00 p.m. The four occupants of the Ford were transported to a nearby hospital with what were described as minor injuries. They were treated and released according to media reports.

Slip and falls: what small business owners should know

Small business owners in Georgia may find themselves facing a premises liability claim if a customer or other entrant slips and falls on their property. The following is an outline of what slip and fall accidents might mean for small business owners and what they can do to avoid claims.

First of all, business owners have a duty of care toward entrants, which includes maintaining a reasonably safe property. Those renting a property are responsible for the safety of entrants, too.

Tips for Avoiding Winter Weather Accidents

While winter weather is a staple of northern states, Georgia is no stranger to icy roads or blizzard conditions either. And while winter usually brings carols and eggnog, it can also bring dangerous weather conditions. It's impossible to completely remove the risk of driving in winter weather, but there are a few steps drivers can take to be better prepared for the storm.

An easy way to avoid a weather-related vehicle accident is to stay out of winter weather entirely. Weather predictions aren't perfect, but they can give drivers a fair understanding of incoming inclement weather. Drivers can protect themselves by waiting out a storm or choosing a route that is less likely to be affected.

Driver likely to be charged in fatal Georgia crash

A Cherokee County car accident that killed one person injured two others on Nov. 27 will likely lead to charges against the teen driver who allegedly caused the collision. While investigators have not yet decided what exactly caused the crash, officials believe speed was a factor.

One of the car's 17-year-old passengers died at the scene of the accident when the car, driven by another 17-year-old, went off the road while taking a curve. Three of the deceased's classmates were also injured in the vehicle, and two sustained serious injuries. The vehicle was less than a mile from Creekview High School, which is where the deceased went to school, when it went off the road. A Cherokee County sheriff's official explained that there was a large embankment with trees along the side of the road, and the vehicle struck a tree when the driver lost control of it.

Tractor trailer course aims to reduce accidents

Potential truck drivers in Georgia and across the southern states may benefit from a new course offered by Tennessee Community College that teaches commercial truck driving safety. The course instructor has driven semi trucks and trailers for over a decade and has logged countless hours in the profession. His goal is helping future truck drivers learn the responsibility of driving safely when operating a semi-truck.

The course instructor said that when he trained to drive a truck, schools offered little to no safety courses. In the TCC course, potential drivers enter an intense program that focuses on Department of Transportation regulations and how to navigate and share the road. The course also offers students new technology that allows them to "drive" in the day, night, wind, snow and rain in order to give them experience before driving an actual tractor-trailer. The technology is similar to programs that airline pilots use before flying a plane.

Speeding contributes to fatal trucking accidents

Georgia motorists may be interested to learn that federal regulations requiring truck drivers to take a break could be contributing to an increase in fatal crashes. The regulations require a break after being behind the wheel for eight hours.

In 2017 alone, it was reported that 37,133 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents. While this in itself was 2 percent decline from the number of people killed in auto accidents in 2016, the number of large truck fatalities actually rose by 9 percent. The total number of people who died in these types of accidents was 4,761, an increase of 392 deaths from 2016. Of these deaths, approximately 1,300 were truckers. The remaining 72 percent of the deaths were occupants of other vehicles that were involved in the accident.

Distracted driving on the rise during holiday season

A survey from the app-based insurer Root Insurance shows that one-third of Americans who shop on mobile devices have done so while behind the wheel. Of those, 83 percent engaged in this dangerous activity during the holiday season. Residents of Georgia may not be surprised by this trend. Part of the reason for it is that many drivers have retailer apps that notify them about "lightning deals." The sense of urgency leads them to unsafe practices.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that about 2 percent of all drivers "manipulate" mobile devices when on the road. This includes calling, texting, shopping and changing the music. All such activities constitute a distraction, and they raise crash risks even more during the holidays because of the winter weather and the greater number of vehicles and pedestrians.

Holiday driving tips for staying safe on I-75

If you plan on traveling by car this holiday season on I-75 within the state of Georgia or beyond, it can be helpful to know some tips that can keep you safe on the road. Driving safety is especially important for those who have been driving for many years because experienced drivers may neglect basic safety precautions due to their familiarity behind the wheel.

Even if you think you have got everything covered, have a quick look at these tips to ensure you have not forgotten anything. The last thing you want to have happen is a ruined holiday due to a car crash, or even worse, a crash that leads to serious injuries.

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