Sad Video of Consequences of a Texting While Driving Accident in Utah

I recently blogged about studies published on the dangers of texting and driving. Texting while driving is proving to be a driving distraction that trumps all. I came across this video that documents the sad story of a young man who took two lives because he was texting while driving.

The words and picture speak for themselves. Although applicable to everyone, if you have teenagers of driving age, I especially recommend showing this clip to them…

Click on link below to view video….

  • http://ut.zerofatalities.com/texting.php

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

Man Attacked by Two Pit Bulls in Salt Lake City Dog Bite Accident

Two pit bulls attacked a man in South Salt Lake City on Friday August 21, 2009. This Utah dog bite marks the second attack involving pit bulls in the last two days and the fourth of the summer.

“The guy said he was outside and the dog attacked him,” said gas station owner Ahmed Nazir. According to the police and KSL news, the put bulls approached the man outside a gas station at 3900 South and Main Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. As the dogs got close the man got scared and started kicking one of the dogs. The dog fought back and bit the man in the face and arm. The dogs were picked up three blocks from the scene of the dog bite.

 

Video Courtesy of KSL.com.

The fact that the pit bulls can turn violent so quickly is alarming many Utah residents. Many city councils, including Orem, are considering regulations against pit bulls. Springville, Utah has had regulations against the breed for several years. The call for regulation against pit bulls is equaled by an outcry from the Humane Society of Utah who says it is unfair to simply target pit bulls. They claim that if they dog owner does his or her job, the dogs will not become aggressive.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah dog bite accident attorney.

West Jordan Pedestrian Accident Leaves Toddler with Serious Injuries

A young pedestrian crossing the street with his mother in West Jordan, Utah at Grizzly Way was struck by a Nissan Altima driven by Cody Ray McCormick, age 24 last week. Just today, August 18, 2009, he was released from the hospital according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The 4-year old boy had been crossing the street with his mother and two other young ones in the stroller when he was hit. The mom and siblings were also injured in this Utah pedestrian accident. The driver was arrested after police suspected the driver was under the influence. He was arrested on suspicion of a 3rd-degree felony DUI and a misdemeanor for improper lane travel.

Best wishes to this young boy as he struggles to recover. According to reports, he received a fairly serious brain injury from what sounds like a totally preventable pedestrian accident. Utah brain injuries obviously come in different severity levels, but can have devastating effects if they are considered “traumatic.” Some seriously injured children need around-the-clock care for their profound brain injuries. Others need special schooling and assistance to deal with the deficiencies stemming from their injury. The parents may wish to get in touch with the Utah Brain Injury Association http://www.biau.org/ as a resource as they deal with the aftereffects of this crash.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah pedestrian accident attorney.

Salt Lake City Police Say Texting and Alcohol May Have Caused Crash

Luckily, no one beside the person suspected of drinking and texting was injured in a car accident today, August 14, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to KSL News, a woman who witnesses believed was texting, was weaving in and out of traffic and driving erratically for many blocks. At one point, she was close to hitting several parked cars and then did just that: she hit a parked car.

Photos show crushed cans of beer in the cabin of her vehicle. Police have seized her cell phone and will be checking her text messaging history to see if she was really texting and driving. Officials say that this might be the first crash that they will prosecute under Utah’s new no-texting law passed this past May.

I actually represented a man who was seriously injured by a woman who admitted that she had been texting while driving. KSL actually reported on this story back in July 2008. The woman in our case actually confessed to police that because she was texting while driving, she was distracted to the point that she ran a red light and hit my client and a nearby pedestrian. See story here. We have since settled his case with the at-fault driver. From a lawyer’s perspective, texting-while-driving creates what we call “aggravated liability.” In other words, the at-fault driver will be seen as more culpable because of their decision to engage in an extremely distracting activity while driving. These cases always settle at a higher value because of this fact.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

Fatal Utah Motorcycle Accidents on the Rise

The Utah Highway Patrol announced today, August 13, 2009, an alarming increase in the number of Utah motorcycle accidents. According to the UHP, there have been 21 fatal motorcycle accidents in Utah since May of this year. And 5 of those have occurred in the past 2 weeks. The UHP says that several of these deadly Utah motorcycle crashes involved riders who were not wearing a helmet.

In 2008, there were 35 Utah motorcycle deaths reported. The year before in 2007, there were 34 motorcycle fatalities. It seems that motorcycle deaths have risen sharply given the recent increase in Utah motorcycle deaths. If this recent trend were averaged for the year, this would amount to 84 motorcycle deaths in Utah. Of course, there are many more riders on Utah’s roads in the warmer months than when there is snow and ice on the road.

Partially to blame for the increased amount of deaths is the dramatic increase in the sales of motorcycles and scooters in Utah. According to some reports, sales have increased by 300% over a year ago. There are many parking lot vendors selling scooters to whoever will pay $795 or above for their motorized, two-wheeled transportation. No safety class is required for anyone purchasing one of these. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of inexperienced scooter and/or motorcycle riders on Utah’s roads.

I therefore applaud the UHP for their efforts in getting the word out of the dangers of riding a motorcycle and/or scooter and that motorcycle and scooter riders need to take safety courses to protect themselves as they travel down Utah’s roads. Utah motorcycle dealers are also getting involved, with Salt Lake Harley Davidson publicizing a motorcycle safety course that they offer.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah motorcycle accident attorney.

Utah Motorcycle Accident Kills One

Pamela Gronning was riding as a passenger on a motorcycle when the bike collided with a deer in Millard County. The accident happened on Sunday, August 10th, 2009. 50 -year-old Gronning, from Sheridan, Montana was on a 2007 Harley Davidson riding north on State Road 257 when the motorcycle hit a deer causing the bike to slide 200 feet. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that both Gronning and the driver were wearing helmets but Gronning still suffered such severe head injuries that she was pronounced dead at the hospital. The driver escaped with minor injuries.

 

Video Courtesy of KSL.com.

Deer and other wildlife present a serious danger to Utah motorists. The impact of a collision with a deer can be substantial for someone in a vehicle and often proves fatal for motorcyclists. I offer my sincere condolences for the Gronning family as they attempt to recover from this tragic loss.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah motorcycle accident attorney.

Utah Accident Rate Much Higher When Motorists are Text Messaging

The first official study of drivers texting inside their vehicles shows that the risk is actually far greater than estimates based on laboratory research. Also the new study concluded that the risk that comes from texting far surpasses the dangers of other driving distractions.

The study, performed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, fitted the cabs of long-haul trucks with video cameras for 18 months. The study found that when drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not text messaging. Also measured was the time drivers took their eyes off the road to send or receive texts.

The study reports that drivers spend nearly 5 seconds looking at a text message- that is enough time to cover more than the length of a football field. Researchers say although driving a truck and car different, the findings apply to both types of automobiles.

Compared with other sources of driver distraction, “texting is in its own universe of risk,” said Rich Hanowski, the person in charge of the study.

The New York Times reports that thirty-six states do not have a ban on text messaging. Many states that do not have ban say they need more data to draft a bill to outlaw texting while driving. This study certainly provides ample date.

The issue of texting while driving has drawn attention following several nationally publicized events, including the trolley car crash that was attributed to the operator texting whiling driving.

Additionally, right here in Utah, The University of Utah published a study where college students, using a sophisticated driving simulator, showed an eight times greater crash risk when texting. David Strayer, the professor who co-wrote the U of U report gave two explanations for the simulator’s showing lower risks than the Virginia study. First, trucks are heavier and harder to maneuver and second college students might be better at multitasking and be more comfortable texting.

Regardless, the results speak for themselves. Texting while driving is an extremely dangerous distraction.

This study combined with the University of Utah study show that text messaging while driving significantly increases the chance that a Utah driver will become distracted to the point that they get into an accident. Although the Utah State legislature outlawed text messaging while driving this year, I expect that motorists will still do it. Even with the law, I don’t see that the number of people texting will driving will slow down for the foreseeable future. The chime or the alert that come with a text messaging, I think, will prove too irresistible for some motorists to pass up. From a legal liability point of view, motorists who text and cause accidents should expect that lawyers will treat this situation similarly as they treat a DUI.

A text-messaging defendant is really a plaintiff’s attorney’s dream. We know how the public feels about those that hurt others while texting. From our point of view, if we can get this defendant in front of a jury, we know they are going to get slammed. So text-messaging motorists be aware: your actions are very dangerous and if you hurt someone, there will be no shortage of attorneys anxious to take the injured person’s case.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.