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O'Fallon Illinois Personal Injury Law Blog

Top Halloween safety tips for pedestrians and drivers

With Halloween coming soon, kids may already be giddy with the anticipation of donning costumes and getting candy while strolling through their neighborhood. With this highly anticipated event, drivers throughout St. Louis County must be careful about seeing (and avoiding) pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of children killed in car-pedestrian accidents spikes on Halloween, because more little ones are walking neighborhoods at night.

Because of this, there are a number of precautions that drivers and pedestrians can take in order to be safe.

Self-driving cars are coming, and humans must be careful

The proliferation of crash avoidance systems in new cars (e.g. lane integrity warnings, proximity warnings and automatic braking) are quickly turning what used to be considered science fiction into reality.

Indeed, all of these are the precursors to self-driving cars, but the big questions involve how soon will such cars appear on streets and highways around St. Louis? According to some experts, these vehicles could be on the road as soon as 2020. Companies such as Google, General Motors and BMW are well in the process of developing autonomous vehicles, and high-end Tesla models have autopilot modes that actually allow a driver to let the car do the driving. 

Can you recover money because of negligent security?

Negligent security is the failure to exercise reasonable care in providing security or protection to patrons in a commercial venue. It is a theory of premises liability where a property owner is held accountable for a patron’s injuries suffered in the midst of a criminal act on the owner’s property. An injured patron may recover money damages for negligent security by proving:

-      The owner had a legal duty to protect people invited to enter the property, such as customers or tenants, or to warn them of specific dangers.

Safe driving tips for Labor Day weekend

Believe it or not, but Labor Day weekend will soon be upon us. With that, many around the St. Louis metro area will celebrate the last holiday of the summer. They tend to drive to their favorite destinations. With gas prices down compared to last year, traffic volumes are expected to be high. As such, prudent driving will be important given how Labor Day weekend is a dangerous time to be on the road.  

We want our readers to be safe, so we offer the following tips. 

Dangers to be aware of at waterparks

Some days it seems like water parks are made for the “dog days of summer.” After all, how better is it to beat the heat by sliding down a waterslide, hanging out on a lazy river or even playing in a wave pool. Indeed, water parks have such a following that even after summer ends, people will flock to indoor facilities to continue the summertime fun.  

With more than 50 million people attending water parks in the United States each year, accidents are certain to occur. Indeed, may be injured if they run where they are not supposed to, but many harmful accidents occur around waterslides. Basically, some slides may have dangerous design defects. 

Will a 'textalyzer' resolve questions of fault in accident cases?

Distracted driving, particularly texting while driving, remains a national problem even with a majority of states enacting laws banning the practice. It appears that even with these laws in place, people continue to use their cell phones to communicate while on streets and highways.

This may be due to the difficulty in enforcing such laws. In many jurisdictions, texting and driving is only actionable as a secondary offense (meaning that another primary offense must be cited before the texting violation is considered). Regardless, a new piece of technology is in the works to help combat distracted driving. 

Who is liable when a sinkhole swallows a car?

While a number of our posts focus on hazards drivers encounter because of other drivers, the roads we drive on can sometimes be hazardous as well. Indeed, we are not worried about snow covered roads and black ice in July, but warped roads and sinkholes could be dangerous.

Such was the case with a car owner in downtown St. Louis.  According to a recent AP.com report, a driver believed that he found a prime parking spot for his morning workout, only to come back to find that his Toyota Camry was gone. Initially he thought that someone stole his car, but as he walked closer to where he previously parked his car he found several steel workers surrounding the site.

What NOT to do after a car accident

With the Independence Day holiday coming next week, the roads around the St. Louis County region are expected to be busy. The American Automobile Association expects a record number of travelers on the road due to low unemployment and relatively low gas prices.

When traffic increases, the possibility of an accident increases as well. Indeed, it is possible to seek a legal remedy if you are injured in a crash or your car was damaged. But people make mistakes that can damage potential claims.

What teen drivers should know about the '100 Deadliest Days'

The Independence Day holiday is arguably the height of the summer (even though the first day of summer was only a week ago). For many high-school kids (especially those who drive) it is a time like no other during the year.

The summer is also a dangerous time for teen drivers considering their proclivity to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Because of this, law enforcement agencies across Missouri refer to the months between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day weekend as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.”

Will the new IPhone option curb distracted driving?

At last week’s World Developers Conference in San Jose, California, Apple announced a new function in its IOS 11 operating system that could curb distracted driving. After all, distracted driving (particularly texting while behind the wheel) is still a problem in the United States. The NHTSA reports that 3,500 people were killed in accidents involving distracted driving. Further, 391,000 were injured in such accidents.

According to a Popular Science report, the “do not disturb” function will keep an IPhone’s screen dark instead of showing notifications that could distract a driver. Essentially, the screen at “wake up” will remind users that notifications will not be displayed while the car is in motion, and people who text or send other messages will receive an auto reply message indicating that the driver is currently driving.

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