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Distracted Driving and Tips to Avoid

Distracted Driving Risks

Driver distraction is a leading crash factor in Minnesota, accounting for around 25% of all crashes annually, according to a news release. In 2012, distracted driver-related crashes resulted in 51 deaths and 8,304 injuries, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety.

In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send text messages or emails, and access the Internet on a wireless device while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. It also is illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cellphone at any time, even to make or receive calls.

Driver distractions also include reaching for items, fiddling with radio, music or vehicle controls, eating and drinking, dealing with rowdy passengers and grooming.

Here’s a graphic example (re-enactment) of the terrible results of distracted driving. Every parent should view this video.

Click here to view the video (facebook)

Police gave the following tips to minimize driving distractions:

• Turn off cellphones or place them out of reach to avoid the urge to dial or answer a call or text. If a passenger is present, ask them to handle the calls and texts.

• Program favorite radio stations and arrange music in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors and air conditioning or heat before traveling or ask a passenger to assist.

• Designate a passenger to serve as a co-pilot to help with directions. If driving alone, map out destinations in advance, and pull over to study a map or program the GPS.

• Try to avoid food and drinks.

• Teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle; do not underestimate how distracting it can be to tend to children while driving.

• Passengers should speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior.

• If making or receiving a call from someone driving, ask them to call back when they are not driving.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about the serious personal injuries resulting from a distracted driving car crash, please contact us. We are happy to provide a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. Call Attorney Mark Malzahn at 763-421-2160.

Head Injuries Can Double the Risk of Death Within 15 Years

 

Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have lingering effects long after an initial impact. According to a new UK study, individuals who have been hospitalized for a mild head injury have nearly double the risk of dying within the next 15 years. This indicates that an injury can have an even more serious and deadly impact that first believed. The research, as published in The Guardian, indicates that individuals who suffered even a mild head injury were at a significantly higher risk of death than those with no history of head injury.

There may be a number of contributing factors to the results and researchers are not clear about exactly what links head injury to the increased risk of death. It is possible that the lingering impact of a head injury creates additional risk, rather than simply lifestyle before or after an injury. The law firm of Malzahn Law, Ltd. is dedicated to helping clients protect their rights and recover maximum compensation after an injury. With significant experience handling complex brain injury cases, we understand the importance of a thorough review and analysis in every case.

According to the research, some evidence points to lifestyle and health factors that may have contributed to the initial head injury. While there were high rates of death in the year following a head injury, doctors and researchers have not concluded why the risk of death persists, even in the long-term. Researchers were interested in studying not just the initial risk of head injury, but the long-term consequences and associated risks.

An initial study of disability after mild head injury led them uncover a high rate of deaths. Analyzing this data, scientists determined that the head injuries were extremely common and 95 percent of these injuries are labeled “mild.” The researchers tracked medical records of 2,428 adults admitted to hospitals with what was considered mild head trauma between February 1995 and 1996. They then compared records to individuals in a similar age and health bracket with those who were admitted to the hospital without a head injury. Then the researchers followed both groups over the course of 15 years to determine the rates of injury or death.

According to the findings, individuals who suffered from head injuries died at a rate of 2.42 per year compared to 1.34 percent per year for those who did not suffer a head injury. The results were more severe among younger patients who suffered a head injury when under the age of 55. These patients were four times more likely to die than their counterparts who did not suffer a head injury. Researchers stated that having a head injury itself is a risk factor for having another head injury. Those who have repeat head injuries have an additional risk of early death.

The results of this study underscore the reality that a head injury may have lasting implications and create additional risks of injury for a patient. In the event of an accident or injury, you should have your case reviewed by an experienced advocate to ensure you are fully compensated for your immediate and long-term losses.

Call the Law Offices of Mark W. Malzahn for a free and confidential appointment at 763-421-2160.

Texting and Driving

 

Distracted or inattentive driving is when a driver engages in any activity that might distract them from the primary task of driving — and increases their risk of crashing.

Each year in Minnesota, distracted or inattentive driving is a factor in one in four crashes, resulting in at least 70 deaths and 350 serious injuries, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety.

In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send text messages or emails, and access the Internet on a wireless device while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. It also is illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cellphone at any time, even to make or receive calls.

Driver distractions also include reaching for items, fiddling with radio, music or vehicle controls, eating and drinking, dealing with rowdy passengers and grooming.

Police gave the following tips to minimize distractions:

• Turn off cellphones or place them out of reach to avoid the urge to dial or answer a call or text. If a passenger is present, ask them to handle the calls and texts.

• Program favorite radio stations and arrange music in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors and air conditioning or heat before traveling or ask a passenger to assist.

• Designate a passenger to serve as a co-pilot to help with directions. If driving alone, map out destinations in advance, and pull over to study a map or program the GPS.

• Try to avoid food and drinks.

• Teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle; do not underestimate how distracting it can be to tend to children while driving.

•  Passengers should speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior.

•  If making or receiving a call from someone driving, ask them to call back when they are not driving.

 

Have you been injured or lost a loved one due to an accident? Our law firm represents clients throughout Minnesota. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured, contact Mark W. Malzahn today for a free case consultation. With offices in Anoka and Elk River, we have a location near you. Call our Anoka office at 763-421-2160 or our Elk River office at 763-441-4040 and speak to attorney Mark W. Malzahn.

Personal Injury Documentation

When you have been injured in a car crash, motorcycle accident, dog bite, slip and fall accident, or been the victim of a drunk driving accident, it is vital that you document your accident and injuries. It is important to report your accident and/or obtain a copy of the accident report from the owner of the premises. We need to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any and all witnesses. I cannot stress enough the importance of taking photographs, for example, of the defective sidewalk or step; the damage to your car before it is totaled or repaired; the dog that bit you, and of course, your injuries from the accident.

Another excellent type of documentation is to maintain a diary of the following: the hospital and medical treatment you underwent; the type of pain you experience on a daily basis, and what activities bring the pain on or exacerbate your suffering; your inability to perform activities of daily living due to your injuries (and identifying the people who must do these activities instead regarding household chores or maintenance); and how the accident has affected your enjoyment of life. This is instrumental when you must give testimony at a deposition or trial (often months or a couple of years after the events) as to treatment, pain and disability, and the toll the accident has taken on your life. These are the most important elements a jury will consider when deciding how much to award for your damages, so keeping a diary is a very smart way to improve your chances of a successful outcome at trial or a more substantial settlement before trial.