November 19, 2012
That National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has released the results of a recent study regarding the use of seatbelts by Americans. According to the NHTSA’s survey, seatbelt use has reached an all-time high in 2012 – roughly 86% of travelers are buckling up, as opposed to the 84% in 2011. The most dramatic increase in seatbelt use, according to the NHTSA, has been seen in the southern region of the United States, where seatbelt use rose from 80% in 2011 to 85% in 2012.
Seatbelt use has steadily increased since 1994, the NHTSA reports, but continues to be higher in states with primary belt laws, which allow law enforcement officers to issue citations to motorists solely for not using a seatbelt rather than requiring additional traffic violations. In the United States, only New Hampshire has no law on the books regarding seatbelt use (although it does have a law that applies to all drivers and passengers under the age of 18 years). 32 states and the District of Columbia have passed primary laws requiring seatbelt use, while another 17 states have secondary laws. New Hampshire is the only state that has not enacted either a primary or secondary seatbelt law, though the state’s primary child passenger safety law applies to all drivers and passengers under the age of 18.
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March 15, 2012
A 6-year-old Conway girl was killed on Friday, March 9, 2012, in a fatal car accident on I-40 just west of Mayflower in Faulkner County. Capt. Keith Eremea identified alcohol and speed as two potential factors contributing to the accident. Unfortunately, alcohol-related fatalities occur each year. In 2009, according to one study, 211 alcohol-related fatalities were recorded in Arkansas, and 168 of those involved drivers who were considered alcohol-impaired. A driver involved in a motor vehicle crash is considered to be alcohol-impaired if he or she exhibits a blood-alcohol content of .08 or greater. The distinction between alcohol-impaired accidents and alcohol-related accidents has been addressed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
A motor vehicle crash is considered to be alcohol-related if at least one driver or non-occupant (such as a pedestrian) involved in the crash is determined to have had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 gram per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Thus, any fatality that occurs in an alcohol-related crash is considered an alcohol-related fatality. The term ‘alcohol-related’ does not indicate that a crash or fatality was caused by the presence of alcohol.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances is dangerous. For that matter, driving under any circumstances where there may be distractions that remove the focus from the road ahead can lead to serious injuries the death. In addition to the devastating loss of loved ones, accidents resulting from the use of alcohol can lead to staggering medical bills, lengthy recovery, and permanent disability, for which the impaired driver should be held accountable in a court of law.
Our thoughts are with the family of that young girl, and for everyone involved in the accident.
September 22, 2011
Yesterday morning, three Fayetteville workers were struck by a vehicle. The driver, Jo Jackson of Fayetteville, reportedly told police officers that she was unable to see the workers because she was blinded by the sun. This afternoon, one of the workers, 57-year-old Jackie Luper, died from injuries he sustained when he was struck by Ms. Jackson’s car, according to Fox 16.
Ms. Jackson had been cited for driving while intoxicated by drugs, reckless driving, and disobeying a traffic control device. Because a child was in the vehicle with Ms. Jackson, she was also charged with child endangerment.
Now, Fayetteville police officer Sgt. Chip Stout has indicated that the prosecutor must now decide whether to charge Ms. Jackson in Mr. Luper’s death.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “[d]rugged driving is a public health concern because it puts not only the driver at risk but also passengers and others who share the road.” Drugs alter the driver’s perception, balance, coordination, reaction time, and other critical skills necessary to safely operate a vehicle.
We at the Brad Hendricks Law Firm send our thoughts and sincerest condolences to Mr. Luper’s family during this difficult time.
September 22, 2011
KARK 4 News is reporting that a school bus carrying five Booker Arts Magnet School students and a car have collided at 31st and Booker streets in Little Rock. The driver of the school bus and the children were unharmed, but eyewitnesses reported that the driver of the vehicle was injured and has gone to the hospital. The identity of the driver of the car, and the extent of her injuries, are unknown.
September 21, 2011
On September 21, 2011, at approximately 7:30 a.m., three Fayetteville city employees were rushed to a nearby hospital after being struck by a SUV in the 1900 block of Joyce Boulevard.
According to the driver, she did not see the workers, because the sun was in her eyes. The woman drove over construction cones before hitting two of the workers and clipping the third. Two of the workers were in serious condition after being transported to Washington Regional Medical Center. The condition of the third worker was not known at the time the story was reported by 5 News.