Archive for January, 2013

Buffalo Residents Speak Out About Drowsy Driving Dangers

Jan 2013

Recently, WICU Channel 12 interviewed individuals in Buffalo who were filling up their gas tanks near I90. The subject of the interview, drowsy driving, was prompted by a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC study was an ambitious project, the largest study ever conducted on the subject of driver fatigue. Our Buffalo accident attorneys, like many, are concerned with what the results of the CDC study show and we were interested to hear first-hand how Buffalo residents felt about drowsy driving.

Unfortunately, according to WICU, residents seemed to accept drowsy driving as a part of the risk of being behind the wheel. One resident compared the dangers of drowsy drivers to the dangers presented by drunk drivers, indicating that you can’t ever tell when someone who is on the road is dozing off or impaired by alcohol. The comparison was an appropriate one, since studies have shown that a person who is driving after not having slept for around 20-21 hours is as severely impaired in his driving ability as someone whose blood alcohol level has reached the legal limit of .08.

Why Drivers in Buffalo are Concerned About Drowsy Driving

Drivers interviewed by WICU indicated that it was important to stay back and steer clear of drowsy drivers because these drivers may not behave in a rationale or safe way. A drowsy driver may not be paying attention to what other drivers around are doing. The drowsy driver may not be as quick to stop the car or to react to changes in traffic signals or other cars pulling out in front. In a worst-case scenario, the drowsy driver might even fall asleep entirely and put himself and others at a very serious risk of becoming involved in a car wreck.

Sleeping drivers may not be something that the average driver is too concerned about, since many people assume that no one would keep driving if they were actually falling asleep behind the wheel. The CDC survey, however, tells a different story. According to the survey, just over 4 percent of all drivers that responded to the CDC’s questions indicated that they had closed their eyes (at least for a few seconds) and fallen asleep as they drove during the 30 days immediately preceding the survey. The numbers of men engaged in drowsy driving was even higher, as was the number of drivers in the 18-44 group, who had a drowsy driving ratio of over 5 percent of drivers.

The CDC study is scary, considering the fact that there are more than 100 drivers on the road at most times of the day. It confirms earlier data about the widespread dangers of drowsy driving, but it is important because it is the largest and most comprehensive study on the subject of drowsy driving with over 147,000 survey respondents from across 19 states and D.C.   The data shows that these Buffalo residents interviewed at the gas station off of I90 are right to be concerned, and that every other driver on the road should also be concerned too.

If you’ve been injured in a drowsy driving accident in Buffalo or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of James Morris today for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-477-9044.

ESPN Anchor’s Grilling Accident Draws Attention to Burn Injury Risks

Jan 2013

In December of 2012, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm was in the process of getting dinner ready. Like many people do, Storm was barbecuing her dinner on the backyard grill. As she cooked, she noticed that the grill had gone out. Storm attempted to relight the grill, but unfortunately disaster struck. Instead of relighting, a powerful gas explosion occurred, blowing the doors right off the grill. Storm’s shirt caught on fire and she suffered first and second degree burns on her head, neck and chest. Storm also lost some of her hair as well as her eyebrows in the explosion. Yahoo Sports had pictures of her burn injuries, released by ABC.

Storm was, fortunately, able to get the medical assistance that she needed and was back at work and on television to host the New Year’s Rose Parade. Still, her serious injuries have brought the dangers of gas grills to public attention. Gas grills are just one of the many common causes of burn injuries that send people to the ER each year and that have a life-changing impact. Our Buffalo burn injury attorneys want to make sure that everyone is aware of some of the burn injury risks and that they take responsible steps to protect themselves.

Burn Injury Dangers

As Hannah Storms’ recent accident shows, there are many household objects that you use on a regular basis that create the risk of causing a burn injury. In fact, every day, people encounter many situations at home, at work or on the road that could result in a fire or burns. Some statistics can illustrate just how many burn risks there are:

Gas grills, auto accidents and scalding injuries are some of the most common causes of burn injuries. There are, of course, other causes of burn injuries as well. For example, people may suffer chemical or electrical burns. While it may seem like these types of burns would happen mostly in industrial settings, WebMD makes clear that a number of household cleaners and other products could potentially cause chemical burns to people in their own homes.

Unfortunately, this means that any of these types of burns, from gas grills to scalding injuries, can happen anywhere. They happen at work, where the  Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that three percent of all of the 4,609 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in 2011 were caused by burns.  They can also happen in apartments where the National Fire Protection Association reports that there were 95,500 structural fires in 2011 causing 415 deaths. Finally, they can happen at home where an estimated 8,600 home and outdoor fires prompted homeowners to seek help from the fire department from 2006 to 2010.

Knowing about the dangers of burns, whether from gas grills or from any other cause, is important so you can try to stay safe and avoid becoming one of the thousands each year who are hurt by fire. The makers of products, from gas grills to dangerous chemicals, also need to warn people of the risks and do everything possible to keep people safe or else they could be faced with a lawsuit.

If you’ve been injured in Buffalo or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of James Morris today for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-477-9044.