Drowsy Driving Increasing Problem

A new study revealed that falling asleep while driving is an increasing problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently released the results of the largest survey on drowsy driving in America. 4.2% of adults questioned said that they had fallen asleep at least once within the prior 30 days. The survey asked 147,086 people across 19 states about their sleep habits and driving habits.  18-44-year-olds were 3% more likely than respondents 65 and older to have fallen asleep at the wheel. While 3.2% of women admitted to falling while driving, 5.3% of men said the same. The CDC has provided new evidence showing that  drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. In 2011 in Texas alone, there were 136 fatal car accidents, 1,178 serious-injury crashes, 711 other injury accidents, and 2,101 non-injury crashes attributed to driver’s being fatigued or asleep at the wheel. Texas lawyer, Don R. Colton, is pushing efforts to reduce car crashes due to drowseyness. “No one, young or old, manned or woman, should be driving when they are so tired or drowsy that they are on the cusp of falling asleep,” says Colton, “… it is a risk that people should not take.” Campaigns for public education about the dangers of driver fatigue are beginning. The National Sleep foundation, just put up the informative site: DrowsyDriving.org  which contains educational materials, hand outs, event ideas, a teen/parent contract, among other resources. Colton thinks while this information spreading will be helpful to some, it won’t be enough to stop the increasing danger. He suggests holding drowsy drivers accountable for their negligence by bringing accident...
Car Flipped Over Median, Woman Unscathed

Car Flipped Over Median, Woman Unscathed

Last week just out of St. George, a car flipped over a median, leaving the driver remarkably uninjured. The car was driven by a woman in her mid-30s, passing along Snow Canyon Parkway.  At about 8:00 am, she started to drift towards the median, causing her to lose control of her vehicle. The car flipped and landed in lanes of oncoming traffic. Even though she was not wearing a seatbelt, the driver  showed no signs of injuries. St. George Police spokesperson Cpt. James Van Fleet said that she was standing, walking, and talking with emergency personnel as they were on the scene. The photo of the completely rotated car was submitted via ksl.com’s iWitness app. Despite significant damage to the car, especially the rear passenger wheel, the accident was quickly cleaned up, and traffic resumed as normal. Van Fleet said that no mind-altering substances were a factor in the crash, nor simple distractions like cell phones, “It seems it may just be a little bit of inattention” he said. The driver received a citation for improper lane travel. It is really quite astonishing that this woman walked away from an accident of that magnitude unscathed, having not worn a seatbelt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a seatbelt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50%. In a 4-year span, seat belts saved more than 75,000 lives.  49 states, as well as DC have laws that make wearing a seatbelt mandatory. While she was lucky last week, it is a much better plan to not take the risk! Buckle up, and keep yourself and your family...

Pedestrian Rescued from Under TRAX

KSL reported Monday morning, a pedestrian was hit and pinned beneath a TRAX train. According to UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter, the man was trespassing around 6:30 am, near the crossing at 2100 South and 200 West, where he stepped onto the tracks, was hit, dragged, and pinned under the train, but was not run over by the wheels. Officials brought in huge and heavy equipment to lift the train off of the man. It took about 30 minutes for the crew to rescue him. The man is currently in the hospital with serious but not  life-threatening injuries. A witness said the man, described to be in his early 20s, lost his footing and slipped, then yelled for help. All TRAX trains shut down after the accident, but were running again as of 10:00 am.  The accident may or may not have been weather related. Weather reporters and news sources are issuing warnings about this weather. By 8:30 Monday morning, UDOT said snowplows had been on the roads for 18 straight hours. Still, ice may persist, and the commute was challenging for many. Cottonwood Heights police tweeted, “Please don’t travel in the city unless absolutely necessary. Numerous accidents and slide-offs have been reported all week because of the slushy, icy, and snowy conditions. There were also flights delayed due to inclement weather at the Salt Lake International Airport. From all of us at Christensen & Hymas, please keep yourself alert, and safe while driving in these difficult road...

What are the Utah Accident Books?

The Utah Accident Books are a series of short books that provide incredibly useful information to any Utah resident who wants it. Kenneth L. Christensen has been working as a personal injury attorney for many years, and throughout his countless cases, he experienced first-hand how quickly and easily many insurance companies will take advantage of their customers. One recent case gives a great example as to why Ken felt so passionately about producing these handbooks: In 2009, a man whom we will refer to as Rob, lost his parents in a tragic car accident. Neither he nor his siblings had ever dealt with a death in the family, let alone their own parents, so they struggled through the medical and funeral proceedings, assuming that their insurance would help. On top of the funeral expenses, Rob was left with close to $45,000 of debt because of the life-flight and emergency treatment given to his late father. The insurance company called Rob and told him that his claim had been denied, and the case was closed.  A friend of Rob’s saw his dire situation and gave him a copy of the Utah Accident Handbook, where Rob then called Ken Christensen for advice on what to do next. Luckily Ken represented Rob. Ken found out that the original reason for denying the claim was incorrect. They then offered a small settlement, which was still insufficient. They eventually settled justly. The insurance company initially said that Rob and his family  did not have a case. Unfortunately many people have been in very similar situations, and are often not in a position to find justice themselves....
Icy Conditions Lead to Bus Crash & More

Icy Conditions Lead to Bus Crash & More

Last Friday, a school bus collided with a pickup truck. A school bus about two-thirds of the way full was headed to Century Elementary School when it crashed on a foggy road in Box Elder County. Superintendent Ron Wolff said that bus speeds were relatively low. No drivers were injured, but several kids are being treated for minor injuries. Three students were taken to the local hospital for further examination. The accidents were a continuation of the crazy ice conditions on Thursday.  Between 9:00 pm Thursday night and 3:00 am Friday, 26 weather related accident were reported by the Utah Highway Patrol alone. The unusual freezing rain created many problems. All runways at the Salt Lake City International Airport were closed after a plane reportedly slid off the runway. In the Salt Lake County alone, hundreds of accidents took place, 128 property destruction, 25 personal injuries, and eight slide-off incidents. The Orem Police department reported 25 accidents in the morning.  These extreme conditions were unlike any weather most Utah residents have ever seen. Some vehicles crashed going only 20 mph. KSL Meteorologist Grant Weyman said that Thursday morning’s weather was one of the strangest he’d ever seen. He also explained that because of this inversion that has been around for the past 10 days,  it started to rain in the upper, warmer air, then came through to the cold valley air, and created freezing rain. Luckily it appears that the worst of the crazy icy conditions is over. From all of us at Christensen & Hymas, stay cautious and aware on the roads, no matter what...