Car Seat Safety

  • August 19, 2015
  • Evans & Herlihy

Car seats are designed to keep children safe in motor vehicles, but in order to be effective, they must be installed properly and be the right size. Seats that aren’t secured or are the wrong size can put children at risk of injury. In Texas, the law requires children to be secured in car seats or booster seats if they are 8 years old or younger. However, age is less important than a child’s size, when it comes to determining what type of car seat they need. For example, a child who’s 3 years old and therefore legally able to be placed in a forward-facing car seat might need to ride in a rear-facing seat, if he’s small for his age. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends the following general guidelines [...]

Unsecured Loads Cause Accidents

  • August 7, 2015
  • Evans & Herlihy

Many drivers have had the unnerving experience of driving behind a truck that unexpectedly drops debris. It could be a gravel truck that sheds a pebble just large enough to crack your windshield, or a semi-trailer that suddenly sheds its cargo, creating a roadway obstacle course. Trucks carrying unsecured loads can cause minor dings and dents, along with serious injuries. But it’s not just big rigs that are causing unsecured-load injuries. Many overloaded pick-up trucks, along with cars carrying improperly secured items, are responsible for these types of crashes. Keeping Drivers In-Check Every state has a statute regarding unsecured loads. In Texas, it’s illegal to carry loose materials – dirt, gravel, and trash, for example [...]

ATVs and Children: A Dangerous Combination

  • August 4, 2015
  • Evans & Herlihy

Riding across an open field in an all-terrain vehicle can be a great way to unwind on the weekend. But it’s also an activity that can cause serious injuries for children. On June 11, 2015, an ATV accident in a Chambers County pasture killed two children. The four-seat ATV was carrying six people – all between the ages of 5 and 16 – when it rolled over. The 5-year-old boy died at the scene, and his 7-year-old sister died the next day. A week later, in Brazoria County, a 12-year-old boy died when he lost control of the ATV he was driving and crashed into a tree. Tragedies like these are becoming too common. And not just in Texas. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that in 2013, 99,600 people nationwide were treated in [...]

Liability for Serving Alcohol

  • July 14, 2015
  • Evans & Herlihy

All too often, we see stories about tragic crashes caused by drunk drivers. It’s hard to say why people decide it’s OK to drink and drive. Maybe they don’t realize they’re intoxicated, or they overestimate their own ability to drive while under the influence. But when bartenders recognize that a patron is intoxicated, they may be able to prevent that person from driving drunk. What the Law Says Texas law forbids the sale of alcohol to people who are obviously intoxicated to the point that they pose a danger to themselves or others. A bartender or bar-owner that violates that law could be found liable, if a patron causes a crash after leaving a bar. In 2012, a jury found a Texas bar 75 percent liable for a drunk driving crash, [...]

Sleep Deprivation and Accidents

  • May 13, 2015
  • Evans & Herlihy

There’s a reason Starbucks is so successful: Many people rely on coffee to get through the day, because they aren’t getting enough sleep. But while caffeine may increase alertness for a short time, it’s no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Without adequate sleep, people may become clumsy, forgetful, irritable, and they may have impaired reaction time and concentration. People who go to work tired often make careless mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can have serious consequences. In 2004, about 60 miles north of Dallas, a tired truck driver fell asleep at the wheel, and his rig crossed a median and struck two vehicles, killing 10 people. Sleep deprivation was also cited as a factor in the 1979 nuclear accident at Thre[...]