I was hurt by the Watson Grinding & Manufacturing explosion. What are my legal options?

Houston Watson Grinding & Manufacturing Explosion AttorneysAt approximately 4:24 a.m. on Friday, January 24, 2020, a huge explosion ripped through Watson Grinding and Manufacturing’s premises, located at 4524 Gessner Road in Houston, TX.

Channel 13 News reports that a propylene tank exploded at the facility and the debris field expands for a half-mile. It appears that the Westbranch neighborhood is most affected. Pictures and videos posted to social media by residents near the site of the explosion show considerable property damage to homes and vehicles, including windows that have been cracked, and glass completely blown out.

Who is most likely impacted by the explosion?

Residential homes most likely to be severely impacted by the explosion are on the following streets:

WEST OF GESSNER ROAD: Talina Way, Hollow Hook Road, Rockcrest Road, Lybert Drive, and Goodrum Road.

EAST OF GESSNER ROAD: Old Brickhouse Drive, Heatherford Court, Lybert Road, Ivy Oaks Lane, Juniper Glen Drive, Lone Brook Drive, Stanford Court, Bridgeland Lane, Valleywood Drive, Sunwood Drive, Rockcrest Road, Cottage Field Road, and Field Stone Drive.

What to do if you were injured by the explosion

Here’s what you can do if you were injured by the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing explosion in Houston:

  1. If you have visible injuries, for example from flying glass or structural damage to your home, it’s critical that you take good-quality photographs to document your injuries.
  2. The Mayo Clinic’s web site explains that a condition called tinnitus, which is noise or ringing in the ears, can result from injury to the ear. Short-term exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent hearing damage. If you were present near the explosion site, by virtue of being closer, you are more susceptible to this type of hearing damage. Tinnitus involves the sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present. The symptoms include phantom noises in your ears, such as ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, hissing and humming noises. If you believe you have suffered damage to your hearing due to the Watson Grinding explosion, see a doctor and report your symptoms as soon as possible.
  3. Seek medical attention for your injuries. You should use your own judgment whether it is necessary for you to go to the emergency room. If you do not think your injuries require emergency medical attention, consider making an appointment with your primary care physician. Your medical records will help document your injuries closest to when the injury occurred.
  4. Do not sign any documents that affect your legal rights. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to understand your rights and preserve your claim.

To speak to a personal injury attorney about injuries you suffered due to the Watson Grinding blast, call Smith & Hassler at (713) 739 1250, or 1-800-WIN-WIN1, or visit us online at www.smithandhassler.com.

Smith & Hassler, a Houston law firm, has represented injured people throughout the state of Texas since 1989. Our attorneys possess a wealth of legal knowledge and real courtroom experience. We have earned a reputation in Houston and across the state of Texas for helping victims seek justice and delivering results.

Texas adopts Vision Zero initiative of no fatalities

Houston auto accident attorney

Texas hasn’t had a single day when there hasn’t been a traffic fatality in nearly two decades. That day was November 7, 2000. Since then, more than 67,000 have died in crashes on Texas roads.

The biggest contributor to Texas’s massive death toll is the general attitude and culture surrounding traffic fatalities. The concept that fatal crashes are inevitable rather than preventable only normalizes the problem, thus ousting the possibility of finding solutions. It shows in Texas’s per capita traffic fatality rate, which currently exceeded the national average between 2010-2018. What’s worse, Texas outpaced other large states such as Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, and New York.

In 2018, approximately 3,642 people were killed on Texas roads — 612 were pedestrians and 69 were bicyclists. High speed limits, dangerous roadway infrastructure, distracted driving, and drunk driving were cited as the leading causes.

Can Texas achieve its Vision Zero goal?

For years, safety advocates have pushed for change. Now, the Lone Star State is finally taking their pleas seriously, according to D Magazine.

Texas transportation officials have launched a new Vision Zero initiative to eliminate statewide traffic fatalities by 2050. Laura Ryan is a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, which oversees the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). She tells The Texas Tribune that the state has become “very numb” to the rate of traffic fatalities.

“This is probably one of the most deadly situations we have in the state, and it’s one of the most controllable situations we have in the state. Ninety percent of the deaths that we’ve had over the 19 years are preventable,” said Ryan.

Texas officials have set aside $600 million in funding to widen some roadways, upgrade guardrails, and improve safety conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists. These efforts are only one component of a bigger picture.

A change in infrastructure and driving culture is needed to get to zero deaths

Vision Zero seeks to make infrastructural changes that accommodate all road users, not just motorists. This poses a problem due to Texas’s primarily suburban landscape, where pedestrians and bicyclists are left to fend for themselves. Most Texas roadways have been designed to accommodate high-speed vehicular traffic. For pedestrians, crossing the roadway or navigating intersections is particularly risky.

Another major component is education. Serious and fatal collisions should be viewed as preventable, rather than be accepted as something that just happens. Obtaining the goal of zero deaths by 2050 may seem far-fetched, but the pursuit of the goal may have a profound impact on the safety of Texas roadways. Just maybe we’ll see another day like November 7, 2000. That feat would be a major milestone for the Lone Star State.

Until then, we will likely continue to see more deaths and serious injuries on our roads. That’s why the attorneys at Smith & Hassler are dedicated to fighting for the rights of crash victims and their families.

If you were hurt in a crash or lost a loved one in one, contact our Houston law firm to find out how we can help. We offer free case evaluations and operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay unless we win your case.

Texas ranks in top 5 U.S. states for pedestrian fatalities and projections show deaths will increase

Houston pedestrian accident attorney

Texas continues to be a deadly place for pedestrians. Pedestrian fatalities in Texas totaled 621 in 2018, six more than the 615 fatalities in 2017, according to Houston Public Radio and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

The Lone Star State’s pedestrian deaths in 2017 accounted for 10 percent of America’s total.

The most dangerous roads in the nation

TxDOT reported that there were no deathless days on Texas roadways in 2018, meaning that each day saw a death or deaths of pedestrians or car occupants.

Estimates from state and local officials to the federal government project 635 pedestrian fatalities in Texas in 2020, 657 in 2021 and 680 in 2022, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

From 2008-2017, Texas was among the 20 most dangerous states in America in terms of pedestrian fatalities with 4,831, topped only in that period by California’s 7,127 and Florida’s 5,433. That’s according to the Pedestrian Safety Index compiled by advocacy groups Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Texas and four other states — Florida, California, Georgia and Arizona — accounted for nearly half of the 6,227 pedestrian accident deaths in the United States in 2018, said the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Among the factors that make Texas dangerous for pedestrians, according to the media and government reports:

  • Drivers distracted by using cell phones, applying cosmetics, eating, petting dogs and performing other activities
  • An increase of SUVs and other larger vehicles on the roads
  • Population growth that has more people out walking
  • Contentions from critics that projects to make roads, intersections and driver behavior safer for pedestrians are underfunded
  • Pedestrians who themselves are walking distracted and sometimes step into traffic
  • Speeding
  • Alcohol impairment
  • Too few crosswalks that make them too far a walk for some pedestrians. Research has found most people will walk only 300 feet to the nearest crosswalk

In Dallas, streets are dangerous for pedestrians because they often feature multiple lanes of high-speed traffic without a significant buffer. While most pedestrian accidents happen in places where high numbers of walkers, cars and trucks come together, pedestrian deaths are most likely when people on foot walk near cars moving at high speeds, according to the Dallas Observer.

TxDOT plans to dedicate $600 million for improvements along roadways for:

  • Widening roads
  • Adding rumble strips along center lines and shoulders to help drivers
  • Adding and reinforcing shoulders along roadways
  • Adding select turn lanes
  • Making technological improvements

Pedestrian fatalities on the rise

From 2008-2017, pedestrian accident deaths in the U.S. increased 35 percent, to 5,977 from 4,414, according to a Governors Highway Safety Association report.

After adjusting for anticipated underreporting in some state data and considering trends in pedestrian fatalities, the report estimated the number of pedestrian accident deaths nationwide in 2018 to be 6,227.

That puts pedestrian deaths at a near-30-year high, given that 6,482 pedestrian accident deaths occurred in 1990, according to commonwealthmagazine.org.

Contact the car accident lawyers at Smith & Hassler Attorneys At Law in Houston, Texas today if you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident.

Truckers still making simple electronic log mistakes

Houston truck accident attorney

Violations are down but many American truckers keep making mistakes with electronic logging devices that the federal government ordered to replace paper logs in late 2017.

That’s according to a story on the Heavy Duty Trucking website.

The installation of electronic logging devices (ELD) in trucks has improved compliance with the federal rules that require recording drivers’ hours of service (HOS). The percentage of driver inspections with at least one HOS violation fell to 0.57 percent in June 2019 and to 0.69 percent in April 2018, from 1.3 percent in December 2017.

Successful transfers of electronic logging device data are occurring at a rate of 35,000 monthly, an 80 percent success rate.

A US official said the number of trucking ELD violations could be lower

“There are a lot of drivers that are misapplying the rule,” said Joe DeLorenzo, chief enforcement officer of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

A lot of the trucking ELD violations found in roadside inspections involve “really simple stuff,” such as:

  • The device failing to transfer log data when requested by an inspector
  • Improper mounting of the portable ELD
  • Drivers being unskilled at transferring data using the ELD
  • Drivers sometimes lacking required documentation during an inspection stop

Keep going over the basics with drivers, DeLorenzo said.

Trucking companies share the blame regarding trucking ELD violations. Common violations include failing to ensure records are accurate, to produce records on request and to review records of unassigned driving or to annotate the record explaining why the time is unassigned.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates compliance of trucking companies and drivers with hours of service rules. The rules are intended to improve safety on the road by limiting driving time and ensuring drivers are rested.

The federal rules require that drivers work no more than 60 hours over seven consecutive days or 70 hours over eight days.

Drivers must maintain a log for seven days and eight days after, respectively. Drivers may be on duty for up to 14 hours following 10 hours off duty, but they are limited to 11 hours of driving time.

A driver can restart the consecutive-day cycle after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.

Editing or additions to ELD records can be done but these changes cannot shorten the drive time that was listed in the original ELD. Also, the data in the ELD must be recertified and the original records must be maintained.

Trucking companies can request edits after ELD records have been submitted, but annotations are required to explain the edits.

An ELD in size is between a smartphone and a computer tablet. They can be mounted on a truck dashboard and picked up for mobile use.

According to ELDfacts.com, the devices:

  • Track a driver’s hours of work electronically
  • Must be synchronized with a truck’s engine to ensure the truck’s drive segments are captured
  • Transfer data electronically to a manager who can see the logs in real-time.

In assessing trucking ELD violations, it may be helpful to note that the devices perform numerous functions. The devices can record vehicle inspection reports, different states’ fuel taxes and driver behavior in relation to speeding, idling and hard braking.

Among benefits trucking companies have seen from ELDs are that they save time by reducing paperwork and they update dispatchers about drivers’ status, such as allowing for improved planning for trucking loads.

Contact Smith & Hassler Attorneys at Law in Houston, Texas today for help with issues related to trucking ELD violations and for car, truck and motorcycle crashes.

Houston-area cops are cracking down on speeders

Houston auto accident attorney

Everyone knows that speeding is dangerous, even those who speed, but some drivers are willing to take that risk in order to reach their destination “faster.” Other drivers are under the impression that their speeding will never cause a crash, but national figures speak for themselves.

In 2018, almost 10,000 people were killed in speed-related crashes across the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, speeding was a factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities over the past two decades.

In Texas, speeding was a factor in:

  • 670 rural crashes — 88 of which were fatal
  • 2,275 urban crashes — 219 of which were fatal

Where most speeders got tickets

In response, the Texas Department of Public Safety has begun cracking down on speeders in the Houston area, according to the Houston Chronicle. In July alone, nearly 2,000 speeding tickets were issued by law enforcement officers throughout Harris, Chambers, Brazoria, and Galveston counties. The majority of speeding citations were issued on:

  • Highway 288 in Brazoria County — 316 tickets
  • Interstate 10 in Chambers and Harris counties — 241 tickets
  • Interstate 45 in Galveston and Harris counties — 137 tickets
  • Farm-to-market Road 1960 in Harris and Brazoria counties — 129 tickets
  • U.S. 290 in Harris County — 103 tickets

Risk factors in speed-related crashes

Speeding increases the likelihood of a fatal crash due to:

  • Increased risk of losing control of your car
  • Reduced effectiveness of airbags and seatbelts in a collision
  • Reduced time and increased distance to stop when a collision is imminent
  • Increased crash severity

Despite knowing the risks, why do drivers speed? According to the NHTSA, speeding is often driven by:

  • Aggressive driving caused by traffic congestion
  • A driver running late
  • Anonymity or detachment from surroundings
  • Habitual aggressive driving and disregard for the law or other road users
  • Drowsy driving
  • Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol

When these drivers fail to acknowledge the potential consequences of the risks they take, their actions can result in someone’s injury or death. Luckily, those who are impacted by speed-related crashes have legal options available to them. So, if you or a loved one was hurt in a crash caused by a speeding driver, it is critical that you take immediate action.

Consulting with an experienced Houston car accident attorney is a crucial step in pursuing a strong legal claim against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company. The legal team at Smith & Hassler Attorneys At Law knows how to get results. We can help you maximize your compensation, so you can focus on recovery. To learn more, contact us online today and schedule your free case evaluation.

Houston car accident lawyers weigh in on the lack of commercial truck law enforcement

Houston truck accident attorneyLarge commercial trucks are an absolute necessity to the economy in Texas, but they can be dangerous when sharing the road with drivers of smaller cars or other road users. With a fully-loaded trailer, a commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and can take up to the length of two football fields to stop when traveling at 65 mph.

Dangers of limited enforcement

A booming economy in Houston and other Texas communities, while good for business and residents, brings in more heavy commercial vehicles, which means more potential accidents.

Commercial trucks are causing damage to Houston’s roads, crashing on highways and injuring motorists, and creating traffic problems and noise concerns for Texas residents.

Some roadways lack the infrastructural capacity to handle large commercial trucks. When these massive vehicles use these roads, they often leave behind large potholes, cracked concrete, and damaged shoulders – all of which put every day road users at risk of being injured in a crash.

Compliance is the answer, according to experts and lawmakers who are working to bring change when it comes to heavy-truck inspections and enforcement.

In Austin, legislators filed eight bills related to commercial vehicle inspections granting specific police or sheriff’s departments the authority to enforce trucking rules.

The Houston Police Department’s Truck Enforcement Unit offers a free program to commercial businesses that employ commercial vehicle drivers. Police also perform safety inspections throughout Houston but not every community can enforce these laws yet.

According to the Houston Chronicle, a bill filed last week by State Rep. Gina Calanni would allow local law enforcement to apply for a “certification to enforce commercial vehicle standards for overweight trucks” that pass through their city limits. Similar legislation has passed in previous sessions.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is currently the only law enforcement agency authorized to enforce overweight commercial vehicle safety standards. Calanni’s bill includes several conditions for communities that apply.

Fewer state troopers on the streets have contributed to truck accidents as well, said State Rep. Terry Canales, chairman of the State House Transportation Committee.

According to the Chronicle, lawmakers are lined up to approve the requests but remain skittish. Granting cities commercial truck oversight could, some fear, make some municipalities speed traps for trucks. So, they are taking enforcement requests on a case-by-case basis.

What you can do in the event of a crash

Victims of Houston truck accidents caused by commercial vehicles have recourse. If you’ve been injured in a crash, you need an experienced attorney on your side fighting for you every step of the way. Truck accidents can be complex and overwhelming but the legal team at Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law, have a wealth of legal knowledge and the competitive edge to take on trucking companies and their insurers. Don’t wait. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

5 Things to Expect in the Days Following a Crash

Houston auto accident attorneyIf you have a driver’s license, you likely know the standard procedures to follow after a crash: exchange insurance information, call the police, get medical attention and report the crash to your insurance company. What about the aftermath of a crash? Even after following the standard procedures, pursuing a car accident claim can be complicated and overwhelming.

That’s why it’s important to know what to expect in the days that follow. Here’s what you should know.

1. You may be in shock

You may feel absolutely nothing after a crash. If your crash was serious, the feeling as if nothing happened may be unsettling. This is actually quite normal and often a result of being in shock. A crash can traumatic. You may have adrenaline running through your body, making it difficult to process what just happened.

2. Physical and emotional stress after the shock wears off

Once the shock begins to wear off, you may experience a wave of physical and emotional stress. In addition, emotions such as anger, pain, guilt, and even fear of driving may begin to surface. In time, this can turn into physical pain, especially if you sustained an injury that didn’t produce any immediate symptoms. Delayed reactions such as this is why you should always seek immediate medical attention after a crash.

3. A long list of things to do

The days after a crash can be messy. You have paperwork to handle, medical appoints to schedule, and insurance red tape to deal with. In addition, your car may need to be towed to an automotive shop for repair. While some shops may provide you with a loaner car, not all do. You may have to be issued a rental car from your insurance company, which could cost you upfront money out of pocket until you are reimbursed.

4. The other driver’s insurance company will contact you

It’s inevitable. You will receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company. They may either be pushy and try to pin the blame on you, or they may be friendly and try to offer to a small settlement. They are not your friend and are only looking to protect their own bottom line. They know that they can save more money in the long run if you take a lowball settlement. They’ll ask you trick questions in hopes that you’ll provide answers that can later be used against you.

It’s important that you refrain from speaking to them. The only insurance company you should speak to is your own, and even then, the details you provide should be minimal. If the insurance companies have any further questions, an experienced car accident attorney can answer on your behalf.

5. You will need legal representation

Car accident claims are highly complex and often create further stress for crash victims. Having a highly-skilled attorney in your corner can help ease some of that stress.

The only thing you have to do is set up your free case evaluation with Smith & Hassler Attorneys At Law. Contact us to schedule one today.

6 Pieces of Evidence to Collect After a Car Wreck

Houston auto accident attorneyToo many people attempt to pursue a car accident claim without first gathering important evidence after a car wreck – especially when it’s not a catastrophe. Even a minor fender bender can result in whiplash or some other injury that may not produce any immediate symptoms. That’s why it’s critical that you always collect these six recommended pieces of evidence after a crash. They can be helpful when it comes time to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party and his or her insurance company.

Information from the other parties involved in a crash

Taking down the names and phone numbers of all parties involved in a crash is essential but there is more information you should get, including the other person’s address, license number and car registration. You should always exchange insurance information, including policy numbers.

Details of other vehicles involved in a crash

Always gather information on the other car. Document the year, make and model; license plate number; and VIN number. The VIN can be found where dashboard and windshield meet.

Information regarding the responding law enforcement officer

Always call the police after a crash, even if it’s just a fender bender. Document the officer’s name and badge number and ask him how you can obtain the crash report. This document highly sought after in car accident claims and can help you in the long run.

Crash scene photos

If it’s safe to do so, you should always take photos of the crash scene from different angles. Be sure to snap pictures of car locations, skid marks in the road, and any damage to nearby buildings or structures.

Statements from witnesses

Witness statements are very helpful in car accident claims. If there are any witnesses available at the scene of a crash, take down their names and phone numbers.

Details of the crash scene

While at the crash scene, it’s important to document specific information regarding the location, directions in which cars were traveling and situated, the road and weather conditions, and other factors that may have lead to the crash. You may take note of these details or take photos and videos. If a police officer arrives at the crash scene, he or she will also document these details in the crash report.

You’ve followed all the recommended steps. Now what?

So you were involved in a crash and followed all the recommended steps. Now there are only two people you should share the evidence with: your insurance company and an experienced Houston car accident attorney. You are required to report your crash to your insurance company within a certain time frame but only provide the required details. Everything else should be discussed with your attorney.

Let the legal team at Smith and Hassler Attorneys at Law handle your claim. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation and operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if you win. Contact us today to learn more.

3 People to Talk to After a Car Wreck — and the 2 People to Avoid

Houston auto accident attorney

Following a car wreck, figuring out the people you may have to talk to can be confusing and overwhelming. The people you discuss your crash with seem friendly and trustworthy, but how do you know who is really looking out for your best interests? More importantly, how do you know who to trust — and who to avoid?

Our Texas car accident lawyers recommend the three people you should talk to after a crash, as well as the people you should not speak to.

Who you MUST talk to

Your insurance company

Under the terms of your auto insurance policy, you must promptly notify your insurance company of a collision, even if you are not planning on making a claim with your own insurance company. Stick to the facts, but be cautious not to provide too many details, because anything you say could be used against you to reduce compensation or deny your claim. If possible, speak with an attorney before contacting your insurance company.

The police

Even if you were involved in a minor crash, it’s always a good idea to call the police. An officer will examine the scene and provide a non-biased police report, which is absolutely key to pursuing a successful car accident claim. A police officer will make sure any on-scene disputes are settled and all parties are treated fairly.

Your doctor

When pursuing a personal injury claim after a car wreck, a consultation with your doctor can make a big difference. Even if you feel OK after a crash, you should always seek medical attention. Conditions that don’t produce any immediate symptoms can still be serious. Most commonly, the symptoms of whiplash and concussions may take time to materialize. One of the biggest mistakes people make is believing they can just walk it off. Not only can immediately consulting with a doctor prevent a lot of future complications, it can connect your injuries to the crash, which is key to being compensated for medical bills.

Who you should NOT to talk to

DON’T talk to the other driver

We’re not suggesting that you ignore the other driver after a crash. You must trade your insurance information, name, and phone number with the other driver. It is important, however, not to discuss details as to why the crash occurred. You could slip up and say the wrong thing, which can later be used against you.

Even if a crash appears to be your fault, or involved some contributory negligence, only a thorough investigation can determine the cause.

DON’T talk to the other insurance company!

One of the biggest mistakes people make after a crash is talking to the other driver’s insurance company. They will likely contact you and may pretend to be on your side. These tactics are meant to convince you to say the wrong thing, which can later be used to hurt your claim. They may also try to get you to accept a settlement offer, which only covers a small portion of your medical expenses and lost wages. Don’t fall for it.

It’s best to not talk to the other driver’s insurance company at all. If they try to contact you or ask you any questions, it’s important that you first consult with an attorney.

The person you should ALWAYS talk to!

The experienced Texas car accident lawyers at Smith & Hassler Attorneys At Law can make sure you meet all your insurance form deadlines and help you find the right doctor. They’re also the best line of defense against harassment and unfair accusations of negligence from the other driver’s insurance company. Just refer them to your car accident attorney from Smith and Hassler, and we’ll handle the rest.

Legal services at Smith and Hassler are free unless we win your case. Our payment comes out of your settlement – there are no out-of-pocket costs.

Don’t hesitate. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Attorneys on How a Change in Driving Culture Can Prevent Accidents

Houston auto accident attorneyAs part of its Out of Control series, the Houston Chronicle cites 640 deaths and 2,850 injuries on Houston-area roads in 2017. The staggering number of devastating crashes is attributed to a culture of “speed and convenience” that sees traffic accidents as an acceptable norm.

Dangerous driving behavior doesn’t always involve driving under the influence of alcohol or taking outrageous risks on the road. In most cases, it involves cumulative habits of inattentiveness and failing to comply with traffic laws often deemed trivial.

Most drivers who have developed poor habits behind the wheel are under the impression that a serious crash will never happen to them. Many of them have been driving distracted or ignoring traffic laws for years without any issues.

According to a “Traffic Safety Culture” survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in 2017, nearly 45 percent of respondents admitted to reading text messages or emails while driving within the past 30 days. Moreover, nearly 35 percent admitted to sending text messages or emails while driving during the same time period.

It should be of no surprise that the survey also found that more than more than 21 percent of participants reported having been in a traffic accident in which at least one party had to go to the hospital. More than 11 percent were seriously injured themselves.

In 2018, the greater Houston area saw a 20 percent reduction in traffic fatalities, most notably due to programs that addressed driver awareness, quicker responses to highway accidents, and a decline in impaired driving.

In order to continue this upward trend, the Chronicle article suggests the following driving practices:

  • Paying attention to driving only
  • Reducing speed around potential hazards and blind corners
  • Maintaining a safe following distance from other vehicles
  • Looking out for pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Pulling over and taking a rest if drowsy
  • Wearing seat belts
  • Driving sober

In addition to practicing these safety habits, motorists should develop a new mindset towards driving. Rather than accept that accidents will simply happen, drivers can focus on what they can do to keep our roads safer.

Unfortunately, the message won’t reach everyone. There will always be some drivers who will continue to engage in distracted behavior, drug and alcohol impairment, and overall recklessness. That doesn’t mean you should have to pay for the negligent actions of others.

If you or a loved one sustained injures in a crash, don’t wait to act. An experienced Houston auto accident attorney at Smith & Hassler Attorneys At Law would be glad to sit down with you and discuss your legal options. To learn how we can help, contact us today.