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Green Bay, WI car accident attorney summer

Common sense might make one think that the winter would be the season in which the most car accidents occur, since weather conditions like snow and ice make the roads more dangerous. However, statistics actually show the opposite to be true; the months between May and September are when the most deaths occur in motor vehicle accidents. So why is this the case? There are a number of reasons, including:

  • Busier roads - The simple fact that more people drive during the summer than during the winter is the primary reason for the increase in car accidents, since more vehicles on the road means that collisions are more likely to occur. Rather than staying at home, more people take trips, whether in their local area or on long-distance vacations. In addition, there are many more types of vehicles on the roads during the summer, increasing the chances of accidents involving motorcycles, bicycles, or recreational vehicles.
  • Teen drivers - Since children are out of school during the summer, there are more teenage drivers on the road. These drivers are more likely to be involved in auto accidents, and these often occur due to inexperience or because teens are distracted by electronic devices or other people in the vehicle.
  • Alcohol use - Many people enjoy parties, holiday celebrations, and get-togethers during the summer, and these events often involve the consumption of alcohol. While everyone is aware of the fact that driving while under the influence of alcohol is a crime, people often choose to ignore these laws and get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs. This can lead to deadly drunk driving accidents.
  • Road construction - The warmer weather provides an opportunity to perform repairs or improvements on the roads, but while construction zones are a familiar sight during the summer, they can also be very dangerous. Decreased speed limits can lead to sudden traffic slowdowns, and roads are often very narrow with unexpected traffic patterns. All of these factors can increase the chances of a collision with another vehicle, a construction worker, or a piece of construction equipment.
  • Heat - The increased temperatures during the summer can lead to car problems that cause accidents. Expanding air in tires can cause blowouts, or engines may overheat and cause a car to break down.

Contact an Appleton Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in an auto accident while driving in the summer, the attorneys of Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. will help you determine your options for receiving compensation. We will work with you to establish liability for the accident, assess the extent of your damages, and ensure that your financial needs will be met. Contact our Green Bay auto accident lawyers today at 920-739-7366 to schedule a free consultation.

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Green Bay motorcycle accident lawyer distracted drivingWhile everyone who uses the road faces some level of danger, motorcyclists are particularly at risk of injury. Since they do not have the protection that cars and trucks provide to their occupants, motorcycle riders and passengers are likely to be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident

Distracted driving is one issue that can endanger motorcyclists, since even when a driver is fully attentive, they may not see motorcycles on the road around them. The increased use of cell phones in recent years has been a factor in many accidents caused by distracted driving. Fortunately, some states have taken steps to address this, and this has had a measurable effect on the safety of motorcyclists.

Improved Safety From Laws Regarding Cell Phone Use

While many people may believe that they can operate a vehicle safely while using a cell phone to make calls or send texts, this type of distraction can be incredibly dangerous. Using a handheld device causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road, and even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to a dangerous collision. Because of these dangers, some states have passed laws restricting the use of cell phones while driving. But have these laws actually improved safety on the roads?

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Wisconsin distracted driving accident lawyersDistracted driving may not be a new issue, but its growth since the development of mobile devices has brought a new awareness to this deadly driving behavior. 

In fact, a recent analysis of 1.4 million copies of police records from Ohio State University determined that almost half of all crashes within the state involved a distracted driver. Although that analysis was conducted in another state, national statistics indicate that distracted driving deaths are a serious problem throughout the entire country. Wisconsin’s distracted driver death rate falls somewhere around 16 percent, according to the most recent data (2014). 

Some say the deaths and accidents are declining, thanks to all the law changes and public announcements, but many scientists disagree. In fact, they worry that the problem is only going to get worse. 

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Green Bay distracted driving accident attorneysDistracted driving causes an estimated nine deaths each day and at least 1,000 injuries, yet drivers continue to use their cell phones while behind the wheel. The car manufacturer, Audi, is trying to combat those statistics with a new type of technology. Learn more about their efforts, discover what rights you may have if a distracted driver injures you or someone you love, and obtain information on how an experienced attorney can assist with your claim in the following sections.

Audi’s Safety Code Script

Audi’s new technology, which they refer to as their “safety code script,” works a lot like the phone applications that developers have made; it automatically detects when the device is moving at a speed that exceeds 20 miles per hour and then asks the individual to confirm whether they are driving. If the phone user does indicate that they are behind the wheel, the safety code will disable their device, preventing them from using it while they are driving.

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Wisconsin distracted driving accident lawyerTraffic deaths have increased sharply, drastically, and quickly over the past half-century. Much of the increase can be traced back to cell phone use behind the wheel. Even more concerning is that the rate continues to rise, despite the numerous campaigns, laws, and initiatives. The problem is not that drivers fail to recognize the risk. In fact, studies reveal that most drivers do know that cell phone use is unsafe. The problem is finding a way to actually deter and disconnect them from their devices. California believes they may have the answer, and if you drive in California, traffic laws in that state apply to you.

No Phones Allowed

While most states (46) have provisions in place that prohibit texting while driving, only 14 have laws that explicitly ban the use of cellphones behind the wheel. California is taking it one step further. They are completely banning even touching or handling a cell phone while driving. You cannot check the time. You cannot pull up your map application. You cannot even hold it in your hand. Period. They hope that it will work to reduce their distracted driving problem. Unfortunately, only time will tell.

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Appleton WI auto accident attorneysCell phone use while driving is a serious problem in Wisconsin, and throughout the United States. A dangerous habit, no matter where you are, it can be especially problematic in work zones, where things can change in an instant and workers are often present. Wisconsin has responded to the issue by passing a new law that will make it illegal to use a cell phone and drive while in a construction zone, starting October 1st.

New Law Comes with Hefty Penalties

Telling drivers that cell phone use behind the wheel is dangerous does not do the trick – climbing rates of distracted driver accidents throughout the country, despite awareness efforts, have proven that. So lawmakers are taking a new approach. As of October 1st, anyone caught using a cell phone without a hands-free device in work zones will face a $40 fine for their first offense, and a $100 fine for any violations after. Those making emergency calls to 911 will be the exception, but do not expect to e able to use this excuse unless you are actually calling an emergency number.

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Green Bay personal injury attorneysIn theory, the Pokemon Go game could be a good thing. It could serve as an incentive to get Americans out and about, exercising. Unfortunately, the reality is not quite as pleasant. Car accidents, property damage, and even death have occurred because of the Pokemon hunting game. Considering the risks associated with the game, it is critical that you understand your rights should you become a victim of the latest Pokemon craze.

Auto Accidents and Pokemon Go

The last thing drivers need is yet another reason to be distracted behind the wheel. Sadly, Pokemon Go has given them one. The app, which can be engaged while driving, allows drivers to hunt for and even catch Pokemon while cruising the highway and residential streets. This puts everyone at serious risk for injury and even possible death.

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Appleton distracted driver lawyersWhile most states have taken a punishment approach to handling the problem of distracted driving, some app developers have decided a reward approach may be more effective. One in particular, “Down for the Count,” is enticing teens with iTunes gift cards. And, according to an Arizona news report, it seems to be working. Could this be the answer to the distracted driving in America?

About the App

Developed in Arizona, the application seems to be targeting young drivers who may be either unaware or undeterred by local laws. Once they have downloaded the app, they can engage it anytime they are driving to track time behind the wheel. But they have to be fully committed. Once the app is engaged, it cannot be disabled until the car has stopped – not without losing their entire trip. The local news source talked to one teen who admitted that they have been much more diligent about not using their phone since downloading the app. But will the novelty wear off? And is the app for everyone?

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Appleton personal injury attorneys, auto accidents, SnapchatDistracted driving is a major problem in the United States; however, it may have just become more dangerous, thanks to the development of a Snapchat application that allows users to determine how fast they are going. Especially appealing to younger drivers, this “speed filter” is already being blamed for a handful of accidents throughout the country. Yet who is really responsible for these accidents: the teens, or the company that put out the app?

Teens Already at Higher Risk Behind the Wheel

Due to the lack of driving experience that other, more seasoned drivers have, teen drivers are at a higher risk for accidents because they are unlikely to respond appropriately to critical situations. When you add in other factors, such as an increased propensity for distraction and the use of cell phones (many of which can be avoided and controlled by the driver), the odds of teen drivers experiencing automobile crashes are further increased.

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Appleton construction site accident attorneys, construction in wisconsinWarm weather means backyard barbecues, fishing trips, sun tans, and children playing outdoors. However, it also means an increase in construction work—more road work, more work zones, and (unfortunately) more construction site accidents. Sadly, some may lose their lives because of these crashes. However, with the right information, families can increase their odds of staying safe and making it through the crazy Wisconsin summer construction season.

Work Zone Accident Statistics

Workers are especially at risk for severe and fatal injuries in construction zones. In fact, in Wisconsin alone, three workers were killed in construction zones last year. Still, drivers are also at risk. In fact, data from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration shows that, of 87,606 work zone accidents in the United States during 2010, 0.6 resulted in a fatal injury (576 fatalities in total). Another 30 percent of those accidents resulted in injury (37,476).

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Green Bay auto crash attorneys, distracted drivingStatistics from the U.S. government's official website for distracted driving report that a total of 3,179 people were killed by distracted driving in 2014, and another 431,000 were injured. Even more concerning is that, despite all the warnings and campaigns, an estimated 660,000 Americans use their cellphones or otherwise manipulate an electronic device while driving. One family, who lost their son to distracted driving in 2011, finally decided to do something about it.

Tragic Death Sparks New York Bill

At just 19-years-old, a passenger in the back seat of his family's vehicle became one of the many deaths caused by distracted driving. The man reportedly responsible for the accident initially told police he had fallen asleep at the wheel. However, during a civil lawsuit, the 19-year-old's family unveiled a great deal of cell phone use by the man at the time of the accident.

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keep-teens-safe-Wisconsin.jpgWhile anyone can be guilty of drunk or distracted driving, teens are especially at risk. This is due, in part, to their lack of driving experience. However, it could also be because they are unable to truly understand the risks until it is already too late.

Could a simulation tool be the answer to helping them understand? The “Save a Life Tour” certainly seems to think so.

Teens and Distracted Driving

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Appleton car accident attorneys, smartwatches, car accidentsDistracted driving is a major cause of auto accidents in the United States and the rise of handheld mobile devices over the past decade has significantly increased the risks of accidents and injuries on the road. Specifically, texting, emailing, or other types of messaging are considered to be particularly dangerous forms of distraction because they cause all three types of distractions:

  • Visual Distraction: Taking your eyes off the road (visual distraction);
  • Manual Distraction: Taking your hands off the wheel; and
  • Cognitive Distraction: Taking your focus from the task of driving.

Despite laws in Wisconsin banning texting for all drivers and restricting any cell phone use for novice drivers, individuals continue to put their own lives and the lives of other at risk by texting.

Smartwatches Are No Safer

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When most people think of distracted driving, they likely think of texting, checking Facebook, emailing, or other similar handheld mobile device activities. However, several other seemingly innocuous occurrences can be distracting enough to lead to an accident. The following are examples of surprising cognitive driver distractions that should be avoided whenever possible.

In-Car “Infotainment” Systems

In response to the dangers of looking at a smartphone or GPS device, various vehicle manufacturers have begun installing in-car infotainment systems that can be voice-controlled. Drivers may assume that these systems are automatically safe to use because they do not require a driver to remove his or her hands from the wheel. However, using voice commands to dictate text messages and emails, program a GPS, change the radio, or make phone calls can cause significant cognitive distractions.

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commercial truck accident, Wisconsin Truck Accident LawyerCommercial trucking accidents can cause serious damage and injuries to traveling motorists. Following a truck accident, attention is often directed at the commercial driver. However, several factors can contribute to the cause of a truck accident. The first step in recovery is to identify which party acted negligently and was at fault. The following are examples of liable parties in truck accidents:

Truck Driver

Driver error is the most common cause of commercial truck accidents. Drivers can be negligent in a number of different ways, including the following:

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felony charges, distracted driver, Wisconsin auto accident attorneyA Wisconsin woman is facing three felony charges after getting into a fatal car accident while looking at Facebook on her phone. The Centuria woman was looking at Facebook and responding to text messages when she drove her car into oncoming traffic and killed three of her four passengers. The fatalities included multiple members of her family, including young children.

The smartphone's applications show that a Facebook chat was in progress seconds before the crash occurred at 3:41 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2013. She has since had criminal charges filed against her.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Appleton car accident attorney, causes car accidents, Green Bay car accident attorney, Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., car accidents, inexperienced driver, driver negligence, reckless driving, drunk driving, speeding, distracted drivingCar accidents occur every day throughout the United States. These wrecks not only result in injuries to countless victims, they also claim many lives. In fact, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, in 2013 there were 118, 254 total car crashes in Wisconsin alone. Of those accidents, 527 people were killed and 39, 872 people were injured. There are several outside factors—such as unruly weather conditions, unsafe road conditions, or drunk drivers—that may cause an accident. However, a car accident most often occurs due to the negligence or carelessness of a driver.

With the widespread availability of smart phones, Google Glasses, and other gadgets, it is no wonder that drivers are finding it harder to focus on the road. Thus, it is imperative that Wisconsin drivers avoid engaging in conduct that causes car accidents to help keep our Wisconsin roads safe.

Common Car Accident Causes

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Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. is located in Appleton, Wisconsin, and serves clients in Fox Valley, Outagamie County, Brown County, Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, Sheboygan County, Fond du Lac County, Calumet County, Winnebago County, including Appleton, New London, Clintonville, Neenah, Oshkosh, DePere, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Kewaunee, Sturgeon Bay, Marinette, Neenah, Chilton, Menasha, Shawano, Waupaca, Wausau, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
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