llgemx-llgel801405tc.0519.ksHG.org defines a catastrophic injury as the “consequences of an injury that permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”

A catastrophic injury or illness usually occurs suddenly, without warning and can leave a person suffering from permanent disabilities for the rest of his/her life.

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Two people died and one was injured in a wrong-way crash on southbound Central Expressway near Downtown late Monday. Although at this point the accident investigation is on-going, it is safe to predict a contributing factor for the accident will be a high level of distracted and/or inhibited driving.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents and the increase in road fatalities with young drivers. 

(Photo: Mike Forbes, WFAA)

(Photo: Mike Forbes, WFAA)

Reyes Browne Reilley fatalities on the road

After decades of overall improvement in driving safety, traffic fatalities are again on the rise.

Traffic fatalities this year are on a pace to reach 40,000, which would be the highest total since 2007. That’s a vast improvement from about 55,000 deaths annually in the 1970s, but reverses years of declines that have been attributed to air bags, less drunken driving and more seat belt use.

The rebounding economy plays a large role, but safety experts say there is a new danger driving part of the increase: distracted driving.

Drivers now are not just talking on cellphones — they’re texting, using apps to follow directions, even playing games.

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Dallsa Texas Truck Accident Reyes Law

The controversy over limiting truck driver hours has been ongoing for over a decade at this point – with many heated opinions on both sides of the fence. Continued restrictions on driver hours has been put into effect as a means to prevent truck accidents. Yet many argue that these restrictions – like the 14-hour rule, for example – have actually worked to increase big rig accidents – not decrease them. Because of the way in which the rule works, some drivers feel this increases their risk of semi truck accidents.

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Road Fatalities while studying abroad - Reyes Law - Dallas TexasShannon Marie Nuth, just shy of her 25th birthday this past June, was returning to Antigua after spending the weekend near Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.

The bus she was riding in went out of control, flipped several times and crashed.

“She was thrown from the vehicle and killed instantly,” Joseph Nuth said of his daughter, who had been studying Spanish at a nonuniversity program to help with her volunteer work at home in Prince George’s County, Md.

This unfortunate accident comes as a stark reminder that overseas travel comes with risks.

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Distracted-DrivingAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the U.S. Transportation Department, distracted driving is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.”

Distracted driving is not limited to texting or making calls on a cellular device; any activity that diverts a driver’s attention puts that driver, passengers, and others sharing the road at serious risk.

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Reyes Law Takata Airbags Center of Auto Industry’s Biggest Recall In the late 1990s, General Motors switched airbag suppliers from the Swedish-American company Autoliv to the much cheaper Japanese supplier, Takata.

Prior to the switch, GM asked Autoliv to match the cheaper design, according to Linda Rink, who was a senior scientist at Autoliv assigned to the G.M. account at the time.

But when Autoliv’s scientists studied the Takata airbag, they found that it relied on a dangerously volatile compound in its inflater, a critical part that causes the airbag to expand.

“We just said, ‘No, we can’t do it. We’re not going to use it,’” said Robert Taylor, Autoliv’s head chemist until 2010.

Today, that compound is at the heart of the largest automotive safety recall in history. At least 14 people have been killed and more than 100 have been injured by faulty inflaters made by Takata. More than 100 million of its airbags have been installed in cars in the United States by General Motors and 16 other automakers.

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Texting and Driving - Reyes Law - Dallas Texas

The technology exists — we just don’t have the stomach to implement it,” said Deborah Hersman, the president of the National Safety Council and the former chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board. In 2012, the safety board sent a letter to the wireless industry association urging the companies to prevent drivers from using their phones while driving.

“Technology got us into this situation. Technology will get us out,” she said. However, she added, “We’re so afraid to tell people what they should do that you can kind of get away with murder under these conditions.”

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The federal goveHPxse2e00siqKYsXh1S3EFRi5sUrnment is paving the way for self-driving vehicles to become commonplace on U.S roads. Tuesday morning, the Department of Transportation is slated to release guidelines for the testing and deployment of automated vehicles. Government officials say autonomous vehicles will make transportation safer, more accessible, more efficient and cleaner.

“Typically, we would say a car has to meet X standard a certain way,” said Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation. “We recognize that there are going to be different types of innovation that will come to us, and we intend to evaluate each of those on its own returns.”

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