Archive for January, 2013

Rollover Accident Potentially Caused by Drowsy Driver

On January 13, News 4 reported that a San Antonio rollover accident sent three women to the hospital in serious condition. The accident happened when the women were traveling south on Interstate 37 when the car went off the road shoulder. The driver lost control of the vehicle and overcorrected, resulting in the vehicle flipping over at least one time.

News 4 indicated in their article about the accident that the driver of the vehicle may have fallen asleep, causing her to veer off the road shoulder and precipitating the accident.  If this is the case, this drowsy driving crash has occurred at a time when our San Antonio auto accident lawyers are more concerned than ever before about drowsy driving.

New Study Increases Drowsy Driving Concerns

Our San Antonio auto accident lawyers are more concerned than ever about the serious public health problem of drowsy driving because of a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC conducted the study by asking 147,000 residents across 19 states and in D.C. to answer a detailed telephone survey. Questions on the survey included asking for details about both driving habits and about sleep habits. The survey’s purpose was to determine more information about the problem of drowsy driving.

Unfortunately, the CDC reports illustrated that drowsy driving is entirely too common. According to the results of the study:

  • An average of 4.2 percent of all of the drivers who were asked the survey questions indicated that in the 30 days prior to taking the survey, they’d fallen asleep or nodded off as they were driving. Nodding off is defined, for purposes of the study, as closing the eyes even briefly in sleep.
  • Younger drivers were the worst offenders when it comes to drowsy driving. 6.3 percent of drivers ages 25-34 said they’d fallen asleep in the past 30 days when behind the wheel and 4.9 percent of 18-24 year olds admitted to doing the same. These numbers were much higher than the 1.7 percent of drivers 65 and up who admitted to dozing off.
  • Drivers in Texas were, on average, more likely than drivers in other states to drive drowsy. 6.1 percent of Texans admitted to nodding off- more than any other state and significantly more than the lowest state of Oregon with only 2.5 percent of adult drivers there dozing while driving.

The Texas auto accident statistics are also bad news when it comes to evaluating the number of people driving drowsy in the state. In 2011, the Texas Department of Transportation listed driver fatigue or sleeping drivers as a contributing factor in 136 fatal car wrecks.

The Texas statistics, the new CDC study and even this most recent rollover accident all tell the same story- too many people are driving drowsy in Texas and these people are putting everyone in danger.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the Herrera Law Firm at 800-455-1054 for a confidential consultation.

Worker Dies in Texas Tank Accident

Recently, My San published a tragic story about the death of a 38-year-old worker of an oilfield services company. The worker was working at Abilene Pipe in West Texas at the time of the fatal accident, which occurred as he was helping to load tanks onto a trailer.

Our San Antonio injury attorneys know that oilfields are dangerous places where any number of workplace hazards exist. We are saddened that the accident at Abilene Pipe resulted in the loss of a life and we urge employees and oil service companies to try to take steps to reduce the accident risks.

The Tank Accident

According to My San, the 38-year-old worker who was killed was assisting in the process of loading tanks onto a trailer. This is a routine part of the job as the tanks must be loaded for transport.

Unfortunately, a tank being loaded onto the trailer began to roll and it struck the worker. When the tank struck, it caused a serious head injury, which ultimately proved fatal. The young worker was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

Avoiding Tank Accidents and Staying Safe

It is not clear what caused the tanker to roll in this unfortunate incident. However, while the cause of the tank accident has not yet been determined in this tragic situation, it is clear that such accidents should never happen and that there should be safeguards in place to make sure that workers are protected from injuries when loading tanks.

One of the biggest dangers to workers when loading tanks is that the liquid in the tank may become unevenly distributed, causing the tank to become unbalanced. This can lead to a tank rolling over, as it did in this tragic case. It is important that workers loading tanks are aware of this danger and that reasonable precautions are taken to prevent such incidents from occurring.

Employers, ultimately, are the ones responsible for having safe policies and procedures in place for loading tanks. This includes providing a safe loading zone, providing protective gear and equipment to workers as needed, training workers in safe loading, supervising workers, having experts on hand to supervise the loading process and having other policies in place that are designed to reduce the dangers of a tank becoming unstable and rolling.

While employees should also exercise caution, including monitoring the tank closely for signs of unbalance, it is ultimately the employer who has the power to do the most to prevent accidents. This is why employers can be held responsible for paying for the costs of workplace injuries through workers’ compensation claims or under other worker protection laws.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the Herrera Law Firm at 800-455-1054 for a confidential consultation.