Archive for December, 2014

Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents in San Antonio May be Shifting

Driving while talking on a phone is dangerous and most motorists in San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and surrounding areas know it. In fact, the number of people who talk on handheld cell phones has declined over the past six years. Unfortunately, this does not mean that motorists are paying more attention behind the wheel. To the contrary, USA Today reports a recent study by State Farm suggests there has been an increase in the number of motorists engaging in even more high-risk distracted driving behavior.

A personal injury lawyer knows that many motorists incorrectly believe that they are able to text, send or read an email, or quickly check their social media sites without putting themselves at risk. The reality is, these behaviors can be a major distraction that can significantly increase the odds of an accident happening.

More Drivers Engaging in High Risk Distracting Behaviors

State Farm has conducted a survey on distracted driving each year since 2009. The survey shows that there has been a decline in drivers on handheld phones but a steady increase in the past six years in the number of motorists surfing the web and doing other tasks on the Internet while driving. In particular:

  • In 2009, just 15 percent of drivers said they had sent or read emails while behind the wheel. In 2014, 26 percent of drivers were emailing while operating their cars.
  • In 2009, 13 percent of motorists indicated that they had utilized the Internet on an electronic device while in their cars. By 2014, a total of 26 percent admitted to being on the web.
  • In 2009, around nine percent of people said that they checked on a social media site while driving. In 2014, a full 20 percent of drivers said that they had used a social media site while operating their car.

It is unclear why drivers are engaging in these behaviors at the same time as they have reduced their use of handheld devices. One possibility is that many motorists do not realize how distracting these activities are and they overestimate their ability to quickly check in on their phone without missing anything on the roads.

Many drivers also think they are safe to check an email or use the Internet while stopped at an intersection. A total of 63 percent of respondents to the 2014 State Farm survey indicated they were much more likely to use an electronic device while stopped waiting for a light. Since around 36 percent of annual collisions happen at intersections, however, it seems clear that it is still not really safe for drivers to allow themselves to become distracted while waiting for a light to change.

Drivers need to be aware of the major risks associated with all types of distracted driving, including using the Internet. If a driver chooses to operate an electronic device instead of focusing on the road, he could become responsible if a motor vehicle collision results from this careless behavior.

Contact a San Antonio accident lawyer at the Herrera Law Firm. Call 800-455-1054 or visit for a free case consultation. Serving San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and surrounding areas.

Brain Injury Risks After San Antonio Traffic Accident

Injury to the brain can have a devastating affect on your health. A concussion, the most common type of brain injury, is considered by some to be a relatively minor injury. However, experts caution that even this type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can take weeks to heal and can have lasting health effects. Repeated concussions or blows to the head can significantly increase the risk of major cognitive impairment.

A personal injury lawyer knows brain injuries frequently occur due to sports accidents; motor vehicle collisions and falls. People throughout San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and surrounding areas need to be aware of the risks of brain injury, as well as the lasting consequences if they suffer a blow to the head. Those who are responsible for causing a brain injury need to be held accountable.

The Long-Term Impact of a Brain Injury

Recently, NBC News published an in-depth article about the long-term and severe consequences that are associated with a TBI. The article was prompted by the fact that an Ohio State University Football player who had suffered repeated concussions committed suicide. Suicide rates are higher among those with repeated brain injuries and a TBI may be linked not just to an increased risk of suicide but also to an increased risk of becoming dependent upon drugs or alcohol.

The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury will manifest immediately after the blow to the head, and differ depending upon the individual. Even a concussion causes a mini-seizure to occur, after which the brain shuts down to try to heal. The healing process can take several weeks. The immediate symptoms that are associated with a mild TBI usually include confusion and memory problems. Amnesia may also occur.

When multiple head traumas are sustained, a person will also experience lasting consequences. For example, a person who has suffered multiple concussions or a series of blows to the head has an increased chance of developing Parkinson’s disease, dementia, post-concussion syndrome and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE causes symptoms that are close to those caused by Lou Gehrig’s disease while post-concussion syndrome generally manifests as dizziness and concentration difficulties. Behavioral changes and cognitive impairment can be both a short-term and long-term effect of suffering a brain injury.

It is difficult to know whether a particular blow to the head is going to cause long-term consequences. There are also no real effective treatments that can prevent these consequences from occurring after a blow to the head happens. Patients, however, are increasingly seeking treatment due to TBIs. This is occurring in part because of more awareness of the dangers of head injuries due to high-profile lawsuits brought by football players against the National Football League. In just the past four years alone, there has been a 29 percent increase in people going to the ER to get treatment for a brain injury. Seniors and toddlers are the age groups most likely to experience this type of injury, but everyone is vulnerable to getting badly hurt due to a blow to the head.

Contact a San Antonio accident lawyer at the Herrera Law Firm. Call 800-455-1054 or visit for a free case consultation. Serving San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and surrounding areas.