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Kennewick Personal Injury Law Blog

Tips to prevent 18-wheeler crashes

Have you ever been driving down a three-lane highway and found yourself sandwiched between two semitrucks? It's frightening to get stuck between two 18-wheelers like that, and you probably drove as quickly out of that hole as you possibly could -- and with good reason. Collisions are often catastrophic and fatal when they happen between a passenger car and a big rig.

Keeping the dangers of semitrucks in mind, here are a few tips that every Benton driver should keep in mind:

  • Don't pass a semitruck on its right side. Almost every 18-wheeler has a massive blind spot about halfway back on its right side. Lingering in this zone for any length of time can be catastrophic and fatal if the semitruck decides to move back over to the right lane. As such, it's best not to ever pass a semitruck on the right side. Rather, you should wait for it to move back over and pass it on the left.
  • Move slowly and don't do sudden maneuvers around a semitruck. Eighteen-wheelers are slow and lumbering behemoths. As such, when you're driving around a semitruck, you should mimic their behavior. Drive slowly and deliberately, and give them plenty of space so they can react to your movements.
  • Let the semitruck pass you if it needs to. Drivers can get into weird games of cat and mouse with one another as their jockeying for position. But this is dangerous, and what does it gain? Perhaps you'll arrive at your destination five minutes faster, but is it worth the risk? Especially if it's a semitruck, just let it pass.

How do teratogens cause birth injuries?

Medications are supposed to help us treat the devastating symptoms of various medical conditions. They're not supposed to endanger us or our babies. Nevertheless, they can -- especially when the wrong kind of medication is prescribed to a pregnant woman who has a sensitive baby developing in her wound.

It seems like every year a new list of potentially dangerous medications is revealed as it relates to what pregnant women shouldn't taken during their pregnancies. Often, these drugs were regularly and carelessly prescribed to pregnant women for years before medical researchers discovered that the drugs are linked to birth defects and birth injuries.

Driver causes accident after failing to take seizure medicine

A driver recently pleaded not guilty after being charged with vehicular homicide relating to an auto accident that happened earlier this month. Allegedly, the man caused the accident because he failed to take his seizure medication.

The four-car collision happened in early August, resulting in the death of one man. The 27-year-old driver who caused the crash suffers from a medical condition that causes him seizures. Court documents allege that the man did not take his seizure medication, which might have prevented him from causing the crash, and the subsequent death of a 38-year-old man.

Intoxicated driver kills 1 in head-on collision

The death of a man in Lacey has left his community in shock. A 66-year-old man was killed after his vehicle was struck head-on by an allegedly drunk driver. The man who police say caused the head-on crash is the owner of a drinking establishment.

According to authorities, the tavern owner crossed the center line, drove directly into oncoming traffic and hit the 66-year-old victim's car. Sadly, he didn't survive the incident, but the driver who struck him did.

Prescription errors: Viagra

Did your doctor prescribe you Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction? Perhaps you're hopeful that the Viagra your doctor prescribed could improve your enjoyment of life significantly, as erectile dysfunction can create a serious rift in marital life.

However, there are several things you should know before taking this potentially risky medication -- which is sometimes prescribed in error by doctors.

Cerebral palsy and birth injury claims

A lot can go wrong during pregnancy and during childbirth that can lead to a child's birth injury. Often these issues do not leave lasting damage, but sometimes they leave a baby with lifelong disabilities and challenges. One of the most common types of birth injuries is known as cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is more of a generic term than a specific condition. The umbrella of this term covers a wide range of birth injuries that interfere with the function of a baby's brain. Cerebral palsy can also cause body movement disabilities. The factors that cause cerebral palsy can happen during pregnancy while the baby is in the womb, during the delivery process or in the hours and days following birth.

Is the legalization of marijuana increasing car accidents?

You might think that the legalization of recreational marijuana would increase the number of car accidents and auto fatalities in the United States. After all, with marijuana more readily available, wouldn't people be more likely to be driving while intoxicated? Two recent studies seem to disagree on this matter.

One study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that from January 2012 to October 2016, collisions in states with legalized marijuana had increased by 3 percent more than what was expected. Another study from the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), however, disagrees. That study did not find any increase in car accident fatalities in Washington or Colorado during the first three years following legalization of recreational marijuana.

Truck drivers and sleep apnea

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck drivers who suffer from sleep apnea represent a serious national concern. There are numerous commercial truck drivers on our nation's highways being forced to drive through the night, skip sleep and drive their vehicles while they're extremely fatigued. When this situation is combined with a driver who suffers from sleep apnea, the driver will be even more fatigued, and more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.

Sleep apnea mixed with commercial trucking is dangerous and fatal, both for the sleep-deprived truckers and the people they share the highway with. As a result, the FMCSA is currently investigating the matter to determine just how many truckers are suffering from the condition. That said, screening all truck drivers for sleep apnea represents a costly and time-consuming undertaking. At the moment, the FMCSA is only able to offer the recommendation that truckers with sleep apnea get the medical attention they require.

How can I avoid a truck accident?

Commercial truck drivers need to be careful not to hit the smaller, lighter and more nimble vehicles that surround them on Washington's highways. The drivers of small vehicles also need to take precautions, which can prevent an injurious or fatal crash.

Here are some of the most basic things that all drivers should do to stay safe around big rigs:

Father and baby killed in tragic head-on collision

A 25-year-old man and his baby daughter died in a three-car accident last week. The pair died along Mount Baker Highway, and two more individuals suffered serious injuries in the crash, which happened on a recent Sunday morning just east of Deming.

According to the Washington State Patrol, the 24-year-old mother of the 5-month-old girl was driving in another vehicle that got tangled up in the crash. She suffered non-life threatening injuries. Another man, aged 71, was critically injured. Both the injured man and woman required hospital care at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center.