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Las Vegas Litigation Law Blog

Crash tests reveal pickup truck safety flaws

Pickup trucks with two rows of seats are popular choices for vehicle buyers in Nevada because they offer a good combination of space, durability and value, but a recent series of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have revealed that many of them do a poor job of protecting front-seat passengers in an accident. After testing the latest pickup trucks from General Motors, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan and Honda, only the Ford F-150, Nissan Titan and Dodge Ram 1500 earned a good rating for passenger safety.

The accident simulations run by the IIHS are known as overlap tests. They are designed to determine how badly passengers would be injured if the corner of the vehicle they are traveling in struck an object such as a tree or utility pole. The level of safety provided by the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline was considered acceptable by the IIHS, but the Nissan Frontier and five pickup trucks from General Motors were rated poor.

Stagehand dies at Coachella due to accident

A stagehand that worked with the company Goldenvoice died this year at Coachella after a serious accident. Coachella is a large music festival that attracts music lovers everywhere from Nevada to across the Atlantic Ocean. The festival takes place during two weekends every April and attracts more than 100,000 attendants as well as dozens of artists. The 2019 version of the festival is considered the 20th anniversary of the event.

The stagehand who died at Coachella on Saturday, April 6th, was witnessed climbing a 60-foot scaffolding before he fell. Witnesses claimed that the stagehand did not have any harnesses on while ascending the tower. The incident took place at the Polo Grounds in Indio, California. A spokesperson for the Indio police claimed that the victim was found dead at the site and that the incident was under investigation.

Self-driving cars may not be ready for the road

Autonomous vehicles are talked about as a way to make Nevada roads safer. However, it is not clear if these vehicles are ready to be fully released to the public. According to a report from the Rand Corporation, such vehicles may need millions or billions of additional test miles before they can be deemed safe and reliable. In many cases, it could take decades or centuries before car companies can meet this threshold.

Some people point out that many drivers tend to enjoy driving their vehicles, so it is unclear if they would be willing to give them up in favor of cars or trucks that drive themselves. It is also important to consider that there will likely be an integration period in which autonomous and traditional vehicles will share the road. The technology powering autonomous vehicles will need to understand what a human driver is doing to avoid an accident or other negative situation.

Survey shows many drivers distracted by emergency vehicles

When emergency vehicles are parked by the side of the road, drivers almost always tend to get distracted. Nevada residents should know that the National Safety Council and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute conducted a survey regarding this trend; below are some of the results.

According to the survey, 73 percent of drivers do move over when they see emergency vehicles parked and with their lights on. This is the correct thing to do. Yet 24 percent said they are unaware of any legal requirement to move over for such vehicles. Eighty percent said they slow down to get a better look whether the emergency vehicle is making a traffic stop or responding to a crash or fire, and this slows down traffic and puts people at risk.

IIHS study: speed limit increase has led to more fatal crashes

The nationwide 55-mph speed limit was abolished back in 1995; since then, 41 states, including Nevada, have raised the speed limit on their highways to at least 70 mph. Seven states have adopted an 80-mph speed limit on some highways. Six have raised the speed limit since 2013. At the same time, the number of traffic fatalities, though not as high as it was in the early 1990s, has been climbing ever since the low it saw in 2011.

A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has linked the two trends. Researchers studied traffic fatality data from 1993 to 2017 and concluded that 36,760 deaths could have been prevented in that period if speed limits had not risen. Around 1,900 lives could have been saved in 2017 alone, the study says. For every 5-mph increase, the number of roadway fatalities went up 8.5 percent.

Protecting one's business from premises liability claims

Business owners in California and elsewhere have a duty to maintain a reasonably safe property for lawful entrants. In some cases, even trespassers have a right to a safe property. Business owners are responsible even when they do not own the premises. If they do not implement adequate safety policies and procedures, they may find themselves facing a premises liability lawsuit from someone who is injured on their property.

Slips, trips and falls account for many premises liability claims. They are often the result of wet floors, torn carpeting, loose railings and cracked pavement. Poor lighting and the presence of debris can be additional factors in such incidents. Victims have a case if they can show that the property owner had a sufficient amount of time to fix the issue but failed to do so. Victims must also prove that they themselves were not careless.

Travelers survey explores the reasons for distracted driving

Nevada residents may be interested in the results of the 2019 Travelers Risk Index from the Travelers Companies. Based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers and executives, it reveals some crucial data concerning distracted driving. Forty-four percent admitted to texting or sending emails, while 23 percent admitted to using social media. Twenty-two percent would record videos or take pictures behind the wheel.

Moreover, many drivers find it hard to break these habits. Thirteen percent said it about reading texts and emails, and 11 percent said it about sending them. Twelve percent of consumers set their phones to Do Not Disturb, while 41 percent choose not to turn it on. Thirty-five percent simply forget to turn it on or find it inconvenient to do so.

Reducing blood pressure may prevent worsening brain damage

Living with any type of brain damage can present many challenges for Nevada residents, especially older individuals. A new study suggests being more aggressive with blood pressure treatments may help minimize issues with worsening brain damage. Over a three-year period, older subjects that took medication to keep their systolic blood pressure - the pressure in blood vessels when the heart beats - around 130 mm Hg experienced less accumulation of brain lesions that are considered to be harmful.

The study on brain damage and blood pressure noted that results were not the same with subjects taking medication that kept their systolic blood pressure around 145 mm Hg. The subjects studied did not, however, have significant improvements with mobility and cognitive function. For the study, researchers used monitors to track blood pressure around-the-clock, which allowed subjects to be evaluated during their normal daily activities.

How to exit a startup smoothly

In early 2019, a company called Meta was unable to continue funding research into creating an augmented reality product. Therefore, it was unable to continue operations despite once being valued at close to $250 million. If such a large company can fail, Nevada startup owners should understand that theirs could too regardless of how large it gets. It is also important to know that selling a startup can cause a wide range of emotions.

No longer running a company may mean no longer having a set daily routine or a familiar set of problems to solve each day. In some cases, business owners who have sold their companies have to take time to find their identity again. Fortunately, there are signs that it may be time to walk away from a business, and it is generally a good idea to have an exit strategy long before it comes time to walk away.

Nevada considers "textalyzer," but privacy concerns remain

Nevada residents should know that their state may become one of the first to allow police to use a device called a "textalyzer," which can determine if a driver was distracted prior to a crash. The textalyzer connects to a phone and looks for any signs of user activity. It does not access or store personal content, but it can determine if users, for example, opened a Facebook messenger call screen.

The Nevada legislature introduced the proposal in March 2019. A similar measure was introduced by the New York legislature in 2017 but failed. New York is now considering another piece of legislation that would allow police to check a driver's cellphone activity after a wreck while a separate measure would initiate a pilot program in Westchester County.

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