Image of Gary Martin Hays

Atlanta, Savannah, & All of Georgia

Personal Injury Attorney

Call 1-800-898-HAYS (4297)

Motorcycle accident fatalities decrease in Georgia

If you ride a motorcycle regularly in Georgia, you may be interested in a report detailing an interesting trend in motorcycle fatalities.

A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) reveals some good news and bad news about risks for motorcycle riders. First the good news: Motorcycle fatalities in the United States dropped by 2 percent during the first nine months of 2010. Now the bad news: Fatalities started to climb back up during the last three of those nine months. Also, the number of people wearing federally approved helmets dropped by 13 percent.

Were you or someone you know injured in a motorcycle accident? Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer in Georgia is an important step toward protecting yourself legally. If you were injured, or a loved one was killed, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to stand up to the insurance companies. You need the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, serving clients throughout Georgia. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Atlanta to learn about your rights.

In Georgia, there were 112 motorcycle fatalities during the first nine months in 2009, compared to 98 during the same time period in 2010.

Researchers describe the trend as good news, but say they have concerns.  The 2 percent decrease is far less than the dramatic 16 percent decrease in fatalities reported in 2009. To quote a GHSA news release: "With the improving economy and surging gas prices, motorcycle travel is expected to increase, thus increasing exposure to risk. Finally, motorcycle helmet use dropped alarmingly from 67 percent in 2009 to 54 percent in 2010."

It's important for all drivers to be aware that motorcycles share the road, especially during the warmer months.  Motorcycle accidents in Georgia and elsewhere in many cases are caused by a driver who "did not see" the motorcyclist.

At the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers know how to investigate crashes and hold the negligent parties accountable. Let us provide you with experienced legal guidance. Take back control. Contact the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates. Tell the insurance companies you mean business.

Top driving distractions to avoid on Georgia roads

Many people lead busy lives. These days, multitasking is not only accepted, but it's encouraged at work or at home. Unfortunately, when multitasking extends to our cars we are putting others at risk through distracted driving.

It's shocking how many people get into auto accidents due to distractions such as texting while driving or eating while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20 percent of injury crashes involved reports of distracted driving.

Are you prepared to take action if a distracted driver causes an accident? If you or someone you know was injured due to a distracted driver, don't hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer in Atlanta to learn about your rights. The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates can put experience and resources to work for you.

The following are some of the top driving distractions in Atlanta:

  • Texting while driving: Pull over to a safe spot if you need to send or receive text messages. With texting while driving, you're taking at least one hand off the wheel and your eyes off the road. Some studies have compared texting to risks associated with drunk driving.
  • Talking on a cell phone: While not as risky as texting while driving, talking on a cell phone can distract you more than you might think. Even with hands-free headsets, drivers who are engaged in phone conversations are not able to completely focus on operating their vehicle.
  • Eating and drinking while driving: It's best to avoid eating while driving, especially hot food and drinks. Eating requires taking at least one of your hands off the wheel. If you spill a hot beverage, you may be significantly distracted.
  • Use of electronic devices while driving: The use of iPods or programming of a GPS unit behind the wheel increases the risk of a car accident as you will need to take at least one hand off the wheel and your attention will turn from the road to your electronic device.
  • Personal grooming: Women in a hurry may be tempted to put makeup on. Men may shave or even brush their teeth while driving. Any of these actions will require you to take your eyes off the road for a moment or your hands off the wheel.
  • Reading maps or other material: Like texting, reading of maps can significantly increase the risk of an accident due to having to take your eyes off the road. People even have been known to read books or work reports, which should be done before or after getting into the car.

Reports have estimated that distracted driving was responsible for nearly 6,000 fatalities and 500,000 injuries in the United States in 2008.

To keep the Georgia roads safe, drivers need to remember to focus on the task at hand. This is especially important for younger drivers. (The under-20 age group has the greatest proportion of distracted drivers, according to the NHTSA).

If a distracted driver was responsible for your injuries, don't hesitate to talk to an experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta. Let a Georgia auto accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates help you with your options. Contact us today to learn more.

MARTA bus driver arrested after passenger dragged while exiting bus

Elderly Woman Dragged by MARTA Bus:

A woman was injured after her arm was stuck in the door of a MARTA bus and she was dragged about 63 feet on May 8, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Bus driver Belinda McMillan, 52, was arrested and charged with reckless conduct in connection with the Atlanta bus accident. Witnesses  told Atlanta police that McMillan drove away after the incident, which occurred at Joseph E. Boone Boulevard and Mayson Turner Road in northwest Atlanta, according to the AJC.

The victim was identified as Lettie Robinson, 62, who was exiting the bus and turned to retrieve her purse from inside the bus. The front door then closed on her arm and the bus began moving, dragging Robinson, police told the AJC.

Bystanders tried to alert the driver, according to news reports. A witness apparently drove in front of the bus to stop the bus. The bus driver stopped and opened the door. The victim fell to the ground and rolled in front of the bus, police told the AJC.

Police said the woman, who uses a walker, sustained a broken arm and cuts on her legs and head. She was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The driver was placed on administrative leave while MARTA conducts a full internal investigation, according to the Journal Constitution.

"The allegations in this incident are extremely serious," said Atlanta personal injury lawyer Gary Martin Hays. "MARTA has a duty to ensure safety and security of all passengers. We hope this incident is fully investigated and proper action is taken to make sure such incidents do not happen in the future. Hopefully, the passenger who was injured makes a full and speedy recovery."

School bus rear-end accident in Norcross, GA, results in injuries to children

One school bus rear-ended another school bus in Norcross on April 25, which resulted in about 10 students apparently sustaining minor injuries.

The students, who were treated at the scene, complained of back pain and other injuries, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The driver of the bus, whose name was not released, was cited by police for following too closely. The driver was treated for minor injuries at Gwinnett Medical Center in Duluth.

Gwinnett County Public School officials are investigating the school bus accident in Norcross, which involved a special needs school bus bound for Camp Creek Elementary School. The bus was rear-ended by a Lilburn Middle School bus carrying 38 students, the AJC reported.

School officials relieved both school bus drivers of their duties, which is district transportation protocol, according to the AJC.

Rear-end accidents are among the most common types of traffic accidents. In some cases, a driver may be distracted and take his or her eyes off of the road. As this case illustrates, police say the driver was following too closely, which also is a common cause of rear-end accidents in Georgia.

"Whether you're a bus driver, a truck driver or someone who is on their way to work or the grocery store," said Georgia personal injury lawyer Gary Martin Hays, "you should always keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you. Following too closely, which is the cause of many accidents, poses a real threat. Hopefully all of the injured students will make a full recovery."