Distracted Driving’s Newest Suspect: Pokémon Go

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A new game released just over two weeks ago in the United States and is already presenting a problem for motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians and local police.

Pokémon Go is a new mobile app designed for users to “catch” Pokémon characters based on their geographic location. GPS is activated so that users can follow and catch these Pokémon in real-time, but it is presenting a multitude of problems on all levels.

There have been three reported car accidents since the game has launched, two incidents were drivers distracted by the game and one involving a pedestrian distracted by the app.

How will local authorities deal with injuries caused by this new smartphone game?

As I have stated in a previous post, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents among teenagers. In addition to texting, radio adjustments, eating and many other distractions, Pokémon Go could potentially become one of the top distractions if no action is taken to deter this game.

In the state of Ohio, cell phone use is a primary offense for drivers under 18.

This means police can pull over a driver under the age of 18 simply for using their cell phone while operating a vehicle.

For these drivers, it may be easier to stop them from using Pokémon Go while driving, but what about drivers 18 or older?

Drivers 18 years old and older are subject to secondary offenses, meaning they cannot be pulled over simply for texting while driving but must have some other offense such as speeding, no seat belt, no turn signal, etc.

The best way for authorities to curb the use in this age group is to continue issuing statements and statistics on the dangers of this game.

Distracted driving is dangerous—there have been 582 car accident fatalities in Ohio as of today!

Do not add to that number because of a game; drive safely and put the phones away!

If you or a family member was injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver, call me today for your free consultation. As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Bad Habits All Motor Vehicle Drivers Should Avoid

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Driving has become a mundane task. In today’s busy world, focused, alert driving can often take a backseat to safe driving habits. It becomes easier and easier to forget how much concentration it takes to drive safely, and it becomes more and more tempting to make compromises.

Here are several dangerous driving habits that I ask all drivers to read through:

1.      Driving under the Influence

One of the obvious ones. Driving under the influence is the number one cause of traffic fatalities. Driving drunk reduces reaction time, impairs judgement. Instead, take a taxi or a bus, or call a friend for a ride.

2.      Distracted Driving

Driving while on the phone or texting is another leading cause of traffic fatalities. Sending a text, making a call, even eating a sandwich requires you to take your eyes off the road for several seconds or more. At high speeds, cars move over 100 feet per second. A lot can change in 2 or 3 seconds.

3.      Drafting off of Semi-trucks

It seems like a great idea. Following closely behind semi-trucks improves your gas mileage by taking advantage of the low-pressure zone that a large vehicle creates. However, this behavior is also dangerous. Following this close behind a Semi gives you very little time to react, should the truck need to stop suddenly. Additionally, it impairs your visibility; the truck driver can see what’s coming, but you can’t.

4.      Driving Tired

Driving Tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Tired drivers have slower reaction times and are likely to fall asleep behind the wheel. If you feel yourself nodding off, pull over and take a short nap. Even 10 minutes of sleep can improve brain function and help you reach your destination safely.

5.      Reckless Driving

Speeding, failure to give right of way, not slowing down in inclement weather conditions and other behaviors all fall under Reckless driving. Driving too quickly is another of the leading causes of accidents in the United States. The IIHS points out that the likelihood of a crash increases when a driver goes above the speed limit. Failure to give right of way includes running stop signs or red lights, failing to yield when merging onto the highway and others. These behaviors cause unpredictability, which can lead to accidents. Rain and Snow can make the road slippery and speeding can drastically increase the chances of a crash, should you need to stop suddenly. Other behaviors include: swerving, weaving, accelerating and braking suddenly and others.

6.      Not Wearing a Seat belt

Seat belts are there for a reason. Windshields are very strong. They are designed to take impacts from pieces of debris traveling at speeds of 60 miles per hour or more, without shattering. In the event of an accident, failure to wear a seat belt could send you face-first into the airbag, or the windshield. Additionally, airbags are designed to work in conjunction with seat belts to save lives and minimize injury.

The average number of national car accident fatalities in the United States per year is 37,000.

It’s tough to delay your arrival by pulling over for a nap, and it’s tempting to draft off of a semi-truck to save money on gas, but these habits (like many others) are incredibly dangerous. It’s always important to remember that cars are large objects traveling at high speeds.

When dealing with something as potentially dangerous as a car, you should always use common sense and an abundance of caution so as not to make a dangerous mistake.

If you or a family member was injured in a motor vehicle accident by no fault of your own, call me today for your free consultation. As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Drunk Driving Vs. Distracted Driving

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Drunk driving is dangerous and is typically at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to illegal and dangerous driving behavior. However, many people don’t realize that distracted driving is just as bad—if not worse— than drunk driving.

Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is the equivalent of having four drinks.

Drinking that much alcohol typically raises a person’s blood alcohol content to somewhere between 0.07% and 0.20%, depending on the person. The legal limit is 0.08%.

At a blood alcohol content of 0.07%, a person’s driving abilities are significantly impaired and their reaction time is considerably slowed. The same goes for texting while driving.

The underlying problem with texting while driving is taking your eyes off the road. The average driver takes their eyes off the road for four seconds to read a text, and much longer to respond to one. Much can change in those four seconds; cars on the highway travel at over 100 feet per second.

Over the past few years, the number of people who text while driving has risen, making texting while driving one of the most dangerous driving behaviors.

Talking on the Phone

Numerous studies indicate that talking on the phone, like texting, is just as dangerous as drinking when it comes to driving. A study conducted by the University of Utah shows the speed, braking and distance profiles over time of drunk drivers, drivers talking on the phone and a control group. The results show little difference in driving behaviors between the first two groups.

In fact, the study suggested that, in regards to time on task, cell-phone users could be impaired even more than drunk drivers.

What About Hands Free Devices?

As new laws emerge prohibiting cell phone use, people have turned to using hands free and Bluetooth devices to take their calls while on the road. But is this really safer?

In some ways the hands free device can be safer: drivers don’t need to look away from the road answer or end calls. As this is one of the major problems with talking and texting on the road, hands free devices will make driving safer by eliminating time spent looking at a phone.

However, the act of carrying on a conversation while driving is also dangerous. No studies have been able to pinpoint a reason why but simply note that a conversation on the phone is different than one held in the car. Researchers hypothesize that a passenger can alter his or her speech patterns to make the conversation easier on the driver, whereas people who aren’t in the car can’t.

For this reason, it is just as dangerous to talk with someone on the phone as it is to use a hands free device. Carrying on a conversation with someone outside the car requires a significant amount of brainpower and concentration, and that alone can cause risky distraction.

Any time you or a family member gets behind the wheel, I ask that you stress the importance of avoiding distracted driving!

This includes putting the cell phones away, concentrating on the road, and limiting the number of passengers in a young driver’s vehicle.

Each day brings a new type of distraction, especially with our younger generations and the growth of technology. We must learn to minimize distraction and teach this to our new drivers as well. If you or a family member was injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver, call me today.

As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

6 Brain Functions Most Affected By Severe Head Injuries

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Traumatic brain injuries can happen to any person, anywhere, any time. No matter if it is a car accident, a sports-related injury, a military injury, or a slip and fall in your own home; a traumatic brain injury can leave a person severely injured for the rest of his or her life.

Head injuries are serious injuries that may cause temporary or permanent damage, but what do some of these damages?

The National Institute of Health recently noted 6 serious brain functions affected by head injuries.

  1. Nerve Damage: A TBI can mildly to severely damage cranial nerves and have corresponding side effects to some significant abilities. Some reported complications include vision loss, facial muscle paralysis, difficulty swallowing, and loss in sense of smell.
  2. Intellectual Damage: There are potential risks for cognitive functions from head trauma. A person may experience memory loss, inability to use proper judgment, difficultly learning or processing things mentally, lack of attention and concentration, and failure to reason with others.
  3. Behavior: This falls in line very closely with intellectual damage, but causes more difficultly with an injured person’s ability to react socially with others. The victim may experience physical or verbal outbursts, self-esteem problems and lack of self-control.
  4. Communication Difficulty: Head injuries affect an individual’s cognitive functioning and, unfortunately, have a negative impact on one’s communication skills. This may include a difficulty in writing, speaking, understanding the two, and suffering from jumbled thoughts.
  5. Emotional Suffering: We have seen in many NFL and college football players who have suffered from closed head injuries and oftentimes, the effects can be deadly. Emotions can be completely altered depending on the severity of the injury and can lead to anxiety, mood swings, irritability, sleep issues, anger, and depression. In some instances, it has resulted in suicide.
  6. Sensory Effects: The final and most physically problematic brain functions affected by a TBI are a person’s senses. Complications may include double vision, tingling or pain of the skin, dizziness, ringing in ears, and difficulty with hand-eye coordination.

If you or a family member recently suffered a head injury and experienced any of these symptoms, it is imperative that you seek medical attention!

The longer you put off medical treatment, the more severe your symptoms may become.

If you have suffered a severe head injury due to a motor vehicle accident, you need to call me immediately. Having an experienced personal injury attorney will not only take the stress from you, but can make the process of a car accident claim smoother and quicker.

As your Ohio catastrophic injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Fighting the “Good Fight” With Morris Eason

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My dear friend Morris Eason was featured recently in the Chagrin Valley Times. The story is titled, “The Good Fight”.

I have known Morris for over three decades. He first came to me as a client and his magnanimous personality makes it impossible not to like him and become his friend.

Morris’ life story is something for a Hollywood script. He made some mistakes; he did his time, became a top fighter, and then became a minister. He now combines his knowledge of the ring and the bible to counsel and train people at his Round Ministries in Russell Township.

The lucky ones who have found themselves under Morris’s protective wing experience physical and spiritual transformations that they cannot believe.

I have been a personal injury attorney for nearly as long as I have known my good friend Morris, and I can tell you that seeing a former client become a dear friend, work hard to get his life in order, and put others before himself is why I do what I do.

When I take on a personal injury case a client’s problems become my own.

My duty as a personal injury attorney is to represent the client in a fight for justice, but also to guide and protect them during these difficult, painful times.

Please take a moment to read this great story and watch the video, The Morris Eason Story, which I put out a few years ago.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to another’s negligence, you will need an attorney that will not only fight for you but protect your well-being in all aspects of your life that have been affected by your accident.

Call me if you’ve been hurt and I will be that attorney to fight for you. As your Ohio personal injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Young Football Star Gives Up Game Due to the Effects of Concussions

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I was both saddened and encouraged after reading the story in today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer Sports page about former Mentor High School football star Conner Krizancic’s decision to give up playing college ball due to the effects of concussions.

I am sad, of course, to learn of a brilliant, young athlete having his promising career cut short. However, I am very encouraged to see that athletes, their families, and athletic staffs are taking their collective heads out of the sand, so to speak.

For years, I have been championing the awareness campaign for football-related concussions.

At that time I said we are only aware of the tip of the iceberg. Since that time a plethora of information has emerged. It is my considered estimate that only 15-20% of the iceberg is evident.

It took intelligence, courage on the part of Conner to see the big picture and forego the glamour and status of a premier collegiate quarterback. I hope that others can be influenced by his sterling example of self-reflection to come to grips with the daunting reality of the debilitating, permanent consequence of the blood sport of football.

Earlier this week I posted and blogged about Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge whose life was tragically cut short when, after an estimated 15 concussions, he committed suicide.

We have seen all-pro NFL players in the middle of a lucrative long-term contract walk away from the game due to concussion concerns. We have seen college gridiron greats either commit suicide or turn their backs on the sport because of the nightmare effects closed head injuries have.

I predict that we will see high school and peewee footballers hang their laces up when they “get their bell rung”.

Over the last three decades I have represented children who were victims of accidents. And, as you know, when a youngster is under 18 years of age, I must get probate court approval.

Having appeared in countless hearings before probate judges and magistrates to have the settlement approved, one thing is abundantly clear, the court only cares about the best interest of the child.

The same philosophy should carry over in a ply to any young man under the age of 18 who is contemplating playing contact football.

As many probate judges have said over the years to me:

We have to protect the young man against himself”.

As your Ohio catastrophic injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Ohio Firework Laws—Where Can They Be Purchased or Used?

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The state of Ohio has upheld laws for the purchase and use of fireworks since 1996, but many consumers may not even aware of those legalities.

In simplest terms, “fireworks” that are illegal to use in the state of Ohio include:

  • Bottle rockets
  • Fire crackers
  • Roman candles
  • Fountains
  • Heavy duty shells

While fireworks are illegal to set off within the state, “novelty” items are legal to set off in Ohio.

Novelty items include the following:

  • Sparklers
  • Smoke Bombs
  • Glow Snakes
  • Snaps

Before using these items, it may be best to contact your local officials on further information for setting them off in your neighborhood.

Many Ohio citizens may not realize that you can purchase these fireworks in Ohio but must take them out of state within 48 hours.

This past week Ohio Gov. Kasich signed a provision in the state budget eliminating the need for consumers to sign a form before purchasing fireworks.

This form was referred to as the “Liar’s Form” and required consumers to agree that they will not light fireworks inside state lines, and  will take their purchases out of Ohio within 48 hours from purchase.

Although the form has been eliminated, the fireworks listed above are still illegal to discharge in Ohio.

If you are unsure of what items you can or cannot set off in your neighborhood, please contact the Ohio State Fire Marshal.

Safety while using any type of fireworks is always a priority. Be sure to take extra precaution before using these items, especially when it comes to children and pets. Happy Independence Day!
As your Ohio personal injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

The Deadly Outcome of Severe Head Injuries for Young Athletes

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The top headline in today’s NY Times Sports section chronicles the tragic life of former Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge who, after sustaining an estimated 15 concussions, fatally shot himself.

This is yet another instance wherein the consequence of contact sports is becoming a problem that demands our attention.

For parents whose sons have an interest in football—whether it is Peewee league, high school, or college—I implore you to consult with a medical professional who specializes in athletic neuroscience so your family can make intelligent and informed choices.

Many parents of young men who are permanently disabled because of blunt head trauma  say that if they would’ve known then what they know now, they never would allow their son to participate in contact sports.

The price the whole family pays far exceeds any potential benefit of contact sports participation

No matter what the coaches tell you in terms of new and improved helmets, and/or better tackling techniques, nothing will prevent severe and permanent brain damage when the very essence of the sport is to physically pummel your opponent.

As I have said many times, if someone wants to ride a motorcycle without a helmet they should first have to spend a week at Cleveland Metro Hospital Surgical Intensive Care Unit and spend time with victims of motorcycle accidents. The same is true for participation in the blunt sport of football.

Parents and their children should have to spend a week with brain injured players and their families.

I invite you to read the story on Kosta Karageorge. It is sad and yet chilling at the same time because the circumstances that caused his death have not changed. Karageorge was diagnosed posthumously with Stage 1 C.T.E.

As a parent and a personal injury lawyer, my goal is that each and every parent, player, and coach receives education on the dangers of contact sports before condemning our young athletes to the seemingly unavoidable outcome of head injuries.

As your Ohio catastrophic injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.