Archive for October, 2014

Hartford Drivers Distracted by Hands-Free Devices

There are many electronic devices that people have become dependent upon today. From talking on cell phones and text messaging to using an electronic GPS to get to your destination, there is a good chance that you use at least some electronics in your car. Unfortunately, using these devices can increase your risk of a collision whether traveling along I-91 in Rocky Hill or while leaving the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester.

A personal injury lawyer knows that many motorists believe they will be safer if they use a hands-free system in their car rather than physically picking up their phone or manually typing into electronic controls. The reality, however, is that multitasking can have a long-term negative impact on your brain. Not only that, but you are still so distracted by using hands-free devices that driving safely is difficult or impossible.

Studies Show Dangers of Driving Distracted

According to Yahoo News, recent studies have demonstrated that voice activated phone systems and voice activated infotainment systems are not any safer for drivers than using handheld systems. In fact, in many cases, using electronic devices with voice control systems can actually be more dangerous than it would have been to simply use your hands to complete the desired task.

Researchers studied drivers using Apple’s virtual assistant Siri, on a simulated driving course. Researchers also tested drivers using popular hands-free infotainment systems made by popular car manufacturers such as Chevrolet, Mercedes, Hyundai, Ford and Chrysler. Each of the different systems was rated on a scale based on how much of a distraction that particular system caused. When the hands-free electronic use caused the least distraction, it would receive a one on the scale. The most distracting devices would receive a five.

Researchers found that using Siri was the worst and most distracting thing that a driver could do. Siri received a 4.14 rating out of five. On the simulated driving course, the motorists who were talking to Siri to get Siri to do tasks actually ended up rear ending vehicles in front of them twice.

In-vehicle electronic systems did a little better, but not much better. The worst of the infotainment systems was the Chevrolet MyLink, which received a distraction score of 3.7. Other systems were not as distracting, but all were found to cause more of a problem in terms of safe driving than if the driver had just used his or her cellular phone in the first place.

The news that multitasking is dangerous is bad news for drivers, because it means that people who try to use electronics can increase the risk of an accident. However, an article from Forbes also suggests that those who are routinely involved in multitasking are actually likely to be the worst at it. This is because people who multitask regularly become less able to pay attention, less able to recall information, and less able to effectively switch from one task to another. As a result, those who are likely to multitask in the car, who are often serious multi-taskers are likely to be the least safe of all.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit

Preventing Halloween Pedestrian Accidents in Hartford

Halloween night is supposed to be a time of lighthearted tricks and delicious treats. Unfortunately, with so many young children on the roads trick or treating in West Hartford, New Haven, Manchester and throughout Connecticut, there is a significant risk of a pedestrian collision occurring. A personal injury lawyer knows that kids are always more likely than adults to become involved in a pedestrian collision. Unfortunately, the risk of a crash causing a child’s death is increased on Halloween compared with other days of the year.

Kids Face Added Risks on Halloween Night

According to a comprehensive study conducted by State Farm of more than four million collision records from accidents between 1990 and 2010, an average of 5.5 children were killed on Halloween night in pedestrian accidents each year. This is more than double the 2.6 kids who lose their lives in pedestrian collisions on the other days of the year.

An estimated 70 percent of deadly pedestrian crashes involving children occurred in the middle of the block, rather than at intersections or corners. Consumer Affairs speculates that this is because children run out in the middle of the road from in between two parked vehicles and drivers are unable to see them in time to stop their vehicles and avoid a deadly crash.

Accidents are most likely to occur between the hours of 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM, and 60 percent of the total deadly pedestrian accidents happen between 5:00 and 9:00 PM. The hours with the most accidents are the time when it begins to get dark and visibility is reduced.

It is surprisingly not the youngest children who are at the greatest risk of deadly pedestrian crashes on Halloween night. Young adults between the ages of 12 and 15 are the age group with the highest number of fatalities. In total, kids in these age groups made up 32 percent of the victims of deadly Halloween pedestrian collisions. Children between the ages of five and eight were the second most likely to be killed in a Halloween pedestrian crash. A total of 23 percent of the victims of deadly Halloween collisions were within this age range.

Parents need to be aware that children of all ages face dangers on Halloween Night. Safe Kids Worldwide provides some advice for parents and kids on how to stay safe. For example, children under the age of 12 should not be out trick-or-treating or participating in Halloween activities unless they have an adult with them. Kids should wear bright colored costumes if possible and should have reflective gear on their trick-or-treat bags such as stickers. Wearing a mask should be avoided as it can obstruct vision, and kids should be reminded to cross at corners and look both ways before going across the road.

By following these best practices for safety, hopefully there will be fewer deaths during the upcoming Halloween events. Drivers should also do their part by focusing on the road, slowing down in residential neighborhoods and being extra careful of kids out on Halloween night.

Contact a Hartford accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit