Safety on Alabama Highways

The Birmingham News reported in today’s paper that Road deaths were higher in 2006 than they have been since 1973, topping 1200.  That’s thirty-four (34) years since Alabama highway deaths have exceeded 1200.  During that same time period, we have been in the process of gutting our legal system with respect to car accidents.

One reason we have a tort system is to hold people accountable for their negligence.  Negligence is not intentional; it is the breach of a duty which causes harm.  Duties exist with respect to operating cars and trucks on our highways.  Whether a person is on a cell phone, drunk, speeding, loses control of the vehicle, or simply fails to heed a traffic signal, that person is not fulfilling his/her duty to operate the vehicle safely.  As a result, other people are endangered, injured, or killed.

An individual injured because a person wasn’t paying attention is entitled to be compensated under Alabama law.  It is a pain to have to take time off of work and go to doctors and physical therapists.  It isn’t fun to take diagnostic tests such as X-rays and MRI’s, and it certainly isn’t fun to have surgery. 

When this medical treatment takes place because another person was not abiding by the rules of the road, that person is financially responsible.  This is why we have insurance.  If we don’t like this system, we should stop paying all of these premiums for insurance coverage.  Otherwise, we need to respect those who are injured by another’s negligence, and we should hold the negligent individuals accountable.  They are the ones who need to be responsible, not the victim, and maybe then, we can reduce that 1200 number.


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