Archive for the ‘Car Accident Articles’ Category

Banishing Bias When Writing for the Web

Monday, June 4th, 2012

As a web writer your goal is to reach as broad an audience as humanly possible, and to this end it is likely that you follow all the best practices for writing web content. You keep your sentences short and snappy, spend lots of time ensuring your titles and headings are brilliant and compelling, and you write with a target audience in mind. The question is—do you really know who that audience consists of or do you only have a very fuzzy idea? It is almost a certainty that your audience will vary widely in age, race, gender, culture, nationality and so on. What this means for the web content writer is that when you unconsciously use biased language, you risk alienating a certain percentage of your readers. In some cases, using biased language or writing with a clear bias can even damage your overall credibility.

Ways to Avoid Bias

First, make the determination as to whether a group-specific reference is relevant—in other words if a person’s age, race or gender is not relevant, then avoid mentioning it. If your story is about a local bank president who has won a prestigious award, then mentioning gender is probably not required. However, if that bank president is the first woman to ever win the award then gender is relevant and must be mentioned.  Next, be precise in your language—don’t use the word “girl” to refer to adult women, or the word “retiree,” when your content calls for the specificity of “people 65 and older.” Use the precise words which are favored by whatever group you are writing about.

Avoid Stereotypes and Generalizations

If you are writing a story about bad drivers and you find your own bias showing through—if your article seems to imply that all women are bad drivers—then take a step back and re-think your words. Using the words “everyone,” and “normal,” are also primary ways to tick off at least some of your readers. After all, what constitutes “normal?” And when using the word “everyone,” you may lead your readers to wonder if “everyone,” is everyone except them. Use specific words to describe a person or group, and guard against letting your personal feelings or biases about those people or groups come through in your writing.

Avoiding Clichéd Contents

Avoid using the pronouns “us, them and we,” in a way that implies you have a personal connection with your reader. By saying “We all want a good bargain when we go shopping,” you are implying “people like us,” rather than maintaining a connection with all your readers. Certain figures of speech or slang words can make your writing sound very biased without your intending it to. Suppose you write something like “This is not your Grandma’s beef stew.” Your implication is that older people are not welcome to read your article. Cliché’s can end up being very offensive to a specific group of people and can also mean that your writing is dated.

Is Bias Normal?

Bias is a natural slice of human conduct, and actually allows us to stay alive in an odd kind of way by allowing us to make choices which can rescue us from peril or defend our loved ones or livelihoods. It can also inhibit our ability to be open-minded to all those who come to our content. Much of our biases exist in our subconscious, and are absorbed through our culture or our family. We tend to assume our specific beliefs are normal and that others share our viewpoint. When writing for the web, however, let go of those biases to the extent possible, then proofread your writing with an eye toward spotting any biases you missed.

What To Do After An Atlanta Car Accident

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Car accidents, even minor ones, can be very unsettling to both drivers. Know in advance what to do in the event of an accident. Your primary concerns should be the safety and well-being of all parties, and taking steps to protect your interests in the aftermath. Here are a few steps that will help you respond appropriately.

Safety First

If anyone involved in the accident sustained injuries, call 911 immediately. Don’t try to move someone with injuries or allow yourself to be moved. Paramedics can determine the extent of injuries and move victims without causing more harm to the victim. Leave the vehicles where they are if there were injuries or the physical damage to the vehicles was extensive. Otherwise, move the cars off the road to a safe place. Be careful when exiting the vehicle, doing so on the side away from traffic.

For the Record

Call the police to report the incident. In some areas, the police respond only to serious accidents, so give them the basic facts and ask for instructions. Whether the policy of local police is to respond or not, you will need to exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle. Get their name, address and phone numbers, insurance information and license plate number. Provide your information as well.

Take pictures of both cars and any other evidence you can, such as skid marks or rubble from the damage. Use the camera from your cell phone if you have one. Alternatively, some drivers buy a disposable camera and keep in the glove compartment specifically for this purpose. This may make it easier when you hire an Atlanta auto accident lawyer.

What To Avoid

When speaking to the police and to the other driver and/or passengers, cite only the facts. Do not admit or imply guilt, by apologizing, for example. The shock and anxiety people often experience following a collision, even a minor one, color your perspective, and it’s not uncommon for drivers to feel it was their fault in the immediate aftermath of an accident, even when it wasn’t. This is important, because in many states, liability is decided under a system called comparative negligence. This system recognizes that in a lot of cases, both parties had at least some responsibility for the accident. Admitting guilt at the scene could affect how much liability you are later assigned. Speak with an Atlanta auto accident attorney about your case today.

After the Fact

Call your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident to report the facts. They will need to know when and where the incident occurred and the other driver’s information. They will also ask if a police report was filed and whether any injuries occurred. Don’t offer any additional information. Then, if you feel there is a need, you can contact an Atlanta car accident attorney, who can advise you whether any additional steps are needed to protect your interests further.

Oregon Auto Accident Attorney Reports Distracted Driving Continues to Claim Lives in Oregon

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Distracted driving is fast becoming one of the greatest risk factors for serious auto accidents in the Portland area and throughout Oregon.  The rise in distracted driving accidents has accompanied the increase in the sue of handheld electronic devices like cell phones, iPads and  MP3 players.  These electronic devices are designed to respond to consumers who have shorter attention spans and a constant need for stimulation.  While these devices can be a valuable communication tool as well as a way to stay connected with others, they also can be a deadly distraction to Oregon drivers who text, talk, surf the web, navigate with GPS, read breaking news reports and otherwise fail to concentrate on potential car accident risks on Oregon roadways.

Drivers who fail to focus their full attention on driving safely to avoid serious auto accidents are becoming one of the leading preventable causes of car accidents in Oregon and throughout the country.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that distracted driving accounts for 20 percent of all car accidents.  Data from the Federal Accident Reporting System (FARS) indicates that distracted driving accounts for almost 5,500 auto accident fatalities per year and traffic accident related injuries to almost 450,000 additional drivers in the U.S per year.  There are many types of distractions that can interfere with safe operation of a car, truck or SUV and result in a serious Oregon car accident including:

  • Sending or receiving text messages
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Reading the newspaper or a book
  • Adjusting the controls on a radio or car stereo
  • Putting on makeup
  • Eating or drinking
  • Engaging in a conversation with a passenger
  • Adjusting or studying GPS
  • Using a MP3 player to listen to music
  • Watching multi-media or movies
  • Checking Facebook status or other social network activities
  • Reaching around to grab something in the vehicle

As this list shows, the number of distractions that can lead to a fatal car accident in Oregon is virtually endless.  However, cell phones and other communication devices seem to pose the greatest risk.  The NHTSA has estimated that almost one-fifth of all fatal distracted driving auto accidents are caused by the use of cell phones.

The danger associated with the increasing risk of cell phone use in vehicles is reflected by the fact that a recent study conducted by the University of Utah concluded that using a cell phone while driving delays a driver’s response times by as much or more than having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, which is the level at which a driver is considered legally intoxicated in Oregon.  This recent research regarding the growth of cell phone use while driving along with evidence that it may impair driving ability and delay reactions even more than drunk driving have led some federal safety experts to designate such behavior “the new drunk driving”.

Not only can many triggering events cause distracted driving, but this activity may also take several forms. Generally, three separate types of driver distractions have been identified including visual distractions, manual distractions and cognitive distractions.  A visual distraction is anything that diverts a driver’s eyes from the road, such as looking at a cell phone screen.  Most visual distractions are also accompanied by a cognitive distraction, which includes anything that draws a driver’s mental concentration away from one’s driving.

For example, a driver who is reading a text message is both visually and cognitively distracted in viewing and interpreting the content of the text message.  A physical distraction may also occur simultaneously with the other forms of driving distraction like adjusting a GPS device or car stereo, which may involve all three forms of driving distraction.

An auto accident attorney in Oregon from the firm of Dwyer, Williams, Potter Attorneys, LLP has physical offices conveniently located throughout the State of Oregon.  We have offices located in Bend, Eugene, Grants Pass, Medford, Portland, and Roseburg and serve the following cities in the State of Oregon: Albany, Ashland, Bend, Brownsville, Central Point, Corvallis, Creswell, Eugene, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Medford, Myrtle Creek, Portland, Redmond, Roseburg, Salem and Springfield.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Oregon due to a negligent or distracted driver, we urge you to call an Oregon auto accident attorney from Dwyer, Williams, Potter Attorneys, LLP toll free at (800) 285-8678, or submit an online questionnaire.  If we agree to handle your case, we will work on contingency fee basis.  NO RECOVERY NO FEE!