Safety Driving Tips For Winter Conditions

Winter is touted to be the riskiest season for drivers. The Federal Highway Administration has it that snowy weather conditions associated with winter account for more than 30% of all accident. Thus, it almost goes without saying that motorists should take extra caution when driving throw snow to reduce the risk of ending up in a crash.   Here are 5 winter driving tips as explained a personal injury lawyer.

Listen to Weather Reports

Get acquainted with the weather patterns before you travel. If the weather is expected to be bad, consider postponing your journey to avoid the risks. If it is necessary that you travel on snowy roads, drive carefully and watch your speed. In fact, it is recommended that you drive below the speed limit to be safe on the road during winter. Remember that the falling snow reduces visibility thereby increasing the likelihood of getting involved in an accident if you don’t control the driving speed.

Be Careful With Bridges and Overpasses

When the temperatures drop to freezing point, bridges and overpasses are the first areas where ice forms. Thus, these areas will have more ice than any other part of the road. Be sure to slow down as you approach bridges and overpasses because the layer of ice on the pavement may be thicker than it seems from afar. Certainly, the last thing you want on the roads during winter is your car skidding on a bridge or overpass.

When the Vehicle Starts to Skid, Know How to React

Out of panic, most drivers slam on the brakes once the car begins to skid on ice. However, doing so will not bring your vehicle to a halt but will instead aggravate the situation. When the car starts to skid, ease off the accelerator and keep your focus on a target at a particular distance. Calm down and try to steer the vehicle back on course towards the target. Give the brakes very light pumps as you attempt to get back on course.

Check the Tires

While hot weather is known to cause the tires to over-inflate, cold weather leads to hazardous, under-inflated tires. Ensure that the tires have the correct pressure before you hit the road. You can always refer to the user manual for the best tires pressure at a particular temperature or use your vehicle’s tire pressure system to keep the pressure in check.

Beware of Animals on the Road

Animal collisions are higher during winter than any other season. Animals such as deer are more likely to be found close to roads as they search for food and mating partners during winter. Break whenever you see a deer and if the animal becomes frozen in your headlights, hoot so it can move out of the way. Note that deer are more active a couple of hours before dawn and sunset. Also, they move in herds, so if you spot one, there may be more.  Even with utmost care, it’s almost impossible to control the actions of other drivers on the road. Thus, if you or a close friend has been injured as a result of a reckless driver during winter, you are entitled to compensation for loss of income, medical bills, and other damages. Contact a personal accident lawyer to know your rights and pursue compensation. A personal accident attorney will evaluate your case, gather the evidence and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.


Is Texting and Driving More Dangerous Than Drinking and Driving?

Both are known to contribute significantly to car accidents, but which more dangerous? Not long ago, driving under the influence of alcohol was considered to be a menace on our roads. But that was not until the advancement of technology and cell phones set it. To put it plainly, you’re more likely to get involved in a car accident if you text while driving than when driving under the influence of alcohol. But what are the facts? An accident attorney outlines them.

Why Texting and Driving are Riskier than Drunk Driving

Many indicators seem to suggest that texting and driving are more dangerous than driving while under the influence of alcohol. Sample these facts;

• The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has it that texting and driving increase the risk of a car accident by up to six times compared to drinking and driving.
• A study spearheaded by the University of Utah established that texting and driving delays a driver’s reaction by the same magnitude caused by blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% which is the legal limit.
• Texting and driving now cause more accidents than drinking and driving. As a matter of fact, texting and driving is the leading cause of accidents and deaths among teenage drivers.
• Car and Driver Magazine carried out and experiment to establish just how dangerous is texting and driving. Through the analysis, it was determined that an impaired driver whose car is cruising at a speed of 70 mph will react and hit the brake in 0.54 seconds. A driver with a BAC of 0.08 will react and hit the brake up to 4 feet later. However, a driver who is texting and driving will react and hit the brake a worrying 70 feet later.
• The United States Department of Transportation equates driving and texting, which makes the driver divert his eyes from the road for about 4.6 seconds to driving the length of an entire football field at a speed of 55 miles per hour blindfolded.
• You are 23 times more likely to get involved in an accident if you are texting and driving

From the statistics above, it is evident why texting and driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving. To curb the vice, it has been proposed that laws which will ban texting while driving be put in place. A survey carried out by the NHTSA says that 90% of all motorists would support such laws. In the meantime its start by an individual’s own decision to put down the phone while driving particularly when you consider the level of risk that comes with such behaviors.

Get Compensated for Injuries Caused by Texting and Driving

As ironical as it may sound, up to 95% of all drivers know that texting and driving increase the risk of getting involved in a car accident and continue to do it over and again. This can be termed as being reckless and negligent. If you or your close friend has been injured in an accident caused by distraction due to texting and driving, consult a car accident attorney so you can pursue compensation for medical costs incurred, lost income and other damages.


Truck Accidents Caused By Prescription Drugs

A survey carried out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revealed that 44% of truck drivers who cause accidents out of negligence take prescription drugs. Most drivers take these drugs to reduce fatigue and muscle tension. However, most, if not all of these drugs come with instructions that warn against operating any machine. The warnings stipulate the drugs may cause dizziness. Hence, the reason driving while still taking prescription drugs is deemed as an act of negligence.

Prescription Drugs Commonly Linked to Truck Accidents

Any truck driver has a legal responsibility to ensure that they are sober on the road and unaffected by prescription drugs of any kind. The following medications are particularly dangerous when used by a truck driver who doesn’t want to stay off the road;

• Pain medication including Valium and Vicodin
• Muscle relaxants
• Drugs used to lessen anxiety such as benzodiazepines
• Insomnia prescription drugs

The active ingredients in these medicines can reduce the driver’s ability to focus on the task at hand, stay awake and react fast enough in case of an emergency. For the truck driver, this may lead to an impairment that can pose serious safety concerns on the road.

Is Use of Prescription Drugs Regulated for Truck Drivers?

According to the FMCSA, truck drivers are not allowed to take prescription drugs or any other controlled substances unless the medication has been prescribed by a licensed doctor or pharmacist. Any truck driver that is found to be taking prescription drugs that can lead to impairment of driving abilities is deemed as medically unfit to drive a truck unless the doctor verifies that it is safe for use.

Are Truck Drivers Required to Undergo Drug Testing Requirements?

Companies that employ truck drivers for commercial operations are required by the FMCSA to ensure that their drivers undergo tests on a regular basis. The test should be conducted before hiring the driver, after the driver is suspected to be using prescription drugs and, after the driver has caused an accident as a result of impairment. The tests should be done randomly as well. The drug tests should also seek to establish if the driver has been using amphetamines, methamphetamines and phencyclidine as well as other commonly abused drugs including marijuana, cocaine, and opiates. If a commercial truck driver tests positive for any of these drugs he or should be suspended from service with immediate effect and enrolled in a rehabilitation facility.

What are Your Options After a Truck Accident?

The fact that a truck driver is not supposed to use prescription drugs that may interfere with his or her ability to drive means that the driver is liable for any damages he or she causes as a result of drug use. This by extension means that you or any other close friend is entitled to compensation if injured in an accident caused by a driver who is taking prescription drugs.  While you may pursue the compensation on your own, the chances of getting compensation equal to the damages caused may be limited. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to increase the likelihood of recovering medical costs, lost wages or any other out-of-pocket expenses that you may have incurred. A truck accident attorney is familiar with the system and will help you avoid mistakes that would deny you compensation.


Determining Negligence in a Car Accident

Many car crashes are caused by negligence, which means that at-fault, a driver failed to act responsibly or in a particular way, leading to injury. If negligence caused a crash, the law allows the victim, to pursue a legal action against the driver allegedly at fault and his/her insurance company will have no option but to compensate him or her against injury caused and other damages that might have been involved. But to do that, there has to be proof that the driver allegedly at-fault was in fact liable for the accident.

Determining Negligence After a Car Crash

Immediately after the car crash, the person who suffered the injury (the plaintiff) and his attorney will need to determine whether negligence was, in fact, the cause of the crash. They will be able to do this by involving investigators and other professionals. They all will be looking for proof that;

1. That the driver allegedly at-fault didn’t take his duty of reasonable care’ when driving.

Every driver have the legal duty to drive in a non-negligent manner, a manner that should not be harmful to other people or any properties. A personal injury attorney and other involved professionals will be seeking to provide proof that the driver allegedly at fault failed to meet this legal duty.

2. That the defendant in fact breached his/her duty by doing what a reasonably-prudent-person would do.

The term ‘reasonably prudent person’ represents what any other person would have done under similar circumstances. This means that the driver allegedly at-fault will therefore be negligent if someone else would have done things differently than what he or she did at the time of the crash. Proving this will require an eye-witness or any other evidence directly related to the crash.

3. That the plaintiff actually got the injury from the crash

There must be proof that the defendant negligence directly led to the victim injury. There are times when, yes, the defendant, in fact, acted negligently, but the victim or rather the plaintiff will only be in a good position if the defendant actually caused the injury. This again will need to be proven by use of expert witness or medical documents.

4. That the plaintiff suffered serious injury due to the defendant negligence.

In any case, if the defendant was negligently driving, the plaintiff will be compensated for damages and injuries. But there are cases where the plaintiff might have also played a role in causing his/her injury and no fault law also changes things. Take an example where the defendant made an abrupt left turn just in front of the plaintiff vehicle( a clear sign of negligent driving), but the plaintiff was driving beyond the speed limit. It is the job of the personal injury lawyer/ attorney to determine, whether the plaintiff negligence is a factor in causing the crash and know how this will affect the case.  These are all facts that a victim who suffered from the crash cannot collects alone, that why there is every need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney, to improve the chances of establishing who was at fault, minimizing theirs and maximize the value of the compensation claim


What is No-Fault Auto Insurance Law?

No-Fault Auto Insurance is a relatively recent concept on the stage when one considers the long history of insurance. The term “no-fault insurance” in itself is somewhat confusing to consumers. Fault or blame for accidents is assigned under “no-fault insurance”. The biggest difference between no-fault and the more traditional approach to insurance (known as “tort”) is that your company pays for your claim and the other party’s insurance pays for their claim.

Why Do Some States Utilize This Form of Insurance?

No-fault Auto Insurance came into play as a result of skyrocketing costs associated with insurance companies fighting it out in court to decide which company was going to pay for all of the claims associated with the accident. Because this system (the tort system) was an adversarial winner-take-all approach, the court battles were long and costly. As a result, governments in many regions of North America came up with legislation enforcing this new no-fault concept. Basically, they said that when an accident occurs each company pays the claim that their own client makes, regardless of who is at fault.


Under no-fault insurance, “fault” or who is to blame for the accident is assessed by the insurance companies. However this has nothing to do with which company will pay out the claim. Your company will always pay for your claim up to the limits of your policy and the other driver’s insurance will always pay for his claim. The insurance companies do assign blame or “fault” for two reasons. The first reason is that they want to keep their statistics regarding the individual (you) so that they can adjust the individual’s rates according to their driving record. So, if you are found by your insurance company to be “at fault” it is likely that your rates will go up. The second reason is that with some companies and in some regions the driver that is not found to be “at fault” will not have to pay his or her deductible. When the insurance companies investigate an accident and determine “fault”, they can place all of the blame on one party or the other. Alternatively, they can assign “fault” or blame in a percentage to each driver. For example, one driver may be 60% to blame for the accident and the other 40% to blame.

What Are Some of The Advantages of No-Fault Law?

Depending upon the geographical region that you live in and the laws of that region, you may still have the right to sue the other driver (and their insurance company) for lost wages and compensation for pain and injury with the help of a personal injury law firm in Lansing, Michigan. This is most often done when an individual’s policy limits does not cover all of the expenses they incur as a result of the accident. They then sue the driver that they consider to be “at fault” in the accident in order to recover funds to pay for medical bills, property damage, and compensate for pain and suffering.

There are two main advantages to the consumer in regard to no-fault auto insurance. Claims get settled more quickly because there aren’t several insurance companies fighting over “fault” to be assigned before they are willing to pay the claims, and the individual is dealing only with his or her insurance company and not working through them to deal with another insurance company.