What to Do When You Encounter an Aggressive Driver

October 24th, 2016

traffic-jam-with-row-of-car-on-express-way-before-nightThere is little doubt that driving through Charlotte can be a test of patience. Traffic congestion and long commutes can make driving through the heart of the city nothing short of a headache. Throw in an aggressive driver or two and your drive can become downright dangerous. We have put together a few reminders of what to do when you encounter a driver who has lost their cool.

1. Concentrate on Driving

The first step to driving safely around an aggressive driver is knowing one is present. It’s easy to become distracted while driving. Technology, the radio and even other passengers can all take your attention off the road. When you don’t notice another driver maneuvering their vehicle in an aggressive manner, it’s hard to avoid them. Always keep your eyes open for drivers who aren’t operating their vehicles safely.

2. Don’t Tailgate

If an aggressive driver cuts in front of you, avoid the temptation to ride their bumper. Instead, back off and put as much distance between your two vehicles as possible. You never know what kind of moves an aggressive driver will make and if you are too close when they slam on their brakes, you could hit Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents

Altered Candy is Not the Biggest Concern

October 21st, 2016

parent-taking-children-trick-or-treating-at-halloweenWhen parents begin to worry about Halloween, their minds typically turn to tainted candy. Stories of pins, needles and even razor blades stuck inside the candy of unsuspecting trick-or-treaters have made the rounds for decades. These stories are rarely based in fact, and they cause parents to focus on a danger that may not be there. Unfortunately, these stories take attention away from the real danger: Cars.

There are more than 40 million trick-or-treaters that hit the pavement each year. Of course, with this number of children out and about, accidents will happen. Slips and falls will result in skinned knees. Plastic props will cause injury. Of all the dangers that children face on Halloween, cars are the most common, yet least thought about.

According to Safe Kids USA, children are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car when they are out trick-or-treating than at any other time of year. Most of the accidents involving costumed little ones and vehicles occur between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. There seems to be a peak at dusk, when the sun is setting and drivers are dealing with glare, depending on their direction of travel. Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents

More Than Half of Drunk Driving Fatalities Occur on Halloween

October 19th, 2016

If you plan on partying this Halloween, whether or not you will be partaking in an adult beverage or two, it’s important to know that 52 percent of all drunk driving fatalities occur on Halloween night. From 2007 to 2011, 172 people lost their lives in drunk driving related crashes on one of the most popular holidays in the nation.

There is nothing wrong with heading out in your best costume and celebrating with friends. What you don’t want to do is celebrate so hard that you aren’t able to get home safely. Worse would be to drink and get behind the wheel, putting not only yourself in danger but everyone else on the road.

According to statistics, young men between the ages of 21 and 34 are most at risk of being involved in a car accident due to buzzed or drunk driving. During 2011 and beyond, this age group comprised almost half of all drunk drivers who lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes. Because the holiday is so popular and because traffic collisions are so prevalent, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up patrols.

By planning ahead, you can avoid turning the road into Read more

Posted In: Drunk Driving

Hayden Lovelace Wins Disabled Scholar Award

October 18th, 2016

hayden-lovelace-photoAuger and Auger are proud to announce that Hayden Lovelace has won the Disabled Scholar Award, worth $1,000. When she was just 14, Hayden was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration. This condition is untreatable and caused her to slowly lose her central vision. When Hayden received this diagnosis, it was shocking. She and her mother thought their visit to the optometrist that day would be routine. But when the doctor told her she would never drive and would face other obstacles for the rest of her life, Hayden was ready to throw in the towel. However, instead of letting Stargardt’s keep her down, Hayden rose up to reach accomplishments most thought impossible.

Just two years after her diagnosis, Hayden obtained her driver’s license. In fact, she is able to do most things others can, if not with a little assistance. In school, she relies on her friends and peers to help her find the classrooms, at least until she has her schedule memorized. When she uses her computer, she has to greatly enlarge the text, and her textbooks are all in large print. Since she cannot read anything on a board at the front of Read more

Posted In: In the Community

Hugo Concha Wins Disabled Scholar Award

October 18th, 2016

hugo-concha-stony-brook-medicine-lab-coatAuger and Auger are proud to announce that Hugo Concha has been awarded the Disabled Scholar Award, worth $1,000. At the age of 6, Hugo was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. He had to undergo a 13-hour surgery to remove his thyroid and part of the tumor. In addition to the surgery, he was given radioactive iodine to take care of the cancer; in order to take all of the cancer out surgically, he would have had to undergo a tracheotomy. For a time after that surgery, he lost his ability to speak. However, with the iodine, Hugo was able to beat the cancer and continue on his life as normal — or at least he thought.

When Hugo turned 16, he was diagnosed with cancer again, this time acute lymphoblastic leukemia. While the leukemia may or may not have been caused by the iodine treatment from his childhood, one thing was certain: he would need extensive radiation and chemotherapy in order to defeat it. The new, more aggressive treatment was ongoing for three years. During that time, Hugo was bedridden for over 8 months. Being bedridden caused his muscles to atrophy, requiring therapy in order for him Read more

Posted In: In the Community

How to Make Your Property Safe for Trick-or-Treaters

October 17th, 2016

Halloween is a highly anticipated time of year for both adults and children. If you will be handing out treats this year, it’s important that you keep your property as safe as possible. When you take the time to make sure your home and yard are safe, the only thing you will have to worry about is making the little ones happy.

1. Property Lines

Many people concentrate on the area closest to their house when thinking about safety. This could be a mistake. Your liability for injury incurred by others starts at your property line. To ensure that there are no hazards, walk your property line and look for anything that could cause someone to trip and fall. Walk the path that people would typically take to your front door. Are there any hazards? If you suspect that there may be an issue, remedy it before you welcome the ghosts and goblins.

2. Lighting

It’s tempting to make your property dark and eerie for Halloween night, but you may unwittingly be making your property dangerous. At a minimum, make sure your entryway is lit brightly. This will not only provide a beacon for the ghouls, but will help Read more

Posted In: Personal Injury, Safety Tips

Party Smarter, Not Harder, This Halloween Season

October 14th, 2016

You picked out your costume. You have all of your accessories. You’ve put hours of thought into exactly what you will look like for your costume party. Have you thought just as long about how you will keep yourself safe?

While Halloween parties are typically held on Halloween night or weekend, there may be some people you know who will be holding their celebrations early due to other obligations. As Halloween becomes more popular, parties are held with as much frequency as Christmas and New Year’s Eve bashes. Whether you have one party or several in the coming weeks, it’s important that you consider your health and safety.

1. Drinking

You are an adult and, as such, it is well within your rights to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two. You may even choose to partake in several beverages. If you are not a routine drinker, take it slowly. It can become very easy very quickly to drink one after another. Binge drinking is the official term and it can lead to inappropriate behaviors and actions. If you know that you will be drinking more than usual, make plans for your trip home ahead of time.

2. Food

Have you Read more

Posted In: Safety Tips

6 Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim After Hurricane Matthew

October 13th, 2016

tree-fallen-on-houseIf you are like one of the many people in North Carolina that sustained property damage during Hurricane Matthew, you may be wondering what to do next. The good news is that mobile claim centers, insurance adjusters and catastrophe personnel have already been sent to the east coast and are ready to do what they can for their customers.

The Insurance Information Institute has offered several tips for people who need to report damage to their property. Here are the tips I.I.I. has offered those affected by the storm.

1. Begin the process quickly.

The sooner you contact your insurance company, the sooner you will receive a settlement. Your insurance agent will want your policy number, address and contact information. Even if you contact your agent in the next few days, it is important to note that it is not first-come, first-serve after a devastating event such as a hurricane. Instead, adjusters and inspectors will visit properties with the most severe damage first.

If someone in your family has special needs that have been affected by the damage to your property, be sure to mention it. The health and safety of people is always a priority. Ask your insurance Read more

Posted In: In the Community

Driving in Severe Weather

October 12th, 2016

So far, 22 deaths in the United States have been attributed to Hurricane Matthew, and dangerous flooding in North Carolina may make that number rise. Flash flood warning were issued throughout the state, where approximately one million homes and businesses were without power. Of the deaths in this state, one person was killed when their vehicle hydroplaned, and two people were killed when their vehicle became submerged under flood waters.

Despite many warnings, people ventured out of their homes and onto the roadways. While any person losing their life is tragic, it is perhaps even more so when those deaths could have been avoided. Dying in a vehicle accident is not something that has to happen in a severe weather event like a hurricane.

1. Stay Home

Your best course of action in such an emergency is to stay home. Unless you are having a medical emergency that dictates your leaving the house, don’t venture out.

2. Avoid Standing Water

Do not attempt to drive through standing water, even if you see the vehicle ahead of you clear it safely. This is especially important when there are flash flood warnings. You never know when waters will quickly cross Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents

How to Help Victims of Hurricane Matthew

October 10th, 2016

hurricane-matthew-winds-on-beachHurricane Matthew tore through Haiti, leaving devastation in its wake. More than 800 people have been killed, and homes were left in ruins. People naturally want to help others, but knowing exactly what is needed can be difficult. If you want to aid Hurricane Matthew victims, it’s important that you go about it the right way.

Avoid sending care packages. You may have extra blankets, towels and even nonperishable food items in your house, but many regions are simply not set up to accept such donations. Not only can they not accept them, but they have no way to distribute them. If you would like to rid yourself of these items, one suggestion is to have a garage sale instead and donate the funds you raise.

Be careful of where you send your money. Experts agree that money should only be sent to charities that have less than a 20 percent overhead. You want to make sure that your money is going where you intend, not into the pockets of an organizer or the group’s board members. Take a look at sites like Charity Navigator or Guidestar to find reputable charities.

According to the FBI, there were at Read more

Posted In: Personal Injury
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