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When a person is involved in a single-vehicle crash, they are often categorized as run-off-road (ROR) crashes. An ROR is said to have occurred when a vehicle travels off the road and onto the median, shoulder, a parking lane or other area not considered to be the roadway, and hits an object or pedestrian.

Serious injuries may occur as the result of an ROR. Statistics show that these accidents have a higher fatality rate than those involving two or more vehicles. Here are ways that you can reduce your risk of being involved in an ROR.

1. Avoid curvy roads. This is especially true if it is a road you are unfamiliar with or you are driving at night. Likewise, drivers may want to avoid rural, isolated routes.

2. Avoid winter storms. It should come as no surprise that RORs occur frequently in the winter months. Snow-covered and icy roads prevent hazards that dry roads don’t. Experts suggest staying off the road during a snow storm and for the first day following the storm.

3. Avoid speeding. When you see a posted speed limit, it means that it is the safe speed of travel for that stretch of roadway. Don’t speed to get where you are going.

4. Don’t drink and drive. During a 16 year time period, 2001 through 2007, just over 85 percent of people who had a blood alcohol concentration of .01 or higher were involved in ROR crashes. This is compared to just over 58 percent of sober drivers involved in these crashes during the same period of time.

5. Avoid driving while drowsy. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Don’t drive if you haven’t had enough sleep. It’s understandable that you will have to drive when you’re tired from time to time, but do what you can to keep yourself alert. Drink coffee, put the window down and play some upbeat music.

6. Avoid distracted driving. Distracted driving occurs when you are doing anything inside your vehicle that takes your concentration off of the road. Eating, drinking, applying makeup, fixing your hair and even talking to your passengers can all take away from your focus and increase your risk of having an accident.

If you find yourself leaving the roadway, one of the worst things you can do is overcorrect. Instead, let off of the accelerator and slow down naturally. As you slow, gently steer yourself back onto the road if it is safe to do so. Be sure to look for other vehicles on the road before you pull off of the shoulder.

When you are dealing with an injury caused by a car accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina that wasn’t your fault, you probably have a lot of questions. Reach out to our experienced attorneys for help in answering those questions and help fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call our office today to schedule your free evaluation and let us advise you of your legal options. We are here to help!

There are very few, if any people, who don’t understand what drunk driving is. People are beginning to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving. If you are like many, you’ve never considered that dehydrated driving could be dangerous, but research shows that it is.

Now that North Carolina is firmly planted in the hot weather, dehydrated driving is a very real possibility. Whether you are stuck in a hot vehicle and no air conditioning or suited up in gear to ride a motorcycle, the hotter you get, the faster your body loses water. If you aren’t keeping yourself hydrated, you can experience serious issues that could impact the way you drive.

These Drivers Are Most at Risk

Like with anything in life, some people are at a higher risk when it comes to dehydrated driving. These drivers include:

  • Truck drivers who do not stop frequently or pack a cooler of water in their cabs
  • Taxi drivers
  • Bus drivers who aren’t permitted to leave their vehicle during a shift
  • Driving instructors with full schedules
  • Riders of any type of motorbike who are dressed in full protective clothing
  • Farm workers in open vehicles

The Effects of Dehydration

When your body loses water through sweat, and even just breathing, you may feel thirsty. Some people choose to ignore this first sign of dehydration, especially when driving. You may not want to have to stop to go to the bathroom, slowing your progress.

When ignored, the symptoms of dehydration can intensify. A person may experience fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, bad breath and headaches. A typically-sized adult male needs about two liters of water per day to remain hydrated. More water is required in excessive temperatures.

What Happens When You Drive Dehydrated

When you experience symptoms of dehydration such as dizziness, headache and fatigue, your ability to concentrate on the road is affected in a negative way. You may find that your reaction time is dulled, and you are putting yourself, your passengers and others on the road at risk.

Staying Hydrated

Always carry a bottle of water with you when you are driving. You never know what lies ahead, and having water can make all the difference. You can also eat foods that are rich in water before your journey. Cucumbers, strawberries and bananas are all good choices.

If you begin to notice the signs of dehydration, get plenty of liquid in your body. Wait for about 15 minutes to see if you feel better. Driving while you are dehydrated is entirely avoidable.

When you are involved in a car accident in Charlotte, you will likely be worried and stressed. If you suffer an injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and more. Call our experienced team of car accident attorneys for more information about your legal rights and to schedule a free case evaluation. We are here to assist you.

Very few people will argue that being involved in a vehicle collision is stressful. A car accident is a frightening experience and many people experience anxiety and other emotions in its aftermath. When an accident victim experiences emotional distress or mental anguish after the incident, they may be entitled to recover damages.

Post traumatic stress disorder is something that most people associate with combat. In truth, PTSD can be experienced after any traumatic event. That said, it can be difficult to prove because it is invisible. Unlike the broken bones, contusions and other physical injuries sustained in a vehicle collision, PTSD is unseen. Recovering damages for PTSD is typically more complicated than recovering damages for physical injuries.

Proving PTSD

In order to obtain damages for PTSD following a car crash, the victim must be able to show that a qualified doctor accurately diagnosed the condition. The victim must also prove that the diagnosis is directly related to the incident. For this to happen, an experienced expert witness may be called to testify.

Even when PTSD is attributed to the incident, a prior trauma may be brought up by the insurance company or their lawyers. The defense will likely argue that the PTSD arose from another trauma and not the accident. Even in situations where an accident exacerbated your pre-existing PTSD, you may be entitled to some compensation if you can prove your injuries.

Timing is Everything

One of the issues that arise from a PTSD claim is the timing of the diagnosis. Many accident victims settle their cases fairly quickly. It is not unusual for a car accident claim to be settled within six months. It can take several months for PTSD to be diagnosed, especially if the victim does not realize that this may be what they are suffering from and, therefore, does not seek an immediate diagnosis.

Once a victim settles their case, they cannot reopen it unless there are extraordinary circumstances. This means that if a case is settled prior to the diagnosis of PTSD, the victim may not be able to recover damages for the mental condition. This is why it is so important to seek medical care in an appropriate time frame.

If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD such as flashbacks, depression, persistent anxiety or changes in regular sleep patterns, seek the assistance of a qualified medical professional. If you settle your case before you seek a diagnosis for the emotional turmoil you are experiencing, you likely will not be able to seek compensation for your distress, even if you are diagnosed with PTSD.

North Carolina car accident victims have rights.  You have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to seek recovery of monies paid out for medical bills, lost wages and more. Whether you are suffering with physical injuries, emotional injuries or both, we may be able to help you.  Contact our team of accident attorneys to learn more about your legal rights. Call our office today to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation.

You take a deep breath, wait for the dust to settle and take a look around. What just happened? One minute you are changing lanes, the next minute you are spinning across the highway. You know that you checked your mirrors and the way was clear. Or was it? You just hit someone who was in your blind spot and caused an accident.

If you were changing lanes on the highway, chances are that you were traveling at a high rate of speed. This makes accidents even more serious. Now you are wondering who will be held at fault for the two-car accident that just occurred. If you changed lanes without turning your head to look in your blind spot, you could very well be found at fault. Here’s why.

Duty: As a driver, you automatically have a duty to drive in a safe and reasonable manner. Each time you get behind the wheel, you are making a promise that you will obey the rules of the road and drive appropriately for the conditions.

Breach: When you fail to meet your duty while behind the wheel, you are said to have breached that duty.

Causation: When you change lanes and cause an accident that results in injury, attorneys and insurance companies will work to determine causation. That is, were the injuries sustained as s direct result of the crash or were they present before the accident?

Damages: If there were damages as a result of the accident, you or your insurance company could be required to pay them. For example, if someone in the accident sustained an injury that required medical attention, you may be legally required to pay their medical bills or for other things like money for their pain & suffering or lost wages.

The person in the other vehicle may attempt to prove that you didn’t use a turn signal, that you changed lanes suddenly or that you violated some other traffic law. The police may cite you for the accident, potentially strengthening the case against you.

Of course you didn’t mean to cause an accident. The fact that you did nothing purposely has no bearing on the fact that you can be found legally liable when you change lanes and strike someone in your blind spot.

Avoiding These Accidents

No matter what technology your car is equipped with and no matter how fancy your side mirrors, you should always turn your head to physically look in your blind spots before you change lanes. This is one of the only ways, if not the only way, to fully avoid these types of accident.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Charlotte or anywhere else in North Carolina because another driver failed to check their blind spot or violated some other important rule of the road, you may have the legal right to damages for your injuries and more. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys is ready to review the details of your incident and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your case evaluation.

You want to see the country, but you also want to save money. What better answer than a summer road trip? Driving yourself instead of relying on a pilot in an airplane allows you more freedom in seeing what you want and staying for as long as you desire.

While road trips are certainly a great way to spend some time off work relaxing, they can also be dangerous. Failing to plan accordingly can set you up for hazardous situations. This is especially true when you are driving out of state and through areas you aren’t familiar with. Here’s what you should plan for before you hit the open road.

Map Your Route

Sure, it can be fun to just hop in the car and go, but it’s rarely a good idea. Mapping your route is a way to start off on the right foot, so to speak. When you know the areas you will be traveling through, you can arm yourself with all of the information you need to avoid hassles.

Traffic Laws

While some laws are relatively uniform throughout the states, like traveling at excess speeds and running through intersections, some states have unique laws. For example, in many areas, it is permissible to turn right on a red light. This is forbidden in New York City. Take a bit of time and research the traffic laws of the states you will be driving through to be sure you don’t run afoul of local officers.

At a minimum, you should look up seat belt laws, move over laws, passing laws and road rage laws. You should also be aware of hands-free and texting laws in the areas you will be in.

Mechanical Issues

Don’t make the mistake of starting out on a road trip before you have your vehicle looked at. An experienced mechanic can give your car the once-over and alert you to any issues, minor or major, that should be repaired before you drive hundreds or thousands of miles.

Aside from surprise repairs, your vehicle should be up-to-date on routine maintenance. Make sure that your oil has been changed, your tires inflated and all wheels rotates. Ensure that your fluid levels have been topped off as well.

Weather Reports

The weather can change in the blink of an eye to be certain, but you can be prepared if you have at least some idea of what to expect. Keep an eye on weather reports for the states in which you will be traveling for a week or two before you leave. Know what the forecasters are calling for and be prepared for inclement weather.

If you are involved in an accident in North Carolina during your road trip or at any other time, you may be entitled to compensation for injury and property damage. Reach out to our experienced team of car accident attorneys today for assistance in determining your legal rights.

Headlights are very useful. They not only allow you to see what’s in front of you in low-light situations, but they allow other drivers to see your vehicle more clearly. It’s fair to say that headlights are an essential part of your vehicle. Not only are they useful at night, but during the day as well. Unfortunately, your headlights might not be serving you as well as they could be.

Headlight Quality

Just over a year ago, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a report outlining their research on automobile headlights. The organization put 31 different vehicles through a series of tests, concentrating on headlights. The result of the study was that most headlights do not perform as well as vehicle owners believe they do.

The group looked at the configurations available on multiple 2016-model vehicles. There were a total of 82 ratings featuring headlights. The types of lights in the study included halogen, high-intensity discharge and LEDs. Adaptive headlights were studied as well as automatic and high-beam assist headlights.

The Outcome

A single vehicle, the Toyota Prius V, earned a rating of good. The vehicle is equipped with LED lights. It also has high-beam assist. The researchers found that the vehicle could travel at 70 mph and still have enough time to stop when an obstacle was seen. The Prius V with halogen lights only had enough time to stop at 50 mph.

Despite the one good rating, 44 configurations received a poor rating. The worst? The BMW 3 series that had halogen lights installed. A driver would have to be moving at speeds of 35 mph to have enough time to come to a complete stop once an obstacle became visible in its headlights.

What Was Learned

There were several valuable lessons for consumers discovered in this study. One is that paying the price for a luxury vehicle doesn’t mean that you are getting better headlights. In fact, some of the worst headlights were found on these vehicles. In other cases, the vehicle provided glare that made it dangerous for other vehicles on the road. Lastly, new technology isn’t necessarily better than old. The Honda Accord with halogen headlights fared better than the model with LED lights, for example.

There are no laws or regulations that dictate the quality of headlights. Manufacturers must take it upon themselves to improve headlights on their own. As a consumer, taking a test drive after the sun goes down may be the best way to determine if the headlights on your soon-to-be vehicle are up to par.

If you are involved in a vehicle collision in Charlotte or the surrounding area, reach out to our team of car accident attorneys. We will review the details of the crash and advise you of the legal options you have. Call now to schedule an appointment for your free case evaluation and let us assist you in securing the compensation you may be entitled to.

Whether you have been driving for years or have had your license for only a short time, you know what tailgating is. Tailgating is when a driver follows too closely to the vehicle in front of them, not providing room enough to stop without crashing into the other vehicle’s rear bumper if the front driver stops suddenly.

How far behind the vehicle in front of you should you be? When the weather is good, you should be able to count at least three seconds between the two vehicles. You can do this by waiting for the vehicle ahead to pass a stationary object and then counting the amount of time it takes you to pass the same object. When the conditions outside are less than optimal, the distance should be greater.

Studies have shown what many people may find surprising: It is often more experienced drivers that do the tailgating. No one is quite certain why, but it may because those who have more experience behind the wheel are more confident that they can handle situations that arise. Those with less experience may drive more cautiously.

Why People Tailgate

If tailgating is so dangerous, you may wonder why people do it. There are several reasons why people follow too closely. Some drivers have a higher estimation of their driving abilities, while others tailgate in an attempt to get the driver ahead to speed up, and still others believe that they can save on gas mileage by drafting, or keeping the wind from hitting their car by sticking closely to the vehicle in front.

Tailgating is Illegal

Tailgating is not only dangerous, it is illegal. When a driver causes an accident because they were following to closely to the vehicle ahead, they can be found at-fault in that accident. They can also be held liable for any injuries or property damage that occur.

Avoiding Tailgaters

Not only do you not want to be held liable for a tailgating accident, but you don’t want to be the victim of one. If you feel that someone is following you too closely for comfort, move over if it is safe to do so and let the driver pass you. You may be irritated and want to frustrate the driver behind you by slowing down. You think that you will teach them a lesson. Chances are that you will only serve to exacerbate their aggressive driving.

If you make every move you can to get the other driver off of your bumper and just can’t shake them safely, call emergency services for assistance. Don’t take matters into your own hands.

If you are involved in an accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of experienced team of car accident attorneys for assistance. We will review the details surrounding the incident and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Few things are as frustrating as rush hour traffic. It may seem that no matter what you do, you find yourself smack in the middle of bumper-to-bumper traffic, day in and day out. The last thing you want to do Monday is go to work, and the last thing you want to have happen on your way to work is an accident.

Planning for rush hour traffic before you hit it can go a long way in helping you avoid the hassle. While you may think that you can’t avoid rush hour every day of the week, with these tips you certainly can.

1. Know the Time

It seems like one moment you are cruising along and the next you are at a standstill. Pay close attention to your local news reports in the morning and get a feel for when rush hour is at its peak. Leaving just 15 minutes before you normally do can get you over the highway at normal speeds. Even if you don’t miss rush hour altogether, you will be closer to your destination when you hit slowed traffic.

2. Choose a New Route

If you are fortunate enough to live near an area with plenty of roadways, chances are good that you can map out another route to work and avoid the highway. The highway may be the most direct route to your destination, but if you are stuck in rush hour traffic, it could actually take more time. Here’s what you can do: Drive to work during rush hour on the highway one day and take an alternate route the next. Time both trips. You may just find that the route you thought was a bit out of the way is quicker, or at least less frustrating.

3. Get Ready Ahead of Time

Part of the headache in rush hour is feeling stuck. You feel like you are going to get to work in the nick of time without enough left over to get things done. If you do things the night before, you will feel less hurried. Pack your lunch, put out your clothes and do that paperwork you brought home. By doing these things, you won’t feel quite so harried in the morning, and getting stuck in rush hour won’t be as stressful.

4. Maintain Your Lane

Keep your cool on the road if you get stuck in traffic. Driving aggressively is never a good idea. Consider the fact that if you get pulled over for your poor driving, or get an accident because of it, you will be even later. Stay in your lane, keep off the bumper in front of you and put on some relaxing music.

If you do happen to be involved in a rush hour fender bender in North Carolina, we are here for you. Reach out to our team of experienced car accident attorneys for a free case evaluation. If the other driver is found to be at fault in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and property damage. Call today to schedule your consultation.

There are hundreds of thousands of vehicle collisions every year. Some are minor, leaving no real damage behind, and some are tragic. Knowing that you could be involved in a car accident is frightening. Realizing that you could very well be trapped in your vehicle as the result of an accident is downright terrifying.

If you are involved in a car accident in Charlotte or anywhere else in the country, knowing how to respond to being trapped in your vehicle can make all the difference. While you will certainly be afraid and anxious, remembering these tips can get you out of your car safely.

1. Stay Calm

One of the worst things that anyone can do in a stressful situation is to panic. It is easier said than done to be sure, but remaining calm will be the best thing you can do. Once your car comes to a stop, assess yourself and the situation. Take a few deep breaths and get ready to make some decisions.

2.Take a Look Around

If you can move your head without pain, look around outside of your car. If you see people, chances are that at least one has already called 911. If you don’t see anyone looking at the scene, you may be on your own. Try to remember where you last saw your phone and get it. If you can’t reach your phone or don’t know where it is, you may want to use hands-free calling if your car is equipped and you are able to do so.

3. Unbuckle Yourself

If you are upside down and need to unbuckle your seat belt, brace yourself by placing your forearm or elbow on the roof. Protecting your head is important. If you are right-side up, unbuckle your belt to give yourself a bit more freedom of movement. If you cannot unbuckle your seat belt, look for something that you can cut it with.

4. In the Water

If you end up in water, the best thing to do is to roll your window down quickly, if possible. If you are already submerged, wait until the pressure inside the vehicle is equal to the pressure outside. This makes it easier to roll the window down. When the water is at level with your shoulder, roll down the window. If the electricity to your car has already run out, you may need to kick the window out. Don’t bother kicking the windshield. Instead, you will find it easier to kick out a passenger window.

5. Stock Up Your Emergency Kit

Before your next trip, stock up your vehicle’s emergency kit. You should have a first aid kit, a flashlight, a tool to cut your seat belt, and something that will help you shatter a window. Make sure you also have a couple of bottles of water in your car, as well as a blanket.

While no one wants to be trapped in their car, it does happen. If you can remain calm and use the tips above, you stand a better chance of getting out of your vehicle safely. If you need assistance after a car accident in North Carolina, reach out to our team of car accident attorneys for a free case evaluation.

When you purchase a vehicle, you expect that it was put together properly. You rightly assume that all of the cars working parts will operate as they were intended, allowing you to drive down the road safely and without incident. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When a vehicle fails to operate as it should, accidents can result.

If you own a Ford, Kia or Hyundai, it is important that you be aware of recent recalls, whether or not you have received your notice in the mail. If you want to check whether or not a vehicle not listed in this article has been recalled, you can do so at www.nhtsa.gov.

Ford

There have been a variety of Ford recalls recently. The story was the same for the company last year. They spend $640 million to repair a door latch recall. The door latch recall continues into this year, affecting several vehicles:

  • 2014 Fiesta
  • 2013-2014 Fusion
  • 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ
  • 2012-2015 Focus
  • 2013-2015 Escape
  • 2013-2015 C-Max

A second recall is the result of 29 reports to date. There have been on injuries reported as of yet. This recall involves a defect that is caused by coolant circulation failure. If this occurs, the cylinder head can crack and leak oil, leading to an engine fire. This recall involves:

  • 2014 Escape
  • 2013-2014 Fusion
  • 2013-2015 Transit Connect

The last recall for Ford vehicles is one for the 2017 F-250. There was an error in manufacturing that could cause the truck to roll when it is in park. There is no remedy for the defect currently, but plans are being sent to dealerships shortly. For now, anyone with an F-250 manufactured beginning in 2015 is being asked to use the parking brake.

Kia and Hyundai

These two vehicle manufacturers have similar recalls on the books. The recall involves over one million vehicles in South Korea, Canada and the United States. If you own a 2013-2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport or Sonata, or a 2011-2014 Kia Optima, your vehicle may stall without warning, increasing your risk of accident.

It is not unusual for people to ignore recall notices or wait so long to schedule the repair that they forget about the recall altogether. It is important that you heed the advice on your notice if you own one of the vehicles listed above or any other that has been recalled. Failing to have the proper repairs made increases your chance of being involved in a dangerous accident.

If you are involved in an accident in Charlotte due to a manufacturer defect, you may have the legal right to compensation for property damage and injury. Reach out to our experienced team of car accident attorneys for assistance today. We will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and advise you of your legal options. You and your family should not have to suffer financially. Call now to schedule your consultation and take the first steps to making things right.

 

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