Whether you are staying home or headed to the beach for one last glimpse of summer, Labor Day weekend means the roads will be busy in town and out on our highways. Everyone wants a safe weekend of great memories and of course no one wants to ever get injured in a car accident. With that being said, here are some reminders for all of the drivers out there that will be out and about over this Labor Day Weekend!
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
With Uber, Lyft and so many options, there is no excuse for not having a safe time if you are going to be enjoying yourself over this holiday weekend (or at any time for that matter). If you have plans to go out and they involve alcohol, do the safe and responsible thing and plan for how you are going to get home. Whether it is a designated driver, taxi, rideshare, public transit or sleeping on someone’s couch, do whatever it takes to stay safe and not get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have been enjoying alcohol. Drunk driving accidents are preventable and besides getting hurt or hurting someone else you can destroy your life (career, legal consequences, financial expense) by drinking and driving. Additionally, don’t ride with anyone that has been drinking and don’t let anyone get behind the wheel if you know they have been drinking.
DON’T DRIVE DISTRACTED
Emails, texts and calls can wait until you aren’t driving. It is too easy to reach for the cell phone or focus on your music or even a sandwich if you are behind the wheel. Modern conveniences have just made it that way. Just because you think you can drive safely and text, dial, read, listen, sip, chew, deal with your kids or many of the other distractions that you can encounter, it doesn’t mean that is so. There are apps for your phones that can prevent you from having access to your texts or other content if your car is in motion. Most of them are free and easy to use. Consider getting one. For everything else, you should wait until you are not driving. There is no reason to drive distracted. Stay focused and get there safe.
No one wants to sit in traffic. No one wants to sit on the highway for a broken-down vehicle, road construction or a car accident. That being said, there is not anything you can do about it. If you have the ability to safely take a short cut, that’s fine but getting mad and driving aggressively or impatiently is not going to get you there any sooner or safer. Remember that you should drive responsibly and share the road. Everyone wants to get to their destination in a timely and safe manner. Be calm, follow the rules of the road and you will get there eventually.
A BRIEF CHECKLIST
A few other thoughts and considerations to make before you hit the road:
Have a great Labor Day Weekend and be safe!
Holiday weekends are always traffic filled. Even if you don’t leave town, chances are you will be impacted by other folks that are either leaving town or driving through. It is the responsibility of every licensed driver to follow the rules of the road and to do their best to keep themselves, their passengers and other travelers safe as well. Think about some of these things and ask yourself is there anything about your driving that you can improve? Just something to think about it. We wish everyone safe travels this Labor Day Weekend!
If you are injured in an accident, speak to a Charlotte, North Carolina accident attorney today. Reach out to our office and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation on the phone or in person. We will speak to you at length about your accident and advise you of your potential rights and options. Call today to schedule your consultation and let us assist you in securing the compensation you may be entitled to. (855) 969-5671 Our phones are answered 24/7!
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The state of North Carolina has many laws on the books that relate to motorcycles. In general, these laws are enforced to keep motorcyclists safe. They also serve to keep passengers and other drivers on the road out of harm’s way. These laws pertain to licensure, the use of roadways, and inspections. Here is a brief rundown of the laws every motorcycle operator must know.
A motorcycle, as defined by law, is a vehicle designed to travel on three or fewer wheels. Motor scooters and motorized bicycles are included in this definition. Mopeds are defined under their own category in some states but are considered to be the same type of vehicle in North Carolina. According to the letter of the law, if you are driving a motorized vehicle that has either two or three wheels, you are operating a motorcycle.
If you want to drive a motorcycle on any road in the state, you must have one of the following:
Additionally, your motorcycle must have a license plate securely attached in a horizontal fashion.
There are two different avenues you may choose from to obtain a motorcycle license in the state, and which you choose will depend on whether you are licensed out of state or will be obtaining a motorcycle license for the first time.
If you move to North Carolina and want to maintain your valid motorcycle license, you will need to do so within 60 days of establishing residency. You will go to the DMV and provide proof of your name, date of birth, residency, citizenship and Social Security number. You will take a vision test, pass both written and road exams if your license is no longer valid, and pay an endorsement fee. Once you obtain your North Carolina motorcycle endorsement, you will surrender your out-of-state license.
In order to receive your North Carolina motorcycle endorsement, you have to be at least 16 years old and have a standard state-issued driver’s license, provisional license or commercial driver’s license. You will have to pass a written test and an on-road test and pay an endorsement fee. More information can be found on the DMV’s site.
3. Lights, Horns and Mirrors
Every motorcycle on the road must be equipped with a working brake light. The brake may be operated by hand or foot. Under normal conditions, your bike’s horn must be audible from no less than 200 feet away. Your bike must also be equipped with a rearview mirror that allows you to see at least 2,000 feet behind you.
Your motorcycle must also have at least one headlamp that is lit at all times, no matter if it is day or night. Your license plate must also be well lit.
North Carolina is among several states in the country that require that a driver wears a helmet. Your passengers must also have protection on their heads. Your helmet must be “compliant” with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218.
State law dictates that anyone who owns a motorcycle must have their vehicle insured. You must have a minimum amount of coverage to be considered legal in the state. You can, of course, purchase a greater amount of coverage if you choose to do so. You must carry at least:
It is up to you whether you carry collision or comprehensive coverage, but both are a good idea. Other optional coverages include medical payments and towing and labor.
Failing to purchase or maintain insurance coverage is considered against the law. If you do not carry insurance or let it lapse, you will be fined and your license could be suspended. In North Carolina, insurance companies are required to alert the DMV when someone purchases insurance and when that insurance is allowed to lapse.
While you are certainly not bound by law to purchase any specific motorcycle, the DMV has recommendations when it comes to buying your first bike. People who are new to riding may want to choose bikes that are of lighter weight and have a lower seat height. They may also want to purchase a bike that is at the more cost-effective range and is non-specialized. Consider that your first bike will likely be your starter bike. Choosing something you can learn on in order to gain experience will prepare you for a larger, more expensive bike later.
Motorcyclists are also ruled by the same laws as those operating four-wheeled vehicles. You are bound to the same laws regarding speeding, stop lights and the like. If you have any questions as to the laws pertaining to motorcycles in our state, you can click here for more information.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, we want to assist you. Reach out to our team of personal injury attorneys today for a free case evaluation. We are here to help you and your family. Call now.
According to the numbers, golf cart accidents have risen dramatically in the last two years. Visits to emergency rooms for injuries sustained in these accidents total in the tens of thousands. These vehicles are the preferred mode of transportation on golf courses, but they are also being used to tool around communities, college campuses, airports and even hospitals.
Golf carts used to reach speeds of no more than 15 mph. Today, carts are being made to reach 25 mph. Increased speeds have not meant increased safety features. Most golf carts don’t include turn signals or wipers. Some don’t have mirrors, and many aren’t equipped with brake lights. Even though they are being used as vehicles, they don’t come equipped with the same safety features. Therein lies the problem.
Because golf carts don’t offer the same kind of protection as cars and because they aren’t always driven responsibly by their operators, serious accidents are on the rise. There are stories of occupants being thrown from carts, trapped under them after a rollover accident and people being struck by carts.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol doesn’t keep statistics on golf cart accidents, so the numbers may not be as accurate as they could be. What we do know, however, is that there are certain steps you can take to protect your interests after an injury — and hiring a North Carolina golf cart accident lawyer is a great place to start.
Factors That Contribute to Golf Cart Accidents
There are several factors that could lead to a golf cart accident. These include:
As Carolina golf cart accident attorneys, we understand that you may have some questions after you have been involved in a golf cart accident. We are here to help answer some of those questions.
Yes. Depending on when and where the accident happened, there is most likely a limited amount of time for you to file a lawsuit. If you do not file your claim within a certain time frame, it may be barred from court.
In North Carolina, that limit is generally three years. There are many different rules and exceptions that govern the time allowed for the filing of a lawsuit. Please speak with a licensed attorney to determine the statute of limitations that governs your claim.
A golf cart is considered a vehicle. The person driving the cart at the time of your accident may be named in the lawsuit if they were negligent. The owner of the cart, if different than the driver, may also be named in certain circumstances.
The owner and managers of the facility in which your accident occurred may be named in the lawsuit if the accident can be attributed to improper grounds maintenance or another issue.
You will need to show the that the person you are blaming for your injuries was negligent. Negligence can be shown by first showing that the person or person’s that caused the accident owed a reasonable duty of care to the injured person or persons. Essentially it means that you would need to show that the at-fault golf cart driver or other vehicle is responsible for driving in a safe manner (which they are). By explaining what the at-fault party did to cause the accident, you can show that they did not drive in a safe or reasonable manner and that they breached the duty that was owed to their passengers or others. Lastly you will need to show that you were injured, and that your injuries were a direct result of that negligence.
If you can prove your claim, you may be entitled to damages. These may include medical bills, repairs for damages that were done to the car or golf cart, lost wages and more. Your attorney can help you determine exactly what damages you may be entitled to. Your damages are based upon the unique circumstances of your accident.
One of the first steps in a personal injury matter is to find a reputable and experienced attorney to consult with about your options. An attorney will have the knowledge and experience that is necessary to help you protect your interests, help you deal with the insurance company and importantly work to secure you the compensation you may be entitled to.
Speak to a North Carolina Golf Cart Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a golf cart accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina or South Carolina, you have legal rights you may not be aware of. If you sustained injuries because someone else was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and more. Call our team of experienced Charlotte golf cart accident lawyers today to speak us about your potential claim(s).
Time is of the essence; schedule your free consultation now.
Depending on where you live in the country, you may already be seeing school buses on the road. Some buses are transporting children, and others are practicing their routes. Kids will be returning to school in the next couple of weeks if they haven’t already gone back into the classroom. The month of August is an excellent time to remind ourselves of school bus and pedestrian safety.
If you’ve ever driven through a school zone, you know that they can be congested. Kids getting dropped off and picked up by parents, not to mention those getting on and off buses, can make moving through a school zone a harrowing experience. It can be even more hazardous with pedestrians and cyclists present. Hurrying through a school zone, whether in a car or on foot, puts everyone at risk.
As Charlotte, North Carolina pedestrian accident attorneys, we find it important to remember that everyone shares in the responsibility of maintaining safety in a school zone. The good news is that there are things everyone can do to reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians in these zones as the new school year begins.
As a Driver
If you are moving through a school’s pick-up or drop-off zone, look for signage that tells you what to do. Do not double park your vehicle because this reduces visibility for others. Only drop children off or pick them up in designated areas.
It can be tempting to park across the street or even down the block to avoid getting stuck in the traffic, but this is dangerous. Your children will have further to walk. Carpooling may help to ease your stress level and chances are that you will find other parents who will be happy to participate.
Know what you need to do when you encounter a school bus. If the bus has its yellow lights activated, it means it will be stopping in the next several feet. Don’t pass it. If the red lights are flashing and the stop sign extended, it means children are either getting on or off.
Don’t pass the bus in these situations either. Bus drivers are trained to only turn their lights off and begin moving again when it is safe to do so. Follow their lead.
School zones often have speed limits that are lower than the rest of the roadway. Obey these limits and don’t ride anyone’s bumper. When you encounter a crosswalk, stop and let pedestrians walk through it. Understand that any law enforcement officer or crossing guard that is giving directions supersedes any signage that is present.
Always stay alert as you pass through a school zone. Don’t assume that the children you see will stay on the sidewalk or even wait to cross at a crosswalk. Children may dart out into the road from areas you can’t see. If you are going too fast, you won’t be able to stop in time. If you are riding near a child on a bicycle, keep at least three feet between your car and the bike.
If you are getting out of the car in a school zone, look over your shoulders before you open the door. Pedestrians and cyclists may not be aware of your intentions, and opening the door into someone’s path can cause an accident.
As a Pedestrian
Drivers aren’t the only people tasked with the responsibility of ensuring safety within a school zone. If you are walking through a zone, it’s up to you to act responsibly and the same goes for your children.
If you are walking, stay on the sidewalks that are provided. In areas where there are no sidewalks, walk on the shoulder of the road as far to the right as possible. Walk facing traffic so you can see what is coming at you and react if you need to.
You may not know this, but the majority of accidents involving pedestrians happen when pedestrians are crossing the road. Don’t cross until you get to a crosswalk. If there are no crosswalks, wait until you get to an intersection. Never dart into the street from behind an obstacle. Vehicle drivers may not be aware of your presence.
As a parent, take the time to teach your child how to walk through a school zone. This may mean practicing in the days leading up to school when the school zone isn’t busy. Your children should know that they aren’t to run or walk into traffic. Teach your kids how to cross the road safely and supervise any little ones who can’t be trusted to act responsibly on their own just yet.
Speak to a Charlotte Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
School zones are full of hazards that are not obvious. It is up to everyone to make sure that students and other pedestrians are safe. Think back to the last time(s) you were in a school zone or driving on the road with a school bus. Were you cautious? If not please consider making some changes. If you can be safer, please do so!
If you are injured in an accident, speak to a Charlotte, North Carolina pedestrian accident attorney today. Reach out to our office and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation on the phone or in person. We will speak to you at length about your accident and advise you of your potential rights and options. Call today to schedule your consultation and let us assist you in securing the compensation you may be entitled to.