It is hard to believe that it’s already St. Patrick’s Day! Whether you are Irish or not, we wish everyone a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day. This year March 17th falls on a Sunday which means that anyone out on St. Patty’s night may reconsider because they have to work on Monday. That being said, anyone out and about on St. Patrick’s Day should still expect a significant amount of people out to celebrate the greenest day of the year. While we wish everyone a safe and happy time, we want to make a reminder that there is never a good day to drink and drive!
Please consider the following if you are going to be celebrating with alcohol on March 17th or any other day of the year:
There is no excuse for drunk driving. There are multiple ways that anyone drinking outside of their home can catch a ride home without having to put their own or someone else’s life at risk. Take a cab, a bus, a train, an Uber, a Lyft or even walk if you can do so safely. Call a friend, call your mom, call anyone but do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking!
Paying for a ride home is cheaper than paying for a DUI. Besides the many obvious reasons that you should never drink and drive, remember that a DUI and related traffic offenses and car accidents can be expensive! Not only do you have to consider legal fees and fines and citations, but consider that a DUI or DUI car accident can result in a lot of bad scenarios that affect your wallet. If you have a DUI on your record, you could lose your job and future opportunities for employment. Having a DUI on your record if you work in certain fields or aspire to have a certain profession can completely end someone’s lifelong goal of obtaining and keeping a certain job. If that isn’t bad enough how about the fact that having a DUI on your record is certainly going to make an impact on the amount of money that you pay for car insurance, assuming that you ever get your license back.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is stupid. There isn’t much to add to this one. Being drunk or high while you are driving is just plain dumb.
If you are driving under the influence you are playing with people’s lives. Nobody really likes being told what to do by someone else. If you think about it, if you are drinking and driving. you are essentially making safety and possibly life altering decisions for other people that are also driving and walking on the roads while you are driving drunk. You are potentially making a decision for them that may result in their serious injury or death. Nobody has the right to make that choice for anyone else!
Enough lecturing already! We want everyone to have a safe and fun time whenever they go out and especially on a fun day like St. Patty’s day. However as injury lawyers, our Charlotte, NC team of experienced attorneys unfortunately all too often sees the results of drunk driving accidents. We see the injuries and we see the consequences for our clients and for the drunk drivers. Drunk driving accidents are 1oo percent preventable. Just don’t do it – ever!
Our Charlotte, NC Injury team represents accident victims and focuses helping people that have been hurt by the negligence of others. We have been serving our communities for more than 20 years and we do so with pride. If you or anyone you has been hurt by a drunk driver or anyone else, we are happy to talk to see if we can help. It all starts by calling our office or submitting a request for a free case evaluation through our website for us to call you. We are experienced and compassionate lawyers and we fight for our clients every day. Please let us know if we can help!
Under North Carolina law, all vehicles (except for utility vehicles that aren’t used on public roads) must be protected by insurance policies. In fact, you can’t get your license plate for your car until you have proper insurance — and many car dealerships won’t sell you a car until you prove you have insurance.
If you drive without insurance, you are not only breaking the law, but you’re also setting yourself up to financially responsible for any injuries that you may cause as well as for any damages to vehicles or other property involved in your accident. Our Charlotte car accident lawyers have seen this issue come up frequently in cases involving uninsured motor vehicles.
Without car insurance, you are taking a huge risk. If you are going to be out on the road behind the wheel of a car, be a responsible person – be a safe and responsible insured driver! Here’s everything you need to know about insurance in North Carolina, including how a lawyer can help if your insurance company doesn’t send you a fair settlement.
Under North Carolina law, every vehicle that operates on a public road must have insurance. This includes personal passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, motorcycles and, unlike some other states, mopeds. However, there are some vehicles that don’t have to be insured.
Utility vehicles like dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs and golf carts don’t have to be insured — as long as they are never used for transportation on public roads. This is because they aren’t generally designed to be used in road traffic. However there are exceptions. For example if you use a dirt bike on public roads, it must be registered as a motorcycle, which requires liability insurance.
The state’s minimum insurance requirements include:
What isn’t included in the minimum requirements is collision and comprehensive coverage, rental car coverage or roadside insurance for towing your car or truck after an accident. However, if you can afford these coverages, they can be incredibly beneficial in the event of a car wreck.
You may have some questions about the uninsured/underinsured driver coverage that is listed above. While this coverage can help if you’re in a collision with a driver with less-than-adequate insurance, it’s vital for hit-and-run accidents. In these cases, your uninsured/underinsured driver coverage should kick in to cover the injuries or property damage you sustain if you should ever be hit by a vehicle that leaves the accident scene.
Car insurance is required by North Carolina law; that’s why officers always ask to see proof of insurance if you get pulled over. If you are caught without insurance, the first offense can carry a penalty of $50. The second offense is $100, and the third and subsequent offense is $150. These fines must be paid (and you must show proof of insurance) within 10 days, or your license will be suspended.
But these penalties are small potatoes compared to being in a car wreck without insurance. If you don’t have insurance covering you, you may be on the hook for all the damage to your own car and any injuries to yourself, passengers or other people that you may have hurt. In NC, all of the other people in the wreck you caused (including your passengers) can file personal injury claims against you, which could result in you being sued or having to go to court.
A commonly asked question is whether you can buy insurance that would provide retroactive coverage for an accident that has already happened. After an accident is always a good time to review your coverage with your insurance co, but a policy purchased after an accident won’t cover the accident that you were just in. In addition, that wreck and lapse in insurance coverage may mean any future policies you purchase will cost you more than other drivers that do not have lapsed coverage or at-fault accidents on their driving record.
In short, make sure you have car insurance if you are going to be on the road!
Insurance premiums are your payments for coverage. They’re usually paid monthly or every 6 months. Premiums are generally based on the odds of how likely it is that you will file a claim.
That sometimes is calculated based on a variety of factors that may include:
Each insurance company has their own proprietary formula to decide how much of a risk you are to insure. The higher the risk, the more your premium will increase. So, for instance, a 23-year-old man who drives an expensive sports car may pay a higher premium than a 40-year-old woman who drives a minivan.
Perhaps the biggest factors in the above example are age and gender. It’s been proven time and time again that young male drivers are more aggressive than young female drivers. Mix in the fact that younger drivers have less experience on the road, and the fact that young male drivers generally have higher premiums makes more sense.
Like every state, there are specific details in North Carolina’s car insurance laws that you should be familiar with if you’re driving in this state. For example:
A Comment on Insurance and Providing Rideshare Services
Your “regular” auto insurance policy may not cover any accidents that happen while you’re driving for Lyft or Uber. If you work with Lyft, Uber or some other application that involves your vehicle, speak to your insurance co and the ride share company / app about the type(s) of insurance you need to be fully covered in the event of an accident. Please note that these coverage issues can have a negative effect on you even if you are not the at-fault driver. There are significant disclaimers on most auto policies regarding using your vehicle to provide rideshares or deliveries. In some instances, our firm has been contacted about coverage disputes where the driver was denied coverage because they did not have the proper type of insurance, and this was in a situation where the Uber driver did not even cause the accident!
If you use your vehicle for work, talk to your insurance company and your employer about your insurance coverage!
Commercial vehicles can generally be thought of like work trucks, work vans, tractor trailers, some delivery vehicles and others as well. If you are involved with a large commercial vehicle in a motor vehicle accident or other vehicle that you may think would be considered a commercial vehicle, you should speak to an experienced motor vehicle accident injury attorney because these types of cases are very different than accidents involving non-commercial vehicles. In some accidents an experienced accident lawyer may even want to conduct their own investigation that may involve expert analysis of important evidence such as the commercial vehicle’s “black box” and driver’s log.
For the most part, people driving commercial vehicles have different licensing and insurance requirements for their vehicles. If you have questions about licensing or insurance requirements for commercial vehicles you should reach out to a commercial vehicle insurance broker and the state DMV.
After an accident, your first call should be to 9-1-1 to get a police officer and ambulance to the scene. After you’ve received medical attention and you have spoken to the police, you should consider speaking to an experienced injury law firm before talking to anyone from any insurance company.
All too often people make the mistake of speaking to the insurance company before they realize they should have spoken to a lawyer first. The insurance company may want you to give a statement about the facts of your injury accident and information about your injuries. Such statements can effect whether or not an insurance company pays your claim and how much they pay. If an insurance company gets ahold of you before you have spoken to an accident attorney, tell them politely but firmly that they can get further information from the police report and that you’d like to speak with your attorney before answering any questions.
At Auger & Auger, we always offer free initial consultations. That means we’ll review the details of your case and let you know how we may be able to help you. Call us today at (704) 364-3361 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. We know how insurance companies work and we have the experience to help you fight for the compensation that you may be entitled to. Give us a call to see how we can fight for you!
Since Charlotte became one of the many cities to be inundated with rental e-scooters in 2017, there has been much discussion about how to regulate e-scooter usage in the Queen City. As we wrote in a previous article last year on e-scooters, there are many uncertainties when it comes to the risks that riders take when they agree to rent an e-scooter through an app on their phone. Some of these concerns include worries related to safety, financial responsibility for accidents or injuries involving rental bikes/scooters and when, where and how the vehicles can be ridden.
The Charlotte City Council has debated the issue and put a lot of time and thought into the rules that are in place for these popular e-scooters. The Charlotte Observer reports that in December alone, Charlotte riders racked up 82,523 trips covering 81,484 miles. With those kinds of numbers there are certainly going to be discussions regarding safety, financial responsibility and how the scooters should be regulated to best impact residents and the city. While the scooters have been very popular and have made an impact for people making small commutes around uptown, there have also been concerns specifically related to crowded sidewalks caused by riders and the scooters themselves when they are abandoned after a ride is over.
After significant discussion, debate and time given to the issue, the Charlotte City Council has enacted the following rules for e-scooter use in Charlotte:
While these rules will certainly impact the way that e-scooters are being used in our city, the Charlotte City Council stopped short of making any requirements related to helmet or insurance requirements. At this time someone renting an e-scooter is not required to wear a helmet when they ride it. Additionally, there are also concerns about financial responsibility for accidents and injuries caused by negligent use of these e-scooters. If someone using one of these scooters in a negligent or unsafe manner causes an injury to another person, there is no liability insurance to recover against in the same manner that there would be if the accident was caused by an automobile. If a pedestrian or someone in a car is injured by an accident caused by one of these scooters, how will these injured people recover money for their medical bills, lost wages or other compensable damages?
At the state level, the NC Legislature may choose to make state-wide requirements that could potentially supersede the regulations that are in place throughout Charlotte, and other cities in NC such as Raleigh and Greensboro. Requiring helmets and liability insurance would be a step in the right direction as far as additional regulations that need to be implemented. The timing of these regulations should also be in a timely manner before too many people are seriously injured with injuries and damages that could be limited under the proper types of government oversight. As the use and regulation of e-scooters continues to evolve, the effects of the current rules will have to be consistently looked at if we truly expect them to have a significant impact.
Auger & Auger Law Firm is an injury law firm that handles cases related to car, truck, motorcycle and tractor trailer accidents, as well as other types of injury cases. Our firm focuses on helping people that have been injured because of the negligence of others. If you or someone that you know has been injured in a scooter, car, truck or any other type of accident involving a vehicle, give us a call. We will provide a free case evaluation to see how we can help. Our phones are answered 24 hours per day, every day of the year. Please call our office at (855) 971-1114.
Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous or even more dangerous than drunk driving.
1.2 million accidents are caused annually by sleeplessness. While watching this video, there will be several accidents in the United States caused by drowsy or sleep deprived drivers.
An immediate side effect of not getting enough sleep is a lack of concentration. Not being able to pay attention because of not getting enough sleep can be dangerous when a sleepy driver gets behind the wheel.
Drowsy drivers can cause accidents when they fall asleep behind the wheel or when they experience a momentary lack of concentration called microsleep. These last for just a few seconds during which time the eyelid will either partially or fully close.
During a microsleep, your brain becomes blind to the outside world for a brief moment. You may experience microsleep and not even realize it.
You don’t have to be sound asleep behind the wheel to cause a serious accident, a brief moment of inattention caused by a lack of sleep and concentration can be deadly! Unlike drink drivers who are late in braking or making evasive maneuvers, when you fall asleep, you stop reacting altogether.
Did you know that after 16 hours of being awake the brain begins to fail? We need more than seven hours of sleep each night to maintain cognitive performance.
Some research has shown that ten days of six hours of sleep at night is all that it takes to be impaired the same as someone that has gone 24 hours without sleep!
One study showed that sleep deprived people, deprived of sleep for 19 hours were as cognitively impaired as other drivers that were legally drunk with a .08 percent blood alcohol content.
Operating on less than 5 hours of sleep, your risk of a car crash increases by three times.
If you drive with just four hours of sleep or less the night before you are 11.5 times more likely to be involved in a car accident.
What about drowsy drunk driving? Consider this: Most individuals are driving drunk in the early morning hours rather than in the middle of the day, meaning that most drunk drivers are also sleep deprived.
Truck drivers are at a greater risk of having a condition called sleep apnea, a condition which causes chronic, severe sleep deprivation.
That puts truck drivers at 200 to 500 percent more likely to be involved in a traffic accident as compared to a non commercial vehicle.
Sleep is important to all aspects of your life, especially your ability to maintain concentration. If you don’t get enough sleep, don’t get behind the wheel. Say no to drowsy driving!
For more information on the importance of sleep, and more sleep related facts check out Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD
As winter hits North Carolina, car accidents are going to become more common. Ice and snow have already made the roads slick, causing vehicles to slide on the roads and into other cars. When these incidents happen, it’s important to know how to determine who’s at fault.
As Charlotte car accident lawyers, we’ve seen time and time again drivers make one simple mistake that shifted blame for the wreck: Apologizing or otherwise admitting blame at the scene. This simple mistake can have massive ramifications down the road.
It’s important to understand how North Carolina assigns fault for car accidents, and how you can help prove that you weren’t to blame for the wreck.
North Carolina is one of the very few states that follows contributory negligence laws. In a nutshell, this means if you’re even a tiny bit at fault for your car accident or contributed to causing your accident or injury, you won’t be entitled to any compensation from the driver even if they are overwhelmingly at fault.
In comparison, most states follow a type of comparative fault model. This means that, even if you’re partly at fault for your accident, you can still recover damages. For example, say one of your tail lights doesn’t work. You’re at a stoplight at 10 p.m., and you get rear-ended, injuring your back. Because your tail light is out an insurance company may make the argument that you’re 20% at fault for the wreck. If a judge or jury agrees with them, the overall amount of the recovery for your damages would be reduced by 20% – because of your own negligence.
If the same scenario happened in North Carolina you would have no legal right to ANY compensation due to North Carolina’s contributory negligence laws.
Because North Carolina’s contributory negligence laws are so strict, it’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side if you’re in a car accident. Together, you and your lawyer can explore the different elements of your injury / negligence claim.
In general, all of the following must be proven to have a successful negligence case:
In North Carolina, there are two types of causation:
In general, drivers have a duty to other drivers on the road. This means drivers are expected to be reasonably careful when they encounter anyone on the road, whether that’s another car, a pedestrian or another party.
This one’s pretty simple. If the other driver didn’t drive carefully in the same way another “reasonable person” would, they’re said to have breached their duty of care.
In order to prove negligence, you must be able to prove your injuries were caused by the car accident. This is one of the main reasons it’s so important to seek medical treatment within a reasonable amount of time after your accident. Otherwise, the other driver could claim your injuries were not caused by the accident.
It’s not enough just to show that you were injured in the wreck. You must have suffered some kind of compensable loss. This could be property damage, medical expenses, lost wages/earning capacity, pain and suffering or other losses. It’s important to keep track of all expenses associated with the wreck to prove this factor.
Proving all of these factors is the easiest way to prove the other driver was negligent in a car accident case. There may be other legal doctrines that your North Carolina car accident lawyer can explore if one or a few of these factors aren’t met. They can explain these doctrines and your other legal options to you. It is extremely important to meet all of these requirements in addition to showing that the accident was 100% the fault of the other driver. If you come up short in either area, you will not be able to successfully recover against the other driver(s).
As we mentioned earlier, you essentially have to prove you weren’t at fault at all for the car accident to get compensation in a NC accident. Here are some pieces of evidence your lawyer may consider when evaluating your potential injury claim:
Anyone not in your or the other driver’s vehicle who saw the accident may be an invaluable witness. If you see someone who witnessed the wreck, take down their name and contact information. Provide this information to law enforcement and your car accident lawyer. You lawyer may want to contact them to see if their testimony is helpful to your case.
As soon as you’re out of your car and safe, take as many pictures as you can of the accident. Take photos of:
It’s always better to have too many photos than not enough!
If police came to the scene of the accident (you should always make sure they do), make sure you get a copy of the police report. We have guides for many cities throughout the Carolinas to help you obtain and read your police report. Also, we are happy to help you get your report if you don’t already have it.
Once you’ve gotten the police report, check it for accuracy. If there are any errors, call the reporting officer and let them know. The officer will make the ultimate decision on whether to revise the report. Remember, the NC Police Report does not determine fault but it can be helpful in determining how an insurance company may react to any potential claims that you submit to them.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in North Carolina, you have legal options. The experienced attorneys at Auger & Auger can review the details of your case and help you figure out how they may be able to help. You may be entitled to compensation. Speak to our experienced team to see what options you have. Call (855) 971-1114 or contact our Charlotte car accident lawyers online today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.door
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. As it approaches, you may be thinking about cooking the family’s bird in a non-traditional way. Deep fried turkeys have become all the rage in the past several years and are tasty for sure.
Unfortunately, cooking the Thanksgiving “bird” in a fryer as opposed to an oven has caused quite a number of accidents across the country. If you will be deep frying your turkey this year, do so with these safety tips in mind.
Even if you follow every safety tip, deep frying a turkey can be dangerous! Do so at your own risk.
You wouldn’t grill right next to your house. Many people won’t even grill on their decks if they are using charcoal. Deep frying a turkey is no different. In fact, deep frying a turkey should be done even farther from the house and any structures in your yard. If possible, set up the fryer on a flat patch of dirt.
If you are using a propane-fueled fryer, leave at least 2 feet of space between the fryer and the propane tank. This will help to ensure that the propane tank won’t explode if something goes awry with the fryer.
If you aren’t experienced with deep-frying (or with cooking in general), you may not know that different oils have different smoking points. When an oil reaches its smoking point, it can make your food taste terrible — and can be dangerous. For deep-frying, be sure to use an oil with a high smoking point, such as canola or peanut.
This cannot be said enough, and it is often one of the first questions that people ask. Ice and water will mix into the hot oil and cause bursts of flames or flare ups, which can lead to an explosion. Thaw the turkey completely before it meets oil. For info about proper methods for thawing your turkey, consult the packaging on your turkey.
Just before you put the turkey in the fryer, turn off the machine’s burner. If oil spills or pops over the edges, it won’t land on an open flame. Turn the burner back on after the turkey has been safely submerged.
Your fryer’s instruction manual should tell you how much oil you can safely put in the fryer. While you are at it, consider choosing a smaller turkey. Smaller turkeys are more manageable when it comes to deep frying. Look for a turkey that weighs between 8 and 10 pounds. Remember, you can always fry two turkeys if you are worried about preparing enough food.
Don’t stuff the turkey or use any type of water-based marinades. Make your stuffing separately and, if you like, rub a bit of marinade over the turkey after it is done or drizzle it with your favorite sauce.
Safety equipment should be worn and kept nearby at all times. Wear eye goggles to protect your eyes and safety gloves to protect your hands and arms. Keep a fire extinguisher on the ground nearby in case something catches fire.
Keep children and pets away from the fryer. It’s a good idea to keep everyone away from the fryer, as a matter of fact. However, an adult should ALWAYS be by the fryer when it’s turned on, even if there’s nothing in it yet.
Though following these safety tips should prevent most mishaps, frying anything in hot oil can be dangerous. There may be a pocket of water in the turkey that causes the oil to pop, or a strong gust of wind may topple an unstable pot.
If something goes wrong while frying the turkey, follow these steps to minimize the damage:
A fire caused by hot oil should never be doused with water. That will only exacerbate the issue. Keep an ABC-rated fire extinguisher on hand to put out any flames that may occur from oil spilling from the pot.
If you get injured by the oil, don’t leave the fryer unattended to treat your wounds. Make sure there’s another adult nearby at all times who can take over and watch the fryer in case you need to suddenly leave for any reason.
If you get burned by hot oil, run the affected area under cool water immediately, then wash with mild soap and water. Antibiotic ointments should be used to prevent infection, and cool compresses can help relieve pain and swelling. If the burn seems severe, seek medical attention immediately.
Deep frying a turkey has become a holiday tradition for some, and deep frying will be a new activity for many this year. If you plan on trying your hand at this cooking method, follow the steps above to be sure that you do so as safely as possible.
If you or a loved one are injured in North Carolina this holiday season through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and more. Reach out to our team of experienced Charlotte personal injury attorneys and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. Our office can be reached at 704-364-3361 and our phones are answered 24 hours per day.
Auger & Auger is proud to announce that Miles Rucker is one of the recipients of our 2018 Fall Semester Disabled Scholar Award. During the fall and spring semesters scholarships are presented by Auger & Auger to students throughout America who have exceeded expectations and worked very hard to overcome their disabilities. Additionally, recipients of the Auger & Auger Disabled Scholar award have achieved excellence in and out of the classroom and they make positive impacts in their communities. Recipients of the award receive $1,000 to assist them with their educational expenses.
When Miles Rucker was a young boy, he was diagnosed with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. Spastic diplegia causes extreme tightness in the muscles and connective tissues. When he was just 7 years old, Miles had his first surgery to lengthen his heel cords to help him stop walking on his toes. When he was 16, he had surgery on his hamstrings and abductors to help him stop crouching his legs as he walked.
Miles has never let his walking disorder get him down. In fact, at a young age it taught him to never give up. Miles always knew he could do all the things that his peers could do. He also knew that he had to work harder than other young people that were not challenged by a disability like his. He knew it would be harder for him but he accepted it and worked very hard to overcome adversity. Miles is competitive and focused, and his drive has given him the ability to be successful in and out of the classroom.
As an avid golfer, Miles was named the captain of his high school’s golf team, a position he kept for two years. Miles claims that his disability has humbled him and given him an underdog mentality that challenges him to be competitive and consistently striving to be the best he can be. He also is grateful for his family and friends that have supported and motivated him to be the young adult that he is today.
Miles currently attends North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC. After graduation, he would like to start his own robotics company where he can create new technologies that focus on assisting people with disabilities and physical limitations. His goal is to help improve the quality of lives for people that are affected by their disabilities.
Miles wants to give back to his community and help provide more opportunities for kids like himself to get involved with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (“STEM”). Miles believes those are the fields of the future and that careers in the “STEM” fields will be in high demand.
Miles says those who are facing challenges should never allow others to set their goals or discourage them from trying. “I allowed too many people who did not know what I was going through to tell me what I can and cannot do,” Miles says. “Accept help when needed but try to push yourself so you will be able to stand on your own when you can and want.”
Truckers drive the road every day, and most do so with safety in mind. That said, driving on dry, even roads is a much different beast than driving over icy winter roads. When the weather takes a turn, driving challenges quickly rise, requiring a different skill set. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t change the way that they drive during poor driving conditions and accidents result.
Driving in bad weather is risky. It is harder to see, and there can be less traction and grip for tires. If you’re a trucker, here are some tips to get you through this season safely.
The best thing you can do to keep yourself and everyone on the road safe is to slow down. Many at-fault accidents are due to excessive speed. Keep in mind that the set speed limit may not be the safest speed at which to drive when driving conditions have deteriorated. If the roads are slick with rain or snow, slow down and take as much time as you need to get where you are going.
It’s always a good idea to check out a traffic map of your route before you start the engine. You’ll know if there are any tie-ups or accidents along the route which could put you in a time crunch. Leaving earlier may be a necessary move. You may even want to consider finding an alternate route to avoid traffic altogether.
Getting behind a slower driver can be aggravating, especially in states that experience snow every winter. No matter how irritated you are by the driver in front of you, keep a safe following distance. As North Carolina truck accident attorneys, we know that no one wants to be the person responsible for any accident, especially a catastrophic accident. Unfortunately, this is exactly what can happen if you drive so impatiently that you are on someone’s bumper — especially in inclement weather.
Go It Alone
It seems that traffic travels in a group along the highway. It’s an odd phenomenon, but one that seems to happen during poor driving conditions caused by winter weather. One option is to go it alone. If you try to get away from the pack, you can place distance between your rig and the other vehicles around you. More space gives you plenty of room to maneuver should you need to.
Get Off the Road
This is a tip that many commercial and non-commercial drivers don’t follow. If the conditions dictate that you pull off the road and wait for the weather to pass, then do it! It is tempting to push on so that you can arrive at your destination at a designated time but arriving later than planned is better than not arriving at all.
Don’t be a hero. As a professional driver, you know what you and your rig can handle and what you can’t. Never feel as though a deadline is more important than your safety or that of others on the road. If you believe that the weather is inhibiting your ability to drive safely, get off the road and wait until things clear up.
Check your vehicle before you get on the road. Make sure that the brakes, heaters, wipers, defrosters and all other components of your truck are in proper working order. Make sure that your windows, lights and mirrors are cleared of any dirt or snow. Don’t be in such a hurry to get on the road that you fail to ensure the safety of your vehicle. Making sure that your truck is road ready is one of the safest things you can do.
Necessary maintenance should be completed before you get on the road. If you know there is a problem with your rig, you have no business driving it. If you don’t own the truck or aren’t responsible for its maintenance, alert the person responsible for repairs. If you don’t feel that that person is taking you seriously, don’t be afraid to speak up until you talk to someone that will listen.
Our Charlotte Truck Accident Attorneys are Here to Help
Any accident can be catastrophic, especially accidents involving large commercial vehicles. If you are involved in a truck accident in North Carolina, reach out to our team of Charlotte truck accident attorneys. We can help you fight for the compensation that you are entitled to under the law. Call us today at (855) 969-5671 and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. Our team of injury professionals is ready to speak to you to see if we can help!
If you are going to be participating in Halloween festivities this year, our Charlotte personal injury lawyers would like to take a moment to remind you that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Trick-or-treating is held at various times throughout the local area and adult revelers may be heading out later in the evening. Halloween is wildly popular and some people will start celebrating before the sun goes down. Here’s how you can help to make Halloween safe for everyone.
As A Driver you need to be extra careful when driving on Halloween. Children are excited and may not remember to do all the things their parents told them. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for a little one to dart out into the street without looking. Additionally, some people will be celebrating their night with alcohol and unfortunately some will drive when they shouldn’t.
1) Go Slow!
The normal speed limit is 35 mph through a neighborhood. We suggest cutting your speed by 10 mph or more. Creep through a neighborhood so you have time to react should a pedestrian run in front of your vehicle.
2) Stay Aware
Distracted driving is a significant cause of car accidents throughout the nation. It can be an even bigger problem on Halloween. Pay attention when you are behind the wheel. When your are behind the wheel it is not the time to talk on your cell phone, eat your lunch, or update your Facebook status. Don’t be a distracted driver on Halloween, or ever!
3) Driveway Dangers
Take a walk around your vehicle before exiting your driveway. Look as far as you can down the sidewalk before pulling in. If you notice trick-or-treaters in the area, be extra vigilant when maneuvering into or out of your driveway. It’s too easy for a child to walk behind your car without you seeing them.
4) Report Reckless Behavior
No matter the time of day or night, if you observe a driver operating their vehicle in a reckless way, call 911. Don’t ignore it thinking someone else is calling the police – everyone else may be thinking the same thing.
It’s up to you as an adult to make sure kids are safe on Halloween. You can give all the lectures you like, but without preparation and supervision, you can’t assume that your little ones will be okay. Here are some tips you can follow if you will be handing out candy or have kids that will be asking for it.
1) Watch Out!
One of the leading causes of injury during Halloween is car accidents. Children and other pedestrians are hit for different reasons but most often because they weren’t seen. Make sure your children are highly visible. Put reflective tape on their costumes and have them carry a flashlight. Glow sticks attached to your child’s costume or treat bag will also make them more visible.
There should be at least one adult supervising a group of kids trick-or-treating. If you can’t go with your little ones, find someone who can. No child should be going door-to-door without a watchful eye.
It is easy to let your child pick out any costume they like and have them put it on minutes before they walk out the front door. This is a mistake because not all costumes are made with safety in mind. Before your child is allowed to ask for treats, you should inspect their costume. Be sure that it isn’t a trip hazard, blocking your child’s sight, or has sharp pieces.
4) Your Home
Neighbors will try to outdo each other when it comes to decor. Don’t compete with the guy next door without taking safety in mind. Pay attention as you are decorating. Keep your walkways clear and avoid decorations that could pose a safety risk to anyone entering your property. You’ll be saving yourself from a potential headache if you can prevent people from being injured while they are on your property.
5) Inspect the Treats
Parents have visions of razor blades in candy but the truth is that this is extremely rare. Be on the lookout for anything that could trigger any allergic reactions for anyone that may eat the candy! Also watch for wrappers that are opened, or candy that is old or out of date. Take the time to look at your kid’s candy before you let them dig in!
6) Additional Facts
● 70% of parents allow their children to trick-or-treat on their own.
● There are nearly 4,000 injuries reported each Halloween.
● Kids are twice as likely to be in a fatal traffic accident on Halloween.
If you are hurt on Halloween, call our Charlotte personal injury lawyers. If you get into an accident or have injuries caused by someone’s negligence or misconduct, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and more. Our attorneys are here to help and we are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve. Reach out to us today to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights. Call (855) 969-5671 to see if we can help.
When you are involved in a car or big truck accident, you are understandably anxious. Due to the catastrophic and powerful nature of car and big truck accidents, victims are often left with severe physical injuries, emotional turmoil, and financial difficulties.
Our Charlotte truck accident attorneys are here for you and your family if you fall victim to a drowsy driver. Here is some helpful info about drowsy driving.
Drowsy Driving and Big Rigs
No one can argue that truck driving is a tiring job. The occupation may not always require heavy lifting, but it does require driving for long stretches of time while remaining alert, something that can be difficult to do.
According to a study released by the University of Minnesota, Morris, commercial truck drivers who have obstructive sleep apnea and do not adhere to their treatment protocols are at five times greater risk of crashing.
Sleep apnea, a disorder that causes people to momentarily stop breathing when they are asleep, causes daytime sleepiness. This, in turn, can result in drivers who are too fatigued to be on the road. Obstructive sleep apnea is estimated to affect nearly 25 million adults in this country.
For the study, researchers looked at 1,613 truck drivers diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and 1,613 drivers without the disorder. They looked at drivers with similar experience and approximately the same number of hours on the road. The drivers with obstructive sleep apnea were all given the same prescribed therapy. Close to 700 drivers followed the treatment, 600 followed it partially and 400 did not follow it t all.
The rate of preventable accidents among truck drivers who did not follow their prescribed obstructive sleep apnea therapy was five times greater than those who did. Those drivers who only partially followed the therapy had a crash rate similar to those who followed it completely.
The study shows that untreated obstructive sleep apnea is a danger to transportation safety. The recommendation of researchers is to screen all potential commercial truck drivers for the condition and to treat those who are found to have the disorder. Both the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that they would be gathering more information on the effects of obstructive sleep apnea on their workers.
All Drivers Need to Be Awake
According to a survey of 150,000 adults, 4 percent reported falling asleep within the past 30 days. One of the best ways to prevent drowsy driving, aside from catching enough ZZZs at night, is to know the warning signs of drowsy driving. Even though we discuss commercial drivers in this post, everyone should know that ANY driver that is drowsy driving is dangerous whether they are in a semi or in a car, van, SUV, etc.
If you notice that you or your driver are showing any of these signs while you’re driving, it’s time to get off the road.
This is an obvious sign of being tired, but a yawn here and there also signals boredom. What you want to notice is frequent yawning.
If you notice frequent yawning in a short period of time, chances are high that it would be a good idea to take a break from the road.
We’ve all been in that place where we can’t remember how we got where we are. This is especially true of commuters who take the same route every day. Our brains go on a sort of auto pilot and we discover that we can’t really recall getting to work.
This is normal but still dangerous. It’s even more dangerous if you don’t take the same route every day and still find yourself wondering about the last few miles.
You’re driving down the highway and thinking about something else when all of a sudden you miss your exit. It’s not something to be too concerned about. It’s when you weren’t really thinking about anything else that you need to worry.
If you miss an exit, or several exits, you could be too tired to drive. It may be time to just pull over for a while and take a nap.
All the sudden you find yourself jerking the wheel to the right to get fully back in your lane. The next thing you know, you’re moving to the left to get back into your lane.
Drifting is a common sign that someone is too tired to operate their vehicle. If you find yourself drifting, ask yourself if you may be too drowsy to drive.
Those rumble strips on the side of the road are there to alert you to something. It may be that you’re drifting too far, or it may be that you need to slow down. If you’re hitting the rumble strips on the side of the road and aren’t trying to get off at an exit, you’re drifting.
The vibration and noise from driving on rumble strips will hopefully wake you up and make you realize that your driving is not at its best. If you can’t stay off the strips, it’s time for a rest.
Speak to an Experienced Charlotte Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have been involved in a car or big truck accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, you need an experienced injury law firm like Auger & Auger on your side. Having an advocate by your side as you move forward after your accident is one of the many potential benefits of hiring our law firm. Call us today at1-855-969-5730 to find out more.
Call our team of Charlotte truck accident attorneys today for a free case evaluation and discover your options. We are here for you. Call today.