How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian

Mar 28

How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian

If you get hit by a car as a pedestrian, you will fully absorb the collision force because you are not wearing any protective gears like helmets, jackets, elbow pads, and knee pads. Worse, you may even land violently, hitting your head on the pavement or the fire hydrant, or breaking your arm as it hits on the curb.

The point is, pedestrians are likely to get the short end of the stick when a vehicle versus pedestrian collision occurs. According to the website www.thebentonlawfirm.com/fort-worth/, those who have been injured in pedestrian accidents may have legal options, but do you really want to go to hospitals and courts? No amount of money can give back the pain and suffering of traumatic head injuries, paralysis, amputations, and fractures.

Address visibility issues

Many pedestrian accidents have occurred just because the drivers could not see the pedestrians. To prevent this from happening, you should address visibility issues by making sure that there are no obstructions that are preventing others from seeing you before crossing the road. Such obstructions include parked cars, buses, and trees.

During nighttime, only cross on highly illuminated areas. It is also advisable to bring your own flashlight and wear reflective clothing.

Avoid being reckless

Avoid extremely reckless behaviors, such as walking around while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, crossing freeways, and crossing even though you do not have the right-of-way. There are other less risky behaviors, such as constantly being on your phone, using earphones and earplugs, and not staying on the sidewalk, but these behaviors are still dangerous in their own ways.

Look left, right, and left again

Remember that you are a piece of meat that can get plowed by a large piece of metal that is moving at a high rate of speed. Even if you have the right-of-way, always look around before even stepping into the road. There may be speeding drivers who will fail to brake on time or vehicles that will abruptly turn into the adjacent road.

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DUI in South Carolina

Jan 21

DUI in South Carolina

Driving under the influence refers to the operation of a vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. For those who have a commercial driver license, the percentage starts at 0.04. It is even stricter for those who are 21 years old below, where the percentage starts at 0.02. It is also important to note that you can still be arrested for drunk driving even if your blood alcohol concentration is within the allowed limit if the circumstances of your offense warrants so.

Criminal Penalties

Criminal penalties for DUI depend on how high your blood alcohol concentration is and how many times you have committed the offense. For first offenses, you can pay a fine of up to $1,000 and go to jail for up to 90 days. For second offenses, the fine goes up to $6,500 and jail time of up to 3 years. For third offenses, the fine can reach up to $10,000 and jail time up to 5 years. The fourth and consecutive offenses have fines of up to $25,000 and jail time of up to 7 years.

Administrative Penalties

Aside from criminal penalties, you are also subject to administrative penalties, such as driver’s license suspension or revocation. The penalties are also based on your blood alcohol concentration and how many times you have committed the offense. For first to third offenses, suspension can go from 6 months up 4 years, especially if your offenses are within 5 years of each other. For fourth offenses, you can have your license revoked permanently, with the chance for reinstatement only after 7 years.

Ignition Interlock

An ignition interlock device is a device installed in the ignition system that monitors blood alcohol concentration. It prevents drivers from starting a vehicle while being under the influence. This device is required to be installed in your vehicle after a second offense. Installing, maintaining, and all operational costs will be shouldered by the person charged with DUI.

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Some Facts about Car Accidents

Oct 18

A number of individuals, who have always been inclined to question all accepted opinions (skeptics as they are called), doubt the veracity of the story which says that in 1895 there were only two cars in the state of Ohio . . . and these collided into each other.

This story appears in two separate posts: in the November 24, 1967 issue of the Life Magazine, and in a website called AF&G All Fun and Games (where over 1,900 useless, though fun and true, facts on almost about anything in the United States are either mentioned or discussed).

Other than the story above, here are additional facts relating to car accidents that are worth mentioning:

  • The first traffic fatality occurred in 1899. It involved a man in NYC who was killed by a car;
  • In 1902, Baker Torpedo, the first electric car that enclosed both the driver and the platform in its aerodynamic body was taken for a speed test. It went as fast as 80 mph before crashing and
  • killing two spectators;
  • In Sweden, on September 3, 1967, a legislation that was passed in 1963, which ordered a switch to right-hand traffic, took effect. Contrary to what so many said that the switch is murderous, highway fatalities, surprisingly dropped over 50%. How? Everyone drove carefully – both hands were kept on the wheel, both eyes were focused on the road and nobody wanted to fight for the way;
  • In the U.S., analysis of fatal car crashes show almost consistently that the more cars there are on the road, the more accidents and fatalities there are too; and,
  • A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on car crashes show that at least 90% of the millions of accidents occurring every year are due to driver error or driver fault which include drunk-driving (which is the leading cause of car accidents), reckless driving, overspeeding and distracted driving.

Law firms all across the U.S. that handle personal injury or car accident cases, the Hankey Law Office is one example, know for a fact that, to a victim, a car accident can mean trauma, painful injuries, damaged property, costly medical treatment and, probably, lost wages (if the victim is employed) due to the required period for recovery or rehabilitation.

The unexpected financial concerns due to the injury and the need to make the liable driver realize the importance of observing road safety rules make it necessary for a car accident victim to pursue a legal action to be able to claim compensation and to remind the at fault driver of his/her legal duty on the road.

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File an SR-22 Fast and Easy and Right in the Comfort or Your Home

Sep 15

There is a special type of insurance, called the SR-22, which may be required of drivers under certain circumstances. These circumstances include a driver being:

• Issued a license suspension or revocation;
• Cited for reckless driving or Driving under the influence (DUI);
• Cited for multiple traffic violations within just one year;
• Involved in an accident without auto insurance; or,
• Caught driving without auto liability insurance.

Any of these circumstances can result to a driver having his or her license suspended or revoked and the only way to immediately restore his or her license and driving privileges is by filing an SR-22.

An SR-22 is actually just a form or a certificate which a car insurance company is required to send to a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to indicate that the person, whose license has been suspended, already has the required insurance coverage. For uninsured drivers, filing an SR-22 is not so easy to obtain since this cannot be filed unless they first purchase an auto insurance policy. Another burden for them is that, besides having to purchase an insurance policy, which they considered too costly before, being required to file an SR-22 will still make insurance coverage more expensive for them because, this time, their chosen insurance firm will tag them as “high-risk” drivers, that is, drivers who are more likely to get involved in an accident.

The requirement to carry an SR-22 filing usually lasts for three years; for DUI cases, though, a judge may extend it to five years. This means 36 months or 3 years of having to pay more expensive premiums – a real strain on their budget, more so if it is extended to five years.

While insurance firms find means to make policies more expensive, this will not be the case if you make your SR-22 filing with an independent car insurance company. By being independent, these car insurance firms are able to help and protect customers’ interests rather than insurance providers’ interests.

According to the website of Second Gear Magazine, with some independent car insurance firms, all you need to do is ask for free SR-22 quotes on line. After receiving and choosing from as many as a dozen free car insurance quotes you have the option to purchase the policy (that meets your needs, your state’s codes, and your budget) and make your SR-22 filing through this independent firm. Once you make your payment, the firm will submit your SR-22 certificate to your car insurance provider which, in turn, will send it to the Secretary of State electronically. As soon as it is accepted, you will get a copy of the certificate from your insurer. It is important to note that if you let your coverage lapse for any reason, or if you cancel your policy before at least 3 years have passed, your license will become suspended all over again.

No car insurance firm, other than independent ones, will be able to get you insured and have an SR-22 filing within minutes, without hassle and with no paperwork. You can even do everything right in the comfort of your home.

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Top Contributing Factors in Boating and Watercraft Accidents

Mar 24

One may be led to think that boating is the least risky of all recreational activities because even if a person were to fall overboard, how will landing in water hurt him or her. On the contrary, there are proper safety procedures that boat operators and passengers need to observe, otherwise, they may find themselves in a really bad situation.

One important task of the U.S. Coast Guard is to prepare a yearly statistical record which should contain all boating accidents in the US and the most common causes of these accidents. Based on US Coast Guard’s 2014 record, of the 11,804,002 recreational vessels registered in the US in 2014, about 4,064 were involved in recreational boating accidents. These accidents, in turn, resulted to 2,678 injuries and 610 deaths. The top five contributing factors in accidents were operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure. With regard to fatal accidents, the leading known contributing factor was alcohol.

Just like drunk-driving, boating under the influence (BUI) is equally dangerous. Due to this, a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is imposed by all states on boat operators. While this BAC limit is just the same as the limit imposed on car drivers, different studies have shown that those who consume alcohol while on sea can be impaired much faster than car drivers due to the type of environment where they are situated as well as the conditions they are exposed to. These conditions include: the boat’s continuous motion and vibration; sea water spray or mist on their faces and bodies; and, the ocean breeze, sun and engine noise. All these plus alcohol and/or illegal drugs can easily affect the vision, coordination, balance, and judgment of all boat passengers. (The BAC limit applies to operators of open motorboats, canoes, kayaks, rowboats and all other water vessels (whether local or foreign) that are sailing on US territorial waters.

When a boating or watercraft accident does occur, many lawyers hired by those who are victims in the accident fail to represent their clients well due to the intricacies of the Maritime law which they are not familiar with. According to the Charleston personal injury attorneys of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, when representing and defending a victim in a boating or watercraft accident, a lawyer needs to be familiar with the unique aspects of general maritime law, like “joint and several liability, pure comparative negligence, seaworthiness doctrine, and pre-judgment interest.” Maritime law, also known as Admiralty law, differs from the laws governing motor vehicle or car accidents. Thus, when seeking representation in an accident that happened at sea, victims should make sure that they are to be represented by someone who is familiar and experienced in the said field of law.

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