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Back to School Safety Tips for Motorists

Safety Tips for MotoristsAs summer comes to a close, parents nationwide start preparing for the back to school rush. This poses additional risks for both motorists and pedestrians, thanks to an increase in traffic at the start and end of the school day, as well as the number of children walking and biking to school. Planning ahead and keeping these back to school safety tips in mind will help keep everyone safer.

Give Yourself Extra Time 

Get familiar with your local school district’s schedule so that you know when the school day starts. In the week leading up to the first day of school, there will likely be an increase in traffic as parents visit classrooms, explore school routes, and plan out their drives.

Give yourself extra time for your morning commute, doctor appointments, and other obligations. This ensures that you’re not feeling rushed, and minimizes risky driving maneuvers including speeding.

Make Sure Kids Understand Safety Guidelines 

If you have kids at home, make sure that they know how to stay safe when traveling to and from school. Practice the route several times prior to the start of the school year, and be sure to identify areas where drivers tend to speed or roll through stop signs. If your kids are extra vigilant, they can – and will – stay safe, even when motorists aren’t paying attention.

Also teach your children the importance of remaining focused when walking or biking. Walking home with their eyes on their cell phone or a portable gaming device can impact their ability to avoid accidents.

Avoid Distractions 

It’s important to minimize distractions whenever you’re driving, but it’s even more crucial when  little ones may unexpectedly dash into the road. Be ready to react to any situation by staying attentive. Put your cell phone away, keep music at a reasonable volume, and avoid eating or drinking while driving.

Be Mindful of Teenage Drivers 

Adults are more likely to be naturally cautious behind the wheel, since they understand the potential fallout of a serious accident. Teenagers are typically more carefree, which increases their risk of a car accident. If you have teenagers at home, take time to clearly outline your expectations while they are driving. Look into car trackers that let you follow your teen’s location and driving speed, as well as acceleration and braking habits. Sometimes, just knowing that you’re keeping an eye on their behavior can make teens drive more slowly and carefully. Since cell phones are a major distraction for teenage drivers, look into apps that disable texting while driving.

Road safety is everyone’s job, and these back to school safety tips can help you do your part. Unfortunately, other drivers may not follow safe driving protocols, putting you and your family at risk. The effects of a car accident can impact victims for years. If you or someone you love is involved in a car crash or pedestrian accident, contact Fetterman & Associates at (561) 983-4771.

The 4 Most Common Causes of Limo Accidents

A limo accident can have devastating effects, both physically and psychologically. What started out as a fun adventure can quickly turn into a tragedy that affects passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.  If you have been injured in a limo accident, here are some of the most common causes, as well as how each may affect your ability to file a claim.

Reason #1 – A Lack of Safety Features

4 Most Common Causes of Limo AccidentsGiven the size and structure of limos, most people assume that there are added safety features built in. While this is typically the case, there have been instances of limo companies removing key safety features. In fact, one such instance led to the deaths of four women in New York. Negligent operators will often strip key safety features so that the vehicle can carry more people or move faster.  This is illegal, and if you can prove that the limo you were riding in was lacking certain safety features, you have legal grounds for filing a claim.

Reason #2 – Poor Driver Education

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established certain guidelines that all limo drivers must follow. Unfortunately, poor training is prevalent in the industry and many drivers never develop the proper skills needed to safely operate a limo. Others fail to follow the FMCSA’s guidelines. Both can have serious, and sometimes even fatal, consequences.

Reason #3 – Driver Impairment

Drunk driving is already a major problem in the United States. It’s an even bigger problem when the driver also happens to be transporting passengers. A responsible operator will never allow an impaired driver to get behind the wheel. If your limo accident was caused as a result of your driver being intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance, it is important to contact a Personal Injury Attorney Port St. Lucie as quickly as possible.

Reason #4 – Other Driving Issues

The same issues that affect you when you’re driving can also affect a limo driver. Distractions, such as loud music or texting while driving, can lead to an accident. So too can fatigue. On busy weekends and during major events, many limo drivers work longer hours than they are legally allowed to work, which can result in tragedy. If you see that your driver is drowsy or otherwise distracted, contact the limo company and request another driver. If you have, unknowingly, entered a limo with a tired or distracted driver, document your experience as best as you can by taking pictures and/or videos to substantiate your claim.

Filing Your Claim

Gathering evidence is the first step in filing a claim after a limo accident. And since limo companies are required to install cameras so they can oversee both their drivers and passengers, the process is not always as difficult as it might seem, especially if there are also witnesses who can be called upon.

The personal injury attorneys at Fetterman & Associates are well versed in handling the in’s and out’s of limo accidents. If you or someone you love was recently involved in a limo accident, contact us today at (561) 693-3872 to discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident, as well as your potential legal options.

Safe Driving: 6 Proactive Steps You Can Take

Safe Driving: 6 Proactive Steps You Can TakeThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers tips to commercial drivers regarding driver safety.  However, commercial drivers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this advice.  Below are six proactive steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones on the road.  At Fetterman & Associates, we hope you are never in a car crash.  Following this advice won’t be able to stop every car crash, however, it can make a difference.

Expect the Unexpected

As you drive, expect the unexpected.  Scan ahead about a quarter mile down the road if you are on the interstate.  When driving in the city, scan one to two blocks ahead of you, looking for issues.  This includes:

  • unanticipated road conditions, such as work zones;
  • evidence another driver is distracted, such as a car that is weaving within a lane, or drifting from one lane to another;
  • slowing traffic; and
  • other dangers or problems.

By scanning the road for the unexpected, you will be better prepared to handle any unexpected issues.

Signal Before You Move

Whether you are changing lanes or turning, use your signal to let others know you are changing course.  Give other drivers on the road plenty of notice about your plans.  It doesn’t cost anything to turn your blinker on.  Using your blinker not only alerts those behind you, but also vehicles that are approaching you intend to divert from your path.

Slow Down

Speeding is dangerous.  Particularly in work zones, where lanes can change in unpredictable ways, be mindful of your speed.  When the weather is dangerous, such as during a rainstorm, you should also reduce your speed.

Keep Your Vehicle Properly Maintained

Make sure you comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations for car maintenance.  Your life may literally depend on the quality of your tires and/or your brakes.  Make sure your car is well maintained.

Wear Your Seat Belt

This cannot be stressed enough.  Wearing your seatbelt protects you in a crash.  Even if you are the most careful driver in the state of Florida, this won’t protect you from injury or even death if another person crashes into your car at a high rate of speed.  Seat belts save lives.

Pay Attention

Put your phone away.  Eat before you leave or after you arrive.  Plan your route prior to departure.  When you are driving, make sure you give driving your full attention.  Distracted driving kills.

If You Have Been Hurt in a Car Crash

If you have been hurt in a car crash, contact the Law Team at Fetterman & Associates.  At Fetterman & Associates, we are committed to providing comprehensive legal representation.  Our clients meet with attorneys directly – no middle man relaying your case to an attorney on your behalf.  If you are recovering from your injuries and can’t come into the office, we will dispatch our mobile office, sending an attorney directly to you.  We have an in house investigative team and experienced support staff.  You may rest assured your case is in capable hands at Fetterman & Associates.  Call us for a free consultation at (561) 845-2510 today.

3 Things Senior Drivers Can Do to Avoid Needing an Auto Accident Attorney

Recent studies show that there are over 40 million licensed drivers in the United States over the age of 65. The older a person gets, the harder it may be for them to drive safely on the roadways of their area. If a senior is involved in an accident, it can do a lot of harm to their body and their vehicle. The main goal a senior driver should have is avoiding these accidents and the need for an auto accident attorney. While there will be times when accidents are unavoidable, there are a number of things a senior can do to reduce their chances of being involved in an auto accident. Read below to find out about some of the things a senior driver should focus on when attempting to stay out of harm’s way while on the roadways in their area.

Steering Clear of Distracted Driving Can Help a Senior Avoid Needing an Auto Accident Attorney

Auto Accident AttorneyThe rise of mobile devices has been both a good and bad thing. While these devices help people stay connected to the world around them, they can cause a lot of problems when a person is trying to focus on driving. If a senior has a cell phone, they will need to avoid using it in order to stay safe while behind the wheel. Making a rule to only use a cell phone in an emergency situation is essential for a senior trying to steer clear of distracted driving.

There are also a variety of hands-free devices on the market that will allow a senior to use talk on their phone without taking their hands off of the wheel. Many of the newer cars on the market feature state-of-the-art infotainment system that will allow the owner to talk on their phone with ease. The best course of action when trying to avoid distracted driving is to put your phone away until you reach your destination.

Not Driving in Bad Weather Can Reduce the Need For an Auto Accident Attorney

When it is raining or snowing outside, the danger on the roadways in an area increases substantially. If a senior already has a hard time seeing at night, then getting out on the roads during a rain or snowstorm at night is a bad idea. A senior will need to focus on what their limitations are and use this information to dictate whether or not they need to get behind the wheel.

The chance of auto accidents increase when bad weather is present, which is why a senior needs to stay off the road unless there is an emergency. While stay indoors for hours on end may be a bit annoying, it is the best way for a senior driver to stay safe in bad weather situations.

Maintaining an Automobile Can Help Reduce the Need for an Auto Accident Attorney

Keeping a car in good working order is also a great way to reduce the need for an auto accident attorney. Failing to maintain vital systems like a car’s brakes or engine can lead to a variety of problems. Without the full stopping power of a car’s brakes, a senior will be putting themselves and other motorists at risk. Working with a knowledgeable mechanic is the only way to ensure a car is maintained properly.

If you are injured in an auto accident and need legal assistance, contact our team from Fetterman & Associates by calling 561-845-2510.

Additional Reading

Car Accidents Considered Top Cause of TBI in the U.S.

How to Avoid an Auto Accident with a Self-Driving Car

What an Auto Accident Attorney Wants You to Know about Distracted Driving

An auto accident attorney has the opportunity to observe tragedy on the roads.  One of the increasingly prevalent – and alarming conditions on the roadways today is distracted driving. Distracted driving injures and kills hundreds of people each and every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving killed 3,477 lives in 2015 alone.  Almost 400,000 people sustained injuries during the same time frame, by motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

Auto Accident Attorney

Federal estimates suggest 16 percent of all fatal crashes involve some sort of distracted driving.  Examples of distracted driving include eating while driving, arguing with passengers, changing the radio station or relying on navigational gear. Texting and reading email are also major contributors to distracted driving practices. However, using hands free voice commands to make call contacts, dialing phone numbers, changing the music in the car, and sending texts with smart phone assistance, are also distracting activities.

An Auto Accident Attorney Explains Distracted Driving Latency

Distracted driving latency is a newly observed phenomenon.  The University of Utah paired up with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to study distracted driving.  What they found may surprise you. Studies have shown that one isn’t just distracted while engaging in activity such as texting. There is also a latent period, following the activity, wherein the driver is not fully engaged for 27 seconds. Consider what this might mean.

  • When driving 25 miles per hour, you travel 989 feet in 27 seconds;
  • Increase your speed to 60 miles per hour, and you travel 2,376 feet in 27 seconds;
  • At 80 miles per hour, you travel 3,168 feet in 27 seconds.

Put another way, your distracted driving extends roughly the length of two city blocks, almost half a mile, or more than ten football fields after you stop texting, emailing, or otherwise focusing your attention on something other than driving.

An Auto Accident Attorney Suggests Ways to Avoid Distracted Driving

You can learn and benefit from, the mistakes of others. Having represented hundreds of injured people, an auto accident attorney offers the following suggestions to help avoid distracted driving:

  • Decide on your route, employ your GPS, fix your mirrors, temperature, and radio volume before you start driving;
  • Secure loose possessions, including your purse and your phone, preventing them from rolling around the seat or floor of the car;
  • Eat before or after your trip, not while you are driving;
  • Power down your phone before you begin driving to avoid any possible temptation to call or answer a call, read or send a text, or check your email;
  • If your child or pet needs attention, pull over to the side of the road – do not attempt to reach into the back seat to offer assistance while driving;
  • Remember that when you are driving, safety is your number one priority. Scan the roadway for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other distractions.  Keep your focus on your driving.  Your life – and the lives of your passengers, as well as others around you, depends on it.

Injured by a Distracted Driver?

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, or a loved one has been killed due to someone else’s distracted driving, you may have a claim. This is true even if the distracted driver was a family member. Don’t try to deal with your injury alone.  Let the experienced auto accident attorneys at Fetterman & Associates take the burden of handling the insurance company, while you focus on recovery. There is no fee unless we win your case.  Contact us today at 561-845-2510.

Additional Reading

Florida Passes Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Reform: A Boon for Consumers or a Curse for Injured Drivers and Passengers?

Car Accidents and Black Box Data Evidence

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