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December 31, 2020

MOTORCYCLISTS FACE RISKS

Many different type of drivers share the North Carolina roadways. Among them, and the most at-risk, are motorcyclists. This blog will take a look at what makes riding a motorcycle so dangerous, and some statistics related to motorcycle accidents.

Motorcyclists have a tendency to face more risks on the road than their counterparts in covered vehicles such as cars, trucks and vans. This is largely due to their lack of size and protection. Other motor vehicles on the road often don’t see motorcycles in time and hit them. Add to that that motorcycles do not enclose the driver, so if a motorcyclist is hit, the hit is often directly to their body or they are thrown from the motorcycle affecting their body.

Because of these facts, motorcyclists encounter an unusually high amount of injuries, crashes and fatalities. Some studies have shown that motorcyclists are in fact up to 26 times more likely to die in an accident than another type of passenger vehicle, and 5 times more likely to be injured. Furthermore, other types of motor vehicle fatalities have steadily dropped since 1999, yet the fatality rate for motorcyclists has actually doubled.

In up to two-thirds of all accidents that involve motorcycles and other vehicles, the other vehicle is at fault in the crash. What this shows us is that most of the dangers faced by motorcyclists are not a result of their own actions.

Do you want to learn more about motorcycle accidents? If so, visit our web page linked here. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, we encourage you to call Hardee, Massey & Blodgett at 252-378-2525 for a free consultation today.

December 28, 2020

IMPROVING TRAFFIC SAFETY IN GREENVILLE

According to the NC Department of Transportation, the city of Greenville continues to be one of the worst, when compared to cities similar in size, in North Carolina for motor vehicle crashes. From 2015 to 2017, the Department of Transportation’s reports showed that Greenville had the top number of crashes during a three-year period, 14,694, within its city limits compared to cities statewide with a population of more than 10,000. And, of those accidents, 29 resulted in a fatality while 3,634 caused injuries.

Greenville’s Most Dangerous Roads

The report from the DOT also showed the top intersections for accidents in Greenville. According to the 2017 statistics, these roads and their multiple intersections ranked among the top 10 most dangerous in the city:

  • Greenville Boulevard
  • Fire Tower Road
  • Evans Street
  • Arlington Boulevard

The top most dangerous intersection in Greenville is at Greenville Boulevard and Evans Street according to the DOT.

Official Responses

Agencies such as public works, health care facilities, law enforcement, and the DOT formed a task force to expedite and identify safety measures that may prove to be effective in reducing motor vehicle crashes. The goals of the task force includes:

Eliciting feedback from the public

The task force would like information from the public about its efforts, and they have gained a significant response through social media channels.

Educating the public

The task force wants to provide information to drivers about practicing safety such as using passenger restraints and refraining from fatigued and distracted driving.

Solutions through Engineering

By reconfiguration dangerous intersections traffic flow could be improved and that could decrease the likelihood of crashes. Limiting left turns through the use of traffic delineators at formerly dangerous intersections such as Arlington Boulevard and Smythewyck Drive have all but eliminated the car wrecks at those intersections.

Regulation Enforcement

Law enforcement has made enforcing regulations related to stop signs, speeding and seat belt use a top priority in the last couple years. The city installed red light cameras at five of the city’s most difficult intersections in 2017. Since then, those cameras have captured upwards of five violations a day and generated tens of thousands of traffic tickets.

December 24, 2020

TRANSPORTING LIVESTOCK CAN BE STRESSFUL

Transporting livestock can be very stressful to truck drivers and farmers. There are reckless drivers all around, changing lanes without signaling and veering over the center line. Even if you are driving at a safe speed and following the law the drivers of other vehicles can send your trailer sailing off the road, possibly causing harm to you and your livestock.

There are also cases where drivers honk their horn to intentionally scare your livestock, this can cause them to panic and that can make it hard for you to control of your vehicle as the large bodies of your livestock move around inside your trailer. If you’ve been in an accident that is the result of a similar situation, you may want to know who is really at fault.

If you want to learn more about North Carolina personal injury law involving damages sustained to hogs, cattle, and other livestock that are involved in an accident, continue reading below.

How is Livestock Classified under Personal Injury Law?

Generally, most tame animals—from livestock to pets—are classified as property. However, if your pet is killed in an accident caused by someone else, you’re not very likely to have much, if any, financial recourse unless your pet is considered to be expensive or a rare breed.

Depending on the accident’s circumstances, you may have a claim for your personal pain and suffering; in most cases however, your damages will be limited to the proven financial value of your pet.

Conversely, if your livestock is killed or injured due to the negligence of another person, you are likely to have a financial claim. The reason for this is that it is easier to assess the value of a cow, horse, or pig than it is to put a value on your family pet.

The value assigned to livestock depends on several factors, including the livestock’s age, health, and the reason it was being transported at the time the accident took place.

This latter often determines the fate of a claim on its own. Livestock costs fluctuate a great deal depending on the time of year, the supply and demand regionally and nationally, and the quality of the livestock.

If the accident occurred while you were hauling pigs for processing, and the pork was selling for $4.00 per pound, the cost of your lost livestock would likely be based on this per-pound price.

However, if you were involved in an accident and your pigs were eight weeks away from being ready to sell at market can make the loss trickier to calculate, and the price of pork at the eight-week mark may be used, not the time of the accident. If this is the case, you may need the help of experts to determine and testify to the true financial damages incurred in order to receive a fair judgment.

What Options Do you have if Your Livestock are Harmed or Killed in an Accident?

If you’re involved in a motor vehicle and you’ve suffered physical injuries to yourself and harm (or death) was caused to your livestock, your claim may be more complicated than a straightforward personal injury claim or a property damage claim under an automobile insurance policy.

If fault cannot easily be determined, this becomes even truer. Say you lost control of your vehicle and had an accident due to the action of another driver such as honking to spook your livestock or swerving in your lane, you could have a hard time proving this in court.

Your best option may be to file a personal injury suit. A personal injury judgment can compensate you for your own injuries and other damages (such as lost wages) and the cost of damages to your personal property, like your livestock and your vehicle.

With an injury suit, you may have the option to settle early or to take the matter to trial to determine fault and assess damages.

If you’ve been in an accident that was not your fault, we recommend you contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. Our office will be happy to discuss your case and let you know if they think you have a claim.

December 21, 2020

WAYS YOU CAN BE A SAFE DRIVER

Being a defensive driver can reduce the chance of you being in a car accident. It can protect you and your passengers as well as other motor vehicle drivers on the road.

Many people think that when you pass your driving license test you know enough about driving. But, with any skill, you can always learn more. It’s easy to fall into bad habits or ignore new and improved techniques. Taking a defensive driving course could definitely be money well spent.

Across North Carolina there are online and classroom-based defensive driving courses available. These courses can not only keep you safer, taking a course could also reduce your insurance premiums – which means the course actually pays for itself. Below are some of the ways to drive more defensively, whether decide to take a course or not:

  • It seems simple, but expect the worst. For example, if you decide to pass on a narrow lane coming up to a bend, you should expect that someone coming from the other way, has the exact same idea.
  • You should have an escape route. Like the best chess players, the best drivers know their next move.
  • Pay attention to what’s going on around you. I’m sure you’ve been passed by a car and before it was passed you had not noticed it. So, scan the road and your mirrors regularly.
  • Give yourself time. You should leave space between you and cars in front of you allowing yourself more time to react.
  • You need to understand how your mental state affects your driving. For example, feeling stressed, tired, angry, hungover, and even sad can affect the way you drive.
  • Avoid distractions at all cost. You can’t know what’s going on around you if you are playing with your phone, opening chips or reaching in your bag.

Defensive driving doesn’t guarantee you’ll never been in an accident, however it could increase your chances of avoiding an accident or being injured in one. If you are injured due to the negligence of another driver, we encourage you to seek legal help. Call Hardee, Massey & Blodgett and one of our experienced personal injury attorneys will be happy to schedule a free consultation.