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June 30, 2021

SAFE DRIVING TIPS FOR 4th OF JULY

Do you know which week is the most traveled by Americans? If you said the first week of July, you would be right as many people use this holiday for extended vacations. And, according to statistics, it is also one of the deadliest.

When people think of the 4th of July, they see parades, picnics, cook-outs and firework – but do they think about safe driving?  Hardee, Massey & Blodgett encourages you not to ruin your weekend, your life or someone else’s this 4th of July weekend. We would like to offer you some safe driving tips to keep everyone safe.

  • Before you head out, make sure your car is in good working condition. Make sure your tire tread and pressure, oil and fluid levels, lights and windshield wiper are all working and in good shape.
  • Buckle up for safety. In the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents, seat belts save lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seat belts can reduce serious injuries and deaths by about 50%. Adults who live in rural areas are 10% less likely to wear seat belts (78% usage) compared to adults living in urban and suburban areas (87% usage). You should also secure your infants and children in properly fitted car seats and booster seats.
  • Do not drink and drive. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws defining driving impaired as a crime with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a specified level, currently 0.08 percent (0.08 g alcohol per 100 ml blood). According to the CDC, one 12-ounce beer has approximately the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounces of liquor. When you drink alcohol, your reactive time is slower, and your judgement and coordination are impaired. The more alcohol you drink, the more impaired you will become. If you drink, do not drive. Make sure you have a designated driver who does not indulge – and remember a 4-day weekend is not an automatic pass to drink and drive.
  • Do not drive distracted. Do not talk on your cell phone or worse, do not text while driving. Program your GPS before you leave your house. Do not comb your hair, apply make-up or eat while driving. Ask your passenger to help with changing the radio station, search for something or help with the kids. In-car distractions increase your chances of being involved in an accident. One or two seconds of distractions can change your life or the life of another.
  • Observe speed limits. Leave plenty of driving time to get to your destination. You will be sharing the road with thousands of drivers, and you need to also allow for road construction and possible rain and summer storms. This is not a race, and speeding does not mean you will win.
  • Stay alert. Take breaks and stop at rest areas if you are feeling drowsy, and make sure you are driving defensively.

Thousands die each year as a result of distracted driving. The death toll rises dramatically during summer months especially for young drivers.  Everyone can make a difference if they remember to keep their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and stop multi -tasking while we are driving.

We ask you to act like your life depends on driving defensively – because it does. We hope you have a safe holiday weekend but remember if you or a loved one is injured in an accident this holiday weekend, we are always available, 24/7, give us a call 252-378-2525.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 24, 2021

DID YOU KNOW TRUCK DRIVERS HAVE WORK WEEK LIMITS?

Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers that drive on North Carolina’s roads and highways have to go through extensive training and certify their skills before ever getting behind the wheel of a big rig. For some, it may be very confusing why there are so many accidents caused by truck drivers.

If someone is so capable and certified, how can they make the mistakes that led to the truck accident? It is important to remember that truck drivers are human, and they are susceptible to the same issues as the rest of us – and one of those things is they could experience fatigue while behind the wheel. No doubt, a drowsy truck driver may pose an even greater risk than someone driving a car or SUV while fatigued.

Federal lawmakers understand this too, and this is why they place strict hours-of-service regulations on truck drivers. This is done to protect you and others from their potential fatigue. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration the regulations restrict drivers to:

  • 11-hour driving limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • 14-hour limit after coming onto duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • 30-minute break when driving for 8 hours
  • Not driving more than 60-70 hours in a 7–8-day span

What this means, is that off-duty periods of 36 and 10 consecutive hours (respectively) reset the work week and an individual work shift.

A review of a truck driver’s work logs might reveal whether they complied with the regulations mentioned above. However, there are exceptions to these rules. One being drivers operating within a 100-mile radius of their destination do not adhere to these regulations. And another being government officials may also choose to suspend these regulations during times of national or local emergencies.

If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident, you need a team of truck accident attorneys on your side. The attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett have over 58 years of experience with these types of cases and they will do everything in their power to ensure you get the compensation you may  deserve for your injuries. Let us put our experience to work for you, call 252-378-2525 today.

June 22, 2021

BOATING ESSENTIALS FOR THE WATER

Hardee, Massey & Blodgett reminds everyone heading onto the water this summer to take the proper precautions to keep you and your family safe. It is always fun to have things like water skis, tubes, and kneeboards on your boat, there are some boating essentials needed to keep you and your passengers safe.

LIFE JACKETS

It is imperative to select the right style life jacket for your boating activities. Make sure you read the label for the life vest’s intended use, size and other important information. You should always have at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket per passenger on board, along with two extra jackets.

THROWABLE FLOTATION AIDS

A throwable device must be available for the operator of the boat to throw in case a person should go overboard. This aid is designed to be thrown to a person in the water so they can hold onto it until they are rescued. This throwable aid is not designed to be worn. Throwable devices include ring buoys, buoyant cushions and horseshoe buoys. Most throwables do not include line, so make sure you have several feet of floating line for each throwable incase the rescuer needs to assist a victim in the water. Make sure you read the label and ensure your flotation device is U.S Coast Guard approved.

VISUAL DISTRESS SIGNALS

U.S. Coast Guard approved flares, orange signal flags, day signals, and electric distress lights are an essential part of boater safety. You should always check the condition of these devices before you leave on your boating trip.

SOUND PRODUCING DEVICES

These include a whistle, horn, or bell audible for one-half mile. In an event where visibility becomes an issue, a sound producing device such as these are essential. Horns, whistles and bells must be easily accessible to all the passengers onboard. One suggestion is to attach a whistle to each life vest onboard.

ENGINE CUT-OFF DEVICE

Many boating accidents involve operators or passengers who fall overboard. Wearing an engine cut-off switch or wireless engine cut-off device will automatically shut the engine off if the operator falls overboard or is ejected from their seat. This could prevent someone from being run over by their own boat. An out of control, unmanned boat could circle ejected passengers and possibly run them over resulting in severe injury or death if struck by the propeller. Wearing an engine cut-off device will make it easier to reboard the boat and reduce the risk of a propeller injury.

EMERGENCY LOCATOR DEVICE

These devices are used to alert search and rescue services. Two of the most common include an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). An EPIRB is for one’s boat and registered to the vessel, while a PLB is registered to the person.

EMERGENCY BOATING KIT

Even a most well-maintained boat can have unexpected trouble on the water. Because of this it is recommended that you have an Emergency Boating Kit onboard. Most boat and outdoor stores have different types of emergency boating kits available for sale.

DRINKING WATER

Last but not least, stay hydrated. Since boating typically takes place during hot, summer months, it is vital to make sure you have ample water for yourself and all passengers onboard.

One final suggestion is to take a boating course. These can be found by state on the NASBLA website.

 

June 16, 2021

STAY SAFE WHEN DRIVING THIS SUMMER

Rain, snow and ice are threats to driver safety in the winter, but did you know that summer can bring its own set of dangers? The added traffic of vacationers is a small part of the increase, but sun glare, unpredictable weather and construction adds to the risks.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety summer and fall are the most dangerous times of the year for drivers. July and August are the deadliest with more drivers on the road increasing the chances of accidents.

This time of the year requires more attention to safe driving practices, here is a list of ways to stay safe behind the wheel.

Pay Attention to Car Maintenance

Heat can take a toll on your vehicle. It can affect your ability to braking and lead to tire blowouts. Engines can overheat and it places stress on just about every mechanical function of your vehicle. You should also pay attention to your tire pressure and treads, check the brakes frequently and make sure your AC system has all the fluids filled. Doing these things can help ensure your car does not get sidelined this summer.

Watch for Distracted Drivers

Summer roads are filled with drivers, whether it’s vacationing families or college students heading to the beach, drivers may be more distracted than usual. Distracted drivers are already an ongoing threat, however summer months can bring more distractions, so be careful and watch for drivers who are not watching for you.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Depending on where you are, summer weather can include thunderstorms with downpours which could lead to flash flooding and tornados. Some of these storms can happen with very little warning, so pay attention to the weather forecast before heading out on your trip.

Keep an Eye on the Calendar

Obviously more heavily traveled days are more dangerous than others, especially weekends and holidays when there is an increased occurrence of drinking and driving, July 4 is a particularly deadly weekend for both motorcycle fatalities and passenger vehicles. And the weekends between 3pm and 7pm, are when the highest number of fatal crashes occur, so be aware of the risks when you are behind the wheel and be sure you are taking the extra precautions needed.

Take Care of Your Eyes

During the summer months with the sun out in full force, there is an increased amount of glare coming off other vehicles and the road. This can be more dangerous in the early morning and late evening, so make sure you own a good pair of polarized sunglasses. Polarized glasses help cut down on glare and make it easier to see clearly, as well has help prevent your eyes from damage and driver fatigue.

Increase Your Following Distance

No matter what you are driving or hauling, you should increase your following distance to help offset the dangers you will encounter from construction zones, heavier traffic, and vacationers traveling in unfamiliar towns, cities and states.

Respect the Heat.

Lastly, it is easy to dismiss how much the sun affects us, but you need to pay attention to how it affects both you and your car. Heat exhaustion can make you drowsy and an overheated vehicle could leave you stranded. Pushing yourself and your car makes it unsafe for everyone on the road. Combat heat and fatigue with frequent breaks and paying attention to your body and vehicle’s warning signs.

While you cannot change how drivers are acting around you or the road conditions, if you follow these tips, you could prevent accidents and ensure a healthier, safer summer for you and your family.