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August 30, 2021

SAFE-DRIVING TIPS FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND

As the last summer holiday, Labor Day brings an increase in travel. With more vehicles on the highway this upcoming weekend, here are some tips to keep you and other drivers safe behind the wheel.

 

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

During Labor Day weekend there is typically an increase in drunk driving deaths. You are likely to see police officers and state highway patrol out in full force for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign aimed to educate drivers on the consequences and dangers of drunk driving.

This weekend you should have a plan whether you are driving, riding or hosting a party:

  • Before you begin drinking, make sure you have a plan for a safe and sober ride home.
  • Don’t let anyone get behind the wheel if they know they’ve been drinking.
  • If you’re having a party, please make sure all your attendees have a safe and sober ride home.
  • If you see an impaired driver, call 911.
  • And make sure you are wearing your seat belt as it is the best defense against impaired drivers.

 

Don’t Drive Distracted

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,142 people were killed by distracted driving in 2019. To help lower this figure, drivers should make sure they are giving their full attention when they take to the road. A large part of this includes staying off of cell phones and not texting and driving.

Distracted driving goes beyond texting and driving – it also includes playing with the radio or other items on the dashboard, eating and anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road.

 

Plan Ahead for Road Congestion and Construction 

With more drivers on the road there is likely to be more congestion and slowdowns. Drivers should plan ahead and leave extra time to ensure a timely and safe arrival. If possible, drivers should try to avoid traveling through the peak rush-hour times.

One way to avoid some highway congestion is planning ahead. Construction areas often reduce the number of lanes open and require lower speeds, causing traffic to back up. GPS technology can reroute drivers around these areas and find quicker routes. This will save time and fuel, making it more efficient for drivers

Drivers who end up in a traffic jam should exercise patience on the road and remember safe driving techniques such as signaling lane changes and allowing extra space to brake.

 

Stay a Safe Distance Behind the Car Ahead of You

Drivers should follow the 2-second rule – ensuring they are keeping a 2-second distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them. This gives extra space to allow the vehicle to stop suddenly if the car in front of it slows down or comes to a stop. Larger vehicles should allow more time, as it will take the heavier trucks more time to come to a complete stop. Drivers should also allow more space between vehicles during poor driving conditions, like wet roads.

 

Check Your Vehicle Maintenance 

To avoid any unexpected breakdowns while traveling, vehicles should be current on any needed maintenance before hitting the road. Keeping up with preventative maintenance will help identify any potential issues the vehicle and driver might encounter, allowing them to be serviced before the problem becomes bigger and could lead to a potential breakdown. Your vehicles’ air conditioning and cooling systems should also be checked.

 

An accident is probably the last thing you’d like to consider while planning your holiday. However, if you are in a car accident you need to know what to do. First, don’t panic. Help others and call emergency services. Call law enforcement. If you were injured by another driver, you may need a personal injury lawyer. Make sure you gather evidence at the scene of the accident, which your personal injury attorney can use later. Car accidents can be a traumatizing experience. The dedicated personal injury lawyers at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett are here to help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

We hope you have a very happy and safe Labor Day weekend.

August 26, 2021

A WITNESS CAN IMPACT YOUR ACCIDENT CASE

The importance of speaking to witnesses after your car accident

A car accident can be a terrifying experience for anyone. The aftermath of the accident can be hard to deal with and often times very little thought is given to the bystanders who actually witnessed the car accident.

As car accident attorneys we have seen our fair share of automobile accidents and we have first-hand knowledge of the dangers that are present after a car accident. So, because of this, the first thing you should do after the car accident is to assess your injuries and get to safety as quickly as possible.

Once you’ve done that, there are some other things we advise drivers do to protect yourself legally, such as take photos, document the scene, and write down what you remember about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind.

And, no matter who you think is at fault, we strongly advise you speak with any witnesses to hear their side of the story.

In some cases, the other person involved in the accident – the person who may be responsible for the accident – may “charm” witnesses into believing their side of the story.

Because of this, we strongly advise that you listen to all car accident witness statements as soon as possible.

We do not condone or advise you to attempt to influence a witness into falsely corroborating your claims, we simply say that you should speak to any witnesses and simply be to collect information. This could be information about the accident as well as their contact information in case your attorney has any additional questions for them.

Someone who claims to have been a witness to a car accident is usually a reliable source of information. They may have seen things you did not, or things you may have forgotten about, due to the commotion during and after the accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another, we strongly advise you to speak with a reputable car accident attorney.

Here at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, we are personal injury attorneys who help car accident victims in Greenville, North Carolina and throughout eastern North Carolina get the compensation they may deserve.

Contact our offices to set up a free car accident consultation today, 252-378-2525

August 24, 2021

WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR IN AN ATTORNEY

Finding a reputable car accident attorney you can work with is more important than you may think. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to focus on your recovery, so you need to find a car accident lawyer to represent your best interest with the insurance companies. A good accident attorney will be able to make sure any paperwork is complete and filed properly. They will legal advice, determine what a settlement is, collect evidence to strengthen your personal injury claim, negotiate with insurance adjusters and companies, and, if needed, represent you in court.

To ensure you find a reputable car accident lawyer, one you can trust to handle your case to the best of their abilities, you should look for the following things when consulting with prospective lawyers:

Clear and concise communication

A good lawyer makes it easy for you to understand how they can help you with your case. They will provide clear information about their fees, legal process, firm values, and more. They should answer any questions you have, and you should never leave their office with more questions than answers. If you do not have clear insight into their practice after your conversation, there’s a chance you’ll have issues with communication during your case if you hire them.

Engaging conversation

The right lawyer will be interested in you and your case. A lawyer who’s not engaged will not put in the amount of effort required for your case. If this happens, you could end up getting a smaller settlement than you could have gotten because of this. You may ask, how can I tell if my lawyer is engaged? The answer is, they should ask you  detailed questions about you, your case and what your expectation for the case would be.

Willingly provide references

You should always ask an attorney for a list of references that you can contact and speak to. The references should speak to the reputation of the lawyer. Even if you choose not to contact their references, you will have confidence in the fact that they provided a list of references to you. A lawyer that won’t provide you with any references, or won’t, should be avoided.

An organized office

The more organized an attorney’s office looks, the more organized they probably are. Keep an eye on how their staff works and how tidy the lawyer’s desk is. If they are shuffling through piles of paper to find what they’re looking for and they staff struggles to answer phone calls, there is a chance they are not organized, and this could have an affect on how they handle your case.

Ask about experience

Finally experience – ask your lawyer about this specifically. Make sure they have experience handling car accident cases. You will also want to be sure they have experience arguing cases in court, litigation, and have a winning track record.

These are five things you should look for when meeting with a car accident lawyer. We are confident that you will find all five of these things when you speak with an injury attorney at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 252-378-2525.

August 19, 2021

SCHOOL DAYS MEAN SHARING THE ROAD

Schools are back in session which means congestion and traffic are back. Buses are picking up students, busy parents are trying to drop their kids off before work and kids are crossing the streets to beat the first bell. It is never more important than now for drivers to use caution when children are present – especially before and after school the school bell rings.

School Buses

If you are driving behind a school bus, you should allow a greater following distance than you would if you were driving behind a car. Doing so gives you more time to stop once the yellow lights start to flash. In all 50 states, it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading students.

  • You should NEVER pass a school bus from behind – or from either direction if you are on an undivided road – if the bus is stopped to load or unload children
  • When the yellow or red lights are flashing and the school bus stop arm is extended, ALL traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a bus is the most dangerous for students, you should stop far enough back to ensure they have enough space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Finally, be alert! Children are often unpredictable, and tend to ignore hazards and signs and often take risks

Young Pedestrians

According to the National Safety Council most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are between the ages of 4-7 and they are walking. In most cases, they are hit by the bus, or by a motorist who is illegally passing a stopped bus. There are a few precautions that will go a long way to keeping children safe:

  • Never block the crosswalk when stopping at a red light or making a turn, this forces young pedestrians to go around you which could put them in the path of moving traffic
  • When you are in a school zone and flashers are blinking, yield or stop to pedestrians crossing the intersection or crosswalk
  • Always stop for a school crossing guard or patrol officer who is holding up a stop sign
  • Look out for children in school zones, near parks and playgrounds, and in residential areas
  • Don’t scare a pedestrian, even if you do have the right of way
  • Never pass a car or truck that has stopped for pedestrians
  • Use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians, no matter who has the right of way

Bicyclists

In most situations, bicyclists have the same responsibilities and rights as vehicles, however bikes can be hard to see. Children who are riding bikes create special issues for drivers because usually they are not able to determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of accident is when a driver is turning left in front of a bicyclist.

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed slowly in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between the cyclist and your car
  • When you turn left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, you should wait for the rider to pass
  • When you are turning right, and bicyclists approach from behind on the right, you should let the rider go through the intersection first, and make sure you are always using your turn signals
  • Watch for riders who are turning in front of you without signaling or looking; children often do this
  • Be very cautious in residential areas and school zones
  • Watch for bikes coming out from behind parked cars or down driveways
  • Make sure you check your side mirrors before you open your car door

Drop Off

Most schools have specific drop-off procedures that need to be followed. Make sure you know what they are so you can ensure the safety of all students. Here are some things that apply to all school zones:

  • No double parking as it blocks visibility of other children and vehicles
  • Never load or unload children across the street from the school
  • Utilize a carpool to reduce the number of cars going in and out of the school

If you exercise a little more caution and care, drivers and young pedestrians and bicyclists can safety co-exist in school zones.

This blog is provided by Hardee, Massey & Blodgett for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter.