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How to Recognize and Report a Drunk Driver

Open beer bottle inside a car

If a motorist is driving erratically, it could be a momentary lapse of attention, or it could be an intoxicated driver. At times, it can be hard to tell, but any driver should be aware of the primary signs of an impaired driver. 

How Can I Tell if a Driver is Drunk?

Drunk driving is extremely dangerous, so it is important to know the signs of a drunk driver. Some common signs include the following:

Judgement Problems: This manifests in driving behavior as jerky or sharp turns, sudden movements, and possibly an over-correction of steering. Additionally, the driver may not be able to properly judge how far he or she is from an object. 

Braking or Problems with Speed: This can include sudden braking or not braking soon enough. Some drivers may try to stop for something, like a cross walk, and end up in the middle of it. Other drivers may not be able to judge that they are braking too early. Drivers may also come to a stop at an angle that does not correspond with the roadway. Often, people who are intoxicated with alcohol will actually drive well below the speed limit.   

Lack of Awareness: Often, intoxicated drivers may not notice traffic signals, or they could be driving without the headlights on. Drunk drivers usually have slow responses.

Problems with Staying in the Driving Lane:Intoxicated drivers have tendencies to drift out of lanes. Additionally, drivers under the influence may not assess turns correctly and they may go outside the normal turning radius when making turns. As a result of these miscalculations, the driver may abruptly try to straighten out the vehicle by suddenly jerking the steering wheel. 

How Can I Report a Drunk Driver?

The quickest way to report a drunk driver is to dial 911 to report an emergency. In Pennsylvania, drivers can also dial *11 on turnpikes to report an intoxicated driver. It is important to think of doing this, reporting someone to the police who is endangering the lives of innocent people is crucial. Some areas will have an anonymous tip line if a driver prefers to report the person anonymously.

Often, family members or friends find themselves in bad situations where they know loved ones are habitually driving under the influence. Those who consider reporting must consider that they may be saving the lives of innocent people.

Why is it Vital to Contact a Lawyer After an Accident?

A car accident is a serious matter, especially if a drunk driver is involved. If an innocent driver is hit by an intoxicated motorist, it is important to contact a lawyer when it is feasible. There could be outstanding damage and severe injuries, which are costly. A lawyer will handle the legal circumstances so that a person can focus on recovery.

Bucks County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Protect Victims Hit by Drunk Drivers

Drunk driving causes serious accidents. If you were hit by a drunk driver, you need to contact one of our Bucks County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC. We assist drunk driving victims and help them obtain maximum compensation. Complete our online form or call us at 732-660-1200 for a free consultation. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

What Should I Do if My Vehicle is Damaged While Being Towed?

White sedan car getting towed

An individual’s car might be towed for several reasons, such as a car accident or a parking ticket. No matter the reason, vehicular damage could occur during the time the towing company has the car. In situations like this, the car’s owner may wonder who is liable for the vehicular damage.

What Kind of Damage Can Occur During a Tow?

When a tow company is towing a car, they have a duty to protect the vehicle they are attempting to move and properly secure. Sometimes, the vehicle being towed is mechanically or cosmetically damaged during a tow and is in need of careful handling in order to be retrieved safely. If careful precautions are not taken while being towed, the vehicle may sustain damage to the bumper, tires, windshield, or other locations.

Who is Liable if My Car is Damaged While Being Towed?

Depending on which state the victim lives in, a lawsuit may not be practical. This is because the burden of proof is on the owner of the vehicle. To help the success of a case, it is important for a victim to take all the necessary steps to keep track of the state of their vehicle. These steps may include taking photos of the vehicle before a tow and listing the damage.

However, if the towing company does an illegal act while towing the car, this could lead to the company being liable. An important thing to consider is whether the car was subjected to improper towing. If the victim can prove that the towing company’s negligence led to the damage, they can hold the towing company liable; however, this may be difficult to do without a lawyer.

What Should I Do After I Find Damage?

After a victim identifies damage on their vehicle, it is important to report the damage directly to the company that handled the towing of their vehicle. Victims should inspect their vehicle prior to signing any paperwork releasing the vehicle to its owner. Towing companies often inspect vehicles prior to towing them in order to identify any pre-existing damage. If damage is found by an owner after their vehicle is towed, checking with the company’s paperwork might identify the state of the vehicle prior to being towed.

A victim might be able to report any damage to their insurance company. Some towing damages might be covered by an insurance company’s collision coverage. Victims should also contact a lawyer for cases that involve serious vehicular damage. It may be difficult to prove that a towing company damaged a vehicle; therefore, an experienced lawyer can be helpful for victims seeking financial compensation.  

Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Hold Negligent Towing Companies Accountable for Vehicular Damage

If you are facing vehicular damage because of a towing company’s negligence, you need to contact one of our Monmouth County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC. Our lawyers understand the financial stress and frustration that comes with property damage. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 732-660-1200. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Can the Pandemic Affect My Driving Skills?

Man driving alone in the car

Although hard data on car accidents during the COVID-19 pandemic has not come in yet, anecdotal evidence is beginning to come to light as drivers return to the roads. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many drivers took a break from driving since they were suddenly working from home and they were no longer transporting children to school and other activities.

Additionally, the drivers who have stayed on the roads regularly during the pandemic have definitely noticed a decrease in traffic. Many drivers are finding themselves traveling at higher speeds, and they may feel more at ease checking their phones more often while driving since traffic is much lighter.

What Driving Skills Have Declined During the Pandemic?

A recent survey by Hyundai found that one in five drivers admitted that they are not driving as well as they used to prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some drivers reported a decrease in driving skills, including the following:

  • Decrease in depth perception, causing drivers to scrape wheels against curbs.
  • Forgetting to use turn signals.
  • Forgetting which pedals are used for braking and accelerating.
  • Manual drivers reported more stalls due to being out of practice with shifting gears.

How Can I Work on My Driving Skills?

Drivers must first be aware that their driving skills may have eroded as a result of working and learning from home during the pandemic. For some, this situation may continue for quite some time; therefore, it is important to be more mindful every time a driver gets behind the wheel, especially when they may only drive once or twice per week. Some tips for drivers include the following:

Take Extra Precaution

Be aware of other drivers’ behaviors which may be more unpredictable than before. Although it may be tempting to look at the cellphone more often for directions or communication since there could be less traffic, resist this urge. This will increase one’s awareness of what is happening around them, such as a driver switching lanes or stopping unexpectedly.

Do Not Drive While Angry or Upset

This pandemic is taking its toll on many drivers’ mental health. Driving in an altered mental state will most definitely impact the ability to drive safely, which could cause a driver to drive erratically and cause an accident.

Keep a Safe Distance

Keeping a safe distance from other cars, even when there could be less of them on the road is always a good idea, especially during this time of uncertainty due to the pandemic.

Contact a Lawyer

Sometimes, car accidents are unpreventable. If a driver is involved in an accident, it is important to contact a lawyer. A lawyer will examine the facts of the case and determine if the car accident victim is eligible for compensation.

Doylestown Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Help Car Accident Victims Obtain Compensation

If you were in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you need to contact an experienced lawyer. Our accomplished Doylestown car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC provide legal assistance to car accident victims. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 732-660-1200. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

 

Driverless Cars Will Not Prevent All Car Accidents

Autonomous drive start button green

There is no doubt that nearly all car accidents are caused by human error. However, studies show that autonomous vehicles will not eliminate car accidents completely. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), self-driving vehicles will likely only prevent a third of all motor-vehicle accidents. Fewer accidents is great; however, this study debunks the theory that driverless cars will solve car accidents entirely.

What Do Driverless Cars Fail to Detect?

Autonomous cars might eventually detect hazards better than the human eye, but they will not be able to detect everything surrounding the vehicles. Driverless vehicles may misjudge other drivers’ speeds, failing to adjust when necessary. They will also likely not be able to detect road hazards, like potholes. Finally, they may fail to avoid a crash that happens quickly. These failures may lead to disastrous consequences, including a crash that leads to injuries or fatalities.

Another concern is how a driverless car would respond to abrupt hazards. Abrupt hazards may include a pedestrian dashing in front of the vehicle quickly or a motorist that slams on the brakes. A self-driving vehicle may fail to react quickly enough to avoid an accident. This could lead a driverless car to hurt more people instead of helping people.

Are There Any Benefits to Self-Driving Cars?

As technology advances, vehicle manufacturers are adding advanced features to help drivers park, reverse, and switch lanes easier. This may lead many to wonder whether self-driving vehicles have any benefits. Fortunately, there are some benefits to autonomous vehicles.

Many accidents are caused by driver negligence and distraction. Many drivers have admitted to committing distracted driving, falling asleep at the wheel, amongst many other negligent actions. Autonomous vehicles could help eliminate some of these human errors. In fact, a study from the IIHS found that driverless vehicles can prevent accidents caused by drunk driving, drugged driving, distracted driving, and even impaired visibility, ultimately saving thousands of lives.

Since driverless vehicles feature advanced technology, it allows a vehicle to monitor its surroundings effectively. Although it is not fool-proof, it can help prevent an accident. However, autonomous vehicles have a long way to go before being released to the public.

One reason is balancing safety and a consumer’s wishes. For instance, a consumer may grow tired of a driverless vehicle that drives slowly at all times. This may lead the consumer to push for a faster car, which could be a problem for safety.

Manufacturers also need to determine how they will set up a vehicle to handle minor crimes, like slightly speeding to follow the flow of traffic. Finally, there needs to be new legislature determining who is liable in an accident.

Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Help Victims Suffering from Car Accident Injuries

If you are suffering from injuries that were caused in a car accident, you need to contact one of our respected Monmouth County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC. Our lawyers know the importance of obtaining compensation. Contact us online or call us at 732-660-1200 for a free consultation. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Death Rates for Drivers Vary by Car Size

A blue and a white car involved in a car accident

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that 15 out of the 20 most dangerous models for drivers were small cars, particularly subcompacts or superminis. This is not a new revelation, but this information has been broken down to show why these small cars are dangerous, if there are exceptions, and what drivers can do to avoid major car accidents.

Drivers or passengers who have lost family members have a right to file a wrongful death suit after a fatal crash. These drivers, however, should be aware of the vehicles that are not safe or have been shown to be involved in a higher number of fatal accidents.

How Many People Are Killed in Car Accidents Every Year?

From 2015-2018, there were nearly 135,000 fatal automobile accidents. It may come as no surprise that drivers and passengers in small cars are much more likely to be killed in these crashes, but the IIHS reviewed the information further to determine how often small vehicles were involved in fatal accidents.

As the IIHS expanded its study, researchers checked car accident deaths per million registered vehicles. Even when the study considered every million registered vehicles, small cars were consistently at the bottom of every ranking system.

The study also looked at the number of deaths per 10 billion miles driven. Vehicles like the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, and Chevrolet Sonic were the worst performers when considering fatalities for every million registered vehicles. The Ford Fiesta alone shocked researchers with 141 driver deaths during the span of their study.

On the other side of the spectrum, very large SUVs have the lowest number of driver deaths; this is because these vehicles are very large compared to other vehicles on the road. Large vehicles averaged 15 deaths per million vehicles registered, while subcompacts and superminis averaged 82 deaths per million vehicles over the course of the study.

Why Are Small Cars More Dangerous for Drivers?

It is clear to see that larger vehicles have more crumple space and can absorb more impact. Smaller vehicles also tend to lack advanced safety systems, technical driver aides, and a body that can absorb the impact of a crash.

While drivers in small cars often cannot afford more expensive vehicles, they should be aware of the fact that their vehicles are more likely to suffer severe impact during a crash. With fewer driver aides and advanced technology, small car drivers should drive more carefully. Additionally, smaller vehicles are more likely to be crushed or crumpled in multi-vehicle accidents.

Small cars that seem affordable and reliable may fulfill two wishes for every car buyer. You need a car you can afford, and you need a car that will not break down. While the Ford Fiesta rated 74 out of 100, according to JD Power, for overall reliability, affordability, and amenities, it sits at the bottom of the driver safety study. Drivers must consider both ends of the spectrum before buying.

Are There Exceptions to the Rule?

There are two notable exceptions to the prevailing information shown in the IIHS study. The Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen Golf scored extremely well in the driver safety study even though they are small hatchbacks. On the other hand, sports cars and luxury cars that are typically driven fewer miles in a year had a very high crash and driver death rate.

While there is no way to know why these vehicles are the exceptions to the rule, drivers can infer a few things, such as sports cars and luxury cars with powerful engines are often driven faster and more aggressively because owners feel that their cars are meant for speeding. Additionally, the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen Golf are designed extremely well compared to other vehicles in their class.

Sports cars and luxury cars tend to be driven much less during the year, but they still performed poorly in the IIHS survey. This data suggests that sports car drivers and luxury drivers may not take road safety seriously. Some of these vehicles are lightweight and unable to absorb the impact of a crash, and others are designed with luxury and speed in mind instead of safety.

The Jeep Wrangler was also shown to perform poorly in rollover crash tests even though the vehicle is fairly large. It is best to research the car you want to buy before investing your money. The Volkswagen Golf is a fun car to drive, and the Nissan Leaf will help drivers save money on fuel, and they might pay a bit more for them because they have good safety scores.

How Can Drivers Avoid Accidents?

Drivers in small cars can avoid accidents using a few simple tips:

  • Adjust mirrors to ensure good visibility.
  • Do not weave in and out of traffic where larger vehicles cannot fully see oncoming cars.
  • Signal before changing lanes.
  • Avoid aggressive drivers.
  • Obey the speed limit.
  • Stay in the right lane to avoid high-speed traffic.
  • Wear seat belts at all times.

While small car drivers cannot make up for the small size of their vehicles and the intense impact of a car crash, basic safety tips may help these drivers avoid accidents that could cause serious injuries or death. Slowing down and staying out of the way can help any driver avoid potentially lethal situations on the road.

Drivers in more expensive cars should not assume that the driver aides and safety systems can save them. These vehicles are technologically advanced, but the IIHS study shows that these vehicles cannot completely stop accidents from happening.

Anyone who takes the steps listed above is more likely to remain safe on the road. At the same time, drivers must be aware of any issues their vehicles might have. This means a vehicle should be maintained properly, repaired when it does not function properly, and brought in for recall or warranty repairs when needed.

Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Assist Families Who Have Lost Loved Ones in Car Accidents

Consult with our Monmouth County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC when you need help with a car accident or wrongful death case. Call us today at 732-660-1200 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we happily serve clients throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

 

Be Safe During the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer”

Young teenager driving a red car

Summer months are the most dangerous for teen drivers. In fact, the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” for teen drivers due to the number of fatalities caused by drivers between 16 years old and 20 years old. During these weeks, fatal car accidents involving teen drivers increase by 15 percent on average, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

It is well known that one of the biggest public safety risk for teens is driving accidents. Teens are involved in more automobile accidents than any other age group. These crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.

During the summer, teenagers find themselves with more time on their hands while schools are closed for the season. The additional free time translates into more opportunities to be on the road. With that in mind, in time for the start of the summer driving season, automobile safety groups have made an effort to get the word out to teen drivers and their parents about the dangers teens encounter behind the wheel.

What Factors Cause Dangerous Driving for Teens?

Some common dangers that teenagers encounter include the following:

  • Inexperience: Simply by the nature of their age, teen drivers often have not had the driving practice required to make the most informed choices about driving safety. They also have less experience with split-second reactions to avoid collisions. The best way to prepare to be a safer driver is to apply good driving techniques. Many teens have not had enough experience behind the wheel to avoid costly miscalculations for speed, stopping, reacting, and driving defensively.  
  • Disregard for the rules: Sometimes, a teenager’s immaturity causes the teen to ignore driving protocols and safety rules. Teenagers are not the only age group that commits traffic violations, but as a group, they disproportionately defy speed limits and other driving laws.
  • Distracted driving: Teens are certainly not the only drivers who become distracted, but distracted driving is one of the leading causes of teen-related traffic accidents every year. The distractions often involve texting or making calls on a cellphone. Also, passengers in the car can cause the driver to lose focus.
  • Drinking and driving: Just like distracted driving, drunk driving is one of the most dangerous behaviors to engage in while driving. The decision to drive while intoxicated creates a dangerous situation for all drivers.

What Can Parents do to Prevent Teen Driving Accidents?

Be a good role model. While you drive with your teen, obey traffic laws, display patience with other drivers, wear your seat belt, and refrain from using your cellphone.

Do not condone underage drinking. Whether it is at your house or not, your teen should know that underage drinking can be dangerous, especially while driving.

Have a plan. Talk with your teen about the risks of driving. Make a pact that says you promise to pick them up, no questions asked, to save them from making bad decisions.

If an accident occurs due to the negligence of another driver, contact a lawyer right away. A lawyer will help you and your teen through the legal process.

Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Help All Car Accident Victims

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a teen driver or you are a teen driver that was in an accident, you may be able to collect damages. Our Monmouth County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC can help you obtain compensation for your accident. Contact us online or call us at 732-660-1200 for a free consultation. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

A Message to Our Customers About Coronavirus COVID-19:
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A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19:

At Falcon Law Firm, LLC, we view the safety and well-being of our clients, staff and business partners as our highest priority.

The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus is continually changing, and we are following all recommended guidelines to stay healthy.

Currently, our law firm is remaining open to serve your legal needs.

We are happy to arrange for phone or video consultations should you have any concerns about keeping your scheduled appointments with us. We are also able to exchange documents via secure drives or email.

Should you have any concerns regarding an upcoming meeting with us, please contact us online or call 732-876-9648.

Thank you and take care.