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Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Drivers

Thanksgiving celebrations may be different for families this year, but many still plan to travel. With so much uncertainty these days, understanding the dangers of driving during the holiday week is more important than ever.

Although the American Automobile Association (AAA) provides travel forecasts for all the holidays, it is difficult to estimate how many people will be on the roads this year due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is possible that more people will be driving instead of flying, but it also depends on what parts of the country the travelers reside in.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 432 traffic fatalities during Thanksgiving weekend in 2018. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that there could be more than 50,300 non-fatal car accidents. Besides having more drivers on the roads, other reasons for the upsurge in accidents and fatalities include drunk driving, drowsy driving, and poor weather conditions. These sobering facts are a good reason to think about ways to drive more safely during Thanksgiving week.

How can I Prepare for a Long Drive?

There are many steps that a traveler can take before a long drive to help avoid an accident:

  • Maintain Vehicle: Getting the vehicle ready in advance is a good start. Checking tire pressure and filling up the tank is recommended.
  • Share Travel Plans: Sharing the travel plans with family or friends is important in case there is an emergency.
  • Have an Emergency Kit: Putting an emergency kit in the trunk is also wise, especially for a long trip.
  • Plan Route: A driver should map out their route to see if there any delays or hazardous conditions.
  • Check Weather: Before driving, check the weather report and plan accordingly.
  • Rest: Get a sufficient amount of sleep the night before to prevent drowsy driving.
  • Avoid Rushing: Allowing extra time for driving is beneficial. Heavy traffic is a distinct possibility.

How to Drive Safe During Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week is associated with overeating and overdrinking, and the NSC urgers drivers to not drink and drive. They also pointed out the hazards of driving under the influence of drugs, especially since cannabis has been decriminalized in some states. Appointing a designated driver or contacting a rideshare service are easy ways to avoid drunk driving.

Staying focused on the road at all times is also important, so a cellphone should be put on Do Not Disturb mode. Eating, drinking, playing with a pet in the car, and arguing with passengers are forms of distracted driving. Always keep one’s attention on the road.

It is also important to drive defensively. If another driver is tailgating, speeding, changing lanes abruptly, or exhibiting other unsafe behaviors, it is best to stay as far away as possible. When it is safe to do so, a passenger can contact law enforcement to report the unsafe driver. Staying calm is the safer move. If a car accident does occur, a victim should seek advice from a lawyer as soon as possible.

Oakhurst Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Advocate for Safe Driving During Thanksgiving Week

During the holiday week, drivers should be extra cautious. If a car accident does happen, we can help. Our Oakhurst car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC protect car accident victims against negligent drivers. 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.

What Should I Do if My Child Was in a Car Accident?

When a child is involved in a car accident, the parents will be worried about their child’s health and well-being. Many accidents only result in property damage, but in other cases, car crashes cause serious injuries. It can be difficult to focus and make important decisions during this sensitive time. 

Whether or not a parent can sue on behalf of their child will depend on a number of factors. If the child was struck by a vehicle, then it is possible for a parent to make a claim on the child’s behalf. In general, children under the age of 18 years old are unable to bring their own claim against a third party. In this case, a parent can step in to file a lawsuit on their child’s behalf as a litigation guardian.

If the parent was driving when the child was injured, then serving in the capacity of a litigation guardian may not be possible. There are some exceptions to this restriction. It is best to consult with a lawyer to get legal advice on whether it is possible to file a claim as a litigation guardian.

Can a Minor File a Personal Injury Claim?

In some instances, it is possible to wait until the child reaches the age of majority so that they can file a claim on their own behalf. However, waiting until the age of majority is not always possible because there is a time limit for filing claims. A claim filed after the statute of limitations has passed will be denied by a court. In many instances, the statute of limitation is two years after the accident. It is best to check with a qualified lawyer as state laws can vary.

Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?

An insurance company may seek to settle a claim out of court. Insurance limits vary by state and can impact the maximum amount that can be recovered in an insurance settlement. Most states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have some version of no-fault insurance. Less expensive plans may limit recovery to economic damages, such as repair to the vehicle, lost wages, and medical bills. Some higher cost plans expand coverage to non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. Before accepting a settlement, it is best to consult with a lawyer who can review the case.

Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Represent Children Injured in Car Accidents

If your child has injuries because of a car accident, it is advantageous to speak with a lawyer. Our Monmouth County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC assist accident victims with compensation. 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.

Accident Prevention Technologies are Reducing Car Accidents

Safety advocates, car manufacturers, and enterprising entrepreneurs continue to invent products aimed at reducing the severity and frequency of car accidents. Newer inventions have saved numerous lives. In addition to better seat belts and airbags, the following technologies have reduced the number of car accidents:

Rear-Facing Cameras

Backing out of a parking space or driveway can lead to an unexpected collision with a vehicle, cyclist, or pedestrian. When used in conjunction with the rearview mirror and side mirrors, rear cameras make reversing easier for drivers. Many cars are being built with rear-facing cameras. A car owner without a rear-facing camera can purchase a wireless model to install at home.

Lane Departure Warning Systems

Veering outside of a lane is a common phenomenon that can end in a sideswipe car accident. Special sensors attached to some cars can alert motorists when they are getting too close to center or side lanes. The alerts are especially appealing to people driving uninterrupted for long periods of time.

Blind Spot Warning Systems

Every vehicle has specific blind spots. These are zones where drivers cannot adequately see anything present. In cars, blind spots are along the right and left rear sides. A warning system that indicates a vehicle or object in the blind spot can prevent a crash by serving as an extra pair of eyes for the individual behind the wheel.

Braking Systems

Anti-lock brakes are standard on some car models. An autonomous braking system does not require any human intervention to respond to an impending collision. Instead, the vehicle senses that a crash may occur and stops accordingly. These newer types of braking systems have become increasingly appealing among car buyers.

Forward Collision Warning Systems

A forward collision warning system alerts a driver when they get too close to the vehicle in front of them. Unlike an autonomous braking system, a forward collision warning system does not take over control of the car. It merely serves as an audible signal for the motorist to slow down.

Hands-Free Devices

In New Jersey, a driver is not allowed to talk on their cellphone unless the device is in hand-free mode. In Pennsylvania, a proposed law would echo this New Jersey regulation. All motorists should avail themselves of hands-free options whenever it is possible. These technologies help drivers keep their eyes on the roads. Being distracted for just a few seconds can lead to an accident.

Adaptive Lights

Some vehicles are equipped with adaptive lights. These lights sense the correct amount of brightness needed for safe travel. They also turn off and on without driver intervention. Not only is this convenient, but it can save batteries from being drained due to turned-on lights.

Applications

Many researchers are exploring the use of applications to help promote safe driving. A handful of insurance companies are even experimenting with application use to determine how safely a driver operates.

What Should I Do After a Collision?

New technologies are decreasing fatal accidents; however, collisions still happen. If a driver does get into a car accident, they should receive adequate compensation to cover personal injury treatment costs. A knowledgeable lawyer can help with a claim after an accident.

Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Support Injured Car Accident Victims

If you have serious injuries because of a car accident, you deserve to know your rights. Our Monmouth County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC help victims with their claims. We can help you get compensation. Call us at 732-660-1200 or contact us online 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.

CDC Releases Information About Distracted Driving and Fatal Accidents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released fact sheets about distracted driving and the costs of fatal car accidents in all 50 states. Motorists in New Jersey and Pennsylvania should pay special attention to these sheets as they provide accident prevention measures, explain the costs of fatal accidents, and outline issues that parents and young drivers should be aware of.

How Deadly is Distracted Driving?

In 2018, 2,841 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in the United States. In order to prevent distracted driving, states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have banned texting and driving.

Pennsylvania allows drivers to hold a cellphone to complete a phone call, but for no other purpose, such as texting. New Jersey requires drivers to keep their phones in hands-free mode for phone calls, navigation, or speech-to-text replies for text messages and emails.

How Should New Drivers be Trained, Licensed, and Monitored?

The CDC has noted steps to reduce distracted driving accidents and fatal crashes, especially among new drivers. A recommended program for new drivers includes:

  • It is required that a new driver holds their learner’s permits for at least one year before obtaining a full driver’s license.
  • Keeping nighttime driving restrictions in place until drivers reach at least 18 years old.
  • Restricting young passengers who can be in the car with new drivers.

How Costly are Fatal Accidents in New Jersey?

Fatal accidents in New Jersey caused nine million in medical costs and $789 million in lost productivity in 2018. In just one year, 580 people were killed in fatal car crashes. Some important facts include:

  • Vehicle occupants represent 59 percent of fatalities.
  • Bicyclists make up three percent of all fatalities.
  • Motorcyclists represent 12 percent of accident deaths.
  • Pedestrians account for 26 percent of accident deaths.

Since vehicle occupants were the most affected by fatal crashes, it is no surprise that young adults and teenagers accounted for a total of $380 million in losses. Young adults are often inexperienced and rush to get to their destinations. Teenagers are new drivers who simply do not have adequate experience.

Are Fatal Accidents in Pennsylvania More Costly Than Collisions in New Jersey?

In 2018, fatal car accidents caused $17 million in medical costs and $1.78 billion in lost productivity in Pennsylvania. While Pennsylvania is much larger and more populous than New Jersey, this statistic points to an alarming loss of life and work in the state. Pennsylvania lost more than 1,200 people in just one year.

Similar to New Jersey, young adults and teenagers accounted for more than 50 percent of all losses in fatal accidents. Young adults may be more prepared for driving in the future as new permit and license rules become more stringent.

If one is injured in a distracted driving accident, a lawyer can help them with a personal injury claim.

Oakhurst Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Assist Distracted Driving Accident Victims

If you have injuries from a distracted driving accident, contact one of our Oakhurst car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC today. We will fight for your rights and help you recover compensation where applicable. Call us at 732-660-1200 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we assist 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.

How Do I Handle a Car Accident Caused by a Distracted Driver?

Car accidents can be caused by many different factors, including distracted driving. Though it is sometimes impossible for victims to avoid getting into distracted driving collisions, victims can take specific steps to improve their chances of recovering damages.

Before getting into the basics of how to handle a car accident scene due to a distracted driver, it is critical for all motorists to understand the basics of distracted driving. For instance, many people naturally assume that a distracted driver was probably texting or checking emails, and this may be the case. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year, 3,000 distracted driving fatalities can be linked to improper cell phone use. However, texting is not the only form of distracted driving. Distracted driving comes in a variety of forms because anything that takes a driver’s focus off the road can be a distraction. Eating and drinking while driving, conversing with passengers, and adjusting navigational devices are all distractions.

Should I Always Seek Medical Care?

Immediately after an accident, a victim should contact emergency services. Calling police and other first responders helps solidify when and where the wreck took place. It will also initiate the creation of a police report, which will be useful later if a victim wishes to pursue a personal injury suit.

Regardless of whether or not a victim feels physically okay after a car accident, the victim should seek medical attention. Often, ambulances will arrive to administer medical attention to injured drivers and passengers on the spot. If a victim refuses to be evaluated and later learns they are injured, the distracted driver’s insurance could try to discredit the victim. Therefore, a victim should at least schedule an appointment with a physician within a day or so after a crash. If the victim is seriously injured, they should keep track of any medical bills, diagnostic information, and related documentation. These items will be helpful for connecting the crash and the injuries.

Though an accident scene can be very confusing, victims who can take pictures and videos should make it a priority to construct a visual record of what happened.

When Should a Victim Call a Lawyer?

Even accidents that seem minor can become tough to settle with insurance providers. Insurance companies want to keep as much money in-house as possible. Adjusters recognize that victims are often distracted and flummoxed by the experience of trying to recover damages. This is why some insurance providers either deny claims or offer settlements worth far less than the victim has to pay to fully recover.

In general, any seriously or significantly injured victim of a distracted driver car accident should seek out advice from a legal professional before submitting a claim. Taking this pragmatic approach improves the likelihood of receiving a fair settlement offer.

Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Help Distracted Driving Crash Victims Recover Fair Settlements

Did you get into a serious crash with a distracted driver? Before submitting an insurance claim, call one of our Monmouth County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC. Call us at 732-660-1200 or contact us online 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.