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Traffic Law

Distracted Driving – Don’t Underrate It!

Distracted driving has been found to be one of the major causes for road accidents in the US in recent times. Authorities have woken to this reality for quite some time now and are busy spreading awareness using every popular medium; however it is shocking that so many people continue to take distracted driving so casually. In its recently released distracted driving facts for 2009, the US Department of Transportation called it an “epidemic.”

Here are the numbers:
Distracted Driving1Distracted driving was the cause of 16% of all deadly US crashes and 20% of all traffic injury accidents last year, according to data from the General Estimates System (GES). In actual figures, this translates to almost 5,800 traffic deaths and 448,000 motor vehicle crash injuries .Cell phone usage was a contributing factor in 995 of the cases attributed to distracted driving related deaths and 24,000 of the accidents. The under-20 age group had the greatest proportion of distracted drivers, closely followed by the 20-29 age group. In the course of the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, it was found that the involvement of the driver in secondary tasks led to over 22 percent of all crashes during the period of study. Cell phones it seems are the single largest cause of distracted driving. Cell phone usage causes 600,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, and 3,000 deaths on an average each year according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Feel free to visit our website at common driving distractions and how to avoid them for more details.

Other common distractions include:
Distracted Driving2Eating or drinking while driving; often keeping the drink between your legs and spilling it on yourself causes you to jerk and focus away from the road abruptly.
Referring to a map or reading a book
Changing a CD
Surfing the Internet on the move
Looking over your shoulder to talk to your children
Working on your laptop or watching a movie on it
Using a PDA to play games
Minding your pet or playing with it
Here are some common driving safety measures that you can adopt to safeguard yourself:

Actively observe yourself driving. What else do you do while driving? Using your cell phone, eating and drinking, looking over your back are all major distractions. Distracted DrivingWork towards reducing these as you are not multi tasking using your hands alone, your mind is incapable of handling distractions. Try to understand your route well in advance so that you don’t have to refer to a map while driving. While travelling with small children, secure their seatbelts properly and stock things to keep them occupied like toys and books so that you can concentrate on the road. A little bit of time management will let you enjoy your drive instead of bogging you down with multi-tasking while driving. The more stressed you are behind the wheel, the more aggressive you get and more prone to risk. Be alert on the road to other drivers and road/weather conditions at all times. If you need to do something that takes your eyes away from the road, pull over to a side first. Be extra alert while changing lanes, taking a left at an intersection, during traffic jams and when pulling into or out of parking lots. A defensive driving class not only refreshes your driving skills but also increases your awareness of other drivers on the road while assessing your own driving behavior. An added incentive is that it gets you a discount on your car insurance. Make sure you attend one from time to time.

Exchange Information After The Accident

Finding-the-right-lawyer-for-a-car-accident-injuryIf you are physically able, you must provide your drivers license, vehicle registration, and insurance information to any other persons involved in the accident. Never leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information. You could be charged with hit and run which is a felony and a crime.

Do not drive down the street and then stop. We highly recommend that you leave your car where it is until the police arrive so that they can observe the position of the car or vehicle and do their report. Only if you have too, do we recommend moving your car out of traffic to the side of the road or medium of a freeway. Only move your car if you have too for safety reasons. In any case, never move your vehicle to a location where it can be construed by someone that you fled from the scene of an accident! We get more info on what to do following an auto accident in Huntsville.

Unfortunately many persons drive illegally without automobile or motor vehicle insurance. You may find out while exchanging information with the other motorist you had an accident with that they have some sort of excuse for not having a current proof of insurance card, or they may not even have a drivers license. If this is the case, it is more likely than not that the other driver does not have insurance or a drivers license. We do not recommend arguing with the other driver. Arguing can lead to physical violence. It’s bad enough that you just had an accident, the last thing you need is to go to jail for fighting with the other driver, or being physically assaulted. Use your brain! Get whatever information you can from the person even if they provide proper documentation.

When provided with the things mentioned above, write everything down in detail, i.e., Full Name, Address, Drivers License Number, Date of Expiration, Date of Birth, Hair Color, Height, Weight, Restrictions, Insurance Company name, address, and telephone number, Insurance policy number, date of expiration of insurance, Year, Make, Model, License Plate, Vehicle Identification Number, and Color of all vehicles involved in the accident, Registered owner of vehicle, address, etc.

In other words, write down every piece of information from each of the items given to you by the other driver. It will only help us to prosecute your case. Here are some things that you might try to write down aside from the required information mentioned above:

Car crash accident on street with damaged automobiles after collision
Car crash accident on street with damaged automobiles after collision

– Were any of the parties involved in the accident driving a commercial vehicle, truck, van, and/or working at the time of the accident?

– Any statements made by any of the persons involved in the accident.

– A full description (race, height, age, weight, hair color and style, clothes, etc.) of each driver involved in the accident.

– Whether any persons in the accident were wearing eye glasses or sun glasses.

– Whether any persons involved in the accident appeared to be intoxicated.

– Passenger information for all vehicles.

– Whether the windows of any of the vehicles tinted.

– Whether any persons involved in the accident talking on the cell phone at the time of the accident. (their cell phone records can be obtained by us through subpoena if we are forced to litigate)

– The facts of the accident as you understand them.

– All witness names, addresses, telephone numbers, vehicle types, license plate numbers, etc. (sometimes witnesses will offer to help at the scene of the accident, but then become unavailable or refuse to return phone calls or mailings after the fact. Getting detailed information from them including their vehicle information may help us to locate them if necessary or they become non-cooperative.)

Avoiding Traffic Tickets – Tips

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Most people think that the most expensive part of a traffic ticket or moving vehicle violation is the fine itself, and while this can be painfully expensive in some legal jurisdictions, it is nevertheless not the most expensive part. The most expensive part hits you months after the ticket, and sticks around for 3 to 5 (to even 10) years: the hike on your insurance premiums!

Insurance is “risk management;” it manages your risk of catastrophic damage to your vehicle, your person, or other persons or vehicles involved in any kind of accident. Insurance companies are in the “risk management” business: for a certain fee, they’ll cover you in the event you damage something or someone. But how likely you are to cost them money determines how much they charge you. And to determine how much to charge you, they look primarily at your driving record. So it is in your financial interests to keep your driving record as clear as possible. But most of us get pulled over at some point, and we’re faced with getting a ticket and seeing points added to our license which will inflate our premiums. So what can you do to minimize this harm?  Read more about Avoiding a traffic ticket in Florida.

Be Hopeful. While there will always be exceptions to the rule, most officers don’t have to give you a ticket when they pull you over. Part of what determines whether you take a warning or a ticket is your demeanor when pulled over, and being hopeful is a great first step to being polite.

Be Polite. We forget to think about this, but the boys [and girls] in blue put their lives on the line every time they stop someone. They don’t know if the next call they stop will have an irate man with a pistol in the glove-box, but they are there to enforce the laws and keep the general populace — including you — safe. So show them some respect.

19401_94cbb06b17d84155a710d29a27d8d396_1510272542Be Honest. I got out of a ticket the other day (going 46 in at 30 at 10pm) because when I was stopped, I told the cop that I didn’t realize I was speeding, but I wasn’t thinking about it either, since we had just moved back to town and I was just cruising around on my way to the store enjoying being back in town.

Be Cooperative. If, after being hopeful, polite, and honest, you still get a ticket — what then? Be cooperative. Being non-cooperative does not help you, and could lead to further fines. When presented with the ticket, sign it! Signing a traffic ticket is not an admission of guilt, and the ticket could still be fought.

Get Representation. Although seemingly expensive, hiring an attorney at $400/hour to fight your ticket could still save you over $1,000: one ticket can raise your premiums $50 to $150/year, and that inflated premium can stay on your records for years! The advice of a competent lawyer can effectively remove the points from the charge (and sometimes get the charge dismissed completely!) Of course, if you can’t afford that, there are other legal options.