Five Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving

Five Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving

Five Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving

However, it has been around as long as we have had cars. While texting and driving is one of the biggest modern day distractions, the term “distracted driving” encompasses any and all activities that take your attention away from the road. Some believe that certain distractions are harmless because they only take a moment or are entertaining, but all of them, regardless of how brief or fun, can increase your risk of being in a traffic accident.

Prevent Distracted Driving with a Little Organization

Fortunately, distracted driving is largely preventable. All drivers, regardless of age, number of passengers, or type of vehicle, can take control of their driving experience. People drive while distracted because certain distractions add enjoyment to the drive or save precious time during their morning routine. But, by being organized, you will find driving less stressful, more relaxing, and safer for everyone. It is worth the effort to try new habits and find good ones that work for you and your family and friends.

1. Organize Your Vehicle

Before driving, make sure there is nothing floating around in the car, like children’s toys, papers, or food wrappers. These items can be distracting and possibly roll under the foot pedals, which could interfere with braking and acceleration.

If it is a new vehicle, familiarize yourself with the controls and adjust the mirrors and seat before you turn the ignition. Also, do not overload the car with people or belongings. All belongings should be secure and not blocking the rear window. All passengers must have seatbelts on and have a full seat to themselves.

2. Organize Your Phone

If you need to activate the GPS, do it before you start driving. Otherwise, check email and texts before you get in the car and then leave the phone in your coat pocket or purse. Some newer phones come with notification-blocking apps that prevent these distractions from popping up while driving. If you do not see the notifications out of the corner of your eye, you will be less tempted to pick up your phone while you are on the road. If you have an older model smartphone, there are apps available to download that will block notifications.

3. Organize Your Food and Drink

It’s best not to eat or drink in the car. If possible, arrange to eat before or after your trip. If you must bring food along, make sure drinks, especially hot ones, are in covered, leak-proof cups and that they rest in the cup holders, not on the seat beside you. Avoid bringing messy snacks that can spill or smear. At the end of your car trip, be sure to remove any and all food packaging so it does not clutter up your vehicle.

4. Organize Your Passengers

Make sure your passengers know what to expect. If you like to drive in silence, let them know in advance. If you need help with the GPS or looking for a street or house number, give passengers enough warning so they can effectively help you without making you flustered. If you are traveling with children, ensure they are set up with their toys and snacks prior to driving. To the best of your ability and theirs, make sure everything they need is within their reach. If they need something from you during the trip, pull over to help. Reaching back while driving could result in you losing control of the car.

5. Organize Your Grooming

Shaving or doing makeup while driving is one of the more established forms of distracted driving. People feel they can save time by doing two things at once when, in effect, you do neither task well. Not only are you risking a car accident, you are also risking cuts and eye injuries. Take care of these activities before you leave. Focusing fully on doing one important thing at a time will be less stressful for your mornings in the long run than trying to save time so you can hit snooze on your alarm more often.

Legal Advice

If you’ve been injured in a car crash as the result of distracted driving, or any other cause, you need effective and timely advice from a trusted attorney. The team at GreeningLaw P.C. is here to share its expertise and compassion. We understand that recovering from such injuries, especially if they involve a hospital stay, can be both stressful and expensive.

At GreeningLaw P.C., we believe that your needs come first, which is why we work on contingency. We do not get paid unless you are awarded compensation. Our fees are made clear up front, so there will be no surprises. If you have additional questions are reading our “Five Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving” contact us to book a free consultation. We can answer any additional questions you may have.

“We fight the legal battle, so you have time for healing and renewal.”

Who Is Responsible if You’re Involved in an Accident with a Ride Share Service?

Who Is Responsible if You’re Involved in an Accident with a Ride Share Service?

In an auto accident, liability may or may not necessarily need to be established depending on where the accident occurred. In no-fault states, auto insurance providers are required to pay the medical costs of the insured driver and passengers regardless of who was responsible for the accident. Coverage is not as extensive under no-fault laws, but the intent behind them was to alleviate the burden on the court system from litigation.

Texas is not a no-fault state. Texas has a tort law system under which one party is held responsible for compensating the other party for personal injury and property damage in an accident. Your compensation then is contingent on establishing which driver was at fault.

That means that if you’re involved in a car accident, you may use the courts to decide which party is responsible.

So if you’ve been involved in an accident, as a motorist, passenger or pedestrian, the person determined to be at fault for the accident is liable. Their insurance provider compensates the other party to the extent of the policy coverage limits. Simple, right? Not so much in the case of so-called Transportation Network Companies (TNC), otherwise known as rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft.

Ride Sharing and Blame Sharing

Ride sharing services, unlike traditional taxi or livery services, typically hire drivers as independent contractors. Since they are not technically employees of the company, the ride service may not be liable for their actions. Company policies regarding insurance coverage vary from one service to another. Uber, for example, indemnifies drivers under certain conditions but at other times leaves their personal insurance to fill the gaps, and those gaps can come into dispute.

Drivers working for Uber will either be covered by their own personal insurance, the company insurance or some combination of both depending on whether they are driving a passenger, going to pick up a passenger or available with no passenger. This is where the legal waters can get murky. When an accident occurs involving a TNC vehicle, and under what circumstances, can complicate matters considerably.

Let’s say you have an accident with a ride share vehicle whose driver is between calls. As far as that particular service is concerned, the driver is not on the clock unless he or she is either driving a passenger or going to pick one up, thereby creating a potential grey area as to whose responsibility it is to provide coverage.

The company might leave the driver, and the driver’s insurance provider holding the bag, leading to a dispute as to which insurer will ultimately compensate you. Add to that the prospect that the driver’s insurance may not provide coverage when the driver is working, and it’s easy to see how problems can arise when an accident does happen.

Make the Law Work for You

If you’ve been in an accident and there is some dispute about who is responsible, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. You’ve been through enough pain and distress, don’t let bureaucracy or claim denials cause you additional duress. At Greening Law, we fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal. Greening Law is a seasoned team who know how the laws work in Texas, and who can make them work for you. Call us in Dallas for a free consultation.

After a Car Accident, You’re Not in “Good Hands” With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company

After a Car Accident, You’re Not in “Good Hands” With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company

If singing a little “Like a good neighbor…” jingle was all it took to get an insurance company to magically appear with a check after one of its drivers hit and injured you, car accident attorneys wouldn’t have much to do.

But it takes a lot more than a jingle to get auto insurance companies to pay up.

After you’ve been in an accident with another vehicle, you will eventually be in contact with the other driver’s insurance company. But it won’t be “Flo” calling you with some helpful advice, and that won’t be a friendly gecko on the other end of the line trying to get you your compensation.

You’ll be speaking with an insurance company lawyer or claims adjuster who has only one goal: to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. Insurance companies aren’t good neighbors, and they aren’t on your side. They are businesses focused on making profits, and every dime they pay out in claims is a dollar out of their shareholders’ pockets.

The other driver’s insurance company may deny your claim altogether, blaming you for the accident and your injuries instead of their own insured. Even if they do offer you some money, rest assured it will be an amount significantly less than you are entitled to. The insurance company knows that when they are speaking to an injury victim who isn’t represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer, they are speaking with someone who may not know what their rights are, how strong their case is, or what the value of their claim is. Knowing that the injured party needs the money, they will try to convince the victim to take whatever they offer so they can get out on the cheap. When you have medical bills and are missing work, that money may be very tempting.

However, if the insurance company knows they have to deal with an experienced car accident lawyer who understands how they operate, they won’t get off so easily. A good personal injury lawyer will know the tactics they use to try to settle claims quickly, and know how to push back.

Once the insurer realizes that they can’t just give the money and run and understand that they are in for a lengthy and hard-fought battle against a lawyer who is prepared to take the case to trial, the cost and expense to them of such a process and the possibility that a jury may hit them hard may increase the likelihood that they will make a significantly higher settlement offer.

You’re entitled to compensation after you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence. But if you speak with the other driver’s insurer before you speak with a personal injury lawyer, there’s a good chance that you could be leaving a substantial amount of that compensation behind.

Attorney Robert Greening of Greening Law, P.C. in Dallas provides experienced and aggressive personal injury representation for those hurt in car accidents or by other acts of negligence. Please give us a call at (972) 934-8900 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free initial consultation.