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.”

7 Tips for Preventing Car Accidents

7 Tips for Preventing Car Accidents During the Holidays

The holiday season is one of the more dangerous times to commute on the roads. From poor weather conditions to an abundance of vehicles on the road, taking extra precautions during the holiday season is always a good idea. As gasoline prices continue to be more affordable, many people are choosing to drive rather than spending the extra money on airfare. Skipping the airport all together becomes more appealing when flight delays are a common occurrence.  Whether you are driving long distances or just a short trek to grandma’s house, staying safe on the road this holiday season is important. As you finalize your travel plans for the holiday season, read our tips on preventing car accidents during the holidays.

  1. Keep an Eye on the Weather

Weather conditions can quickly take a turn for the worse making your holiday travel plans stressful and hectic. If you are traveling out of state where winter weather hinders driving conditions, make certain to keep an eye on the weather. Getting caught in a snow storm is never a fun way to spend the holidays. Make sure to give yourself enough time to get to your location. Rushing can lead to accidents. Other ways to help ensure you’re ready for a long holiday drive is to make sure your vehicle is also ready. Replace wiper blades, change the oil, checking the tires, and other routine maintenance can go a long way for your safety. Storing an emergency car kit is another way to help keep you and your family safe while traveling this holiday season.

  1. Forgo Speeding

Travelers hear this on a non-stop basis. From the radio ads to television, speeding is not only against the law it is extremely unsafe. Speeding is one of the main causes of car accidents. There is nothing more precious in life than your family. Speeding can increase your chances of getting into an accident and it is just plain risky. Don’t risk the life of your family or anyone else on the road. Always obey the speed limits.

  1. Never Drink and Drive

The holidays are often full of great friends, family, food and beverages. If you choose to consume alcohol and you need to travel, make sure to designate a sober driver. Drinking and driving is never a good idea. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2014 alone, there were 9,967 fatalities with motor vehicle collisions involving a driver with a BAC (blood alcohol count) of .08 or higher. This number continues to rise each year. The study also shows that an average of 1 alcohol impaired driving fatality occurs every 53 minutes. Drinking and driving is risky, unsafe, and worse: deadly. Never drink and drive.

  1. Keep an Eye out for Drunk Drivers

Traveling during the holidays is hectic. With an abundance of drivers on the road the number of car accidents increase significantly, most notably during the holiday season. To stay safe and avoid car accidents this season keep an eye out for drunk drivers. Typical behavior of a drunk driver is swerving, crossing the center lines, speeding up and slowing down, and other irresponsible driving behavior. If you have a passenger, contacting law enforcement if you think someone may be drinking and driving can help save lives.

  1. Stay off your Mobile Devices

Technology continues to provide everyone with the latest access to social media, navigation and more. However, checking your email or texting while driving is very unsafe. If you use navigation while driving, ask a passenger to help navigate. Enter driving locations beforehand to alleviate the need to look up directions while driving. Distracted driving continues to be one of the more common causes of automobile accidents. In some states, it is even illegal to use a cell phone while driving. It may be tempting to take or make phone calls while driving long distances, however it could be the difference between life and death. To hinder the temptation, consider putting your phone or tablets inside the glove box or in a suitcase until you reach your destination.

  1. Stay Alert Stay Awake

If you are planning a long-distance drive for the holiday season, make sure to allow yourself enough time to get there safely. Don’t overextend yourself by driving straight through the night and day. Driving drowsy can hinder your safety and the safety of others on the road. Studies continue to show that driving while sleep deprived is nearly identical as driving under the influence of alcohol. Leave yourself enough time to get to your destination and take breaks for long trips.

  1. Relax and Stay Safe

The holiday season brings out the best and worst in drivers. For some drivers, it means staying sane while driving is a hefty task. However, keeping your stress level in check is vital to your safety and those of your passengers. If you let stress control how you navigate through traffic or on icy roads, it could have dire consequences. Aggressive driving such as tailgating and road-rage can have severe outcomes.

As you finalize your holiday travel plans, remember to stay safe and stay alert while driving. You can never be too safe on the road. If you are involved in a car accident caused by the careless driving of another motorist, protect your rights by calling the team at Greening Law P.C. at 972-934-8900.

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


What Are the Risks of Not Reporting an Accident to Your Insurance Company?

What Are the Risks of Not Reporting an Accident to Your Insurance Company?

You’ve been in a car wreck involving another vehicle. The damages don’t look that extensive, no one’s been hurt and you both think this is too minor a deal to bother reporting to your respective insurance companies. So is it in your best interests to keep this accident just between you two, and not report it? Like many motorists, you may be worried about what will happen to your insurance rates if you report an accident. There goes your perfect driving record, and up go your premiums, you’re probably thinking. Wouldn’t it be better to just handle the repairs myself or make a deal with the other driver involved, rather than contact my insurance company?

The truth is there are several very good reasons why that’s not such a good idea. You may assume some considerable risks when you opt not to report an accident to your insurance provider. If you have not exchanged personal information, you may not have a path of legal recourse if you decide to file a claim after the fact.

Injury Claims

When parties choose not to report an accident, both risk the unknown factors not immediately apparent at the time of the accident. Delayed onset of a physical injury is not uncommon in car crashes or other traumatic accidents. Soft tissue injuries can take several days before their symptoms begin to appear. At the scene of an accident, adrenaline may mask the effects of an injury, making it seem less serious than it really is. Someone who feels OK at the time may discover that they’ve got injuries they need to report. Either you or the other party may have sustained an injury that wasn’t obvious at the time you both agreed not report the accident.

Denial of Coverage

Drivers who are involved in auto accidents sometimes try to work out the damages between themselves to avoid getting their insurance companies involved. The logic is that it will save them money on increased premiums if they were to report the accident. But what if the other driver decides to file a claim anyway? Maybe the damage to their vehicle is more extensive on further inspection, and they realize the cost would be too much to cover themselves. When their claim is filed, your insurance company may deny coverage because you haven’t reported the accident with them.

Cost of Repairs

Insurance agents will in many cases have a preferred body repair center where the work is guaranteed, and the insurance company stands behind the work. Failing to report the accident leaves you having to negotiate repairs on your own, without benefit of the guarantee. It could cost you more in higher repair costs than you thought you’d save on a premium hike, which is really not the case anyway if you weren’t at fault in the first place.

Documenting the Accident

In any accident involving another party, you should always report it to your insurance company, irrespective of the extent of damages or whether any injuries were involved. The risks of going it alone or depending on an agreement with unknown parties to work it out between yourselves just aren’t worth any potential savings you may or may not achieve.

Always collect their personal information – name, address, phone number and insurance carrier. If the accident is an auto accident, you should also request to see their driver’s license to verify the information they are giving you and to record their driver’s license number. Also take note of the model and make of the vehicle and its license plate number. This is the perfect time to put your cell phone camera to use, if you have one. It is quick and easy to gather all the info you need with a couple of clicks of the camera.

If you decide to contact a personal injury attorney following any type of accident – auto accident, slip and fall or a dog bite, the attorney can contact the insurance company for you. Insurance is there to protect those who are injured and cover their expenses. Don’t trust the other person to look out for your interests.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, or have any questions about what to do if you are involved in one, consult an experienced personal injury attorney in the state of Texas before taking any action on your own. Contact Greening Law, P.C. in Dallas for a free consultation. We are here to help you get proper compensation for your injuries and protect your rights.