Dangers Of Distracted Driving

Using of Mobile Phone While DrivingWhen you’re driving, you should always have your full attention on the road.

Car accidents are far too common and can cause property damage, bodily injuries, and death.

In our fast-paced world, we are always trying to multitask and get as much done in the shortest amount of time, but driving is one of the only tasks that always requires your exclusive attention. 

Phones 

Practically everyone owns a cell phone these days, but when you’re driving, you should always put it away. The problem of texting and driving has caused thousands of deaths. States have now passed laws banning the use of phones altogether while driving in efforts to stop this. With new cars having Bluetooth capabilities that allow hands-free talking when you really need to speak to someone, there is no reason to use your phone while driving. 

Phones can also be distracting with their multiple applications allowing people to listen to music and use maps. However, only a few seconds of looking away from the road invites the chance of an accident. Likewise, checking your email or social media is as dangerous. While you’re driving, anything can wait for you to pull over and park or reach your destination before endangering your life among other drivers on the road.  

Eating 

Surprisingly, people eating while driving has caused multiple accidents. First of all, if you decide to eat while driving, you’ll have to hold the steering wheel with one hand and partially focus on your food which limits your driving capabilities and focus. Then, if you spill, your mind will immediately focus on that. People have tried cleaning up a spill in mid-drive. Even if you wait until you are at a red light to clean up a spill, if you accidentally lift your foot off the brake pedal causing your car to go forward. 

Eating while driving has become so dangerous throughout the years that there are lists that include the most dangerous food items to eat while driving. This list includes burgers, tacos, donuts, and beverages. In fact, coffee has been listed as the number one dangerous food item inside a car. Although eating behind the wheel seems innocent enough, that is far from the truth. 

Mental State 

Your mental state can also impair and distract you from driving. Clearly, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can alter your mental state while driving. Furthermore, if you are too tired, you could start dozing off. Only a few seconds of shutting your eyes could lead to a crash.  Even driving while you’re dealing with heavy emotions such as anger or sadness can cause you to be preoccupied with your feelings instead of driving. Whenever you feel as though your emotions are too strong, it is best to pull over. You always have other options such as taxis and the increasingly popular Uber and Lyft services. There is no excuse. 

Contact Us 

If you are injured in a car accident, you need a personal injury attorney, so you can receive compensation. Our attorneys have years of experience specialized in all types of vehicle accidents. Call us today: (716) 907-7777. 

Dealing With Rental Car Accidents

rented car crashed to a tree

 

Many people go on vacation and believe it’s better to rent a car rather than driving to their destination. That’s very understandable and in many cases, much more convenient.

If you decide to rent a car, what if you get into a car accident? Who has to pay the costs? What are the repercussions? Most people don’t take these questions into consideration until they’re forced to. 

 

First Steps 

First and foremost, you need to make sure that everyone involved in the accident is alright. Health and safety should always come first. Secondly, you’re going to need to exchange each parties’ contact information. If you can, take photos to document what happened so you have proof of what happened. You will then need to contact your insurance company and the rental car company. One of the most important steps, however, is to contact your attorney. 

Depending on the rental company, you’ll be able to review their rules and procedures for dealing with accidents. While it is an inconvenience for you, keep in mind that these companies have dealt with car accidents for quite some time. They can figure out what to do, but remember that their main interests involve saving as much money as possible for the companies they work for. On the other hand, an attorney that works for you will have your best interests in mind. They know how to speak to other companies for you so that you don’t have to. 

The most important precaution is to make sure that you do not publicly post anything that can be used against you. Anything you say can be misconstrued or taken the wrong way. Even a simple Facebook post about your accident could harm your case. An attorney will be well-equipped to provide you with the aid and guidance you need when you have any questions. 

Liability 

Depending on which options you chose, you may have gotten additional insurance through the rental company. This additional coverage could be a beneficial investment for you and your family. All of this depends on the cost, accident, and injuries. Each accident is different. An attorney will be able to look over your insurance and rental car policy to explain exactly what the legalese means because you may be entitled to additional compensation. Deciphering this alone could lead to long hours of confusion and a headache to top it off. 

Moving Forward 

If you are injured in a rental car accident, you still have options. Whether it was the rental car company that failed to service the car they rented to you or someone else was at fault in an unpredictable accident, an attorney can determine your best options moving forward. A car accident is never a welcomed occurrence, especially not on vacation. Attorneys understand this and can help have you move past it while receiving compensation for injuries that you have suffered. 

Contact Us 

If you are involved in a rental car accident, O’Brien can help you. We can advise you on who is at fault and how to receive deserved compensation. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 so that we can figure out what we can do for you. 

Buckle Up!  What Everyone Should Know About Seatbelts

Road safety concept young woman fastening her seat belt Seatbelts are the most important car safety device protecting passengers today.

The consequences of not wearing a seatbelt can range from a simple fine to injury or death. 

New York’s Occupant Restraint Laws 

In the state of New York, the driver and all front seat passengers must wear their own seat belt.  Both drives and passengers in the front seat can be fined $50.00 for not wearing a seatbelt. 

When a driver has only a Class – DJ Learner Permit, a Limited Class – DJ, or Class – DJ Driver License, all occupants in the car must wear a seatbelt.   

All passengers under the age of 16 must wear a seatbelt or use a child safety restraint system.   

Drivers are also responsible for making certain passengers under the age of 16 obey the law and buckle up.  Drivers can be fined between $25.00 and $100.00 for failure to do so.  Additionally, a driver receives three driver license penalty points each time they are found in violation of the law.   

While seatbelt use is not required for back seat passengers under the law, seatbelt use is still a good idea.   

Wear Your Seatbelt Every Time 

Many people buckle up only on long trips.  However, seatbelts are as important on short trips as long ones.  You can never tell when you will be in an accident – or how serious an accident may be.  Seatbelts keep people secure in their seats.  This saves lives two ways.

First, it keeps each individual passenger from being knocked around the car, and possibly being ejected, causing death.  Second, an unbuckled person can become an unguided missile, causing injuries to others in the car as they are tossed about the cab of the vehicle.   

Ejection Isn’t Safer 

The idea that ejection is safer that remaining in the car is a myth.  In fact, occupants are four times more likely to be killed if they are thrown from the vehicle.  A seatbelt reduces the likelihood someone will be thrown from the vehicle.   

Good Driving Doesn’t Always Protect Good Drivers 

Many people believe they don’t need seatbelts because they are good drivers.  Unfortunately, this provides a false sense of security.  Bad drivers cause accidents – sometimes multiple car accidents which cannot be avoided.  Other circumstances beyond the control of any driver can also contribute to accidents, such as: 

  • Bad weather 
  • Mechanical failure or 
  • A tire blowout. 

These unpredictable and often unavoidable situations can happen at any time, regardless of how close to home you are.   

O’Brien & Ford: Top Rated Injury Attorneys 

At O’Brien & Ford, we care about your safety.  All too often, we see clients who are suffering due to an unanticipated car accident.  We work hard to get our clients the money they need to heal after an accident, as well as the money they are entitled to as compensation for lost wages and medical bills.  Contact O’Brien & Ford today if you have been injured in a car accident.  We look forward to discussing your case and learning more about your injuries.  We can help.  Call today at (716) 907-7777