Archive for Safety

Is your head restraint set up properly?

Is your head rest correct?

If you are like us, you have probably never given a second’s thought to the location or height of the head restraint in your car.  Jeremiah recently attended a seminar on the physics of a car crash and learned about the importance of the head restraint in a car crash.  It really changed our perception of this safety device that we previously mostly ignored.

The top of your head restraint should aligned with the top of your head.  If your head restraint is too low, it essentially acts like a fulcrum in certain types of car crashes.  A head restraint that is too plush or too soft is also not effective.  Most people, if they adjust their head restraints at all, do so for comfort.  Make sure yours is set up for maximum protection in a wreck.  You hope it will never happen to you, but if it does, you want to be prepared.

Dangers of driving during the winter and spring

Winter Driving in Alabama

Over 1.3 million car accidents (23%) in the United States occur due to weather-related incidents. As we finish the last bit of winter weather, here are some dangers to be aware of as you are driving.

Icy roads can be a dangerous factor when driving. The ground stays cold longer, so even if it’s not freezing outside, the ground could still be cold enough to form ice. Black ice is even more dangerous because it looks like a wet road, but it is actually quite slick and could cause problems for drivers. To avoid troubles with icy roads, make sure to drive slowly and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you do not rush.

Winter is also a time to be aware of your tire pressure. Atmospheric changes can cause the pressure in your tires to decrease, leading to accidents. Make sure you check your tires’ pressure before you head out.

Can you see when driving at night?

Most of the contributing factors in night-time crashes are directly or indirectly involved with vision. In fact, most states have visual acuity requirements in order for licensure. In the state of Alabama, the visual acuity requirement for licensure without restrictions other than corrective lenses is 20/40. The minimum visual acuity required for licensure, better eye or both eyes together, with or without added restrictions or conditions, is 20/60. If you are involved in an accident and require corrective lenses, you could be guilty of contributory negligence if you were not wearing your corrective lenses. For your safety and the safety of others, always remember to wear your corrective lenses if you require them. If you are not sure if you need corrective lenses, you should go have your eyes examined.

It’s finally football season again and that means it’s time to tailgate at home or on the road with your favorite football team.We wanted to give you a few safety tips to ensure your tailgating experience is a safe and enjoyable experience this fall.

 ·         Be careful with the grill – Grilling is an essential part of tailgating.  But it’s also one of the most dangerous hazards if not used correctly.  Wait until charcoal is cool to the touch before discarding them in bins designed for coals. On gas grills, check all hoses to make sure they did not get punctured or come loose while being transported.  Double check to make sure you turned off the propane tank before you leave your tailgate as well.

 ·        Bring a fire extinguisher and first aid kit – When cooking with fire, there is always the potential for a flare up that gets out of control. A small fire extinguisher ensures that small flare up doesn’t become a big fire. Also, a small first aid kit is always smart to have on hand whenever traveling and especially at a tailgate where people can get burned by grills or injured tossing around a football.

 ·        Watch out for the sun! – Early in the season many of those afternoon games still have high heat indexes.  Make sure the stay hydrated with plenty of water.  Also, don’t forget to bring the sunscreen to make sure you don’t get burned.

 ·        Designate a driver – Make sure someone in your group is good to drive and isn’t under the influence of alcohol. The worst way to end a tailgate is getting pulled over for a DUI when it can easily be avoided with some responsible planning.

Spring is finally here!

Motorcycle Accident lawyer

Spring is here which means people are back outside.  Here’s a few tips for staying safe this spring.

 Motorcycles are a fun, but risky, spring activity.  Motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a crash and 5 times more likely to be injured in a crash than a person in a passenger car.  Wearing a helmet reduces the likelihood of a crash fatality by 37%.  As we have seen in a number of motorcycle cases we have handled, many motorcycle wrecks are caused by nothing more than the other driver’s failure to see the motorcycle on the road.  So, it’s important for motorcyclists to wear appropriate safety gear and for drivers to be on the lookout for motorcycles.

 Spring also means the return of lawn mowing.  Make sure your lawn mower is in good working order before using it.  Be sure the motor is off before inspecting or repairing equipment. If debris gets stuck in the blade, use a stick or broom to remove it, not your hands. And make sure not to remove any safety devices or shields.

 Spring also means kids will be back outside.  Make sure to watch your speed in neighborhoods.  Children are often unpredictable and do not appreciate the dangers of cars.  If you are aware of children playing, you are better prepared to react to children darting in front of your car at the last moment.

 Hodges Trial Lawyers urges you to stay safe this spring and enjoy the warm temperatures!

Winter Driving Tips

* The thermometers have confirmed that we are deep into winter now.  The cold weather of winter brings its own set of perils that drivers may face on the roadways.  So here’s a few helpful tips to make sure you’re prepared for any situation that may come up during these cold months.

* Never warm up your car in an enclosed area – This can lead to a deadly, odorless build-up of carbon monoxide 

* Make sure your tires are properly inflated – Colder temperatures lead to gas shrinking, which means your tire pressure will naturally drop slightly, so make sure to check your tire pressure as the temps drop

* Don’t drive on empty – Keeping your gas tank at least half full will help prevent your gas line from freezing up

* Check your battery – Your car battery is just like any other battery in that it operates poorer in cold temperatures. So make sure it still has a good charge to ensure your car will start in these temps.  Most local auto shops such as Autozone or NAPA will check your battery charge for free.

* Keep a warm blanket and flashlight in your car – This is vital in the event that you get stranded.  You cannot rely solely on your car’s heater. Keep a warm blanket (and preferably a jacket) and a flashlight in your car in case your car breaks down and you are stranded for the night.  It’s also good practice to keep your cell phone with you in the car at all times during these months so you can call for safety.

* Get any maintenance work done – Your car has to work hard to operate in these cold temperatures, so you want it running in peak condition. If you have old brakes or need a new air filter, get it done now so your car can continue to run well in these tough conditions.

Here’s also some vital tips if you MUST drive in snow/icy conditions:

* Be careful for ice on overpasses and bridges – Areas where the road is  elevated are the first places that ice will form. So be extra careful for ice when driving on bridges and similarly elevated roadways.

* Accelerate/decelerate and turn slowly – Similarly to driving in the rain, your goal here is to keep traction with the roadway. You’re far more likely to slide if you try and make quick moves with your vehicle.

* Stay off cruise control – Cruise control is your worst enemy when driving in slick conditions. You need to be in control of your accelerating in these conditions to ensure that you keep traction with the roadway.  Additionally, cruise control can actually worsen your sliding once it begins  because it will continue to attempt to accelerate your car to the programmed speed even as your tires are spinning out of control.  Cruise control should only be used in ideal temperatures.

* Don’t stop going up a hill – There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road.  Get some momentum going on a flat roadway and attack the hill in one move.

* Don’t park on hills/Don’t rely on your emergency brake – Parking on hills is a terrible idea.  While the road may be fine when you first park your car, ice can form behind your tires and cause your car to slide down the hill when you’re not even there.  So avoid parking on hills whenever possible.

* Stay Home – Don’t make unnecessary trips. The easiest thing to do in icy and snowy conditions is stay home, get a nice warm cup of hot chocolate and get a good fire going in the fireplace.  Driving in ice and snow is very dangerous and should be avoided whenever possible.

Know your bike laws in Alabama!

Fall is a great time of year in Alabama to get out on your bike and enjoy the cooler weather.  Whether you’re the serious cyclist or the weekend warrior, it’s important that you know the Alabama laws that apply to bicycles.  So here are a few of the important laws to know when riding your bike during this fall season.

  • The Rules of the Road that apply to Motor Vehicles also apply to bicycles, including traffic signals, speed limits, etc.
  • If you’re under 16, you have to wear a helmet
  • If riding at night, you must have a white headlight and a red back light
  • You must stay on the right side of the roadway and use designated bike paths when provided on the road
  • You are not allowed to cling to vehicles
  • You cannot carry a package that would prevent you from having one hand on the handlebars

These are some of the important bike laws to know in Alabama.  Violating any of these laws can result in a costly ticket and may put you in harm’s way.  So follow these laws and enjoy your bike rides while you take in the beautiful outdoors that Alabama has to offer!