North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog

Articles Posted in Night-Time Driving

Going trick-or-treating on Halloween can be a lot of fun for families with young children. However, any activity that involves being out on dark streets with children when cars are sharing those streets can turn dangerous very quickly. According to a recent news article from AOL News, three people were killed and four others were injured when a driver allegedly crashed into a group of trick-or-treaters in New York City this Halloween.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for car-crash-m.jpgAuthorities said a car ran onto a curb and crashed into a group of people, resulting in a horrific scene, as described by witnesses. One witness described a car plowing through a group of people, including a 10-year-old girl, leaving “mangled” bodies and bloody costumes in its wake. Among the victims was a 65-year-old grandfather who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and died on scene. First responders were called to the scene and attempted to provide immediate medical attention to those who were injured. One victim was the 10-year-old granddaughter of the man who died at the scene. She was rushed to a local level-one trauma center, but, unfortunately, doctors were unable to save her, and she was soon pronounced dead.
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Accidents involving pedestrian victims can be deadly, especially when a vehicle is traveling at high speeds. In a tragic case, a 17-year-old girl was killed on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh when she attempted to cross the street. According to reports, the teen was struck when she crossed Capital Boulevard around 7 p.m. She crossed the road while oncoming traffic had a green signal, according to police reports. A 49-year-old driver was headed north when she struck the victim. She pulled over and tried to help while waiting for the authorities to arrive on the scene.


As with any accident case involving a fatality, this case is still under investigation. Authorities have not charged the driver, but do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a cause of the accident. The victim was in critical condition when she was taken to the hospital, but later died of her injuries. According to reports, this was the second accident in the past two months involving a pedestrian crossing at the same intersection. Another victim was struck on September 3rd in a hit and run, but the driver has not yet been located. The first victim suffered serious injuries, which were not life threatening.
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Our Winston-Salem car accident attorneys often hear from potential clients who were injured in a car accident while on the job. It is not always clear whether a plaintiff can recover in a negligence action if they are also eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The North Carolina Industrial Commission provides some guidance on this issue.

van.jpgIn Dana D. Colvin and Shaw Colvin v. Joseph Giguere, the Supreme Court of the State of Utah ruled on this particular issue. Kelly Colvin and Joseph Giguere were both employed by Advanced Millwork Installation (“Advanced”) in Lehi, Utah. Advanced, a custom millwork company, sent Colvin and another employee to Maryland and Virginia to complete custom cabinet installations. Colvin was driving a van owned by the company’s owner. The van had a company logo painted on it, Advance paid the insurance, and Advance listed the van on its company taxes. Colvin was the only driver listed on the van’s insurance policy, and Advance allowed him to use the van for business and also personal use.
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In another high-speed tragic accident involving a public figure, a New York alcohol industry entrepreneur known as “Dr. Vodka” was killed in Miami Beach. According to reports, the former doctor turned booze mogul was riding in a Lamborghini that crashed into an SUV while traveling over 100 miles per hour. Authorities indicated that the doctor was killed instantly when the sports car crashed into the Chevy Suburban at a stoplight around 3:00 a.m. The doctor-entrepreneur was widely known in social circles in the Northeast, and the South, including the Carolinas.


The accident made national headlines and took the life of a well-known and respected doctor, entrepreneur and socialite. The wife of the victim has already filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. Our Charlotte car accident attorneys are experienced in handling complex personal injury and wrongful death claims. We will initiate an immediate investigation to determine the cause of the accident and identify all responsible individuals and entities. When representing victims of car accidents and their loved ones, our priority is seek justice against negligent parties and recover maximum compensation.
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While many accidents are unpreventable, there are also ways that you can keep your family safe. Practicing safe and defensive driving is one way to reduce the risks of accidents when driving in your neighborhood, in the city, or on a cross country trip. Our Ashville car accident attorneys are dedicated to reducing the risks and consequences associated with deadly traffic accidents.


Safety experts and organizations, including the American Medical Association, offer a number of tips to reduce the chances of dangerous or deadly accidents, including the following:

Don’t Drink and Drive
. While most people know not to drink and drive, even the most responsible people can make a mistake. Remember that even a small amount of alcohol can reduce your motor skills and impair judgment. You should also be wary of prescription medications and how they affect your ability.

Keep Your Car Maintained. Staying safe and keeping others safe means responsibly keeping your car maintained. You should have regular tune-ups, keep your windshields and mirrors clean, and always have plenty of gas in your car. When purchasing a new car, look for advanced safety features, including power steering and an automatic transmission. Make sure you have plenty of gas in your car when taking a trip.
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Summer means late-night barbecues, beach parties, and long-distance road trips. The combination of summer festivities and highway travel also means a spike in accident rates. As August approaches, motorists are reminded to be safe, as the month ranks deadliest for drivers and passengers.

There are a number of reasons why August has a higher incidence of accident fatalities. In addition to the sheer number of miles Americans spend on the road, there is also an increase of summer storms, and highway construction. As you plan for your summer road trip or find yourself sharing the road with other tourists, remember to take extra precaution to avoid accidents and injury. Our Charlotte car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping residents and visitors protect their rights after an accident.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more Americans suffer in fatal car accidents in August than in any other month. These accidents could involve a number of factors including inclement weather, drunk-driving, distracted driving, speeding and other acts of negligence. In some cases, accidents will involve vehicle defects. Immediately after an accident, victims and their loved ones should be in touch with an experienced investigator who can review the facts, visit the accident scene, consult with witnesses and help determine the cause of the accident. Any driver or associated entity may be held accountable for negligence that results in a serious or fatal accident.

The NHTSA reports that there are 1.09 fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled by American motorists. While August has the highest rate of fatalities, March has the lowest. According to the government agency, an average of 93 people will die every day in U.S. car accidents. This is an extremely high incidence of fatal accidents and a large percentage of these deaths occur during the month of August.

The agency has also analyzed other factors that may impact the likelihood of a fatal accident. More accidents are likely to occur during the evening or on weekends. When you get in the car this summer to head out to the beach or meet friends for an evening or weekend, remember that there are going to be more drivers out on the road. Camping, errands, and other summer activities can involve short or long-distance drives. Either way, your chances of being involved in an accident will be higher next month. Saturdays have the highest number of fatalities of the week. There is an average of 123 deaths related to car accidents every Saturday. Fridays rank second and Tuesdays rank last in terms of fatal accident rates.

The summer months also mean an increase in drinking and driving accidents. When you hit the road this summer, remember to be prepared and to practice defensive driving. You could encounter distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and other fatigued drivers on the road. Be especially wary in the evening and at night, when the majority of accidents will take place.

Though August poses additional risks for drivers, you can take preventative action and be wary to keep your family safe.
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There are new hours of service (HOS) rules for truckers across the county!

Recently announced by Ray LaHood, the USDOT Secretary, the new rule was made to help keep truck drivers awake and alert on our roadways. These rules were aimed at preventing drowsy driving-related trucking accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere. Now, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be keeping an eye on just how long drivers are working behind the wheel to help ensure everyone’s safety on our roadways.
“Trucking is a difficult job, and a big rig can be deadly when a driver is tired and overworked,” said LaHood.

Our Grensboro trucking accident attorneys understand that traffic accidents involving tractor-trailers, semis, 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles oftentimes produced deadly results. These huge vehicles carry so much weight and so much power that it’s important we keep their drivers alert and well-trained behind the wheel to help to avoid accidents. Much of that preparation involves making sure they’re not overworked and they’re not falling asleep behind the wheel. This new HOS ruling is going to help.

The rule-making process took a while to complete. The FMCSA held a number of sessions nationwide in search of input from transportation officials, trucking companies, safety advocates and others.

Anne S. Ferro, the Administrator of the FMCSA, says that she feels this is the most extensive and beneficial effort that has been put forth in a rule. She says that she and the Administration looked for input from all kinds of sources to help make sure that they got it right the first time. Not only was everyone’s opinions and insight welcomed into the making of this rule, but officials with the Administration took into consideration a plethora of information through recent studies and scientific research projects. When safety is the goal, there’s no rushing and there’s no room for missing information. Everything has to be considered and everything has to be thought out.

The goal of the rule is to help provide the industry with a structure that helps to get the job done. And to make sure that truckers are focused and alert as well as well-rested while operating these huge trucks.

Under the new rule, truck drivers are still allowed to be behind the wheel of a truck for 11 hours a day. However, they will also no longer be allowed to be behind the wheel for 84 hours in a week as the maximum limit of hours worked in a seven-day period has been reduced to 70. Lastly, truckers are to take one 30-minute break at least once every 8 hours. These breaks can also be taken as often as a driver feels necessary.

Both companies and drivers can be fined if they’re busted disobeying these rules. The fines for being busted can cost thousands and thousands of dollars per offense.
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Students at Western Carolina University have just completed one of two petitions to get state transportation officials to make some improvements to the roadway conditions on a particular road near their campus. The petition came as a result of a recent and fatal North Carolina car accident in which a fellow classmate of theirs was killed and another was seriously injured, according to the Citizen Times. Their classmate died in the recent single-vehicle accident on Speedwell Road. The driver of the vehicle was seriously injured. Both students are in their early 20s.
Since the accident, students around campus have launched a petition drive on Twitter urging transportation officials to install a guardrail at a dangerous point on that roadway, at the same spot where the accident happened. Too many students know the danger all too well. So far, there have been about 600 student signatures received on the website. There is also another petition circulating the campus asking for the very same improvements from transportation officials.

Our North Carolina car accident attorneys understand that transportation officials have a responsibility to make sure that roadways are safe for motorists and other travelers. Dangers that could result in any type of accident are completely unacceptable. Road repairs should be made before someone has to experience a tragic accident and before someone is killed.

The students of WCU will soon be presenting their petitions and their requests to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). This isn’t the first time that the campus has urged officials to make safety improvements on that dangerous roadway.

There was a vigil held by students at the university at the fountain in the center of campus to remember their classmate, a junior who was majoring in psychology.

“We’re a tightknit family. It really hurts,” said student body president T.J. Eaves.

The fatal car accident happened as the vehicle that the young girl was riding in flew off of the road, over an embankment, slammed into a tree and flipped over. Officials are still investigating the crash. Weather, speed and other factors have not been released yet. The speed limit on that road is 30 miles per hour.

When the accident happened, there was a baseball game in session at the school’s field nearby. Game attendees heard the wreck and called 9-1-1.

Joel Setzer, the state’s DOT division engineer, said that officials are going to look into the accident to see what kind of improvements may be needed on that roadway, if any. This is a common response from transportation officials to fatal accident scenes. Students are just hoping that the investigation warrants some changes!
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A passenger of a recent one-car accident in Asheville was killed. According to Asheville Police, the accident happened on I-240 East at the on-ramp leading to Interstate 40 East, just after 2 a.m.
According to police records, the woman was driving when she swerved off of the roadway, up onto an embankment and flipped. The passenger of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver was transported to Mission Hospital and was listed in serious condition. Officers report that impairment and speed were factors in the crash. According to News Channel 7, officers are still investigating the accident and charges against the driver are pending.

Our Asheville car accident attorneys understand that the Interstate can be a dangerous place to travel, even when you’re not speeding or impaired. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were nearly 11 million traffic accidents that happened on U.S. roadways in 2009. During that same year, there were more than 1,300 traffic-related fatalities in the state of North Carolina. An alarming number of these accidents and fatalities occurred on Interstate roads. Luckily, there are a few tips that you can follow to help to reduce your risks of an accident on the fast-paced roadways.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) offers the following safe driving tips:

-Always stay alert. Whether you’re driving on an Interstate or a residential roadway, it’s important for you to place all of your attention on driving.

-Be sure you always buckle up. A seat belt can help to reduce your risks of injury or death in the event of a traffic accident.

-Never drink and drive. You’re reactions and ability to safely navigate our roadways is drastically hindered when you consume alcohol.

-Make sure your children are using the correct child restraints during every car ride.

-Be patient. Don’t rush. Rushing leads to road rage, which leads to dangerous driving and accidents.

-Always abide by the posted speed limit and remember that these speed limits are for ideal weather conditions. When weather is poor, consider slowing down.

-Never tailgate the vehicle in front of you. The closer you’re following another vehicle, the less time you have to react to danger.

-Keep a lookout for road debris. Always be ready to react.

-Avoid the distractions. Driving is not a time to make calls, text message or surf the web, nor is it the time to groom yourself, eat or partake in any other activities that take your attention off of the roadway.

-Always leave for your destination with plenty of time to spare. Avoid rushing. Try to travel at non-peak times.

-Consider using alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion.

-Check out the Traveler Information Management System before leaving to learn about any traffic congestion or any road closures.
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The Republic reports that with Daylight Saving Time now in effect, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) wants to remind motorists that fewer daylight hours means an increased risk for car accidents in Gastonia, Hickory, Winston-Salem and elsewhere in the state. Not only are motorists short on daylight hours for their evening commute, but bicyclists and pedestrians need to be more careful to avoid an accident while walking or biking in the dark.
North Carolina residents turned their clocks back by one hour Sunday morning, meaning evening commutes are now a lot darker starting this week and continuing through the next few months with the sun setting earlier each night. Greensboro car accident lawyers know adjusting to the time change affects your body and mind and can even be somewhat depressing. But using extra caution during dark hours will help keep you safe on North Carolina roadways until we “spring forward” in just a few months from now.

In 2010, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reported that there were nearly 190 bicyclists and 875 pedestrians involved in car accidents during dusk and nighttime hours. There were another almost 16,500 accidents involving animals during the hours of darkness.

Driving in the dark can be tricky, especially this time of year when deer and other critters can potentially pop out from nowhere right in front of your vehicle. We posted last month on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog that deer will be on the run as hunting season approaches. So be on the lookout for them dashing across your path to help avoid a collision and possible injuries.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation offers these tips for motorists to keep in mind as they drive in Daylight Saving Time:

-Coincide changing your clocks back one hour with checking all lights on your vehicle. For instance, check brake lights, emergency flashers, headlights, and even interior lights to make sure they are working properly. You may need to take your vehicle to a mechanic if a fuse or bulb needs replaced.

-Use high-beam lights in rural areas but be courteous to approaching vehicles by flashing to low beams while you pass.

-If your rear-view mirror has a night setting, use it to avoid glare from car lights shining behind you.

-Never wear sunglasses after dusk.

-Keep a watchful eye for bikers and walkers after dark, especially as winter weather approaches.

-If you feel drowsy from the time change, avoid long trips or driving while fatigued.

-Focusing your eyes on one spot in front of you causes “highway hypnosis” which reduces your reaction time if a hazard appears on the road. Keep your eyes active by moving them back and forth to reduce the risk of reaction impairment.
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