Articles Posted in Holiday Travel

A Charlotte crash just before Thanksgiving that killed three people is being attributed to speed, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. WSOCTV-9 reports the crash happened at around 2:30 a.m. on Steele Creek Road when the driver of a Crown Victoria lost control, careened off the right side of the road, went airborne, and slammed into several trees.speed

The decedents included two passengers, ages 34 and 38, who were thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. The 29-year-old driver was transported to a local hospital, where he too was pronounced dead.

Tragic as this outcome is, the fact that speed was a factor in a fatal crash is not surprising. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports speed is one of the most prevalent causes of serious and fatal crashes.  It was cited in fully one-third of all deadly crashes in recent years, with the percentage steadily climbing.

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Chances are that at some point, you have witnessed someone who has attempted to get behind the wheel after drinking too much. champagne2.jpg

A recent survey conducted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving reveals that nearly 75 percent of all adults over the age of 21 have been to an event at which someone tried to drive home after drinking too much alcohol.

In a flash, what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year becomes instantly the most tragic.
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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.

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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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Barbecues and booze go together just as well as the Fourth of July and fireworks. Unfortunately drunk driving car accidents fit in there pretty well, too.
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According to FOX Business, the Fourth of July is actually the deadliest holiday of the year to be on our roadways — even deadlier than New Year’s.

Our Rock Hill accident lawyers understand that driving under the influence, of either drugs or alcohol, is a serious risk. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been tracking auto accident statistics for about 25 years now. The Fourth of July is almost always at the top of that list. The sad truth of it all is that more than half of all fatal accidents that happen on Independence Day are alcohol related.

In 2008, there were close to 500 people who were killed in car accidents over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend. Of those fatalities, close to 45 percent of them were killed in alcohol-related accidents. In comparison, there were less than 425 people who were killed during the four-day holiday of New Year’s.

“Drunk driving is a major public safety threat that still claims thousands of lives every year,” said Ray LaHood, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

And even though the Fourth of July is the deadliest day on our roadways, the dangers don’t stop there. According to MSN Money, August 1st kicks off the deadliest month of the year for American motorists.

So it’s no time to relax. We’ve got to start focusing on safer (and sober) driving habits to help to make this the safest year of all. Read the following safety tips and share them with friends and family member to help to avoid a roadway disaster:

-If your plans include drinking, make sure that they also include a designated driver. A designated driver isn’t the person who has had the least to drink, but it’s someone who has had absolutely nothing to drink.

-If you’re out with no sober driver, consider calling a cab, a friend or a family member to come pick you up.

-If you can’t get a safe and sober ride, consider staying the night. Even getting a hotel room is a lot cheaper than a drunk driving conviction.

-If you think you’ve spotted a drunk driver out on our roadways, report them by calling *47 (North Carolina’s Highway Patrol).

-If you’re throwing a holiday barbeque or other kind of celebration, make sure you offer some nonalcoholic drinks for the designated drivers. Keep an eye on your party guests to make sure none are making the wrong decisions when leaving your event.

-If you see a friend or a family member who has been drinking, make sure you get the keys from them and help find them a safe and sober ride home. Your intervention would wind up saving lives.
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Summer is the time to hit the road. Throughout North Carolina and nationwide, families will be piling into cars, SUVs, mini-vans, and campers to visit state parks, beaches, and loved ones. Before tackling your summer road trip, remember that safety is critical to keeping yourself, your loved ones and other motorists out of harm’s way. The National Highway Safety Agency is encouraging all motorists to be prepared and to plan ahead for summer road trips.

Summer is the busiest driving season of the year. More traffic on the road and an increased number of commercial trucks can create additional dangers for motorists. Preparing for traffic, ensuring that your vehicle is maintained, and taking other precautions can improve safety for your passengers and other motorists on the road. Our North Carolina car accident attorneys are dedicated to promoting travel safety throughout the state and nationwide.

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Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe on the road this summer:

Vehicle maintenance. While missing an oil-change or tune-up may seem minor, vehicle maintenance is critical to ensuring safety for your passengers. You should also check your battery, have your tires rotated and make sure that you have regular vehicle service in accordance with your manufacturer’s recommendations. A checklist should include tires, seatbelts, windshield wiper blades, your cooling system, fluid levels, lights and air conditioning.

Prepare an emergency kit. When making long road trips, you never know when your vehicle may breakdown. An emergency roadside kit could help you, especially if you are far from a gas station or in the dark. An emergency road kit may include a spare cell phone, first-aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, extra water, food, and medication.

Avoid high-risk driving behaviors. Always avoid risky behaviors, including drinking and driving, texting while driving, and other distractions. Distracted driving may involve eating or drinking, talking with passengers, changing music, or driving with pets. If you are making a long road trip, be sure that you are well rested. Pull over if you feel yourself getting drowsy and don’t take on unreasonable durations or stretches of highway, especially at night.

Wear seatbelts. You should always make sure that you and your children or other passengers are wearing their seatbelts, even when the road trip gets to be long. Regular seatbelt wearing is the best defense to prevent serious injury or death in the event of an accident. Children should also be in the right seat. This means that young children should remain in car seats and children 13 and younger should be in the back seat.

Share the road. Remember that safety extends to others sharing the road. Be aware of other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, especially as many of these drivers and riders will be more vulnerable. You should also be aware of semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles traveling at high speeds and the potential risk that they pose, whether you are in a small car or SUV.

Taking safety precautions are important to having a smooth trip. Unfortunately, some accidents will occur despite your care and preparations. If you or someone you love were involved in an accident on a summer road trip, you may be entitled to compensation. A North Carolina advocate can investigate your case, identify responsible parties.
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The holidays are a time when people travel to see family and when those who may not get out often venture out to see relatives.

While many elderly drivers are just as equipped as younger motorists to behave in a safe manner, there does come a time when older drivers begin to lose their ability to drive effectively. Elderly drivers are at risk of developing a number of different potential problems that can impact their ability to drive, from vision problems to memory problems to slower reflexes and compromised hand-eye coordination. 671890_car_accident.jpg

Elderly drivers who are concerned about their ability to drive should reach out to friends and family over the holidays and ask about getting help with transportation to the festive gatherings they wish to attend. Asheville auto accident lawyers also suggest that family and friends take the opportunity during holiday visits to make sure their older loved ones are still safe when behind the wheel.

Elderly Drivers and the Risks of North Carolina Auto Accidents
News of elderly drivers becoming involved in car wrecks is entirely too-common and one recent November case shows the serious consequences that can result.

WITN reported on November 17 that an 80-year-old man was involved in a wreck, which occurred on Highway 264 West near Washington.

The accident occurred on Friday when the driver reportedly ran into the back of a truck being towed along the highway. The collision forced the tow truck into the Toyota pickup truck in front of it. The driver of the tow truck was subsequently caught between the two vehicles.

The elderly driver was pronounced dead at the accident scene, although it remains unclear whether the car wreck was the cause of the accident or whether he died of a health issue. The other driver was taken to Vidant Medical Center and remains in critical condition. The driver of the Toyota pickup was transported to Beaufort Hospital but sustained no life threatening injuries.

This fatal accident caused the death of one and the injury of two others. While the accident is still under investigation, the driver running into the back of the tow truck indicates that the older man may have been responsible for the crash.

Keeping Elderly Drivers Safe This Holiday Season
Many elderly drivers come to a point in their lives when it is no longer safe for them to operate their vehicles. Unfortunately, they are often unaware of this or do not want to admit that they can no longer drive because they fear it means giving up independence.

If you are an elderly driver and you are experiencing increased difficulties or are concerned about whether you are safe when operating your vehicle, you should talk to your family members this holiday season. By reaching out to get help, you can work with your loved ones to determine if driving is still right for you and you can get suggestions about modifications that can be made to your driving or alternatives to you getting behind the wheel.

For those who have elderly family members or friends they are concerned about, it is also advisable to take time during visits to explore whether something needs to be done about the senior driving. Pay attention to potential physical or mental problems that could create problems with driving and, if you are concerned, talk to the senior or even consider contacting his or her doctor to express your fears and get help.

An accident with an elderly driver can have far-reaching consequences not just for the driver but also for victims as well. Those injured by an elderly driver should seek legal advice to learn what their options are for recovering compensation.
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North Carolina auto accidents can happen at any time and on any roadway.

However, accidents may be more likely to occur in construction zones for many reasons including sudden lane changes, driver confusion and narrow roadways. Accidents in construction zones can be especially dangerous both for drivers and for road workers and everyone needs to do their part to help stop these risky North Carolina auto accidents from occurring.

This Thanksgiving holiday, North Carolina is doing its part to help curb auto accidents in construction zones by suspending construction activities on major state roadways.

Our Greensboro accident lawyers applaud the state’s efforts to prevent injuries and encourage drivers to also be safe and take steps to minimize the risk of auto accidents. 951743_slow_down.jpg

North Carolina Suspends Construction Activities to Help Avoid Auto Accidents
According to a November announcement by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, road construction on most major roadways will be suspended from 4:00 P.M. on Tuesday November 20, 2012 until Monday November 26, 2012. The NC DOT has made this announcement with the hopes of helping motorists to save time and money, but it likely will also help to make the streets safer for the holiday traffic.

With the suspension in effect, there are only five areas where construction will still be occurring during the thanksgiving holiday. These areas are listed on the NC DOT website and include areas on I-73; U.S. 421; U.S. 74/76; U.S. 17 and N.C. 12. Whenever possible, drivers should avoid these construction areas or time their travel in these locations to off-peak hours in order to avoid delays and reduce accident risk.

The NC DOT also advises travelers that they can obtain real time traffic information by calling 511; accessing a mobile version of the NC DOT website on their smart phone or following the DOT on Twitter.

Advice for Drivers on Avoiding Construction-Zone Auto Accidents
Following the NC DOT’s lead, drivers in North Carolina should also make smart choices this holiday season to try to minimize the risk of accidents. Avoiding construction zones is one important way to do this. When drivers do need to travel through a construction zone, they should always obey posted speed limits and be alert and vigilant. Distracted or drowsy driving becomes even more dangerous in these special road areas.

North Carolina drivers should also ensure they abide by state Move Over Laws. Move Over Laws exist in the majority of jurisdictions throughout the United States, including both North Carolina and South Carolina. Move over laws require drivers to move their vehicles over one lane whenever possible if there are stopped emergency vehicles on the shoulder of the highway. Public service vehicles with amber lights and flashing lights all trigger the move over rule, and when moving over is not possible, drivers should slow down until they have safely passed the stopped vehicle.

Following these safety precautions is a smart choice over Thanksgiving and whenever you are on the roads in order to help you avoid an auto accident in the Carolinas.
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There are a lot of great things about the summer.

One of the greatest of all is vacation time! Friends, family members and colleagues are already talking about where they’ll be setting off to this summer. Some are headed to the beach, others to a cabin in the mountains and some are even heading to their favorite camping spot.

Regardless of where you’re headed to, the truth of the matter is that many other travelers are out on our roadways with the same idea — vacation. With more motorists we see an increase in our risks for car accidents in Rock Hill and elsewhere. For this reason, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are working to help to educate travelers about the safe and responsible tips to get friends and families to their vacation destinations safely. Prevention and planning are much easier than dealing with the consequences of a breakdown, or worse yet, a highway accident.
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Our Rock Hill car accident lawyers would first like to remind all travelers to keep up with their vehicle’s maintenance. Oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations and battery checks can help to prevent a breakdown. If your vehicle has been serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, it should be in good shape and ready to travel. If not — or if you don’t know the service history of the vehicle you plan to drive — schedule a preventive maintenance check-up with your mechanic now. Checking out your car is relatively simple and it doesn’t take that long. It’s just important that you do it.

Before You Go:

-Make sure your tires are not too worn. You also want to make sure that the correct amount of tire pressure is in each one.

-Check all of your belts and hoses. Make sure there are no signs of cuts, cracks or blisters in the rubber.

-Make sure your wiper blades can do the job. You never know when it’s going to rain.

-Check the fluid levels for your windshield wiper fluids, coolant, power steering, transmission, brakes and oil.

-Make sure all of the exterior lights of your vehicle are working.

On The Road:

-Keep all distractions out of the driver’s seat. If you have to attend to a passenger, pull over first and then do so.

-Buckle up during every trip.

-Never drink and drive. About every 45 minutes, or 32 times a day, someone is involved in an alcohol-related car accident.

-Make sure you get plenty of rest before hopping behind the wheel.

-Schedule your trip to allow for plenty of breaks.

Make an Emergency Roadside Kit Including:

-Maps.

-Nonperishable food.

-Extra water.

-Basic repair tools.

-Work gloves and an extra set of clothes.

-A jack.

-Jumper cables.

-White flag and flares.

-Flashlight.

-First-aid kit.

-Cell phone.
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Earlier this month, the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced the “Booze It & Lose It” campaign would be running it’s course throughout the month of December and up until January 2, 2012 to help keep intoxicated drivers off of North Carolina roadways and all motorists safe from drunk driving accidents in Charlotte and elsewhere this holiday season.

The state will heighten efforts by setting up DUI sobriety check command centers statewide and putting more officers on roadways to patrol for suspected drunk drivers.
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A Hickory man obviously wasn’t aware that DUI sobriety checkpoints would be occurring more often this month when he crashed into a mobile “Booze It or Lose It” DUI checkpoint command center while driving drunk in Newton. WCNC reports the 21 year-old driver is facing multiple charges after crashing his Chevy Camaro into the back of a mobile unit that had been conducting DWI sobriety checks earlier that evening. The intoxicated driver was taken to Catawba Memorial but his injuries were not life threatening. No one inside the “Booze It and Lose it” van was injured or taken to the hospital. The young driver faces charges of DWI, careless and reckless driving, failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash and driving with a revoked license.

Hickory drunk driving accident attorneys know that with New Year’s Eve a few short days away motorists should start to use even more caution as they venture out on roadways. New Year’s Eve celebrations often result in unsafe behaviors like driving under the influence — so everyone is more at risk of being involved in a crash this time of year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that drunk driving fatalities have decreased in many states according to new research. Nationally, there were 10,228 deaths caused by drunk drivers in 2010 which equated to a little more than 30 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year. North Carolina is a state that reported an increase from 2009 to 2010 both in total traffic fatalities and fatalities caused by an intoxicated driver. In a year-to-year comparison, total traffic deaths increased by 6 but the number of drunk driving-related deaths increased by 30, or more than 8 percent, from 2009 to 2010.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is using education and enforcement to get the message out during the winter holiday season. Ad campaigns will be running nationwide from December 16 through January 2 to create awareness about the dangers as well as support law enforcement agencies across the country to do what it takes to get intoxicated drivers off of roadways.

Last year, North Carolina law enforcement agencies charged over 3,800 drunk drivers with driving under the influence during the 2010 Holiday “Booze It & Lose It” campaign. During the period of December 3 through January 2 last year, there were 31 deaths and over 700 injuries as a result of 1,017 alcohol-related crashes.

North Carolina motorists should expect to see over 13,000 checkpoints and stepped up patrols this month. Make the smart choice to drive sober this New Year’s Eve and keep drunk driving accidents to a minimum throughout the holiday season and beyond.
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Each major holiday, the National Safety Council (NSC) makes a prediction on how many lives will be lost on American roadways during the holiday weekend period. For the most part, the predictions are made with holidays that may require excessive travel or consumption of alcohol during the extended weekend like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. Drunk or distracted driving car accidents in Winston-Salem or elsewhere are more common around holiday weekends as families and friends gather together and have cause for celebration.
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Gastonia car accident attorneys understand the dangers that motorists face and hope that all drivers use caution and make smart choices for a safe driving week between Christmas and New Year’s this year.

According to the NSC, it is estimated that 287 traffic fatalities will occur during the Christmas holiday period from Friday, December 23 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, December 26 at 11:59 p.m. Most families planning to celebrate Christmas with family will be driving during that period. In addition, the NSC estimates that 28,700 people will be injured severely enough in a car accident to need medical attention. In 2009, the actual number of deaths was significantly lower than the estimated number at 248 and 317 respectively.

The New Year’s Day holiday period runs from Friday, December 30 at 6:00 p.m. to Monday, January 2 at 11:59 p.m. During this time, the NSC is estimating just under 300 traffic fatalities and another 29,700 medically treated injuries caused by car accidents nationwide. In 2009, the NSC estimated deaths for this holiday period was 445 but the actual number reported was slightly higher at 458.

Star News Online reports the following holiday driving trips provided by the North Carolina Department of Transportation:

-Non-peak hours are the best time to travel to avoid a potential collision.

-Taking focus away from the roadway inhibits reaction time to road conditions or other motorists. Stay attentive during holiday travel periods.

-Keep a watchful eye for construction areas or collisions that have occurred in front of you. Remember to slow down and move over when you see flashing lights or workers near the road.

-Begin your drive when you are wide awake. Take breaks if you become tired.

-Check for alternate routes before you leave to avoid highly congested areas.

-Maintaining a safe driving speed at 60 mph where permitted can help gas mileage and save in fuel costs. Speeding saves very little in travel time.

-During non-peak travel times try to use cruise control. Recent studies have shown that driving 10,000 miles on cruise control during the course of the year can save over 60 gallons of gas and almost $200 a year in fuel costs.

If you plan to travel to spend the holidays with family, drive safely and make responsible choices to avoid a collision. Making a commitment to drive sober and distraction-free could save a life including your own.
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