We must not forget that Driving is a Great Responsibility

No one likes to sit in traffic, and we all want to get home after a long day as quickly as possible. However, we must not forget that driving is a great responsibility that, when done carelessly, can have grave consequences. Many drivers disregard other people’s safety while weaving in and out of traffic and driving dangerously. This is not only distracting to other drivers, but significantly raises the risk of an accident. Accidents not only affect the people directly involved, but affect family members and many other aspects of the lives of the people involved. There is not only damage to the vehicles, but there can be physical injuries, loss of time at work and property damage. Please remember, next time you are in a rush, getting to your destination safely is much more important that getting there quickly. If you have been in an accident and need advice, call Hodges Trial Lawyers. Our experienced attorneys can sit down with you and review your case and discuss your options.

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Second Lawsuit Filed Over Fatal FedEx Collision

A second lawsuit has been filed over a fatal collision in Wyoming involving a FedEx tractor-trailer. The lawsuit was filed by the sister of the driver of the car which was hit when a tire on the FedEx trailer failed. The man driving the car, his significant other, and her son all died of injuries from the collision. The first lawsuit was filed by the daughter of the driver’s significant other. The newest lawsuit, filed by the driver’s sister, contends that FedEx was to blame, as it should have monitored the truck’s tires. The lawsuit names as defendants FedEx Ground Package Systems, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations and its various subsidiaries, and a company called CLR Transportation.

Why can’t I make a U-turn on the Interstate turnarounds?

We all see it happen.  There’s a big traffic jam on the interstate and drivers are sick of waiting.  Or, someone from out-of-town is unfamiliar with the area and has just missed their exit.  So they find the nearest cut through on the interstate and try to pull a U-turn.  So what’s the big problem?

Well for one, those turnarounds are for emergency and authorized personnel only.  The average driver is not allowed to use these turnarounds for private use.  And there are good reasons for that.

 A car traveling at 70 MPH is moving at 102.67 feet per second.  That’s really fast!  Now imagine trying to accelerate up to that speed from a stop.  That’s going to take a few seconds to do even in the highest performing vehicles.  If you look at your average On and Off ramps from the interstate, you will notice one common theme.  All these ramps are long.  They are designed to allow you to accelerate and decelerate from 70 mph at a safe and reasonable speed.  The turnarounds on the interstate are short.  They are not designed to allow people to merge into traffic moving at 70 mph.  This makes it inherently dangerous for you to attempt to use a turnaround to make a u-turn.  You do not have the necessary amount of road to get up to speed with traffic.  In contrast, if a police car is attempting to use this turnaround, it can turn on its sirens to alert people that it is attempting to turn around for emergency purposes and force them to yield.  The average driver does not have that luxury.

 Also, these turnarounds are not as well maintained as the average road.  They are often bumpy and deteriorating because they are rarely used and not maintained at the same level as the main roads.  So even if traffic is light and you are confident you can merge with traffic, you are still risking damage to your car due to unpredictable terrain on these turnarounds.

 Using these turnarounds can cause severe damage to your vehicle and to you and the passengers inside.  These turnarounds are intended for emergency vehicles, not the common driver.  Most states will ticket individuals who use these turnarounds to make illegal u-turns.  The better choice is to turn around at the next available off ramp or just ride out that traffic jam you are stuck in.  It’s a better option than risking life and limb.  Stay safe on the roads.

Winter Weather Driving

This February weather has been one for the record books in Alabama.  We have seen our fair share of snow, ice, sleet, and frigid cold temperatures.  Here are some basic driving tips for driving on these winter conditions:

 1.      GO SLOW! – You cannot pretend that you are driving in normal conditions.  Take your time and be cautious. Don’t make unnecessary lane changes or quick acceleration or braking maneuvers.  It will take you much longer to get somewhere if you crash than if you try and shave a few seconds off your daily commute.

2.      EASY ON THE BRAKES – Brake application is a common trigger of vehicle sliding which results in you losing control of your car.  ABS do not work well on ice and snow, and often will lock up your wheels.  Sliding wheels make it nearly impossible to control your vehicle.

3.      TURN INTO A SLIDE – If you find your car sliding, you need to turn your wheels in the direction that the REAR of the car is sliding.  By turning into the slide, you stand the best chance of recovering control of your vehicle.  (If you saw the Pixar movie Cars, it’s the same concept Lightning McQueen had to learn when racing on the dirt roads).

4.      DON’T BE OVERCONFIDENT – A major factor in many serious and fatal crashes is one’s overconfidence in their abilities to drive in adverse conditions.  Just because the speed limit is 50 doesn’t mean you should go 50 in less than ideal conditions.  Similarly, just because you have driven in bad weather conditions before does not mean that the snow and ice is any less slippery for you than a new driver.  Recognize that you are driving in dangerous conditions and don’t get cocky.

Modifying Your Driving to Prevent Accidents – 3 Drive with both hands on the wheel!

3. Drive with both hands on the wheel. Two hands on the wheel allows you more control over the car if an emergency situation were to arise. Imagine having one hand leisurely resting on it when you have to swerve out of the way – you lose that precious split second in adjusting your position that could mean the difference between safety and an accident.

Keep your hands in the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. While this isn’t necessarily the most comfortable, this position does allow you the most flexibility should you suddenly need to adjust your course.