Topic: Bicycle Accidents

A Hangover Can’t Touch Being Run Over—Note to self.

November 30, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Panthers pulled it out last Monday night with four points over the Patriots.  Big game! Monday night! The Patriots! First time in six years that Charlotte has hosted a Monday night game!  All that makes for a great night stumbling from bar to bar or simply returning to your tailgate homestead for the traffic to improve.

The important to remember as a fan leaving the stadium (or if that’s not possible, pin a note to your koozie prior) is that the safest place for a pedestrian is on the sidewalk.  In the area immediately surrounding the stadium, if you don’t see the sidewalk you should ask your neighbor to point you to it or walk you to it.

While it can be comical from time to time, it is very serious that you take care of yourself leaving the game.  Just because other people are disregarding the rules and walking in the streets, it doesn’t mean that you should follow lead.  That person may have better health insurance and is willing to accept the deductible cost for the benefit of walking in the street. Also, that person could have less to live for.

In addition to the regular traffic in the area, there are people leaving the stadium who decided “they were fine” and got behind the wheel.  I know there are no guarantees but even a drunk driver has a lower risk of hitting you on a sidewalk than if you’re walking in the road.  Be careful. Please.

As the Charlotte Knights work towards finishing the baseball stadium by the April 2014 deadline, the issue will become more prevalent and you need to be prepared.  Take care of yourself and the best way to do that is recognizing that nobody cares your own safety more than you do or should. (Moms don’t count.)

Could We Reduce The Number/Intensity Of North Carolina Auto Accidents By Getting Rid Of Free Parking?

May 15, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Here’s another potentially very useful, “out of the box” idea for reducing the number of auto accidents in North Carolina and beyond: What if we dramatically changed the parking rules in big cities like Charlotte and Raleigh?

In his landmark opus, the High Cost of Free Parking, Yale University educated researcher, Donald Shoup, builds a compelling case that the American obsession with “free parking” has led to horrific urban problems, including pollution, traffic congestion, reduced quality of life, destruction of urban green space, and accidents.

Shoup argues, pretty convincingly, that our failure to treat parking properly as a commodity — pricing it accordingly and distributing the revenues to local communities, e.g. — is at the root of billions of dollars worth of pathology in North Carolina and beyond.
Fortunately, Shoup has worked out something of a solution — a three-legged program that involves pricing parking fairly to ensure optimal flow of traffic through urban areas and distributing the revenue from parking meters to local businesses and municipalities to make improvements.

His ideas are not just theoretical — they’ve actually already been applied in municipalities in Texas and in California (most recently, a big project in San Francisco), and these projects have been pretty successful.

Why might “free parking” cause auto accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere?
A lot of traffic congestion in urban areas consists of drivers trolling for open spaces. Many of these drivers traverse block after block looking for places to park. When you aggregate this behavior over hundreds and thousands of drivers over years and years, the numbers add up. Think of all the extra emissions that get exhaled when people search for parking. Think about all the miles travelled.

As any statistician will tell you, accident prevention is a numbers game. The more miles people drive, the more accidents happen. So when people troll for parking more, they tend to get into more accidents. If municipalities like Raleigh or Charlotte adopted a more Shoup-like parking schema, perhaps we could reduce traffic congestion and accidents. We’d also potentially save millions of dollars, collectively, in the process.

North Carolina’s big cities don’t compare to cities with real parking problems — like Los Angeles. But even if we saw only a relatively modest improvement in number of miles driven and number of accidents per those miles, maybe such a change in structure could lead to a reduction of several dozen accidents a year. Over a few decades, think about how many peoples’ lives would be saved/improved just if we thought a little more constructively about our parking paradigm.

For help dealing with your North Carolina auto accident case, get in touch with the DeMayo Law team at (877) 529-1222.

Driving Less to Reduce Your Likelihood of Getting Into a North Carolina Car Accident

May 12, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Here’s a great idea to help you avoid getting into another serious North Carolina car accident.

We’ve touched on this concept before, but the general theory is well worth reviewing. Here’s the gist: Instead of adopting a complex system of new habits and resolutions to be a safer driver, opt for a simpler and more effective approach: drive less to reduce your overall likelihood of getting into a crash.

After all, certain behaviors associate with higher crash risk–driving under the influence, for instance, or driving while chatting on a cell phone or driving while exhausted. However, these bad behaviors and bad habits simply ratchet up your likelihood of getting into crash on any given mile. Every mile you drive is somewhat fraught with the risk, in other words. You can make each mile driven riskier or less risky by your driving and attention habits.

Rather than fiddle with your habits and behaviors–which are obviously hard to change- why not just change the absolute number of miles you drive?

For instance, say you commute 40 minutes to work every day–and drive 40 minutes home. Maybe you could arrange a situation with your boss where you could telecommute to work two days a week. By doing that, you’d save around three hours of driving time a week. Maybe you would have driven 50 total miles during that time. So if you save 50 miles of driving a week; over a full year, you’ll save about 2,500 miles. And if your chances of getting into an accident over that 2,500 miles– which may have been 0.001% or something–are now reduced to zero percent. Extrapolate that arrangement over 50 years, and the numbers become even more favorable. 50 times 2,500 equals 125,000 miles. 0.001% of 125,000 = 1.25 crashes averted!

Of course, if you’ve already been in a crash, these words may come a day late and a dollar short. Fortunately, you can turn to the DeMayo Law team right now for effective legal guidance about how to prosecute your case, hold liable parties to account, and get fair results.

Call us now for a free consultation.

Another Anti-Distraction Tool To Avoid North Carolina Car Accidents

May 8, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

This Charlotte auto accident blog spends a lot of time delving into tools and concepts to help drivers regain focus behind the wheel. If you recently got hurt in a crash, you are extremely attuned to personal safety; you want to do everything in your power, going forward, to protect yourself and your family (and other people on the road).

To that end, here is another tool to put in your auto safety toolbox: safe driving apps.

Browse any major app store online, and you will find dozens of really cool, innovative apps that can protect you against distracted driving. These apps can:

  • Send an automated message to anyone who text or emails you saying, in effect, “I am in a car right now and can’t talk”
  • Lock the phone so that you literally can’t receive a text or incoming email;
  • Alert parents if/when a teen chats-and-drive and ID the teen’s location via GPS;
  • Track teen driver behavior by identifying driving infractions and alerting parents.

Car safety has gotten sophisticated, thanks to GPS devices, cell phone apps, and other innovative technologies and processes. In some ways, it’s cool to think that we can use cell phone apps and software to diffuse the dangers of driver cell phone use. However, for all the marvelous techie solutions out there, you still need to maintain discipline and
focus on improving your driving habits and eliminating distractions in your life.

If you were hurt by a distracted driver in North Carolina, the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you figure out what to do and plan your next steps. Get in touch with our team now for a free and thorough consultation.

Simple Way To Get Into A More Positive Mindset About Your North Carolina Auto Accident

May 3, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You are feeling pretty grim about your North Carolina car accident. Maybe you’re still sick/injured from the grueling collision. Or maybe you’re you just psychologically devastated–it all happened so fast, and the other driver (who hit you and caused all the mayhem) seems uncooperative and unlikely to agree to pay a fair share, unless you use the
legal equivalent of a blowtorch to make him or her acknowledge your rights. You get upset even just thinking about the case, and you are not quite sure if/how you can ever find a silver lining.

Here’s a simple trick that will get you into a more positive mindset.

Read success stories.

Find videos or testimonials from real people who’ve been in similar situations to the one you are in right now and who overcame them. You may not get any actionable advice from reading these positive stories. But the testimonials will hopefully kindle (or rekindle) your
sense of optimism. At the risk of being overly self-serving, you can check out the positive testimonials that we have compiled here at the official DeMayo Law website. Or you can search elsewhere.

 The object is not to get carried away but rather to reframe your dilemma.

 Advocates of “positive thinking” often oversell their case to cynics and wind up scaring away people who otherwise might benefit from adopting more rosy outlooks. Truth be told, your situation may not turn out as well as other plaintiffs’ cases. But human beings are primarily storytellers. We love to hear a good story, and we love to tell a good story. Great stories help us remember and learn–and they train our brains to think in new ways about old problems.

If you are stuck thinking about your case and your North Carolina auto accident in a purely negative way, you can still make progress and ultimately win. However, you will likely find the experience to be fraught, intimidating, and discouraging. If, on the other hand, you can see multiple paths by which success can be possible (assuming you do the right things and the facts of your case go your way), you will be more inclined to take action.

For instance, right now, you may need to redo your teaching schedule or personal finances in the wake of the disaster. If you are stuck in a negative, sour mindset, you might delay/defer/procrastinate that project. But if you are feeling more encouraged, you might be more inclined to get started. The more you can take control over various projects in your life, the more positive momentum you will get towards returning to normal.

Connect with our Charlotte auto accident law firm today for sound, insightful help with your case.

“Feeling Fine” After Your Auto Accident in North Carolina? You Might Not Be!

May 2, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

After “getting shaken up” in an auto accident in North Carolina, you got first aid and returned safely to your home. While the screech of tires and the smell of burning rubber may be still vivid in your conscious memory, you are grateful that you did not suffer worse damage– a broken spine, serious bleeding, paralysis, or death.

Unfortunately, just because you survived your North Carolina auto accident intact does not mean that everything is “hunky dory.” If you haven’t yet gotten thoroughly checked out by a physician, that should be your #1 priority. Even if you have — and you have gotten a clear bill of health — be extremely mindful of your physical and mental state for the next several days.

When human beings get exposed to highly traumatic events — such as car crashes, military explosions, etc. — our brains release special chemical signals that temporarily numb us, so that we can psychologically tolerate what we are going through.

These chemical signals are a godsend, in that, if we didn’t have them, traumas could send us over the brink. The drawback is that these chemicals can mask more subtle, chronic damage. For instance, on a purely physical level, you might not “feel” internal damage or
muscular tears until hours after the crash (when the endorphins wear off). Psychologically, a similar phenomenon can happen. You might “feel okay” for a few days after the crash but then suddenly feel depression or panic.

The point of this article is not to scare you — odds are (hopefully) that you will be fine.

However, you want to be sensitive to your condition and also lean on friends and family members to watch out for you and give you extra care and attention. In some cases — concussions, for instance — you may need to exercise exquisite sensitivity. Recently concussed people are at much elevated risk for extra damage. A second concussion that happens shortly after first one can wreak horrible havoc and lead to edema, swelling in the brain, stroke, and all sorts of other horrific symptoms.

Given the tenuous nature of your medical situation, you may want to explore your potential legal options. Why bother doing so, if you are 99% sure that you are “going to be fine”?

First of all, the amount of time/energy you will waste by “just checking” is minimal. Our team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, for instance, can help you assess your potential Charlotte auto accident case rapidly and at no cost to you (you can call us at (877) 529-1222).

Second of all, the cost of NOT doing anything might not matter 99 out of 100 times. But if your situation happens to be that “1 out of 100” kind of case, where you actually DO need serious medical help, if you wait too long to get the “legal wheels in motion” you may find yourself at a serious disadvantage later on and regretting your lack of action now.

Diminished Energy, Enthusiasm, and Resources after Your Auto Accident in Charlotte? Read This!

May 1, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

After auto accidents in Charlotte (or anywhere), victims suffer not just because of the immediate medical consequences–and the psychological trauma–but also because of a chronic depletion of energy/enthusiasm. You may have a challenging job or small kids to take care of or financial goals to meet. You probably had a pretty busy life prior to the
moment when the truck collided with you at that Charlotte intersection or that kid yapping on his cell phone cut you off.

You may lack motivation or money to move forward with important projects in your life–projects both related to and entirely separate from your North Carolina personal injury case. You can’t exactly “conjure” enthusiasm out of nothing. And you can’t make your obligations all go away.

So how should you proceed? How can you avoid getting buried by your to do list?

First of all, acknowledge reality. Exactly how much energy do you have now–not how much energy do you hope to have three weeks from now, after you go through therapy. How do you feel now? How many hours a day can you concentrate? How good is your concentration? Et cetera.

Also, be honest about your obligations. What are your work obligations? What are your child care obligations? Your financial obligations? Make a comprehensive list. Get everything down on paper, so that you can wrestle with it in a systematic way.

Once you complete this exercise, it’s time to get creative.

Can you leverage your current capacities/resources to handle a little bit more work?

For instance, right now, you may feel like you can only get three or four working hours a day because of your illness. But maybe if you handed off some chores to a friend or relative, you could get an extra hour a day to get the “real stuff” done.

So get creative and think about how to expand your productivity.

Likewise, figure out what you can knock off your list–or defer indefinitely for several weeks or several months. For instance, you might have been planning a big project at work. But can you put that project on hold for several months while you recover? You may have wanted to go on a spa retreat with your girlfriend from college. But can you put that on hold, while you recover?

To jog your thinking, ask yourself these difficult questions, and spend time brainstorming. What if you only had half as much energy in your day? What compromises would you make? What if you had to nix half of the projects on your plate? Could you do it? If so, how?

This kind of exercise will highlight the resources you do have. One way to shortcut the busy work is to connect with an experienced North Carolina auto accident law firm, like DeMayo Law. Find out more about how we help like you on our site, or call us now for thorough insight into your challenges.

Another Way to Limit Your Likelihood of Getting into a Charlotte Auto Accident (And Make More Friends, Too!)

October 18, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

There’s something that you can do right now – and for the rest of your life – that should not only substantially limit your lifetime risk of a serious Charlotte auto accident but also win you new friends and make your life more joyful.

Clean your car.

That’s it? Clean your car? That’s it.

That may sound like a condescending advice, but there’s a lot of logic behind it. Let’s unpack this concept: it should hopefully be useful for you, whether you’ve just been involved in a auto accident in North Carolina (and you want to reduce your risk of ever being in one again) or you are just curious about “out of the box” safety ideas.

The clutter that accumulates in our automobiles – old McDonald’s bags, flyers people left on your dashboard, coffee cups, newspapers from work and school, etc – can create safety hazards for a number of reasons.

1. The trash can physically interfere with your driving during crucial moments.

For instance, a tennis ball left in the backseat could potentially roll under the gas or the brake and impede your ability to work the pedals during an emergency moment. Alternatively, a big gust of wind could blow paper in front of your face while you’re making a tricky turn on the freeway.

2. Second of all, if you keep a “gross” environment in your car, it may actually impact the way you think about yourself.

The trash heap could lead to subconscious thoughts to the effect of “my life is a mess, I can’t control anything, etc.” When you have thoughts like that running through your head, you might be less assertive and successful when it comes to making critical decisions behind the wheel.

3. When you allow clutter to fill up your personal space – be it an office, car, or closet — you may find it far more difficult to concentrate on bigger, important “thinking projects.”

Productivity guru David Allen calls these unprocessed bits of information “open loops.” They can wrap up our attention and prevent us from being productive in important areas of our lives. As a result of this productivity deficit, you may feel more agitated, stressed, sleepless, unhealthy, etc – and this physical manifestation of your disorderliness can ultimately impact your driving skills by reducing your reaction times, etc.

Obviously, driving with a messy car is less dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while texting a friend or posting tweets. But over the long-term – years, decades – a dirty car can probably spike your risk of a crash in a non-negligible way. The trick is not just to clean your car once but to clean it and keep it clean. That’s a topic for another day, but if you’re looking for a “back door” way to improve automotive safety, that might just might be one.

For help dealing with the legal ramifications of your Charlotte auto accident, get in touch with the DeMayo Law team immediately for a free case consultation.

Auto Accident in North Carolina – Firefighter Swiped by Car

March 19, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

An auto accident in North Carolina on Highway 52 (in King, NC) shook up the King Fire Department and sent Lieutenant Les Collins to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital with significant injuries. According to news reports, 59-year-old William Blythe drove into a coned off area and smashed into a fire department car before hitting the volunteer firefighter. The impact was so hard that it threw Collins 100 feet. Amazingly, he was not killed by the impact – news reports said he was listed at stable condition at the hospital.

Blythe was arrested and charged with reckless and careless driving. Interestingly, Blythe was only travelling at 30 miles per hour when he hit the firefighter. Thirty miles per hour may not seem like a lot. But it was clearly enough force to send the man flying 100 feet – a third the length of a football field.

Can we learn any lessons from this scary accident?

Lesson #1: Drivers can EASILY get confused and behave recklessly or carelessly. Even though the firefighters put up traffic cones and engaged other precautions “by the book,” the risk preparation was not enough to protect them from Blythe’s erratic driving.

As this blog explored in a series of posts on “caveman driving,” the reality is that human beings did not evolve to travel at speeds of 30 miles per hour and above. Back in our hunter-gatherer days, maybe we reached 20 miles per hour during a dead sprint chasing after game. But we certainly did not command vehicles weighing several tons; and we did not drive those vehicles at speeds of 30, 40, 50, and 80 miles per hour.

Our society does a pretty good job inculturating drivers – teaching them the rules of the road, getting them to behave safely, etc. – but these rules can break down in an untold number of ways. The consequences can be tragic – physical injuries, emotional trauma, and long-term financial/logistical hassles often result. From a certain perspective, it’s kind of amazing that we can drive the way we drive. We’ve engineered our roads and cars exquisitely well to protect ourselves from our own evolutionarily wired failings.

That said, when the system breaks down, injured victims need help. If you or someone you care about was recently hurt in a North Carolina truck, car, or bicycle accident, you may benefit significantly from talking with an auto accident law firm in North Carolina.

More Web Resources:

Triad firefighter hit by car at accident scene

Putting car speeds into context

A North Carolina Bicycle Accident Puts a Dean’s List Student in Critical Condition

February 27, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last week, North Carolina State University was rocked by a violent bicycle accident that put a senior Dean’s List student, Steven Otto, in WakeMed Hospital with critical injuries. According to campus police reports, Otto had gone for a bike ride early in the morning on Dan Allen Drive, when he was struck by a fellow student, Ross Everett Chapman, and thrown up onto the windshield.

Otto’s body hit the windshield so hard that the glass shattered.

Chapman preliminarily tested positive for driving under the influence; he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.12%, which is 0.04% over the North Carolina state limit for DUI. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will conduct a further analysis. Police have obtained a search warrant to determine whether Chapman had other substances in his blood. Hopefully, Otto will recover fully from this serious accident. Sounds like a terrifying and sudden ordeal.

Lessons for Campus Safety?

Any single North Carolina bicycle accident – particularly heart-rendering tragedies like this one, in which a promising young student suffers grievously at the hands of a fellow classmate – touches us on a deep level and inspires us to take action.

The question, however, is: What action(s) SHOULD we be taking? How common are campus tragedies like these? What are their causes? What are the causes of those causes? What has been tried on other campuses that has worked, in terms of bicycle safety and general accident prevention? What methods have NOT worked?

These questions may all sound dry and somewhat scientific. Indeed, to answer them in a complete way, you need to collect significant data and catalog various accidents and methods to correct problems. In other words, it takes a lot of work to answer these questions properly and thoroughly – and then to apply their lessons to real world situations on campus and elsewhere.

Thus, we face a very interesting challenge. On the one hand, our emotions and the sad facts of accidents like these inspire us to want to “do something, anything…. Now!” But our better judgment tells us that if we really want to “do something that works,” we need to have a sober long view assessment of what works and what doesn’t.

Separating Theory from Practice

If you have been hurt or injured in a bicycle accident in North Carolina or elsewhere, the debate over the theory of prevention and punishment in some ways is irrelevant to you. You just want to get your life back and collect fair and equitable compensation for your injuries. There may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for your problems, but you can begin to wrangle them by connecting immediately with a North Carolina bicycle accident law firm.

More Web Resources:

Raleigh N.C. State Student Critically Hurt in Bicycle Accident

The Science of Accident Prevention