Topic: Bus Accidents

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.

Creative Ideas for Valentine’s Day, Even After a North Carolina Auto Accident

February 12, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You or your honey got hurt in an auto accident in North Carolina. You are both still reeling from the physical, financial, and emotional chaos that the accident kicked up.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, you probably haven’t spent much time planning a romantic meal or purchasing flowers because you’ve been so caught up researching North Carolina car accident lawyers, fending off insurance adjusters and catching up on lost sleep.

Quite frankly, the last thing on your mind is to do something hokey and sappy. You’re dealing with serious essentials here. But hold on a minute. During times of great personal crisis, like after a Charlotte auto accident, you need hope, levity, laughter, and love more than ever. Even if your honey (or you) cannot go out for a romantic dinner or riverside gondola ride or whatever, find creative ways to inject romance into the recuperation. Here are a few ideas…

1) Write a good old fashioned love letter.

In today’s Twitter-and-Facebook obsessed world, most of us rarely take the time to write letters. Break that pattern in a wonderful way. If your beloved is in the hospital, pour your heart onto the page for him/her. You don’t need to pen flowery poetry. Just be sincere and share some of your thoughts and feelings — even if they are not “Romantic with a capital R” in nature.

2) Plan a fun/romantic date, despite your physical and other limitations.

If your boyfriend is in the hospital, and he’s a big video game fan, maybe you could dress up as Mario from Mario Kart and surprise him and make him laugh. That’s a bad example, in that it’s not a “romantic gesture” per se. But the point is hopefully clear: get creative!

3) Take action together to resolve the injury case.

You might do research and create a short list of North Carolina car accident law firms for him or her, for instance. Or do some other logistical chore to make his or her life easier/simpler.

The point is that the time to be romantic is now, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

So Why Are You NOT Keeping a North Carolina Auto Accident and Safety Journal Yet?

November 22, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

In several previous posts, we’ve talked about why and how recent car crash victims can benefit from journaling about their driving experiences. First of all, when you journal about your “near misses,” you derive insights into the causes of your riskiest driving behaviors. Secondly, journaling can provide insights into how you “drive best,” so you can more often experience a “flow state” while driving.  For instance, say your introspection leads you to understand that you concentrate on the road better when you listen to classical music and sip a Double Tall Soy Latte from Starbucks. You can make that ritual a more regular event!

Self-knowledge, in other words, can be a key to helping you drive safer. Writ large, it may also hold the key to reducing rates of car crashes in North Carolina and beyond.

In other words, say we had a national drivers education campaign that focused on getting drivers to journal more often. Perhaps that exercise could help chip away at scary statistics, like the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) assertion that 30,000 to 40,000 Americans die every year on the roads.

So why aren’t you journaling?

Assuming that you buy the argument laid you, why are you not cracking open your moleskin journal right now to tally your latest adventure on the road?

Odds are, you lack a well-framed reason. Perhaps you do, but if you did, you’d be in the minority. Likely, you are justifying the decision not to journal by subconsciously telling yourself “this would take too long; I don’t have time for it; journaling sounds annoying; I doubt it’ll work, anyway, etc.”

Those objections would all be understandable. At best, we’re probably talking about just a slight incremental improvement in safety over the short-term. But when you consider the potential long-term benefits of getting to know yourself as a driver better, balking at this experiment makes less and less sense. At worse, you waste a little time and feel a little silly. At best, you gain powerful insights into your own driving behavior and thus substantially reduce your lifetime risk of an accident.

So it may be worth your while to reconsider your resistance not only to journaling but also to finding legal help with respect to your accident.

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is standing by to help you if/when you have questions about your potential case.

Could Forward Warning Collision Systems Be the Future of North Carolina Auto Accident Prevention?

July 24, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A stunning new study put out by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) suggests that the next era of North Carolina auto accident prevention may be dominated by a technology known as the Forward Collision Warning System.

The HLDI studied collision data for Acura and Mercedes vehicles equipped with this tech – which automatically causes the car to brake when a threat of a crash gets detected – caused a statistically significant drop in claims – down 14%.

Another technology, adaptive headlights, also reduced claims in a sample group by approximately 10%. Curiously, the HLDI data found that a third technology, Lane Departure Warning, had no statistically significant effect on claims. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) appears to be very excited about the potential of Forward Collision Warning Systems, in particular. Experts there believe that this technology may be able to slash the number of rear-end crashes on our roads by 15% annually. Given that there are 1.7 million of these kind of crashes a year in the U.S. – many thousands of which happen in North Carolina – prepare to be seeing a lot of car commercials boasting about the “competitive advantage” of this kind of technology.

The U.S.’s Chief Auto Safety Regulator, David Strickland of the NHTSA, has made it the mission of his agency to reduce crashes. If more data on Forward Collision Warning Technology bears out the safety advantages, this feature might soon become mandatory in all new vehicles. It could signal a sea change.

Of course, while positive shifts in auto accident prevention technology are always good news, if you or someone you care about was recently the victim of a car crash, you are probably more interested in picking up the pieces than you are in fantasizing about a “crash-free” future.

The DeMayo Law team has extensive resources and passionate people who can help you come to terms with your rights and responsibilities and recover damages…and regain a sense of control over your life and next steps.

North Carolina Auto Accident: Could Be a Forgettable Fender Bender… Then Again, Maybe Not!

July 3, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Not all Charlotte auto accidents are “black and white,” legally speaking.

Some accidents are so severe and scary that the people involved in those crashes – or the friends and family members of loved ones killed – know that they need the services of a North Carolina auto accident law firm, like the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo.

On the other end of the spectrum, we all have had the experience of getting “slightly tapped” while trying to pull into a parking space — where only the most ridiculously litigious minded person would consider legal action.

But what about the grey areas?

What about situations that don’t seem “that bad”? Like the following:

•    Someone hit your car at a stoplight and bent your bumper a bit. Your upper back ached in the days following the accident. Could it be related to whiplash or a spinal problem caused by the accident or not? You’re not sure.

•    You got hurt in a situation that was clearly “your fault” – or it sure seemed that way. For instance, you drove off into a culvert, totaling your car and hurting yourself in the processes. But were you really totally to blame? Or did the car’s safety systems malfunction? You can’t know without doing a detailed investigation.

Resolving ambiguity – the best way

We live in an ambiguous world; and everyone’s situation is different. However, given the long-term damage that car accidents can cause – damage both to your wallet and to your body – it behooves you to be thorough and err on the side of caution when contemplating your potential legal options. The effective Charlotte car accident team here at DeMayo Law can help you explore possible strategic solutions to get you compensated.