Topic: Catastrophic Injuries

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.

With So Many Free Auto Safety Tips Out There, How Come North Carolina Car and Truck Accident Rates Are Still So High?

March 19, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Victims in North Carolina truck accident cases are often astonished by the diversity of the responsible driver’s negligence.

In many accidents, stuff “goes wrong” on many levels, setting off catastrophic scenarios. For instance, perhaps the trucker who hit you logged way too many hours (no no #1). Then he compensated by downing over-the-counter legal speed or 10 bottles of Mountain Dew (no no #2). When these amphetamines wore off, he veered out of his lane into your car (no no #3). Finally, he lied to the investigating police officer afterwards (no no #4).

In any event, it is truly astonishing how many bad drivers populate North Carolina’s freeways and surface streets. We all have access to inspired, clearly written, and innovative safe driving tips via the web. On this blog alone, we’ve talked about dozens of strategies for how to reduce your likelihood of getting hurt on the road. If you do even cursory internet research, you can put your high school driving teacher to shame.

So why don’t people retain this safety information?

Or, if they do retain it, why don’t they practice the good safety habits they know?

These two questions are penetrating. They speak to a bigger problem that we have in our information overloaded society. We have access to lots of information — good, useful, powerful information — but our ability to process that knowledge and implement it often lags.

A Quick Fix?

Rather than stress yourself out trying to “figure out what to do,” focus on finding good people to help you achieve your goals. As an accident victim, you must complete various. Although technically, you could try to fix your car yourself, heal your bruises at home with icepacks and homeopathic remedies (or whatever) and fight your own car accident case, why would you do those things?

It’s far better to find a competent doctor, mechanic, and law firm to tackle these projects for you.

To that end, please consider calling the DeMayo Law team today at 1.877.529.1222 to set up your free consultation with us.

Could Innovations in Football Helmet Science Lead to Fewer North Carolina Auto Accident Injuries?

March 14, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

We touch a lot on the theme of North Carolina auto accident injury prevention on this blog. Why? Because everyone — injured and non-injured alike — can benefit from insights into what constitutes safe driving.

To that end, new innovations in football helmet technology may portend automobile safety upgrades that could make our world much safer.

If you follow our North Carolina traumatic brain injury blog — or if you follow football news in general — you no doubt know that the NFL has a serious head injury problem. Over 4,000 ex-pros and their spouses are suing the National Football League. They allege, among other things, that the NFL underrepresented the dangers of long-term concussions.

To meet this challenge, helmet manufacturers are racing to develop technology to protect the brains of gridiron warriors. One company based in Sweden has developed a very interesting system called the MIPS system, which redirects torsional forces using a loosely sliding plate to prevent the brain from getting “spun around.”

As any physics major can tell you, force can be broken down into an intensity component and a directional component. Most helmet manufacturers — and automobile safety technology manufacturers — focus on the intensity element. They develop and test materials that blunt forces. But the MIPS system takes a different approach. It tries not only to “de-intensify” forces but also to manage the direction of these forces.

No one knows whether the MIPS system — or any system like it — will become the new standard in NFL headgear. But the implications for North Carolina car accident prevention are pretty interesting. If automotive manufacturers in the future can learn how to harness this technology — that could counter both the direct AND torsional forces that happen during collisions — then perhaps we’ll reduce serious accidents and deaths and injuries.

Of course, we likely won’t see innovations along those lines for years. But if you’ve been struggling to get compensation after your accident, please get in touch with us here at the DeMayo Law for a complimentary consultation — 1.877.529.1222.

It Sounded Like A North Carolina Car Accident, But It Wasn’t, And It Could Have Been Much Worse…

March 5, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

It could have been way worse than any North Carolina auto accident we’ve reported on a long time. Instead, only one man died, and that man is being heralded as a hero.

Here’s what happened.

Early one morning, around 5:45 a.m., residents of Sharpe Road in Burlington heard a horrific noise. It sounded like someone was speed racing down the street and turning up the volume of the noisy engine with a massive amp. A local resident, Deloris Burrell, told reporters “I heard a V-r-o-o-o-m! V-r-o-o-o-m! The first thing I thought was ‘why is someone racing their car at 5:30 in the morning’?”

Turns out, it wasn’t a car that was making the noise. It was a plane! A single-engine LabCorp plane piloted by 57 year old David Gamble of Greensboro.

Ms. Burrell ran to her window and saw Gamble’s small plane plummet out of the sky and crash land at an empty ball field near Mayco Bigelow Community Center. The plane erupted in a ball of flame. Investigators believe the plane had over 400 gallons of jet fuel onboard. Loccal residents ran to the scene of the crash and tried to help, but nothing could be done. The plane’s husk was a ball of flame, and Mr. Gamble sadly perished.

The crash is still under investigation, but authorities and local residents believe that Mr. Gamble purposely crash landed on the empty ballpark to avoid hurting anyone. That area is strewn with houses, and he could have easily crashed into a house, killing people literally in their sleep. It was a final act of extreme heroism augmented by a bit of luck. Residents say that people typically are out early walking around that track. But that morning, no one had been jogging or walking dogs. The damage to the facility was remarkably minimal, despite the fire and jet fuel release.

Not all North Carolina auto accidents involve acts of heroism or good luck, however.

If you or a loved one got hurt in a crash in Greensboro, Raleigh or elsewhere in the state, you may be confused about your rights, frustrated by an uncooperative negligent driver, or intimidated by insurance adjusters. There is no need to fight this battle alone. The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is standing by to help. Talk to us: we can provide a free consultation and help you strategize to make more intelligent decisions about your car crash case.

Power Napping: An Overlook Tool for Preventing Auto Accidents in Charlotte?

February 21, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

How many serious accidents in Charlotte could be prevented, if drivers, pedestrians, and truckers all napped more?

Silly question? Perhaps.

We like to explore the theme of auto accident prevention often on this blog, since it’s such a critical one. Many law blogs often serve as little more than thinly veiled self-promotional tools or as a “poor man’s” AP or CNN. But we at DeMayo Law believe deeply in the value of educating people–prospects and non-prospects alike–about better road safety. This passion to make the roads safer is a deeply held value. Consider, for instance, the DeMayo “Arrive Alive” program, which strives to reduce DUI driving and accidents in our community.

During our ongoing discussion, we try to go deeper than the typical “auto safety 101” type articles that have proliferated online. You already, undoubtedly, know to avoid using your cell phone while you drive, to pay attention to the road, to get your car tuned up, etc., etc.

But you might benefit from thinking about safe driving in new contexts.

For instance, consider the lowly “power nap.” Could it be an untapped tool to help us all become safer drivers? Statistics show that a significant percentage of North Carolina population does not get enough good sleep. And studies link sleep deprivation with all sorts of endocrinological problems, stress, etc. Of course, it’s difficult to know what causes what in this relationship. Does the lack of sleep cause or exacerbate the medical conditions? Or do these medical conditions cause insomnia?

It’s not easy to parse without digressing into a long discussion of scientific literature. But at least some compelling research supports this concept of “power napping”–that is, taking a 20 to 30 minute siesta in the middle of the day.

If napping can help improve attention span, reduce stress, improve blood sugar, reduce medical problems like obesity and diabetes, etc. … then just imagine what would happen if the entire state of North Carolina adopted a “nap 20 minutes a day” outreach program or something like that. If ubiquitous power napping had positive effects, than this outreach could have a real and positive impact not just on our health, but also on road accident statistics.

Even though we may not reach “siesta utopia” any time soon, consider starting your own daily napping practice. You might find that your energy levels improve and that you become a safer driver.

For help dealing with the aftermath of your recent car crash in North Carolina, get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today for an insightful, thorough, and confidential free consultation. Call us at 1.877.529.1222.