Topic: Caveman Driving

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.

Quick Summary of North Carolina Car Accident News

March 7, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Although this blog is officially a North Carolina car accident blog, we do not regularly report on car wrecks in the state for a few reasons.

1.    First, if you want details on a particular accident, you’re better off going to local or national media, which pay reporters to investigate and explain the accidents.
2.    Secondly, it can be somewhat distasteful to discuss tragedies in any kind of marketing context, even if you do so with the best of intentions.
3.    Thirdly, hurt and injured people want help and insight about their problems — not more gloomy news.

All that said, it can be useful to survey what’s been happening in the local news — to that end, here are synopses of three recent NC accidents.

On January 31st, Charlotte TV reporter Caroline Vandergriff, of WSOC News 14, suffered serious injuries, after a car smashed into her at the corner of an intersection in Charlotte. According to reports, Ms. Vandergriff had been reporting on power outages, when two cars collided at Morehead Street and Kenilworth Avenue at around 9:30pm. They hit her during the spin-out. The reporter suffered serious injuries and got treated at a local hospital.

Meanwhile, out on N.C. 150 in Salisbury, five people suffered injuries when a silver Mitsubishi and red Dodge Durango collided near Patterson Road. Emergency workers took the injured people to Rowan Regional Medical Center. Disturbingly, witnesses told the Salisbury Post that accidents along that stretch of N.C. 150 “are commonplace…  It’s just way too fast through here,” Mitch Eidson said of the 55 mph speed limit. “Vehicles going off the road hit mailboxes, trees and fences,” said local resident Kellie Martin, “We have wrecks in our yard yearly.”

Lastly, 36-year-old Bambi Whicker lost her life, when her husband fell asleep behind the wheel. According to a local news report, his car ran off the road and flipped over when he tried to correct. Ms. Whicker was thrown from the vehicle. Although her husband was not seriously hurt, Ms. Whicker died later at the hospital.

These North Carolina car accidents can be really sad and disturbing to discuss, but we need to talk about them from time-to-time to highlight the diversity or crashes and to help victims understand their own problems in a broader context.

For help dealing with the aftermath of your injury and to protect your legal rights and chances of remedy, get in touch with the DeMayo Law team now at 1.877.529.1222 for a free consultation.

Finding a New Rhythm after Your North Carolina Car Accident

February 28, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

The worst thing about getting hurt in a car accident in North Carolina (or anywhere) isn’t the physical agony per se — rather, it’s the psychological uncertainty that accompanies the medical problems, financial distress, and other topsy-turviness.

You’ve lost your rhythm.

When you don’t have a steady daily rhythm, your psychological immune system struggles. Both large and small scale stresses can feel equally insurmountable: massive problems, like “how on earth am I going to pay for my medical care and hold the trucker who hit me responsible per North Carolina accident law?” cause as much stress as minor annoyances, like “how will I walk my dog now that I’m hurt?”

Seeing the uncertainty itself as the root problem

Many auto accident victims in North Carolina fail to recognize that this “lack of rhythm” constitutes a core problem–perhaps THE core problem. Instead, they focus only on going through rehab, hiring legal help, fixing up their vehicles, managing workers’ comp, and beyond. You certainly need to do all (or some) of those things. And when you complete these projects, you will reduce some factors that are stimulating uncertainty.

But don’t fool yourself! Even if you manage to get everything in your life ordered and simplified — if you batch your car accident related projects effectively — you may not get back into your rhythm for several weeks or months, at least without consciously addressing the rhythm issue specifically.

So how do you regain your rhythm, beyond doing the obvious projects that we discussed above?

One way is to impose an unnatural (but strategically conceived) schedule  and to habituate yourself to that schedule over time. Here’s a great example from the world of sleep training to prove this point. Let’s say you want to rest better and improve your energy levels. One of the best things you can do is to get up every day at the same time. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday — you never sleep in, you wake up at the exact same time every morning.

This feels unnatural and difficult at first — particularly if you’re not an early riser. But over time, this awkward and artificial structure becomes natural, and your sleep cycles tend to improve.

Likewise, you may want to create some kind of an analogously artificial (but well planned) structure to your day, in light of your current new limitations and resource challenges.

For help unpacking how to get justice and compensation after your crash, connect with the Charlotte car accident law team at DeMayo Law for a free consultation.

Managing the Diverse Projects on Your Plate Caused By Your Charlotte Auto Accident

January 8, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Charlotte auto accident has thrown your world into total disarray.

Not only do you need help with “nuts and bolts” issues, like seeking compensation from an insurance company or making sure “justice gets done” in your case, but you also want to identify and start to deal with problems kicked up in your financial, personal, and emotional life.

Here’s a method for how to start to get a handle on what’s been bothering you.

Step one involves simply clearing your head of all the “stuff” that you’re thinking about.

Our brains are very good at making intuitive connections between things but very bad at organizing information and feeding back the “stuff” we need to know it, when we need to know it. We don’t remember to get dog food when we’re at Petco but rather when we’re in the cab on the way to the airport!

Our minds operate chaotically. Rather than try to fight that instinct, aim to work with it. Dump the random your content that your mind generates onto an external format that you can review — such as a word document or notepad. Once you’ve dumped all the information out onto paper (or a word processor), you will immediately feel a surge of clarity and calm.

When you’re in the thick of a mental fog, you can feel like you have an infinite number of concerns on your plate. When you write everything down, you’ll see that your concerns are actually far more limited.

Next step: systematically process your stuff, and figure out what you’re going to do about each item, one at a time. You don’t need to finish each line item — you simply need to connect each item with a finish line and figure out the next action to take for that item.

Let’s say you have the following line item: “get finances in order after accident.” What, precisely, you would like to see happen with respect to your finances? Do you want to refill your emergency fund by a certain date? Do you want to pay off credit card bills or deal with creditors? Get clear about what you want, and then think about the very next step that you will need to do to start to make that a reality. For instance, your next step might be to call your broker.

Get all your thoughts out of your head, and attach outcomes and “next steps” to all those items. You’ll feel much clearer about how to handle the aftermath of your Charlotte auto accident.

For help with the legal end, please consider getting in touch with the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for an astute and insightful free consultation about your case.

Terrifying and Bizarre North Carolina Truck Accident Leaves One Dead and Two Injured: Middle of the Night Horror on I-95

December 13, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

52-year-old Mitchell Blankenship died last week in a terrifying, middle of the night accident on I-95 that literally killed the trucker in his sleep.

This freakish North Carolina truck accident is currently under investigation. Here’s what happened, according to news sources. Blankenship had been sleeping in his cab in a rest area, when suddenly, a 2009 Toyota Corolla, driven by 25-year-old Kevin Rojas, entered the rest area, presumably at high speed, flipped over, vaulted into the air and smashed into Blankenship’s cab.

Although rescue workers managed to extract Blankenship from his vehicle, he died on the way to St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Rojas, meanwhile, along with his passenger, 25-year-old Esther Gonzales, both survived relatively unscathed. Rojas got a cut on his head, while Gonzales apparently did not even suffer cuts and bruises. The Toyota, meanwhile, was demolished. According to reports, both Rojas and Gonzales were wearing their seatbelts. Due to the extent of the damage, two different fire engines and two different ladder companies had to be called into deal with the disaster.

Normally, North Carolina truck accidents prove more destructive to cars than to trucks.

Why? Because trucks are more massive and thus capable of exerting more concentrated force during collisions. When you hit a tennis ball with a racket, the tennis ball appears to “feel it more” than the racket, because of how forces are concentrated. Likewise, in collisions between trucks and cars, the cars tend to “feel it more” for similar reasons.

If you’re looking to figure out what to do following your truck accident in North Carolina, the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help. Our team can help you thoroughly investigate the scene, construct an intelligent, strategically insightful approach, and answer all your questions, so that you can regain a sense of stability and peace of mind.

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.