Topic: Distracted Driving

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.

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.

Small North Carolina Car Crash Sparks Larger Wreck Out in Fayetteville

March 12, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina car accidents are dynamic and unpredictable — even after they “happen.”

Case in point, consider a strange “one-two” wreck that recently shook up the small town of Fayetteville. According to WTVD, a Chrysler 300 and a government vehicle got into a minor collision. Things then took a turn for the weird, when the government worker attempted to swap insurance information. Instead of reciprocating, the Chrysler driver sped off.

Miffed and outraged, the government employee followed. The Chrysler hit a curb on Alexander Street, sending his vehicle spiraling into the parking lot of Fayetteville’s Department of Engineering and Infrastructure. According to WTVD, “It went up and over another car, ending up perched on the hood of the second vehicle. The driver then got out and ran, but was detained.”

The lessons for anyone recently injured in a North Carolina auto accident are pretty clear.

First of all, accidents are inherently unpredictable, as are drivers. As much as you wish that people would “do the right thing,” you can never predict how negligent drivers will behave or what they will say or think. The same goes for every stakeholder that you will encounter, as you go through the North Carolina accident “clean up” process. Insurance adjusters, for instance, may enter your situation with a split motive. On the one hand, many adjusters genuinely want to help and ensure fair compensation. On the other hand, adjusters work for insurance companies. These businesses may seek to minimize your claim or at least limit it.

How can you protect yourself given all the unpredictability?

One effective method is to retain an experienced North Carolina auto accident law firm, like the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo. Our team understands the common tricks and strange behavior that adjusters and negligent drivers typically use. We can effective prepare you. We have the staff, systems and legal know-how to help you to prepare a taut, legally sound, and emotionally compelling case. Find out more about what we do online, or email or call us at 1.877.529.1222 to set up your free consultation with us.

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.