Topic: Drowsy 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.

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.

There Is Hope for North Carolina Auto Accident Survivors – Watch These Videos!

January 24, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

At this DeMayo auto accident blog, we often provide tips, strategies, and ideas to help victims understand their rights and deal with their diverse problems in a more resourceful manner. We don’t like to be overly self promotional, since, quite frankly, victims want to understand their own situations — they most definitely do NOT want to hear legal advocates tooting their own horns.

However, if you’ve been struggling since your accident — frustrated and scared by your medical diagnosis, intimidated by an insurance adjuster, overwhelmed by the sheer scope of your financial stress — consider spending 5 minutes or so clicking through the video testimonials we’ve compiled on our website. These are real people, just like you, who experienced tremendous adversity, such as illness, accidents, and nearly unbearable frustrations with insurance companies and callous employers. They nevertheless overcame their problems with a little help from our astute North Carolina auto accident team.

Even if you do NOT choose to call us for a free consultation about what you’ve been going through, please just listen to their stories anyway. Let them inspire you about what might be possible.

If you’ve been intimidated about investigating legal action, overwhelmed by stress since the day of your injury, or angry about your current law firm’s poor service, take time to reawaken your sense of what is possible. Neuroscientists have pretty clearly shown that when we focus on positive outcomes, we often find resources, almost serendipitously, that draw us to better outcomes. Learn from people who’ve overcome adversity after their Charlotte auto accidents, and let that inspiration be a beacon to you.

Injustices in North Carolina Auto Accident Cases: They Happen, And with A Disturbing Frequency

December 20, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

As a recent North Carolina auto accident victim — or the friend or loved one of someone who was harmed in a calamity — you hold a fundamental belief that “the truth will prevail.”

Perhaps someone carelessly rear-ended you at a stop light and gave you horrific neck soreness and possibly a concussion. Clearly, the negligent driver should be liable for your injuries and should be compelled to offer compensation. In an ideal world, if life were fair, the compensation should fit the accident.

But funny things can happen.

For instance:

•    The driver may be uninsured or underinsured – and may be penurious on top of that. So he or she may lack funds to pay for extensive medical bills and long-term damages. In that case, you may be forced to pay out of pocket for your costs, even though the accident wasn’t your fault at all;
•    Quirks in your insurance coverage or in the other person’s insurance coverage — or both! — may conspire to reduce your benefits and/or fight incredibly hard to get due compensation.
•    The other driver may put forth a competing, false narrative about the accident. This kind of trickery can not only end your quest to collect your compensation, but also unjustly put you on the line to compensate him (or her) for damages.

Unfair case resolutions happen far too often.

It’s not that our justice system is intrinsically flawed. Rather, the science of North Carolina auto accident forensics is a complicated and young science. The subtle, indirect, vitally important elements of certain car accident cases are often devilishly hard to surface… and even more challenging to prove in court.

Implications for you as a potential plaintiff

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe to ensure fair case outcomes. If only there were! But there are certain principles you can leverage to reduce the risk of unfairness.

For instance:

•    Avoid waiting too long before contacting a good car accident law firm.
•    Collect a lot of information about the accident, including verbatim witness statements, photographic evidence, police reports, et cetera.
•    Meticulously document everything associated with the accident.

Car accidents are idiosyncratic, and the success or failure of your claim will hinge on the intimate details. But car accident cases also have a lot in common with one another, so a law firm that consistently succeeds in cases similar to yours can make a difference. Let the DeMayo Law team help you maximize your chances for a fair outcome. Connect with us today.

Did Your Auto Accident in North Carolina Traumatize and Change the Very Structure of Your Brain?

December 18, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether a big rig caused your injury crash in Charlotte or you witnessed a gruesome car accident aftermath, your life has changed. Friends and family members have counseled you to let go of the past and focus on the future – to avoid getting hung up on “reliving the drama.” While you appreciate the concern, you’re having a devilishly difficult time returning to your previous emotional equilibrium.

Why?

Evidence from studies of victims of traumatic events suggests that our reactions to shocking and disturbing “stuff” can literally change our brain chemistry by etching new neural pathways. Studies of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance, who have witnessed roadside bombs or other horrors of war, suggest that the brain responds to terror by releasing a flood of hormones, which disassociate the conscious experience from the emotional experience.

This may be why PTSD victims often have no problem reciting details about their trauma but fail to be able to access the emotions associated with said events. Some scientists have hypothesized that the flood of neurotransmitters released may actually alter certain neurochemical signaling in the prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain responsible for integrating our personality and calibrating our emotions.

There is no quick fix, but proper a diagnosis can help

Posttraumatic stresses caused by a North Carolina car accident or other traumatic event can be complex and challenging to treat, even when the condition gets properly diagnosed. However, you may find it somewhat comforting just to read that your inability to let the accident “go” may have less to do with your lack of willpower or self-control and more to do with biochemical issues that potentially can be repaired with effective treatment.

Of course, this isn’t a medical blog, so we can’t help you understand or treat the potential PTSD associated with your accident. However, you likely also have legal concerns, in which case, please give the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo a call for a free consultation about your Charlotte car accident.

Can Too Much Shopping Cause Car Accidents In Charlotte and Elsewhere?

November 26, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether you recently got hurt in an auto accident in Charlotte, or you’re just someone who wants to be a safer, more clear minded driver, you’re well aware that you routinely engage in subpar driving practices.

If you’ve read this North Carolina car accident law blog – or followed any conventional media reports on auto safety – and you’re undoubtedly aware of the dangers caused by driving DUI, driving under the influence of medications, driving while fatigued, driving while distracted, etc.

But other, more subtle factors can also degrade your driving and increase your risk of getting into another injury crash.

For instance: Christmas holiday shopping fatigue.

This factor almost certainly plays a role in a non-negligible number of NC accidents. Here are some examples of how this might play out:

•    An exhausted mother of four, burned out from three hours of crawling around a mall with her screaming kids, rear ends a car in the mall parking lot, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage;
•    A beleaguered retail store clerk – fried from working time and a half shifts for weeks on end – runs a red light and clips an SUV, causing minor injuries;
•    Overburdened by hundreds of millions of gift requests and other mail, Santa Claus accidentally steers his reindeer sleigh too far north, exists the Earth’s atmosphere and winds up on the moon.

Okay, that third example is made up. But hopefully the point is clear: Shopping related agitation, distraction, and overwhelm can cause accidents outright and/or make certain accidents worse.

Most holiday car accidents in North Carolina are incredibly complex. Multiple hypotheses can be put forward to explain how and why they occurred. Driver distraction/inattention, vehicular problems, road engineering problems, bad weather, and even interference from animals or pedestrians can all play roles in certain crashes.

If you’ve been harmed – or you know someone who has suffered damages – the highly successful and meticulous team at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you get a handle on your rights and pursue the most aggressive and sensible course of action.

 
 

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