Topic: Red Light Running

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.

What’s Scarier (If You Were Being Rational): Shark Attacks or North Carolina Truck Accidents?

February 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

What are you more afraid of: A shark attack or a Charlotte truck accident?

If you’re like most normal people, as soon as you start to contemplate what it might feel like to get assaulted by a Great White in the middle of the ocean, your pulse rises. You freak out! There is something intuitively strange and scary about sharks. Movies like Jaws and salacious footage of shark attacks in the news gin up our fears of these monsters.

Conversely, we also understand that North Carolina truck accidents can be scary, but the fear isn’t the same for most of us.

But statistically speaking, the likelihood of your getting hurt or killed in a truck accident vastly exceeds — by orders of magnitude! — the likelihood of your getting hurt or killed in a shark attack.

Yet every time a fatal shark attack happens, especially on U.S. shores, the story rises to the top of the Huffington Post and other news aggregator sites. Meanwhile, fatal truck accidents — even accidents that kill multiple people — often barely make the local papers.

This disconnect between what we actually fear and what we technically should fear (if our fears were more in line with our statistical reality) gives us profound insight into the nature of safety. The disconnect suggests that we may often pay attention to the wrong types of warnings and — at the same time!! — fail to pay attention to the right types of warnings.

Thus, we may overreact to non-threats and under-react to true threats and, in both ways, put ourselves in unnecessary peril.

If you’ve already been in a truck accident — and you suffered serious injuries — then you might feel that you’re acquiring this theoretical knowledge a day late and a dollar short.

But this new kind of thinking can still be useful for you, especially if you need to make a claim against an insurance company or liable trucker. Why? Because you’re likely ALSO thinking about your truck accident through inaccurate filters or belief systems. And if you don’t approach your legal and insurance situations accurately and strategically, you could miss out on fair compensation and struggle pointlessly.

Let the team at DeMayo Law help you articulate and structure the smartest possible legal action. Email or call our team now for an immediate consultation.

It Won’t Be Like This Forever: Right Now, You May Be At Your Low Point After Your Auto Accident in North Carolina

January 17, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Your North Carolina auto accident happened out of the blue.

Whether you were rear ended at a stop sign near a Duke University frat, or injured when a big rig slammed into you on I-95, you feel like your life has been shattered. On a literal level, you may have been “shattered” — suffered broken bones, internal bleeding, and other physical insults and injuries. On a metaphorical level, you might also feel “shattered” — emotionally devastated, financially bereft, and isolated and alone, despite the goodwill of loved ones and the care of your physician.

Life right now just seems really hard. You’re not sure where the light at the end of the tunnel is, if such a light exists at all.

There IS a reason to take heart, and it in no way, shape or form is pollyannaish. The phenomenon has a name and powerful scientific data behind it. It’s known as “hedonic adaptation.”

Human beings process events (both good and bad events) in very counterintuitive ways. Life’s turmoils and delights do not impact our long term levels of happiness nearly as much as we think they should. We are effectively “buffered” against getting too low or too high, emotionally.

This “hedonic adaptation” explains why many people who win the lottery experience immediate euphoria but ultimately return to the baseline level of happiness that they had prior to hitting the big pay day. Hedonic adaptation also explains why people who suffer devastating injuries, such as total paraplegia, feel immediately depressed but ultimately rebound to their baseline happiness levels.

So winning millions of dollars in the lottery won’t make you happier… and suffering something as extreme as paraplegia won’t make you unhappier, at least over the long-term, at least in a statistically measurable way! This is counterintuitive and somewhat dismaying. But it should also hearten you, if you’re currently experiencing a really tight and tough situation right now.

Hedonic adaptation suggests that, if you’re incapacitated or overwhelmed right now, you won’t be that way forever. In our next blog post, we’ll talk about an interesting, scientifically supported strategy for how to “speed up” this hedonic adaptation process, so that you’ll start to feel better and more in control, even before your internal “emotional immune system” starts to kick in.

For help understanding your case, call the team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a free case evaluation.

Charlotte Auto Accidents: Not Everyone Will Agree With What You’re Doing

June 26, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

As a Charlotte auto accident victim, you’re seriously contemplating taking legal action against a driver who hit you, an insurance company, or some other party — perhaps even a municipal agency in charge of keeping the roads safe. You may very well have a sound case. However, you cannot control other people’s reactions to your legal actions!

For instance, say your case becomes highly publicized – and potentially controversial. There is a likelihood that anonymous people writing about the case on the internet may write things or speculate about you in ways that you don’t particularly like. If your case becomes a big battle, legally speaking – that is, it becomes “interesting” from a legal perspective and thus attracts different lawyers to comment on it – you can also expect to read positive and negative opinions about your case and your situation.

The positive reviews are nice to read. But the negative feedback can easily be dispiriting.

It’s important to remember that, even with good effort and a strong sense of equilibrium, it can be difficult to “tune out” the haters, particularly if someone says something that touches you or cuts to some insecurity you have about the case or about yourself in general.

Step one to managing this frustration is to get good, experienced people on your team.

The seasoned auto accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, for instance, can help you parse your options and figure out what might be resourceful next steps to take.

Do be aware that getting a recovery for your medical bills and time off of work may not be simple or easy – even if you have a very solid case and a terrific legal team fighting for you.

You may hit bumps in the road.

But when you do, remind yourself about the positive things in your life, and focus intensely on why you want to achieve the results you want to achieve. When we dwell on our purpose – when we understand what’s motivating us to do what we are doing – we can often overcome obstacles that otherwise might undermine our perseverance and lead us to settle for less than ideal results.

North Carolina Truck Accident Prevention – Keep Your Windshield Clean!

May 2, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina truck accidents are enormous and often catastrophic events. When we see the wreckage on local news reels or YouTube video clips, we are often dumbstruck at the carnage. Trucks are big. They are powerful. They are capable of not only destroying other vehicles on the road, but also of doing serious structural damage to roads, buildings, and structures like bridges and ramps.

Unfortunately, because the end results of accidents are so enormous and dramatic and emotionally gripping, we tend to think that the causes of these wrecks also must likely be big and easy to spot. We might, for instance, think that a truck driver that caused a big wreck on the freeway had been dosing himself with unbelievable amounts of methamphetamine. Maybe he was trying to drive across the country in 100 hours flat, without ever stopping to rest or sleep, for instance. And sometimes the cause IS dramatic — a brake snaps and fails during a critical freeway moment, for instance. But often, the root-cause of accidents is far more subtle:

•    A dirty windshield, for instance, can distract a driver, preventing him from seeing a truck approaching along his side;
•    A truck driver fails to notice a freeway sign that indicates that his particular type of vehicle should not be on the road, given the weather conditions or the size of his load;
•    The drivers of both vehicles get distracted by a sports game on the radio and thus fail to react with exquisite enough precision to avoid collision.

So you can have these subtle causes.

Here is something else that’s interesting. Many accidents have MULTIPLE causes – or contributing factors – some of which may be extremely subtle and difficult to detect, even with the most cutting-edge forensics. A truck driver who is borderline diabetic and who has blood sugar issues might, for instance, suffer a lapse of judgment – or a degradation in his driving capabilities. But unless you do blood work on that driver and manage to connect his pre-diabetes with the accident, this contributing factor would be very difficult to detect.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do the investigative and legal legwork by yourself. You can connect with an experienced North Carolina truck accident law firm, like DeMayo Law, to help understand your rights and potential avenues of recourse.

More Web Resources:

Subtle Factors which can Influence Your Driving

What to Do If Your Son is at Risk of Getting into a North Carolina Motorcycle Crash

April 30, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Maybe your son has already been involved in a scary and perhaps serious North Carolina motorcycle crash.

Or maybe you are just concerned that his driving habits and attitudes and friends have put him on a collision course with disaster. What can you do to influence his behavior, and get him to change his ways to become more safety conscious?

This problem is minimally discussed, if ever discussed, on North Carolina car accident blogs and other educational websites. Instead, we get the same old pabulum — preaching safety advice to the choir. Do you really need to be told, again and again, why it’s so important to wear a helmet while driving or why to avoid biking under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or extreme fatigue? Probably not. You are the one who always reads safety articles, forwards emails to your son, etc!

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to solve this “preaching to the choir” problem. How do you reach out to people who seem to make an art out of ignoring your advice?

The answer is not necessarily intuitive. In fact, probably you worry that if you get overly alarmist about motorcycle safety, then you will alienate your son (or other relative) who is at risk of a North Carolina car or motorcycle crash. And you might well be right.

On the other hand, you can’t stand idly by and allow the dangerous driving behavior to continue. If you are still reeling from an actual motorcycle accident, you know in a very real and palpable way what can go wrong – or at least what has the potential to go wrong.

What you need is not necessarily better information – more alarmism, more statistics showing why you are right and he is wrong, etc. You need a new approach — a way to try to connect on a personal, empathetic level.

No one likes to be preached to or talked down to, even if they would begrudgingly acknowledge that certain messages are ultimately in their best interest to hear.

So instead of preaching, consider trying to connect with the rider by using empathy and listening. Find out what’s really going on with him. One very interesting and innovative set of tools is the so-called “nonviolent communication” paradigm, developed by renowned psychologist and negotiator, Marshall Rosenberg.

Rosenberg has created a very interesting and a useful set of communication strategies that help people connect empathetically with one and another and get their needs met. Rosenberg focuses on the feelings and needs of various parties in negotiations.

You can find out more by checking out the link below. And if you need help with a specific motorcycle accident case, connect with a North Carolina motorcycle accident law firm.

More web resources:

Marshall Rosenberg’s nonviolent communication

Why it’s so hard to communicate criticism