Topic: Teen Drivers

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.

Diagram Your North Carolina Car Accident as Quickly as Possible after the Crash

February 19, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

On this North Carolina car accident law blog, we talk almost incessantly about the need for victims to write down their concerns and document evidence from injury crashes.

Documentation is essential. Why? Because it provides an objective (or quasi-objective) perspective on the events that led to your injury and other damages. This evidence can be a powerful legal weapon. The sooner you document the crash, the better, since human memory tends to fade and do other funny things over time, and the court system knows this. So a witness statement taken minutes after the crash will carry more weight than will a witness recollection taken two weeks after a crash.

What we haven’t talked about yet is the need to document the accident from as many possible angles as you can. Write down your own account in a journal or diary. If you are too sick or injured, create a voice recording on your cell phone — or on someone else’s cell phone — describing exactly what happened, in what order, and how you felt, and so forth.

Just remember: The fresher the better.

(One caveat: Your need for medical addition should trump everything else.)

In addition to writing down what happened — and what witnesses saw — use pictorial evidence. If you have a cell phone camera — or if someone else at the scene has a cell phone camera — start taking pictures. Take pictures of the vehicles, the road, the intersection where the crash happened, the people involved, everything. Really go to town and get that pictorial evidence!

Also: sketch out how the accident happened as a drawing. Programs online can help you diagram the accident. Get as detailed as you can — without making stuff up or adding extraneous details.

All this documentation may not mean anything to you in the moment, but it all can ultimately help your North Carolina car accident law firm investigate, build a better case, and help you achieve compensation and closure.

For more important and counterintuitive tips about what to do after your Charlotte accident, call the DeMayo Law team at (877) 529-1222 for a complementary case 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.

Protecting Your Kids from Getting into a Charlotte Car Accident on Halloween

October 2, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

When you’re a parent of small kids, there is really no end to the worry. And if you’ve recently been injured in a North Carolina auto accident — or if a friend or relative has gotten hurt… or, God forbid, a child — you are probably that much more aware of the potential hazards that lurk even on the quiet suburban streets of Charlotte.

To that end, here are tips to make your spooky night safer and less stressful:

1. Be safe when designing/outfitting costumes.

Yes, it’s cute to see your little girl dressed as a witch in an all black costume and hat. But black and brown costumes are hard to see. To minimize the risk of a scary accident, affix reflective tape to the costume and/or change the color of the costume and/or choose a different costume entirely. You also want to make sure that your child can breathe; that he or she is not subject to any harsh chemicals; and that he or she can move freely without tripping or getting entangled.

2. Monitor the candy consumption.

Halloween may be a dentist’s worst nightmare, but many parents like to let their kids indulge in at least one night of carefree eating. Be careful, however. Some metabolically unhealthy kids can get very sick when they eat too much sugar – particularly liquid sugar. If your child is pre-diabetic or diabetic, you may need to monitor his or her sugar intake closely.

3. It’s okay to be a little bit of a helicopter parent on Halloween.

You might feel somewhat guilty for wanting to monitor your child’s fun wild romp through your neighborhood, particularly if you have an older child or teenager – and particularly if your child wants independence. But there is a way to balance your child’s need for independence with your need to protect him/her. Rather than dictate terms – which may not go over well, especially if you have an older child or teenager – creatively come up with a win-win plan, one that will leaving you feeling informed and secure and your child feeling independent and free. For instance, you may set parameters such as ìmake sure you and your friends stick to the side streets… Or you may ask your child to call you at a designated time. Or, if you are the parent of a teenager who drives, you can set up a ìfree passî rule, whereby your child can call you to get a ride home from wherever, and you are not allowed to ask any questions or punish the child. This way, your teen can feel empowered to resist the urge to get behind the wheel while under the influence or get in a car with a friend who is possibly DUI.

Get in touch with our team at DeMayo Law for immediate assistance with any questions or concerns you may have about your accident case.

Could Small Policy Shifts Lead to a Radical Decrease in Teenage Auto Accidents in North Carolina and Beyond?

August 14, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — published in the scarily named journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly — has found that young drivers, between the ages of 15 and 24, account for nearly a quarter of all motor vehicle deaths on US roads every year.

Why are young drivers inherently more at risk for fatal North Carolina car crashes?

Young drivers lack experience, and they are inherently more prone to taking risks. This combines to create the deadly cocktail.

There is a bright side, however, to the research.

Licensing processes gradually allow teenage drivers to acclimate to their responsibilities — these processes may be able to reduce car crash risk by 16% or more, according to some data. In other words, when you put new teenage drivers through a process — like forcing them to drive with a permit or drive with an adult before “graduating” to greater driving independence — this somehow prevents drivers from getting into as many car crashes.

Looking for success stories, and then combining them.

Let just say that the research turns out to be correct – that, when you train teen drivers correctly, you reduce their risk of accidents.

One then might ask some questions:

•    What other accident prevention methods seem to work in the real world?
•    For instance, does positive peer pressure (e.g. social pressure designed to that nudges peers towards safer behavior) lead to lower accident rates?
•    What about town wide curfews?
•    What about cell phone bans?
•    What about other laws, restrictions, and sentences and rewards?

If we cast a wide net, we might find that a variety of programs seem to have some success at reducing accident rates in different contexts. It would be interesting if we could gather the most seemingly effective of these policies and bundle them into one kind of “uber policy” designed to maximize safety among teen drivers.

In other words, say that positive peer pressure, having a curfew, and using a gradual driver’s ed system all reduce teen fatalities a little bit. What if you bundled these activities into one process? Would we be able to limit accidents by an even larger margin? If so, that kind of creative thinking could seriously save lives and reduce injuries.

If you’ve already been hurt in an accident – or someone you love has been hurt – the team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo would be happy to talk to you about your potential legal options for getting justice done and obtaining compensation.

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.