May 2010

“Like” The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo on Facebook and Earn a $1 for the North Carolina Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving

May 30, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo wants you to join us in the fight against drunk driving. Between now and November 5, 2010, for each person that Like’s us on Facebook we will donate $1 to the North Carolina Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm has been a longtime advocate in the fight against driving under the influence. We are happy to be raising money for such an important cause.

Out of the 1,314 North Carolina traffic deaths that occurred in 2009, alcohol was a factor in 363 of them. That is 363 people who could have still been alive today were it not for a drunk driver.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving:
• One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related collision.
• There are about 2 million drivers out there who have had at least three prior drunk driving offenses on their record.

Education and awareness are among the first steps to combat driving while under the influence of alcohol. For the last eight years, our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers have awarded a number of high school seniors college scholarships through the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. Award recipients were chosen from the North Carolina counties of Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Lincoln, Catawba, Rowan, Stanly, Alexander, Robeson, Richmond, Caldwell, Cumberland, Gaston, Union, Cleveland, Iredell, Burke, Scotland, and Anson and the South Carolina counties of Lancaster, Marlboro, York, Chesterfield, and Dillon. Award recipients were chosen based on their original presentations that were created to encourage other teens to refrain from underage drinking and driving, as well as their grades, community activities, and SAT scores. Since 2003, we have awarded over $162,000 to 67 students.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is excited about this latest opportunity to combat drunk driving. If you are someone who was hurt or injured in a North Carolina car crash that you believe was caused by another party’s carelessness or recklessness, contact us today. We have law offices in Charlotte, Monroe, Hickory, and Lumberton, North Carolina.

“Like” us on Facebook

Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes, NHTSA, August 2010 (PDF)

North Carolina Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP

North Carolina Highway Patrol Officer Was Traveling at 120 Mph Before Guilford County Car Accident that Killed 11-Year-Old Girl and Her Grandmother

May 28, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A tragic Jamestown, North Carolina car accident that occurred during a police pursuit in Guilford County has claimed the life of 11-year-old Taylor Strange and her grandmother Sandra Allmond. The 55-year-old woman was turning left at a green light at an intersection just before noon on Sunday when a police car driven by North Carolina Highway Patrol Officer J.D. Goodnight struck her vehicle.

At the time, Goodnight was reportedly pursuing a Buick Skylark that was moving at a speed of 80 mph in a 55 mph zone. According to a preliminary accident report, the police officer was traveling at 120 mph before slowing to 95 mph when he struck Allmond’s vehicle. The impact of the collision split her vehicle in two. Two other children who were in the car were treated at a hospital before being released.

Goodnight reportedly had turned on his blue lights but it is not known for sure whether he had activated his siren. Witnesses say that they did not hear one. The report says that Allmond “failed to yield” and that Goodnight tried to avoid colliding with her vehicle.

The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an independent probe into the North Carolina car accident. There is no internal policy that establishes a maximum speed allowed during police chases and officers are supposed to use their judgment, based on their training, to determine what is safe.

It was just earlier this month that our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers posted a blog on recent findings, per ABC11, that North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers were involved in about seven car crashes a year in 2009. While it is important that police officers do their job when pursuing suspects, they must still obey the traffic laws and warn others when they are speeding, headed to an emergency situation, or involved in a police pursuit. They also must take precautionary measures to make sure that they don’t accidentally injure anyone on the way to their destination.

Trooper going 120 mph before crash,, May 27, 2010

Read the trooper accident report (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Highway Patrol

State Highway Patrol Troopers Involved in Seven North Carolina Car Accidents a Week During 2009, North Carolina Car Accident Law Blog, May 19, 2010

Winners of the 2010 Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Join the Fight to Stop North Carolina Car Accidents Caused by Underage Drinking

May 22, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Each year, our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident law firm awards a number of high school seniors $2,500 college scholarships through the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. For the 2009 – 2010 academic school year,15 graduating seniors each received this award for their grades, SAT scores, involvement with their school and communities, and winning presentations aimed at educating fellow students about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving.

The scholarship program was open to applicants in the North Carolina and South Carolina counties where the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo represents clients, including Mecklenburg, Cleveland, Union, Gaston, Cabarrus, Catawba, Lincoln, Caldwell, Rowan, Anson, Iredell, Stanly, Robeson, Burke, Richmond, Scotland, Alexander, Cumberland, York, Chesterfield, Lancaster, Dillon, and Marlboro.

Whereas in years past, applicants had to answer an essay question by offering a suggestion or solution to how we can stop underage drinking and teen drunk driving, this year applicants were asked to choose among the latest technology and different genres to create presentations that provided ideas and solutions to the same topics. Three public service announcements, seven PowerPoint presentations, two speeches, two dedicated Web sites, and one brochure were included among the winning presentations.

Our Hickory, North Carolina car accident lawyers are very impressed with the presentations we received from all of our applicants. It is clear to us that there are many students who understand that driving while drunk can prove deadly. Our applicants offered unique suggestions for how this message can be better communicated to other teenagers.

Our Monroe, North Carolina motor vehicle accident law firm would like to congratulate the winners of the 2010 Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship program. We would like to invite you to visit our Web site so that you can meet this year’s recipients and watch their amazing presentations.

Scholarship Program, The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo

Related Web Resources:
Underage Drinking

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Teen Drivers, CDC

State Highway Patrol Troopers Involved in Seven North Carolina Car Accidents a Week During 2009

May 19, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to ABC11, state records report that North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers were involved in an average of seven car accidents a week last year, which averages out to about one motor vehicle wreck a day. Traffic crashes ranged from deadly auto accidents to minor rear-end collision.

During a talk with the local TV channel, NC Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeff Gordon said that with 1,700 troopers driving 43 million miles and with many troopers in their vehicles for up to 12 hours a day, it is no wonder that troopers have a higher chance of getting involved in a North Carolina car accident than other drivers who don’t spend as much time on the road. Gordon says that most trooper vehicle accidents couldn’t have been prevented. Investigators, however, say that even though 70% of trooper-related crashes were classified as “non-preventable,” nearly 30% of the traffic accidents could have been avoided.

ABC11 says that in 2009 and 2008, the state Highway Patrol paid almost $703,000 in North Carolina car accident compensation to people involved in collisions with troopers. Three people died last year in accidents involving troopers. One person was the target of a police chase while the other two drivers were innocent bystanders. According to state records, last year troopers crashed 31 motor vehicles during police pursuits.

Police Pursuits
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 360 people die in police pursuits annually. According to USA Today, innocent bystanders account for one-third of these fatalities. This figure doesn’t take into account the bystanders who are killed within seconds after a police chase has ended.

It is important that police troopers obey traffic laws, give warning in the event that they are driving faster than the speed limit or disregarding traffic lights, and take steps not to hit pedestrians or other vehicles.

Deaths lead police to question high-speed chase policies, USA Today, April 23, 2010

NC Highway Patrol averages 7 wrecks a week, ABC11, May 19, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Highway Patrol

National Bike Month is a Reminder to North Carolina Bicyclists to Practice Safe Riding

May 15, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

To mark National Bike Month, our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers would like to remind bicyclists to exercise the necessary safety precautions when on the road. While there is nothing you can do to stop a motorist from driving carelessly or recklessly, there are steps that you can take to decrease the chances of serious injury or death during a traffic crash, including:

• Wear a helmet (Can reduce traumatic brain injury risk by 88%)
• Obey traffic laws
• Pay attention to the motorists and pedestrians around you
• Use a bicycle headlight if you are riding at night
• Wear clothing that makes it easy for motorists see you
• When cycling next to parked vehicles watch out for drivers opening their doors to get out of their vehicles
• Ride in the same direction that traffic is headed
• Stay out of driver’s blind spots so that they can see you
• Make sure you have a bicycle mirror
• Watch out for vehicles at cross streets, parking places, and driveways
• Don’t swerve when looking behind you to check traffic
• Make sure your bicycle is properly maintained

Unfortunately, bicyclists are at high risk of serious injury whenever they are hit by a car, truck, motorcycle, or bus. The medical costs for treating spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement, and other catastrophic injuries can be unaffordable unless you receive North Carolina bicycle accident compensation that you are owed.

Bike Month 2010, The League of American Bicyclists

Related Web Resources:
How to Celebrate National Bike Month, eHow

How to Not Get Hit by Cars,

Greensboro Tractor-Trailer Crash Involving Five Vehicles Kills Two Brothers, Ages 15 and 11, and Injures Nine Others

May 12, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A tragic Greensboro tractor-trailer accident involving five cars has claimed the lives of brothers Isaiah Reynolds, 11, and Darryl Baucum, 15. Nine other people were injured in the multi-vehicle crash.

The deadly North Carolina truck crash happened early Sunday evening on Interstate 40 close to the High Point road exit. According to one witness, four of the vehicles were behind the large truck when the semi-truck collision happened.

Police have determined that the driver of the semi-truck, Jayne Perkins, caused the truck crash. She has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

North Carolina Tractor-Trailer Accidents
If you were injured in a North Carolina tractor-trailer accident, you do not want to try to pursue your compensation against a negligent trucking company without legal help. Trucking companies are equipped to combat semi-truck accident claims and they know how to minimize liability. It is important that you have your own legal representation that can protect your rights and fight for your financial recovery.

Granted, truck drivers, like all other motorists, are not intentionally trying to cause motor vehicle crushes. Truckers want to get to their destination safely and don’t want to ruin lives by hurting other people. Unfortunately, truck accidents do happen and it is usually pedestrians and the occupants of other vehicles that suffer the most. There are steps that you can take to protect yourself in the event that truck driver is careless, reckless, or makes a driving mistake:

• Stay out of a truck driver’s blind spot
• Obey traffic signals
• Don’t talk on the cell phone
• Don’t text message
• Don’t follow too closely behind a large truck
• Pay attention

Second brother involved in car wreck Sunday dies, Winston-Salem Journal, May 12, 2010

Teen Killed, Several Injured in Multi-vehicle Accident on I-40, Fox8, May 10, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Truck Accident Web Resources, Justia

Large Trucks, NHTSA (PDF)

Preventing North Carolina Car Accidents: Driving at Night is Greatest Fatality Risk to Teen Drivers

May 6, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to findings released today from a 10-year study of highway fatalities in the US, driving at night is the number one cause of teen driver-related deaths. Combine nighttime driving with cell phone use and the consequences to teen motorists and others can prove fatal.

According to Bernie Fette, one of the authors of the study, teens are so comfortable using a cell phone—having grown up with them—that they experience a “false sense of security” while mistakenly believing that they can safely text or talk on a cell phone while driving.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says 25% of teenagers have admitted to texting while driving. In 2008, the largest group of distracted drivers belonged to the under 20 age group. This is unfortunate, considering that teens are the least experienced motorists and more easily prone to becoming distracted.

According to a Pew Internet and American Life Project, teen texting in the US has gone up from 38% teens texting daily in February 2008 to 54% texting teens in September 2009. Teens are sending anywhere from 50 texts daily to 100 texts a day—that’s 1,500 to 3,000 texts a month. Female teenagers in the 14-17 age group are the ones doing the most texting.

Teenagers are also least likely to understand that driving at night increases the chances that a tired, drowsy, or inexperienced driver may be involved in a car accident. It doesn’t help that, according to the National Sleep Foundation, the average teenager doesn’t get the 9 hours of sleep he/she needs.

Other common causes of teen driving accidents:

• Drunk driving
• Speeding
• Failure to wear seatbelts
• Driving with other teen passengers in the car

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers are committed to not only helping the victims of traffic crashes receive personal injury recovery for their traffic accident injuries, but also, we want to make sure that teenagers are educated about the dangers they face when driving. Just last month, our Monroe, North Carolina personal injury law firm conducted our “Arrive Alive! Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign. Hickory, North Carolina car accident attorney Michael A. DeMayo and former news anchor Tolly Carr spoke at different North Carolina high schools about driving while drunk. Our Charlotte motor vehicle accident law firm also gives away college scholarships each year in a campaign geared towards teens educating other teens about the dangers of drunk driving.

Nighttime driving is biggest danger for teen drivers, study says, Washington Post, May 6, 2010

Teens and Mobile Phones, PEW Internet, April 20, 2010

Related Web Resources:
DATABASE: Motorist fatalities by state, Washington Post

Teen Drivers, Motor Vehicle Safety, CDC