Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

North Haven CT Legal Blog

Prepare for dangerous winter driving conditions

Winter's arrival can be abrupt. The fall may end without warning. Maybe you go to bed and wake up to a world covered in snow. You'll still have to make your morning commute safely, regardless of how much snow has come down overnight. If you aren't prepared for winter driving conditions, that first day with snow could be a nerve-wracking experience. Thankfully, there's still time to prepare yourself and your vehicle for the challenges of winter driving.

The winter brings unique issues for drivers, including freezing precipitation. Snow, sleet, freezing rain (sometimes called slain) and hail can all cause problems on the road. Wet surfaces in cold temperatures may become frozen roads. Whether there's a thick layer of visible ice or treacherous and hard-to-spot black ice, cold roads and precipitation are a dangerous mix. Drivers could lose control of their vehicles or simply find themselves unable to stop while driving at high speeds. Any accident puts you at risk for injuries and losses, so take steps now to reduce your winter accident risk.

Tips for staying safe while running in the dark

As we get closer to the winter months, the days get shorter. Whether you are an early morning pavement pounder or you prefer to save your daily jog for the evening, it is important to take extra precautions when running in the dark.

While running during the day is always a safer choice, sometimes our work and family schedules make this impossible. But there are a number of things you can do to maintain your training schedule while also staying safe. Here are some safety tips to follow while running in the dark.

Burn injuries can lead to long-term problems

Many different kinds of accidents can lead to a victim suffering a burn. No matter how it occurs, the severity of the burn helps to determine what treatments are necessary and what effect the injury might have on the victim's life.

Burns can result from car accidents, house fires, fire pit accidents, explosions and other serious events. Here is some important information you should know about burn injuries.

Helpful tips to stay safe on your bike this autumn

With mild weather, there's no reason for cyclists to hang up their helmets in October. Warmer temperatures and little risk of freeze mean that many bicycle enthusiasts can safely stay on the road through November with the right equipment. Biking in the fall can be thrilling, with brisk winds, fresh scents and beautiful foliage to enjoy. Consider adjusting your air pressure in your tires for lower temperatures and be sure to do regular maintenance and inspections of your bike for any issues with the wheels, chain or gears.

Of course, biking in the fall presents its own set of risks as well as benefits. There are a lot of considerations, from changing sunlight and cooler temperatures to falling leaves and tree watchers who aren't paying attention to the road. With a little extra care, you can stay safe and reduce your risk of a serious bicycle-car collision. Although you can't eliminate the risk entirely, you can make your commute or joy ride safer.

Fall road conditions could be a perfect storm for truck crashes

No one gets onto the road hoping to get into a serious crash. Most drivers take precautions to reduce risks, including adapting driving behaviors that take the weather into account. Unfortunately, not everyone stops to think about the potential impact of changing weather conditions on the road. The fall can be a dangerous time to drive, particularly when you're driving in close proximity to the ever-increasing number of commercial trucks.

Truck drivers operate massive, heavy, unwieldy vehicles. That's why they have to have special schooling and are subject to far more regulation than the average person driving a passenger vehicle. They can also cause catastrophic injuries to people in smaller vehicles.

What if the police don’t come to the scene of my car accident?

It is generally accepted that after a car accident, it is wise to call law enforcement and wait for them to arrive on the scene before leaving. In some cases, if one or both drivers leave the scene before police or troopers arrive, they may face allegations that they fled the scene. However, one of the primary reasons to wait for police is to make sure that an officer files a proper voice report and that you get a copy.

Unfortunately, this does not happen every time a vehicle collision occurs. In some instances, the accident occurs in a private parking lot or some other place where police do not respond (which varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction). The police, state troopers or sheriff's department may also simply not have the personnel to take care of your accident if all officers are busy responding to other calls when you report the accident.

Understanding when age is a factor in a car crash

No one wants to get into an accident in a motor vehicle, but serious collisions happen all the time. In fact, with 266 traffic fatalities in Connecticut in 2015, a fatal crash occurs, on average, at least every other day. There are thousands of accidents that lead to serious injuries and permanent disabilities. There are many factors that can increase the risk of a crash, such as inebriation, exhaustion, distraction and even age.

Often, when people talk about age impacting driving safety, they are looking to teenage drivers. Young drivers have earned a reputation as some of the most dangerous drivers on the road, with good reason. However, it's important to realize that as people age past a certain point, their ability to drive deteriorates. Elderly adults may have similar or even worse rates of accidents when compared to teenagers.

Pedestrian fatalities have increased every year since 2005

In 2015, we saw the economy improve; gas prices dropped, and more drivers spent time on the road. Reports show that we also saw an estimated 10 percent increase in pedestrian deaths. The Governors Highway Safety Association points to an overall increase in cellphone use for both drivers and pedestrians as a contributor to the higher fatality rate. In general, the researchers responsible for the report are concerned that pedestrian safety is at risk, not just in Connecticut, but all over the nation.

The report, which is based on state traffic fatality figures for the first half of 2015, suggests that year may have seen the highest increase in year-to-year pedestrian deaths since 1975. According to the report, there were 2,368 fatalities in the first half of 2015 while there were 2,232 during the same time in 2014.

You don’t have to deal with insurance companies on your own

After an injury accident, you may feel overwhelmed with what to do next. This is completely normal. Anyone who has not dealt with insurance companies or an accident investigation might easily feel overwhelmed at the process.

Furthermore, if you suffered injuries, you should be able to concentrate on recovery, not insurance claims. Some injuries may require you to undergo physical therapy to regain use of injured areas; others may make it difficult for you to return to work.

Don’t get doored on your next bike ride!

Every time you put wheels to pavement and pedal down the street, you may spend half your time watching for hazards and the other half praying that the next car that passes you does not pick the wrong moment to cross into the bike lane. Trying to watch what is going on behind you while keeping one eye on the road ahead can seem very difficult. Some bikers are afraid that a driver parked on the right is going to throw its door open and strike them.

One of the top goals of all cyclists riding in urban areas is to avoid dooring accidents. While you have absolutely no control over when and how a driver opens their door, there are defensive techniques you can use to limit the probability of being the victim of an accident. Read further for some tips to dodge a dooring while riding in the city.

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