auto accident claims

Involvement of Multiple Vehicles Affects Auto Accident Claims

There are hundreds of accidents involving multiple vehicles in the United States each day. It only takes fractions of a second to cause major property damage and injury. There are a multitude of factors that may cause these accidents and affect liability.

Common Causes of Multiple Vehicle Car Accidents

While auto accidents can be caused by a wide variety of issues, weather and road conditions are frequently at the root of an accident that involves multiple vehicles. Speeding, failure to yield and aggressive driving are also causes of multi-vehicle wrecks. Impaired drivers certainly contribute to multiple vehicle auto accident statistics, as these drivers are a hazard to anyone sharing the road with them.

Processing Claims for Multi-Vehicle Accidents

When multiple vehicles are involved in an auto accident, the claim is handled differently than it is for a two-car collision. This makes the process slightly more difficult and certain steps must be followed to ensure claims are viable and properly finalized. Delays, non-payment and other hassles can be caused by improper filing or handling of claims for multiple vehicle auto accidents.

Determination of Fault in Multiple Vehicle Accidents

When several vehicles have been involved in an auto accident, extensive fact checking is needed for the claim to be developed. Close investigation is necessary for any auto accident, but particularly so in these cases. For multi-vehicle collisions, several legal representatives, insurance adjusters and other investigators will be working at the same time to determine what caused the accident and who holds liability. When three or more vehicles are involved in a rear-end collision, the final vehicle to collide may not be considered to carry any fault. Chain reaction collisions often require close examination to determine who is liable. Rules for these accidents vary from state to state and even among jurisdictions within individual states.

Property damage from the accident may be inspected by insurance adjusters, accident investigators and others. Witnesses will be questioned and support for accident re-creation is gathered. Responsibility may be determined after examining the vehicle types, damage acquired, injuries sustained and other supporting facts. The party at fault may be easily determined. But it is important to ensure that experienced investigators examined the accident fully.

When driving, every motorist has a responsibility to drive sensibly and carefully. When this duty of care is not properly performed, a negligence claim may be developed against that driver. If injuries result to another motorist, that motorist is legally able to pursue reimbursement for expenses from the driver found to be at fault.

For multiple vehicle accidents, it can become more difficult to clarify and establish negligence. There are many questions which must be answered, details to be discovered and complex situations to work out to determine liability.

Inspectors Contracted for Multiple Vehicle Accidents

Contracted agents may be used to inspect multi-car accidents by reviewing police reports, interviewing officers and pursuing other information that will help determine liability in the accident. This agent may determine that the accident was caused by the actions of a negligent driver. That driver may have acted using poor judgment that led to the damage to multiple vehicles. The driver can be held responsible for damages.

When acts of drinking or drug use are found by the case inspector to be the cause of accident injuries or damages, this information can be used to establish fault in a legal claim. Other acts of negligence include reckless driving, aggressive driving, speeding, following vehicles too closely or not observing traffic signs or signals. Weather, road conditions and other factors may have contributed to the wreck.

Contracted inspectors may analyze photos of the scene, review closed circuit video from area businesses, interview passengers and gain other information to help in their case.

When Contributory Negligence Occurs

Contributory negligence may play a role in claims involving multiple vehicles. Every state handles these claims in their own manner. Contributory negligence involves the contribution by the victim to their own injuries. For example, one driver may have caused an accident, but the injured victim’s speed or non-use of safety belts as required by law contributed to the magnitude of their injuries. When contributory negligence is applied, the percentage of damages awarded to the victim may have their own responsibility factored into the amount.

Compensation for Multiple Vehicle Accident Claims

State laws vary for multiple vehicle accident claims. Medical costs and vehicle repairs are covered by insurance. Filing of claims involves several important steps against multiple parties, with those filings varying according to insurance carrier. If fault is not determined in a multi-vehicle accident, a lawyer with car accident experience and his or her associated investigation team can help resolve the liability issue. There may be multiple parties at fault and such cases can become quite confusing. Personal injury lawyers often work with insurance providers to ensure proper handling of claims for correct disbursement of compensation.

safe cab ride

How To Secure Your Safety When Riding A Cab

It’s summertime! A time to plan for vacations and travel. It’s a time to enjoy things we were too busy to take part in during the year when we were working away at our demanding schedules. Making arrangements for summer vacation can take time and requires a lot of detail. For some arranging for transportation can make traveling from place to place easier and more efficient. For those who may not want to drive during vacation, making use of public transportation may be the most efficient option.

 

Popular Apps like Uber and Lyft have become the go-to source for many who want to avoid driving in traffic and instead utilize a fast and convenient way of transportation. The Uber app in particular offers a faster and often less expensive way of traveling that can schedule your transportation. Your driver arrives in a matter of minutes. It’s easy and convenient! Yet one must use caution when using popular companies like Uber or Lyft. There have been reports of assaults for those who have used Uber as transportation instead of a cab service.

 

It is important to exercise caution when using any form of public transportation.

Relinquishing control to your designated driver, while not knowing the history or background of the person can be intimidating for some. It is important to research and make phone calls to learn about your options. Do the research before you settle on any company. Look for reviews and plan accordingly.

 

The following are practical tips when riding in a taxi cab

 

Avoid taking a cab alone.

Women especially should use caution when riding a cab in an unfamiliar setting. It is best to bring someone in the cab with you if possible, especially if you’ve been drinking.

 

Make arrangements beforehand

If at all possible call a taxi cab company that you know and trust. Hailing a cab in the street can be dangerous since you don’t know who the driver is. If you make arrangements beforehand by calling the company and having their contact information at hand, you will be better prepared and have peace of mind. You may even want to ask the name of your driver if possible.

 

Check body language

 You don’t have to be a private detective or investigator to discern that someone is dangerous. If you are speaking to your driver and they respond inappropriately, you may want to avoid going into the cab with them. If you notice they are intoxicated or act unprofessionally, you reserve the right to not ride with them. Remember that they are a stranger and you are putting your life in their hands.

 

Communicate thoroughly before entering the vehicle

It may prove difficult to have a moment to communicate with your cab driver if you’re in the middle of a busy street. If the driver is parked, make sure to speak to them thoroughly and check that they are professional and know where they are going. Are they helping you accommodate your bags? Good customer service is a must. If your driver is rude or unprofessional, or doesn’t offer you assistance with your bags, you may want to wait for a different cab.

 

Safety is everything in life. Never feel bad about protecting it. It never hurts to seek legal advice to secure the best traveling options for you and your loved ones. Be educated and prepared, and make the most of your summer travels!

 

deadly crashes

Despite Innovations, Deadly Crashes Continue to Rise

When you and your loved ones get into your vehicle, you can relax in knowing that safety feature improvements have made a huge difference in saving lives on American roadways in the past 20 years.

Innovations Designed to Prevent Deadly Crashes

Most people think of seat belts as the most remarkable safety innovation in automobiles for prevention of deadly crashes. But following safety belts came airbags, durable occupant safety cages, roll bars and crumple zones. These each provided great strength to vehicles and enhanced survivability for passengers during accidents. Automakers of today are looking at new ways to make driving even safer. So the next years should be exciting, when watching what carmakers come up with for greater survivability in new auto models.
Five of the most noteworthy car safety systems of recent years include:

  • Ford Blind Spot Info System with Cross-Traffic Alert
    This Ford-designed system employs two radar beam modules for blind spot awareness and other vehicle detection. These radars help drivers avoid deadly crashes often caused when changing lanes or encroaching upon unseen vehicles in the blind spots of the car being driven. Drivers are alerted of risk through an indicator light so they can correct their actions to prevent accident.
  • Volvo City Safety
    Volvo’s system innovation prevents deadly crashes using automatic braking. Although this is a low-speed device that stops the vehicle when it is only traveling at city speeds of two to 19 miles per hour, such as in parking lots or urban roadways, this braking system can prevent pedestrian, bicyclist and other fatalities.
  • Collision Mitigation by Honda
    Honda’s grille housed sensor monitors distance of traffic ahead and the driven vehicle’s own speed. By doing this, it is able to alert risk of crash with vehicles in the distance. The system flashes a warning light, tugs at the driver’s seat belt and even starts braking on its own to reduce the risk of deadly crashes.
  • Lane Assist by Audi
    An audible signal alerts drivers of new Audis to make them aware that they are swerving out of their own lane. This system does not stop the car or otherwise intervene. But it does cause the steering wheel to vibrate to ensure the driver is immediately aware of vehicle path changes, while corrections can still be made to prevent deadly crashes. This innovation is extremely useful for drowsy drivers who can be awakened by the steering wheel vibrations.
  • Mercedes Night View Assist PLUS
    Mercedes-Benz technology alerts drivers that animals or pedestrians are in or too near the roadway ahead, using forward facing infrared cameras. While the driver is alerted through high resolution displays on the instrument panel, the people or animals are also alerted through automated light flashing from the vehicle’s headlights.

Each of these innovations increase safety to prevent deadly auto accidents. But driver error, negative behaviors and distracted driving are still problems despite technological improvements.

Despite Automotive Innovations, Deadly Crashes Are Rising

2015 brought continuing increases in the number of motor vehicle deaths, despite changes to automotive technology. The National Safety Council had already noted a 14 percent increase in deadly crashes for the first six months of that year. That was over 18,000 fatalities with 30 percent more non-fatal injuries also occurring than in 2014.

A well-known Phoenix car accident attorney, voiced his concern over this trend. He said, “It is devastating to see that drivers continue to increasingly contribute to deadly crashes, despite so many safety innovations by automakers and awareness campaigns urging drivers to be more aware and safer when behind the wheel.”

The National Safety Council attributes the increase in fatalities to higher numbers of people on the road. Those increases in auto travel can be credited to lower gas prices and economic improvements, two factors enabling people to drive for leisure more often and for longer distances.

The attorney also said, “The auto industry has been struggling to overcome recalls and negative reports regarding vehicle safety. Safety features continue to advance in many ways, but deadly crashes are still a major problem in our society.”

Government officials are working to influence automakers to make many luxury safety innovations, such as automatic braking and features seen on brands such as Volvo, Audi and Mercedes, standard for less expensive brands and models. Safety should not be limited to those who can afford luxury.

Safety Innovations are No Match for Human Negligence

Despite safety innovations, one of the biggest problems causing deadly crashes is human error. Such error is often in the form of negative driving behaviors, also known as negligence. Surveys indicate 75 percent of drivers still use their cell phone while driving, despite knowing this activity behind the wheel is very deadly. 60 percent of drivers admit texting while driving.
 

handling sexual harassment

What Actions Can You Take Following a Sexual Harassment Encounter?

It goes without saying, that you must seek legal and clinical help if you are a victim of sexual abuse. The first step is to ask the harasser to stop the abuse. Moreover, it is important to make it perfectly clear to your harasser that his/her conduct is unwanted and unwelcome.

To begin with, you will need to report the harassment to the human resource department and your supervisor and if this does not work out well, the thoughts of a Fort Lauderdale, FL sexual harassment lawyer should be entering your mind right about now.

You could always seek legal counsel at any time even before you file a complaint with the appropriate authority as just mentioned. If your employer fails to take action against the alleged harasser you have the right to approach the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). You can find more information about employment and sexual harassment right here.

Following an investigation, the EEOC will attempt to make your employer reach a settlement, failing which you will be given permission to file a lawsuit against the harasser and your employer. Simultaneously, it is important to document every episode of harassment and undergo psychological counseling if needed.

You must proceed after knowing your legal rights

You must know your legal rights before filing a case. The best way to do this is to consult a Florida sexual harassment attorney to understand what exactly constitutes harassment and the laws that govern harassment cases. This will help you muster confidence before the start of your legal battle.

Is it mandatory to report the harassment to the employer?

Even though it is not mandatory to report the harassment, the employer must be kept formally in the loop. There are two reasons for this. First, if a victim decides not to report the incident, the employer might claim that since the incident was not reported, the employer did not know that such an incident actually did occur.

Therefore, the employer will not liable to pay damages for an incident that was clearly avoidable as timely intimation would have led the management to stop the abuse. The legal term used in such situations is ‘affirmative defense’. This could give your Fort Lauderdale sexual harassment lawyer some problems.

Secondly reporting such incidents prove another very crucial thing. It proves that the victim, you, was eager to stop this unwelcome and unwanted behavior and this will score some big points in the eyes of the jury, mediator, your actual employer.

If you do not report it, your employer could believe that you thought this issue was minor and just someone playing around. You would have reported it if it was that big of deal and if you were clearly upset about it. The fact that you did not speaks for itself.

Coping with the mental stress after an episode and psychiatrist help

Every individual reacts differently to any form of sexual harassment or discrimination. Some suffer mental agony resulting in hysteria and depression while others may be able to hide any inner turmoil. Nevertheless, mental stress is common to most cases. There are others who repeatedly try to recollect the events of a day leading up to the incident and try to figure out if they gave their assailant any reason to behave in the manner they did through their demeanor.

Depression, fatigue, headaches, intimacy issues, and anger are common psychological outcomes and for this you must consult a psychiatrist who can be later called up to testify on your condition after the incident. No matter how serious the harassment is, don’t hesitate to consult a Florida sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible.

You may like your job. You may feel calling up a lawyer is the beginning to the end. If you do not get some legal help your job performance and morale could suffer which may affect your job status anyhow. In addition, the sexual harassment may not stop and it could become worse. Your employer needs to be dealt with you and your lawyer will know what to do. This is where you need to go: http://sexual-harassment-lawyers.usattorneys.com/florida/.

 

sexual harassment

What Everyone Must Know About Sexual Harassment

For the most part, sexual harassment is of two types viz: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment. It is always smart for everyone to be aware of the basics of sexual harassment to reduce the risk of falling prey to a harasser and to know what to do when such a situation arises. This could help you avoid ever needing a sexual harassment lawyer.

 

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Quid Pro Quo is a Latin term meaning “this for that”, and happens whenever an employee wielding supervisory powers makes sexual advances towards any subordinate. If the subordinate submits to it, he/she receives an employment benefit such as promotion while a rejection can mean an employment detriment, such as a demotion. Employers are held firmly liable for any quid pro quo sexual harassment, initiated by supervisors. This means that employers are legally liable for damages, whether they are at “fault” or not.

They are the ones who hired and are employing such a person.

This type of harassment can be a blatant as well as direct sexual solicitation, or more like an indirect dating invitation or sexual propositions. Just a single sexual advance is deemed harassment if it is combined with the denial or granting of employment benefits. You should get a sexual harassment attorney involved right at this juncture.

Certainly this is not the first time something like this happened and even if it is only once it should not be swept under the rug.

Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

Hostile work environment sexual harassment happens when any undesired sexual conduct interferes unreasonably with a person’s job performance or leads to an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment. Such behavior can be physical, nonverbal, or verbal. In this type of harassment, it isn’t necessary for the sexual harassment to result in employment outcomes, like reduction of pay or promotion. Employers, supervisors, customers, clients or coworkers, can invoke a hostile work environment.

There are two crucial conditions that determine responsibility for employers in cases of this type of sexual harassment and you should hire a sexual harassment lawyer regardless of which type of sexual harassment you deal with. You can find this necessary and strategic legal help on this site: http://sexual-harassment-lawyers.usattorneys.com/.

To begin with, the employer was aware or ought to have known about the sexual harassment, and secondly the employer failed in taking a suitable corrective action. An employer is expected to be aware of the hostile environment in the instances given below:

  • A complaint on the harassment was made to management
  • Management has failed to establish a proper sexual harassment policy
  • Harassment is practiced openly or familiar among the employees.

Constructive Discharge

Constructive discharge happens whenever the employer intentionally creates working conditions so dreadful that any reasonable individual is sure to find them unbearable. Constructive discharge happens only when the victim leaves the job due to the harassment, giving the employer notice concerning harassment as well as a chance to remedy the situation.

Any kind of retaliation is forbidden against an employee who resisted the sexual harassment, made a complaint of harassment, or took part in any investigation. Protected employee behavior can be in the form of resisting advances, making a complaint of the sexual harassment, supporting the claim of another employee, as well as informing the police.

Instances of employer retaliation can be under the transfer, dismissal, negative evaluation, or demotion avenues. In order to make a claim of retaliation, the employee should prove that there is a direct connection between the conduct and the response in retaliation.

This Sexual Harasser is Wrong

If you are a victim of any type of harassment or discrimination don’t hesitate to seek immediate assistance from a sexual harassment lawyer. It is time for you to retaliate. You did not “have this coming to you”. You did not deserve this sort of treatment. You did not invite this upon yourself. Secure that legal help and make this right!

 

business environment

How can Hostile Work Environment Harassment Lawyers Help

According to the United States Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors. The EEOC also states that in case the sexual harassment at the workplace is both frequent and severe, it creates an offensive or hostile work environment, resulting in an unfavorable employment decision. If you are the victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, it would be prudent to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

Why wait to see of your employer does anything about it? Get this off your chest and start presenting some evidence to law firm that knows this domain. They can help you and let you know how you can be building your case while still at work and doing your job. Where do you find an employment law firm of this type of caliber in the Sarasota area? The Malatesta Law Office should be the firm you turn too. Here is their site: www.malatestalawoffice.com.

When is legal action necessary?

In order to have a prima facie case against a hostile work environment, the factors detailed below should be proven first:

  • There should be behavior or actions that discriminate against certain protected classifications such as race, religion, age, or disability. Your Sarasota, FL sexual harassment lawyer will work with you on this after you convey to them your side of the story.
  • The communication or behavior must be persistent and not limited to a few off-color remarks that annoyed a co-worker.
  • The hostile actions, behavior, and communication need to be severe. For the most part, it should continue not only over time but must disrupt an employee’s work severely, as well.

Company harassment policies

A court tends to hold a company responsible for hostile work environment harassment, in case they fail to endorse a harassment policy, endorse an ineffective policy, or fail to implement its policy. In reality, harassment policies should be a significant part of any company’s non-discrimination policy, as any Florida sexual harassment attorney would explain to you.

On the contrary, in case a company has an effective non-discrimination policy evidently prohibiting harassment, and harassment happens although not obvious, and you fail to follow the procedure for an internal complaint, you may find it hard to prove that the company was aware of that harassment.

Sarasota, FL sexual harassment lawyers indicate that courts usually hold employers responsible for a hostile work environment harassment in the following cases:

  • Was aware of the harassment: When an individual in authority has in fact watched the harassment; the injured party files a proper complaint; or the harassment is openly and widely practiced.
  • Actually learned of the harassment: Whenever sexual harassment remains blatant; employees filed complaints which were completely ignored; supervisors and/or managers observe behavior, indicating that they should conduct further inquiries.
  • Failed to initiate appropriate and immediate steps to prevent it: Apart from being well aware of the harassment, the company or government entity failed to take action, making them liable. Whenever the company learns of the harassment in question, they must respond immediately, and take immediate and effective action. The entity must have an effective remedy that can stop the sexual harassment from taking place and also should check it from being repeated.

Consult a sexual harassment lawyer 

If you find yourself being subjected to constant environmental harassment of a sexual nature at or in the workplace, in spite of the several oral and written complaints made to the higher-ups of the company, it is time to hire a Florida sexual harassment lawyer without any more delay. Your legal representative will evaluate your case and assist in the explaining the law to you as well as argue for your rights in and out of court if necessary.

The Malatesta Law Office is one of the best in the business and leads the pack entirely in the Sarasota area. They have won many cases in the past and they know how to make organizations pay for not dealing with this situation properly in the first place.

 

lawyer

Can the Victim of a Sexual Assault File a Civil Lawsuit?

If you are the victim of a sexual assault you have the right to file a lawsuit in a civil court against the perpetrator. For the most part, a civil suit is not meant to initiate a criminal prosecution, but is usually the sole way to obtain monetary compensation for the harm that the victim has suffered.

If this terrible action happened to you on the job or in the course of performing a professional duty, there is some pivotal information for you right here.

Types of claims and damages

The type and amount of compensation available in a civil lawsuit for sexual assault depends on the definite facts of the case, as well as the legal doctrine under which the lawsuit is based. As there is no action termed “sexual assault,” in legal terminology, you need to choose another legal description to hold the defendant liable, named “cause of action” in this context. This can also mean intentional infliction of emotional distress, or assault & battery and Sacramento, California sexual harassment lawyers are familiar with every category mentioned here.

Irrespective of any legal theory involved in the civil case process, damages for sexual assault or abuse case emerge from the emotional and physical harm a victim has suffered and will most likely continue to suffer as a result of the abuse. This type of crime can haunt a female for decades. It affects her personal life and could make her distrust males in a way that is not rational and affects her life on many levels, professionally and personally.

Tarnishing their reputation

This is why this website is so vital, http://sexual-harassment-lawyers.usattorneys.com/california/, because it can offer a victim legal salvation. This culprit may not be headed to jail but their financial situation can take a serious hit. In fact, it may take them years to recover and could harm their personal and professional life as well if others find out about this.

Since these crimes are egregious in nature, a judge can award damages on a large scale. Thus, the perpetrator of the assault can be made liable in order to pay a large sum of money. However, there is a problem in some cases. If the perpetrator is not very wealthy, it might be hard, if not impossible, to collect. Liability insurance policies in general leave out coverage of intentional acts, so that any compensation should come from the defendant’s personal assets as any California sexual harassment attorney will tell you.

Proving your case in civil court

If you can prove that the defendant is responsible for the harassment it can initiate a criminal prosecution but if it is a civil lawsuit, you stand a better chance of succeeding. This is because a complex law termed “collateral estoppel” may give you the right to present evidence that the defendant was already found guilty of committing sexual abuse by a court in a criminal case.

Even without a criminal case, the victim should be able to establish that the defendant is legally responsible for having committed the alleged sexual abuse with the strong assistance of a Sacramento, CA sexual harassment lawyer.

This is due to the fact that the standard of evidence remains lower in any civil case, as compared to that of a criminal court. Under the circumstances, to establish a defendant civilly responsible for sexual abuse, the victim needs to do only one thing: to show that, “it is more likely than not” that the perpetrator committed the wrongful act alleged, “by preponderance of the evidence”.

However, in a criminal case, the onus of proof requires that the prosecution prove the guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”, which is a standard that is much harder to meet. If you find this confusing you can always turn to a California sexual harassment lawyer who knows this arena if you or someone you care about has been a victim of a sexual assault. Your lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and examine the evidence available to help you with your lawsuit.

 

Vacation

Summer Vacation Rentals

Each summer, more and more Americans are opting out of spending their money at a hotel and taking advantage of one of the many rental homes available across the country. Not only can a vacation rental be less costly, but it offers a little more space to spread out and some of the amenities “just like home”. A vacation rental can also make you feel like you’re part of the community and you may end up getting more from your vacation than if you stayed in a hotel.

 

Before you’re quick to commit to the first rental you find, you must be smart about you choice. The wrong rental can make or break your summer vacation. Whether you’re a first time vacation home renter or rent one every summer, here are some tips for making the most of your vacation rental this year:

Plan Your Vacation Ahead

 

Like most vacations, you’re like to have a better experience if you plan ahead. Whether you’re interested in renting a home from Airbnb or want to stay at a house with a beachfront view, it’s a good idea to start looking at rentals at least six months before your vacation starts. Although some vacations end up being spontaneous, your rental options may be sparse and it may cost more, particularly during peak vacation season. If you’re unsure where to find a vacation rental, a quick internet search may overwhelm you with options, but a real estate agent, local advertisements, and sites like Craigslist are good places to start.

Do Research on Your Vacation Destination

 

When searching for a vacation rental there are thousands of pictures to browse through and as much as we’d like to trust that the picture tells the truth, many images can be deceptive. Even if the pictures present a vacationer’s paradise, don’t commit to the rental without reading reviews and getting all the information you need. While some vacation rentals may not have any reviews posted, contact the homeowner with any questions you may have. If you aren’t happy with the answers or if it seems like certain questions are being dodged, pass on the rental.

Understand the Vacation Rental Contract

 

Whenever possible, you should consider a vacation rental that has a contract that is clear and easy to understand. Rentals without a contract can be extremely problematic, particularly if the rental owner wants to hold you responsible for something after your stay. An appropriate contract should include your payment schedule, your responsibilities in regards to damages or if extra cleaning is needed, and any extras such as utility bills, cleaning, or internet use. The contract you sign should also clearly state what you can and cannot use in the home. Consider having an attorney, who specializes in real estate, review the contract and do not sign it until you completely understand or agree with the document.

 

In addition to having a contract, your vacation rental should include a contact number for any questions or emergencies, clear instructions on how to use appliances and other features around the home.

springtime driving

Springtime Driving

Springtime is one of the best times to get out, enjoy the weather, and watch winter disappear right before your eyes. Whether you’re eager to take a long road trip or just want getaway for a quick weekend, it’s important to make sure that you and your car are prepared for springtime driving. While winter driving can be particularly hazardous and stressful for millions of Americans, the spring season is not free from dangerous situations on the road. Before you hit the road this spring, make sure you’re ready for whatever heads your way:

Springtime Car Maintenance

 

The weather and road conditions during the winter months can really do a number on your vehicle. Just as you would before winter arrives, make sure that your car is in good working condition when warmer weather arrives. First off, give your car thorough cleaning. Wash and wax the exterior (which can help keep tree pollen off of your car) and clean all the dirt and grime of the winter months from your interior. Next, check the air in your tires, have them rotated if needed, and have your trusted mechanic do a complete check (looking at fluids, changing oil, checking brakes, etc.).  Don’t forget to replace your windshield wipers and make sure the windshield cleaner reservoir is topped off, you never know when a spring rain will arrive, requiring a good pair of wipers.

Check the Weather

 

Spring is a much anticipated season, but it’s always filled with surprises. You can have a sunny and cloud-free sky in the morning and a rain/snow mix in the afternoon and often without warning. While snow is one of the biggest hassles for drivers, rain can be just as dangerous and stressful. Before you head out for the day, weekend or for your road trip, make sure you’ve taken a look at the forecast so you know what to expect. Additionally, it’s a smart idea to download a weather app to your phone so you can get up-to-date weather reports as your travel. Rain, fog, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes can suddenly occur during the springtime, it’s always good to stay informed, especially when traveling.

Share the Road

 

When the weather warms up, you can expect to see an increased amount motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on or around the roadways. Make sure you are on the lookout for harder to spot motorists (like motorcyclists or bicyclists). Remember, they have the right to share the road with other vehicles, but they are less likely to be seen.

 

Continue to Drive Responsibly

 

Drivers should be responsible year round, but after a long winter, many drivers become a little more relaxed. First, keep appropriate distance and drive reasonable speeds when it’s raining or if there is fog (it can be just as dangerous as winter weather). Secondly, keep your distractions at a minimal. You may be tempted to crank the tunes and snap a picture on your smartphone, but your focus is needed on the road at all times, particularly when motorists, pedestrians, and even animals are more likely to be on the road. Finally, warmer weather marks the season of the backyard party and BBQs. Don’t forget to driver responsibly and know when to hand over the keys if you’ve been drinking alcohol.

college campus

Campus Safety

As a college student, you may be experiencing complete freedom for the first time in your life, and it may seem both exhilarating and overwhelming. You left your parents at home and now you are on your own (except when it comes to cash, of course). Nevertheless, no one can tell you what you can and cannot do, as probably you know everything already, correct? Unfortunately, statistics show otherwise.

Even though college campuses are regarded as a sort of safety bubble for students, crimes of different sorts continue happening. Crimes ranging from assaults, to burglaries to sex crimes have been reported on many campuses across the nation. While most of them are committed by residents (students) of the campus, almost 20% were committed by outsiders from the surrounding communities. No one expects anything like that to happen in the new life that you are about to start, but it is wise to keep a  few tips in mind to  assist you during times of need as you finish your studies on campus. As the old adage goes, “Better safe than sorry.”

Campus Is Not As Safe As Many Think

As much as you are used to listening to your mp3 player or Smartphone at all times, at least as a freshman, avoid this habit and try to become more aware of your surroundings. Watch and scan carefully for different people and scenarios in order to recognize a potentially dangerous situation in time to avoid it. College students come from many different places and backgrounds, so it is impossible to be quite sure if every single one of them has fully honest intentions. Walking alone at night has never been a good idea for any place in the world and college campus are not the exception. Always invite a trusted friend to join you on your night walks back to your dorm. Aside from experiencing potential danger outside, indoor crime can be serious as well, both for you and your possessions. Let locking the doors and closing the windows while you are asleep or out become a trustworthy habit. This can spare you from burglaries, assaults, or even sex crimes. Most campuses have specific emergency systems and emergency points; be informed on where they are located and how to access them. Furthermore, get to know your campus well. Walk around the campus frequently and get to know paths, shortcuts and hiding spots.

Additional Tips

Parties will probably be an avoidable part of your college life, and even though they are seemingly harmless, try attending with at least one friend that’s going to stick around with you. Don’t allow yourself to get too lost in all of the madness happening there. Taking self-defense or martial art classes can also be beneficial if you are ever in an unforeseen situation; even carrying a simple pepper spray can be advantageous. No one is 100% safe anytime, anywhere, so with this in mind be sure you have taken necessary precautions in case you encounter a precarious situation.

What safety measures does your campus have in place?