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Five Tips for Safe Travel During the Holidays

In 2019, there were 799 fatal traffic accidents between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Even though that seems a small percentage of the almost 40,000 fatalities that occur each year on roadways in the United States, it’s still a dangerous time to travel.

Luckily, with some advance planning before you get behind the wheel to do your holiday traveling, you can mitigate the risk that you or a loved one will end up in one of those fatal crashes.

Here are five tips for safe travel during the holidays.

  1. Make Sure You Get Enough Rest Before a Long Highway Drive

 Plan to get enough sleep the night before (or the day before, if you plan to travel at night) so you can be wide awake, aware, and alert for the drive if you’ll be driving on the highway for an extended period. Tired driving has joined drunk driving and driving while texting as one of the most dangerous things you can do. Fatigued driving may lead to a traffic fatality on your way to your family’s holiday party or another holiday destination. Make sure whoever is driving is alert enough to drive.

  1. Create a Vent in Your Vehicle to Reduce the Chance of COVID-19 Spreading

 Even if you and your travel partners have been vaccinated and received at least one booster shot, with the recent arrival of the Omicron variant, which is more contagious though not as dangerous as the Delta variant, the risk of catching the coronavirus is still a danger. Whenever possible, crack open at least one window in your car, SUV, truck, or other vehicles you use for travel to increase aeration in the vehicle. This will reduce the chance of spreading the virus amongst yourselves while you’re traveling.

  1. Take the Lead in Ensuring Everyone Is Safely Wearing a Seatbelt

One of the best ways to keep you and your friends and family safe while driving during the holidays is to make sure you and everyone you ride with is safely buckled in with a properly functioning safety belt the whole time. According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 50 percent of car accidents happen within just five miles of your home. Over 75 percent occur within 15 miles or less from where you started.

If you do get into an accident, making sure everyone is buckled in will help lessen possible injuries they receive and may save their lives. Call the police and your insurance company right away, so you have a well-written record of the accident, and documentation of all the parties involved.

Contact us, too at (401) 751-8855. When you’re in a crash that was someone else’s fault, you’re no doubt reeling from the accident and your injuries and wonder, “What now?” When you call us, we can provide the guidance you need. We work with nearly every type of vehicle accident that results in injuries, and we can help.

  1. Only Make Your Holiday Trip if Weather Conditions Are Safe

 According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States, automobile collisions are one of the top reasons people aged one to 54 die every year. These deaths are mostly preventable.

One way to make sure you don’t become a statistic is to check weather conditions beforehand. If there’s a chance for winter weather or unsafe driving conditions such as freezing rain, high winds, or both, don’t take unnecessary chances. Stay home. It’s safer for everyone.

  1. Know How the Vehicle You Are Taking on a Holiday Trip Drives

If you are driving during the holidays, make sure you know the vehicle you are driving, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. Know all the controls and how the vehicle handles on the road in dry, wet, or snowy conditions. Be aware of how quickly the vehicle accelerates and how much pressure you need to place on the brakes to stop safely.

Ensure all the mirrors are well-adjusted, marker lights function, and tires are filled with the right amount of air (check your owner’s manual for the correct pounds per square inch or PSI for your vehicle’s tires).

If You Get Into an Accident, Call Us at (401) 751-8855

If you follow these five tips for safe travel during the holidays, you’ve done your job preparing for the risks of holiday travel. But no one can be 100 percent prepared. The unexpected does happen. Be smart if you are involved in a traffic accident caused by someone else during a holiday trip. Call us.

Be responsible and call the authorities, your insurance company, and Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. at (401) 751-8855 immediately after a traffic crash. We can help you with personal injury claims involving almost any type of vehicle, including motorcycles, bicycles, school buses, and more. We can also help with snow-and-ice injuries in or out of your car and wrongful death cases from crashes, too.

We hope you don’t need our services this holiday season. Please follow these five safe driving tips during the holidays and call us at (401) 751-8855 as soon as possible after a crash.

Why Is the Black Box Important in Truck Accidents?

According to the National Safety Council, large trucks are involved in ten percent of all vehicular accidents. In 2019, there were 5,005 trucks involved in fatal crashes. This represents a 43 percent rise since 2010. There were also 118,000 large trucks involved in crashes that led to injuries, the majority of which happened on non-interstate roads during daylight hours.

The months with the greatest number of accidents were July, September, and October. Because of the weight and size differences, an accident between a truck and a smaller passenger vehicle often leads to greater personal property damage and possibly catastrophic injury. You should not be responsible for medical expenses and lost wages if the accident were entirely someone else’s fault.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. today. Commercial truck operators have a responsibility to drive safely and maintain their vehicles. Our dedicated and experienced attorneys work tenaciously to seek fair compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (401) 751-8855 to set up your free consultation.

What Does the Black Box Do?

Every large commercial truck manufactured after 1990 has an electronic control module or event data recorder, commonly called the black box. This is a computer system that records data from the truck that can help law enforcement and accident investigators determine what was happening before, during, and after an event. These are like the black boxes found in airplanes.

There are different types of black boxes. Some record continuously while the vehicle engine is on. Others record information only for a few minutes before and during a crash. The data that is recorded can also vary depending on the device. However, the black box is linked to the onboard engine computer system. This means most devices should at least capture the speed, travel time, and whether the brakes were applied. Other information that may be available include:

  • Whether there was a sudden acceleration or deceleration
  • Whether cruise control was engaged
  • The daily or monthly activity
  • How frequently the speed was above a predetermined limit
  • Whether the driver was wearing a seatbelt
  • Whether the airbag was deployed
  • The number of hard stops
  • Tire pressure
  • The number of times the truck was in a crash
  • GPS location
  • Usage data
  • Trip time and distances
  • Last rest period

Why Is the Black Box Important After an Accident?

Most trucking companies will not voluntarily provide you with the information from the black box. However, the data can be key to helping to determine the cause of the crash. A combination of the black box data, physical evidence, and eyewitness testimony can demonstrate where responsibility lies for the accident. This may result in the company being held responsible for compensation and expenses related to the accident.

If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident, it’s vital to get this information as soon as possible. Many of the newer data boxes record and keep data for approximately 30 days. However, older models may only store data for a few days. Some trucking companies may try to have the truck repaired as soon as possible, thus erasing the physical evidence. This allows them to put the truck back on the road and possibly run the time out on the black box, so the data is written over. Others may try to destroy the black box data to protect themselves.

An experienced truck accident attorney can help recover the data from the truck’s black box and have it analyzed to determine the conditions during the accident. Accident investigators and accident reconstruction experts can help with this complicated process and may help strengthen your case. If it’s necessary, your attorney may pursue legal action to get the data from the black box before it’s automatically wiped.

It’s impossible to tell what type of black box has been installed in the truck that hit you. Therefore it’s important to act quickly and contact an experienced truck accident attorney. They can notify the trucking company that the data should be preserved and sent to them. Your attorney may use an expert to download the data and any other electronic recordings. This helps to avoid intentional or inadvertent problems that can destroy vital evidence.

Contact the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. for Help After a Truck Accident

After a truck accident, you may be left dazed and confused by a complicated process to recover damages. At the same time, you have medical expenses, property damage, and a mountain of bills that keep growing. If you’re unable to work, this just adds to your stress.

Taking legal action on your own can be difficult or even impossible. The trucking company will have legal representation to protect their rights and fight their case. An experienced truck accident attorney can handle your legal battle so you can focus your energy on recovering from your injuries.

The trucking company may send an insurance adjuster to ask you questions or offer an early settlement. It is important that you not speak with an insurance adjuster without your attorney present. Adjusters are skilled negotiators, and their focus is on reducing the financial liability of their company. Your attorney can help prevent you from saying something inadvertently that may negatively affect your case.

At the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd., our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to represent you and help protect your rights. Our attorneys have won millions of dollars for our clients who were involved in truck accidents. Call us today at (401) 751-8855 to schedule your free consultation.

How to Prevent Autumn Car Accidents

The air is crisp and clear. The temperatures are starting to drop, and the wind is picking up. You may enjoy the changing leaves and weather of fall and anticipate the coming winter. However, your risk of an accident may be greater in the fall, especially on wet, slick roads.

If you’re injured in a car accident that is someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation. This can help cover your medical expenses and lost wages. The Rhode Island personal injury attorneys of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. are dedicated to protecting your rights and helping you seek fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Why Is Fall More Dangerous?

Fall can bring its own set of dangers that can lead to a car accident. It’s time to review some of these dangers and road safety tips for those shorter days and back-to-school schedules.

Kids: You may be used to the back-to-school traffic, but it also comes with more kids on the sidewalks and streets walking to the bus stop or to and from school. It’s important to stay alert in school zones for young children who are walking and also for inexperienced drivers who have been given the car to pick up friends or siblings on the way to school. In most states, you must stop for a school bus with its red flashing lights on. Unfortunately, enough people disobey that rule that bus companies have begun using cameras to catch drivers.

Deer and small animals: During the fall months, deer are on the move. They don’t obey the traffic rules and look both ways before crossing the street. Deer also have fewer natural predators and are living closer and closer to urban areas. One study estimated that 150 people die each year in collisions with animals, and 77 percent of those animals were deer. Property damage may be as great as $1 billion annually. An adult deer can weigh 300 pounds or more, so it’s easy to see how they can damage your car.

Leaves: The leaves are changing. If you live in a high tourist area, you may have more people who come to enjoy the fall foliage. Leaves can pile on the street and hide potholes and pavement markings. Bicyclists may stray from their designated lane to avoid a slick mess after the road has been soaked with rain. Wet leaves reduce traction no matter how new your tires are. It’s important you leave plenty of stopping distance to avoid rear-ending someone and drive carefully through leaf-covered streets to avoid damage from large potholes.

Evening driving: The end of Daylight Saving Time means it’s brighter in the morning when you get up but often darker in the evening when you’re driving home from work. This affects your depth perception and peripheral vision. The glare of oncoming headlights can also temporarily blind a driver. Many people find it challenging to see road size clearly or judge speed and distance in the dark.

Sunshine: During the fall months, the sun is closer to the horizon during the hours that most people are driving. This means it may be shining directly into your eyes or reflecting off buildings and other cars. It’s important to keep your windshield clear and your car filled with windshield cleaner. Keep sunglasses available, and if you’re unable to see the road, pull over and wait. It usually takes no more than 15 minutes for the sun to move enough that it doesn’t obstruct your sight.

Car maintenance: Your car tires will perform better on wet and dry surfaces when they have enough tread. This means they will stop faster and steer better. It’s also important to maintain proper tire pressure. When the air cools in the fall, it can drop tire pressure approximately one pound per square inch for every ten degrees of temperature drop.

You can potentially help reduce the damages of a fall car accident by maintaining and upgrading an emergency kit for your car. The National Safety Council recommends keeping several items in your car at all times to help in case of an emergency. Consider including:

  • Properly inflated spare tire
  • Wheel wrench and jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries (replace batteries every six months)
  • Reflective triangles
  • Flares
  • First aid kit
  • Nonperishable high energy foods
  • Drinking water
  • Reflective vest
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Cell phone car charger
  • Duct tape
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Blanket

Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can cause a variety of different injuries. They can range from mild to severe. After a car accident, you may be diagnosed with:

  • Whiplash
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Paralysis
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Muscle strain
  • Internal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety

How Can the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. Help?

The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. have won millions of dollars and verdicts and settlements for our clients. Our legal team is experienced in defending complicated cases. We recognize that you have a unique story, and our team is ready to work with you.

Call the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. today to schedule your free consultation. We’ll discuss the specifics of your case and advise you on your next best step. Call us now at (401) 751-8855.