Monthly Archives: February 2017

Where to Ride Your Bike When There is no Designated Bike Lane

Bicycles are considered as vehicles. This means that bicyclists are expected to use the roadways like other vehicles, and have the rights and duties of motorists in the roadway.

Bicycle lanes refer to a section of the roadway that is designated for bicyclists. It is marked by a solid white line that breaks into a dotted line at corners. This traffic lane is different from the standard white lines marking the edge of the road in two ways: first, a bike lane follows specific width requirements, and second, it is clearly marked as a bicycle lane. But many roads don’t have designated traffic lanes for bicycles.

So, where should bicyclists ride their bikes?

Bicyclists are expected to share the traffic lane on the right (to the left of the white line marking the end of the road) so motorists overtake on your left side. If the traffic lane is narrow and there is no bicycle lane or shoulder, you should ride closer to the center of the lane to prevent motorists from passing you fast when there is not enough space.

Bicyclists are also allowed to use sidewalks, except in prohibited areas such as institutions and central business districts as per local ordinance. When riding your bike on a sidewalk, you should exercise the rights and duties of pedestrians. This means that you should not travel at speeds of 20 mph (or faster) on sidewalks as you place yourself and pedestrians at great risk.

When using the sidewalk, try to travel at the same speed as pedestrians to reduce conflicts. Similarly, use the traffic lane when moving at the same speed as the traffic around you. This is a safety measure to keep you away from drivers’ blind spots and to reduce the risk of conflicts with right-turning traffic.

Are bicyclists safe using the roadways with motorists?

Many bicyclists wonder whether they are justified to seek compensation from a motorist that knocks them down due to some confusion on the road.

The truth of the matter is, there are hundreds of thousands of bicycle collisions every year, some of which result in the death of the bicyclist. Some of these crashes are due to the behavior of the cyclist, while others are a result of the driver’s lack of attention.

Click here to discover how a bicycle accident attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against reckless motorists, and prove that your fault (proportionate responsibility) was less than 50 percent in order to recover damages from the negligent party

Stay safe on the road

Bicyclists riding on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users, and are bound by the same rules and regulations. While motorists are expected to keep a certain distance when overtaking bicyclists and look carefully for bicyclists before turning right or opening doors, bicycle riders must also exercise caution.

This means riding in the same direction as the traffic; obeying traffic signs and signals and alerting other road users when changing lanes or turning using hand signals; protecting yourself with a bicycle helmet (required by law for riders under 18 years of age) and wearing a reflector; maintaining control of your bicycle; and being visible, alert, and prepared to take evasive action.

If you have questions about the laws affecting bicyclists, or have sustained injuries when riding due to the reckless actions of a motorist, it is important that you talk to a skilled bicycle accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Consumer Considerations to Make Before Purchasing Your Next Big-Rig

Numerous large commercial trucks haul essential stuff from one place to another throughout Texas. These huge big-rigs are often involved in accidents and put all of us at risk of serious safety threats. Though more than enough federal and state safety regulations are imposed on the trucking industry, there are various reasons behind serious truck accidents.

Because buying a commercial truck is a massive investment and an unfortunate turns of event can put your money at stake, it is necessary that you purchase your big rig after bearing all consumer considerations in mind. To learn more about key considerations while buying your truck, read the post ahead.

Key Considerations before Making a Major Investment:-

Know your needs:
It is very important to know the number of runs you will be making with your truck every week. Knowing the miles you are putting on your truck every month will eventually help you decide the power you need in your truck. Other uses related to your truck such as the capacity of loading and similar things also matter when making a decision to buy a commercial truck.

Engine size is another extremely crucial decision to make. It is not necessary that bigger is always better. Whether you’re buying a truck for everyday commuting or for transporting large items, your need will eventually decide the picture-perfect engine size.

Figure out if you need a new or used truck:
This is another crucial aspect of buying your next big rig. If you are a beginner in trucking industry and don’t have enough resources to make such a huge investment, you may also be looking for a used truck. After properly taking your operating costs and long hauls in mind, you will be competent enough to make a wise decision.

Manual vs. automatic:
Depending on the traffic conditions of your city, you will have to decide between the manual and automatic transmission for your truck. Automatic transmission saves a great deal of unnecessary shifting especially when you are supposed to spend a lot of time in traffic. However, if you drive through relatively less chaotic roadways, a manual transmission can give you improved control over the engine. Thus, it is another significant decision to make.

Other than these common consumer considerations, you will also need to know about the various safety features that can make hauling safer for both your truck and other vehicles on the road. Buying a truck with camper shell can also protect your belongings whilst preventing thefts.

If you own a truck and ever get involved in any of the truck accidents in Texas, you would probably need the best law firm to make your case. People who get hurt in Texas truck accidents have a right to claim for compensation. If you or some of your loved one has been injured in an accident where a commercial truck is involved, you will need to hire an attorney to seek relief for your damages. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney will make sure you never lose on significant compensation.

Five Things that Cause Burns in a Car Accident

Most of us think of broken bones or whiplash when we talk about car accident injuries. Though subsequent burn injuries from a car accident may be less common, burns of all kinds are extremely critical in nature no matter what caused them. Burn is one of the terrifying injuries to occur in a car accident. If the vehicle happens to catch fire after an accident, the results can be severe and even deadly in extreme cases.

Burns are a real threat in car accidents because even a fairly minor collision may work as a contributing factor to result in a fire. Car accidents mostly cause second and third-degree burns, and a first degree burn is usually not seen as the consequence of a fire caused by these car accidents.

After an accident, fire can start in one or more ways. Punctured gas tank of a vehicle or trucks hauling hazardous chemicals can all result in fire because of a motor vehicle collision.

Here are the five things that often cause burns in a car accident.

Damaged Fuel Tank:
When the fuel tank of vehicle damaged in a collision, it is likely to get punctured or burst. Leaking fuel can easily catch fire because of the heat generated by the impact. Whenever a victim makes contact with this fire or with hot surfaces, liquids or steams, he suffers heat burns. Heat burns are the most common type of burn that usually results from a car accident.

Broken Electrical System:
Vehicles are made up of extensive electrical systems. Thus, whenever a car endures a collision, internal electrical systems along with power lines and other external electrical equipment pose great threat of a fire outbreak. Electricity passes through the victim’s body and causes severe electrical burns.

Vehicle Carrying Chemicals:
If a car happens to collide with a truck which is hauling chemicals or other hazardous substances, victims are at a greater risk of suffering chemical burns. There are various chemicals being transported in these vehicles which may cause chemical burns if the victim’s skin comes in contact with them. In fact, sometimes passenger vehicles carrying household cleaners or some other similar products also catch fire because of their chemical compositions.

Faulty Equipment:

It is not uncommon of us to carry certain electrical equipment in our vehicle. Sometimes equipment with faults in their electrical system can catch fire when your vehicle collides in an accident. Even a small spark in electrical equipment can result into a deadly fire outbreak.

Inflating Air Bag:
Though relatively uncommon, inflating air bag is another reason that causes burns in a car accident. The risk of an inflating air bag can dramatically increase the chances of fire after a car accident.

You have all the rights to file personal injury claims if you have endured burns as a result of the collision during a car accident. Burn is a serious injury that requires extensive rehabilitation. Experienced car accident attorney can help you claim for compensation so that you can easily bear your medical expenses.

Seatbelt Injuries That Can Occur During A Car Accident

Most crash-related deaths in the US occur to vehicle passenger occupants. In 2014, over 21,000 died, with more than half accounting for those who were unrestrained during the time of crash. While wearing a seat belt is proven to save lives, sometimes it can cause physical injuries to the wearer. A seat belt increases the safety factor of both passengers and drivers involved in a car crash. Rarely could the seat belt itself cause injuries, but it does happen. If you or a loved one gets involved in a crash, know that a good personal injury attorney can provide you with more information, see to it that your legal rights are protected, and guide you all the way. Here’s how seatbelt injuries may occur:

Seat Belt Injuries

A seat belt works by restraining the user to his or her place securely during a crash or an accident. The nature of the seat belt prevents any type of injury as long as it works as intended, but there are times when a seat belt malfunction happens. Tight restraints, improper belt placement and how the crash occurred and its severity can complicate matters, resulting in a seat belt injury.

Hiring an attorney will prove to be your best resource if you or a loved one becomes injured in a car crash involving seat belts. It will certainly help you in your claims if you decide to pursue the matter in a legal course.

Seat Belt Injury Types

The most common form of seat belt injuries are scrapes and bruising from the belt restraints, depending on how severe the auto accident was. Lap belts in particular could cause internal injuries to the spinal cord and the abdomen area. Shoulder belts could cause injuries to the sternum, the neck and the shoulders. Perhaps the most damaging types of seat belt injuries are the following:

– intestinal injuries

– spine injuries

– internal bleeding

– dislocations

– fractures

How To Wear Your Seat Belt Properly

One way you can minimize the chances of seat belt injuries occurring is through proper seat belt placement. According to the NHTSA, the lap belt must be put across the hips and below the stomach. The shoulder belt must be across your chest’s middle and away from your neck. Don’t put on the belt too tightly or too loosely. The occupant should be secured while not being too restricted.

Legal Issues Involving Seat Belt Injuries

Insufficient Seat Belts. Some automobile manufacturers only install lap seat belts in their vehicles, which could result in a lawsuit following a car crash or collision. The insufficiency of a lap belt and the absence of a shoulder seat belt could make the passengers and driver more susceptible to serious injuries as compared to drivers and passengers secured by both lap and shoulder safety seat belts.

Defective Seat Belts. Numerous seat belt injury cases are the result of a defective seat belt, wherein the seat belt system malfunctions during the time of the car crash. In specific terms, the seat belt failed to perform as expected due to an inherent flaw in the seat belt’s design or in the manufacturing process itself.

Some examples include defective tension detectors and/or a defective latch. A defective latch could unintentionally release the seat belt lock in the car’s impact and through force of angle. Defective tension detectors may fail to properly cause slack in the belt or keep it taut and secure once any the slack is removed.

In cases where the seat belt malfunctions or a manufacturer defect is proven, the driver and all passengers may pursue legal action and file for a products liability claim. Those that are liable include the seat belt distributor, the supplier, retailer and manufacturer. The automobile company from where the seat belt was installed could be filed for claims as well.

In These Ways, Uber is Helping Increase Driver and Passenger Safety

It’s a weekend. You’ve been invited to a party by a friend in a neighborhood you are not very familiar with. You dance the night away and in the process take too much alcohol. It has been a hectic week after all. It’s late when the party ends and you need to get back to your place. You don’t want to drive lest you meet with traffic cops and go in for driving under influence. You don’t want to waste time in a courtroom or money hiring a lawyer. You don’t know how safe it is to stand in a street in this neighborhood and wave down a taxi-it’s a weekend anyway and everyone’s gone out. Taxis are busy.

You don’t have to worry. As long as your smartphone has some charge, you just call a Uber cab and you will be home fast and safe. Uber in so many way ensures your safety and convenience hence you no longer need to worry about night outs or visiting neighborhoods you have not been into before. Here are the various measures Uber has put in place to guarantee safety for both driver and passenger:

  1. Uber drivers are screened before being picked.

They must have a clean criminal record and should not have violated any traffic rules in the past. You therefore need not worry about the intentions or the competence of the guy sited at the driver’s seat. Relax and enjoy your ride. Marvel at the buildings and parks of this new city that you’re visiting. You are in safe, clean hands. The presence of the rating and commenting feature helps keep them in check. The driver needs a good rating and hence rude comments and scuffles are unlikely.

  1. Uber feature that connects the driver to law enforcement agencies and GPS connection allows for swift response in case of emergency.

This is one of the measures in place to reduce the possibility of a Uber driver being hurt by their passenger(s). The use of GPS helps in location of drivers in distress or during emergencies. Use of caller IDs to help trace location of fares help avoid scuffles over fare. Use of credit card for payment helps discourage robberies and also can be used to track down a passenger in case of any incidence.

  1. Uber will pick you up at a place of your convenience.

You therefore, do not have to stand and wait in some street where you might be mugged or hurt. The Uber drivers know well the routes to your destination and therefore you don’t have to worry about getting into dangerous neighborhood. When drunk, calling a Uber cab avoids the need of driving under the influence of alcohol. This reduces the number of drunk drivers on the roads and drastically reducing the number of road accidents hence ensuring your safety as well as that of other road users. Taxi driving is among the most dangerous jobs. Though, most of us are more worried about the driver, the driver ought to be more worried about the people they are ferrying. People of all kinds and in all kinds of states whose history they don’t know.

Uber Laws

Additionally, Uber has various requirements put in place to further safeguard the lives of passengers. First and foremost, the driver must meet the following essential requirements:

  1. The driver must be older than 21 years.
  2. The driver must have more than three years of driving experience. If you recently relocated from a different state, you might have to confirm your driving history. Always have your out-of-state driver’s license for you might need it.

Other requirements:

  1. The driver must have a credible in-state car insurance which in his name.
  2. The driver should have in-state vehicle registration. It doesn’t have to be in his name.
  3. The driver must have a proper state Driver’s License.
  4. The driver must have a valid Social Security Number to facilitate background checks.
  5. The driver must be conversant with various traffic laws and regulations. You can learn more about these laws from various legal sources available online.

Background Check:

  1. The driver should have a clean driving record.
  2. The driver must pass the background check. A company called Hirease does the background check. The background check takes several days. So as to pass the background check, the driver should make sure that in the past seven years, he has not committed any of the following felonies:
  • Drug-related or DUI offenses.
  • History of reckless driving.
  • Involved in any fatal accidents
  • Incidents of driving with no license or insurance documents.

To pass this background check, it’s always advisable to have no Criminal history at all.

Driver’s vehicle requirements.

The driver should have a car that satisfies the Uber driver requirements. The UberX (Uber’s basic services) vehicle requirements are:

  1. The vehicle should be a 4-door sedan and should have the capacity to seat more than four passengers excluding the driver.
  2. Driver’s full name should be on the vehicle insurance.
  3. The vehicle should have license plates issued by the state.
  4. It should not have been used for any taxi related services or previously salvaged.
  5. Should pass an Uber vehicle inspection.

Conclusion.

New threats to drivers and passengers emerge every day, but this helps in the creation and advancement of measures to protect them. You have no reason to be worried about your next Uber ride. You will be safe. Enjoy it.