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Monmouth County New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

NJ prepares to reduce drunk driving deaths this holiday season

Statewide, New Jersey law enforcement are participating in a program that provides extra money to agencies so they can allocate extra resources toward identifying and stopping drunk drivers. According to the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, sobriety checkpoints and extra patrols will begin Dec. 9, 2017, and run through Jan. 1, 2018. So far this year, alcohol-related fatalities have equaled 20 percent of the 572 total traffic deaths on state roadways.

In addition to these efforts, law enforcement agencies across the state hope that residents will get involved in reducing drunk driving deaths. They urge people to choose a designated driver or arrange for an alternative way home before drinking. Even deciding to walk home could be dangerous for someone who is drunk. When those who are impaired appear to be planning to drive, friends, family members or others should be ready to step in and take the keys or assist with transportation.

Tragic accident involving motorcycle and truck, kills man

For many New Jersey motorcyclists, the experience of riding in the open air is both thrilling and relaxing. Motorcycles have many benefits including better gas mileage, increased flexibility in traffic and cheaper repairs. However, riding a motorcycle also has unique risks because of increased exposure to conditions that could be dangerous if not monitored cautiously. In some cases, even when a motorcyclist is driving responsibly and carefully, the actions of other drivers can pose a dangerous threat. 

This was the case in a recent motorcycle crash that claimed the life of a man in California. The man was described by the people that knew him as an avid motorcyclist. He was approximately one mile away from his work when a semi-truck turned left in front of him. Unable to avoid the collision, the man slammed into the truck and passed away soon after. His family and coworkers described him as a selfless person who went above and beyond to help the people around him. He was a devoted father to six children who lovingly nicknamed him, "El Nene." It is unknown if the truck driver was injured or cited in the accident. The crash remains under investigation.

Motorcycle accidents over the holidays

Motorcycle accidents are a serious problem at any time of the year. However, there are certain times in which these accidents may be even more likely. For example, the chances of a motorcyclist being hit by a driver or involved in a crash may be higher during Thanksgiving and other holidays that are right around the corner. If you are hit by a reckless driver during the holidays, you should go over all of your rights immediately.

Why are the holidays dangerous, anyway? First of all, many people drink alcohol at family celebrations and later get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this behavior remains far too common even though many awareness campaigns have aimed to prevent drunk driving. Aside from intoxication, there are other reasons why the holidays can be especially dangerous. For example, certain roads might become particularly busy and people may be experiencing other issues that could have a negative impact on their ability to drive properly, such as sleep deprivation or stress.

Teenage drivers causing rear end accidents because of distraction

Statistics pointing to the problem of distracted driving are staggering -- especially when they relate to teenage drivers. According to one study, approximately three-fourths of rear-end accidents caused by teens were the result of the teen getting distracted. Common distractions were passengers and smartphones.

There's a need for more education regarding distracted driving and teenagers. But where do we start?

What can you do to stay safe on your motorcycle?

If you have recently bought a motorcycle in New Jersey, you may have already begun thinking about all of the exciting adventures you will have in the days ahead. From extended flexibility, modified convenience and the all-around cool look that motorcycles have to offer, the advantages you get to experience are already building. However, it is imperative that you stay safe on your bike to be able to enjoy your adventures without unnecessary exposure to preventable risks. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to give yourself the best possible chance at enjoying your motorcycle in a way that is responsible, fun and safe. 

According to Consumer Reports, here are some of things you can do to stay safer on your motorcycle:

  • Stay on the defense, stay focused and always be aware of your surroundings to identify potential risks before it is too late. 
  • Pay attention to weather patterns and do not plan to ride your motorcycle if the weather is inclement.
  • Invest in the proper protection for your body including a helmet, gloves, slacks and boots.
  • Get to know your bike and how it feels to ride it. Practice in less crowded areas before moving to busier streets.
  • Keep up with maintenance and inspect your motorcycle each time you ride to make sure everything is in working order. 
  • Look into educational courses to learn skills that will keep you safe if you are ever faced with a dangerous circumstance while riding. 

3 types of impaired driving

There are many hazards on the roads of New Jersey, from traffic jams to slick streets. However, accidents involving impaired drivers may be particularly deadly. Three basic types of impairment are responsible for thousands of fatal injuries every year.

1. Alcohol

Driving your truck with confidence

As you may be well aware, driving a big rig requires an extended measure of focus, caution and expertise. Even when you are doing everything you can to operate your truck safely and efficiently, you are still subject to the risks of the job especially when other drivers may not be paying as much attention as you. However, your efforts to be responsible and wise as you drive your truck in New Jersey may enable you to minimize serious injury if you are involved in an accident. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson and Covelli, we are familiar with the unique risks truckers face.

According to Esurance, whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned truck driver, learning and reminding yourself of some key behaviors is crucial to staying safe. Some of the things you should be doing include the following:

  • Cargo: All cargo should be carefully loaded in alignment with specified weight limits, stacking suggestions and industry protocols. Your load should be inspected to identify any areas that could be a potential risk or danger.
  • Plan ahead: Poor weather can present dangerous risks and leave you scrambling for a solution. You will benefit greatly from planning ahead and adjusting driving techniques based on weather conditions. For example, keeping your lights on, reducing your speed and running your blinker well ahead of a turn can keep you and others safer.
  • Maintenance: You should always be examining your truck for signs that it needs to be repaired. Additionally, stay on top of regular maintenance to guarantee that everything is working safely and efficiently. 
  • Rest: One of the most important steps you can take in staying safe is to make sure you are getting enough rest before getting behind the wheel. Additionally, eat healthy, drink plenty of water and be physically active when you are not driving so you can be alert and attentive on the road. 

Avoiding the temptation to text while driving

If you own a phone and a car, chances are, at some point, you have considered or maybe even tried to text and drive simultaneously. However, this unfortunate lapse in judgment can quickly create dangerous circumstances for yourself, your passengers and other motorists and pedestrians. When you are operating your vehicle in New Jersey, it is never a good idea to use an electronic device. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli, we are familiar with the dangers of distracted driving.

You may be familiar with the pestering temptation to text and drive. Perhaps you have just received an exciting message and feel compelled to respond right away. Maybe your boss is contacting you and you feel your work is a priority. Because the desire to respond instantly can create a persistent temptation, try these helpful tips suggested by the Huffington Post to keep yourself focused on safety:

  • Personalize your settings to keep notifications silent.
  • Pull over in a safe place to respond to urgent messages that require immediate acknowledgement.
  • Practice patience and remind yourself that nothing is as important as safety and your life.
  • Ask a passenger to respond to a message on your behalf.
  • Input GPS coordinates ahead of time so you are not tempted to fidget with your device while driving.
  • Encourage those around you, especially if you have driving-aged children, not to text and drive. If you know that someone you need to contact is currently traveling, wait until they are finished driving to text them.

Auto deaths rising, but distracted driving is on the decline

The United States National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration published automobile death statistics regarding 2016. The data reveals that more people died in 2016 compared to 2015. With 37,461 motor vehicle deaths in total, this figure represents a 5.6 percent increase from the year before.

In spite of the increase in vehicle-related deaths, there are two positive points to these statistics: (1) the increase was less than the frightening 8.4 percent death increase experienced in 2015, and (2) it appears that drowsy driving and texting while driving are on the decline.

Do car crashes cause post-traumatic stress disorder?

There are many different consequences associated with auto accidents, including the loss of life and life-shattering injuries. However, victims may also face a significant emotional toll afterward. In some cases, victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can upend their lives in all sorts of different ways. Whether they have a hard time getting to work or are even unable to work due to mental trauma, the hardships that victims of these collisions sometimes go through should not be overlooked. If you are facing these burdens on a personal level, you should reach for any resources that are available to help you move on.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reports that motor vehicle collisions are responsible for many of the cases of traumatic stress. In fact, researchers found that car crashes were the most common traumatic event that American males experience, with 25 percent having traumatic stress afterward. These collisions can cause various mental health challenges, such as PTSD, anxiety, and even depression. Sadly, victims who are trying to work through these mental health struggles may face even more problems. For example, their depression may keep them from pursuing activities they previously enjoyed, while their extreme anxiety may interfere with their performance at work, which could create additional difficulties.

Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli

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Allenhurst, New Jersey 07711

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Bayonne, New Jersey 07002
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Bayville, NJ 08721
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Phone: 732-663-1920
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