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Memorial Day weekend marks the start of warm weather, barbecues, and pool days. Although exciting, this Memorial Day Weekend brings with it some unwanted dangers. If you are traveling, spending the day by the pool, or barbecuing, there are ways to stay safe while celebrating this holiday weekend.
It can be easy to get carried away while celebrating the start of summer but drinking and driving is never a good idea. If you plan to have a few drinks while barbecuing, be sure to have a designated driver or call a cab. Whatever you decide, be sure that you are completely sober before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
If you plan to use a grill on Memorial Day weekend, be sure there are no children or animals around. Avoid wearing baggy clothes to prevent them from catching fire. Never leave a hot grill unattended and before using it, make sure that it is in proper working condition. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case something goes wrong.
Keep an eye out for swimmers, especially weak and young swimmers. Also, avoid consuming alcohol before going for a swim. If possible, take turns appointing designated lifeguards.
If you plan to use fireworks, keep in mind that although they are a great form of entertainment, they are also extremely dangerous. Make sure you know what you are doing and keep children and animals at a far distance away from the area where the fireworks will go off.
Use sunscreen if you plan on spending time in the sun, especially if you plan to swim or engage in activities that will cause you to sweat your sunscreen off.
Memorial Day weekend is the most dangerous holiday for motor vehicle accidents. The National Safety Council estimates that over 400 fatalities will occur during the holiday weekend due to car accidents. If you are driving during Memorial Day weekend, make sure that your car is prepared for the drive. Fill your gas tank and have your tire pressure checked. Planning your trip ahead of time will give you the opportunity to choose the safest and most direct routes to your destination. You should also keep an eye on the weather to avoid driving in dangerous conditions.
If you or someone you know sustained an injury over Memorial Day weekend, the Wilmington personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will help you through the process step-by-step. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 today. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Motorcyclists are at a higher risk for accidents than other drivers. Their motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and they are on the open with little protection. When crashes occur, they can be very serious or fatal. However, some of the worst accidents occur when a motorcyclist tries to avoid a collision. These no-contact accidents happen when the motorcyclist must swerve, lay the bike down, or crash to avoid colliding with another vehicle. Common reasons for this include when a car suddenly slows or stops or if a car crosses lanes without using their indicator. In certain cases, the driver may be liable for causing the crash, even if there was no actual contact.
Motorcyclists and drivers must follow traffic laws, and be aware of their surroundings. To prove that a driver was responsible for a no-contact accident, negligence showing that the driver did not use reasonable care must be proven. Examples of negligence include driving under the influence, using a cell phone while driving, not stopping at a red light, speeding up, or making an illegal turn. When a driver turns left in front of a motorcycle, a resulting crash is usually the driver’s fault.
If the driver and motorcyclist were both partially at fault, it may be a case of comparative negligence. For example, if the driver was careless and the motorcyclist did not have their headlamp on, the two parties may have contributed to the crash. In Delaware, only those under the age of 19 are required to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle, however, an approved helmet must always be stored on the motorcycle. Not wearing one during a crash makes it more difficult to win a case, since this contributes to injuries.
Since there is no contact between vehicles in these accidents, the negligent drivers flee the scene. This makes determining liability more difficult. The motorcyclist can try to obtain the license plate or car description, but it may be too late. Once the police arrive, they may treat the crash like a hit-and-run. If the driver is found, the motorcyclist can file a lawsuit. If not, the motorcyclist is then left contacting their own insurance company to cover medical costs and property damage.
Motorcyclists that are injured in no-contact accidents can file personal injury claims. Since Delaware is a comparative negligence state, a motorcyclist can still receive compensation if they are less than 50 percent at-fault for the accident. However, even if the other driver broke a traffic law when the accident occurred, it must be proven that their negligence led to the motorcyclist’s injuries. In rare cases, punitive damages are awarded for motorcycle accidents. They are given if a defendant’s actions showed malice and intentional misconduct.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, the Delaware accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. We will hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or fill out an online form for a free consultation. With offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Prom night is a rite of passage that will hopefully be filled with fun times that make lasting good memories. There can be many mixed emotions around this time, particularly among concerned parents. While the teens excitedly choose attire, their parents dwell in angst.
One of the reasons parents are so anxious about the night is concern for their child’s safety. On one hand, parents are proud to see their children grow into adults and celebrate graduation with their peers. On the other hand, they are concerned about drug and alcohol use and worry that their child might succumb to peer pressure.
Parents have good reason to be concerned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approximates that over the past few years, about 300 teens have died in alcohol-related traffic accidents during prom weekend. A recent survey by Students Against Drunk Drivers found that an astounding 85 percent of teens said they were more likely to drive impaired than call their parents to pick them up over fear of getting in trouble with their parents.
Unfortunately, appointing a designated driver and assuming they will not drink is a bit of a gamble. The best intentions can be overtaken by the excitement of the moment. Putting the pressure on one child to provide protection to the others is not necessarily going to work.
The vicious cycle of worry and fear must be replaced with a practical approach. Parents and teens should agree on how transportation back and forth to prom (and any after parties) will happen in advance. Some parents may chip in to pay for a group to be transported by limo. This is not an option for most people. It may not be the most popular choice, but in the end, arranging for an adult to transport the kids back and forth to the prom and any after parties – judgment free – no question asked – is probably the plan that will best minimize risk of a car accident on prom night.
Calling for a taxi is also an option. A pilot program for establishing “teen accounts” was tested but recently discontinued by Uber. At this time ride-share programs such as Lyft and Uber require account holders be 18 or older.
If advanced plans for experienced adult drivers are not in the cards, then parents need to have a healthy dialogue with their teen before prom about the adult behavior they will need to exhibit in order to remain safe. Warn against drinking and driving and get a verbal commitment from the teen that they will neither drive drunk nor get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. Let them know you will arrange for a ride if necessary. Additionally, get them to agree they will not text while driving or get in a car with someone who does. Before prom night might be a good time to start cultivating this behavior.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Arrange for a free consultation by completing our online form or calling 302-834-8484 today. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including those in Elsmere and Seaford, from our offices in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington.
According to data provided by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), from 2012-2016 some 300 people died annually between Christmas and New Year’s as a result of a crash with an alcohol impaired driver.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that it might not take as much alcohol as one would suspect to impair driving. In fact, reaction times lessen when blood alcohol content (BAC) is just 0.02 percent.
Below are the CDC’s findings:
Delaware considers a driver intoxicated if their BAC is at 0.08 or higher; but it is important to keep in mind that drivers can still be charged with a DUI, even if their BAC is below 0.08 percent.
For those planning on just stopping by that yearly Christmas party for one drink, you may want to think again.
Although there is some debate about how long a person should wait before getting back behind the wheel after drinking, a general misconception is that it may be safe to wait one hour per standard sized drink.
A standard sized drink is generally defined as 5oz of wine, 1.5oz of distilled spirits, or 12oz of beer. However, this rule is not reliable, and can vary greatly depending on:
This holiday season, many of us will find ourselves attending multiple celebrations where alcohol is served. Although drinking and driving is a dangerous combination all year long, during the holidays people who do not normally drink may imbibe. This means that those who have lower tolerance for alcohol are on the roads.
Additionally, common weather found in winter, like snow and ice, can increase the chances of an accident even further.
For those that intend to drink, planning ahead can save lives:
If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver, contact an experienced Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Our lawyers are experienced in all facets of Delaware personal injury and car accident laws and will tirelessly work to get the compensation you need to recover. Call 302-834-8484 today or complete an online form to schedule a free, initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, from our offices conveniently located in Wilmington.
A recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (National Academies) recommends that states lower the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold for drunk driving from .08 percent to .05 percent. The studies’ authors report that since 1982, approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities are caused by drunk drivers, and that 40 percent of victims are people other than the drunk driver.
The report suggests that all states should implement several recommendations, including lowering the BAC threshold, to reduce the number of alcohol-related fatalities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for Americans during the first three decades of their lives. The CDC reports that 28 people die every day in the U.S. in drunk driving accidents, costing $121.5 billion in medical costs, earnings losses, productivity losses, legal costs and vehicle damage. The National Academies report that while most strategies focus on enforcement and the legal system, they should be placing more emphasis on reducing impaired driving.
The report notes that drivers are often impaired before reaching the .08 percent BAC threshold and are unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. Effects are noticeable after reaching only .02 percent BAC including loss of judgment, decline in visual functions and decline in ability to divide attention. At .05 percent BAC, drivers show reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, and reduced response to emergency situations. By the time drivers reach .08 percent BAC, they display loss of concentration, memory, speed control, reduced information processing capability and impaired perception.
A bill was introduced by Delaware lawmakers to lower the BAC threshold to .05 percent as recommended by the National Academies. The proposal has yet to be heard by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, but has already been the subject of controversy among those in the alcoholic beverage industry. The American Beverage Institute criticizes the proposal, stating that it fails to target drivers who are responsible for most alcohol-related traffic deaths, instead criminalizing moderate, responsible drinking.
A 2012 CDC survey revealed that 2.7 percent of Delaware drivers reported driving after drinking too much in the past 30 days. This was the sixth highest percentage of all U.S. states, surpassed only by Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa. However, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that only two percent of Delaware’s alcohol-related traffic deaths in 2016 involved drivers with BACs between .05 and .08. The majority of them involved drivers with a BAC of .15 and higher.
Delaware would be the second state to implement such a measure; Utah is currently the only state that has lowered the BAC threshold to .05 percent. The bill’s sponsor hopes that the legislation will increase road safety and help reduce the frequency of alcohol-related crashes and deaths.
If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident, contact an experienced Wilmington car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We will fight to hold negligent parties accountable and get you maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us today at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation about your case. You can also contact us online. We have three convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford serving clients throughout the state of Delaware.