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Semi-Trucks Everywhere!

Every week there are stories in the newspaper and on television involving semi-truck and passenger automobile accidents. Just this morning, there was a tragic semi – passenger vehicle fatality on Interstate 65 near Lafayette, Indiana. Now this afternoon, there is another multi-car accident involving a semi-truck on I-65 in Greenwood, Indiana. As we all travel on roads with semi-trucks, please keep these factors in mind in order to avoid a personal injury and situations of wrongful death involving a collision with an 18-wheeler.

Wide Turns – Semi-trucks are a lot longer than passenger vehicles. They will have to make a wide right turn in order to avoid the curb or other obstacles. Drivers in passenger vehicles should watch to see if a semi is signaling for a turn and avoid pulling up alongside the truck. The semi driver is concentrating on the turn and may not see the driver if they are alongside the truck, in a blind spot.

Blind Spots – Along with turns, semi-trucks have larger blind spots than the average vehicle. Due to their size, there is a blind spot immediately in front of the semi, along the sides near the cab, and directly behind the trailer. The blind spot on the right side of the truck is worse than the left due to the position of the driver. Passenger drivers should move out of these blind spots as quickly as safety permits so the trucker knows if they can safely pass or make an evasive move to avoid collisions due to other drivers.

Passing a Semi – Due to the blind spots that are larger on the right side of the truck, passenger vehicles should pass on the left whenever possible. When the pass is completed, passenger automobiles should also make sure they do not cut off the semi when re-entering the same lane of travel as the semi. Again, due to their size, semi-trucks take a lot longer to brake and come to a complete stop.

Wind Issues – Semi-trucks are susceptible to acting like a sail when there is any type of wind. This is true even for a fully loaded semi, much less a semi pulling an empty trailer. Again, staying out of a blind spot and passing as quickly as safety permits will aid passenger vehicles in avoiding collisions with semi-trucks.

Sleepy Drivers – Semi truck drivers are sometimes under too much pressure by their clients and employers to deliver loads by a certain time. This can make drivers fail to follow regulations regarding sleeping and breaks, which then leads to road weariness and falling asleep at the wheel. When a passenger vehicle sees a semi-truck swerving erratically late at night or even during the day, the semi driver could be drowsy and the truck should be avoided.

These are just some of the issues that come with sharing the road with semi-trucks. All of us enjoy the benefits of these trucks through the shipping of products and food; therefore, we all need to be aware of these issues and help maintain safe driving conditions.

If there is an accident that occurs involving a semi-truck, however, the attorneys at Goodin Abernathy, LLP will sit down with you in a free consultation to discuss what happened. Be safe!

Motorcycle Safety Awareness

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month!

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycles account for 15 percent of traffic accidents resulting in death, despite motorcycles only accounting for 3 percent of all registered vehicles and only traveling less than 1 percent of all miles on the road.  These statistics, however,  do not report the number of personal injuries motorcycle riders experience each and every year.

The reasons for more fatalities directly correlate to why a motorcycle is fun to ride – not being enclosed in a vehicle while the wind blows across your face or through your hair.  Motorcycles also are harder to see because they simply do not take up the same amount of space a traditional car does, so other motorists do not see motorcyclists as well.

Even though not required by Indiana state law, if you do wear a helmet, make sure you consider the fit, whether it has adjustable pads , facial coverage, and good ventilation.  In addition, make sure it has the “DOT” (Department of Transportation) label or at least the Snell or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) labels so you know it is certified to meet minimum safety standards.  Also consider wearing protective clothing, jackets, and shoes specifically designed for motorcycle use.  Not only will you be more protected, you’ll look good also.

If you do have a motorcycle accident or if your loved one suffers a wrongful death while riding, the attorneys at Goodin Abernathy, LLP can sit down with you to discuss your options (contact us by clicking here).  Be safe and enjoy motorcycling!

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Spring Break is Almost Here!

Soon high school and college students will be heading off to warmer weather to experience Spring Break. Whether you are going with your child or he or she is going with a group of friends, take the time to discuss safety tips from your own experience. Beyond the issues surrounding binge drinking and partying, consider discussing safety issues involving water, driving, hotels and money. Even if your child may roll their eyes at you or act like they are not paying attention, any information passed could prevent personal injury, traumatic brain injury, a water injury, or even death.

The Girls Fight Back organization has a “Spring Break Safety Tip Sheet”. This sheet provides a lot of tips for safely getting to Spring Break, Hotels, ATM use, Drinking, In the Water, Leaving the Country, and “let’s talk about sex.” If you have a child that is going on Spring Break, consider sharing this list with them, even if they are boys. Knowledge and prevention are powerful. After Spring Break, if your child is injured, contact Goodin Abernathy LLP to discuss your options.

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Jet Ski Safety and Avoiding Personal Injury

Spring Break and Summer will soon be here, which means Jet Ski or Personal Watercraft use will occur. While jet skiing can be fun, the mishandling of these watercraft can lead to serious personal injury including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or even wrongful death.

Jet Ski Safety

The American Red Cross has published various water safety tips, including specific safety tips for Jet Ski use. These tips include learning to swim, knowing the local laws and regulations, operating the Jet Ski with common sense and courtesy, using caution around swimmers, wearing a life vest, riding with a buddy, and refraining from alcohol use during operation.

Along with these tips, it is also important to know how a Jet Ski operates. It is important for a user of a Jet Ski to be trained by an experienced and knowledgeable operator because personal water craft are powerful and therefore, can be dangerous. Jet Skis, similar to other boats, do not stop like a car. Every year there is a tragic story about a person being catastrophically injured or killed due to a jet ski being unable to stop before running into a pier, dock, or other boat.

In Indiana, there also is no requirement to have specific training on a personal water craft unless you are under 15 years of age.  Any person with a valid driver’s license may operate boats and personal water craft.

Jet Skis and other personal water craft use is fun; however, caution should be used to prevent personal injury. If you or a loved one has been injured through the use of a personal watercraft, jet ski, or other boat, contact the Personal Injury Attorneys of Goodin Abernathy, LLP for a free consultation.