Tailgating Causes Accidents

“Tailgating”, which is a term for when a person drives too close to the vehicle in front of him or her, is a common cause of traffic accidents. It happens all too frequently on the highways, and it creates a dangerous situation if the car in front has to slow down or stop suddenly. Tailgating can be caused by distracted driving, as when drivers do not pay attention because they’re texting or talking on their cell phones, or it can be a result of driver impairment due to substance abuse, or it can even occur because of a road rage situation, where the tailgating driver is narrowing the distance between cars in order to harass the driver in front. It is a problem that is on the rise, and statistics show that drivers in certain types of vehicles are the worst offenders. Almost 23 percent of drivers in sport utility vehicles (SUV) tailgate, for example. You should never tailgate another driver, and one good reason is that if you are responsible for a collision due to tailgating, you can be liable for damage and injury claims. If you are the victim of tailgating, it is important to establish that the driver behind you was driving in a reckless or negligent manner, and you may need to have supporting evidence in the form of medical reports, witness testimony, and police reports. If you or someone in your family have been a victim of a tailgating accident in Georgia, contact Michael W. McElroy, P.C., for a free...

Establishing Who is at Fault

If you get into a car accident that involves serious injury and/or property damage, there’s a good possibility that a police officer will show up on the scene. The officer will have immediate responsibilities (determining if anyone needs medical attention, getting the damaged cars out of the way of traffic, etc.), but afterward he or she will file a report about the accident to establish who is in fault. These reports can be a critical factor in deciding who is at fault for the accident, and they are used by insurance companies and the legal system in making financial awards. The police report will have the officer’s best determination as to how the accident happened and who was at fault. Police officers will usually take statements from the people involved, so it’s important to be careful about what you say. Unfortunately, most of us are somewhat upset and traumatized after a serious accident, and we may not be thinking clearly when we talk to the officer. People will often say things that can be taken the wrong way, even admitting fault for the accident, and will regret what they said later. If you are in this situation it can seem bleak, because the other driver’s insurance company may use the police report as leverage to get you or your insurance company to pay for any medical costs or damages. All is not lost, however, even if the police report says that the accident was caused by you. With the help of a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with unfavorable police reports, you can get a much...
When Bad Road Conditions Cause an Accident

When Bad Road Conditions Cause an Accident

Winter is pothole season in much of the U.S., and depending on the amount and size of the potholes (which is determined by the temperature and/or construction sites), they could cause millions of dollars of damage to cars and trucks. Drivers often don’t see potholes, which can appear overnight, and if they are traveling at a high enough speed when they hit the hole, it can cause serious damage to the tires, the suspension, and the underside of the car, among other things. Even when drivers see the pothole in advance and try to avoid it, they will sometimes swerve without warning into an oncoming lane of traffic, which can result in a collision, serious injury, or even death. Potholes aren’t the only kind of poor road conditions that can cause an accident. Others include eroded roads, missing traffic signs, nonexistent guardrails, poorly marked construction zones, metal plates, icy road surfaces, improper or missing lighting, and just bad engineering and construction in general. If poor road conditions have caused damage to your vehicle or injury to a driver or passenger, you may want to think about taking legal action. The public agency responsible for that stretch of road may be liable for not doing enough to correct the road conditions, and you may be able to receive compensation. However, there are some criteria that have to be met before you have a case. You must prove the road conditions did cause the problem, and you must prove the agency had a reasonable amount of time to discover the problem and fix it. Here is an example of how the...
Get Expert Legal Advice After An Accident

Get Expert Legal Advice After An Accident

There are more than five million automobile accidents in the United States annually, according to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Almost two million drivers or passengers involved in those accidents receive serious injuries. To be a party in a traffic accident is a shattering thing, especially if it is more than just a minor, “fender bender” type of event. Accidents happen suddenly, and there is often confusion about how they happened and what actually occurred. Besides the initial shock and trauma, there are often other medical problems that crop up as time goes on. It can be a disturbing, scary time as the full effects of the accident begin to sink in. This is exactly why accident victims need the services of an experienced attorney like Michael W. McElroy, P.C. A top flight personal injury attorney can help you navigate the confusing landscape of legal, insurance, and medical issues that result from a serious traffic accident. Dealing with insurance companies in particular can be challenging for the layperson, and it’s advisable to get expert legal advice before you agree to any kind of financial settlement. There are many cases where victims have agreed to quick settlements to cover their initial medical bills, but the money is not enough to cover long term treatment for ongoing medical issues that result from the accident. If you or someone you love has been involved in a traffic accident, you need expert advice to help you get the best legal outcome. In Georgia, that means contacting Michael W. McElroy, P.C., for a free...
Tips for Avoiding Rear End Collisions on Rainy Days

Tips for Avoiding Rear End Collisions on Rainy Days

How to Avoid Rear End Collisions Rear end collisions account for thousands of traffic accidents every year, but sadly, many of them are preventable. They usually occur because someone is driving too close behind another vehicle, under the mistaken impression that he or she can stop in time if the first car stops unexpectedly. Stopping a car, especially at higher speeds, takes much longer than people think, and it can be affected by factors such as the driver’s reaction time and road conditions. Experts say that it takes a minimum of one second for a driver to react to a braking situation and apply pressure to the brakes, and then there are a host of other factors — i.e., the condition of the tires and brakes, the make and model of the vehicle, the condition of the road, the weight of the vehicle — that can determine when the car will finally come to a stop. A wet road surface can cause a particularly dangerous situation. The Federal Highway Administration named wet pavement as a factor in 80 percent of crashes that caused injuries in the period between 2004 and 2013. A rainy day can increase the stopping distance by up to 400 percent. Here are some tips to reduce the chance of rear end collisions on rainy days. Reduce your speed. Drive slowly, especially when turning. Put an extra cushion of space between you and the cars in front. You should maintain at least a two second following distance. To check your following distance, pick an object on the side of the road that the car in front...
Drugs and Driving — A Bad Mix

Drugs and Driving — A Bad Mix

Attitudes toward driving under the influence of alcohol have changed radically in the last few decades, thanks to educational programs and national advertising that decry the dangers of drunk driving. Science has learned more about the effects of alcohol on our ability to drive, and consequently laws and police enforcement have gotten stricter about what actually constitutes driving under the influence. Alcohol is not the only drug that can play a role in driver safety, however. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says that roughly 4,000 drivers who die in automobile accidents every year have drugs in their systems. Worse, a 2010 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that almost 10 million Americans drove under the influence of illegal drugs in the previous year. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that one in five motor fatalities in 2009 tested positive for drugs. The same study found that adults under the age of 26 were the most likely to drive after using drugs. Unfortunately, policies about drugs and driving have lagged behind the ones for drunk driving. At present, only 15 states have DUI laws that make it illegal to operate a vehicle with certain types of drugs in one’s system. The laws vary in other states, with certain ones prohibiting known drug addicts to get behind the wheel of a car, while others prohibit anyone under 21 from driving with a detectable amount of illicit drugs in their bodies. If you or a loved one is involved in a traffic accident that occurred because a driver was under the...