Night driving is often the most dangerous time to drive, Koester & Bradley share tips to make it safer.
Darkness triggers melatonin production, which tells the body that it's time to sleep. This causes drowsiness. Furthermore, people aren't nocturnal creatures by nature and therefore their vision is poorly suited for the dark. These facts mean that the hours after sunset is a dangerous time to drive. While headlights and tail lights make driving possible, they're a poor substitute for sunlight. Here are five tips for making your night driving a safer experience:
Check Your Lights
Make sure your headlights are properly aimed. Shine your car's headlights on your garage door and note the beams' reflections. If they point up, down, or off to the side, have your mechanic adjust them. Replace headlights, tail lights, and brake lights that are burnt out or appear dim. Keep them clean.
Keep Your Windshield and Glasses Clean
Dirt and grime covered glass scatters light. This produces glare when light passes through dirty windshields and glasses. Keep the inside and outside surfaces of both clean. Consider getting an anti-reflective coating on your glasses, which dramatically reduces glare.
Avoid Looking at the Headlights of Oncoming Traffic
The glare of oncoming headlights can cause temporary night blindness. To avoid this, look at the right side of your lane to guide your steering and use your peripheral vision to track oncoming traffic.
Get Plenty of Rest
Get seven or eight hours of sleep the night before a long road trip. Avoid driving at night when you feel physically or mentally exhausted. Therefore, hard manual labor or running a marathon should be avoided before your trip. This is also true for lengthy exams, interviews, and similar experiences that tap out your mental energy.
Drink Coffee When Needed
If you start feeling fatigued during your night drive, get off at an exit and drink a cup of coffee. If you're at a rest stop, a coffee works especially well after a 20 minute nap. While occasional coffee consumption is effective, don't rely on it too heavily. Your body will develop a caffeine tolerance that renders it less effective. At some point, even coffee won't prevent falling asleep at the wheel when your fatigue is sufficiently extreme.
If another's reckless or negligent driving injured you in an accident, our experienced lawyers can help. Contact us today at Koester & Bradley, LLP.
Fight the Urge to just say, "I'm Fine," after a fall (unless you know it's true)
Human beings. If nothing else we are creatures of habit, especially in the Midwest where it is not uncommon for someone to say "sorry" when somebody else gets in their way. We don't want to be a burden, and we sure don't want to inconvenience folks.
During the winter months, even unusually warm ones, it is not uncommon to encounter slippery conditions. Outside there is no shortage of snow and ice throughout our long winter, and moisture is often brought inside due to melt from people's shoes, or already there due to spills and leaky pipes.
When we fall we tend to get up as quickly as possible and say "I'm fine" when someone shows concern. Most of the time we are fine and the fall is nothing more than a momentary embarrassment, but sometimes severe damage arises.
But what if you're not fine?
What happens when you slip and fall, but you are not fine? What if you begin showing symptoms of a debilitating injury after your fall? What if you are unable to work?
That is why we have premises liability laws in Illinois and around the nation. Property owners, including business owners and homeowners, are responsible for maintaining safe premises.
These laws and statutes are not always clear-cut, and often involve the interpretation of intersection state statutes, common law, and local ordinances and guidelines. For instance, in Illinois, property owners are actually NOT liable for the "natural accumulation" of ice and snow on or near their premises. There are a number of pertinent exceptions to this rule, but an attorney is frequently necessary to navigate these complicated waters.
Additionally, inside a building, property owners must have had the knowledge of the slippery floor or other dangerous condition in order to be found liable. Again, exceptions exist, and an experienced local lawyer well-versed in personal injury cases will be necessary to prevail again savvy and disingenuous insurance adjusters.
Translation: if property owners are aware of something, it is their responsibility to take care of it quickly or at least notify people about the danger. This could mean mopping up a spill and placing a "wet floor" sign in the area, it could mean fixing a wobbly stair rail, or taking measures to avoid ice build-up on the sidewalk in front of the store. Proving the knowledge is a difficult part of the equation.
The law allows for premises liability suits because innocent people should not be left to bear the burden of another's negligence, but the insurance industry and internal company policies often make handling these cases without an attorney frustrating, if not impossible. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, contact us for a free case evaluation. No hard sell, just hard facts from an experienced attorney.
Spring is at long last upon us and as the weather heats up, many cyclists will be hitting the trail. However, before you jump on your bicycle and take off, you need to that your bike remains in an excellent condition.
Whether or not you bike to school or your job, or you merely enjoy relaxing trips through the park, bike maintenance is an important topic. In recognition of National Bike Month, which takes place in the month of May, we've assembled some things you can do to make sure that your bike is really good to go this spring season.
A thorough inspection of your bike is very important to be certain that there aren't any complications when you are riding throughout your Central Illinois or your area, especially if the bike has not been utilized in a while (thanks winter). One thing that you don't want to do is to neglect a small issue until it ends up becoming a big problem that could endanger your safety and security or the safety and security of others on the road or the trail.
Have a fun-- and safe-- bike ride!
Maintain your Rubber
Many cyclists understand the importance of having wheels that are in a good condition before riding. Nevertheless, if your bike has been waiting inside for some time, it is quite likely that the tire may be flat or low on air. You may need to get the pump out.
When pumping up tires, you should buy a high-quality bicycle pump with sizable gauges that are easy to decipher, according to Bike Radar. It is also important to stick to the manufacturer's recommended pressure level to ensure that the wheels perform when riding. It is the same concept that is applicable to car tires and the pressure rating should be visible on each wheel.
Finally, when examining your tires, try to find any gaps or dry rot that may have developed over wintertime and replace the tires as soon as you can. Dry rot can cause your tires to blast mid-ride and you will lose control of the bike. This will rupture the tire tubes and cause a certain wreck.
Balance Your Wheels
The wheels should rotate evenly and not brush against the frame of the bike. If there appears to be an impediment, check the tightness of the spokes by running your hands around them. Tighten any spokes which feel loose or twists easily.
Your bicycle should always move in a fluid motion and not be unsteady or jerky when riding about town in Champaign-Urbana. The best way to inspect the wheels is to turn your bike bottom up and spin the wheels, according to Livestrong.
Get on the Chain
Bicycle chains can create a dangerous situation for you when riding if not appropriately taken care of. If a chain is too loose, it may break while riding and if the chain is too tight, it can make for a difficult ride and damage your gears.
The best way to adjust a bicycle chain is to release the rear wheel nuts on each side and pull the rear wheel back to take slack out of the chain. The bicycle chain movement should not move more than a quarter to half an inch.
Breaks are the Key
Operational brakes can mean life or death for a biker, so it is imperative that you spend ample time making sure that your brakes function properly. This part of the process should be conducted before every ride.
Whenever inspecting your bike's brake levers, make sure they engage both sides of the brake pads on each wheel. If there is a long lag in the lever, loosen the barrel adjuster a few times and test to see if it does what it is supposed to do.
Also, verify that your brake pads aren't loose or wiggle when they press against the bike's rim. If the brake pads are worn or cracked, replace them immediately before taking the bike out onto the street.
Get Lit Up
Visibility on the road is imperative to bike riders and having a broken light can lead to serious personal injuries not only to yourself but to others on the road or path as well.
Your bicycle lights and reflectors should be checked for cracks or breaks before each evening or night ride. Get a friend or family member in order to help you check your headlights and brake lights. Replace any lights that are not functioning or producing a faded light.
Also, if you don't have front and rear lights on your bicycle, it may be best to get them for your own safety. Some states require bicyclists to have working lights while travelling during the dark hours, so don't get fined for not having this essential shield on your bike.
Get Into Gear
Smooth transitions from gear to gear can help to make a bike ride enjoyable. If you experience any weird delays or loud clicks when changing gears, it could signal a problem.
Prior to taking the bike out onto the roadway, run through the gears by spinning the pedals, according to Popular Mechanics. Make sure that the gears hit the shift points evenly with no disruptions. If you need to make adjustments, use a screwdriver to modify the derailleurs. This part of the process does not necessarily have to happen before each ride.
Finally, bear in mind that even by doing everything you can to make sure that you are safe on the road, there may be others who may not share your accident-prevention mindset. If you were involved in an accident because of another's negligence while biking, or if you are struck by a biker not obeying ordinary safety precautions, we may be able to help. To learn what our injury attorneys may have the ability to do for you, please fill out our free case evaluation form right now.
Proper bicycle upkeep may take a while, but the rewards of your labor will show in the form of a nice and exciting ride. You will be ahead of the pack when it comes to being ready this spring season.
The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident will go a long way toward determining the eventual outcome. This is especially true if you you are not the only one in the care and have passengers. If you wan to protect your safety as well as your ability to pursue rightful compensation, you need to take specific, measured actions to protect your interests as well as those with you.
When multiple people are riding in one car, the insurance coverage for all of the passengers is associated with the vehicle. This means that when it come time to settle the case, or divide a jury verdict, the insurance funds are split among the injured parties. Essentially, when it comes to collecting payment from insurance companies, every person in the car needs to fend for themselves. This is also a consideration if your children are in the car.
Here are some steps to keep in mind when confronting an auto accident involving multiple passengers. (These rules apply not only in Illinois, but across the country)
1. Determine If Everyone Is Okay
Is anyone in your vehicle or nearby injured? If so, call 911. A Good Samaritan may have already done so, but it never hurts to make sure that medical help and law enforcement officers are on the way. Better safe than sorry when someone's health - and maybe life - are at stake.
It is also important to fight the urge to resolve the situation quickly and get home. Even if other people in your care claim not to be hurt, it is wise to insist that an ambulance take them to the hospital or doctor. This is especially true if the passenger(s) is not a member of your family but a friend or associate.
2. Call The Police
Even a seemingly minor fender-bender can lead to big problems down the road. To preserve a potential legal claim down the line you need to get in touch with the police and make sure you file a police report about the accident. Then, make sure you have the other driver's insurance information. A full an detailed police report is the key to successfully achieving an appropriate damage award.
3. Take Care Of Yourself
You may feel fine right after the accident. In fact, you may feel nothing at all due to the adrenaline pumping through your body after such a close call. However, you may start to feel some soreness, stiffness and pain as that adrenaline wears off in the hours, days, and weeks that follow.
It is critical to get checked out by a doctor after your accident to rule out invisible injuries such as internal bleeding, and to create a record of treatment that will help a personal injury claim if you decided to pursue one.
Remember, similar rules apply to those we hear on airplanes where you must put on your own oxygen mask before placing one on your traveling companion. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't help others--even those involved in the wreck.
4. Talk To An Attorney
It will cost you nothing to find out whether you have a viable claim for damages, but going without the legal representation you need could leave you alone to bear the burden of medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Don't let that happen. Further, if there are other injured parties involved, generally the first party to retain an experienced local lawyer will receive the greatest amount of compensation and best service. Insurance companies will do their best to withhold payment no matter what the injuries, and it is important to have help from a lawyer. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer by Koester & Bradley
Breaking Legal News with Central Illinois Impact from Koester & Bradley, LLP
Ryan R Bradley is a civil litigator based in Champaign County in Central Illinois focused on representing plaintiffs in a variety of cases.