Harris, Wyatt & Amala, LLC

Winter weather brings slipping hazards

Weather forecasters may not be expecting multiple feet of snow in Oregon this winter, but it only takes a glazing to create hazardous conditions for drivers and walkers. While you may take great care to keep your sidewalks and steps as clear and dry as possible, you cannot always expect the same diligence from other property owners.

Slipping on snow or ice is the most common cause of falls in winter. Ground level falls can result in critical injuries, including head trauma, spinal cord injuries and serious bone fractures. Injuries from a slip-and-fall accident may leave you with lifelong pain and recurring complications. While there are simple steps a business or property owner can take to prevent such accidents, not everyone is looking out for your safety.

Driver loses job after causing 3-vehicle crash in Oregon

Crashes can happen anywhere, and they have the potential to cause significant harm to those involved. Take, for example, the news report posted on Nov. 21 about a tow-truck driver who was cited for rear-ending another vehicle.

The driver was cited for careless driving after causing a three-vehicle collision. All three drivers had to be taken to the hospital, though none had life-threatening injuries.

Motorcyclists: Watch out for these high-risk situations

You cannot always avoid a motorcycle accident, but it does pay to stay vigilant and aware on the road. Keep your eyes out for high-risk situations, and you might be able to spot an accident waiting to happen. Below are a few risks to be aware of:

1. Drivers who want to turn left

Follow these tips to drive safely around commercial trucks

Even if you do your best to avoid commercial trucks on the road, there will be times when you find yourself in proximity to these vehicles. When this happens, you must alter your driving style to improve your safety.

Here are several steps you can take to drive safely around commercial trucks:

  • Don't take chances: Follow the rules of the road at all times, even if it means slowing down to maintain a high level of safety. For example, if a truck is attempting to change lanes, you may get the urge to speed up, so you don't get stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle. Rather than do this, back off and take your time.
  • Be careful when passing: It's important to never pass a slow-moving truck in the right lane. Also, after you pass a truck, leave ample space before moving back in front of it.
  • Watch for turns in tight quarters: In the city, a commercial truck may swing to the left to set up a right turn. If you get stuck behind or next to a truck doing this, it could result in an accident.

What should you do to drive safely in heavy rains?

As a resident of Oregon, you're probably comfortable with the idea that rain will move into and out of the area on a regular basis. If you're driving when the rain begins to fall, however, it's critical to reconsider your approach.

Here are three things you can do to drive safely in heavy rain:

  • Slow down: Even if you're in a hurry, rushing in wet weather is a mistake. The faster you drive the more difficult it is to stop your vehicle in a timely manner, such as if another driver slams on their brakes.
  • Use your headlights: This is important for two reasons. One, it allows you to better see the road ahead. Two, it allows other drivers to more easily see your vehicle, even at a distance.
  • Pull to safety: There are times when the rain is so heavy that you can't see more than a few inches in front of your vehicle. This is a good time to pull to safety and stay where you are until conditions improve. It'll slow you down from reaching your destination, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Common types of car accidents to watch out for

Experienced drivers make it look easy. In reality, good drivers spend a majority of their time behind the wheel, constantly moving their eyes, paying attention to their surroundings and maneuvering their vehicles in the safest way possible.

If you allow yourself to drive distracted, drowsy or impaired, you could end up missing the signs that you are about to encounter an emergency to which you need to react quickly and efficiently in order to avoid an accident.

The many treatment options for a traumatic brain injury

A traumatic brain injury requires immediate medical attention. Without this, there's a greater chance that the injury will impact the injured individual for the rest of their life.

If you or a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury, you'll want to learn more about the many types of treatment. These include the following:

  • Immediate emergency care: This includes things such as making sure you have enough oxygen and maintaining normal blood pressure.
  • Medication: Many types of medication are often prescribed after a traumatic brain injury, such as anti-seizure drugs and diuretics.
  • Surgery: It's not always required, but there are times when surgery is necessary after a traumatic brain injury. For example, if there is bleeding in the brain, surgery may be required to stop it. The same holds true if there is a blood clot, skull fracture or too much pressure.
  • Rehabilitation: Most people who suffer a traumatic brain injury eventually require many types of rehabilitation. For instance, it's not uncommon to spend time at an inpatient rehabilitation unit to relearn how to perform basic daily tasks.

These types of distracted driving remain common

Every driver realizes the importance of paying attention to the road. Even so, there will always be people who think it's okay to become distracted while behind the wheel. They believe nothing bad will ever happen to them.

Here are seven types of distracted driving that remain common:

  • Cellphone use: This includes everything from texting to checking email to making an outbound call.
  • Daydreaming: Rather than focusing on the road, your mind begins to wander and you become lost in thought.
  • Passengers: When driving with passengers, it's important to let them know that you need to stay focused at all times. It's okay to make small talk, but you don't want to go beyond that.
  • Eating or drinking: You may think you can save time by eating or drinking while driving, but in all actuality, you're taking a big risk with your safety.
  • Adjusting vehicle controls: From the climate to the radio, there are many vehicle controls that can distract you from the task at hand.
  • Smoking: When you smoke while driving, you may not be paying attention to what you're doing. Also, there's a good chance you only have one hand on the wheel.
  • Reaching for an object: Maybe you're reaching for your cellphone. Or maybe you're reaching for a toy your child dropped on the floor. Regardless of the type of object, this can lead you to take your eyes off the road and at least one hand off the wheel.

Parents, talk to your teens about safe driving

As the parent of a teen driver, it goes without saying that you'll have some fears every time they take to the road. While these fears will eventually subside (to a certain degree), there are things you can do in the meantime to help your teen stay safe on the road.

Here are seven teen driving safety tips to discuss as soon as possible:

  • Buckle up: Seat belts save lives, so make sure your teen is wearing one of these every time they hit the road.
  • No distractions: Talk about the most common types of distractions and the risks they cause. From texting to conversing with passengers, any distraction can cause trouble.
  • Slow down: It's always a good idea to drive the speed limit, but teens often lose sight of this simple fact.
  • Be prepared for everything: Let your teen know that they need to be prepared for anything and everything that could come their way while driving.
  • No drinking and driving: You hope your teen doesn't drink before they turn 21, but you know it's a possibility. Be sure to discuss the perils of drunk driving.
  • Watch for inclement weather: From rain to sun glare, there are many weather conditions that make it more difficult to drive safely.
  • Change your style when driving in traffic: It's not always easy to drive in heavy traffic. Talk about the style changes your teen can make to avoid an accident.

There are many signs of drowsy driving: Don’t ignore them

Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous, as it makes it difficult to focus on the road ahead and make split-second decisions that can help prevent an accident. Furthermore, drowsy driving can also lead to you falling asleep at the wheel, which almost always leads to an accident.

It doesn't matter if you're close to home or tackling the open highway hundreds of miles away, you should never ignore the signs of drowsy driving. If you're too tired to be behind the wheel, pull over and get some rest.

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Harris, Wyatt & Amala, LLC
5778 Commercial Street S.E.
Salem, OR 97306

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Phone: 503-378-7744
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