Thursday, October 22, 2015
Traveling By Car This Halloween in NH?
Did you know that the most exciting American holiday is also the deadliest? According to a 21-year study by Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), an average of 5.5 road fatalities occur on October 31, about double the average daily record on any other days. And about a quarter of road accidents occur between 6:00-7:00 PM, which is also the busiest trick or treating hour. Most accidents were found to occur away from crosswalks or intersections. And the children most at risk were between ages 12 to 15, followed by ages 5 to 8.
Among drivers, those between ages 15-25 account for nearly a third of all fatal accidents during Halloween, while ages 36-65 were least at risk. Fortunately, car accident fatality occurrences in New Hampshire have been one of the lowest nationwide. And in general, frequencies of Halloween-related car accidents have been declining over the years. But of course you don’t want to be part of the statistics or be a cause of a fatality, do you?
Here are some Halloween safety tips for drivers and passengers.
• Wear your seatbelt at all times, even if you’re not driving fast.
• Follow traffic signs and lights, even when there are no vehicles on opposing lanes
• When you spot a group of trick or treaters, make a full stop and let them all cross. Look around to see if any child might be trying to catch up with the group.
• Turn your headlights on even when it is not fully dark.
• Never drink and drive. If you drink, make sure that you have a designated non-drinking driver to take your place at the wheel just in case you’ve had one drink too many.
• If you are in costume and are driving, make sure that your costume doesn’t get in the way of being able to hold the wheel or stepping on pedals. Take off gloves, headgear, footwear, or masks that may impede with your driving and cause accidents.
• Avoid boisterous behavior in a moving car as it might distract the driver.
• Slow down on dimly-lit streets and always be on the lookout for children or animals that may get in your path.
And for trick or treaters:
• Watch out for approaching vehicles. Don’t cross until the vehicle has made a full stop.
• Adults should accompany kids or siblings who are younger than 12.
• Obey traffic lights and signs.
• Bring flashlights or lamps, but not matches or lighters.
• Stick close to the other people in your group and don’t wander away by yourself. Cross together with the others.
• Don’t wear headgear that could block your sight. When walking, pull up your mask so you can see where you’re going.
By Richard Monteith
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Accidents can occur in an instant and there may be endless reasons or actions that cause them. One startling statistic pertaining to the cause of accidents has led to legislation aimed at prevention. According to the National Safety Council, roughly 26 percent of all vehicle accidents are the result of cell phone use. The phenomenon of distracted driving is a nation-wide problem and New Hampshire has stepped up the efforts to prevent those statistics from growing. Despite some opposition, the governor has passed legislation that will go into effect July 1, 2015. This new legislation is a state-wide ban on the use of hand held electronic devices while driving.
Texting & Driving Laws
As of now, there is a ban on texting and driving. This new law will ban the use of cell phones for conducting conversations, composing, reading, viewing, and sending electronic messages of any kind. Adults can use a hands-free system while behind the wheel to avoid breaking this new law. However, minors should understand any use of a cell phone, hands-free or not, is strictly prohibited. The ban also extends to putting information into a GPS system or other navigational device. The only exception to the ban on use of a cell phone is if the driver is calling 911, fire department, or other emergency personnel.
This law puts New Hampshire on the same page as a dozen other states and the District of Columbia. As it stands now, 43 states and the District of Columbia already ban texting and driving. If pulled over or involved in an accident, drivers won’t be able to use the excuse that they were unaware of the law because there is a marketing campaign underway to spread the word before the law takes effect. The campaign features a slogan that is resonating with residents. The slogan is “Hands Free, a Better Way to Be”.
Employers need to understand how they may be held liable for the actions of employees under the new law. If an employee causes an accident while on a cell phone and it is proven that the employee was conducting business or following directions from an employer, that employer can be held liable in a civil court. For example, if an employee is on a conference call and wrecks or is putting an address in a GPS to deliver something on company time, the employer can end up paying damages in a civil case. A skilled injury lawyer in New Hampshire can investigate phone records or employer/employee training to determine if the employer can be held liable.
Car Accident Related To Hands Free Violations
Any kind of accident can be devastating for people and their families. Lives can be altered forever when injuries lead to disability or the inability to work again. On-going medical treatment, expensive therapies, and the unknown pace of a recovery can add stress and anxiety to an already upsetting situation. When an accident is caused by distracted driving and cell phone use, the devastation may seem worse. No victim should just accept this kind of accident as fate. If you are injured, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. It would be highly beneficial for you to have a New Hampshire car accident lawyer is in your corner fighting for your rights. An experienced auto accident attorney can determine if a violation of the new ban played a role in your accident. Then, let an accident attorney fight for a settlement that will help you move forward.
By Richard Monteith
Monday, June 15, 2015
Since 1916, thousands of riders across the United States have flocked to Laconia, New Hampshire every year for the annual Motorcycle Week, taking place this year from June 13th to June 21st. Though fun, rallies like these have a tendency to escalate, so aside from information on the event, I’ll provide a few tips to avoid any DWIs while you’re out there.
What is Laconia’s Motorcycle Week?
Laconia’s Motorcycle Week is a gigantic gathering
of motorcycle enthusiasts and riders, a rally of sorts. It began in 1916 as a large gathering of a few hundred motorcyclists on a beach in Laconia. Soon it was included as a part of the Gypsy Tour, another motorcycle rally. Gradually participants began arriving in greater and greater numbers, extending what was once a weekend event into a weeklong affair. And so, Laconia’s Motorcycle Week was born. It is the oldest motorcycle rally in the United States, regularly attracting hundreds of thousands of participants. With the countdown already begun for its 100th birthday, this year’s event should have even more participants than usual.
What are the events?
There is no shortage of events to choose from at Laconia’s Motorcycle Week. During the day, you have the option to take guided scenic rides through the stunning White Mountains, or the picturesque Lake Winnipesaukee. If that’s not really your speed, you can always partake in some oil wrestling or mechanical bull riding at the Broken Spoke Saloon. You can also take a visit to the American Police Motorcycle Museum, or the Laconia Roadhouse. And, of course, you can enter into one of the countless bike shows that abound during Motorcycle Week. Aside from these there is live music every night, with a huge range of talented artists set for the lineup.
Where there are hundreds of thousands of riders gathered in a single place, the cops are sure to follow. And follow they do. In addition to the standard police force, elements from New Hampshire’s State Troopers are brought in to help maintain the peace as well. Because of the increased police presence, not to mention the incredible amounts of alcohol that will be available at the rally, getting slapped with a DWI/DUI is easier than ever. But you don’t have to have your fun cut short by jail time.
Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid DWI/DUIs:
- Keep track of the amount of alcohol you consume, and make sure that you are not drinking on an empty stomach.
- Understand your tolerance levels for alcohol: only you know exactly how much you should be drinking. Take this into consideration when consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Keep an eye out for drivers who might be under the influence themselves, and do your best to avoid them. The greater number of motorcycles around during Motor Week means that accidents are far more likely to occur in any case, and adding intoxicated drivers to that mix will undoubtedly result in serious injury for a party involved.
- Have contact information available to a reputable DUI attorney in New Hampshire
The fact of the matter is that there are bad drivers out there. They put themselves and everyone else on the roads at risk. If you do have the misfortune of being involved in a motorcycle accident, make it one of your top priorities to acquire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in NH. It could mean all the difference to your case to have a qualified individual fighting on your behalf.
By Richard Monteith
Monday, May 4, 2015
Spring has finally arrived in New Hampshire. And with the warmer temperatures come a brand new riding season! If you’re like most riders in New Hampshire, you have had your motorcycle in some sort of storage or garage for the last few months. Or maybe you opted to save a little cash and store your bike yourself. Wherever it has been all winter, you can finally break it out of its hiding place and take it for a spin.
But keep in mind that even with the utmost care and attention during the winter months, the fact remains your motorcycle was lying unoccupied for a significant amount of time. It will, without a doubt, require a bit extra upkeep before your next trip. Here are some pointers on making sure you keep your motorcycle in the best form possible, and a few tips on general motorcycle safety as well.
Do a Thorough Checkup
Even if you’ve done it a million times before, it still pays to give your motorcycle a comprehensive once-over before riding it again. As you have no doubt heard before, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) provides a quick acronym-based checklist that should ensure that you cover all of your bases. The T-CLOCS check (which stands for Tires, Controls, Lights, Oil, Chassis and Side stand) should take no longer than five minutes, and it is definitely worth your time to make sure that everything is in proper working order.
Wear conspicuous clothing, especially if you will be driving at night. Obviously, this will help the other drivers on the road notice you better, but in doing so, you will also prevent a good deal of unnecessary collisions. In addition, always wear a durable, well-fitted helmet. That may seem self-evident, but a large number of motorcycle collisions result in deaths that could have been prevented if only the rider were wearing a helmet.
Think Carefully Before Taking a Passenger
This is something best suited for experienced drivers, which is something that you may well be. But if you have only been riding for a short period of time, refrain from adding a passenger to the mix until you get better acquainted with your bike.
If you’re going to be riding with another person, make sure that they understand the rules of the road as well as you do. If not, clearly and concisely explain what is expected of them before the trip. Double-check that they have protective gear that fits them and a helmet that they feel comfortable wearing.
Consider Professional Rider Training
It has numerous benefits, many of which (like possible insurance discounts) you may not even be aware of. Aside from improving your skills and giving you a bit more confidence, many states will even waive some or all of the requisite licensing test if you’ve taken a course of some sort.
Use these tips, and your own common sense, to stay safe on the roads this spring. Unfortunately though, there are careless drivers out there, and if you do have the misfortune of getting into an accident, be sure to hire a good motorcycle accident lawyer. A great lawyer could mean the difference between a period of recovery free from financial worry and the exact opposite.
By Richard Monteith
Friday, March 13, 2015
Whether your Irish heritage obliges you to celebrate and pay homage to St. Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, or whether you are celebrating just because it’s a great time to party, either way, you’re going to have to be careful. St. Patrick’s Day may come with a lot of pints of green beer and micro-brewed Irish ale, but the New Hampshire laws regarding drunk driving aren’t taking the night off – and if you take things a little too far, you may end your celebratory night by calling a DWI attorney.
Since calling a DUI attorney doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, here are five tips to avoid a DUI on St. Patrick’s Day in New Hampshire.
Designate a Driver – Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Unfortunately, a lot of people fail to designate one in advance on St. Patricks Day, leaving Bob thinking it was Bill who was going to skip the drinks, and vice versa. For such a festive holiday, you can expect in this circumstance that both Bill and Bob end up too drunk to drive, and whoever is driving is likely to end up with a DUI.
Set Limits – Do you know how much alcohol you can consume before being over the legal limit? Most people think they do, but their "eyeball" measurement of how much liquid is actually in a 4oz. glass of wine or what an ounce of alcohol really looks like are often skewed. In addition, some beers have more alcohol content than others. Know what you're drinking, and what an actual portion looks like in advance, or you might just be over the limit without knowing it.
Hire a Driver – While it may cost a little extra, it may save you significantly in the long run. Drunk driving and needing a DUI attorney might be the least of your problems if you injure someone. In fact, you may end up needing a criminal lawyer. Your freedom is priceless, so don’t think it can’t happen to you, because anyone who is driving under the influence has the possibility of injuring or killing someone when they get behind the wheel.
Get a Hotel Room – If you know you’re going to be over-indulging, plan ahead and get a hotel room nearby to where you’re going to be celebrating. Depending on what you’re doing, you can either take a cab to the event, stay on-site and celebrate with the other hotel guests at the hotel's planned festivities, or perhaps take advantage of any shuttle service they may offer. Call around to local hotels and ask what services and shuttles they will be offering that night. You may be surprised.
Plan Ahead – Perhaps you don’t think you will be participating in any drunk driving, but if you accidentally over-indulged, would you know who to call? It may sound counter-productive to plan ahead for potential problems; however, having the number of a reputable DUI lawyer handy may make a difference. Being picked up for a DUI and being convicted of one are two different things, and perhaps even consulting with a DWI attorney is a good idea, so you know what to do if it ever happens.
There isn’t anyone who ever gets into their car thinking they’ll be pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated. Even less so, those who critically injure or kill others in the process never plan that out either. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing a DUI attorney or criminal attorney, we can help. But, you can save yourself the trouble and just don’t drive drunk in the first place.
By Richard Monteith