Oklahoma Injury Attorneys Stress the Importance of Buckling Up!

While Memorial Day may be just around the corner, it is not the only event going on near the end of the month of May. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has announced its annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign which is slated to run this year from May 23rd through June 5th. The purpose of the campaign is to urge both drivers and passengers across the country to buckle up. Law enforcement officials in every state will be looking for drivers who are not wearing their seat belts in accordance with local laws.

Under Oklahoma law, a police officer can stop a driver for not wearing a seat belt—no other reason is necessary. In Oklahoma the laws pertaining to seat belt usage require drivers and front seat passengers ages 13 and older to wear a seat belt at all times while the vehicle in which they are riding is operating. Children under the age of 13 are covered under the Oklahoma Mandatory Child Restraint Law. During the “Click It or Ticket” campaign police are encouraged to stop and issue a ticket to any motorist who is not wearing a seat belt.

While seat belts use in the United States is fairly high—at just about 88 percent in 2014, there is still a lot of room for improvement. The reason being is that in 2014, almost 50 percent of all vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing their safety belts. Groups of drivers that were more likely to not to wear seat belts, according to the NHTSA data included:

  • Nighttime drivers: The data collected showed that 57 percent of occupants killed in nighttime crashes were not properly restrained compared to 41 percent of those killed during the day.
  • Men: Of the people killed in crashes who were not wearing a seat belt, 53 percent were men and 40 percent were women.
  • Pickup Truck Drivers: In 2014, 60 percent of pickup truck drivers killed in crashes were not properly restrained compared to 42 percent of passenger car drivers and 38 percent of van drivers.

As a driver, it is important to realize the vital role you can play in increasing seat belt compliance. For instance, in any vehicle you are driving, make it a rule that the car will not start until everyone is wearing their seat belt. It is important to enforce the rule regardless of whether it is a long or short trip, whether it is nighttime or daytime, whether you will be on the freeway or on city streets, or whether you will be driving in an urban or in a more rural area. It must be understood that seatbelts must be worn each and every time a person gets into your vehicle. Because the fact of the matter is that seat belts save lives. In 2014 alone, it is estimated that seat belt usage saved more than 12,800 lives. A total of 63,000 lives are thought to be saved by seat belt usage from 2010 to 2014.

If you or a loved one was seriously injured after being involved in an auto accident, it is important to contact a skilled Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible. Only an experienced Injury Attorney can fully investigate the facts of your case and fight for your rights. The Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center are dedicated advocates who understand the devastating impact an accident can have on a victim and their family. You can trust our team of experienced injury attorneys to obtain just compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our qualified injury attorneys, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924.

 

Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys Ask, “Do You Know How Best to Talk to Your Senior about their Driving Abilities?”

As a young American, there are few milestones that feel as important as the day you pass your driving test and are handed your driver’s license. The ability to drive a car is more than just a privilege, for most it is a major source of independence. That strong feeling of freedom associated with driving may be first felt at the young age of 16, but it never goes away. If you don’t believe it, just ask any driver to stop driving.

This is why it is important for families to understand how to best talk to their senior loved ones about their driving abilities. For a senior, giving up their driving privileges is more than a big deal. It can mean the loss of freedom, increased isolation, and having to depend on others for basic tasks like grocery shopping and getting to and from doctor’s appointments. One study even found that having to relinquish their car keys led seniors to decline cognitively and suffer from depression.

So what is the best way to start the discussion with your senior loved one? The following are a few tips to make sure the conversation goes smoothly and is easier for both of you:

  1. Start the conversation early. Do not wait until your loved one is a danger to him or herself to start the conversation. The best time is when he or she is still fully capable of driving. You can start the conversation by asking him or her to think about how he or she will know when they should retire from driving and how he or she would like to discuss the topic when it occurs.
  1. Keep it low key. When you do start this series of conversations, make sure to keep it low key. Pick a time when it is just the two of you. You will want to avoid having the whole family present. You do not want your loved one to feel like he or she is the subject of an intervention. Keep in mind that your goal should be to empower your loved one to make their own decisions, not to feel like the decision is being forced upon them.
  1. Be mindful of the difficulty of the subject. When asked, seniors more than anything want their children or loved ones to be mindful and sensitive when they do discuss the topic of driving with them. It is important for family to be supportive. During your conversation be sure to give assurances that when the time comes to end driving, that the two of you will work together to maintain their freedom as much as possible.
  1. Remember age is just a number. No one wants to be defined by their age more than a senior. Telling a senior driver that he or she needs to rethink their driving abilities because they have hit a certain age is not helpful. Rather focus on the facts. For example, if he or she is taking a prescription every afternoon that makes him or her sleepy, suggest that it may be better to drive only in the mornings.
  1. Propose that he or she talk with his or her doctor. A senior may be much more open to discussing his or her driving abilities with their trusted family physician than with the son or daughter that they themselves taught how to drive.

If you were seriously injured in a car accident, it is important that you receive proper medical attention. Then, and only then, make it a priority to speak with an Oklahoma Injury Law Attorney. Only a skilled Oklahoma Injury Law Attorney can answer your questions and provide you with helpful information about your rights. At The Handley Law Center, you can trust our team of family law attorneys to help you navigate the legal system and obtain the financial recourse you deserve. To schedule a meeting with a one of our compassionate injury law attorneys contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924.

Oklahoma Injury Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions about Bus Crashes

Want to get away but do not want to deal with the long lines at the airport? For those individuals who want to avoid air transportation, be it for a fear of flying or any other reason, one of the best alternatives is to take a bus. In most cases, bus transportation is less expensive than the cost of a plane ticket. To boot, the number of destinations available to bus passengers can far exceed those available via commercial planes. Like air travel, another benefit of bus travel is that it is a fairly safe mode of transportation. That being said, bus accidents can and do occur each year. If you travel by bus from time to time, you may have concerns about bus safety. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that Oklahoma residents have about bus crashes:

How common are bus crashes?

According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), in 2014 alone there were close to 68,000 crashes involving buses. Of the almost 30,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. about 233 involved a bus. The data collected also found that approximately 11,000 bus passengers suffered injuries during a crash and another 44 bus passengers were killed.

What types of injuries can passengers suffer in a bus crash?

Just like a victim in a car accident, bus crash victims commonly suffer injuries like whiplash, bruises, cuts, scrapes, broken bones and head trauma. However, due to the very nature and design of buses, serious injuries are common. For example, since buses do not have air bags and most do not have safety belts, more severe injuries like brain, spinal cord and burn injuries are not uncommon.

Why do bus accidents occur?

Just like car accidents, most bus accidents occur due to some type of human error. In a bus accident, this “error” can either be due to the acts of another driver or the driver of the bus. Common causes of bus accidents, that are not attributable to another driver, include:

  • Improperly trained bus drivers
  • Bus drivers that are fatigued or otherwise distracted
  • Bus drivers that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Buses that are not properly maintained
  • Improperly loaded buses or bus that are overloaded
  • Drivers that are not properly trained

How can I be sure that the bus company I am using has a reputation for safety?

While price and schedule are important criteria when selecting a bus company, these should not be your only criteria. Before booking a bus trip, take a minute to download the “SaferBus” mobile application. This app which is available to both Android and iPhone users, can help passengers select a quality bus company. The app can quickly allow you to:

  • Find out if the bus company is allowed to operate;
  • Review the bus company’s safety performance for the last 24 months; and
  • File a complaint about the safety or service of a particular bus company.

If you were seriously injured in a bus crash, it is important to first seek immediate medical attention. You will also want to contact experienced Oklahoma Injury Attorneys as you may be able to hold someone else liable for your injuries. The attorneys at The Handley Law Center are seasoned injury attorneys who have helped countless accident victims obtain proper financial recourse for their injuries. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our skilled injury attorneys, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924. You can trust our attorneys to fight for your rights!

 

 

Oklahoma Injury Attorneys Recognize National Youth Traffic Safety Month

Being of a parent of a teen driver is just plain scary. Especially when you discover that 50 percent of all teen drivers will be involved in a car accident before they don their cap and gown at their high school graduation. This is why it is important for parents to take a minute and talk to their teens. Take this opportunity during National Youth Traffic Safety Month to be sure your teen knows how to be safe on the road.

Does your teen understand what it means to be a safe driver?

Parents often worry that other teens and celebrity role models have too big of an influence on their child. While it is true that teens do not live in a bubble, absent the world of social media and peer pressure, this should not be cause for alarm. This is because parents, yes parents, are the biggest influence on their teens. Now from time to time you may feel that your teen has selective hearing when it comes to your advice, it is important to know that they are listening. That being said, repetition of the basic safety rules is important. Educate and remind your teen often of the five basic rules they need to follow each and every time they get into a car:

  1. Buckle up! Stress to your teen the importance of buckling up each and every time they get into a car, regardless of whether they are a passenger or the driver.
  2. No cell phones! Learning a new skill like driving takes focus and a person’s complete attention. Someone who is talking or texting on a cell phone while driving cannot devote his or her complete attention to the task of driving. Distracted driving is not only dangerous habit, it can be deadly. Parents can help drive home the importance of this rule by abiding by this rule themselves. Remember your teen is not only listening to you, but watching you as well.
  3. No extra passengers! While cell phones are a major distraction for any driver, they may not be the worst distraction for teen drivers. Research by the National Safety Council finds that teen passengers may be the biggest distraction for teenage drivers. In fact, teenage drivers were 44 percent more likely to be involved in a fatal accident when they were driving with passengers in the car.
  4. Follow posted speed limits! Speeding is not only illegal it is also dangerous. Crashes involving teen drivers that were speeding were more likely to result in injuries and fatalities.
  5. No alcohol! Tell your teen that driving sober is the only way to drive. Make sure that he or she understands that you and the law have a zero tolerance on driving under the influence.

Overall, it is important for parents to keep in mind that the biggest reasons teens crash is because they are inexperienced. Learning to become a good driver takes time. But being a safe driver is easy!

If your teenager was seriously injured after being involved in a car accident it is important to contact an experienced Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney right away. Only a skilled Injury Attorney can examine the facts of your child’s case and determine whether he or she may be entitled to receive compensation for his or her injuries. The Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center are fierce advocates who will work hard to make sure that your teen obtains the justice he or she deserves. You can trust our team of qualified attorneys to be with your family every step of the process. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our seasoned injury attorneys, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924.