Oklahoma Injury Attorneys Discuss the Rise of Traffic Fatalities

One would think with all the safety improvements made over the last few decades that our country’s roadways would be safer than ever. One would also think that with all the educational programs targeting drivers to slow down and drive sober that traffic fatalities would be at an all-time low. However, this is not the case. Despite all these efforts, traffic deaths in 2015 exceeded 35,000.

This data is shocking to many people, as this number ends a 5-decade trend of declining roadway deaths. The fact is that 2,348 more people were killed in 2015 compared to 2014, an increase of more than 7 percent. No one is more shocked by the data than the Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the White House—all of which have issued a call to action to help decrease traffic-related fatalities.

While these agencies are scratching their heads to determine a solution to conquer the rise in the number of deaths, there are some known reasons why the increase has occurred. Data collected by the NHTSA revealed that one reason might be an increase in the total amount of driving. Increased driving alone can lead to an increase in traffic deaths. In 2015, the number of vehicle miles traveled or VMT increased by over 3.5 percent. This marks an increase not seen in 25 years. Two factors that contributed to the surge in VMT include an increase job growth and low fuel prices. The NHTSA found that in 2015 there was a rise in leisure driving and the number of young drivers. The data also showed a rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed. These two groups of fatalities reached numbers not seen in almost 20 years. Motorcycle deaths also increased dramatically in 2015—by more than 8 percent.

What is to blame for these increases in fatalities? Most often the cause can be attributed to a group of actions known collectively as the “human factor.” The human factor is any factor that relates to human capabilities, limitations, physical conditions, and psychological states that affect a driver’s performance. Common human factors that lead to accidents include drivers who are distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drowsy, speeding or not wearing seat belts. The following statistics put the “human factor” into a scary perspective:

  • About 1 in 10 fatalities involved a driver who was distracted.
  • Close to 50 percent of all fatalities was linked to drivers or passengers who were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
  • Approximately 1 in 3 traffic related deaths involved a driver who was speeding or intoxicated.

To protect your loved ones and especially any young drivers, stress to each of them the importance of buckling up, to never drive with a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and to put the cell phone down when driving. These simple tips can help keep them safe!

If you were seriously injured in an auto accident, it is important to first seek immediate medical attention. However, before you speak with the insurance company it is critical for you to contact experienced Oklahoma Injury Attorneys. Only a skilled Oklahoma Injury Attorney can determine if you may be able to hold another driver liable for your injuries. The attorneys at The Handley Law Center are seasoned injury attorneys who have helped countless accident victims obtain proper financial compensation for their injuries. 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. You can trust our attorneys to fight for your rights!

Oklahoma Injury Attorneys Urge Thanksgiving Day Travelers to Be Alert

The best part about the Thanksgiving holiday is the chance to spend time with friends and family. However, this means that unless you are hosting this year’s festivities, you will need to travel. For some estimated 12 million people, Thanksgiving travel necessitates hopping on a plane, train or a bus. However, for another 34 million or so Americans, a car ride of more than 50 miles is required. But whether your car ride is cross country or a relatively short trip across town, the same risks typically apply. One of the lesser talked about risks of Thanksgiving travel is drowsy driving.

Driving drowsiness may not sound all that serious, but being sleepy behind the wheel affects one’s ability to drive safely. Drivers who are fatigued have more difficulty paying attention to the road and are less able to make good decisions. A drowsy driver also has slower reaction times when it comes to needing to brake or steer suddenly.

Holidays are busy times of the year with non-stop family activities, work events, and social commitments. Besides all of that, who has time to sleep when there are less than 30 shopping days to go! So it makes sense that by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, many adults are suffering from sleep deprivation. This combined with the fact that the days are shorter means many Americans will be hitting the roadways for Thanksgiving travel in the dark with not enough shut eye!

So what can drivers do to combat fatigued driving? Of course, the simple answer is to get enough sleep. While the holidays can be hectic, it is important to hit the hay at the same time each night. Also, do not drive at times when your body is used to being asleep. If you have to travel at night, try to break up the drive with an overnight stay at a hotel or make sure you have a co-pilot that will help keep you alert.

However, even people who have a short drive are at risk of drowsy driving. Especially if the person has an undiagnosed sleep disorder or is taking medication that makes them tired. Combine any of these risk factors with a big Thanksgiving dinner, and you have a recipe for a drowsy driver. Forget about the tryptophan in the turkey! A huge multi-course feast, washed down with a glass or two of wine, all while relaxing with family and friends is a formula for sleepiness! So do not fight it! Rather, take a nap if you can before hitting the road.

Also, all drivers need to be aware of the warning signs of drowsy driving. If you begin to experience any of the following, pull over and let someone else do the driving:

  • Find yourself unable to recall the last few miles of driving
  • Miss an exit or turn
  • Begin to drift from your lane
  • Frequently blink or yawn
  • Hit the rumble strip

Stay safe this holiday travels season and be wary of drowsy drivers!

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a Thanksgiving Day auto accident, it is important to seek the advice of a seasoned injury attorney at your first opportunity. The attorneys at The Handley Law Center are veteran injury attorneys who have helped countless injury victims obtain proper compensation for their injuries. Our compassionate attorneys understand the deep and devastating physical and emotional impacts an accident can have on a person and his or her family.  The Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center will fight to obtain the justice you deserve. Contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our skilled injury attorneys.

Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys Warn Divorced Parents Not to Get Spooked by Holiday Parenting Time Schedules

It is officially fall. The kids have been hitting the books for some time now and are fully acclimated to being back in school. Parents, however, are busy juggling work schedules, school schedules and of course, the never-ending list of extracurricular activities. Before a parent knows it, it is time to carve pumpkins and pick out costumes. Even if Halloween is not the biggest holiday in your home, October 31st is often the unofficial starting point of the holiday season. Because even though every lawn in town may still be littered with orange and black décor, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just lurking around the corner. Which means for many divorced parents a frenzied to do list that does not end until New Year’s Day! Before you get bogged down in the holiday madness, you will want to make sure you add one more thing to that never-ending to-do list—and that is to review your divorce documents regarding holiday parenting time. The last thing any parent needs right after Halloween is to be spooked by a disagreement over the holiday parenting schedule.

It happens every year, not just in Oklahoma, but across the country. Parents, who have been operating under a regular parenting schedule for some time are going along great and then “BOO” – the holiday’s strike! Parents, especially the newly divorced, forget that during the holidays a different schedule supersedes the regular parenting schedule. For example, you are your ex may have a fairly common schedule where you alternate spending weekends with your children. Now according to the regular parenting schedule, Thanksgiving weekend (often considered to be the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving until Sunday evening) falls on mom’s regular weekend. However, per the per the parenting agreement, 2016 is an even-ending year, and dad is to have the kids for Thanksgiving weekend. This holiday schedule would also give dad three weekends in a row with the kids.  Which means mom would not have a weekend with the kids for almost a month (November 13th to December 10th).

An abrupt change like the one above may not only come as a big surprise to a parent who has not looked at his or her divorce documents in quite some time but also to a child. Children may become upset at the thought of not spending quality time with one parent (in this case mom). Often this sort of situation can lead divorced parents to attempt to remedy the situation themselves. For example, one solution to this problem may be for the parents to switch alternating weekends after Thanksgiving going forward. Most divorce documents have provisions that expressly allow parents to make such agreements. Courts also want divorced parents to work together to serve their children’s best interests.

If you and your ex agree to change a portion of your parenting schedule, the key is to make sure that the terms of the new agreement are clear. No one wants a squabble so close to gobble, gobble day! One way to do this is to make sure that all agreements are in writing and signed and dated by each parent.

If your review of your parenting agreement unearths a problem, it is imperative that you schedule an appointment to meet with experienced Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys right away. Only a seasoned Oklahoma Family Law Attorney can review your parenting agreement and advise you on your legal options. At The Handley Law Center, we understand that even when your divorce is completed troubles over parenting issues can still pop up. To see how our team of family law attorneys can help you, either through a modification or enforcement of the terms of your existing parenting agreement, contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924.

Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys Answer “Why Should You Hire an Experienced Attorney if You Have Been Hurt in an Accident?”

One day life is fine, and the next day you find yourself in a hospital bed staring at beeping machines and wondering what happened and how you are going to get back to the life you once knew. You may feel pain—your body aches, and you are not sure if you can walk, drive a car or return to work. You may also worry about how long you will need to be in the hospital and attend rehab, and of course, how much everything will cost! The aftermath of a serious accident is not only painful but stressful, and sadly this is only the beginning. The next part is the paperwork and the requests from doctors, the hospital, insurance companies, and even law enforcement. Trying to recover in the midst of all this commotion can be overwhelming. This is why if you have been hurt in an accident, it is important to consider hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. If you are hesitant to hire an attorney, consider the following ways a seasoned injury attorney can be of help to you and your case:

  1. Proper evaluation of your case: Often accidents victims are contacted by the insurance company before they are even released from the hospital. Insurance companies try to offer quick money to injury victims who are frantic with worry about how they are going to pay bills, medical expenses and make ends meet without a paycheck. Do not trust the insurance company to offer you a fair amount for your claim. The goal of the insurance company is to pay the least amount to you as possible to make your case go away. That is why you want to meet with an experienced injury attorney who can properly evaluate your case and give you an idea of what your case is worth.
  1. Available to answer your questions and be your guide: Your attorney will not only investigate your claim and represent your interests in court, he or she will also be by your side to answer your questions and guide you through every step of the legal process.
  1. Provide you with sound judgment and objectivity: A major benefit of hiring an attorney is the ability to use his or her experience and judgment to help you make the right decisions for your case. For example, to have your case over quickly, you may be tempted to take a low ball offer, but your attorney may advise you to hold out knowing that your case is worth much more.
  1. Cut through the red tape: Medical jargon, legal terms, complex insurance contracts, confusing court procedures and never ending paperwork could give a non-injured person a migraine. However, trying to figure out all of this while injured is the stuff of nightmares. Just because you may be out of work does not mean that you have time to deal with all the red-tape! Hiring an attorney will save you a ton of headaches and of course, stress.
  1. Better settlement offers, better jury verdicts and no risk! The biggest benefit of hiring an attorney may come down to dollars. Skilled personal injury attorneys are practiced negotiators and litigators, which means they know how to finesse a settlement and win at trial, which means bigger payouts for their clients. Also if your attorney fails to collect for you, you do not owe any attorney’s fees!

If you were seriously injured in an accident, it is a good idea to hire experienced Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys to represent your interests. The attorneys at The Handley Law Center are seasoned injury attorneys who have helped countless accident victims obtain proper financial recourse for their injuries. You do not have to fight the insurance companies alone! Put an end to the frustration and madness and 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 team of personal injury attorneys to fight for your rights!