Pricey potholes — how to fight back (in case of auto accident or car repairs, too)

(Hint: Offroading doesn’t count)

Warmer days, cooler nights — it’s “pothole growing season” in Missouri!

As the road surfaces freeze and thaw due to moisture, cracks in the road start growing into potholes.  Those pesky potholes cause more trouble than you might think!  The AAA auto club estimates a mind-blowing 3 billion dollars yearly is spent in the U.S. on car repairs due to potholes.

When you think of auto repairs due to potholes,  your first thought might be tire damage. True enough! In fact, reputable tire and auto centers offer “road hazard warranties” with purchase of their tires. Considering the price of tires, this may be a worthwhile investment. Most of these warranties only cover you for one year. Like me, you probably hope to get more than a year out of your tires!

However, your car repairs could escalate into even more expensive damage. Consider that the 2016 AAA survey found more than 30 million Americans forked out between $250 to $1,000 dollars for pothole damage to their vehicles.

Why? That jarring drive over potholes easily messes up your car’s suspension system: shocks, struts, and even ball joints.  And what about the front-end alignment you paid for with your new tires?

Even more costly than an expensive auto repair is an expensive a pothole-induced auto accident.

Say you swerve suddenly to miss a pothole, and you hit a car in your blind spot! Or perhaps you brake quickly to avoid tearing up your catalytic convertor in your car’s undercarriage.  Suddenly you risk becoming the victim of a rear-end auto accident!  Both drivers lose time and money to the lowly pothole yet again.

Even worse, that hidden tire damage due to an unexpected pothole could also cause an accident further down the road.  Weakened tires blow out when you least expect it!

An interesting side note — self-driving car engineers are still trying to figure out how to safely maneuver the pothole! It’s an engineering nightmare, apparently.  Pothole.info tells the story on its site, dedicated to pothole information and safety issues.

Here’s how to fight potholes in your area …

The AAA considers pothole prevention and repair to be a vital part of road safety for their club members. The state of Missouri agrees. Every spring they encourage Missouri citizens to report those pesky potholes! Keeping up with more than 34,000 miles of road maintenance is the job of the  Missouri Department of Transportation. (MoDOT)

The Pothole Patrol  is a division of Missouri DOT dedicated to making it easy for YOU to report pothole locations. You can reach them by email or mobile device.  Be sure to bookmark the link provided.

Many Americans end up paying out of pocket for their estimated $300- $1,000 a year due to car repairs caused by potholes.

Will your auto insurance cover these claims? What about your local municipality? The local Fox2Now news reports that you may file a claim with MoDOT, but there is no guarantee that you will get a payment.

This is where things get really dicey! If you’re not armed with the proper knowledge, you may end up paying more than you should for a car accident caused by a pothole. You need the experienced advice of an expert personal injury and traffic accident lawyer today!

Attorney Nathan A. Steimel is a long-time resident of the St. Louis area.  Local traffic law is one of his specialties. Especially if you’ve been injured in a car accident due to poor road maintenance — call 636-244-3737 for a free initial consultation. 

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

 

Animal attack statistics that SHOULD concern you

Know your breed

Planning your summer vacation yet? School will soon be out and the kids will be home.  What you don’t plan on could come back to bite you — an animal attack!

Whether you’re a “helicopter parent”, a “free-range parent” or somewhere in the middle of that spectrum,  a normal parent tries to protect their children from harm.

Naturally, our parental warning radar pops into high alert when the Center for Disease Control warns us that there are 4.5 million dog bites a year.  According to DogsBite.org , there were only 39  dog bite fatalities in the U.S. during 2017.  Of these fatalities, 15 were children under the age of 9.

One of the most chilling factors in the 2017 statistics is that NINE of these fatalities were infants killed by a family dog!  Even scarier, most of these dogs had no history of aggression. You can read the stories with citations at DogsBite.org.

While you are at least 30,000 times more likely to die in an auto accident than an animal attack, a serious dog bite leaves both emotional and physical scars.

Just reading the horrific true stories of the men, women, and children who died from a dog attack gave me the chills. It’s a bloody, brutal death, made even worse if a trusted family pet turns on you.

Imagine being one of more than 28,000 people in need of reconstructive surgery due to dog bites!  (2012 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2015)

As a safety precaution, teach your children some basic common sense tips!  Help prevent dog bite or other animal attacks.

( This  Washington Post article states that you’re almost as likely to be killed by a cow as a dog. Not surprisingly, farm workers are at the greatest risk for this category of fatalities.)

COMMON SENSE DOG BITE PREVENTION TIPS:

 

  • Basic rule of thumb: Never leave a baby unattended with a family dog. If your child is going to babysit, this is also the safest practice for sitters.READ up on your breed before you adopt. Not to start a “breed war”, but a dog breed with any history of aggression does not belong with small children!

  • Don’t get your family dog riled up around small children. In fact, aggressive play with your dog is never a good idea.

  • Ask your in-laws, friends, or relatives to also never leave your infant or small child alone with their dog.  One dog bite can change family relationships forever!

  • Teach your child to never approach a strange dog. This is a rule I broke when my daughter was young! Gulp!  I did always warned her to ask the dog owner first. Dogs are often kid-magnets, depending on the kid! Mine is a dog-lover.

  • Teach RESPECT for other people’s property.  If your teens are caught trespassing, that dog bite might serve them right.

  • If greeting a friend or family member’s dog with permission, approach gently and allow the dog to sniff you first. Don’t stare into the dog’s eyes!

  • Call Animal Control if a strange dog is running loose. Many towns have ordinances about loose dogs (for good reason). In our town, the police arrived when Animal Control was delayed. Why? Our neighbor’s pit bull attempted to escape her fenced yard and was hanging from her chain over the fence. We could NOT approach safely to help her. The police were able to quickly and safely help the dog.

  • Do stay calm, don’t run, and don’t make panicky moves or noises if a strange dog approaches.

  • Have YOU been injured in a dog-bite attack? You need the help of an experienced animal attack attorney with extensive knowledge of your local laws in Missouri. You can reach Attorney Nathan A. Steimel at 636-244-3737. You will not be charged any lawyer fees unless your case settles favorably!

  • For more information on your likelihood of animal attacks (Good news, mainly, but watch out for … BEES!) check out the article and info-graphic below.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/17/health/animal-attacks-statistics/index.html

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Dog Bite Statistic Infographic
Source: CanineJournal.com

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

 

Rising motorcycle accident stats and your motorcycle safety

Getting ready to rev up your engine and head out for a drive along the scenic Missouri bluffs or the Great River Road? Motorcycle safety should be first on your list!

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an increase in motorcycle fatalities since 2014. (report updated in 2017 from 2015 data)

Missouri only saw a 3% increase unlike her neighbors in Illinois and Arkansas.

What is most alarming is the number of fatalities reported due to lack of a proper motorcycle helmet.

Another whopping 27% of 2015 motorcycle fatalities were those who had not been properly licensed!  The failure to be licensed properly could be chalked up to a number of reasons.

Around the small, rural town where I live, older folk on a fixed income use scooters or mini-bikes to run their errands around town. They’re supposed to have a license for their scooters — maybe even get insurance on the vehicle. Do they all comply? I doubt it.  A few even ride their electric wheelchairs to the grocery store (though this type of “vehicle” would not be listed in the NHTSA data).

Once upon a time (true story) a teen relative of mine saved up for his very first motorcycle. Since he lived on a farm, he could easily ride through the back fields without getting his license. However, on the ONE day he decided to do a u-turn on the paved road in front of his house, a lurking officer pulled him over and ticketed him.  His neighbors were probably the guilty “snitches”,  but this ticket possibly saved him from a foolish, fatal accident.

If you’re a seasoned biker or the proud new owner of a motorcycle, here are a few motorcycle safety statistics and tips to help as you plan your next trip.

  •  Choose the right helmet to protect from serious brain injury.
    According to the NHTSA,  you need to wear a DOT-compliant Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 helmet. It will be clearly marked as such on the outside back of the helmet.  This short video is very helpful.
  • Another feature that is vital to motorcycle safety is a face shield to protect from wind and flying debris. You could be blinded or suffer a serious eye injury without a shield on your helmet.
  • Do a routine motorcycle safety check on your bike before you ride. 

    • Tire pressure (adjust for extra weight, such as a passenger or luggage)
    • Hand and foot brakes working properly
    • Headlights, tail-lights, and signals in good working order
    • No leaking fluids such as oil or gas
    • Proper fluid levels
  • Wear protective clothing.  Heavy denim or leather, gloves, long pants, sturdy foot wear that covers the ankles are all good motorcycle safety protocol. HOWEVER, make sure you wear bright or reflective jackets. It’s safer to cover that cool leather or denim jacket with a bright safety vest.
  • AVOID alcohol or drug usage while driving. Even though this seems like a
    “no-brainer”, the staggering statistics don’t lie. Almost half of motorcycle fatalities in 2015 were due to an alcohol-impaired motorcycle driver.

Finally, enjoy this fantastic guide to the best Missouri motorcycle rides.

Motorcycle accidents also happen due to negligent drivers. If you or a loved one is suffering injuries (often severe) resulting from a negligent driver, you need expert and aggressive legal help.

Call Missouri motorcycle accident attorney Nathan A. Steimel today for a free initial consultation. 636-244-3737

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.