National Child Passenger Safety Week — 3 ways to protect your child from personal injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control,  more than 121,350 children  ages 12 and under were injured and 602 chldren  died in car accidents in 2014!  Statistics like these are why September 17-23, 2017 is National Child Passenger Safety Week.

This hits close to home for anyone who loves and cares for children. In fact, car seat and seatbelt use saved the lives of both of my friend’s neices a few years ago. Sadly, this horrific accident claimed the lives of three adults in the same vehicle.

Here’s another story I’ll never forget:

A fifteen passenger van collided with a semi-truck on a high speed highway years ago wiping out almost the entire vanload of passengers. A tiny survivor was found still strapped into his car seat in the middle of the highway, basically uninjured.

You may have a similar story to tell.  No doubt, child safety seats and seatbelts save lives!

Parents and caregivers, you can help protect our most precious natural resource — your children — whenever they travel in a vehicle.

Here are three simple steps to improve child passenger safety:

1.) Choose the right safety seat.
This sounds like a no-brainer. But, if you are a busy parent  or childcare provider with multiple children,  this step might fall through the cracks.

There are basically four types of car seats/restraints suitable for children — rear facing, forward facing, booster, and seat belt.

The appropriate type of child safety restraint changes with size and age.

For an excellent guide on which restraint is appropriate for your children’s size and age, check out this page: https://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Types.htm?view=full

2.)  Check to see if your child safety seat  may be unsafe due to excess usage or involvement in a car crash:

Sometimes  budget constraints cause us to “make do” with what we have on hand.  A car seat’s buckles and straps get worn out by multiple users, limiting their effectiveness in an auto accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Advisory (NHTSA) advises against reusing a car seat that has been in a moderate to severe car accident.

How do we define a moderate to severe car crash? Again,  www.safercar.gov has a helpful brief guide here:  https://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Using-Car-Seat-After-Crash.htm?view=full

Did you know that you can get your car seat inspected for safety and correct installation  for free?

To find a free inspection station near you, check out the link on NHTSA’s website.  https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats#inspection-inspection

3.)  Buckle up that tween in the back seat away from airbags. This may be the most difficult step to follow!  Gulp.

We wear seat belts in our family. Period. That’s a non-negotiable. It’s also the law.

Riding in the car’s front passenger seat, however, is another battle for a coveted spot!

It’s common knowledge that many car accidents damage the front of the car. So, the back seat is usually safer for children ages 12 and under.

Why? That’s the question your tween will ask. Ha! Here’s your bullet-proof answer. Airbags deploy at approximately 200 mph.

Imagine the damage this could inflict to anyone, let alone a child!  If you parent a tween,  you will have to decide if this is a risk worth fighting for.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the state of Missouri, children under 16 must wear a seat belt.  Unfortunately, this does not apply to school buses or public carriers for hire.  We have safety issues that still need to be addressed!

National Child Passenger Safety Week is just a friendly reminder to help you protect your most valuable treasures — your children.

If you or your child are injured in an auto accident due to another’s negligence, you need a car accident lawyer to fight for the compensation you deserve!  A good car accident attorney will help you handle the insurance company as well as expertly represent you in court.

You will need money to cover injuries, damages, loss of work, and the many hidden costs of a car crash.

Do not settle with your insurance company without first contacting an experienced car crash attorney! 

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC believes in fighting aggressively for your rights. Call to schedule your free evaluation at 636-244-3737 today!

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.

 

 

 

 

Drive to survive: How to avoid “road-rage” car accidents

Why does vacation time turn some folks into zombie-like drivers?

Vacation is supposed to be stress-free and happy, right?

If you live along a beach  or vacation traffic route like me, you know exactly what I mean.

You almost feel like these zombie drivers pack and hit the road with a killer-instinct for anyone who might be on their road.  Maybe they add some extra “juice” to their coffee?

For many years, our beach route highway was only one lane each direction with double yellow lines most of the way.  In the summer,  we cringed when we approach a curve or slight hill. You never knew if you will encounter someone zooming head-on in your lane  at 65 to 70 mph.  It made for a white-knuckled drive!

Thankfully they’re widening our highway bit by bit.  Who knows how many lives have been lost over the years especially during peak traffic season!  The locals blame the big city drivers from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. for the hair-raising drive to the beach.

The locals are right! These big city drivers have earned their reputation, too! Baltimore and D.C.  rank 8th and 10th as the top ten cities with the worst road-rage drivers according to http://www.monkeymeter.com

It’s no wonder handmade signs sometimes appear along our stretch of highway, “Go HOME! The beach is closed.”

While the St. Louis area is happily known for its courteous drivers,  distracted or careless driving can still easily spark a road-rage induced car accident.  You’ve all seen that speeding driver weaving in and out of traffic.

Or, a driver cuts you off,  and you narrowly avoid an accident!  You can’t help but notice they’re on their cell. Grrr!  See what I mean?  The blood pressure rises just thinking about it!

Those most likely to display road rage are between the ages of 18 and 39. That might include your vulnerable, newly-minted teen driver!

Need help starting that conversation? Tell your teen how not become a zombie driver.

Here are some common sense tips for surviving  zombie drivers:

  • Stay on “high-alert” for zombie drivers.  Don’t zone out.  You need to keep at least four of your senses in action. Hands on the steering wheel! Eyes on the road and mirrors! Ears tuned in for revving engines or other signs of trouble!   Your nose, well, if you drive an older car, this comes in handy for sniffing out trouble with your own vehicle.
  • Take a chill-pill. That’s right. If someone cuts you off, take a deep breath and let it go. Being tail-gated? Go ahead and get out of the left lane already!  Swerving car? Just try to stay out of their way.  I’ve seen my grandfather kindly pull off to the shoulder numerous times to let faster moving traffic go past him. That’s right, parents! It’s up to us to show our teens how to respond to road rage.
  • Decide if the driver needs police intervention.  Once we noticed a semi- truck repeatedly swerving into the lane beside him. Knowing that truck drivers often face crazy deadlines, we wondered if he was sleepy. After watching him carefully from a distance for a few miles, we decided to call the police. It was for his own safety as well the safety of others.
  • Never pull over to speak to an angry driver!  Don’t pull over unless you caused an auto accident! Even so, take precautions to protect yourself from an irate driver. Call 911 yourself.  Then call your car accident attorney as soon as possible.  http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury-motorvehicle.html

We’re human. Accidents happen even when we try to avoid being that zombie driver!

If you’ve been involved in a car crash,  you need the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer.  The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC knows that being involved in an auto accident is a very stressful time for you!

They care about your rights and helping you get the full accident compensation that you need.  Call 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.

 

 

Drive to survive — even when your cell’s ringing!

Distracted driving has advanced with each new generation.

I once spoke to a small-town resident who spent most of his life in the same county.  “Harry” used to drive his farm wagon into town to deliver fresh produce.  Incredibly,  his horse knew the way home from his route. Harry could day-dream “behind the wheel”, so to speak.  He might have even munched on a stray carrot or strawberry left over from his route. No big deal when you’re limited to a horsepower of one, right?

Fast forward almost a century! (Yes, “Harry” was in nineties when I met him.) Our horsepower behind the wheel is at least 10x what it used to be!

When my brothers learned to drive, cell phones were  still a brand-new, space-age technology. That wasn’t the issue. Early work hours were. Hot oatmeal was still on the menu for breakfast.

Grab and go breakfast meant a tub of hot oatmeal.

Combine that with a newly-minted driver! Dad’s work truck ended up hitting and destroying a mailbox, post and all, due to one tub of hot oatmeal spilling in the driver’s lap.

Fortunately, the residents were understanding. No personal injury lawyers were needed. Just a handshake, a sincere apology, and some sweat to replace the post and mailbox repaired the damages.  No lives were injured or lost. We all counted our blessings!

How many of you eat and drive? Guilty hand raised here! I’m going estimate at least 95% of folks do.

Have you ever had an auto accident related to distracted driving? Did your burger and fries do more damage than just clogging your arteries? What about hot coffee? I’ve had a few close calls myself with that form of distracted driving.

Cell phones! Now there’s the major culprit in distracted driving. Some states ban hand-held cell usage altogether while driving.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety,  80% of drivers feel unsafe due to distracted drivers.  How many times have you been tempted to yell at a fellow driver, “Hang up the phone and drive!”?  More times than you can count, right?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accounted for over 3, 000 deaths in 2015!

Worse yet, the distracted driving auto accident injuries are over the 300,000 mark!

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

Teens are especially vulnerable to distracted driving. Again, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety  conducted a study on teen drivers.  They found teens drive distracted about 25 % of the time.  We all need help!

3 simple ways to avoid causing a distracted driving car crash:

1.) Don’t allow your teen to use their cell phone while driving.  Check their phones regularly. You may have to become the phone Nazi, but saving lives is worth it!

2.) Set the example! Turn your own phone off or on vibrate. Maybe you really need to take a call? Operate hands-free only! Pull over if at all possible. Show your teen how responsible drivers operate.

3.) Limit food intake on the road! Who am I kidding? We’re all going to eat and drive. Our lives are just too busy not to.  At least forget that messy, drippy taco or the super-sized burger whlle driving.

Sometimes I wish we could return to the days of “Harry” and join him on his leisurely produce wagon deliveries.  No massive traffic, no cell phones, no angry drivers cutting you off in traffic, and almost no distracted drivers, right?

Maybe someone in your house has had an auto accident due to a distracted driver.  You need an experienced car crash attorney to help you pursue your best legal options.

http://steimel-law.com/traffic-matters.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC are here to help. Call (636)244-3737 for a free initial consulation today!

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

 

How to survive your teen learning to drive

Drive to Survive: why some driver’s ed for teens is a good idea

Do you have teens anxious to get behind the wheel? It’s a terrifying stage of parenthood for many folks.  When it is time for your teen to learn to drive, not only do you want full and proper insurance coverage, you want them to have mad driving skills. After all, there are a lot of crazies on the road!

So do you have what it takes to pass these survival skills along? Or do you need to hire a driver’s ed company? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Am I a patient teacher? 

Equipping your teen to drive safely and avoid unnecessary auto accidents takes time, practice, and patience. Loads of patience! Are you ready for that?

Am I a good example?

Step back and take a long look at yourself.  What is your driving record like?

Do you have a history of at-fault car crashes?  Loads of speeding tickets?

Hopefully not a DUI on your record, right? If you’re not pretty clean, you should consider deferring to someone else to teach your teen.

Do I or my spouse have time to invest in hours of driver instruction?

You and I both know it’s a dangerous road out there. Not only does your teen have to deal with their own lack of driving experience, they will have  to deal with the reckless and sometimes dangerous driving of others. You will need to plan to spend many hours beside your teen as they drive in many  different situations and weather. (Just no tornado chasing, okay?)

Does your teen listen to you …fairly well?

Ah! There’s the rub for a number of parents. If your teen constantly tunes you out, teaching them to drive is likely to make these issues worse. You need to know your teen will listen fairly well as you give driving instructions. Patiently, of course!

How well do you know the traffic laws? 

Many of us could use a refresher course, right? Things change over the years.

Some of us, well, know family members or friends we wish we could send to driving school.

Of course, this is no excuse to shuffle the job to someone else. Get the Driver’s Handbook out and review! You could make it a trivia game with your teen.

Is your child’s life worth the risk?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens aged 16-19! Honestly, considering all the distractions available to drivers today, that’s not too surprising. You want to do your best to protect them against a tragic car accident!

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

Actually, the best option is parental training and a driver’s ed class. 

After all, you are the person who cares the most for your child’s well-being,  right?

Pick the safest parent teacher. You get a refresher course in defensive  driving as you teach your teen what you know.

You’ve lived this long already! Your experience really does count.

Happily, whatever they learn from you is  reinforced by an outside authority.  That way it’s not just what Dad and Mom say.  Your teen may even end up being impressed with your driver savvy. If not,  it’s time to take  them out go-cart racing!

Good news! If you pay for defensive driving classes, you can save on your teen’s auto insurance. 

While driver’s ed is not mandatory in the state of Missouri , defensive driving classes do save you money in the long run. Most insurance companies will offer a 5% to 15% discount for certified completion of defensive driving or even an online driving class.

https://www.dmv.com/mo/missouri/drivers-ed

At The Law Offices of Nathan Steimel, LLC,  we think defensive driving safety is important! It’s like eating healthy food, exercising, and getting  your regular check-ups. 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Knowledge and practice! That’s what it takes to build a safe driving experience for your teen. If you or your teen should end up in an auto accident, you can protect your legal rights by calling our car crash attorneys at (636)244-3737.

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html

 

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.

Help for your uninsured auto accident nightmare!

Facing an uninsured motorist car accident claim? Here’s why you need legal help.

You know Missouri law requires every driver to have liability insurance. In case of an accident, you take care of your neighbor, right? You also do your best to protect yourself and those you love from harm.

Just because you have proper coverage doesn’t mean your fellow Missouri drivers do.

Sad but true – many people have purchased no coverage at all! Uninsured and underinsured drivers are a real problem.

If you’ve ever been in an auto accident with an uninsured motorist at fault, you know it’s a major headache. Your bad day just got a whole lot worse when you learn that the at-fault driver is not properly insured.

Spending hours on the phone with insurance companies is not fun. Sorry to say, that may be just the beginning of your nightmare if injuries and medical bills are involved.

If one little detail gets messed up in the system, it can days or even weeks to get coverage detangled! When you need ongoing medical care, that’s an added stress you don’t want to deal with.

So how does uninsured motorist coverage actually help you in the event of a car crash?

Uninsured motorist coverage steps in to fill the gap left by the negligent uninsured/underinsured driver. It’s designed to provide coverage to the injured driver up to the uninsured motorists’ limits.

Hit and run accidents are covered by uninsured motorist coverage in the state of Missouri.

Some states unhappily require the uninsured motorist vehicle to have contact with the insured vehicle. Have you ever been run off the road by a speedy driver swerving in and out of traffic?

Thankfully for Missouri residents, if another uninsured driver’s negligence caused your auto accident, you are likely to be eligible for uninsured motorist coverage.

Did debris or equipment left in the road by another vehicle cause your car accident? Even if the negligent vehicle is no longer on the scene, you could still be eligible for uninsured motorist coverage.

This coverage sometimes even applies in situations where an unknown driver “waves out” another vehicle into traffic causing a crash.

How do you claim uninsured motorist coverage if you or your vehicle is damaged by an uninsured driver?

You actually have to bring a claim against your own insurance! That’s what you’ve paid for, right? Whether following a hit and run, a “wave out” crash, or any crash or accident with an uninsured driver, it’s the injured driver’s responsibility to pursue a claim.

Guess what? Your insurance company isn’t going to like this.

Not surprisingly, the insurance will begin looking for ways to blame the insured for comparative fault. Equally unfair and alarming, your insurance company may begin seeking ways to reduce or minimize damages from the time the claim is initially reported.

This is exactly why you need an expert uninsured motorist attorney to represent you!

Our St. Charles and St. Louis car accident lawyers will fight for you to insure the crash investigation is fair.

We will contact witnesses. We will review the police reports.

Most importantly, we will advise you of your rights and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. Yes! We will handle those frustrating, time-consuming phone calls.

The best news is NO fees unless we recover for your injuries!

We will maximize your claim recovery money for your benefit, not just to line our pockets. We think your rights matter,  not just the big insurance companies’ rights.

So, don’t face your uninsured auto accident nightmare alone!

Pick up the phone today and call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC at (636)244-3737. You can also check us out at http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury-carcrash.html

You need an experienced uninsured motorist lawyer at your side to fight for your rights!

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.