This Sunday we will be once again turning our clocks forward for daylight savings. While many look forward to the extra hour of sleep, for many of us on Long Island, daylight savings means driving home from work with the sun already setting. This along with other changing weather conditions can cause driving in the fall dangerous. No one wants to be in a car accident, especially if it could be prevented.
On November 4, the clocks will be moving back one hour. Unlike daylight savings in the Spring, we won’t be more tired or have a hard time waking up. This does mean however, that the sun will rise and set one hour earlier everyday. Unlike the gradual changes in the sunrise/sunset schedule that we adjust to naturally, many will suddenly be leaving work in the dark. On Monday November 5, the sun will now begin to set at 4:47pm in New York and will be completely dark by 6:20.
The difference between driving at night (let’s say 10:00pm) and driving in darkness in the late afternoon is the amount of people on the road. When it is late, there is generally much less drivers on the road and a lot less cyclists and pedestrians. After daylight savings, it will begin to get dark during a time when a lot of people are still out. It is even early enough for the sun to go down with some of these cyclists or pedestrians being students in school. We previously have spoken about accounting for school pedestrians in a previous blog post. Moreover, an adjustment needs to take place for drivers to be prepared for the change in road conditions. Here are some tips we suggest for the earlier sunset.
Fall is a beautiful time of year due to the changing of leaves. But we are reaching the time of the year where all of those leaves are falling to the ground. When a Nor-Easter hits, there are wet leaves everywhere. Some have even said that wet leaves on the ground are just as dangerous as black ice on the road. Wet leaves are dangerous in two ways; they are slippery and they cover up the roads.
It is a good idea to pretend that you are driving on ice when you see leaves on the road. Drive slower and increase your breaking distance. Do not make sharp or fast turns so that you don’t slide. Give yourself ample room behind cars. Do not quickly change lanes, especially if you can’t see the road lines. The leaves can cover up lines in the road so do your best to pay attention to the road lines when approaching a stop sign or at turning lanes.
The days are only getting colder and drivers need to be prepared ahead of time as the temperatures drop. The first change you might notice is your tire pressure. The drop in temperature sometimes causes the tires to expand and contract. So take note of the tire pressure light and take care of that right away.
When it is very cold, it is a good idea to get in the habit of turning your car on before you head out. If it does frost, your windshield may be covered with ice that needs to melt before you start driving. Additionally, when the steering wheel is very cold, drivers often try not to touch it too much until the car warms up, and this can be dangerous. Turning your car just 10 minutes before you leave means that it will be nice and toasty when you are ready to go.
Deer on Long Island is always a real hazard, especially if you live out east. Long Island highways are “greener” than most so it is not uncommon to see deer grazing by the highways. This is especially important to note because autumn is the beginning of breeding season for deer, and are most active at sunset. So be prepared to see even more deer near the roads on your way home from work. If you see a deer road sign, you should slow down. You should also slow down if you see a deer on the side of a road, it could possibly mean that the rest of the family is nearby.
Keeping these things in mind could potentially avoid a car accident and would contribute to making the roads a little bit safer. Unfortunately, sometimes we get injured in accidents when someone else is not being so safe. That is why it is our priority at Palermo Law to help people who have been injured in a car accident because of someone else’s recklessness.
Palermo Tuohy Bruno recently helped a Slip and Fall victim receive financial justice for the losses she endured due to her injury. Our client was walking in a New York City parking garage on a rainy day. She slipped and fractured her elbow on the staircase of the building. The fracture required surgery.
We held the premises owner liable for their negligence in keeping the occupants of their building safe from harm. The staircase itself was in need of attention and perhaps retreading by the building’s owner. The treading on the steps was worn out. And as other occupants climbed the stairs that day, tracking in rain from the outside, the staircase became slippery and dangerous.
Palermo Tuohy Bruno obtained a settlement of $350,000 for our client to help her recuperate for her losses. Slip and Fall accidents are extremely common – especially in the wintertime. Not all building owners are responsible enough to ensure the safety of their occupants. Rainy, snowy, and icy days are upon us. Make sure you take it slow when you’re walking across stairs, into lobbies that are hardwood or tiled, across lots that may have black ice on them, etc. And if you come across a slippery spot on the ground, tell others around you.
If you yourself ever get into a Slip and Fall Accident, you should know what to do, even if you don’t feel you’ve been injured.
You may not feel pain right away. But later, it might hit you. Even if you don’t believe you are hurt, follow these steps to ensure you have a good case:
If you do end up making a claim against a premises owner for a Slip and Fall Accident, you will likely be called by the insurance adjuster and/or attorney of the premises owner. They’ll likely be real nice to you initially in attempts to gain your trust. But keep in mind – they are not on your side. It’s literally their job to make sure you don’t get the financial compensation you’re entitled to. They will ask you questions – sometimes difficult ones – and many times try to trick you. Never downplay your injury or make small talk about it. They will use what they can against you in order to weaken your case. Since it’s their job to do so, you can be sure they know what they’re doing. This is why it’s so important to consult with a Slip and Fall Attorney right away. If you have an attorney, put any insurance adjuster or attorney in contact with them.
Attorneys who are experienced in handling Slip and Fall Accident claims know what will likely be asked of you, and how insurance companies trick individuals with difficult and sometimes seemingly odd questions in order to weaken your case.
Remember, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee – meaning you don’t have to pay any upfront costs for their legal assistance unless they win your case. There is no harm in retaining an experienced Slip and Fall Attorney. In fact, there’s likely harm in not retaining a lawyer. Victims of personal injury who have a lawyer representing them see, on average, 300% more financial compensation than those who retain a lawyer.
It’s almost winter. The rain has been heavy lately. And Slip and Fall Accidents are likely to occur. Know what to do should this ever happen to you. One icy patch of black ice and one step could literally destroy your future. Remember these steps, share these steps with others (coworkers, friends, etc.) and stay safe.
“What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident.” FreeAdvice. FreeAdvice, 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 01 Dec. 2016. <http://accident-law.freeadvice.com/accident-law/slips_falls/fall_what_to_do.htm>.