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Central Islip Law Blog

Driving instructors reveal the most common mistakes

Driving instructors certainly have a unique view into the way that Americans approach the road. They see people right from the very beginning, with no experience, and they get to watch them grow and develop their skills.

At the same time, they see all the mistakes that these drivers make, some of which can lead to accidents. They try to work with them and correct these issues, but it is clear that many people who pass their tests and finish the instructional period still make plenty of errors. Here are the five that driving instructors see the most:

  1. Not leaving enough distance between their front bumper and the next car, making it hard -- or impossible -- to stop in time in an emergency.
  2. Not driving at the right speed. This means following the speed limit, but it also means adjusting for conditions.
  3. Making mistakes while passing. These could include driving too fast or trying to pass when there's not enough space to do it safely.
  4. Violating another driver's right-of-way. This happens in numerous situations, such as when a driver pulls out into traffic and cuts off another car.
  5. Making mistakes while turning. Examples include turning without using a signal, hitting the curb, driving into the wrong lane, turning from the wrong lane and not properly yielding to people who are already in the crosswalk.

What can businesses do to make ice less dangerous?

When nights drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and the risk of freezing is high, it's important for businesses to monitor their premises and prevent ice from forming on walkways or staircases. If ice gathers on the premises, it's possible that a customer approaching the business could fall and get hurt.

When a person slips and falls on ice, it may be the business's responsibility to cover their lost wages, medical costs and other financial liabilities. It's simple to make the area around the business safe, so business owners should do what they can to warn consumers about the risk of falls due to ice.

How can motorcyclists increase their visibility?

Motorcyclists have many disadvantages in terms of safety and injury prevention during a vehicular accident. Some of these disadvantages worsen the injuries suffered by the motorcyclist, while others leave a motorcyclist more prone to getting into a crash. One of the issues that leaves motorcyclists vulnerable to crashes relates to visibility.

The more visible someone is on the road, the less likely a motorist is going to accidentally strike them. As you might imagine, a large sport utility vehicle is more visible and easier to avoid than a small motorcycle that could be hidden behind an SUV. This creates a double-threat: Motorcyclists are both more likely to get into crashes because we can't see them, and when a crash occurs since they don't provide any kind of injury protection, and riders are likely to get catastrophically hurt.

Businesses need a winter safety plan to keep patrons safe

Now that the colder temperatures are here, people are going to have to pay close attention to how they are walking around since snow and ice are very slick. As tempting as staying home for the rest of the season is, this isn't feasible for most people. You still have to venture out to go shopping and handle other errands.

Businesses need to take the weather conditions into account when they are making plans for helping keep their patrons out of harm's way. One aspect of their winter weather plan should be to address slip-and-fall hazards.

How to defend yourself after an assault accusation

If you have been accused of assault in the state of New York, you will need to act fast in order to adequately defend yourself. Assault charges can come with serious consequences that could affect the rest of your life, therefore, it is vital that you are not complacent.

Assault defendants tend to have many questions about how to be successful. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions in regard to assault defense in the state of New York.

When can the police search my home?

Going to the door of your home and finding police officers standing there can be a startling and stressful situation. For many people, their natural instinct when being question by officers is to try and assist them in any way that they can. But what if they ask if they can go into your home and look around? What should you do in a case like that? You may wonder if they can even come in to look around without a warrant. In situations like this, the fourth amendment is in place to protect you from unauthorized searches from police officers. 

This is why you need a defense for alleged sex crimes

Most states across the nation take an aggressive approach to allegations involving sex crimes. New York is certainly not an exception, as our state has a long history of prosecuting defendants for crimes involving unlawful sexual contact.

In some cases, defendants did not even know they were under investigation until they were arrested. This can hamper any viable defense, as the hapless defendants were unaware that they committed any crimes.

4 ways drivers can stop cutting off motorcycles

Motorcycle accidents happen for a lot of different reasons, but one of the most common is when a truck or a car turns left in front of the bike. This causes the larger vehicle to cross the opposing traffic lane. A motorcycle in that lane would strike the side of the car, possibly at full highway speeds, with no way to avoid the crash.

Remember, riders who get cut off like this can be killed in these accidents. They're incredibly dangerous and far too common. Here are four things that drivers can do to prevent them:

  • Keep your attention on the road. Never look down or allow distractions to pull your eyes away. Never turn without being 100 percent certain that the way is clear.
  • Take it slow. If you have to wait for traffic to clear, stop completely. Take a moment to scan the road for any motorcycles and then make the turn.
  • Practice patience. A lot of these accidents happen because drivers try to rush it. If you have to press the gas pedal to the floor to get across the lane in time, that's too close. Just wait for a larger gap.
  • Be mindful of motorcycles. Drivers often cut them off because they spend their time looking for larger vehicles, and they can look right at motorcycles without seeing them. It's a minor error for a driver, who may not get injured, but it's a devastating and tragic error for a motorcyclist who gets seriously injured or killed.

Tips for driving in the snow

As a New Yorker, there's a good chance you'll find yourself contending with snowy road conditions at some point this winter. Even if you're comfortable driving in inclement weather, it only takes one mistake to cause a crash.

Here are five tips for driving in the snow:

  • Maintain a safe speed: Most the time, driving the speed limit in snowy conditions is not advised. Instead, you should slow down to ensure that you maintain control of your vehicle.
  • Increase your following distance: Leaving more space between your vehicle and the one in front of yours gives you more time to stop abruptly.
  • Don't stop when going uphill: Doing so increases the chance of getting stuck. Even if you're slowly inching forward, it's better than coming to a complete halt. As important as it is to keep your momentum, don't attempt to apply extra gas in snowy conditions.
  • Watch other drivers: Even if you're driving safely in the snow, other drivers may not take as much caution. Instead, some people consider it exciting to push the limit in snowy weather.
  • Avoid the road: If you're not comfortable driving in snow, try to stay home until conditions improve. This is the best way to guarantee your safety.

Prevent most car accidents and injuries by following these tips

At our law firm, we have seen so many kinds of car accidents that we've become experts on the causes and conditions that result in accidents and injuries on the road. For this reason, we'd like to offer a bit of advice that -- if all New York drivers followed it -- we could eradicate nearly all automobile-related accidents.

As personal injury attorneys, here are two things you can do right now to decrease your chances of getting into a crash: