Thursday, November 22, 2018

10 Defensive Driving Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe

When driving, it’s important to be on top of your game so that you can avoid any mishaps between you and other drivers. Read these 10 defensive driving tips, so that you can be prepared on the go.

1. Avoid Getting Distracted

You might have found yourself engaging in distracted driving, especially if you have children. But you need to make it a rule that you won’t look away from the road so you can keep your family safe. When your children ask you to look at them or something they are holding, tell them that you can’t look while you are driving. Avoid looking through your purse or using your phone while driving as well. Any action that takes your eyes off of the road — even for a second — can cause a car accident.

2. Pay Attention to Other Drivers

You might have heard the expression, “You not only need to drive for yourself, you need to drive for everyone else, too.” If you haven’t, what it means is that although you might be one of the best and safest drivers on the road, that doesn’t mean that you can control how other people drive. Be alert and aware of what other drivers are doing on the road. For example, check your rearview mirror to monitor how drivers approaching your vehicle are driving. Take note if they are weaving or speeding excessively.

3. Look Ahead

Not only do you need to pay attention to the drivers behind you, but you also need to look ahead in the distance to spot potential problems. Sometimes, you might need to change lanes to avoid a stranded car or a police officer making a traffic stop. Other times, you might notice brake lights flashing on cars up ahead, which signals that you will need to slow down.

4. Follow the Speed Limit

Speed limits are posted for a reason — so that drivers can proceed safely. When you exceed the speed limit, you are posing a danger for you, your passengers and every else on the road you meet. Plus, speeding can equal reckless driving, depending on how fast you’re traveling, which can equal huge fines. For example, in Henrico County VA reckless driving is defined as driving at 20 miles or above the posted speed limit.

5. Be Willing to Yield

Not all drivers operate the vehicle they are driving with confidence, and drivers who are unfamiliar with the traffic laws in a specific area might make errors. Always be on the lookout for confused drivers who might not do what they are supposed to do, such as yield to drivers coming off the interstate. Be willing to yield if you can do so safely, so that you and the other driver can avoid a car accident. Even if the collision isn’t serious, you’ll still have to deal with everything that happens after a car accident.

6. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Stop

Sure you can slam on your brakes and make your car stop, but at some point, you’ll likely have an accident. Get to know the feel of your vehicle’s brakes, so that you will know when to start applying them as you approach a traffic light or stop sign. That way, you’ll be able to give yourself ample time to stop without slamming on the brakes — and your brakes will last longer as well.

7. Use Your Blinkers

Drivers aren’t mind readers, so you need to be as helpful as possible when out on the road. When you plan to turn or change lanes, always use your blinker. Also, don’t wait until the last second to turn your blinker on. This can catch other drivers unaware and cause them to make a mistake.

8. Avoid Tailgating

If you’re in the habit of following too closely behind other drivers or tailgating, you need to stop. Not only is driving too closely annoying to the driver you’re following, it also can end up badly for you. If the driver ahead unexpectedly slams on his brakes, you just might plow right into the back of his car.

9. Keep a Safe Distance from Large Trucks and Precarious Loads

If you’ve ever been driving and heard a loud popping noise, followed by a mark or crack in your windshield, you might have been driving too closely to a large truck. Unfortunately, some trucks will throw up rocks and gravel from the roadway, which can strike the windshields of other drivers, so keep a safe distance. Also, if you see a vehicle or trailer with a load that seems unstable, keep a safe distance behind it to avoid having your car struck by flying objects.

10. Avoid Blindspot Errors

If you’ve ever tried to change lanes while driving only to see a car in the land you’re trying to move to at the last second, you know a blind spot can be dangerous. Just as other drivers should stay out of your blindspot, you should learn how to avoid blindspots as well. Make it a habit to pass other drivers in a timely manner and not hang out in an area where they can’t easily see you. And, when you decide to change lanes, ask someone else in the vehicle to double-check that there’s not another car where you’re planning to move. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How To Prevent and Handle Your Child Getting Injured At School

When it comes to accidents and injuries, we have to think clearly so we take the right steps, and one of the best things we can do is educate ourselves to protect our family. For any parent with kids who play a lot of school sports, it’s natural to worry about them sustaining an injury playing sports in school. It’s scary because we don’t actually know who will be held accountable if that happens and it’s not our child’s fault. We want our children to enjoy their favorite sports and fun activities, but we want to make sure they’re safe too.

According to the CDC, more than almost 3 million children are brought into the ER because of sports and recreation-related injuries. As kids get older, they engage in a lot more team sports, and unfortunately injuries are part of that deal. For the most part, these injuries are light scratches or bruises, but the greater concern for parents is breaks, sprains and other injuries that are more serious. A vast majority of these injuries take place on school grounds, but the waters are often murky on who should be held responsible when this happens during a basketball game or while they are cheerleading, for example. 

Ways to Prevent Injuries

One of the things we have in our power as parents is doing our part in preventing injury. Here are some of the ways we can help our kids stay safe on the field or court.

Warm-ups and Cool downs Before and After Sports 

For grown-ups and kids alike, many injuries are caused by a lack of warm-ups, proper stretching and cooling down. This is completely avoidable if we teach our children the importance of getting in and out of a workout the right way.

Wearing Protective Gear

Whenever your kids are going to engage in any sporting activity, it’s critical that they have the correct protective gear on. From knee pads to helmets and gloves; protective gear is the first line of defense against injuries. Many injuries have been caused by playing without the right gear, and this something we can control before they even start playing. It’s not just about the right equipment. We have to be sure it fits correctly, is in great condition, and that they’re wearing it properly. 

Sunscreen & Hydration

Drinking water regularly is a great habit to instill in children as young as possible. When it comes to sports, not drinking enough water won’t just cause discomfort and dehydration, it can actually lead to injuries too.  Before our kids hit the fields, make sure they are drinking enough water and replenishing after working up a sweat.

Follow the Rules of Game

A lot of the rules that exist in sport aren’t put in place to make the game less fun, they keep us safe from injury. Our kids need to follow the best and safest sporting practices. If they’re reckless in any way, this significantly increases the risk of injury.

What To Do When an Injury Occurs
In the event that our child gets injured in a school game for example, is it appropriate to investigate who is responsible and hold them liable? Is the school to blame or is it another student? In this case, do you need to contact a personal injury lawyer, like Schwartzapel Attorneys or just handle the claim yourself? It can all be very overwhelming when you’re scared and worried about your child. On top of that, dealing with school staff can turn this into a delicate and uncomfortable matter for everyone involved. If the injury was due to the school’s negligence, and it’s a more serious injury than a scratch or a bruise, it would be worth sitting with a personal injury lawyer who can help you lodge the claim.
In order to have a claim, evidence will be necessary to prove your case meets the requirements of a lawsuit. You need to have photographs of the injuries, and independent notarized witness statements. You have to prove damages in the form of medical expenses, bills related to the injury, or pain and suffering experienced by your child. When you have this information, you can move forward.

Put Your Child First
We do our very best to watch over our children when they are around us, but what about when they aren’t in our presence? Schools are meant to protect our kids when we’re not there, and for the most part, this goes right. In the event that it goes wrong, and the school has been negligent in any way, we can make a claim to hold the school responsible for it. Most importantly, as we get ready to make a case against the learning institution, we have to put the physical, mental and emotional healing of our children first.

Sugarcreek Roadtrips

It's been a while since we last visited Sugarcreek.  We used to go there almost every weekend just so we can drive around and see other ...

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