March 16th, 2020
Spring weather is officially here. While there will undoubtedly be some cold snaps over the next few weeks, truly frigid weather during the daytime shouldn’t be a regular occurrence for another seven or eight months. For all of you motorcyclists, that mean it’s time to bring your bikes out of storage and hit the open roads throughout Middle Tennessee.
But before you ride, it’s important to remember the risks you face. According to the National Safety Council, motorcycles constitute only 3% of all registered vehicles in the U.S., but they account for 14% of all fatal traffic accidents. Crashing on a motorcycle under any circumstances is potentially life-threatening, as motorcycles have no built-in safety features to protect riders.
Do your part to reduce your risks by following these tips:
- Wear all the gear, all the time—Gearing up isn’t much of a hassle in the early spring, as it can keep you warm. But as temperatures rise, some riders are tempted to ditch their gear. Doing so can be a fatal mistake. Always wear a helmet and riding boots, jacket, pants, and gloves.
- Stay alert for road hazards—Outside of other drivers, motorcyclists’ biggest risk is road hazards. These can be plentiful during spring, and they include wet leaves, potholes, loose gravel, fallen tree limbs, oil spills, ice, and more. Reducing your speed can help you spot hazards and react to them in plenty of time.
The Nashville motorcycle accident attorneys at Ponce Law are here to help anyone who is hurt on their motorcycle this spring because of someone else’s negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation.
March 9th, 2020
Many people know that teens are the most at-risk age group among drivers. That’s why their insurance rates are so high and why there’s so much educational material and enforcement campaigns aimed at them. Their inexperience and potentially aggressive driving habits significantly increase their risk of crashes, not to mention their penchant for texting, Snapchatting, or otherwise using their phones while behind the wheel.
But teen drivers aren’t the only young drivers who are at risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, half of all speeding-related deaths involve drivers 21-35. That means that even drivers with a higher level of maturity and several years of experience are still likely to exceed speed limits, putting themselves and others at risk.
In addition, driving while impaired is also more common among younger drivers, especially those who are of age to legally drink in bars and restaurants. Not everyone goes out to become legally intoxicated, but many drivers who have one too many are reluctant to call cabs or use rideshare services to get home. That can be a potentially expensive or even fatal mistake, as the risk of dying in a car crash increases significantly when drivers are over the legal limit.
While there are plenty of age-related risks when it comes to driving, such as impaired vision, slower reaction times, and reduced attention span, younger drivers aren’t immune to risks that are mostly unique to their age group. If you’re a young driver, avoid distractions, don’t speed, and never drive if you’re over the limit.
The Nashville auto accident attorneys at Ponce Law are here to help anyone hurt in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation.
March 4th, 2020
Technology has impacted every aspect of daily life, including vehicles. And while many car buyers are initially most impressed by things like huge touchscreen displays, ambient lighting, and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, the most important technological advances involve those that reduce their risk of crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and since it was founded, auto manufacturers have worked hard to obtain 5-star safety ratings. In recent years, numerous advances have made drivers and passengers safer both on the road and during crashes, including:
- Airbags—Modern vehicles are equipped with multiple airbags that protect occupants from all angles during crashes.
- Electronic stability control (ESC)—Whether it’s due to slick roads or taking a corner too fast, losing control of your vehicle is terrifying. ESC helps drivers remain in control in otherwise dangerous situations.
- Backup cameras—Handy in parking lots, backup cameras were made mandatory in all new vehicles beginning May 1, 2018, due to backover accidents that seriously injure or kill many people, including children, every year.
- Blind spot detection—Mirrors don’t show you everything when you’re preparing to turn or change lanes, and turning your head means taking your eyes off the road. Blind spot detection means you’ll know if someone is in your blind spot without ever turning your head.
- Crash-avoidance systems—Some vehicles are capable of taking over in an instant and avoiding crashes on their own. Distractions are always dangerous but sometimes unavoidable, and these high-tech systems apply automatic braking just before impact.
The Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law are grateful for the ever-improving safety features in today’s vehicles, but we also know that negligent drivers will always be an issue. If you or someone you love was injured because of a careless driver, we’re here to evaluate your claim. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.
March 2nd, 2020
Spring is almost here, and that means warm weather and family trips throughout the country or within the great state of Tennessee. For many families, spring break vacations involve driving to their destinations. And when you have a car loaded down with luggage and passengers, it’s more important than ever to drive as safely as possible.
Before you head out on your spring break trip this year, be sure to keep these tips in mind:
- Take off early rather than later in the day—Planning on starting your vacation early by leaving late afternoon on a Friday? For safety reasons, you’re better off waiting until Saturday morning. In addition to facing less traffic, you’ll also drive during daylight hours, which is a safer time to be on the road.
- Designate a passenger to handle electronic duties—Whether it’s changing radio stations, working your vehicle’s or phone’s navigational system, or answering emails, phone calls, and text messages, having a passenger assigned to those tasks reduces distraction risks for you while driving.
- Ensure everyone stays buckled up—If you have kids, you know that they can become restless and antsy during long car rides. But even adults sometimes feel cramped and want to stretch out. However, safety beats comfort any day, and that means seat belts must remain buckled at all times.
At Ponce Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys hope everyone has a safe and happy spring this year. If you or someone you know is involved in a crash caused by a negligent driver, whether it’s on your road trip or during your daily commute, we want to help. Contact us today.
February 26th, 2020
As of March 2019, the Takata airbag recall was the largest consumer product recall in American history. It involved 56 million air bags in 41.6 million vehicles produced by 19 different automakers, including Ford, Honda, Mazda, and many more.
In December 2019, the recall expanded once again, this time to include a separate type of airbag also manufactured by Takata. Both types of airbags can explode when deployed, putting drivers and passengers at risk of serious injuries and death.
The new recall involves 1.4 million affected airbags in vehicles manufactured by Toyota, BMW, Audi, Honda, and Mitsubishi. As with the original recall, this one may expand over the coming months and years. You can check your vehicle’s status and determine if it’s part of the recall by entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into the form on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
Airbags and seat belts are two of the most important safety features in vehicles. They significantly reduce the risk of serious and fatal injuries during crashes, so it’s vital for drivers and vehicle owners to get defective airbags replaced as soon as possible. Automakers are offering to replace defective airbags for free, but to take advantage of the deal, you must bring your vehicle to a dealership’s service center.
At Ponce Law, we know that accidents are dangerous enough. The last thing drivers need to worry about is the devices that are supposed to protect them instead putting them in even greater danger. Our Nashville auto accident attorneys are here to help injured victims after all types of crashes, especially when they were harmed by negligent drivers. If you or someone you love was hurt in a collision, contact us today for a free consultation.
February 24th, 2020
There are many important things to remember when driving with children, the most important of which is ensuring they’re secured in the right seats for their size and age.
But what about pets? It’s becoming more and more common for pet owners to travel around town with their dogs, cats, and other companions riding shotgun. But as with all vehicle occupants, pets are extremely vulnerable during crashes—and they can also be extremely distracting!
Follow these tips to reduce your and your pet’s risks the next time you take them out on Nashville’s roadways:
- Place your pet inside a size-appropriate carrier—Who doesn’t love the sight of a dog hanging his head out the window of his owner’s vehicle and enjoying the breeze on a warm day? Unfortunately, allowing pets to roam freely in vehicles isn’t just dangerous for them, it can be dangerous for owners, too. Keep your dog, cat, or any other animal contained for their safety.
- Keep pets in the back seat—Even crated pets can be distracting when they’re sitting right next to you. Whether it’s Fido’s barking and scratching, or Garfield’s meowing and pawing, you may be tempted to look at your fluffy friend instead of the road ahead. Keeping pets in the backseat makes it easier to focus on the task at hand.
When pet owners fail to keep their animals secured, they put them at unnecessary risk of serious injuries, and they can even increase their own risk of causing crashes. Were you or someone you love hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver? If so, the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law want to help. Call us today for a free consultation.
February 19th, 2020
If your children ride in car seats or booster seats, you know how important these safety devices are for reducing their risks if you’re involved in an accident. But did you know that child safety seats can be easily rendered less effective due to improper installation or a few minor oversights? The next time your children ride with you in your vehicle, keep these tips in mind to further reduce their risks:
- Choose your child’s jacket wisely—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reminded parents that bulky winter jackets can make car seats less effective for children. That’s because the bulkiness of their jackets can result in a loose fit of the harness. Instead of puffy materials, choose jackets and clothing made with lightweight and form-fitting fleece.
- Take advantage of free car seat installation demonstrations—Fire and police departments throughout Middle Tennessee frequently offer car seat checks for parents to ensure their seats are properly installed. Check your local news to find out when the next one near you will be, or schedule a visit with a trained technician by entering your zip code here: https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats
- Replace your child’s car seat if it has been involved in an accident—Car seats are much less effective after they’ve been involved in an accident. Even if you were in a minor accident, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Damaged car seats may fail to properly secure children during crashes, putting them at significant risk.
Were you or your child hurt in a crash caused by a negligent driver? If so, the Nashville auto accident attorneys at Ponce Law want to help you get compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.
February 13th, 2020
Most people are aware of the dangers of inclement weather like heavy rain, ice, and snow. But fog can be extremely dangerous, too. That’s because it can severely limit visibility to the point where seeing more than a few feet in front of your vehicle is difficult or impossible.
It’s important to never take fog lightly when you’re driving. Not only does it significantly increase your risks of being involved in a crash, but it can also worsen without warning. You may have visibility of dozens of feet, only to suddenly be unable to see more than one car length ahead.
Following these tips can help you reduce your risks while driving in light, medium, or heavy fog:
- Reduce your speed—The best guideline for all types of inclement weather is to simply reduce your speed. Slowing down means you have more time to react and slow down or stop to avoid a potential collision. When driving in fog, you drive upon slowed or stopped traffic, and traveling below the speed limit means you’ll have enough time to reduce your speed even further.
- Turn on headlights, but not your brights—Having some extra light while driving in fog, even during the daytime, can make it easier to see what’s in front of you and for other drivers to see you. But your bright lights can have the opposite effect, as the fog will reflect them back towards you, making it more difficult to see.
- Avoid all distractions—Being able to quickly react to potential obstacles and hazards is essential while driving, particularly when there’s fog. You never know what’s up ahead when your visibility is limited, and if you look away from the road even momentarily, it may be enough to cause a serious crash.
If you or someone you love gets injured in a fog-related crash, you may be eligible for compensation, especially if the other driver was speeding, distracted, or otherwise failed to drive safely. Contact the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law today for a free consultation.
February 5th, 2020
Whether you’re a newly licensed driver or you’ve been traversing our roadways for years, it’s important to know Tennessee driving laws to reduce your risks of being involved in a crash and getting an expensive citation. Here are five traffic laws you may or may not be aware of that are enforced daily by police officers and state troopers throughout the Volunteer State:
- Texting While Driving Law—Texting while driving a vehicle in Tennessee is illegal for all drivers, regardless of age, experience level, or license type. If you need to text, pull over to a safe location first!
- Move Over Law—Whether it’s an emergency vehicle, a utility vehicle, or just an ordinary passenger vehicle, you’re required to move over from the closest lane to it if its lights are flashing.
- Seat Belt Law—If you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle in Tennessee, you’re required by law to buckle up. You’re also in charge of ensuring your passengers are buckled up, whether they’re family members, friends, or strangers.
- Speeding in Construction Zones Law—Tennessee is always working hard to improve its roadways, and that means construction zones. Because workers do their jobs so close to traffic, speed limits are often significantly reduced—and exceeding them means big fines.
- Tennessee DUI Law—If you drive with a blood alcohol content at or exceeding 0.08%, you’re considered over the legal limit. That means you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI)—a serious misdemeanor that results in expensive fines, jail time, and lost driving privileges.
Those are just a few of the important Tennessee driving laws you need to know. And if you’re ever injured in a crash caused by a driver who violated traffic laws, the Nashville auto accident attorneys at Ponce Law want to help. Contact us today.
January 29th, 2020
The Super Bowl is almost here, and with it comes parties and alcohol consumption. While our hometown team came up just short of an appearance in the big game, we know that many people in and around Nashville will celebrate this occasion with friends, family members, and coworkers. If you’re planning on attending a Super Bowl party, follow these tips to stay safe:
- Never drink and drive—Remember that the legal BAC level for intoxication is 0.08%. For many people, that’s two drinks. For some, it’s only one! In addition, buzzed driving IS drunk driving, as even small amounts of alcohol affect reaction times, judgment, and decision-making.
- Don’t let others drink and drive—Ensure that your fellow guests have safe ways of getting home if they’re drinking alcohol. If anyone is intoxicated, take their keys and call a cab or schedule a rideshare service to pick them up.
- Drive defensively—Even if you’re sober, other drivers on the road might not be. Driving at any time on Super Bowl Sunday can be dangerous, so be extra careful on Nashville’s roads by avoiding distractions, watching your speed, and following all traffic laws to the T.
At Ponce Law, we hope everyone enjoys the game and has a great time with their fellow party guests. And if an accident occurs, we’re always here to help. Contact us anytime for a free consultation with our Nashville auto accident lawyers. We have many years of experience helping injured victims, and we know what it takes to win.