Nashville Car Accident Lawyer

What to Know about Driving in Extreme Heat

by Staff Blogger | June 15th, 2022

Nashville is in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Extreme heat can put everyone in danger, and it can even affect your daily commute and how to handle running errands around town.

Keep these tips in mind to stay safe during this heat wave and any other extremely hot day this summer:

  • Ensure your tires are properly inflated.

When the air temperature is around 100 degrees, the surface temperature of the asphalt can be significantly hotter. That level of heat can be extremely hard on your tires, especially if they are under or overinflated. Improperly inflated tires are prone to failure or blowouts in normal conditions, and extreme heat makes those situations even more likely to occur.

  • Avoid driving if your air conditioner doesn’t work.

Rolling down the window can help make driving or sitting in traffic more comfortable on hot days, but when temperatures are extremely high, only air conditioning can truly provide relief. If your vehicle’s AC doesn’t work, avoid driving if possible. Sitting in a hot car, especially when stationary, can put you and your passengers at risk of heat stroke.

  • Check fluid levels.

When temperatures hit extreme levels and stay there for several days, it can cause some of your vehicle’s essential fluids to evaporate. Check your vehicle’s oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield wiper fluid regularly to ensure their levels are at the manufacturer recommendations.

At Ponce Law, we hope everyone stays safe during this heat wave, and if you or someone you love gets injured in a crash that wasn’t your fault, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced Nashville car accident lawyers.

How to Drive Safely Around Farm Equipment

by Staff Blogger | June 8th, 2022

According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the state has nearly 11 million acres of farmland. If you’ve ever driven on a rural road or highway, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered someone driving farm equipment.

Many farm equipment vehicles are legal to drive on the road, and in most cases, the drivers are traveling short distances. However, many people who are behind them may be unsure of what to do, especially when the farm equipment vehicles are traveling at slow speeds.

Keep these tips in mind to safely share the road with the next farm equipment vehicle you encounter:

  • Don’t pass if legally prohibited—Being behind farm equipment can mean a delay to your commute. But resist the temptation to pass if it’s not legal on the stretch of road you’re on (indicated by a solid yellow line). Wait until you have both visual clearance and the legal green light (broken yellow line) to pass.
  • Don’t follow too closely—Farm equipment may not have brake lights. If you’re following too closely, you may not realize the driver is slowing down or stopping. Rear-ending farm equipment can result in serious damage to your vehicle and significant injuries to you, your passengers, and the driver of the farm equipment.
  • Be patient—Farm equipment vehicle drivers know that they can be an inconvenience to other drivers. Honking at them or driving aggressively near them won’t help them get to their destinations any sooner. Be patient and wait for an opportunity to safely pass, or simply take an alternate route if available.

At Ponce Law, we work hard to protect all innocent auto accident victims, including those hurt in crashes involving farm equipment. If you or someone you love gets hurt in a crash, contact our Nashville auto accident lawyers for a free consultation.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Summer Road Trip

by Staff Blogger | June 2nd, 2022

Memorial Day has come and gone, and that means the unofficial start to summer has arrived. If you’re planning on traveling somewhere this summer, you aren’t alone. Millions of Americans are planning on taking trips this summer, despite record-high gas prices.

It’s important to be as prepared as possible when you go on a summer road trip. That means mapping your destination, packing plenty of drinks and snacks, and ensuring your vehicle is in tip-top shape. Here are a few steps to take to ensure your car will get your family to your destination on time and without unnecessary headaches:

  • Fill up or replace your tires—Blowouts are more common in the summer. High temperatures can wreak havoc on tires that are underinflated or worn. Put air into underinflated tires and replace tires that are damaged or heavily worn.
  • Fill up your windshield wiper fluid reservoir—To drive safely, you need to be able to see clearly. A dirty windshield isn’t just annoying, it can be dangerous. Don’t get caught on the road with a dirty windshield and no way to clean it. Fill up your reservoir now before you leave.
  • Replace broken wiper blades—Summer downpours can be intense, and if your wiper blades are broken or ineffective, you won’t be able to see while driving. Check them for signs of wear or damage, and if they no longer work properly, replace them.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers hope that everyone has a fun and safe summer. And if you or someone you love gets injured in a crash, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

3 Overlooked But Critical Car Seat Safety Tips

by Staff Blogger | June 1st, 2022

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to keep your child safe. When they ride in the car with you, you make sure to strap them into their car seats on every trip. But did you know that there are many factors that can significantly reduce the effectiveness of car seats during crashes?

They include the following:

  • Car seat isn’t properly secured to base or seat—In order for car seats to provide maximum effectiveness during collisions, they must be fully secured. When bases are installed improperly, or when they are secured via seatbelts incorrectly, they can move and even become detached during crashes.
  • Child is wearing a thick jacket—When buckling your child into their car seat during the winter, they may be wearing a thick jacket that can make it difficult to secure them. Remember that the bulkiness of their jacket can prevent the straps from tightening enough to keep them safe during a crash, so remove it before you place them in their car seat.
  • Car seat is damaged—Car seats should be discarded if they’ve been damaged in a car accident. Car seats are only designed to provide protection in a single crash that involves them sustaining damage. You can keep car seats after low speed, minor fender-benders, but car seats should be replaced after any other type of accident.

At Ponce Law, we believe in protecting children before, during, and after crashes. If you or your child was hurt in a crash, our Nashville car accident lawyers want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Tips for Driving Safely When Approaching and Inside a Roundabout

by Staff Blogger | May 11th, 2022

Roundabouts are extremely common in Europe and other parts of the world, but they’re far less common in the U.S. Nashville and Middle Tennessee have a few roundabouts, but most drivers here don’t encounter them every day. When they enter a roundabout, they may be confused and unsure of what to do.

Knowing how to safely navigate a roundabout can keep you, your passengers, and other motorists safe:

  • Slow down when approaching a roundabout.

You don’t have to come to a complete stop at a roundabout if no vehicles are in it, but you are required to slow down.

  • Yield to vehicles in the roundabout.

Don’t enter a roundabout if a vehicle is approaching in your direction. If it exits the roundabout and there are no vehicles behind it, you can enter the roundabout.

  • Be aware of pedestrians.

Many roundabouts include pedestrian walkways and crosswalks. Always keep an eye out for pedestrians when approaching and driving through roundabouts.

  • Don’t stop in a roundabout.

Once you’re in a roundabout, you have the right of way. That means you don’t have to stop for vehicles attempting to enter the roundabout, and doing so could cause a crash.

If you or someone you love gets hurt in a crash in a roundabout, we want to help you get compensation. Although not all drivers are familiar with roundabouts, lack of knowledge isn’t a valid excuse to get out of liability for any damages caused by a crash. Contact the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

New Awareness and Enforcement Campaign Emphasizes the Dangers of Speeding in TN

by Staff Blogger | April 20th, 2022

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2019, speeding was a contributing factor in more than one-in-four traffic fatalities in the U.S. Driving over the speed limit is one of the most dangerous things you can do when you’re behind the wheel. The faster you go, the greater your risks of both crashing and suffering a serious injury if you’re involved in an accident.

To combat this issue, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office announced that from April 15-April 29, law enforcement agencies statewide will participate in a campaign called Slow Down Tennessee. The purpose of the campaign is to increase awareness of the dangers of speeding while increasing enforcement of speed limits.

Everyone is at risk of speeding-related crashes, but teens are the most likely age group to speed and to be injured or killed in speeding-related accidents. If you’re a parent, you can set a good example for your child by never speeding and by always being aware of the speed limit of the road, highway, or interstate you’re on.

When you don’t speed, you don’t risk getting a speeding ticket or increasing your risk of being in a crash. When driving on a long stretch of road such as a highway or interstate, setting cruise control on your vehicle to the posted speed limit can ensure you don’t speed. However, only do so when the road is dry, as setting cruise control on a wet road can be dangerous.

If you or someone you love is injured in a crash caused by a speeding driver, we want to help. The Nashville car accident lawyers at Ponce Law work hard to help people injured by negligent drivers get maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Tennessee Is a “Hands-Free” State for Cell Phone Usage for Drivers

by Staff Blogger | April 1st, 2022

It has been nearly three years since Tennessee’s Hands-Free law went into effect on July 1, 2019. A lot has changed in the world since that day, but one thing hasn’t: the risk of distracted driving. There are many things that can distract drivers behind the wheel, but none are more impactful and common than cell phones.

For nearly three years, Tennessee has made it illegal for drivers to:

  • Hold a cellphone or mobile device with any part of their bodies
  • Write, send, or read any text-based communication
  • Watch a video or movie on a cellphone or mobile device
  • Record or broadcast a video on a cellphone or mobile device

The law doesn’t mean you can’t use your cellphone at all while driving, however. You CAN use it provided you use it via hands-free technology. That means using your cellphone’s voice commands directly or your vehicle’s infotainment system’s voice commands to make and receive calls and text messages.

At Ponce Law, we believe that any type of cellphone usage behind the wheel, even when hands-free, can be distracting. And when distracted drivers injure innocent drivers and their passengers, we hold them accountable.

If you or someone you love was hurt in a crash caused by a distracted, we want to help. Contact our Nashville auto accident lawyers today for a free consultation.

3 Safety Tips All Teen Drivers Should Follow

by Staff Blogger | March 30th, 2022

Prom season is almost here, and with it comes one of the riskiest times of year for teen drivers. Whether your teen has been driving for a while or is about to get their license, it’s important that they know how to stay safe behind the wheel and on Middle Tennessee’s roads.

Make sure your teen follows these three tips for safe driving:

  1. Buckle up on every trip—Wearing a seatbelt is the single most important and effective thing you can do for preventing serious injuries and death during a crash. You can reinforce this habit by always wearing your own seatbelt on every trip and requiring everyone in your vehicle to buckle up, too.
  2. No distractions allowed—Texting while driving is a dangerous epidemic in America, and teens are among the most vulnerable to it. Today, texting is just the tip of the iceberg for teens, as they may record videos, FaceTime, or even livestream while driving. Make sure your teen understands the dangers of distracted driving and cell phone usage behind the wheel.
  3. Obey speed limit signs—Teens are among the most likely of all age groups to speed. Driving over the speed limit increases the chances of losing control, increases stopping distance, and increases the risk of serious injuries in a crash.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville car accident lawyers know that teens aren’t the only drivers who need to keep these safety tips in mind. If you or someone you love is injured in a crash involving a negligent driver, we want to help you get compensation.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Don’t Underestimate the Dangers of Drowsy Driving

by Staff Blogger | March 16th, 2022

If you’re still struggling to adjust to the recent time change, you aren’t alone. Studies show that the roads become more dangerous in the days after time changes—especially in the spring. Losing one hour of sleep might not seem like a big deal, but for many people, it can disrupt their sleep schedules for weeks to come.

The beginning of Daylight-Saving Time isn’t the only cause of drowsiness in drivers across Tennessee, however. People are getting less and less sleep every year due to increased demands of their time and schedules—not to mention the growing usage of electronic devices before bedtime and in bed. Combine that with health problems that can interfere with sleep, including sleep apnea, and drowsy driving is becoming an epidemic in America.

It’s important to think of drowsy driving the same way you think of drunk driving. Buzzed drivers face many of the same risks as drunk drivers, even though they may feel more in control and alert. Drowsy drivers also may feel more in control that drivers who are falling asleep at the wheel, but they’re experiencing many dangerous symptoms of sleep deprivation, including reduced reaction times, impaired judgment, blurred vision, and more.

No matter how many steps you take to be a safe driver, you’re missing one of the most crucial preventive measures if you aren’t getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night. At Ponce Law, we recognize that sleep-deprived drivers everywhere in Tennessee, and when they cause crashes due to negligence, our Nashville auto accident lawyers work hard to hold them liable and get their victims maximum compensation.

Contact us if you or someone you love is injured in a crash caused by a careless driver this spring.

Traveling with a Pet? Keep Them Crated!

by Staff Blogger | March 2nd, 2022

Who doesn’t love seeing a car-riding dog enjoying the fresh air with the window rolled down? While it’s a cute sight and fun for dog owners and other motorists alike, it’s not exactly safe. Letting dogs roam freely inside your vehicle is just as, if not more dangerous, than letting your children roam in your vehicle unbuckled.

The safest way to transport your dog is inside a crate. Crates not only help keep dogs safer during crashes, but they also prevent them from hurting you or putting you and others on the road at risk.

Imagine this scenario: you’re driving at 70 mph on the interstate and your dog jumps into your lap. Shooing them away means taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the tasking of driving. This scenario is common and extremely dangerous.

Small dogs can be particularly dangerous in vehicles. They can get in the floorboard and make it difficult for you to press the gas or brake. Their small size can also allow them to get stuck, which can also be distracting.

Finally, don’t leave your dog in your vehicle, especially on hot days. Hot car deaths affect more than just small children and babies. They can also affect pets who are left behind, too.

If you or someone you love gets injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver, including one who failed to crate their pet, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law today for a free consultation.