Tips & Advice

Tips to Avoid Spring Break Traffic Accidents

Research studies have shown that there is a sharp increase in traffic accidents during the spring break holiday. From the last week in February to the first week in April there is a significant spike in traffic fatalities located in common spring break destination spots. Miami Beach, South Padre Island, Sand Diego, Las Vegas, and Panama City Beach are all spring break destinations spots that experience a significant increase in traffic accidents. Researchers were able to determine this phenomena by studying mortality rates in spring break locations and comparing them to non-spring break destinations. They also observed these patterns during non-spring break times and determined that rates were indeed higher during the months of February to April. Automobile accidents can happen to anyone and occur at anytime. Although there are preventative measures you can take such as proper car maintenance to protect yourself on the road, uncontrollable factors do exist. You may not always be able to predict mishaps on the road, but you can reduce the likelihood of being involved in an accident. The following tips can help keep you off the road and prevent a potential incident.

Select air travel over driving

Although air traveling may be more experience than driving, it remains the safest method of transportation. Airplane crashes occur less frequently then automobile accidents. When traveling on an aircraft you do not need to be concerned about reckless drivers or pedestrians. If possible, search for airline tickets in advance. As your trip approaches airline tickets become pricier, but looking months in advance can save you a few hundred dollars.

Ride share services

The introduction of ride share services such as Uber, Lyft, and Car2Go is an ideal method of travel. Once you get to your destination search for available ride share services. Ride share services mean less vehicles on the road, less vehicles on the road mean less potential traffic fatalities. If you plan to drink at all during your trip it is recommended you designate a driver or contact a Lyft or Uber driver.

Walking

When possible completely ditch all vehicles and commit to walking. Of course walking to your destinations may not always be possible during your trip, but when it is a viable option do so. If bars or restaurants are within walking distance from your hotel, slip on some comfortable shoes and walk there. More walking means less driving, which also means less vehicles on the road. It is important to remember that as a pedestrian there are still traffic laws you must follow. Never assume you can outrun a vehicle or that it will stop for you to cross. Drivers on the road can be extremely unpredictable. Always cross at designated crosswalks and never assume vehicles can see you.

By following the listed tips you can reduce the number of vehicles on the road, which reduces the likelihood of a traffic fatality occurring. If you have been involved in accident at the hands of a negligent driver, an Austin car accident lawyer at . can help.

Ways to Stop Hazing on Your Campus

A few days ago a video surfaced that revealed members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity reciting a racist chant. The president of University of Oklahoma took immediate action and expelled two members of the fraternity. The SAE chapter at the university was disbanded and members were forced to vacate their fraternity house. During this time investigations are underway at different universities with SAE chapters. The nine second video has sparked serious outrage amongst the public. It has initiated a discourse about the inner workings of fraternities and sororities. This is not the first time a greek organization has been accused of exhibited repulsive behavior. In the past greek organizations have made appearances in the news concerning hazing. It is not secret that members of greek organizations often participate in reprehensible activities in order to be initiated. Fraternity or sorority hazing are rituals or traditions that harass, abuse, or humiliate potential members. Hazing can take a number of forms. Physically assaulting members, encouraging members to consume excessive amounts of alcohol, or forcing members to parade around nude. Some hazing horror stories end in serious injury or death. Drowning while intoxicated and continuos physical exertion without rest are a few hazing incidents in the past that have ended in death. Despite the deep-rooted hazing traditions embedded into greek life there are ways to prevent hazing within your organization or chapter.

  • Encourage a positive and receptive environment within the organization. When communication flows between members and leaders decisions can be made that appeal to everyone. Members who are uncomfortable with hazing may be less inclined to speak out if they feel a gap in the lines of communication.
  • Decreasing the power gap between new members and leaders can diminish the feeling of helplessness most members feel. Generally, when new members are initiated they do not participate in hazing activities voluntarily. In most cases they are placed under immense pressure and forced. Possibility of punishment for themselves and other members as well as other threats push members to participate. These feelings of coercion members feel often stem from the imbalance in power between new members and existing members.
  • New member initiation does not have to include physical or verbal abuse. It does not need to entail publicly humiliating members. It is possible to eradicate harmful hazing activities and establish more positive initiation rituals. New traditions can be created at anytime; creating new traditions does not threaten past history. Establishing new traditions will not disrupt the organization mission statement. However hazing that leads to death of a member will harm the organizations reputation.

If you have been a victim of fraternity or sorority hazing, feel free to contact us at .

How to Stay Safe on Dirty Sixth

Overtime 6th street has gained notoriety for being the heart of entertainment district in the city of Austin. Sixth street can be described as the Bourbon Street of Austin. Bars, clubs, restaurants, and food trucks litter the entire street. While on 6th street one can meet a number of characters that add merit to the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan. People in elaborate costumes, performers, and kimchi fries can be found on 6th street on any given night. As entertaining and enjoyable as dirty 6th can be, it can also quickly become a dangerous place. Intoxicated people, reckless drivers and a number of other factors can be the cause of incident and injury. Whether you are an Austin native or visitor, the following tips can help keep you safe while on 6th.

  1. Transportation

When venturing downtown carefully consider your method of transportation. Driving your vehicle downtown can create more problems than it solves. Parking downtown can be a nightmare. Inflated parking prices and the threat of towing can be compelling enough for you to leave your car at home. There are a number of ways to arrive on 6th street. Taxi cabs, pedicabs, ride share services (Uber & Lyft), buses, and your own feet can take you downtown safely. Not only do you avoid the atrocity that is parking, you can also avoid being in the midst of a reckless driver while driving home. Utilizing an alternative method of transportation can also protect you from encountering drunk and negligent drivers on the road. There are some areas downtown that can better accommodate those who drove themselves. West 6th and 4th street (warehouse district) are more vehicle friendly locations.

  1. Homeless population

Like most moderately sized cities Austin has a growing homeless population. Downtown, especially on 6th street is a popular location for the homeless to congregate. Most of the homeless people are harmless and do not bother you if you do not bother them. However, there have been violent situations in the past that involved homeless people. Be respectful to everyone you meet on 6th, this includes homeless people.

  1. College students

Austin may not necessarily be a college town, but there is a large population of college students that occupy the city. The close proximity of the University of Texas to the downtown area means that college students spend most of their weekends downtown. Students in their college years want to create lasting memories with roommates and classmates. Some of these memories are made during drunken debaucheries downtown. Intoxicated college students often feel invincible when downtown, this may lead to extremely reckless behavior. A few of these reckless activities include initiating bar fights, starting street fights, or aggravating police officers. Be aware of intoxicated college students and their potentially reckless behavior. One should note that college students are not the only people on 6th that can engage in disorderly behavior.

If you have been involved in an car accident involving a negligent driver, feel free to contact our Austin personal injury lawyers at .

Ways to Prevent Gym Injuries

Most New Year’s resolutions include some type of fitness goal. Whether it be to shed a couple of pounds, gain muscle, or tone areas of our body the new year brings about some desire to get fit. New Year’s fitness resolutions usually accompany an increase in gym memberships. Although some people give up on their fitness goals relatively quickly, others still continue to work it out and sweat it out. During the month of February, most people are still making trips to the gym and sticking to their regime. A gym can be an environment where personal developments can take place, however it can also be a place where serious injuries can occur.

Taking steps to living a healthy lifestyle can be a great experience, but injuring yourself while in the process can taint that experience. Below are some simple tips to follow that can make your experience in the gym a pleasant one.

Understand the machines

Before you strap yourself onto an elliptical or hop onto the treadmill develop an understanding of how the machine works. Locate where the pause, incline, and speed buttons are. Knowing how to properly operate the machinery can significantly reduce the likelihood of injury

Understand your body

Many gym injuries are a result of people pushing their bodies over the limit. Be kind to your body while working out. Always stay hydrated and take necessary breaks. Know your weakness and workout accordingly, if you have weak ankles stay away from machinery that can easily injure them. If you have weak knees limit your time on the treadmill or other machines that can put pressure on them.

Hire a personal trainer

For people who have little to no experience with matters of fitness and health it is recommended to hire a personal trainer. Personal trainers are experienced and qualified individuals who can help you achieve your fitness goals. Personal trainers can create a workout regime that considers your body type, age, lifestyle, and responds to your fitness goals. Often time working out on your own does not produce the same results as you would working with a trained professional. Additionally, working alongside a personal trainer can prevent you from harming yourself.

Do not try to impress anyone

This nugget of advice can fall in the same category as understanding your body. When working out at the gym it is not a requirement to impress anybody during your workout. You do not have to increase the speed on your treadmill to outrun the person next to you. No one expects you to do an obscene amount of leg lifts with no breaks in between. Work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Take breaks when your body needs them. You could end up with a strained muscle or something far worse trying to impress the person occupying the machine next to you.

If you have sustained a personal injury while at the gym, feel free to contact us at .

Bicycle Riding Safety Tips

Car accidents always have the risk of being fatal, but especially if there is a bicycle involved. The consequences of hitting a biker are severe, as these riders are typically unprotected from harm with the exception of wearing a helmet. While most bikers know the risks of heading out onto the roads, it isn’t always the bikers fault if a collision does happen. In such a bike friendly city, Austinites should be more aware of their road companions to prevent accidents and injuries. Here’s a breakdown of the precautions each party should take:

Invest in headlights

It is difficult enough to spot other cars that don’t have headlights on. This problem is magnified with cyclists because your bicycle is so much smaller than a vehicle. Minimize your chances of colliding with an automobile and always ride with lights. In the evenings when the sun goes down it is also recommended that you ride with a reflective neon vest so you can be easier to spot. Although, you may think you look silly riding with a headlight affixed to your helmet this could also prevent potential accidents.

Stay away from the curb

Most people assume that the closer you ride to the curb the less likely it is that automobile drivers will collide with you. Assuming a primary position by adjusting yourself into the middle of the lane actually reduces the likelihood of accidents. It is suggested that you ride at least 50-60 centimeters away from the curb at all times. Riding at this distance away from the curb makes it easier for vehicles to notice you. Establishing your presence in the middle of the lane forces automobile drivers to drive with caution and not overtake you.

Do not hesitate

Sharing the road with drivers safely tucked away in a 2,000 pound vehicle can sometimes be frightening. If a collision does occur they will be protected by airbags and steel, your only protection on the road is a helmet. You can almost guarantee that your injuries will be more severe than those of the driver behind the wheel. However, this should not cause you to be uncertain on the road. Hesitation and uncertainty can lead to serious injury. If you are signaling to turn, make eye contact with the driver and then turn. If you carefully follow road rules, make eye contact, and use the proper hand signals you have to trust that the driver saw you and will acknowledge your desire to turn. This is not to say that you can become cocky and reckless on the road by assuming all drivers will always share the road. Following road safety rules and riding with confidence can make your riding experience a pleasant one.

Make Yourself Visible

The most important thing that you should do as a cyclist is make yourself visible. This can be done by wearing bright colors or adding lights and reflectors to your bicycle. The most common excuse given in car-bicycle accidents is that the driver of the car could not see the biker, even claiming that they were not visible on the road. Most bicycle-car accidents occur at intersections. Many bicyclists ride through the lanes of cars to get to the front of the intersection, so they can go first. This is against the law and extremely dangerous. Those commuting to work should not do this for any reason. Most drivers are concerned about when the light is going to turn green opposed to looking at what is around them. Usually, drivers cannot see the cyclists when they make their way up to the front of the intersection and often do not see them when they are making left turns. Therefore, cyclists should stay in the line of cars and clearly signal to indicate their presence.

It is also important that cyclists know the laws of the road and what does and does not apply to them. Too often are cyclists involved in collisions because they are not following traffic signs and signals. Cyclists are no more above the law than drivers, and can be the ones at fault for the accident even though they using the smaller mode of transportation.

What Cars Should Do

As a driver, you should always be paying attention to your surroundings. More and more people are taking their bikes to work and ditching the traditional vehicle, and this phenomenon is something that drivers need to start taking notice of. Not every city has bike lanes, so it sometimes becomes difficult to share the road with cyclists. Austin does have dedicated bike lanes, however, especially on the major roadways. One thing that drivers often underestimate is cycle speed. Bikes have become increasingly more fast in the past few years and drivers have not taken notice. Many bicycle/car accidents occur when drivers think that they can go around the cyclist, when in fact the cyclist is not going as slow as they had originally thought. Drivers need to take extra caution with bikers because their vehicle is so much larger than a bicycle and can severely or fatally wound a bicyclist in an accident.

Contact an Experienced Austin Bike Accident Attorney

Bicyclists and drivers are both responsible for watching the road and keeping them safe for themselves and for others. These accidents are serious and can drastically change lives. If you and someone you know has been in an accident consisting of a bicycle and a car, and are seeking legal counsel, contact so that our Austin accident attorneys can work to get you the compensation you deserve.

If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident, feel free to contact us .