What to Do if Your Vehicle Breaks Down on an Interstate Highway

pexels-photo-753580

A road trip is such a wonderful opportunity to bond with your loved ones.  There’s nothing like the open road and the breathtaking sceneries that you get to see along the way.  However, unexpected things can happen during your trip.  For instance, your car suddenly breaks down while you’re driving along the interstate highway.  No need to worry because we’ve got some helpful tips for you:

What to do first

Gently take your foot off the accelerator.  Don’t brake hard.  Carefully maneuver your car toward the breakdown lane or the side of the road.  If you are on an interstate, then try to reach the exit.  Remember to signal your intentions to the drivers behind you.  If you need to change lanes, watch your mirrors and the traffic around you.

Once you’re off the road, make sure your car is visible.  Place reflectorized triangles behind your car to alert the other drivers.  You can also use emergency flashers.  Is it getting dark?  Turn on the interior dome light.

wheel after tire explosion

Flat Tire

If you have a flat tire, make sure that you can change it safely away from the traffic.  Change the tire as you normally would.  Take note to prioritize safety over your schedule or whatever concerns you might have.  Although, if your vehicle is beyond repair, then you need to get professional help.  Don’t try to flag down other cars.  Instead, raise the hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it on a window so truck operators or police will know that you need help.  Do not stand behind or next to your car.  If your vehicle is in the roadway, then stand away from the car while waiting for help.

Out of Traffic

If your vehicle is safely out of traffic, then wait inside the car and lock the doors.  You may then use your cellphone to call for help.  However, if someone approaches you and offers help, then partially open the window and tell them to call the police.  Watch out for police officers or other emergency personnel.  All major roads and interstate highways are patrolled regularly.  Some highways even have special “call-for-help” phones that you can use.

More safety tips

Avoid walking on an interstate especially during harsh weather conditions.  Although, if you can get to a source of help on foot without risking your personal or physical safety, then try the direct approach.  Remember to avoid the traffic and walk on the right side of the road.  Don’t attempt to cross a high-speed, multi-lane roadway.

interstate map

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Even if you regularly maintain your car, breakdowns can still happen.  Be sufficiently prepared and keep an emergency toolkit in your car at all times.  A mobile phone is the most important component in your emergency kit.  It is your lifeline to help.  A well-stocked kit also includes:

  • Maps
  • Water and paper towels
  • Nonperishable food, drinking water, and medicines
  • Basic repair tools and duct tape
  • Emergency blankets, towels, and coats
  • A first aid kit
  • A flashlight
  • A phone charger/extra battery
  • Flares and white flag
  • Work gloves and change of clothes
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • Jack and ground mat
  • Jumper cables

Lastly, always remain calm and don’t panic.  Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a  safe and memorable trip.

 

What to Do if Your Uber Driver Is Involved in an Accident

How to Handle an Uber Collision

It’s no secret that Uber drivers have taken over our roads. You can find them everywhere. Since 2009 there are more than 75 million people who have used Uber. What makes them so popular is the fact that they are very convenient and cost-effective. However, they can also be risky and dangerous. Take note that vehicular accidents can have a significant impact on the rest of your life.

pexels-photo

So what do you do if your Uber driver gets involved in an accident with you in the car? What you can do next depends on whether the Uber driver was acting as your driver or another person’s driver, and whether it occurred while they were “on the clock” or not. This guide focuses on what happens if you’re a passenger in an Uber when it’s involved in a car crash.

What To Do After an Uber Accident

You must always make sure that everyone is okay after any vehicular accident. This also applies during an Uber crash. Furthermore, if you require medical attention, then you should be sure to get it right away. Don’t forget to call 911 if you’re uncertain as to whether anyone needs urgent medical attention. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry in the end.

Uber crashes are similar to other car accidents in a lot of ways. You have to know what to do after any car accident. However, there are specific things you can do in an Uber accident. You should:

Morgantown Car Accident Image
Morgantown Car Accident

Call the police

It’s very important to call the police to the scene so they can create a report after an Uber accident. Make sure to stay at the scene with the Uber driver so you can also talk to the police officers. Don’t get tempted to get another ride and leave the scene. The police need to talk to everyone involved in the incident to get an idea of what happened and why. Usually, they’ll also include their opinion about who was at fault in the crash in their report.

Take note of everyone’s contact information

Make sure to get everyone’s information about who was involved in the incident, including your Uber driver, the other driver, and any other passengers. Since it’s difficult to determine who is at fault right away, collecting everyone’s contact info will be important.

Report the incident

You must also report the accident to a few key entities such as:

 

  • Uber (so they’ll report it to their insurance company)

 

  • Your insurance company

 

  • The other driver’s insurance company

 

It’s highly recommended that you make all of these reports right away just in case any of these insurance coverages apply. Most insurance companies have time frames in which you have to make a claim after an accident, and if you don’t act fast, you could waive your ability to get money for your damages and losses.

Seek Medical Attention After an Uber Crash

Please visit a medical facility on the day of your accident as soon as possible.  Never tell the police and insurance that you are not injured if you are not 100% sure you are perfectly okay after the collision.  Any statements will be used against your claim later on if you are experiencing after effects from the collision, and if you don’t quickly seek medical attention for your injuries, this will also be used to prove that you weren’t really injured.

In America, there are millions of people who use Uber daily. Accidents involving Uber drivers occur almost every hour of every day. That’s why it’s a must to have basic knowledge of the legal and insurance issues that will affect you if you’re ever injured in an accident with an Uber driver – either as a pedestrian or a passenger, bystander, or the other driver.

 

How to Teach Your Kids Bike Safety

In the midst of this pandemic, bike riding has shown a resurgence for both children and adults.  In some urban areas, biking is replacing the public transit commute, and it is nearly impossible to even find a bicycle for purchase.  In and around Morgantown, West Virginia, we have a great network of rail trails for bike riding enjoyment.

bike in morgantown west virginia

Here are some of our best tips for helping your kiddos to keep it fun by keeping it safe:

Teaching Kids Bike Safety

Do you love cycling and do you want to make it an integral part of your family’s routine?  Biking with your kids is an excellent way to get them comfortable on a bike.  However, it’s also vital to ensure that they have a strong understanding of bike safety so you’ll feel at ease when they go out biking on their own.  Here are some tips on how to teach your children bike safety so your kids are ready to take on the world, one bicycle lane at a time.

Making bike safety gear fun

As a minimum requirement, safety gear for riding a bicycle is a nice set of lights for when it’s dark.  A lot of people also opt to wear helmets and hi-visibility clothing.  Make the process of safety gear fun by offering your children various options and allowing them to choose their suit. 

Practicing off the bike

Practice hand signals with your kids at home.  It’s crucial to practice hand signals so that your child feels comfortable riding with you on busier streets.  The goal is to make hand signals second nature.  It doesn’t have to be in-depth, but occasional “pop quizzes” when you’re chilling at home will keep the signals fresh in their minds for the next bike ride.

Road Rules

Learning bike safety early helps foster a lifetime of safe bike riding.  Before your kid starts riding, make sure that you teach him/ her the rules of riding.  

Bicycle riders must know how to use hand signals.  These signals are used to let car drivers know what a bicyclist intends to do.  Here are some basic hand signals:

  • Stopping: left arm bent down at the elbow 
  • Right turn: right arm extended straight out or left arm bent up at the elbow
  • Left turn: left arm extended straight out

Before pulling into the street at an intersection, a bicycle rider should always:

  • Stop, look left, and then right. Look left again.
  • Look back and yield to the traffic coming from behind.

As a general rule, kids under ten years old should ride on the sidewalk, not on the road itself (even in the bicycle lane).  However, you can use your best judgment to ascertain whether your kid is ready to ride on the road.  Do make sure that he or she has the skills and knowledge required to keep safe to avoid a bike accident.

More bike safety rules:

  • Bicycles should always be ridden in the direction of traffic and never against it.  They should also be ridden on the right side of the road.
  • Bicycle riders should always look out for cars coming out of parking spaces, parking lots, and driveways.Bike riders must understand and follow all traffic lights, crossing signals, and street signs.
  • Young kids should always walk their bikes through intersections.

You have to make sure that your child understands basic bike safety and knows how to care for their bike.  Doing so puts them at a lower risk for bike-related injuries.  If you have younger kids, then monitor them at all times when they are riding.  Tell your older kids to check in with you if they are out on their own.

Pack water and a small first aid kit:

Also, if they are taking off for a long ride, make sure they have water bottles and a small first aid kit containing bandages.  You don’t want them to have to use socks to stop the blood should a mishap occur on the trail!

 

How to Teach Your Children How Avoid Being Bitten by a Dog

We recently settled a case for a client who was visiting a friend.  She reached over to pet their small dog and was horribly surprised when the little dog lunged forward and bit her on the nose.  The teeth were sharp and the bite deep, and the injury to her face required plastic surgery and left a permanent scar right in the center of her face.  We ended up settling the case for nearly $200,000.

Even though our client got a great financial result, you really don’t want your child to go through the pain, trauma, and possibly lifelong fear of a dog bite.

Here is a copy of our recent dog bite lawsuit client’s review of our firm:

What an amazing team! Jeff was extremely helpful, compassionate, and understanding to my situation, and circumstances. He was very proactive and dedicated in his representation. Excellent, and proficient communication through out the process. I would highly recommend Jeff for anyone needing representation. Thank you!

How to Teach Your Child to Avoid Getting a Dog Bite

adult black pug
Photo by Charles on Pexels.com

A dog is a great pet for any family. They are loyal, playful and they can also protect your loved ones. However, they sometimes get triggered or provoked and their natural instinct is to bite. Accidents like dog bites can be easily prevented. The key is to teach your kids how to properly interact with your dog. Here are some useful tips:

The First Meeting

The initial interaction between your kid and your new dog takes place during visits to a breeder or shelter. Yet, once the dog moves in, he needs some time to adjust to his new environment. It’s vital to talk to your children about helping your dog feel comfortable in your home. Your kids should:

Give the dog some space. An excited kid can easily make a dog feel overwhelmed before he’s comfortable with accepting attention. Allow your dog to sniff around the house to get acquainted with his new abode.

The dog should be the one to initiate interaction. If the dog’s arrival is his first meeting with your kid, tell him/ her to be still, and hold out a closed fist for your dog to sniff. If the dog responds positively, then let your kid touch him. However, if the dog seems nervous or shy, explain to your kid that the dog is still adjusting to his new home. Furthermore, tell your kid that with a little patience and love, they will become best friends in no time.

Teach your children that even a small dog can have a fierce bite!

What Not to Do

It’s also equally important to explain to your kid what not to do with any dog, new or otherwise. There are certain behaviors to avoid to prevent stress and possible injuries to both the child and dog. The following are some things to avoid:

Do not run and shout

Whether during play or out of fear, a shrieking, running kid triggers a dog to chase and bite.  

  • Do not hug/ squeeze the dog

The dog may not perceive it as an affectionate gesture. He could feel threatened, especially if the kid’s face is near his. Instead, tell your child to kiss his/ her own hand and gently pat your dog with the “kiss”. Remember that toddlers won’t know the difference between a soft pat and a strong thwack. Therefore, you must carefully supervise them.

  • Do not play rough

Some children see dogs as hobby-horses. A dog may tolerate such disrespectful behavior, but he shouldn’t have to. A child should also not wrestle, straddle, or lie on top of the dog. These certain actions can elicit a painful reaction such as biting.

  • Do not tease a dog

Kids sometimes like to see dogs react to being poked, blown at, or other forms of teasing. They must learn from the start that teasing is cruel and can be dangerous if your dog retaliates.

  • Don’t disturb a sleeping or eating dog

Food aggression in dogs should not be tolerated but kids should also learn to let dogs eat in peace. Furthermore, pestering or startling a sleeping dog can trigger an angry or fearful reaction. Tell kids to leave sleeping dogs alone.

Even though dogs of a breed can vary greatly in temperament, please don’t buy a dog for your family of a breed that is known to have a higher than average propensity for attack.

Pit Bull Bite and Attack Statistics

 

5 Steps to Filing an Auto Accident Claim in West Virginia

How to File an Auto Collision Claim in West Virginia

If you have been involved in a car accident in West Virginia – and suffered injuries and/or property damages – it is important that you file an auto accident claim promptly and seek compensation for your losses. You pay your monthly auto insurance premiums with the expectation that your insurance company will come through and recompense you after your car accident. However, we have seen in numerous instances that the process doesn’t quite work as smoothly for the auto accident victims.

Isn't it easy to avoid the accident?

An injured auto accident victim needs the guidance and counsel of an experienced West Virginia auto accident lawyer who will remain on his or her side, fight for their rights and help them secure the compensation they rightfully deserve. Here are the five steps to filing an auto accident claim in West Virginia.

Step 1: Reporting your West Virginia auto accident

As a driver who has been involved in a collision, it is crucial to stop immediately and remain at the scene. You should also file a police report. Provide your account of the incident to the responding police officer. If you or any of your passengers have been injured, make sure you call 911 and get medical attention right away. It is important to get a copy of the police report, which often helps establish the facts of the incident. The investigating officer will often times determine fault for the accident, which may prove very useful to your auto accident claim particularly if the other driver has been deemed clearly at fault for causing the collision.

Step 2: Collect as much information as possible from the accident scene

Evidence forms the basis of a strong auto accident claim. Much of these pieces of evidence are collected soon after the accident. Among the details that must be gathered at the scene of the crash include:

• Details for other parties involved in the crash (driver’s license number, auto insurance details, vehicle license plate numbers, contact information, etc.)
• Contact information for eyewitnesses, anyone who may have seen what occurred and can corroborate your account of the incident.
• Photographs and/or video of the accident scene, which should include such details as your injuries, your passengers’ injuries, damage to the vehicles, the position of the vehicles, traffic and roadway conditions, any debris that is strewn on the roadway, skid marks on the roadway, etc.
• If possible, also write down notes and draw diagrams of what you see at the accident scene because you are likely to forget most details and your memory may become fuzzy as time goes by.

If you are unable to gather this information at the scene because you are injured and have to go to the emergency room or hospital, ask if a friend or family member can help you get this crucial information for you.

Step 3: Call your insurance company right away.

This is a critical step if you would like your insurance company to reimburse you for your losses quickly. Contact your insurance company from the accident scene or as soon as you get home and are in a safe location. Your insurance company will ask for all the basic details including the time, location and circumstances of the crash. Write it all down accurately so you are able to provide the details with ease. When you talk to the insurance company, never admit fault or make any guesses as to what occurred. Stick to the facts and to what you know. Your insurance company will assign an adjustor to your case and let you know where you can take your vehicle to be repaired. They will also provide you with a claim number, which will serve as your case number when you want to follow up.

Step 4: Save all your receipts and invoices

Auto accident victims may have to deal with a number of medical expenses such as emergency transportation, hospitalization, surgeries and cost of medication and medical equipment. It is important that you are diligent about saving each and every doctor’s report and invoice because these documents serve as evidence of the injuries you suffered and the treatment you received for them. Also, document the number of days of work you missed and the wages you lost as a result of the accident and the injuries. Include other items here such as whether you had to hire a housekeeper, gardener, nanny or other services because of your injuries. You should be reimbursed for all these and other expenses you incurred as a result of your accident and injury.

Step 5: Contact an experienced West Virginia auto accident attorney

If you were injured and had to take time off work to recover from your injuries, it is imperative that you have a car accident lawyer on your side who is not only a skilled negotiator but can also represent you in a jury trial, if it becomes necessary. In such instances, you would be well advised to seek the services of an experienced West Virginia auto accident lawyer.

You may be entitled to damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain, and suffering. A knowledgeable West Virginia accident attorney will be able to evaluate your claim, determine what it is worth and help you receive fair and full compensation for all your losses. Please call The Robinette Legal Group PLLC to find out how we can help you.

New Mediation Center In Morgantown, West Virginia

Morgantown Mediation Center
Morgantown Mediation Center

Mediation Center Opening August 2018

 

The Morgantown Mediation Center, an elegant solution for all mediation and small conference needs in North Central West Virginia, will be available starting in August 2018. Located in the Ridgeview Business Park, the center is convenient to I-68 and I-79. Parking is free and fully accessible. Three conference rooms are available in the Mediation center, and up to six separate rooms can be booked for your next legal mediation or settlement conference.

Attorney Jeff Robinette is available as a mediator for personal injury, professional and medical malpractice, and contract issues.   Based on availability, Mr. Robinette would be pleased to serve as your mediator, and of course you are always free to choose your personal favorite for mediating your legal settlement proceeding at the Morgantown Mediation Center.

Book your next mediation at the Morgantown Mediation Center.

info@morgantown-mediation.center

(304) 216-7108

Battling Depression after an Accident

A car accident is a traumatic event, and for some, life is suddenly drastically different in one moment.  There is a broad spectrum of events that could contribute from financial hardship to life-altering injury, to the passing of a friend or family member.  All these sudden issues are difficult and overwhelming at first, but as time passes, it usually gets gradually easier.  For some, however, depression can develop, and the passing of time does not decrease the difficulty.  This is a condition that, like an injury, needs to be attended and not ignored.

Depression Often Results After A Car Accident

Allow Others to Help

Depression is a difficult period of life in which your mind and emotions are greatly affected.  You should not try to fight the battle on your own.  You need responsible friends and family members that you can trust to help and support you.  View depression as an illness rather than a deficiency.  Communicate your thoughts and feelings to your trusted friends and family, and let them help you through the difficult times.  Since your emotions are affected, they may be able to better identify problems and know if you need to seek a doctor’s care.

Face Reality

This can make you feel better in some ways and worse in others, but it is important for recovery.  No matter the source of your depression, it is probably a circumstance that might never be ideal again.  While this can be upsetting, bring this up in your mind and talk out your feelings to yourself and trusted friends and family.  You may even need to find a trustworthy counselor, like a pastor, pastor’s wife, school counselor, or other professional.  Be honest about your feelings.  In doing this, you will have to face the source of your depression, but if you are truly facing reality, you will see that there is still a lot of good in life, and in time, there is still a lot of good that you can do.

Take Care of Yourself

With depression, it is easy to take poor care of yourself, but be sure you eat plenty of healthy foods, rest, have good hygiene, and take your medicines on time.  Also, these steps contribute to staying in a daily routine.  Depression makes it difficult to be motivated, but a routine helps you to keep moving, which is a crucial step to battling depression.

Get Moving

Many people who battle depression feel constantly fatigued.  They don’t want to get up and do anything because it does not feel like it would be worth the effort.  The best action to fight this fatigue is to get up and get moving.  Simple exercise, like walking, can help to reduce feelings of fatigue after a short time.  Once you get started, you may feel like you cannot do it, but keep going and the feeling will gradually subside.  A couple ways to make walking even more beneficial is to walk with a friend and to walk outside if the weather is nice.

Pick Up a Hobby

Do you have something you enjoy doing, like crocheting, cooking, gardening, or writing?  If you do, take some time to do these activities.  If you don’t have a hobby yet, find one.  Think of something that interests you, and pursue it.  This type of activity will usually keep your hands and mind busy, and after a while, you have a beautiful completed work to show for it.  If you are stuck when trying to think of a hobby, there is a huge list on Wikipedia to help you get started (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies).

Help Others

This is very difficult to begin while battling depression, but getting out and helping others is a great way to find fulfillment.  This might be another area where another trusted friend or family member could help.  You and this trusted person could go together and find a place to volunteer.  This accomplishes so many things that greatly help with depression symptoms.  You are a valuable creation whether you find ways to help others or not, but volunteering your time and talents can help you to see just how valuable you are and how helpful you can be to someone else.

Have a Good Attitude

This advice goes completely against the grain of depression symptoms, but making an effort to have a good attitude can help recovery from depression.  Remember that depression is an illness and it needs to be treated like an illness.  With physical illnesses, it is very important to believe that you can recover.  Depression is no different.  Believe that recovery is very possible and that brighter days are coming soon.

Be Patient

While having a good attitude and positive outlook on recovery is important, realize that complete recovery from depression will not happen in a day.  Some days will be harder than others.  This is discouraging, but it is to be expected.  Instead of just enduring those difficult days, make a plan for yourself.  Being faithful in completing your daily routine is a great place to start.  Have some other activities in mind for these especially difficult days.  Maybe you could visit an elderly person or call a friend.  Interaction with other people is important on these difficult days.  Keep reminding yourself that recovery is coming, but that it can be slow.

Conclusion

Depression is difficult, no matter what the source is.  There are no two cases exactly alike, so the best way to treat them will be different, but following these steps is a good place to start.  Be sure to allow support from trusted family and friends as they can be your most valuable asset in this journey, and remember that with time, recovery is very possible.

Sources

Competitive Advantage https://www.competitivedge.com/rebounding-injuries-0

DBSA http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_brochures_coping_unexpected_events

Help Guide https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm

Lotsa Helping Hands http://lotsahelpinghands.com/blog/how-to-battle-depression/

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies

Can Caffeine Replace Sleep for Drivers?

Coffee and Drowsy Driving accidents
Coffee Cannot Replace the Rest Required for Safe Driving

By Elisabeth Campbell

It’s Monday morning at 6:15 a.m.  The alarm is going off for the fourth time this morning after you’ve hit the snooze three times already.  You know it’s time to get up and face the world, whether you are ready or not.  You stumble through the morning routine of getting ready for work, pour the coffee from your pre-programmed coffee pot into your thermos, and you are out the door.  The drive to work is hazardous, as is any trip down the road, but here in just a few minutes, the caffeine from that first sip of coffee will begin to take effect, and you will be wide awake and alert as you drive.  Maybe you will feel alert, but can caffeine really replace a good night’s sleep for drivers?

The Science and Effect of Caffeine

Caffeine, commonly found in coffee and tea, is the world’s most popular stimulant.  When consumed, caffeine blocks the body’s A1 receptors, which makes the person feel more awake and alert, and caffeine blocks the body’s A2A receptors, increasing dopamine, and causing a stimulating effect.  Simply, caffeine makes the consumer feel more awake and alert, and helps them accomplish tasks more quickly and efficiently.

However, the effects change when caffeine is consumed regularly.  If caffeine is consumed more than about twice per week, the consumer can become addicted and the effects will be lessened.  The effect of feeling more awake and alert does not seem to change over time.  If someone drinks coffee every morning, it will help him feel more alert every morning.  However, the stimulant property of caffeine lessens with tolerance.  The consumer may feel able to accomplish tasks more efficiently, but in reality, he is prone to make more mistakes and possibly cause a collision.

How Caffeine Affects Rested Drivers

An interesting study was done by Utrecht University in the Netherlands, which tested the effects of caffeine on well-rested drivers.  In the study, 24 well-rested people drove on a monotonous highway for two hours, then had a 15-minute break in which they drank coffee.  One group had regular caffeinated coffee, and the other group had decaffeinated coffee.  Then, they drove for another two hours down the monotonous highway.

The results were clear that the group that had the caffeinated coffee objectively drove more steadily than the group with decaffeinated coffee, and the caffeinated group subjectively reported feeling more alert and in control of the vehicle than the group with decaffeinated coffee.  Certainly, the caffeine had a positive stimulating effect.  However, as is seen in the next section, the findings are different for people who are sleep deprived.

How Caffeine Affects Sleep-Deprived People

Another study was done to see how people’s performance compared with caffeine, with a nap, or with neither.  All three groups were trained in an exercise to perform a task during the morning.  In the early afternoon, one group took a 90-minute nap, while the others were doing a relaxing activity (but not allowed to sleep).  After 90 minutes, the nap group was awakened, and the other two groups were given a pill.  One group was given a caffeine pill, and the other group was given a placebo.  Then, the groups were tested on the tasks they had learned in the morning.

As you may have expected, those who took naps did much better than those who used caffeine.  This could be attributed to the finding that sleep increases memory and motor skill function.  However, the very interesting finding in this study was that those who had the placebo outperformed their caffeinated counterparts in the given tasks.  Clearly, the stimulant effect of caffeine was not beneficial to the consumers when they began to feel fatigued in the afternoon.

How Caffeine Affects Sleep-deprived Drivers

It can be deduced from the above study that caffeine is not likely to be helpful for sleep-deprived drivers.  In fact, driving without caffeine at all is probably safer, even if the driver feels sleepier.  The study that follows brings some alarming findings regarding caffeine consumption before driving.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists has said that a study showed that caffeine consumption is dangerous for sleep-deprived drivers.  The positive effects of caffeine on their alertness while driving is very temporary, and when the caffeine begins to wear off, the safety of the motorists’ driving plummets.  Actually, it was said to affect their driving in a way similar to alcohol.

Typically, when consumers begin to feel the effect of caffeine waning, their response is to consume more caffeine.  However, this is not effective.  As was discussed earlier, when caffeine is overconsumed, the consumer feels more alert, but the stimulant property cannot be repeated indefinitely.  In fact, this study showed that using caffeine for only the second time within a few hours did not provide a stimulant effect.

Conclusion

In short, that thermos of coffee in the car on Monday morning is not a good substitute for simply going to bed earlier on Sunday night.  While caffeine has a positive effect on safe driving for rested motorists, it has a significantly negative effect on sleep-deprived drivers.  The true danger in caffeine consumption in conjunction with driving is that drivers think they are more alert and able to drive more safely when they are less equipped to drive safely.

The best remedy for this safety concern is to simply get more sleep.  However, that can be difficult with the busy schedules that so many people have, so it becomes more critical to get the best sleep possible during the few hours that can be devoted to sleep.  A few tips that WebMD gives for making the most of your sleep are:

  • Putting away electronic devices and turning off screens an hour before bed
  • Making the bed as comfortable as possible
  • Keeping the room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees
  • Get regular exercise at least three hours before bed

Following tips like these will make you feel better the next morning, and make your drive to work safer with or without caffeine.

Sources:

Drowsy Driving Guide: Risks and Preventions

NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22315048

Autocar https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/coffee-can-badly-affect-driving

Bulletproof Musician http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/naps-vs-coffee-which-is-a-better-choice-for-the-sleep-deprived-musician/

Examine.com https://examine.com/nutrition/science-behind-caffeine/

WebMD http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/discomfort-15/better-sleep/slideshow-sleep-tips

Hands-Free Devices are Not Risk-Free

Hands-free is not risk free!  Distractions are a top factor in fatal car crashes, and the percent of these fatal crashes is increasing, not decreasing.  Reversing a 40-year trend of decrease, in 2015 fatal vehicle crashes were up 7.5% and up 8% in 2016.

According to Accident Attorneys, a National Safety and Legal Resource for personal injury attorneys and those seeking such legal assistance, improved car safety technology and driver education contributed to the decrease in fatalities in past years.  As gas prices have dropped and use of electronic devices while driving has increased, the increase of roadway deaths has also increased.

The NHTSA reports that 10 percent of all fatal crashes involving young drivers (ages 16 to 24) resulted from distracted driving.

Hands free not risk free
Provided by The National Safety Council

 

Marion County Multi-Vehicle Accident on I-79 Caused by Teen Driver Injures 6

Sheriff Deputy Hit While Helping a Disabled Truck
Sheriff Deputy Injured While Aiding a Semi-Truck

Rear End Collision on I-79 near Fairmont, WV Caused by 17-Year-Old Driver

Six people were transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital Monday evening after a vehicle accident on I-79 in Marion County.  Authorities responded to a tractor trailer on fire near exit 139 on I-79 around 8:15 p.m.

A deputy was putting down flares to divert traffic from the right lane into the left lane and was hit by a vehicle.

The driver of the first vehicle, followed the deputies instructions to move lanes. As Sutherland was switching lanes, a second vehicle, driven by a 17-year-old, approached and failed to notice the deputy or the flares. The vehicle driven by the 17-year-old rear-ended the first vehicle, which spun the vehicle around hitting the deputy that was directing traffic.

The deputy flew approximately 40 feet into the ditch line. The deputy was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital and is reportedly in stable condition. There is no word on the extent of his injuries.

The two drivers, as well as three passengers, were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Charges are pending against the 17-year-old.

Source:  WV Always (WBOY News) 6 People Taken to Hospital after Marion County Accident, January 17, 2017