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7 Summer Boating Safety Tips

With summer just around the corner, many people will be gearing up to hit the open waters for adventure. No matter what type of boater you are, from avid to beginner, it is important to keep safety top of mind. first always to help reduce your risk of injury or being in an accident. Follow these 7 helpful tips to reduce your risk of injury or getting in an accident.
Summer Boating Tips
Check the weather.
It’s dangerous to be out on any body of water during a storm or extremely windy conditions. Check your local weather before you head out and don’t take any risks. According to DiscoveryBoating.com, if you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water. Make sure to also take a portable radio just in case the weather changes while you are out.
Make a Pre-Departure List.
Making sure that you are prepared for any possible scenario on the water is vital when taking sail. Following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been overlooked or forgotten. A pre-departure list should include: life jackets, sound producing devices, lights, distress signals, tools and spares, fuel and oil, fire extinguishers, ventilation, bilges, battery care, docking and anchoring tools, rules and documentation and emergency locator beacons. For more details about this list click here.
Use Common Sense.
There aren’t as many rules for the water as there are for the road, so using your common sense is a must. This means operating at a safe speed (especially in crowded areas), staying alert and steering clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in their ability to stop or turn. Also, be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there to ensure your own safety.
Take a Boating Course.
No matter if you are a beginner or expert, everyone should familiarize themselves with all boating safety rules of operation. It is always important to learn and be prepared for every circumstance that could arise. Boater education requirements vary by state; however, some require validated completion of at least one boating safety course. Look locally for a course or online to help educate yourself.
Use life jackets appropriately.
According to DiscoverBoating.com, the majority of drowning victims are a result of boaters not wearing their lifejackets. Make sure every person on board has a lifejacket that fits.
Be mindful of cold water, especially during the spring, as low temperatures reduce your margin for error.
Loading/unloading your boat.
To decrease the risk of capsizing, don’t overload your boat with passengers or gear . A helpful tip to help with this is to always abide by the boats capacity plate that is typically located near the boats operator’s area.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident, don’t wait. Contact Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys for help.

Top 5 Distractions While Driving

April is National Distracted Driving month. This is an important time to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road for only two seconds can double your risk of being in a crash. The media usually focuses on helping to avoid texting and driving, and while the use of phones is the leading cause of distracted driving accidents, there are other distractions that commonly happen while driving. .

Below are five common distractions that happen while driving and ways to help avoid them.

  • Cell Phones. Cell phones are the leading cause of distracted driving. According to a study conducted by the University of Utah, using a cell phone while driving (even if it’s hands free) creates the same delayed reactions as a person with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent (the legal limit). Take the pledge to never text and drive, or download one of these recommended apps to deter you from using your cell phone in the car.

 

  • Car Stereos. Adjusting the radio is a common task while driving. To avoid distraction and a accident, create preset stations or change your music options while you’re stopped.No matter how you are interacting with passengers, this cognitive distraction is very dangerous in a car. Whether it’s turning around to talk to your kids or looking at the person sitting in your passenger seat, talking to passengers is one of the leading distractions. You can join in on the conversation, but keep your eyes on the road.

 

  • GPS Devices. Though these are helpful when navigating drivers to their destination, GPS devices can present a major distraction, that some have even compared to as dangerous as using your cell phone. Because GPS devices require the same type of visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver as sending a text message, they’re just as dangerous. Some vehicles won’t allow you to use the navigation system while driving. To be even safer, you can set your destination before you leave.

 

  • Eating or Drinking. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimates that eating while driving increases the likelihood of crashes by 80 percent. When eating or drinking, many drivers divert their eyes away from the road or remove their hands from the wheel.

These five distractions are some of the most common, but not the only instances of distracted driving. Other examples include smoking, grooming, dropping something or even reading a newspaper or book. At the end of the day, remember to stay focused when driving by eliminating any unnecessary distractions.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving accident, don’t wait. Contact Joe & Martin today for help.

Distracted Driving Apps

Top 5 Apps to Help Stop Distracted Driving

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month, so what better time to evaluate yourself and change bad driving habits? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives in 2015.
Distracted Driving Apps
It’s no secret that the use of smart phones has played a big role in the increase in distracted driving incidents. Reading just one text keeps our eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.  But did you know these same smart phones can be a tool to fight distracted driving, rather than be a cause of it?
Developers have created apps that incentivize safe driving or even directly block you from using your phone.
 You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Here are our top 5 apps to use to help stop distracted driving.

  1. LifeSaver- LifeSaver uses GPS monitoring and a rewards system to help drivers break dangerous distracted driving habits. The app blocks the ability to use your phone while driving, and automatically lets loved ones know once you’ve safely arrived at your destination.
  1. AT&T DriveMode- DriveMode is for both iOS and Android. AT&T’s DriveMode app helps keep drivers from distraction by blocking any phone taking or texting and driving. DriveMode can be set up to automatically start when you are driving over 15 MPH.
  1. TrueMotion– TrueMotion is free on both iOS and Android platforms and has a feature unique from other apps, “trip score”. Each time you’re behind the wheel, the app uses a rating scale for your overall drive, and pinpoints exact moments where you may have been driving distractedly. TrueMotion can compare driving scores and show a driver’s location on the road in real time, as well as their trip history.
  1. Drive Beehive– PADD’s official safe driving app, Drive Beehive, works by connecting drivers with sponsors (friends, family, schools, businesses) who can set rewards for safe miles driven. This easy-to-use app is appealing because of how simple it is to be a sponsor and to create your own safe driving campaign.
  1. Waze- Waze is powered and used by drivers all over the world. Drivers connect to one another and work together to improve each other’s driving experience. As a community-based traffic and navigation app, Waze was created as a social navigation tool for private cars. Waze is a great app to use for directions because it will not allow you to type or use it unless you indicate you are the passenger using the app once the car is moving.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving accident, don’t wait. Contact Joe and Martin today for help.

South Carolina personal injury law jargon

Personal Injury Law Jargon You Should Know

While you can leave most of the personal injury law jargon to us, there are a few terms that everyone should know and learn if involved in a personal injury case. Every case is different, but if you know these personal injury law jargon terms, you’ll be ahead of the game.
South Carolina personal injury law jargon

PERSONAL INJURY LAW JARGON

Average Daily Wage (Adw)-The ADW is a calculation of an injured employee’s average daily earnings and is sometimes used to determine entitlement to wage loss benefits following an injury, particularly where the AWW would not be an accurate representation of the employee’s earnings.
Bench trial– A trial without a jury, in which the judge serves as the fact-finder.
Brief– A written statement submitted in a trial or appellate proceeding that explains one side’s legal and factual arguments.
Burden of Proof– The burden of proof refers to the plaintiff’s obligation to prove his or her allegations to be true — or at least more likely true than not. There are several different thresholds of proof that could apply depending upon the type of case being litigated.
Class Action– An action in which a representative plaintiff sues or a representative defendant is sued on behalf of a class of plaintiffs or defendants who have the same interests in the litigation as their representative and whose rights or liabilities can be more efficiently determined as a group than in a series of individual suits.
Complaint– A written statement that begins a civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant.
Damages– Money that a defendant pays a plaintiff in a civil case if the plaintiff has won. Damages may be compensatory (for loss or injury) or punitive (to punish and deter future misconduct).
Defendant– The party against whom a criminal or civil action is brought.
Gross Negligence– A conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both. It is conduct that is extreme when compared with ordinary Negligence, which is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care.
Negligence– Failure to exercise the degree of care expected of a person of ordinary prudence in like circumstances in protecting others from a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm in a situation.
Plaintiff– The party who institutes a legal action or claim.
Pleadings– Written statements filed with the court that describe a party’s legal or factual assertions about the case.
Prayer For Relief– A prayer for relief is a part of a pleading, and it usually appears at the end of the pleading. It includes a request for specific relief or damages which the pleader deems himself entitled. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded. A prayer for relief is also termed as a demand for relief.
Res Ipsa Loquitur- A doctrine or rule of evidence in tort law that permits an inference or presumption that a defendant was negligent in an accident injuring the plaintiff on the basis of circumstantial evidence if the accident was of a kind that does not ordinarily occur in the absence of negligence.
Statute of Limitations- A statute of limitations is the time period (set by law) in which you may file suit claiming damages. The statute of limitations can vary from case to case depending upon the circumstances.
Tort – A wrongful act other than a breach of contract that injures another and for which the law imposes civil liability.
We hope these definitions will help you to understand some of the common used personal injury law jargon terms you will encounter throughout our site and when working with an attorney.