Avoiding Car Accidents on Labor Day

 In Louisiana Car Wrecks

Labor Day is a holiday that pays respect to your hard work. Labor Day is always the first Monday in September.  It was born out of the country’s labor movement in the late 1800’s and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

For most of us here in Lafayette and Acadiana, Labor Day signals the end of summer and the start of school.  So people take full advantage of the three-day weekend and that causes heavy traffic, so drive defensively and avoid distractions while driving. The students are back at ULL and football season is upon us. That sets the stage for lots of partying and motorists on the road day and night.

Our phones here at Joseph Joy and Associates start ringing after long weekends.  We receive many calls from  people in need of a good attorney to handle their claim for personal injuries sustained in automobile accidents due to the negligence of others. And we are here for them, ready to get to work on their behalf.

Lafayette Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Joy has been helping clients injured in vehicular accidents for over 40 years. He has the experience to fight for you, whether you are rear-ended or involved in a head-on collision or multiple vehicle accident. We stand up to big insurance companies looking to settle on the cheap. We have successfully investigated and litigated 18-wheeler, big rig accidents. When drunk drivers or uninsured motorists are involved, you need a tough lawyer like Joseph Joy to fight for you.  Serious personal injury and fatal car accidents can be complex lawsuits that require a legal team that can go the distance, like Lafayette Personal Injury Lawyer Joseph Joy.

The experience of being involved in a serious car accident takes a tremendous toll on clients and their families. Let Attorney Joseph Joy handle your legal claim.  We will obtain the medical records and police report so you can focus on healing.  We will evaluate your case and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. We will hire the experts that might be needed to bring your case  and take it to court.  Joseph Joy is on your side, throughout the process.

Joseph Joy is one of Acadiana’s most experienced personal injury lawyers, representing clients throughout South Louisiana, helping them to recover the damages that they are owed, whether that means going to trial or settling out of court.  Joseph Joy has recovered millions for his clients.

The Louisiana State Police will have its hands full this holiday weekend.  State troopers will be out in full force to prevent automobile, truck and big rig accidents by ticketing speeders and setting up DWI checkpoints.

We certainly hope everyone enjoys a safe Labor Day holiday, but if you or  someone you care about is involved in a car accident involving a personal injury or worse yet, a fatal car accident, call Attorney Joseph Joy and Associates immediately. Our car accident lawyers can help you bring a lawsuit against the negligent driver’s insurance company. You may be able to recover compensation for your car accident injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost compensation and more.

Keeping our roads safe

Be sure and do your part to drive safely to avoid personal injury automobile accidents. Driving a vehicle on the streets and highways of Louisiana is not a right.  It is a responsibility that demands drivers’ full attention.  Living here in Lafayette, we have all seen or read about serious car,  truck and 18-wheeler wrecks on our highways.  How many times have you waited for a major accident to clear on I-10 on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge or I-49? Drunk driving accidents? Rear-end accidents? Head-on collisions?  Too often, I’m sure.  These accidents, due to the negligence of other drivers, have injured and killed far too many good people in our community.

Let’s take a moment to review the things that all of us can do, as responsible drivers, to help prevent personal injury car accidents in Lafayette and all of Acadiana.

Before you get on the road for a long trip, make sure your automobile is in tip-top shape. Check the tires, brakes and all fluid levels, plus make sure your windshield wipers are working well.

Practice safety as soon as you enter your vehicle.  Buckle up! You must wear a seat belt at all times while riding in a vehicle in Louisiana, regardless of whether you are the driver or a passenger. Failure to do so will result in tickets and fines.

Be sure that the little ones are strapped in the vehicle, safe and sound as well. Louisiana’s Child Occupant Seatbelt Law requires children from 6 to 12 years old to be restrained by a lap belt, shoulder harness, or an age/size appropriate child safety or booster seat.

Our firm has handled many unfortunate personal injury car accident cases involving a drunk driving on the streets and interstates of Lafayette and Acadiana. Drunk driving is the leading killer on our nation’s roads, claiming the lives of 10,497 people in 2016. During the Labor Day weekend, 36 percent of all traffic deaths (155) were caused by drunk driving.  If you are coming from an event where alcohol was served,  appoint a designated driver. Never, ever drink while driving.

Other stunning statistics, supplied by Mothers Against Drunk Driving:

  • 800 people died in drunk driving crashes over the Labor Day weekends from 2012 to 2016
  • In 2016, 45 percent of drunk drivers killed were 21 to 35 years old
  • In 2016, 83 percent of fatal drunk driving crashes over the Labor Day weekend occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.
  • In August 2016, 82 percent of drunk drivers involved in deadly crashes were male

Texting while driving is another problem that causes personal injury car accidents in Lafayette and Acadiana.  Never text while driving.  It’s against the law in Louisiana and it causes personal injury car accidents. In Louisiana,  new drivers with “learner’s” or “intermediate” licenses and those under 17 years old are prohibited from using a wireless communication device while driving. The maximum fine for new drivers who violate the cell phone law is $175.

Louisiana also has a statewide ban on the use of wireless devices for writing, sending, or reading text-based communications while driving, regardless of age.

If you’re driving through a school zone during posted hours, it is against the law to use your cell phone or other mobile device for any reason, including:

  • Making a phone call
  • Texting
  • Social networking

The only exceptions to this rule are if:

  • You need to report an emergency (including traffic hazards or accidents).
  • Your personal safety is at risk
  • You need to report or avert a criminal act against someone (including yourself)
  • You are legally parked
  • You operate an emergency vehicle and must use your cell phone as part of your job

If you are caught illegally using your cell phone in a school zone, you will be charged with a moving violation. The fine for a first offense is $175 and any second or subsequent offenses carry a fine of up to $500.

An alarming number of traffic accidents are linked to driving while distracted, including use of mobile devices while driving, resulting in injury and loss of life. The most recent national statistics reflect a worrisome trend, result in traffic fatalities and personal injury car accidents.

  • Approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured daily in the United States in incidents reported as involving a distracted driver, the CDC reports .
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015 alone.
  • During daylight hours across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, the NHTSA reports.
  • Handheld cell phone use continues to be highest among 16-24 year old drivers, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey .

How to prevent distracted driving

Give clear instructions – Are your children getting their Louisiana driver’s licenses for the first time? Before they even walk into the DMV, talk seriously with them about texting while driving.  Give simple, clear instructions not to use their wireless devices while driving. Before new drivers get their licenses, discuss the fact that taking their eyes off the road – even for a few seconds – could cost someone injury or even death.

Lead by example – That includes you. No one should text and drive. Be an example for others and if you need to text or talk on the phone, pull over to a safe place. Set rules for yourself and your household regarding distracted driving.

Become informed and be active – Tell family, friends and organizations to which you belong about the importance of driving without distractions. Take information to your kids’ schools and ask that it be shared with students and parents.

It is hard to believe that as of yet, there is no national ban on texting or using a wireless phone while driving, but a number of states have passed laws banning texting or wireless phones or requiring hands-free use of wireless phones while driving. As of June 2017:

  • 15 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam ban drivers from hand-held phone use.
  • 38 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice drivers, and 20 states and D.C. prohibit it for school bus drivers.
  • 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam ban texting while driving.

Here in Acadiana, from Morgan City to Abbeville to Lafayette to Ville Platte and all the beautiful communities in between, it’s easy to get stranded on a back road. Be prepared. Fill up your gas tank before striking out on a long drive in the country.  Have an emergency road kit equipped with cell phone, car charger, flashlight with extra batteries, first-aid kit, a basic toolkit with tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables, emergency flares, drinking water and extra food for travelers and pets.

Car wrecks resulting in personal injury are extremely serious. Our decades of experience litigating personal injury car accidents is well known and impressive. Talk to our clients and they will tell you that Attorney Joseph Joy and Associates are aggressive trial lawyers who fight for what our clients deserve.

We hope you will enjoy this national holiday.  It is an important annual tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. With so many activities happening on Labor Day, it is no surprise that motorists take to the highways in droves. We can’t emphasis it enough: wear your seatbelt, keep your eyes on the road and be safe this Labor Day.  Call us if you need us:  337-232-8123 or visit us at 900 S. College Rd., Ste. 204, Lafayette, LA, to discuss your personal injury case.

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