Basics of Road Safety – Part One
September 23, 2014
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October 2, 2014
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Basics of Road Safety – Part Two

cautionToday we complete our review of the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s safety tips for drivers.

6.  What happens if you have to leave your car at the scene of the accident?  In that case, you have 48 hours to move the car, and then the authorities will tow it.  But, in the event that the car was left in a spot where it blocks traffic or in any way presents a danger, the authorities may tow it immediately to the nearest garage.  Remember that for insurance recovery purposes it is best to get photos as soon as possible after the accident and preferably at the scene of the collision.

7.  Always get license and insurance information from the other driver as well as a police report of the accident. If anyone witnessed the accident, their details are also important. Another potential “witness” is camera monitoring which may be in place in high-traffic areas and in parking lots.  This information may form a crucial part of your case. TDOT’s SmartWay app can help you locate cameras (see 11, below).

8.  Unfortunately, a reality of driving in these less civil and more stressed times is road rage. It is completely inexcusable for drivers to give in to bad behavior instead of driving and acting responsibly, but it happens. Another aspect of this is aggressive driving, such as tailgating and honking, passing to the right in the high speed lane, etc.  Arguing with someone who is ranting is rarely productive, so the best thing to do is let them pass, keep calm and call THP (*847) or the police to report them.

9.  As opposed to the bad examples we just cited, safe driving means responsible behavior and common courtesy. Always pull over to let police, fire department, and ambulance services pass quickly through traffic.  In all cases, every second can count when emergency and rescue personnel are needed, so never impede them. Think also about the other guy, and report accidents or breakdowns if you can safely call the THP or police. 

10.  Follow the Girl Scout motto: “Be Prepared”. Keeping a few items in your trunk can make a big or even crucial difference in an emergency.  We already discussed reflective vests and cones or signs, and in addition to a cell phone with a charger, the THP also suggests you have on hand:

“A flashlight, reflectors, jumper cables, first aid kit and an empty gas can.  It’s also a good idea to have a pair of gloves for tire changes and a poncho and blanket for inclement weather.”

And here’s one extra tip from Stillman and Friedland:

11.  Use the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s 511 SmartWay service to get updates on road and weather conditions. TDOT’s SmartWay will help you plan your trip of commute in advance, eliminating surprises, time delays and aggravation.  To download the free app, click here, and travel safely!

Stillman and Friedland attorneys, because we care.  Call 615-244-2111 or email  jay@jstillman.com for more information.

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