The History of Seatbelt Laws

No doubt you’ve heard of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, aimed to get drivers to buckle up before hitting the road. The reminders, advertisements, and signs have been successful in promoting the use of seat-belt use. Despite being so successful, the truth is that campaigns like these haven’t always been around. It may get drivers thinking, where did seat belts and the laws surrounding them come from? Here is a history of seat belt laws.

You’ve probably heard stories from family members about children climbing into the back of a station wagon with games and pillows to head out on a road trip, with no second thought to buckle up. These stories aren’t as far back in time as you may think. According to the CDC, only about 10 percent of automobile occupants wore a seat belt before the 1980’s.

Initially cars didn’t even have seat belts to wear. But over time, they were integrated until by 1964 all cars had some sort of seat belt. Shoulder belts were introduced in 1968, and lap and shoulder belts in 1974.

The first state to put a law into place to for the use of seat belts was New York in 1984. Many other states followed suit until by 1996 and all states but New Hampshire had some sort of seat belt law. These laws saw an increase of seat belt use from the mere 10 percent to about 50 percent. However, most of these laws only protected the driver and those riding in the front seat. Other passengers in the car were not required to wear a seat belt.

By 2010, 31 states and the District of Columbia had primary belt use laws (where drives can be pulled over simply for the fact that they’re not buckled up.) Eighteen states had secondary enforcement laws (where drivers can be pulled over for other reasons, but cited for not wearing a seat belt). New Hampshire still did not have any seat belt law enforcing adults to buckle up.

If you’ve ever been in a crash, you know that even a minor car accident can leave those involved in pain. If you YouTube “car crash” or watch videos of car accidents you can clearly see the benefits of buckling up. According to the CDC, studies have been done on the effectiveness of seat belt use, and the findings are clear — when you wear a seat belt the injury rate decreases. While seat belts can make a dramatic change in the outcome of an auto accident, it doesn’t make you invincible to injury.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident you may be liable to pain suffering compensation. If you think you qualify, you’ll want to find a personal injury lawyer.

Your personal injury lawyer will help you know how to proceed following an accident. If you’re looking for the best in a car accident law firm, look no further than Cockayne Law. The attorneys there will fight for you and your personal injury claim.

Find the best personal injury lawyer for you at Cockayne Law.

 

Auto Accident Checklist

Whether you’re headed to work, an appointment, or out for a leisurely drive, getting in an auto accident can leave you confused and unsure of what to do next. In some cases, the accident may leave you too injured to even do that!

To help you and everyone else on the road it is best to be prepared for any auto situation you may find yourself in, including an accident. That’s why it’s important to know what to do after a car accident. To help, here is an auto accident checklist.

#1 Stay Safe

What happens after a car accident? There are many things you’ll want to be sure to do, but first and foremost, if you’ve been in an accident you need to make sure you, other drivers involved, and those on the road stay as safe as possible. If anyone is injured call 911. If you are in harm’s way move to safety, but do not leave the scene of the accident. If you do call 911, follow the instructions given by authorities.  

#2. Gather information

Be kind to others involved in the accident, but do not admit fault. Even if you feel you are guilty. Get the name or names of those involved as well as their insurance information. Get contact information for any witnesses.

#3. Document

Once you have necessary information it is important to gather as much documentation as possible. Take a picture of the scene, damage to the vehicles, license plates, skid marks and debris, street signs, and anything else that may have contributed to the accident.

If the police are on scene they will be writing an accident report with details like time, weather and traffic conditions, and a description of the accident, but it is safe to make your own record as well. You’ll also want to file a police report.

#4. After the Accident

After the accident, you’ll want to get a copy of the police report filed by the police. Then you’ll want to get in touch with your insurance company and follow their instructions.

Dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident can be tricky. There are insurance companies to work with, medical bills to pay, cars to repair, and work to be made up. In the best of situations this can be an overwhelming process. It can be even more difficult if there is question about who was at fault. Car accidents with no police report can be even more difficult to resolve.

It’s a good idea to find a car accident law firm you can trust to help you navigate the overwhelming legal process. That leave you able to focus on getting your life back on track. The accident lawyers at Cockayne Law are there to fight in your corner and make sure you get a fair case.

It’s easy to forget steps in any auto accident checklist, so finding an auto accident checklist pdf to print and keep in your glove box is a good idea. That way, should you ever be involved in an accident, you can quickly consult the auto accident checklist and follow it step-by-step.

 

Drunk Driving Statistic

While the holidays may be over, that doesn’t mean that being cautions on the road has come to an end too. The fact of the matter is, drunk driving happens all year long and is still prevalent despite more media attention and awareness. Here are a few drunk driving statistics that will hopefully help to keep you safer on the road, and create habits that will help keep others safe as well.

When you take the time to stop and consider the facts, the statistics surrounding drunk driving are astounding. According to the CDC, 28 people die every day after being involved in vehicle crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. If you break that down… that is about one death every 51 minutes. The CDC also reports that nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths involve alcohol-impaired drivers. You may think that drunk driving doesn’t affect you, or that it is improving. You’ve likely seen ads about police cracking down on impaired drivers, and you may have even seen officers on the side of the road administering a breathalyzer test. While there has been progress as seen in the 1.1 million drivers arrested for impaired driving in 2015 reported by the CDC, it is only one percent of the 111 million self-reported cases of alcohol-impaired driving each year. The truth is, drunk driving is still a very real problem.

So what can you do? Make sure you designate drivers if you know you or others will be drinking. Don’t let your friends drink and drive. If you host a party where alcohol is served, make arrangements for your guests to get home safely. If you yourself are drinking, never get behind the wheel impaired.  

If you’re going to be out, the safest time to be on the roads is during the day on a weekday, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  In 2016 nine percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes during the day were drunk. That is compared to the 30 percent of drivers at night. There were twice as many alcohol-related traffic fatalities during the weekends compared to weekdays.

If you find yourself in an accident involving alcohol, it is important to get yourself an attorney who will be able to fight for you. If you are negatively impacted because of someone else’s decision to drink and drive you may be left facing outrageous medical bills, damaged property, injuries that make it difficult to get the accident resolved or even return to work, and a whole myriad of other issues.

The personal injury lawyers at Cockayne Law specialize in many different types of cases, including auto accidents. With free evaluations no matter what the case type, you can be sure you’re getting the best representation and the best information for your situation possible. It is the job of Cockayne Attorneys to relieve the pressures that surround accidents so that you can focus on recovering from it. With Cockayne Law, you’ll have an advocate fighting for you. Don’t hesitate to contact them today to begin the process of getting your life back on track.

 

Safe Winter Driving Habits

Experiencing a white Christmas (or white anytime during the month of December) is magical from the comfort of your warm home, but it is quite a different experience when you have to drive in it.

Your average, everyday driving always has a degree of risk, but when you add the out-of-the-ordinary challenges that come with winter driving it makes it one of the most frightening and dangerous kinds of driving there is.

The number of accidents drastically increase when snow, ice, or slush is involved. If you know you will be driving during the winter, it is important to prepare for any kind of driving condition..

Here are some safe winter driving habits you can develop now to so that your travels will be safe this holiday season and beyond.

Prepare Your Car

Before you even hit the road, you’ll want to make sure your car is in its best condition to handle the snowy or icy roads. Check your tires to see whether or not it is time to replace them. If they are in good shape, you want to make sure your tires are properly inflated. It’s also a good idea to make sure your windshield wipers are in good, working condition so that you’ll be able to see if the snow is flying. This also includes checking on your windshield fluid!

You can also take a few extra precautions this winter by making sure your car is stocked with an ice scraper, a shovel, and some salt in case your car gets stuck. Make it a habit to keep your tank at least half full so that if you do get stuck, you’ll be able to stay warm until you get the help you need.

Plan Ahead

If you know you are going to be traveling on certain days, make sure you’re following the weather updates so you know what to expect on the roads. If the weather is going to make driving unsafe, be willing to make changes to your travel plans. It may be inconvenient, but it will be safer in the long run.

Know How to Drive

Winter driving is completely different than driving any other time of year. There are a few different practices you need to be aware of and follow to stay safe. First, before you ever leave the driveway, make sure you’re heating up your car (but never in an enclosed area). Next, make sure you remove all of the snow and ice from each window, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof, and trunk. Make sure your seatbelt is buckled and you are using your headlights.

One of the most important things you can do during winter driving is to remember to slow down. With the unpredictability of winter driving, it is important to give yourself plenty of reaction time. Make sure you are leaving plenty of space between you and other drivers too.

If you are, unfortunately, involved in an accident, be sure you hire an accident attorney that you can trust to fight for you. Let the attorneys at Cockayne Law be your advocate and help you get back on your feet.

 

How to Eliminate Distractions in the Car

Driving distracted is one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road. And while texting and driving is a concern when it comes to drivers and their safety on the road, it’s not the only distraction putting people in harm’s way.

There are many different ways to be distracted, which means there are many different ways you can stay better focused while operating your vehicle.

If you care about your safety and the safety of those you love, you’ll want to try to do a little better and be a little more alert when you’re on the road. Here’s how to eliminate distractions in the car.

#1. Turn Your Phone Off

Yes, texting and driving is a major distraction and one you’ll see happening if you look out your window for any length of time while on the road. But it’s not the only way drivers are distracted with their phones. Maybe you need to make a phone call and look down to dial. Or perhaps you’re lost and trying to juggle directions on your cell phone while driving.

Sometimes just talking on the phone can be distraction enough to put you and others in danger. To err on the side of caution and ensure your safety as well as that of others, don’t be afraid to turn your phone off when you get in the car. Most commutes aren’t that long, and you won’t miss much by turning it back on when you reach your destination.

#2. Prepare Before You Drive

Another way to avoid distractions while in the car is to take care of them before you hit the road. Do you know you’re going to need directions? Plug them into your GPS before you leave your house. Maybe you’re going through the drive through and want to use the extra change in your car. Count it out and have it ready beforehand, instead of trying to do it on the way. Keeping your car organized and preparing for your errands or destinations ahead of time will keep you from trying to do those kinds of things while you’re driving.

#3. Give Yourself Enough Time

Ever been in a time crunch and tried to eat breakfast, do your makeup, or put on your watch while driving? Running behind schedule happens to the best of us, but it’s all too easy to become distracted and end up on a life-altering situation because you failed to plan ahead. Make sure you’re giving yourself enough time, both before you get in the car and while you’re on the road, to get to your destination. Stressing because you’re late is a major distraction, and one that can be easily avoided and make your morning much more enjoyable.

Even with the best intentions, sometimes car accidents still happen. Whether it is because of your distracted driving or that of another driver, you may be wondering if hiring an accident attorney can help you.

Give Cockayne Law a call today to see if your case is worth fighting.

Qualities To Look For In A Defense Attorney

Getting help is sometimes a hard thing to ask for. If you’ve been in an accident and have been overwhelmed dealing with insurance companies, the police, and your injuries, you may be thinking it’s time to hire a lawyer.

You need someone who will fight for you and help you come out of the situation with the ability to move forward. But how do you go about hiring someone to help? Here are the qualities to look for in a defense attorney.

Quality #1. Integrity and Trustworthy

First off, before you think about any other qualifications you want to make sure that your defense attorney is has integrity and is trustworthy. You want a lawyer who is honest with you, will be upfront about your case and the likely outcome. You’ll feel more comfortable if you know your attorney is honest. And when you’re confident your defense attorney is trustworthy, you’ll be able to let go of much of the worry you have now and let your attorney take care of it for you.

Quality #2. Experience

Once you know you can trust your attorney, you want to make sure your attorney is experienced. Not only in practicing law, but specifically in cases like yours. If you’ve been in an accident, look for an attorney who has dealt with similar cases like auto accidents, dog bites, pedestrian, or motorcycle accidents.

No matter the details of your case, chances are your attorney will have dealt with something similar if not exactly the same. You’ll know you’re in good, experienced hands.

Quality #3. Excited About New Experiences

If your case happens to be unique, a good lawyer will be excited for a challenge and the opportunity to learn from a new experience. As long as you’ve got a qualified lawyer who is familiar with your type of case, a good lawyer will be ready to take you on and fight for you.

Quality #4. Includes You

When you hire a defense attorney, you may be wondering what the rest of the process will look like. Well, if you’ve hired the right person you won’t have to wonder for long. Your attorney should include you in the planning process, talk you through the timeline, let you know what you can expect and how things will wrap up. The amount you’re involved in the case should be your decision, and your attorney will work to make sure you are as involved as little or as much as you want.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to know if the defense attorney you’re looking to hire has these qualities. If you’re looking for a personal injury and car accident lawyer in the West Jordan Area, look no further than Cockayne Law.

No matter what type of injury or accident case you have, the defense attorneys at Cockayne Law will fight for you, and help you get back on your feet.

With a free consultation, you’ll be able to talk with the attorneys at Cockayne and determine if they have the qualities you’re looking for in a defense attorney.

Common Injuries Caused by Airbags

You hope you never need them — your airbags are tucked away safely in the dash of your car, ready to be deployed should you be involved in a major accident. The only problem is that the device that’s put in place to protect you can also do some damage. Being in a serious accident can leave you injured. Airbag injuries on top of that just isn’t fair. Know what injuries aren’t caused by the accident itself by knowing these common injuries caused by airbags.

#1. Skin Damage

One of the common ways an airbag can cause damage is simply by causing damage to your skin. This can happen because of the speed and force at which it is deployed, or the chemicals used in the airbag. Bruising and scrapes on the face, chest, and arms are common, or any other skin that is exposed. In some cases the airbag may also cause burns. Skin irritation is a more minor, but common injury associated with airbags.

#2. Head Trauma

Your head is one of the most important parts of your body to protect in an accident, and unfortunately your airbag can cause a lot of damage to it. In the event of a crash, your airbag can cause fractures to your skull as well as concussions. The impact can lead to brain swelling or unconsciousness. Airbags have also been known to cause brain injuries as well as damage to eyes and ears/hearing.

#3.  Fractures

In more extreme cases, airbags can actually cause damage beyond the skin and muscles and break your bones. Airbags are known to cause fractures in a number of places including the spine, face, arms, hands and wrists, and rib cage.

#4. Internal Injuries

One of the most frightening types of injuries you can get during a car accident is an internal one. Often you can have no idea what type or the severity of internal injuries you sustain during an accident, some of which can be caused by your airbag. Arteries, heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and brain stem can all be injured by an airbag. Internal bleeding can also cause severe issues. If you’ve been in an accident it’s important to get checked out, otherwise you may not catch some of these easily missed, yet serious, internal injuries.

If you find yourself injured from car accident with additional injuries caused by an airbag, you may feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Not to mention in massive amounts of pain. That’s why it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve to try to help you get your life back on track.

Whether you need help with an airbag issue, or proving your innocence in an auto accident, Cockayne Law is proud to fight for injury and accident victims. In fact, there are many different types of accidents and injuries that Cockayne Law can help you with. If you’re injured and need someone to fight for you, contact Cockayne Law today for your free consultation.

 

What To Do After a Car Accident

If you’ve just been in an accident, you’ll probably be feeling overwhelmed, confused, or you may have even been severely injured. Right after an accident is not the time to try to figure out what you need to do first. Instead, make sure you know what to do after a car accident long before you’re ever in one. To help you get prepared, here is your guide for what to do after an accident.

#1: Assess The Situation

If anyone is injured, call 911. If there has been significant damage but everyone seems fine, it’s still a good idea to call the police and get a police report. After that assess your situation again to determine if you or the other involved parties are in any danger. If you’re able to, move the vehicles out of harm’s way or out of the way so as not to impede traffic. If you’re going to do this before the police arrive on scene, just be sure to snap a few pictures of the vehicle as they were when the accident occurred. Stay aware throughout the remainder of your time on the side of the road. It can be dangerous with other drivers passing who may not be paying close enough attention.

#2: Take Pictures and Notes

If you haven’t already, take pictures of the scene of the crash. Having a police there to write up a report will be extremely useful, but the more documentation you have the better. Take notes and get the other driver’s name and insurance information. Even better, take a picture of their insurance card and ID. You can also get contact information from witnesses.

#3 Be Careful What You Say

Following an accident, you may not be thinking clearly. It’s important to know before hand what you should and should not say. Never admit fault. This can be anything from saying that the accident was your fault to just saying “I’m sorry.” If later down the line you need to take legal action, you don’t want to say anything incriminating. You also shouldn’t say that you’re fine or uninjured. Some injuries don’t surface until much later, so instead say say “I don’t believe I need medical attention at this time.”

#4 Contact Insurance

After your accident you’ll want to contact your insurance company and figure out how much of your medical bills and auto repairs will be covered. Better yet, know these details before you’re in an accident so that you can begin to get your injuries and car taken care of as quickly as possible. Whether you are at fault or not, let them know about the situation and be cooperative.

#5 Consider Hiring An Attorney

Even if you do everything right after an accident, sometimes things don’t always go your way. If there has been debate about who is at fault you may want to consider hiring an attorney. An accident attorney will work to make sure your case is fair and that you are able to get on with your life despite having been in an accident. If you’re looking for the best of the best, contact Cockayne Law today!

5 Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Auto Accident Case

Getting into a auto accident is scary. It can be dangerous, leaving you injured and altered physically so that even the simplest tasks are now impossible. Not only that, but after the initial accident you’ll have to deal with police, lawyers, and paperwork.

That’s right, even after your accident the pain can continue as you have to fill out policed reports, report the accident to your insurance company, try to work on getting the money you insurance company owes you, and if your accident involves another driver you may be struggling with a lawyer to get more money owed to you.

With so many factors going into the success or failure of an auto accident case, it’s important that you handle the situation carefully. In fact, there are five mistakes that can hurt your auto accident case — here’s what they are and how to avoid them.

 

  1. Not Letting a Professional Help
    One of the most important things you can do for your auto accident case is to let a professional help you by doing what they do best. At Cockayne Law, you’ll get a free consultation so that right off the bat you have a good idea of what you can expect and how successful your case may be. The Cockayne Attorneys proudly fight for injury and accident victims in Utah who can’t fight for themselves. When you’re represented by Cockayne Law you can rest assured that there is someone who will fight for your best interest, making sure you are taken care of, and that your auto case is a fair and honest one. Having a professional, like Cockayne Law, by your side throughout the auto accident process will make everything go much smoother.
  2. Not Getting a Police Report
    Right after your accident, you’ll probably be overwhelmed, confused, and maybe completely unable to function if you’ve been seriously injured. Getting a police report is much easier when you call in the accident and ask for it immediately. It’s more difficult to get one after the fact, and it’s next to impossible to get one if the police weren’t called to the scene at all. The best thing you can do for your auto case is to call the police if someone has been injured or the damage exceeds $1,000, and get a report. That report will come in handy later when you’re working with insurance companies.
  3. Not Seeing a Doctor
    Many serious injuries can go completely unnoticed for days before making their appearance. Sometimes symptoms don’t show up for weeks! If you suspect that you may be injured in any way, it’s important to go see a doctor. If you do have a medical issue, it’s important to be able to prove that it was from the auto accident. The longer you wait and avoid the doctor, the harder that is to do.
  4. Making Statements
    Unless your lawyer is present, don’t give any statements… especially to insurance companies. Unless you’ve worked out a game plan, you may be hurting your opportunity for a bigger payout by giving up too little or too much information Prescribed
  5. Auto Repairs
    If your car needs repairs and your insurance company has a preferred auto repair shop, make sure you use them only if you trust them and their work. Otherwise, be sure to do go the auto repair shop of your choice.
Tips to Drive Safely

Driving is a necessity for many people, and your travels usually go smoothly and safely. But there are times far too often when the roads become dangerous, putting you and your fellow passengers at risk. Sometimes those dangers come from other drives, and sometimes they may be because of your own driving habits. You can’t control how others drive, but you can do all you can to improve the way you drive and keep yourself as safe as possible. To help, here are a few tips to drive safely.

Tip #1: Stay Focused

Before you can make your driving habits safer, you need to be paying attention to the road. This means that when you are behind the wheel you are focused on the road, other drivers, and your actions. Becoming distracted by billboards, the radio, or a cell phone may divert your attention for just a second, but it’s long enough to cause a serious accident. In fact, cell phones are a major distraction while driving and a large reason accidents occur. Make it a habit to put your cell phone down when you get in the car and don’t pick it up until you get out. Part of staying focused also allows you to properly know what the rules of the road are (seeing stop signs, knowing speed limits) so that you are better able to follow them. When you go the speed limit and obey traffic laws, you are setting yourself up for a safe journey.

Tip #2: Be Defensive

After you’ve made a few adjustments to your own driving habits to drive safely, you need to do what you can to avoid the unsafe decisions of others. Be aware of the drivers around you. Keep an eye out for them and their movements. You should always expect the unexpected when it comes to other drivers, and know your course of action should the unexpected happen. And of course, if you are driving behind another car, be sure you allow plenty of space between the vehicles. The rule is two seconds, which will give you a chance to make a snap decision if necessary.

Tip #3: Have a Plan

No matter how focused you are, or how defensive you drive, accidents can still happen. The best thing you can do is to have a plan in place if you are involved in an accident. Having a personal injury attorney that you trust on hand if you’re injured physically or emotionally in an accident can help you get back on your feet quickly and painlessly. The attorneys at Cockayne Law fight for those who need it most. And with a free consultation, you have nothing to lose!

Tip #4: Plan Ahead
Another way to help you stay focused is by planning ahead so you have nothing to steal your attention away from the road. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you don’t feel the need to speed or feel stressed. If you know you’re going to need a break or make a pitstop, add extra time to your trip. If you’re hungry, pull over to eat rather than trying to eat in the car. It’ll only take a few minutes and it could make the difference between a life-or-death accident!