Monthly Archives: December 2016

Trucks, Cars and Snow: What Should You Bring In Your Winter Emergency Kit?

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If you think you don’t need a winter emergency kit, or that it will only take up space in your vehicle, think again. The Federal Highway Administration reports that about 24 percent of road accidents are weather-related. This increases in times of inclement weather, such as snow or ice. So if you live in places where there’s usually snow storms or chances of a blizzard, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A winter emergency kit can ensure that a) you have enough to survive until help arrives, and that you would b) be alright should you find yourself stranded for hours.

Not sure how to begin assembling your winter survival kit? Here’s how to get started:


Winter Emergency Kit: The Essentials

Whether you’re a pro or novice driver, preparedness is your friend in times of crisis. You never know when Mother Nature can take a turn for the worst. One minute, everything’s a Winter Wonderland. Next thing you know, you’re stranded with large trucks and other vehicles for eight hours with nothing but crackers.

But if you have a winter emergency kit on hand, you know you’ll be okay. You can always buy pre-packaged kits from retailers. Feel free to add items to it based on the weather in your location or destination. The essentials should include:

  • A first aid kit. Make sure it has band-aids, antibiotic ointments and antiseptics, aspirin, gauze pads, bug spray, cotton balls, bandages, tweezers, and a bandana.
  • A toolkit. This should include items such as a flashlight, jumper cables, early warning triangles, flares, multipurpose tool, tire gauge, and duct tape.
  • Bottled water and snacks. In the event of an emergency, you’re going to need energy to keep you going. If you can get your hands on MRE (meals ready-to-eat), the better.
  • Blankets and extra clothing. When stranded, especially during a blizzard, temperatures can drop below freezing. If you didn’t anticipate being stuck, you could end up in indoor clothing. This is especially hazardous to children.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the best place to store your winter emergency kit is in the trunk of your vehicle. Get a container to pack everything in so you can access them in one go. Tie bungee cords around it to secure your survival kit.


Winter Emergency Kit: Add-Ons

You could be stranded on the road during bad weather for several reasons. You could experience equipment failure. Or maybe you had a minor collision with another vehicle or a truck, rendering your car useless and in need of roadside assistance. Perhaps you miscalculated the snow and ended in a huge traffic jam on the highway.

Want to be extra sure that you and your family won’t be in danger soon should you be stuck on the snowy road? Adding several items to your winter emergency kit is advised. Here are a few other things to bring:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small shovel and/or ice scraper
  • Raincoats
  • Vehicle fluids (i.e. oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, etc.)
  • Clean and empty container (for water)
  • Chargers
  • Foam tire sealant (for repairing flats in a hurry)
  • Gloves, rags
  • Salt, cat litter (for ice)

Of course, don’t forget to carry a spare tire and cash. You could get stuck in areas where credit cards are not accepted. Having some form of entertainment, like a deck of cards or a good book also helps. If you were stranded due to a trucking accident, document the event if possible. Take pictures, get names and contact numbers of witnesses, and relay the information quickly to your loved ones. Let them know where you are.

After the ordeal, be sure to get in touch with a trucking accident attorney to help sort out your case.

Trucks, Cars and Snow Storms: What To Do When You Get Stranded

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When snow storm Jonas hit Maryland in January of 2016, millions of people were affected as time seemed to stand still.

Highways had to be closed to be plowed, residents were advised to stay indoors, and cars – that were still driving then – got stuck under more than three feet of snow. Various property and establishments were covered in a thick blanket of snow. Lucky if you were able to get home and stay warm. But if you were stranded, you need to be prepared for the worst.

In one of the worst possible weather conditions, how do you survive? Here are three basic tips to keep in mind if you happen to find yourself stuck in a snow storm.


Snow Storm Safety Tip #1: Stay indoors.

If you’re already inside your home or office, it’s best to stay in. If you find yourself outside, immediately seek shelter.

People stuck in their cars should try not to find help – unless it’s within 100 yards. The danger comes from possible disorientation or being blown off by strong winds. Those who are not dressed properly run the risk of hypothermia or frostbite.

Those inside their vehicles should place hazard signs outside to inform rescue teams or passersby that there’s someone in the car. If you don’t have one, a brightly colored cloth or scarf tied around the antenna should alert others of your presence. Conserve gas by letting the engine run for about 10 minutes or so, just enough to keep you warm.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is common when trapped inside your car. So check that your exhaust is clear of snow or blockage.


Snow Storm Safety Tip #2: Keep warm.

If you’re stuck in your car alone during a snow storm, keep warm by doing simple exercises such as moving your legs or doing push-ups. But don’t over-exert yourself! Wrap yourself in blankets, newspapers, or mats (if you have those in your vehicle). For those stranded with other people in the car, huddle for warmth.

Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol as this can speed up the cold in the body. Always opt for water.


Snow Storm Safety Tip #3: Remain hydrated.

Lucky for you if you have water bottles in your car. If there’s none, you can melt the snow. This is especially safe, as long as you don’t eat it as it will lower your core body temperature.

If you have a Ziplock bag or a metal container, put some ice on it, and use your body temperature to slowly melt it. It will take a while, and you won’t get enough, but it’s better than nothing. If you get dehydrated, your body temperature will drop further.


Staying Safe from Snow Storms

It’s not surprising for trucks to also get stranded on roads during a snow storm.

If it gets bad, they can slide on ice and jackknife. This often causes blockages on highways, stranding dozens of vehicles and passengers. Always observe safe driving this season. Keep emergency numbers handy, and be sure to pack a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Your best resort is to be prepared.

For those who have been involved in truck accidents in Maryland due to snow storm or winter-related incidents, get in touch with a trucking accident lawyer immediately.

The Anatomy of a Fatal Semi Truck Crash

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Truck crashes usually happen in places where population is dense, like urban areas. So it’s no surprise that the state of Texas experiences plenty of semi truck accidents. This is most common in busy freeways like Interstate 10 and 35. While a semi truck crash may seem simple upon first glance, the events that led to the collision may not be.

In every semi truck crash, investigators must piece together various pieces of the puzzle to uncover the truth – and hopefully, help victims and their families get the compensation they deserve.

Here’s a look at the anatomy of fatal truck accidents: how they happened and why.


Minutes Before Impact: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Even with their massive size, semi trucks can in fact, blend in with their surroundings that it can sometimes be hard for drivers to spot them from afar.

Weather conditions could aggravate matters further by adding fog or low light in the mix. Depending on the length and color of the vehicle, it’s possible for someone to mistake semis for a bridge in the distance, or even a high wall. If they’re speeding, are distracted, or are driving under intoxication, there’s a chance that they could collide with the truck ahead of them

Such is the case with Tesla’s self-driving car when it ran into a semi-truck in May of this year. The driver seems to have been distracted and didn’t notice the big rig in broad daylight. The self-driving car on the other hand, failed to detect it as well possibly due to the white side of the tractor-trailer against too much light.

Seconds Before Impact: Truck Crash Ahead

Due to their enormous size and heavy loads (up to 80,000 lbs.), collisions involving semis are almost always fatal. Motorists who get to walk away from truck crashes with only minor injuries are more than lucky. But this rarely happens.

It’s not just speeding and distractions that could contribute to a deadly truck crash. Aside from natural surroundings and weather making semis hard to detect at times, some truck drivers assume that other motorists know how to share the roads with them.

Remember: trucks can’t accelerate the way that other vehicles can. There will always be a delay of about 30 seconds of more. Plus, as their semi trailers are ‘hinged’ to the tractor, they will swing or jackknife at an angle. If trucks are making a turn at a corner for example, it’s not uncommon to find vehicles colliding at them from the sides.

The backs of semi trailers today have crash bars, preventing smaller vehicles from driving under them in case of an accident. However, the sides do not have any. That’s how drive-under or under-ride crashes happen. This is perhaps the deadliest type of truck crash. Occupants of the vehicle could suffer fatal injuries to their heads and/or upper bodies, as well as wrongful death.


The Aftermath

If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck crash in Texas, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance. This is highly advised, especially for families who have suffered wrongful death during the time of the accident. Due to other parties involved (i.e. trucking companies, insurance agencies, etc.), the victim(s) could feel helpless or vulnerable to simple settlements.

Fight for what you deserve. Contact a Texas trucking accident lawyer who has years of experience on such cases. In the aftermath of even the deadliest truck crashes, you and your family still have a choice. Let us help.

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