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There's no doubt: if you've been injured in an accident, you need all the help you can get. The FAQs below answer many of the questions I am often asked. I can't imagine nothing more important than protecting you and your family's well being, and knowledge goes a long way.
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How old is too old to drive?
On Saturday, March 24th, 95-year old Lakewood resident, Raymond Gillick drove into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into another vehicle. Soon after the collision, Gillick was taken to a hospital where he later died. In light of Gillick's age, many are calling into question his age and whether it played a part in the collision.
How old is too old to drive?
There are safety measures and regulations in place to prevent underage driving. It’s been shown that young people often lack the cognitive development and maturity needed to safely operate a vehicle before a certain age, meanwhile elderly drivers are permitted to continue renewing their license, regardless of age. But after this weekend’s crash, questions resurface on what age is too old to drive.
Under current law, older drivers can continue operating a vehicle unless an incident occurs which calls into question their ability to drive. Highway officials often claim that old age isn’t necessarily an impediment to driving ability, and in many cases, this may be true. But some are wondering if this is the best way to look at the situation.
As the body ages, vision suffers, reaction time slows, and mental acuity can fade.
But this kind of bodily deterioration happens differently for everyone. While there is no standard timeframe in which the body declines, elderly drivers are granted uninhibited access to the roads.
As of now, we still need to share the road with aging drivers. But there are numerous signs you can look out for to prevent an accident. Take note of the following personality changes or behaviors:
- Slowed reflexes
- Declining vision
- Compromised depth perception
- Drowsiness due to medication or otherwise
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Confusion or forgetfulness
Look for these physical signs, if you have elderly friends or family that continue to operate a vehicle in their old age:
- Dings and dents on their car
- Frequent traffic tickets and violations
- Minor or major collisions
If you see any of these signs on the road - elderly driver or not - notify the police before they result in a crash:
- Sudden lane changes
- Slamming on brakes
- Accelerating quickly
- Lane drifting
- Forgetting to signal repeatedly
- Ignoring red lights and stop signs
- Confusing the brake pedal and the gas pedal
Our elders and senior citizens deserve the best care and concern, and sometimes that will mean taking away their keys. If you know someone who needs to be pulled off the road, it may be time to sit down and have a serious conversation.
It can be humbling for a senior citizen to give up their driving independence. But for their safety and that of other drivers, have the conversation sooner rather than later.
What is the "three-second-rule?"
Also known as the "two-second-rule" in some states, it is a suggested guideline for the distance that a driver should stay from other vehicles. The rule recommends at least three seconds (time it takes to stop) behind any vehicle that is directly in front. It is intended for automobiles, although it can generally apply to most other vehicles.
How do I "drive defensively" without driving aggressively?
Driving defensively simply means being cautious, being on the lookout, so to speak. Let's break it down to some simple steps:
Put a few car lengths between you and the car in front of you—obeying the “three second rule.”
Use your peripheral vision
Check your blind spots, glancing in all your mirrors
Use your turn signal before changing lanes
I was a driver in an accident and my car was not insured, but the accident wasn’t my fault. Can I sue the driver responsible for my injuries?
In New Jersey it is illegal to operate a vehicle without auto insurance. As such, if you have a vehicle that is registered in NJ but is not insured, you cannot sue the driver responsible for your injuries….even if he or she is 100% liable for the accident. If you have a vehicle registered you are required to have auto insurance and failure to do so prohibits you from suing.
In fact, if you are issued a summons for driving without insurance, for a first offense, you may be fined anywhere from $300 to $1,000 and can have your license suspended one year. You may also be required to complete community service hours, which would be determined by the court.
Second offenses and beyond can result in higher fines, additional community service, loss of license and even imprisonment.
So, if you have a car registered in NJ but you do not have auto insurance, get it insured now…before you are involved in an accident. Will save you a lot of headache and probably a lot of money.
Don't helmets interfere with my ability to see on the road?
A study sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has shown that riders wearing helmets are no less able to see cars in adjacent lanes. Helmets have only a minor effect on one’s lateral field of vision, which is easily compensated for by turning one’s head slightly. What’s more, the full face helmets that this myth refers to also save the eyes from the constant force and pressure of the wind, which certainly do impact vision.
Consider the following statistics:
- Helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatal accident by 35%. In other words, for every 100 un-helmeted riders killed on the road, 35 would have survived if all had worn helmets. Percent effectiveness would be significantly higher if only deaths from head injuries were considered.
- In 2007, helmets saved the lives of an estimated 1,784 motorcyclists.
- California’s mandatory helmet law, for example, reduced the cost of head injuries from motorcycle accidents from $36.6 million in 1991 to $15.9 million in 1992. That's more than half!
- An average of several studies put the hospital charges of injured non-helmeted riders at 30% higher than their helmet-wearing counterparts.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, get help. Our initial consults are totally free and without obligation. We're here to help.
Does New Jersey Auto Insurance Cover Crashes With Animals?
In Crashes With Critters, Who Pays?
Springtime in New Jersey is a hotbed for animals in heat, making them more active and aggressive during the spring months. This increase in activity can be directly linked to an increase in collisions with critters. And it isn't limited to our state. Just yesterday, NJ.com reported of an Indiana car accident involving a 30-lb turkey!
This raises a question about insurance coverage. Crashes with animals can do some serious damage to your vehicle. And your policy may or may not include coverage for animal-related collisions.Despite the name, collision coverage DOES NOT include coverage for crashes with animals.
Comprehensive coverage does. Because comprehensive coverage is not required by law in the state of New Jersey, you may be on the hook for the repair costs incurred after a crash with an animal. Do you have comprehensive coverage? For help understanding your policy, reach out to us for a free policy review.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from accidents with animals:
- Drive slower (especially at night!)
- Use your seatbelt. Always.
- Watch for roadside animal activity (glare from eyes, grazing activity)
- Drive in the middle lane to give animals clearance
- Use your highbeams on dark roads
- Honk your horn when you see animals to frighten them away
- Review your car insurance policy for comprehensive coverage
Have questions about your policy? Give us a call toll-free at (877) 721-7201
I was in a car accident. How long do I have to report it?
According to NJ Law, every driver involved in an accident resulting in injury or death or property damage in excess of $500.00, regardless of fault, must make a report to the police by the quickest means possible and within 10 days of the accident.
What does "Respondeat Superior" mean?
"Let the master answer."
Respondeat Superior is a Latin term for a legal doctrine which determines whether an employer is legally responsible for the wrongful actions of an employee, if his or her actions occur during working hours, while handling workplace duties, or handling any business within the scope of their employment, provided the acts were unintentional.
Pronunciation: [rehs-PON-dee-aht soo-PEER-ree-er]
What does "No-Fault state" mean?
New Jersey is a "no-fault state." In New Jersey, it means your own insurance company is responsible for covering your medical expenses, regardless of who or what causes an auto accident.
As a result, you are required by New Jersey law to have PIP insurance as part of your auto insurance plan, which is protection designed to cover your medical expenses if you're in an auto accident.
What is PIP insurance?
PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. PIP insurance, which is sometimes called "no-fault insurance" is an additional type of protection under your auto insurance plan. PIP helps to cover medical expenses (and occasionally, lost wages and funeral expenses) for injuries directly related to an auto accident. This type of coverage pays out regardless of who is at fault.
It differs from Bodily Injury Liability in that PIP covers medical expenses for your injuries, while Bodily Injury Liability covers the medical expenses of those you're legally liable for injuring.
PIP may also cover some additional, non-medical expenses. If accident-related injuries prevent you from performing certain household duties, such as caring for your children, this insurance may cover the cost of daycare.
Personal Injury Protection is optional is some states and mandatory in others. It is mandatory in New Jersey.
New Jersey is a No-Fault state where almost all drivers (with few exceptions) are required to have PIP coverage.