VanMeveren Law Group January 2018

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There are many things on the road and in our cars that cause motorists to drive carelessly. In the vehicle, we can become distracted by food, passengers, putting on makeup, changing the radio station, sending a text, and a host of other activities. A driver’s mental state can also negatively impact driving behavior. You may be overly tired, emotional, or maybe you’re too focused on navigating through busy traffic. Unfortunately, these distracted mindsets can influence the way we drive. They can cause us to swerve, overcorrect, and drive too slow or too fast. While those careless behaviors rarely result in fatalities, others do — namely, driving while intoxicated. Drunk driving is the most reckless activity you can engage in. Consider this: One person is killed in a drunk driving accident every 50 minutes. But what about marijuana? It seems we can all agree that drunk driving is the most careless and dangerous act a driver can engage in. But is being under the influence of marijuana the second-most dangerous activity? The answer is no. A recent survey by Harris Poll on behalf of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America found that while the vast majority of Americans believe driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous, an overwhelming percentage consider texting while behind the wheel even more of a problem. A study conducted by AT&T backs this up. About 94 percent of people surveyed agree texting and driving is a thoughtless and dangerous activity. Texting makes a crash 23 times more likely to occur. In fact, drivers who text spend an average of 10 percent of their trip driving outside of their lane. Texting while behind the wheel causes 11 deaths every single day.

Does this mean people think driving high is safe? Not at all. According to the AT&T survey, 91 percent of Americans believe driving while under the influence of marijuana is dangerous and 87 percent believe people who do so pose a threat to others on the road. However, just 40 percent of respondents believe driving while high is a contributing factor to more motor vehicle accidents. The bottom line is that while marijuana does compromise a person’s motor functions, more Americans think using social media (99 percent) and texting (98 percent) while driving is more dangerous than driving under the influence of marijuana (91 percent). It is illegal to text while driving in Colorado, except in the case of emergencies like reporting an accident or a fire (C.R.S §42-4-239). You can be fined for texting and driving, but unfortunately, most drivers are willing to chance an expensive ticket so they can tell their friends they’re running late or finalize date plans. However, please keep in mind that careless or distracted driving could end up with far more serious consequences for both you and the victim. Think about it this way: Do you know what can happen when you spend five seconds texting or glancing at social media while traveling at 55 miles per hour? Imagine driving down the length of a football field with your eyes closed. A lot can happen in a very short time speeding down a busy highway. In December 2017, a Douglas County woman was charged with careless driving resulting in death in a car and bicycle collision. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department has not released the details about what caused the accident, which took place in November 2017, other than the driver drifted into the cyclist’s lane, killing him.

Cyclists and pedestrians are among the most vulnerable people we share the road with. Colorado requires that cars maintain at least a three- foot distance between car and bicyclist (C.R.S. §42-4- 1003). This space requirement includes all mirrors and projections from the passing vehicle. The three-foot rule requirement was put into place, in part, to account for minor slips in attention. There are additional laws protecting bicyclists and pedestrians from careless, negligent, and inattentive motorists. Violations of these laws can expose the bad driver to an array of misdemeanor and felony charges, as well as thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees. –Bryan VanMeveren

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Eat Healthier Than Ever

Do your kids get enough nutrients in their diet? If they’re like most kids, the answer is probably no. You want your children to eat more vegetables and less processed junk, but that’s easier said than done. Getting the average kid to chow down on a serving of broccoli is a chore. Food manufacturers have built an entire industry around our kids’ penchant for sugary cereal and fast food. However, a diet of processed foods can lead to a host of problems, including hindered brain development and even behavioral issues. A study in the American Journal of Public Health found links between poor diet and the development of depression in kids and teens. So, how can you encourage your kids to eat healthier foods? One way is through presentation. A mound of plain old veggies is unappealing, whether you’re 10 years old or 40. The solution is to think of vegetables as an ingredient rather than as a stand-alone dish.

Take lasagna, for instance. You can easily modify this beloved Italian dish. Instead of using lasagna noodles, slice zucchini into thin, noodle-like strips and layer them as you would typical pasta. The same can be done for other pasta dishes. Zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer — also known as “zoodles” — make a mean substitute for spaghetti. Pair them with your favorite marinara sauce or toss them in a slightly less decadent, but still delicious, alfredo.

Vegetables can also be incorporated into other foods your children already know and love. Did you know you can make brownies with avocado and black beans? Slipping in a few healthier ingredients here and there can deliver the nutrients your kids need to power through a busy school week. If you want to foster long-lasting healthy eating habits, the best thing you can do is offer your child some agency. For example, saying to your child, “You can have the cauliflower or the broccoli. It’s up to you!” empowers them to make their own decision based on their preferences. Psychologists and social scientists, including the famed Dr. Maria Montessori, argue that when kids feel in charge of a decision, they are more likely to embrace the ability to choose, even if it’s between two kinds of vegetables. Ultimately, as a parent, you are in control of your child’s diet. Help them explore new foods and foster a positive culinary environment. Your kids will develop a taste for healthy eating in no time!

TESTIMONIALS

“Great service. I was never a fan of lawyers — I figured I could just talk

“I was involved with a lawyer who transitioned out of the firm during my case. Jolene Blair took over, and she and VanMeveren Law Group fought as hard as they could to get us a settlement. I was very pleased with the outcome!” –Jared F. “Professional, ethical, friendly, and effective. I have recommended this office to many friends, and they are happy, too. I have been well taken care of, and my situation has been taken seriously. If needed, I will retain their services again without hesitation.” –Linda A.

to folks and get a fair deal. When I had a car accident and the other person’s insurance gave me the attitude of ‘Well, we can get you a little gas money and rental car for your trips to the doctor, but really that’s about all,’ I knew I needed help. I did some talking with local folks, and one recommendation led to another until I found a personal injury lawyer I felt good about. Jolene at VanMeveren did a great job pushing back until I got what I felt was fair.” –Sandy B.

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Tech of the Future Gets Results Today

Last December, the future of fitness arrived in Fort Collins. Pioneered by Raintree Athletic Club (RAC), ALIVE is a new fitness center where innovative technology blends with the best in fitness training. Full of amenities you can’t find at the average gym, ALIVE’s state-of-the-art facility offers virtual fitness studios, MyZone fitness tracking, Olympic lifting platforms, and functional training, along with standard cardio and weight equipment. All of these are available to members 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing them to take control of their health on their schedule. Owners Martin Johns and Dave Veldman have co-owned RAC in Fort Collins since 2009. They see ALIVE as the next step in helping members through their fitness journey. “It was my vision to open up ALIVE to inspire and offer those people who are looking for more tech-based and contemporary solutions to their fitness routine the chance to achieve their goals in a place where they feel as if they have stepped into the future,” said Johns. If your schedule has been keeping you from achieving your fitness goals, or if you’re looking for a more cutting-edge way to improve your health, ALIVE may be exactly what you need. Whether you’re interested in cardio, weight training, or anything in between, the open doors, friendly staff, and talented personal trainers at ALIVE can help you feel, well, alive!

G R A N O L A

Recipe inspired by LoveAndLemons.com.

1 cup rolled oats 1/2 teaspoon salt Ingredients

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1/3 cup pistachios, chopped

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1/4 cup coconut flakes 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/3 cup goji berries

1 tablespoon coconut oil 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

1. Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add oats in a thin layer and toast for 1–2 minutes. Add coconut oil and salt, then stir. Continue toasting for 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2. Add maple syrup 1 tablespoon at a time; stir to coat. 3. Once oats are toasted, add pistachios, coconut flakes, and

cinnamon. Cook slowly until pistachios and coconut flakes are toasted but not burned, for about 5 minutes. 4. Remove from pan and stir in goji berries. 5. Let cool and enjoy as a snack or on top of your yogurt!

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Inside

TWO EVENTS TO Start Your Year Off Right

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