Champlain Valley Law June 2019

www.champlainvalleylaw.com

JUNE 2019

The Most Dangerous Season What You Can Do to Avoid Summertime Crashes 99 Maple Street | Middlebury | VT | 05753 • 57 Court Street | Plattsburgh | NY | 12901 802-465-4012 • 518-594-6046 Champlain Val ley Law R. Drew Palcsik Attorney at Law PLLC

Summertime is in full swing, and we couldn’t be happier here at Champlain Valley Law. However, with this nicer weather comes a higher risk of being involved in a crash due to the negligence of another party. It’s an unfortunate fact that the summer months make up the most dangerous time of year for a number of reasons. With more drivers hitting the open road and more exposure to outdoor activities like cycling, it’s easier than you’d think to find yourself in harm’s way. As if that wasn’t enough, the increase in alcohol consumption and road hazards pose even more potential for mishaps. The good news is these can largely be avoided. By knowing the rules of the road and how to protect yourself from distracted drivers, your chances of being involved in a collision will be greatly decreased. For everything else you can’t prevent, contact me, Attorney Drew Palcsik, at Champlain Valley Law. My teamwill give you the representation you deserve. Amajor part of summertime hazards comes frompeople not understanding the laws of the road for bicyclists. Every year we have new clients come in after they’ve been injured in a cycling accident, most often because a car did not respect their space. Drivers and cyclists need to realize that they have to pass with the recommendedminimumof 3 feet between a car and a bicycle. As long as we recognize and respect each other on the roads, we will eliminate much of that inherent risk. We care somuch about our community’s bicyclists because we are a part of that community. Among the many cycling events we have done, my son and I have participated in Middlebury’s ownVermont Gran Fondo for the past three years. We’ve even sponsored the event in the past. On the cyclists’side, we need to be doing our part to be proactive. While you cannot truly control whether or not you’re injured through the negligence of another person, you should keep an eye out for distracted drivers to avoid any

potentially disastrous collisions. These distracted drivers can be doing a number of different things, from eating behind the wheel to staring at their cellphone; there’s no end to ways we can take our eyes or mind off the road these days. The important thing to keep inmind is that the government recognizes bicycles as functioning vehicles in the eyes of the law. They have the same right of way as any car and should be treated with the same respect. With that in mind, I know cyclists can’t always prepare for the unexpected. But to lessen that risk, we must always remember we could be caught in a driver’s blind spot as well. The same goes for motorcyclists, as their relative size and positioning on the road is the same at times. As our area is popular for motorcycle tours, we also need to respect their space and give them extra consideration on the roads. If you find yourself riding alongside a car, assume you’re in a problem area, especially if it’s a larger vehicle like an 18-wheeler. We are often invisible to them. Finally, some summertime crashes and injuries aren’t the fault of either the driver or the injured person. Each spring, the roads begin to degrade

after the winter season. As ice forms in cracks during the winter, they expand and create road hazards during the summer months. Often, the municipal road crews cannot get to fixing these problems until later in the year, meaning these cracks can be especially dangerous to cyclists. By keeping your wits about you andmaintaining a safe speed, you’ll make it out of this summer unscathed. If that turns out not to be the case, you knowwhere to findme at ChamplainValley Law. I don’t stand by and let my clients be victimized by someone else’s carelessness. I amprepared to stand up and fight for you wherever I need to. To find out more about this year’s cycling event, visit VermontGranFondo.com. For everything else, give us a call anytime at 802-465-4012.

-Drew Palcsik

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