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Goldman Law Offices

Doylestown Pennsylvania Personal Injury Law Blog

Rainy season brings dangers on the road

As summer gives way to fall in Pennsylvania, people can find themselves dealing with a lot of rain. In addition to lower visibility and slick roads, hydroplaning can occur. Hydroplaning or literally floating on the surface of water is a major cause of vehicle accidents in wet weather.

Hydroplaning occurs when there is so much water on the road that it creates a layer of water between the tires and the road surface. The tires lose traction as the vehicle floats on the water. It doesn't actually take much water for hydroplaning to happen. Drivers are often warned to avoid puddles, but heavy rain alone can create a situation where hydroplaning could occur.

There are many reasons why speeding is dangerous

As a driver, it's easy to push the limit in regard to speed. Even if you know the posted speed limit, you may get the feeling that going a bit faster is acceptable.

There are many reasons why speeding is dangerous, and all of them have to do with the increased risk of an accident. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The faster your vehicle is moving, the less likely it is that your vehicle will be able to handle the force of an accident
  • The faster you're driving, the less reaction time you have, such as if you need to stop in a hurry for another vehicle or pedestrian
  • Speeding requires harder braking in an emergency, thus increasing the risk of losing control of your vehicle
  • Speeding increases your stopping speed
  • When you're speeding, other drivers may find it difficult to determine just how fast you are going
  • Speeding risks are enhanced during traffic, inclement weather and particular types of road designs (such as curves)

Planning for the school year after divorce

Divorced parents in Pennsylvania can take advantage of the new school year as a time to help children also deal with the transition of their new family situation. They may want to talk to their children about the year ahead and their goals. While this may include academic goals, it is also important to acknowledge relationships, extracurricular activities and jobs for older children.

Ideally, this conversation would take place with the other parent present, but if that is not possible, the custodial parent can still encourage the child to talk to the other parent about these things as well. The parent can help the child create a list of the top three goals for the school year. Parents may also want to talk about what support they can offer children in any challenges ahead.

How to avoid additional trouble if your car breaks down

There is never a good time for your car to breakdown. It doesn't matter where you are, this is sure to raise your anxiety level.

You'll have a lot running through your mind, but it's important to focus on your safety and well-being above all else. Here are some things you can do to avoid additional trouble if your car breaks down:

  • Call for help: Rather than get out of your vehicle to assess the situation, call for help and stay put. For example, you could call a tow truck to come to assist you with a repair or to move your vehicle to safety.
  • Watch for passing traffic: For example, if you breakdown on the side of the highway, fast-moving vehicles are sure to be in close proximity to the shoulder of the road. If you get out of your car, there's always a chance you could be struck by one of these vehicles.
  • Turn on your flashers: You want to let everyone know what's going on, including other drivers and emergency personnel. In addition to your flashers, tie a piece of clothing to the door handle.

Essential steps to prepare for a child custody hearing

Divorced or unmarried parents in Pennsylvania must establish a schedule for shared child custody or visitation. A court will determine which parent qualifies as the custodial parent and when the children have time with the noncustodial parent. People naturally feel under pressure when access to their children is concerned, and they should prepare to answer specific questions from the judge.

A judge could ask about arrangements for daycare or babysitting for young children or if a parent has a suitable home for children. Parents should also exhibit an ability to provide emotional support for their children. A person could bring along teachers or babysitters familiar with the parent to offer testimony about the person's good character and relationship with the children. The judge will also speak with the other parent and may question older children, school officials or custody adjudicators to learn their opinions about the custody situation. Ideally, parents will project themselves as responsible adults. Conservative clothing and hairstyles could contribute to this goal.

Do these things to reduce or prevent injury in a car accident

There are many reasons why you never want to be part of a car accident, including the fact that you could suffer a serious injury. Add this to damage to your vehicle and it's only natural to do whatever you can to avoid trouble on the road.

Unfortunately, even if you do your best to prevent an accident, another driver could make a mistake. Here are some of the many things you can do to reduce or prevent injury in a car accident:

  • Always wear a seat belt: It's something you can't afford to forget, as wearing a seat belt can be the difference between life and death. It's that important.
  • Don't sit too close to the wheel: This is a hard habit to break, but you need to think twice about the position of your seat. Move your seat back to a comfortable position and make sure the back of your head is in contact with the headrest.
  • Talk to your passengers about safety: For example, don't let your front seat passenger stick their feet out the window or on the dashboard. Also, watch that your children in the backseat don't take off their seat belt.

A closer look at alimony and the new tax reforms

A recent tax reform has drastically altered how alimony is figured into one's taxes, and these major overhauls are going to impact divorcees throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. Many couples are now racing to complete their divorces before the new tax laws officially go on the books. Those who wait to get divorced may end up losing benefits and owe more money to the IRS at the end of the year.

In 2015, over 600,000 taxpayers claimed a deduction for their alimony payments. Couples who get divorced after 2018 may no longer be able to claim those deductions. It is also important to note that recipients will no longer be taxed on those payments if they get divorced after 2018.

How to drive more safely in a school zone

Driving in a school zone is easier said than done, and one mistake can cause a severe accident that injures or kills a child. For this reason, you must adjust your driving.

Here are a few things you can do to drive more safely in a school zone:

  • Adjust your route to minimize the amount of time spent in school zones.
  • Always slow down to the posted speed limit.
  • Watch for stopped buses.
  • Never attempt to pass a stopped bus, as it's against the law.
  • Keep a close eye out for pedestrians, including students and parents.
  • Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
  • Never pass a vehicle that has stopped to let someone cross the road.
  • Follow all directions given by a crossing guard.
  • Watch for your blind spot when making a turn.
  • Take extra caution when backing out of your driveway or a parking spot in a school zone.

What you should include in your emergency roadside kit

When putting together an emergency roadside kit, you can only help but think about all the bad things that could happen. From an accident to a breakdown, there's no escaping these thoughts.

With the right emergency roadside kit in your trunk, you'll feel better about dealing with anything that comes your way. Here are some of the many types of items to pack away:

  • Jumper cables. If your battery dies, jumper cables can come to the rescue.
  • First-aid kit. In the event of an accident, you may find yourself using a first-aid kit until an ambulance arrives at the scene.
  • Flares. Also helpful after an accident, flares make it easy for others to see you and your vehicle. This helps prevent a follow-up accident.
  • Ice scraper. Depending on where you live or where you're traveling, an ice scraper may come in handy more often than you realize.
  • Bottled water. If you're stranded for any reason, bottled water may be just what you need to remain healthy.
  • Energy bars. Just the same as water, keeping a few of these in your emergency roadside kit is never a bad idea.
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Goldman Law Offices

90 E. State Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

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