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Asheville North Carolina Legal Blog

Tips for safe driving in the bright sunlight

Most drivers in North Carolina understand that heading out in the early morning or late afternoon means driving in bright sunlight. If possible, commuters could try waiting until the sun completely rises or sets below the horizon. In any case, it is important to keep safe during these conditions since bright sunlight can create visual illusions.

Drivers raise their fatal accident risk by 16 percent when in bright sunlight. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the hazards. Wearing sunglasses is an essential first step as these can reduce the brightness and protect the eyes from harmful UV rays. Drivers should leave a pair in their car at all times. Next, they should use their sun visors to block the sun from their front windshield or side windows. Sun visors are made not to hinder visibility.

Teens driving teens have higher fatality risk

Many North Carolina drivers are wary of cars full of teens. They may believe that these drivers are more likely to be careless or distracted. While some of these ideas are based on stereotypes about teen drivers, they may also be backed up by reality. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study for National Teen Driver Safety Week showing that when teen drivers have only teen passengers in their vehicles, the fatality rate for everyone involved in a car accident can rise by 51 percent.

The risk can often be the greatest for people in other cars involved in a crash with a car full of teens. Passengers and drivers in other vehicles were 56 percent more likely to be fatally injured as the result of such a motor vehicle accident. Pedestrians and cyclists were also 17 percent more likely to lose their lives while the teen drivers themselves were 45 percent more likely to die. On the other hand, when at least one passenger age 35 or older was riding with a teen driver, the fatality rate in car accidents declined by 8 percent.

Where to keep your car to protect it from hurricane damage

Last month, North Carolina residents suffered through Hurricane Florence together. Towns lost their structures, people lost their lives and the state lost billions in property damage. If you were fortunate enough to receive little to no damage from the storm, do not count yourself lucky yet. We still have one month to go before the 2018 hurricane season ends, so we could still get hit with more heavy winds and rainstorms.

If your town experiences heavy downpour, car companies generally recommend that you avoid going through deep water to avoid your vehicle breaking down or drowning. Instead, you should think about where you want to keep your car to avoid getting major storm damage around these times. Finding the right place is crucial to keep your vehicle safe and avoiding tedious battles with insurance companies.

Many North Carolina doctors have stopped prescribing opioids

The opioid crisis has affected millions of people throughout the United States. Last year, President Donald Trump declared the prevalence of opioid addiction a national emergency. The over-prescription of opioids for disproportionately mild injuries contributed to the crisis. In response, many doctors—including over 1,000 in North Carolina alone—say that they have stopped prescribing opioids altogether.

Curbing the opioid epidemic, one doctor at a time

Tesla releases voluntary Vehicle Safety Report

Cars with automatic driving features are becoming more common on roadways in North Carolina. One of the most notable is Tesla's Autopilot feature. In its recently published Vehicle Safety Report, Tesla asserts that this pseudo self-driving feature prevents crashes.

According to the voluntary report, Tesla drivers using the Autopilot feature between July and September of 2018 were involved in "crash-like events" once every 3.34 million miles. Meanwhile, drivers not using the Autopilot feature experienced car accidents once every 1.92 million miles.

When should a family pursue wrongful death litigation?

When a North Carolina family is navigating the aftermath of the unexpected loss of a loved one, it is a complex and challenging time for everyone. From the sudden expenses associated with medical bills and a funeral, the family also has to navigate the emotional turmoil as well. Grieving families often find it difficult to think about potential legal options that could be available to them.

Here's what college students say about their drinking habits

You'd be hard-pressed to find a North Carolina college campus where zero percent of the student-body drinks alcohol. Even dry campuses report issues that are alcohol or drug-related. In order to better understand alcohol statistics in colleges throughout the nation, it helps to analyze why students drink in the first place. Your reasons for consuming alcohol on or off-campus may not be the same as your roommate's; however, many students agree that certain factors significantly impact their choices.        

If you're age 21 or beyond, you may legally drink alcohol, provided you are adhering to your own campus's rules. However, many students choose to completely abstain from alcohol while in college, simply because college life is stressful enough as it is, without tossing additional risks and problems into the mix. Nobody is perfect, so if you make a poor decision or somehow wind up facing legal problems that are alcohol-related, you can tap into local support resources to try to mitigate your circumstances.  

Fighting back against allegations or charges of robbery

Facing criminal charges of any kind are a serious threat to your personal freedom and your future interests. Regardless of whether the charges against you are serious felony charges or a minor misdemeanor offense, it is critically important to shield your interests to the best of your ability, fight these charges and work to keep your record clear. 

Robbery charges are particularly serious criminal charges in North Carolina. A conviction could lead to time behind bars and other penalties that can permanently alter the course of your life. Every robbery case is different, but you will find it beneficial to understand the applicable laws that pertain to your case, the specific charges against you and how you can build a strong defense.

Drug trafficking: Much more serious than possession charges

North Carolina readers know that criminal charges of any kind are a direct threat to their futures. This is especially true when facing charges that come with significant penalties, such as drug trafficking charges. Individuals charged and convicted of drug trafficking could face penalties that can change the course of their lives.

If you are facing drug trafficking charges, your future and your freedom are on the line. It is critical to confront them with a strong defense and work diligently to avoid grave consequences. It can be helpful to learn more about your defense options and the next steps you should take as soon as possible after an arrest.

Did counting money lead to white collar crime counts against you?

Whether you're native to North Carolina or recently moved here when you landed a new job, you've likely heard the term blue collar associated with people who earn their incomes in the labor industry. If you happen to work in an accounting department or as an entrepreneur or corporate executive, you may also be familiar with the term white collar as it relates to non-labor employment. In the 1930s, people started using the phrase white collar crime to describe non-violent illegal acts perpetrated for financial gain.

You may have heard or used the term a hundred times but never imagined you might one day face criminal charges regarding such offenses. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers corporate fraud a top area of concern. Therefore, if police arrest you on suspicion of a white collar crime, you'll no doubt have your work cut out for you in your attempt to avoid conviction.

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