Avoiding a Pedestrian Accident During the Coronavirus Shutdown

Pedestrians in Alabama and elsewhere are at a higher risk of accidents and injuries because they do not have the protections such as airbags, seatbelt, or crumple zones that a car driver has. Moreover, many of the cars and bigger vehicles are built in such a way that a driver may sometimes fail to notice a pedestrian.


During the Covid-19 shutdown, traffic on most of the roads in Alabama has reduced to a trickle as people are largely staying indoors. However, some car drivers as well as pedestrians still need to come out for buying essential goods or visiting a doctor or hospital for a medical emergency. Many others are going out for walks to get out of the house and get some exercise. This exposes pedestrians to the risk of accidents even during this period of relatively low vehicular traffic.


Empty Roads can be Deceptive


Both car drivers and pedestrians should exercise extra caution when the roads are mostly empty. In such situations, it is easy to let down your guard in the belief that there is no risk of causing a car accident or getting injured as a pedestrian. Car drivers will typically tend to drive at higher speeds or indulge in distracted driving when they feel that there is minimal traffic.


Similarly, a pedestrian may get careless or distracted while crossing the road or use their smartphone while walking. Reduced sense of alertness in these situations can exponentially increase the risk of accidents. Therefore, it is prudent to be more careful rather than less careful during the shutdowns in coronavirus affected areas of Alabama.


Safety Tips for Drivers


Drive Slow in Pedestrian Areas


When you slow down your vehicle when you see a pedestrian in your path, you get extra time to react if the pedestrian does something unpredictable. An extra fraction of a second for a car driver can mean the difference between life and death for a pedestrian.


Show Your Patience with Elderly and Infirm


While most seniors and people with underlying medical conditions are mostly staying at home to minimize their risk of Covid-19 exposure, but medical emergencies can force them to come out to visit a local doctor or healthcare center.


They may need extra time for crossing the street or may even have a weak eyesight or hearing and may not see or hear you. Keep distance and show your patience in order to protect them on the road.


Try to Make Eye Contact


You can communicate through your eyes with a pedestrian while driving your car. The pedestrian will want to ensure that you have noticed them before they start crossing the street. Eye contact will help you both to know who is going to take which road and avoid confusion, which could otherwise result in a serious accident.


Do not Drink and Drive


Your reaction time will slow down if you are driving under the influence of alcohol. You could face severe penalties, including jail time, if you injure a pedestrian while you were driving drunk in Alabama.


Safety Tips for Pedestrians


Stick to Areas Designated for Pedestrians


The Alabama Department of Transportation is working hard to improve road safety for drivers as well as pedestrians. At many places across the state, landscape strips are provided that separate pedestrian and vehicular traffic.


There are also markings to guide pedestrians to the designated areas for crossing the road. For your own safety, you should stick to these areas when you are on foot in Alabama.


Do not Assume that a Car Driver has Seen You


Car drivers often do not pay as much attention as they should to protect pedestrians. During these times of Covid-19 shutdown, in particular, chances are that many drivers may be even less attentive than usual, or some of them could be even driving under the influence of liquor or drugs.


Therefore, even when you have the right of way, your best bet for your own safety is to cross an intersection only when you are sure that the traffic has come to a halt.


Be Mindful of the Vehicle Behind a Stopped Car


Although the car right in front you may notice you and stop, there is no guarantee that the vehicle behind will stop as well. Particularly during the coronavirus shutdown days in Alabama, a car driver behind may be less than cautious and try to drive around the vehicle in the front and hit you. Be mindful of this possibility as you are walking through a crosswalk.


Step Away if You Stop Your Car on a Highway


Your risk of a catastrophic pedestrian accident and injury is high when you have to stop your car on the side of a highway for some reason. If another driver traveling at a high speed fails to notice you on shoulder of the road, they could hit you. Leave as much space as you can between yourself and the roadway to give you and an oncoming driver extra time to avoid a crash.


Free Case Evaluation from an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer


At Zach Peagler law firm in Birmingham, AL our skilled personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, resources, and dedication to provide you robust legal representation. We will create an effective legal strategy to help you obtain your rightful damages in a pedestrian personal injury case. For a free case evaluation, call us today at (205) 871-9990.


Should I Drive After Testing Positive For COVID-19?

The coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis, not just for the people’s health and the country’s economy, but it is also creating unique legal and social concerns. If you have tested positive for Covid-19 but are feeling fine or have substantially recovered from the symptoms, you may wonder whether you can move on with your life and if you can drive your car.


Do not Violate a Local Lockdown or a Quarantine


The first thing you should know is that even if you may have no apparent symptoms of the Covid-19 illness, you could still spread the infection to others if you are a carrier of novel coronavirus.


If your area in Alabama is under a local lockdown or shelter-in-place orders are in force, you should refrain from driving or going out of your home in any case unless it is necessary. Following your Covid-19 positive test report, if your healthcare provider has advised you to self-quarantine for a certain period, you must follow their professional advice with commitment.


During the quarantine period, it is not prudent to drive or step out of your home unless there is an emergency. When your car windows are rolled up, you may not expose other people to the virus, but for any reason if you roll down your windows, talk to someone, touch any surfaces with hands or body, or step out of your vehicle, you could be putting other people at risk.


You May Drive Only to Obtain Medical Care


For your own as well as other people’s safety, you should diligently follow the CDC guidelines if you have tested positive for Covid-19 or you suspect that you may be infected with the virus. The CDC has provided clear steps to help prevent the spread of the virus if you are Covid-19 positive.


According to the CDC, most people who test positive for Covid-19 will have only mild symptoms and will be able to recover at home without the need for medical care. If you are one of them, the CDC recommends that you stay at home and get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. You should not leave the home, and not visit public areas for any reason – except to obtain medical care.


As a Covid-19 positive patient at home, if you find that you are having difficulty in breathing or are experiencing any other warning signs of medical emergency, or if you believe it is a medical emergency, you can drive your car to visit your doctor or healthcare center. However, the CDC recommends that you must call your ahead of your visit to receive medical care.


If you only have a routine medical appointment that can be postponed, you should postpone it, or request for telehealth consultation with your doctor. If your medical appointment is unavoidable and urgent, you should call and inform your doctor that you have Covid-19 (or you suspect that you have it). This will give them the time to protect themselves and other patients.


The CDC guidelines say that you should avoid using public transport, taxis or ride-sharing vehicles when you want to visit your doctor or medical center in this condition. If you have been taking any cough syrup or another medication that can cause drowsiness, you should avoid driving for several hours until the effect of the last dosage has completely cleared up.


When to Resume Driving after Covid-19 Sickness?


According to the CDC guidelines, if you tested Covid-19 positive and have remained in self-isolation at home, you can stop isolation and drive your car under the following conditions:


If you are not getting a test to determine if you are free of the virus


You can leave home and drive your car after all of the following things have occurred:


  1. You did not have fever even once for at least 72 hours consecutively (i.e., complete three days without any fever and without using any fever-reducing medication)
  2. Your other symptoms have also improved (such as, your shortness of breath or coughing has improved)
  3. At least seven days have passed since your Covid-19 symptoms first showed up.


If you will be taking a Covid-19 test to determine if you are still contagious


You can leave your home and drive your car after all of the following things have occurred:


  1. You do not have any fever (without using any fever-reducing medication)
  2. Your other symptoms have also improved (such as, your shortness of breath or coughing has improved)
  3. Your two Covid-19 tests in a row (taken 24 hours apart) have shown a negative result.


Consult with an Experienced Attorney in Alabama


Rules and regulations related to Covid-19 have yet to pass the scrutiny of courts in Alabama. However, it is best to be on the right side of the law and consult with the knowledgeable Birmingham attorneys at Zach Peagler law firm. We have the experience and skills to provide you the appropriate advice and protect your rights under all circumstances. Call us at (205) 871-9990 for a free consultation.

Finding Silver Linings from the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused incalculable human suffering as well as widespread economic devastation across the country and the world. While the battle against coronavirus continues, it is important to remain optimistic and focus on overcoming this unprecedented global challenge. Perhaps it is also time to remember that every dark cloud ultimately has a silver lining, and that becomes the new starting point once the cloud disappears.


Pandemics have Historically Changed the World for the Better


Although it is an uncomfortable thought in the midst of all the tragedy and disruption that the coronavirus outbreak has been causing, the historical fact remains that extensive damage caused by pandemics is almost always followed by tremendously positive social changes. According to historians, following the destructive bubonic plague from 1347 to 1351 (also called the “Black Death”), the living and working conditions for the low-income classes of that era significantly improved.


The cholera epidemic of 1854 (caused by water and food contamination) was followed by major reforms and investments in social infrastructure to ensure clean water and sanitation across Europe. Similarly, the Spanish flu of 1918-19 was also considered a “crowd disease” originating in areas where low-income groups lived in overcrowded conditions. In its aftermath, many nations began focusing on better housing and healthcare.


Transforming Healthcare in the 21st Century


The current Covid-19 medical crisis may serve as a wake-up call for the US and the rest of the world. The governments may recognize the need to prioritize long-term health and sustainability of the people over the obsessive pursuit of profit margins.


The US has over the years become overly dependent on the supply of even critical medications and essential medical supplies and equipment from other parts of the world. The convenience of outsourcing has somewhat compromised innovation and breakthroughs within the country in new therapies and vaccines and slowed down other vital population health measures.


Post-coronavirus, the US is likely to make large investments in medical research and infrastructure to combat potential future pandemics. Advanced patient testing infrastructure, telemedicine, and digital healthcare solutions are going to receive a huge boost so that the country is in a much stronger position in the future to handle contagious outbreaks with targeted efficiency.


Greater Sense of Community


The Covid-19 crisis has already shown one silver lining that people and communities are coming together to help each other and demonstrate their love for humanity. While people are unable to physically hug each other or even hold hands to show their solidarity, they are still collaborating and harmonizing with each other and expressing it through their thoughts, words and emotions.


The social media interactions have become much more frequent and positive, people are reconnecting with friends and extended family by phone and video calls, parents are able to spend quality time with their kids and teach new skills and arts, and virtual sharing and caring for each other has gone to the next level during this continuing dark phase for the society.


People who can afford it are donating generously to community organizations and are volunteering their time and skills wherever possible. Neighbors are showing concern for people around them and checking on seniors and those with infirmities to offer them any assistance they made need during this difficult time.


Sweeping Digital Change that will Last Beyond the Crisis


The nation’s digital infrastructure has been put to good use in these times of social distancing and local lockdowns.


Millions of people who had never contemplated that they could work from home, save precious hours on commute, enjoy flexible working hours, improve their organization’s operational cost efficiencies, and minimize their environmental footprint are now learning to deliver almost the same level of productivity and results through remote working.


Schools, colleges and universities are conducting virtual classrooms with outstanding effectiveness and without consuming the vast brick ‘n mortar infrastructure and resources that was the norm until recently. Online shopping has risen to new levels of cost and delivery efficiency and will probably go to the next levels post the coronavirus crisis.


Many 12-step meetings and addiction treatment centers have gone virtual. Dietitians, coaches and therapies are moving their services to telehealth systems, fitness instructors taking live training sessions, spiritual leaders are utilizing streaming services to reach out to people, friends are organizing virtual meet-ups and virtual dance parties, and online games, virtual sports, and live stream events are suddenly being embraced by millions.


The key is to capitalize and build upon these positive socio-economic transformations once the Covid-19 pandemic is under control. The silver lining is clearly visible, and the dark cloud will hopefully disappear sooner rather than later.


Legal Help is Here for You


Zach Peagler law firm in Alabama is dedicated to providing quality legal representation to the people of Alabama even in the midst of this difficult time for our nation. We are taking all of the precautions and following social distancing guidelines, and most of our work is being done remotely these days. But rest assured, we have the technology and resources to help our clients successfully navigate the complexities of Alabama law and protect your rights under all circumstances. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (205) 871-9990.