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Summer Safety Tips for Alabama Gulf Coast

Welcome back to Mobile Mornings on FM Talk 165 Dalton Orwig here and again, welcome to my good friend now, Bryan Comer with the law firm, Tobias and Comer Law.

Bryan, how are you doing today?

I'm doing great, Dalton, how are you?

I'm great. We've made it. It's hot outside.  And it's time to talk summer vacation. And you have plenty to discuss, I'm sure, regarding that. And let's talk about something that is certainly common in our neck of the woods this time of year. You're getting ready to go out. Maybe you're going on a summer trip. Maybe you're just driving back home after a long work week and one of those storms comes through and just starts pouring. That can certainly cause some dangerous situations.

Yeah, absolutely.

I mean, anybody who's lived here, like we have, knows that we get this afternoon thunderstorms in the summer and they come out of nowhere and they're just super intense. And it seems that everything just kind of slows down, whether you're on a highway or the interstate or even in your neighborhood. And there are certain things you should do and not do. It makes sense to slow down and at least not be going a million miles an hour through the rain. Heck, it's hard not to when everyone else slows down around you. But you brought up something interesting when we were talking earlier. The hazard lights. It's like everyone throws on their hazard lights now. It's the new, cool thing to do.

Yeah, it's strange. I mean, I remember it seems like a long time ago. People would rarely do it, and only if it was really dark from the storm. But, man, we were on a recent trip and came into the storm and we started seeing that people have their hazards on. And you absolutely don't turn your hazards on ever, unless you're in a wreck or you're pulled off on the side of the road.

But if you're just driving down the interstate and it’s raining, for instance, don't turn your hazards on. Make sure your lights are on. You absolutely want to slow down because you have a responsibility not to outdrive what you can see. If you hit some kind of a puddle that develops or some pocket on the road, you can Hydro plane so definitely slow down.

To reiterate, when driving in heavy downpours:

  • Make sure your lights are on.
  • Make sure everybody's belted.
  • Slow down.

But please don't turn your hazards on.

Yeah, and I've noticed that, too.I guess you could call it a new trend where everyone throws the hazard lights on. And I've seen it even when it's not raining. I always think for some reason in my mind, I say, well, that person is on the way to the hospital. They're having a baby, right.

That's why they have the hazard lights on. But it's impossible when you get into a storm and every single car around you has them on, is there any real reason beyond just it's kind of a selfish thing to do to have it on when you're not in an emergency?

So you really hit the nail on the head there. I mean, the hazard lights are for an emergency. Okay? So if you have someone in the car, you're trying to get to the hospital, or if you're pulled over with a flat tire or something or you've been in a wreck, God forbid, then you turn your hazards on. But I mean, you hit the nail on the head. If everybody has their hazard lights on, it just is disruptive. And then if people are trying to pass or what have you, you can't use your blinker. The rules of the road still apply.

And for that poor soul who is on the side of the road during one of these, they need the hazard lights on. If everyone else does, you might not even know they're stopped.

That's right.

So let's get past the hazard lights and let’s just say you are in an accident. Whether there's a downpour happening or if it's just really heavy weekend traffic, everyone's heading down to the beach. If you get in a wreck on a busy road, say I-10 or 65, what's the next step?

Well, obviously the first thing is you want to stop. You definitely don't want to leave the scene, but stop if you've caused the wreck, make sure that the other person is okay. And then if there's no injuries involved, you should get off the road. I know Trooper Peoples tells me all the time, the main thing is they want to make sure that you can get off the road, be safe and not cause any other problems for other people. And so as quickly as you can, check on the other person, get back in the car and say, hey, let's go to the next exit, let's go to the next gas station, what have you, and then pull off and call 911, call the non emergency number, if that's more applicable. But get off the highway, get off the road in that situation. But again, you want to make sure that you talk to the other person first so that nobody thinks you're fleeing the scene of an accident.

And of course, it's so sad to talk about. And with me being on the morning show, I see so many of these stories. And in your position, you've worked so many cases where someone's on the side of the road and maybe they're hanging out a little bit too far into a Lane of traffic. It's a really dangerous situation. And some of the stuff you've mentioned in the past, those hazard frames to put around the car if you have to get out and do something or just making it as safe as possible for yourself.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the name of the game is to be visible. So you want to make sure that people can see you if it's dark, if it's raining in particular, you want to make sure if you've got a flashlight, if you got anything to make yourself more visible, reflective clothing or vest, what have you. But if you have to get off on the side of the road, if there are injuries and you got to pull over, get all the way off the road, don't stick out if you can. Trooper Peoples tells us all the time, never get off on the left shoulder. Always go on the right and try to get as far away from traffic as possible.

All right. And there's another topic I wanted to broach with you while we still have some time here. And that's what happens when you maybe get down to where you're planning to vacation. And I know All My Fairhope people love talking about the golf carts. They're everywhere, right. So sometimes people get down to their condo or rental wherever they're staying, and they, for the first time, are riding around in a golf cart in a pretty busy place or they're driving and there's other carts in the road. Talk a little bit about that golf cart safety.

Yeah, sure. That's a very good point. And they are prevalent, whether it's in Fairhope or I grew up in Satsuma, they are prevalent up there. You see them all over the place and the rules of the road still apply.

And so if you get down to a rental and you have a golf cart comes with your rental, whether you're on the Bay or down at the beach or wherever, you still need to follow the rules of the road, you have to follow the rules of the road. Don't drive them on the sidewalk. Drive them on the road. And if you're going to drive on the road, follow the make sure that you stop for stop signs, you yield the pedestrians, you do all of those things.

And then also just driving around here with so much to offer and so many people coming in to vacation here, you want to make sure that if people are from out of town and maybe they're on a golf cart, maybe they don't know where they're going.

That's true with cars, too, right?

Yeah. But you just want to always drive defensively, I think, and just make it a point to just be cognizant of your surroundings. Look out for the other person. Always look twice and just try to take your time and be careful.

That's such a advice, especially when you're on vacation. You don't want anything to ruin that. Drive defensively and just make sure you're following the rules of the road and be prepared if anyone else isn't.

So if this all sounds familiar, we're talking with Bryan Comer with the Tobias and Comer law firm. If someone has had something happen to them, that sounds similar to what we've been discussing here or another personal injury case. They want to know if maybe they have a case. How can they give you a call?

Sure, they can reach out to us. Our number is 251-432-5001. You can also find us on the web, and we've got all kinds of information on our website. We've got links to some videos explaining some of these things and there's never a fee if you've been involved in a serious incident, there's never a fee to consult with us to see if there's something we can help you with.

I love it, man. You and Desi Tobias, you're local. You guys have been here in Mobile for a long time and serving the entire area around us and I always appreciate when you guys are able to come in. So thanks again for coming in this morning.

Thanks for having me, Dalton

All right, Bryan Comer, Tobias and Comer law firm.

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