Safety Tips when Visiting Austin, TX - From a Personal Injury Lawyer - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Safety Tips when Visiting Austin, TX – From a Personal Injury Lawyer

Perhaps you’re visiting Austin to appreciate the sights of the capital of Texas. You might be coming to town to visit the Southwest Music Festival and SXSW film and technology conferences. Or you’re touring the University of Texas at Austin as a prospective student. In any case, you need to take steps to remain safe. Here are a few key safety tips to follow when visiting Austin, Texas from a personal injury law perspective.

Be Awake, Alert and Aware

Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid areas that are overgrown or poorly lit. Watch for suspicious or unusual behavior. Avoid people acting erratically. If you feel unsafe about a situation, leave, and ideally, let people know where you are and where you’re going.

In general, always let someone know where you are. If your judgment is impaired, ask someone with sound judgment to walk or drive you home. Know that you could be ticketed if you’re driving drowsy just as you could when driving drunk.

Consider putting apps or pre-programming local emergency phone numbers into your phone. For example, have the Austin police department non-emergency number or app on your phone. Then you can call them immediately, even for situations that don’t warrant calling 911. Try to know where you are at all times because they cannot always identify your location via your phone.

Understand Driving Laws

Driving laws vary from state to state. Texas has standard laws like requiring everyone to wear a safety belt. The state requires children under the age of 8 or 4 foot 9 to be in a booster or safety seat. This means you could be fined for not having a 12-year-old in a booster seat if they haven’t hit that size. Penalties can cost up to 250 dollars, but you may be ordered to pay court costs, as well.

Texas outlaws texting and driving. Note that there is an exception for navigation devices and stereo controls. A first-time offense could net a fine of up to a hundred dollars. Repeat offenses start at a $100 fine.

Texas also passed a law in 2003 that requires people to move over and slow down if emergency vehicles are coming. You can be fined if you don’t get out of the way of ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars. This list also includes the Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks with emergency lights on.

On the other hand, Texas doesn’t completely outlaw U-turns. There are a few situations when you can make a U-turn. You must be able to see 500 feet in front and behind you. If at a traffic light, the light must be green or have a green arrow, though you have to yield to oncoming traffic. In general, follow left-hand turn laws. Furthermore, there cannot be a sign present saying U-turns are not allowed. If all of these criteria are met, you are then allowed to make the turn if it is safe to do so. However, an officer can issue a ticket if they think it was unsafe.

You also have to know that since Texas is an “at fault” state. You can directly sue any party responsible for an accident in addition to what you received from your insurance company. The compensation will be proportionate with how much you or the other party is responsible for the accident.

This is why it is very important that you work with are reputable law firm who will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve, and that no doubt is cast on you to shift responsibility. Laws firms like Lorenz & Lorenz, for instance, can handle everything from traffic accident claims to traffic tickets if an incident happens, so make sure that you have a team like them on your side if you ever happen to be victim of a car accident, or any personal injury for this matter, while in Austin.

Minimize Your Profile

One way to keep yourself safe is to not flash money or valuables. If you go shopping, drop items off at your car and lock them instead of being distracted with a growing number of bags. A side benefit of not carrying so many bags is that you don’t give people the impression you have enough money to be worth robbing.

Don’t flaunt wealth. Don’t stand around counting money. Keep valuables concealed whether on your person or in your car. While Austin is relatively safe, you should still lock your hotel room, dorm room or car when you leave.

Conclusion

Austin is one of the top destinations in the state. Understand how to keep yourself safe and avoid a ticket so you can get the most out of your visit.





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