Top Holiday Driving Hazards

Driving when you’re impaired or distracted is always dangerous – but add low visibility, the potential for ice and snow and the pressures that come with the holiday season, and December just might be one of the most dangerous months to be on the road. This year, avoid the four most dangerous holiday driving hazards.

winter driving

Read before you go: What to do if you get stuck in the snow

The four most dangerous holiday driving hazards 

1. Distracted Driving

Driving while using cell phones for both talking and texting holiday messages can put you and other drivers at risk. Pull over when using your smart phone to check out store hours and locations.

2. Drunk Driving

Holiday dinners and celebrations frequently include alcohol, and sometimes, even drugs. In 2014, 12,480 OVI-related crashes occurred on Ohio roadways. These resulted in 340 deaths and more than 7,000 injuries, according to the Department of Public Safety[1]. December was among the top months, with 1,104 impaired driving crashes. “This holiday season, give yourself the gift of a designated driver,” urges Elk & Elk Managing Partner Arthur M. Elk. “If you plan on consuming alcohol, take a cab, designate a sober driver or use a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft to help get you home safely.”

“This holiday season, give yourself the gift of a designated driver.”

 – Arthur M. Elk

3. Emotional Driving

Stress brought on by the holidays can be overwhelming and those emotions have a serious effect on our driving. If you are worried, upset, frightened, depressed or even feeling extremely happy, your driving skills can be as diminished as they would be if you were texting or intoxicated. Drivers often react to these pressures by driving too fast for conditions, making aggressive lane changes, failing to yield right-of-way and generally disregarding the needs and safety of others using the road.

4. Drowsy Driving

Busy schedules during the winter holidays can lead to insufficient sleep, warns Elk. “Drowsy driving can decrease your reaction time, impair your vision or judgment and can increase your chances of getting into a car crash.”

Even if you take steps to avoid common holiday driving hazards, bad weather or the actions of other drivers may cause a traffic crash to occur. Make sure you have these essential winter items in your car at all times.

 

 


 

[1] Ohio Department of Public Safety. Ohio Traffic Crash Facts 2014. Columbus, 2015. http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2014CrashFacts.pdf

Ohio Holiday Events – 2015

Wondering what to do with those unused vacation days? Grab the family and explore Ohio during the holidays! Reminder: Not all events are open daily. Please see the links below for additional details, registration and fees.
holidaylights

Ohio Holiday Events

 

Northeast Ohio

Cleveland Botanical Garden
Glow
Through Jan 3 Glow is Cleveland’s winter spectacular full of seasonal cheer, where all-new wonders and returning traditions await you.
Cleveland Play House
A Christmas Story (play)
Through Dec 23 The classic holiday comedy adapted for the stage returns to the CPH stage in all its pink-bunny-suit, glowing-leg-lamp, triple-dog-daring glory. The perfect holiday treat for the entire family.
A Christmas Story House
Holiday Tours
Open Year Round Tour the house from A Christmas Story, lovingly restored to its movie splendor. Visit the official museum across the street, featuring memorabilia from the film.

 

Central Ohio

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Wildlights
Through Jan 3 Millions of LED lights will amaze, and kids will love seeing the animals and visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus
Ohio History Center
Holiday Train Display
Through Jan 3 Enjoy the 1950s-style holiday model train display throughout the holiday season

 

Northwest Ohio

Toledo Zoo
The Lights Before Christmas
Through Jan 3 Festive holiday lights, rides, ice carving, ice rink, and Santa!
Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont
Hayes Train Special—A Holiday Tradition
Through Jan 3 Enjoy the sights and sounds of multiple model trains running through a Victorian holiday village.
Armstrong Air & Space Museum
Holiday Lights Display
Through Jan 31 The museum’s seasonal lights display features large lighted sculptures, including an animated astronaut.

 

Southwest Ohio

Cincinnati Zoo
PNC Festival of Lights
Through Jan 2 Festive lights, light show, puppets, refreshments, Santa & his reindeer, train ride
Sharon Woods Park
Holiday in Lights
Through Jan 2 Take the family through this festive drive-through display of decorated trees and more than 120 animated and still figures. Kids will enjoy Santaland, featuring Santa and his elves. ($13 per car)

 

Don’t see your favorite event on our list? Share your Ohio holiday experiences in the comments section below.

 

Ohio Deer Season: Gun Safety

By William J. Price

Deer hunting has always been about tradition. As a kid, I tagged along to learn the nuances of what to do and what not to do when killing an animal. As an adult, I imparted the family wisdom to my kin and relished the time alone with my children who enjoyed one of my few hobbies. As gun season is now upon us, the one practice I still continue to review each time we set foot on our property is gun safety. This tradition will never die.

When deer hunting, always determine your target and know where your shot will stop.
Photo by jaymantri.com, licensed under CC BY 1.0

 

Aside from the typical safety routines I review each time a gun is in their hands, I chose this year to focus in on the following rule: “Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.” [1]  Whether you are in the blind, in a tree stand or simply walking through the woods, knowing what is potentially beyond the target is the hardest part of hunting. To stress the importance of this simple rule, I took the kids on an excursion days before the season opened.

From the tree stand, we mapped out the woods and all of the hazards. We measured off the feed piles, areas of thick brush and tree cover and the open fields, which fed directly into the woods. I stressed these were the areas where other hunters may exist. We identified the dangers, such as protruding rocks and large tree trunks, where ricochets may occur, ravines containing blind spots and lastly looked for other tree stands or areas where hunters may “accidentally” trespass on our land. The whole purpose of this very simple exercise was to identify those hazards which may suddenly appear after a shot is taken.

While I may be disappointed when my son or daughter misses a shot, I do not want to regret the shot was due to a lack of preparation on my part.

Ohio Deer Hunting Season

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has announced Ohio’s 2015 deer-gun season will continue Dec. 28-29.

During the Dec. 28-29 firearm season, all hunters except waterfowl hunters must wear a vest, coat, jacket or coveralls that are either solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange. Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset for all deer seasons.

Shotguns and straight-walled cartridge rifles in approved calibers cannot have more than three shells.

For more information on deer hunting rules, including approved guns, visit wildohio.gov. Download a copy of the 2015-2016 Ohio Hunting Regulations or pick up a copy where licenses are sold.

 

Bill Price is a seasoned trial attorney who focuses his practice on personal injury litigation for people who have been seriously injured or killed. He has the distinction of being named to the 2016 Top 100 Ohio and Top 50 Cleveland Super Lawyers lists.


 

Sources:

[1] National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Firearms Safety | 10 Rules of Safe Gun Handling.” NSSF, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2015. http://www.nssf.org/safety/basics/

5 Elk & Elk attorneys named Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers

Elk & Elk Co., Ltd. announces the recognition of their trial attorneys as Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

CLEVELAND, OH (December 2, 2015) – The personal injury law firm of Elk & Elk® is proud to announce that five of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the Super Lawyers Top 100 Ohio and Top 50 Cleveland lists. The rating service selected a total of eleven attorneys from the firm for inclusion in the 2016 Ohio Super Lawyers list. Additionally, three Elk & Elk attorneys were named to the 2016 Ohio Rising Stars list, which honors top attorneys in the state who are 40 years old or younger or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.

14 Elk & Elk Attorneys named Ohio Super Lawyers
FRONT ROW (L TO R): Kevin Lenson, Amy Papesh, Marilena DiSilvio, Phillip Kuri, Arthur Elk, David Elk, James Kelley, John O’Neil;
BACK ROW: William Campbell, Gary Cowan, Rob Dubyak Of Counsel, R. Craig McLaughlin, William Price, Ryan Harrell, Matthew Carty, Michael Eisner, Kimberly Young (Photo credit: Nannette Bedway/Nannette Bedway Studio)

 

Super Lawyers is an independent organization that recognizes the leading lawyers in each state on an annual basis. Attorneys are chosen through a rigorous selection process, which includes peer nominations, independent research and peer evaluations. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named Super Lawyers.

“I am very proud of the fourteen lawyers at Elk & Elk who have been recognized statewide for their experience, professionalism and results,” said Managing Partner Arthur Elk. “It is an honor to have our firm’s depth of talent recognized by our peers. Each of these attorneys is an incredible advocate for our clients and representative of this firm.”

Elk & Elk is the only personal injury law firm with five attorneys in the Top 100 Ohio and Top 50 Cleveland lists. Recipients of this distinction include James M. Kelley III, John P. O’Neil, Phillip A. Kuri, Marilena DiSilvio and William J. Price. DiSilvio was further distinguished in the publication; garnering a place in the Top 50 Women Ohio and Top 25 Women Cleveland attorney lists.

Six additional attorneys were selected as 2016 Ohio Super Lawyers, including: Gary Cowan, R. Craig McLaughlin, Amy L. Papesh, Michael L. Eisner, William P. Campbell and Kevin L. Lenson. Also named was Robert Dubyak, Of Counsel to Elk & Elk. Attorneys named to the Rising Stars list are Matthew J. Carty, Kimberly C. Young and Ryan M. Harrell.

The list of Ohio Super Lawyers appears in the January 2016 issues of Cleveland Magazine, Cincinnati Magazine, Columbus Magazine and the Ohio & Kentucky Super Lawyers magazine.

 


 

About Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

About Elk & Elk

Elk & Elk Co., Ltd. is a personal injury law firm representing clients in cases throughout Ohio and Kentucky. The firm has 20 attorneys with experience in motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products, work place accidents, social security disability, premises liability and mass tort claims. Elk & Elk has offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Canton, Dayton, Toledo, Youngstown, Louisville and Seattle. For more information, visit elkandelk.com.