Category - Auto Accidents

Only a Fool Follows the 2-Second Rule

What is the two-second rule of driving?


In order to adequately stop in time to not smash into the car in front of you in traffic, you need to keep a minimum of a two second ‘space cushion’ of stopping distance between you and the car ahead of you – at 30 mph or less.


To find this distance while driving – eyeball some object on the side of the road, like a billboard sign.  After the car ahead of you passes the object, count two seconds. If you pass the object within two seconds, you’re driving too close to the car in front of you.  You’ll need to remember to pay attention during these two-second calculations to make sure that other roadside objects, don’t come out of nowhere.Diagram that shows how to measure the stopping distance between your car and the car in front of you.


The two-second rule is not sufficient for all speeds. The two seconds between cars is only relevant for cars at the lower speeds. You’ll need a much longer stopping distance when you’re driving faster.


The calculation for the time needed between two cars to allow the trailing car enough distance to come to a complete stop before hitting the leading car that had to stop immediately – is as follows:


Given a braking distance of 57 feet, (according to the Iowa Department of Transportation), when traveling at 30 miles per hour (30 mph = 44 feet/second), you need to have 1.3 seconds between you and the car ahead of you. So, you’ll need 57 feet in order to stop 44 feet/second=1.3 seconds.


But, our brains need time to process the information, decide to brake and then, to signal our feet to slam on the brakes. Using an average reaction time of 0.0000000000475, or 1.5 seconds, (from by the Iowa Department of Transportation), the total time needed to stop is: 1.3 seconds (braking time) + 1.5 seconds (reaction time)=2.8 seconds total.



At 60 mph, the time needed between vehicles comes out to over four seconds.



So why doesn’t the two-second rule work?  SCIENCE. The reason is that the energy required to stop is dependent on the force of friction (F) over a distance (x) (W = FΔx) and is also equal to the change in kinetic energy, which is dependent on the mass (m) and speed (v) (ΔKE = ½mv2), which means that FΔx=12mv2.



If we double the speed (v), the distance (x) is quadrupled (22 = 4), meaning more stopping distance is necessary at high speeds than predicted by the two-seconds rule. Here’s a video that might help:



A good approximation would be to add a second to your reaction speed (1.5 seconds), between cars for every 20 mph that you’re driving. That works out to about three seconds for city traffic and four to five seconds of stopping distance for highway traffic. Apply a couple more seconds between cars in order to safely stop if the road is wet or slippery.


If another driver was following too close to you and you’ve been injured as a result of their actions, you may be entitled to compensation.  It always depends on circumstances – but, your damages might include:

  • Reimbursement for your medical expenses,
  • Repair or replacement of your vehicle,
  • Compensation for pain and suffering,
  • Compensation for lost income.


We Will Fight For You!

Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A car lands vertically into a snowbank on Interstate 93 during a snow storm north of Salem, New Hampshire.


Yeah, we hit the big one this time! I’m talking at least eight inches of snow in West Texas this past week. Schools were closed and so were many businesses.  Even businesses that wanted to remain open – struggled for lack of employees that were willing to risk driving in the snow.


Driving is treacherous in West Texas – even on sunny days. When you add all that snow and drivers that don’t know how to drive in harsh conditions – that makes it all the more dangerous.


I lived in one of the Northern states for more than thirty years.  Eight inches of snow is not that big of a deal there.

First off, the state and county Departments of Transportation send out powerful snowblowers to clear the snow that accumulates. Then, they distribute sand – mixed with salt to make the roads less slippery.

It helps quite a bit.  A study made in 1992, found that putting salt on the roads can reduce car accidents by 87 percent both during and after a snowstorm.


Second of all, people are used to driving in the snow for six months of the year.  Slow and steady will get you there safely.  We avoid braking as much as possible.  And, we pump the brakes slowly – if we do have to stop.  We keep an eye out for any possible actions that we might need to brake for.


I’ve landed in the ditch a few times because I’ve slammed on my brakes.  Unless one is an adrenaline junkie, that is not a good feeling.  Ugh. Teens need to be specifically taught how to drive in the snow. Teen boys think it’s fun to go fast and then slam on the brakes to see what will happen.  Nothing good comes of that experience.


Third, if one does start to skid on the slippery road, turn in the direction of the skid.  This is actually difficult to do.  We have a natural tendency to want to turn in the opposite direction.  You wouldn’t want to turn sharply, as that will make things worse. I can cover that in my next newsletter.


Final Point:
The Department of Transportation had closed some of the roads for this snowfall. It’s against the law to drive around the barricades.

I knew that it was a bad idea, but I didn’t realize that it’s also a Class B misdemeanor. This is the same as a DWI. If caught, you might be arrested, have your car impounded, or spend up to 180 days in jail and/or be fined up to $2000. You could also be charged for the cost of your rescue.

The powers-that-be only close the roads when they are not safe for driving. Don’t be foolish and think that you are “special” and will avoid a disaster.  You won’t.


This was the most snowfall that Odessa and Midland has seen in the last five years.  If you were injured because someone accidentally rammed into you – you should call our office for advice.


We Will Fight For You!

Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

Watch Your Speed

Sign that says to "Move Over" and "Slow Down" when emergency vehicles are on side of road. Don’t speed.  Respect the road conditions when they are icy or rainy. It’s better to get where you need to go late – rather than not to get there at all.


Two First Responders are Dead & Another in Critical Condition


Lubbock lost two of its heroes. They gave their life to their community.  Yet another, has been injured so badly that he’ll possibly never return to work again.


A week ago:

Officers and firefighters were called to a single-vehicle rollover crash on I-27 at approximately 8:19 a.m. Saturday. It appeared that the vehicle was traveling southbound and crossed the median into the northbound lanes where it rolled over.

While investigating this scene, another vehicle carrying a trailer was traveling southbound on I-27 when it crossed over the median and came to a stop in the northbound lanes — about 25 to 50 yards away from the first accident scene.

Police and firefighters – then spread out their resources to work both of the accidents. While personnel were investigating the two accidents, a third vehicle struck them and killed two and critically injured the third man.


27-year-old Officer Nicholas Reyna and 39-year-old Officer Eric Hill were killed in the wrecks. Matthew Dawson was critically injured.


The pickup truck that struck the first responders was a Ford F-250 – which traveled southbound on I-27, crossed over the median and struck one Lubbock police officer and two Lubbock firefighters. That vehicle came to a rest in an embankment. The driver of the vehicle was not driving in the single lane – as required by law.


Move Over – It’s the Law

If you’ve ever been stranded on the side of a road, you know how dangerous and unnerving it can be.  Cars and trucks speed by – only inches away, leave too little margin for error and could so easily result in a disastrous crash.


America’s first responders – police, fire, EMT’s – face this peril every day in the line of duty. 

Tow truck drivers, highway workers, utility workers and others whose jobs sometimes require that they park their vehicle on the roadway or the side of the road are also at risk.

To keep people from being killed or injured in these situations, all fifty states now have mandatory “Move Over” laws.  If you see a vehicle with emergency lights or flashers on, you are required to move over a lane and slow down.

More than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed since 1997 after being struck by vehicles along America’s highways.  In fact, traffic-related incidents, including vehicle crashes, are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers.

In 2017, 47 officers lost their lives in traffic-related incidents, with nine officers struck and killed outside their vehicles. Already in 2019, responder fatalities include 7 law enforcement officers.  From 2007 to 2017, 39 percent of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were lost in traffic-related incidents.

Many have been seriously injured.  This is a tragedy and completely preventable.  Credit:


Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the families that were injured or killed.  We need to learn from this experience, which did not have to happen. Drive carefully and watch your speed.


Even when we do things right, bad things can happen. Safety should be our number one concern.


Call Gerald Fugit Law Firm at:  432-332-1661 to schedule consultation.


Sign that says to move over and to watch your speed.


Snow-Covered house at Christmas time.

Christmas Season Accident Avoidance

Most people travel by car to visit their families to celebrate Christmas. Maybe we don’t travel that much during the year.  But, we definitely need to travel to spend time with our families during this wonderful season.

The National Safety council issues estimates for accidents during specific times of the year. They estimate that 115 people might die during the Christmas season in 2019 (this year). Automobile travel has the highest fatality rate compared to other major forms of transportation.

A big factor that contributes to the car crashes is, of course, alcohol consumption. Even though we enjoy visiting our loved ones, we need to be careful because our holiday plans can be ruined by a car accident. Some years will have more car accidents than others.

Whatever the numbers turn out to be – there are always too many injuries and fatalities on our Texas roads at Christmas time.

If you’ve had your holiday ruined from an auto accident injury, you should hire the experienced Law Office of Gerald K. Fugit at (432) 301-9252. We understand you expected something far different from this season. We won’t be able to bring back Christmas, but we can help you to seek financial compensation for your property damage and personal injuries.

Of course, we believe that it’s better to avoid collisions altogether. But, you have no control over how other individuals operate their vehicles. Here are a few good choices to help you avoid a crash:

  • Avoid peak driving times:You should be aware of when the roads are busiest in your area and how crowded the roads might be. In general though, Christmas Eve and the day after the holiday have particularly heavy traffic periods. It’s a good idea to schedule a longer vacation to leave earlier and later than most other families. Some people think that driving on Christmas Day is best.  I’ve not found that to be true. I guess it depends on where you’re going.


  • You should try to take a nap before you drive. Stay overnight with the family if no nap is possible:

Christmas day is a long day for everyone. Most people get up early to open the presents. Family members have expectations when we visit them. Rushing about is the norm.  By the time you’re ready to drive home, you’re probably exhausted.

You need to be careful not to drive while overly tired. Drowsy driving is a major contributor to car accidents. If you are worn out or exhausted, take a nap before you drive. Better yet, if you have a long day planned, make arrangements to stay the night with your hosts or splurge on a hotel nearby.

  • Designate a sober driver: 

It’s easy to overindulge when you’re with loved ones and having a good time. I happen to enjoy homemade eggnog myself. Wine during dinner is always special, too. If you drink too much throughout the day, that can mean you are not in the right state to drive home after dinner. If you know that you’ll need to get back in the car at the end of the day, make sure to have a designated driver – or limit yourself to ONLY ONE alcoholic beverage at mealtime.

Drive cautiously – based on the weather:

Snow is so pretty this time of year! However, snow, wind, and ice make it dangerous to visit friends and family over your holiday vacation. If you have to go somewhere for Christmas and winter weather is acting up, be extremely cautious while driving. Leave for your destination early. Drive slowly and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicles ahead.  Brake much sooner than you normally would. Your braking speed can take up to four hundred per cent – longer, when the road is slippery.


  • Avoid distractions:
    If you are lucky, everyone will be tired and sleep on the way home – except for you. This can help you avoid distractions while you drive. However, if other individuals are awake, be sure to keep conversation to a minimum. Yelling and crying kids are definitely a distraction. Remember to tuck that cell phone away. Texts, emails, and apps are all distractions that lead to serious accidents.

Contact the Law Office of Gerald K. Fugit for Help.


If a crash puts a damper on your holiday cheer, do not wait to get help with the situation.  Here’s how we do things: after speaking with you during an initial consultation, we can investigate your situation to gather evidence against the at-fault driver.

With documentation that supports your case, we can file the necessary insurance claims and negotiate a settlement on your behalf or take your case to court. Our main priority is to help you recover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Call Gerald Fugit Law Firm at: (432) 332-1661 to schedule your consultation.

Snow-Covered house at Christmas time.




Emergency Auto Preparedness Checklist

Christmas Gifts in Case Someone Has a Car Accident

Christmas will be here soon and lots of our families and friends are extremely difficult to buy a Christmas gift for. We have some unique and useful presents to give them. No one wants to receive another crockpot or blender – or YIKES! [Socks] for Christmas.  Why not get them something that they really need in case they have an auto accident?


Many motorists are unprepared for even minor car accidents. There are plenty of anxiety-inducing situations where you could get stuck in a car for hours or days on end. Help your loved ones have peace of mind. Help your loved ones to be prepared – just in case.


No matter what the specific situation may be, they’ll need to have a supply of emergency equipment stored in their car.


If they’re stocked up on the essentials at home, that is great. But the preparation shouldn’t stop there. In addition to stocking up on preparedness supplies at home, you’ll want them to have a bug-out bag stored in their car. In it, make sure they have the following essentials: 

Flashlight – This is needed for so many reasons, that we don’t need to explain this item.

Emergency Flares – These will be used to improve visibility in case of an accident.  Other drivers will be able to see the car alongside the rode and then, hopefully, will reduce their speed.  They’re more than five times brighter than their electric alternatives.

Spare Tire – It’s stupid and dangerous not to have a spare tire.  Some of the newer cars are outfitted with no spare tire in order to save on mileage. That is bad news for all of us.

Wheel Wrench and Tripod Jack – Obviously necessary to change a flat tire.

Cell Phone Charger – Sometimes we “borrow” the cell phone charger for when we go on a trip and forget to replace it back into the car.  Get an extra one for the car and leave it there.

Water Bottles – You never know how long before you can get help.  Water can also be used to cleanse wounds or clean off the windshield for better visibility.

Snacks – Emergency food is essential when one gets stranded on the side of the road or even if you’re just stuck in traffic.  For one thing, it will keep your spirits up.

Warm Clothing – This is wintertime and it’s really bad to be out in the elements with no warm clothes.  It’s possible to get all dressed up for a celebration or a performance and then get stuck in an accident.

Blanket – Again, it’s winter.

First Aid Kit – Because … you never know when you’ll need it.

Emergency Auto Preparedness Checklist

At the end of the day, planning for worst-case scenarios in advance can make the difference between life and death. So, stock the car with the correct emergency gear.

Take this advice into account when planning for the future, and you and your family members will be more likely to thrive.

Your Personal Injury Attorney Will Go To Bat For you.

CALL: 432-332-1661 




White wine glasses lined up - ready to drink.

5 Things To Do After Being Hit By A Drunk Driver

Getting in a car accident is a really bad situation to be in; but it’s even worse if the other driver is drunk or otherwise impaired.


Here are some ways to tell if someone has had too much to drink:

A Flushed Face

One of the first signs of having been drinking too much is simply that it will give many people a flushed face.

Acting Out of the Ordinary

Before a person is completely drunk, they will often act “tipsy” or “buzzed.” In other words, they are showing some signs of inebriation without being full-on intoxicated. These signs of acting out could be talking too loudly, acting overly flirty (in situations where it is inappropriate) or just acting strangely.


Losing Control of One’s Emotions

The next higher step to just being buzzed, is that you’ll start to see a person lose control of their emotions. This is a strong sign that the person has had too much to drink and is well on their way to being completely drunk. The person might be overly emotional and crying at nothing or laughing uncontrollably when the situation really isn’t that funny.



Strong emotions that you don’t want to run into is someone who has had too much to drink – they can be overly aggressive. Drunks are known to pick fights or be aggressive, so watch out for this dangerous sign of intoxication.


Lack of Motor Control

One of the most advanced signs of drunkenness is that the person will lose control over their coordination and motor control. This is known as the “sloppy drunk”. They might fall down and run into other people and/or physical obstacles.


National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.





You might wonder what you should do if you ever face this type of situation and get into an accident.  We’ve got you covered.  Use these tips if you get into an accident and someone is slurring their words or appears to be “out of it”, in any way.


Here are five things to do right after being hit by a drunk driver:


  1. Call the Police


Call the police as soon as you are able to do so. You have to involve the authorities and, in a drunk driving accident, the sooner the better. Not only will this make the process of paperwork with your insurance company much smoother but also it will help your attorney win the case, should you need to go to court.



  1. Don’t Deal with the Drunk Driver


This might seem like another piece of common sense but, remember, following an accident, you will have your adrenaline coursing through you and it might not be the best time to make rational decisions. On top of that, you know the other person, the one who is drunk, is definitely not capable of making rational decisions. Don’t risk further danger and injury to yourself.  Let the authorities deal with the driver when they arrive. Trust us, you’ll be glad when they arrive and you’ll be even happier that you didn’t deal with the driver that caused the accident.



  1. Take Pictures


Taking pictures at the scene – as well as documenting anything else you can – helps insure that things go your way in the courtroom and that there is no ambiguity surrounding the accident.



  1. See Medical Professionals


Even if you don’t feel like anything is wrong, you need to see a medical professional to make sure that there isn’t something you can’t see that might cause you serious impairment or even sudden death. Accidents are complex situations and the injuries sustained during them can be more than meets the eye.



  1. Talk to an Attorney


An attorney will help you prepare for court and will protect you against having your rights violated. No matter how clear cut the situation might seem, you need a legal professional to carry the burden for you in a courtroom and make sure you get what you deserve.



Those are the five most important things that you should do immediately following a car accident that involves a drunk driver. Some of it might seem like common sense, while others are must-do things that you should not neglect.



Your Personal Injury Attorney Will Go To Bat For you.

CALL: 432-332-1661



White wine glasses lined up - ready to drink.




Thanksgiving Centerpiece

How To Handle a Car Accident

We are ALL stunned  …

after we get into a car accident. A hundred thoughts are going through our minds. Even if it’s a minor accident, our neck might hurt. Most likely, we are either going to, (or on our way home to), work, school or picking up the kids.

Our first thought is going to be am I hurt? And, how badly? How can I possibly get to where I was supposed to be – and, get there on time?


We definitely need to clear our head and follow the following steps:


Get out of the traffic area. Safely. Turn on Emergency Blinkers.



Get the name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, car plate number, where they work, insurance company name, insurance phone number, and policy number of the other party. Try to be civil about it – even if you’re upset at the other driver.



In some cities, the police don’t want to be bothered unless there are injured parties. It’s best if they can visit the scene of the accident, so that they can determine who is at fault. You might be surprised. Even if you feel that it’s entirely your fault – you may not be. The police have the experience to determine the truth.


NEVER ADMIT THAT IT’S YOUR FAULT – even if you think that it is.


The best determination can be made by the police at the scene of the accident. Things get murky if it is done later.

If the police are not able to be there – file your own police report, or a report with the DMV, within 72 hours.



Do not admit that it’s your fault. Of course, you should not lie.

An evaluation of who was at fault will be determined once all the information has been documented.

Don’t discuss your injuries or the lack of them. If someone asks if you are okay – say something like, “I am really shook up right now and not really able to say whether I’m hurt or not.” (Use your own words.)

Many neck and back injuries don’t show up for a few days. If you say that you’re fine – then that statement can definitely be used against you at a later time. Feel free to ask the other party how they are doing.



Take pictures of your car, the other party’s car, their license plate, the place where the accident actually happened, and any signs that are available. Be sure to take pictures of the front of their car, the back of their car and both sides of their car. I would snap a picture of them as well, if they allow you to.

See if you can find a witness or two that would be willing to give you a statement and their name and phone number. That way, the police and the insurance companies will have eyewitnesses to the accident.



You will probably be disoriented and feel shaky. Be prepared and talk yourself into feeling calm. Accidents happen all the time. Don’t blame yourself. We all make mistakes. That’s exactly why we have auto insurance. Of course, no one likes to USE their auto insurance – but, it’s there for when mistakes happen.

The important thing is to get the other persons information. Nothing can be resolved without that info.


It’s critical to call an attorney as soon as possible. Have the attorney’s number in your cell phone under “Important Phone Numbers”. Call especially … if there are personal injuries.

Auto insurance companies are out to protect their bottom line. We cannot blame them for that. They often strike a deal between the two insurance companies – which may or may not be in your best interest.

Your own personal attorney is there to go to bat for you.


Your Personal Injury Attorney Will Go To Bat For you.

CALL: 432-332-1661




Thanksgiving Centerpiece