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Western Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

Distracted driving and cellphones linked

Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirms that drivers are very concerned about the problem of distracted driving. According to the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, 88 percent of the nation's drivers consider distracted driving to head the list risky behaviors, followed by:

  • Aggressive driving (68 percent)
  • Drugged driving (55 percent)
  • Intoxicated driving (43 percent)

Since 2013, there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of drivers who self-report cellphone usage while driving. Almost half (49 percent) of drivers report that they recently talked on hand-held cellphones behind the wheel. Even worse, almost 35 percent of drivers report sending at least one email or text while driving.

What's the deal with wrong-way drivers? How does it happen?

It may be inconceivable to you how a person could end up driving down the wrong side of the road, especially when there is a median between you and oncoming traffic. Even so, hundreds of people die each year due to accidents in which one of the vehicles involved headed in the wrong direction on the roadway.

While there are no absolutes regarding when, how or where these accidents may occur, some significant commonalities exist that shed some light on these collisions.

When do you have grounds for a wrongful death civil claim?

It can be devastating for a Pennsylvania family to lose a loved one. It can lead to financial loss and significant emotional trauma, and it can be difficult to rebuild your life after a devastating and unexpected loss. While you are mourning the loss of your family member, you may not think about your legal options regarding potential wrongful death litigation.

If your loved one died as the result of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, you could have grounds to move forward with a civil claim. This can be an overwhelming thought during your time of grief, but you may be able to secure compensation that can allow your family to rebuild and move on. It might be beneficial for you to learn about what you need for a valid wrongful death claim.

Speeding is far more dangerous than you thought

When is the last time you went out for a drive and didn't break the speed limit? For many people, it's hard to remember. They break it, however mildly, every time they drive.

It's not as if everyone is flying around at 90 miles per hour, but people frequently drive five MPH over the limit at least. In some areas, it's even more. When an empty street has a 25 MPH limit for no clear reason, it's easy to find people going 35 or 40.

Would self-driving cars increase roadway safety?

When asked about self-driving cars, people often talk about their fears and concerns. It makes them nervous to think of sitting in a vehicle over which they have little control. What if the computer makes a mistake and causes an accident?

That's a valid concern, which is why such extensive testing is being done before these vehicles are released to the public. However, the reality is that it's almost guaranteed to be safer than the system that is in place right now, according to some experts.

How to preserve evidence following a car accident

You shouldn't have to worry about being safe when getting behind the wheel of your vehicle. Even though you might practice safe driving habits, it doesn't mean that the millions of other drivers around you in Pennsylvania do the same. If you ever find yourself involved in an accident, you need to do as much as possible to preserve the evidence. This will not only help the police in their investigation but also your legal case.

After the vehicles are moved to safety and you check on all involved, begin preserving any evidence of the crash. The best way to do this safely is to take pictures using your phone. Take pictures of debris, damage to the vehicles and even your injuries.

Drowsy driving: Just as dangerous as being drunk

When was the last time you started nodding off behind the wheel? It might have been on a late-night drive home after a night out on the town, or maybe it was after you spent many hours at work after a sleep-deprived night.

Whatever the case may be, driving when you're tired is a problem that could lead to a serious crash. Drivers who are tired have slower reflexes, may not pay attention to the road well and could even fall asleep, leading to a single or multi-vehicle crash.

How to resume driving following an accident

Each time you get behind the wheel and head out on the road, you are putting your life in danger. It's not easy to drive in Pennsylvania. You can be as safe as possible but you never know what others around you are doing behind the wheel.

Defensive driving will only keep you safe if everyone else around you is also being safe. If you've been involved in a car accident, it might be difficult for you to resume driving. Here are some tips to make that happen.

As a plaintiff, how important is what you wear to court?

Have you ever had conversations with friends or family members regarding clothing choices or whether you believe your style of clothing and appearance impacts the way others treat you? Perhaps you have even formally researched or studied the topic. Many psychology experts say that outward appearance reflects inner personality. You may be among those who say clothing should have nothing to do with how others see you or react to you. However, there is much evidence to suggest that, in fact, clothing choices do influence others' opinions.

You might be wondering why this is topic on a legal blog. Let's say you're involved in a car accident and suffer injury. You later learn that the person driving the vehicle that hit you was texting at the time. You can file a personal injury claim to seek recovery for your losses in court. As a plaintiff, your clothing choices may impact the ultimate outcome of your case. The good news is there are support resources available to help you choose wisely.

Indiana Township woman killed in collision

Car accidents can change the entire course of a person's life or end it prematurely without a moment's notice. Just such heartbreak came to Indiana recently when a local women lost her life in a collision on Saxonburg Boulevard. According to reports, officials pronounced the victim deceased at the scene of the accident and transported the other driver to a hospital for treatment of a number of serious but nonlife-threatening injuries.

The accident occurred in the middle of the afternoon when one driver crossed over the middle line of Saxonburg, causing a head-on collision. The authorities have yet to bring charges against either driver, and are still investigating the causes of the accident at the time of this writing.

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