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Western Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

Improving Bedford road safety regarding motorcycles

Whether you happen to be avid motorcycle enthusiast or the thought of riding one scares you half to death, the fact is that Bedford roadways are prime attractions for those who travel on two wheels. Especially once the weather turns to warmer temperatures, you're likely to cross paths with one or more motorcycles during an average workday commute or when you're running errands in town. 

If you plan to ride motorcycles anywhere in Pennsylvania, you'll want to first brush up on the latest safety information to reduce your risk for collision. Doing so can't always prevent roadway problems, however, because there may be negligent motorists in your vicinity who are placing you in harm's way even though you are driving as cautiously as possible. If you suffer injury in a motorcycle accident that someone else has caused, your life may be forever changed. It's crucial to know where to seek support if something like this happens. 

The main reason it is tough to catch drowsy drivers

Drowsy driving, in many ways, is similar to drunk driving. If you are too tired, your reaction time isn't nearly what it should be, and you can actually fall asleep behind the wheel. Even just nodding off for a second can cause an accident.

To a large degree, though, police really cannot crack down on drowsy driving, even though some experts think it leads to hundreds of thousands of accidents annually. The only way they really catch drowsy drivers is when those drivers admit, perhaps after an accident, that they were too tired.

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.

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