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Western Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

Most teens do not understand the danger of texting and driving

You may think that it is very clear that texting and driving is dangerous. Looking away from the road while holding the wheel with just one hand puts everyone at risk.

Maybe you have even read the statistics. You know that the incidents of deadly texting and driving accidents have been climbing in recent years. One report found an increase of 8.8 percent. No other category increased that much.

Did you get in a car accident over the Fourth of July?

Were you involved in a car accident over the Fourth of July? If so, you are certainly not alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that the Fourth of July is almost always one of the top days of the year for car crashes. That is based on data from roughly the last 25 years.

The biggest single cause is alcohol. It is linked to about 51 percent of all fatal accidents on the holiday. While people may enjoy getting together to have backyard barbeques and crack open a few beers, it is clear that this laid-back summer holiday increases the risks on the road.

Tips for getting back on your motorcycle

You got in a motorcycle accident. It was something you hoped would never happen, and you avoided it for years, but not forever.

Getting back on the bike can be hard. Some people struggle to really feel comfortable riding again. Here are some tips that can help you during this process:

  1. Make sure your bike is in perfect condition. Have professionals check it over. Never ride a damaged bike, even if the damage seems slight.
  2. Consider what safety gear you want to use. Would bright clothing help prevent accidents? Do you have a high-quality helmet? Now that you know what an accident is like, it may prove eye-opening and help you prepare in case it happens again.
  3. Start with a short, easy ride. You don't have to go out for hours the first time you get back on. Just take 20 minutes and ride some roads you know well. It helps you get more comfortable.
  4. Accept that nerves may be an issue. That crash sticks in your head. This nervousness does not have to control you, and accepting that it is there helps you see that it's something you can overcome.
  5. Let any physical issues completely heal. You do not have to get back on the bike right away. Take your time. Be sure that you feel 100 percent ready to ride again when you take it back out.

Rear-end collisions rank in the top 5 here in Pennsylvania

Whether you are sitting at a stop light, at a stop sign or stuck in traffic, you may spend at least part of that time looking in your rearview mirror to make sure that the traffic behind you comes to a stop. You just never know when the vehicle behind you will fail to stop and will slam into the back of your vehicle.

That may be because, here in Pennsylvania, rear-end collisions rank in the top five for accidents. While many of these crashes boil down to mere fender benders with no injuries, some end up causing serious injuries and, in some cases, death.

The internet and road rage share some interesting traits

Do you ever feel like people on the internet are much quicker to get angry than people in "real life?" If you were talking face-to-face, you'd probably have a civil discussion. Online, it quickly devolves into insults and people just shouting their opinions at each other. No one holds back. People who may seem perfectly normal and nice in any other setting can turn petty and vindictive.

The problem, many experts believe, is the level of anonymity that the internet gives you. You can hide behind a fake name and a fake picture. You're talking to other people who do not feel like real people. They're just names, numbers and pictures themselves. You'll snap at them and say things you would never say to anyone -- even a complete stranger -- in real life.

Summer brings the '100 deadliest days' on the road

Summer brings with it a lot of positives. From family vacations to holidays to chances to explore the outdoors in beautiful weather, it can be great.

Unfortunately, it can also be deadly. Many experts refer to the summer as the "100 deadliest days" that motorists face.

Why whiplash should be taken seriously

For many years, there have been a lot of jokes about people claiming whiplash after a vehicle crash. We've all seen movies and TV shows where people walk (or pushed in a wheelchair) into a courtroom wearing a cervical collar to seek money for an injury that may or may not be real.

In reality, whiplash is a real and potentially serious injury suffered by many people involved in crashes -- even relatively minor ones. It is the most common type of car crash-related soft tissue injury. These are injuries to "soft" areas of the body, including muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Report claims deadly Uber crash linked to software mistake

A woman in Arizona was tragically killed when she was hit by a self-driving Uber vehicle earlier this year. Uber was testing the self-driving car when it happened, something the company was also doing in Pennsylvania. Those tests stopped, at least for the time being, as the fatal wreck was investigated.

The reason officials say it happened is that the software wasn't properly calibrated. The way the system works is that it tries to identify every single object that comes in front of the car, and then it assesses the risk. If there is a high risk, the vehicle can take evasive action, such as reducing speed. That never happened in Arizona, and the woman was hit at roughly 38 miles per hour.

Safety tips that help cars and motorcycles share the road

Cars and motorcycles are not necessarily a good mix. An accident puts motorcyclists in serious danger, as they simply do not have the protection of a driver in a car. That driver may walk away from a crash without a scratch, while the motorcyclist suffers serious and even fatal injuries.

So, what can drivers do to stay safe on the road and avoid accidents with these smaller vehicles? Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Be wary of turns, and always look for motorcycles. A high percentage of wrecks happen when drivers do not see motorcycles and turn left right in front of them. Intersections are especially dangerous. If possible, experts always suggest making eye contact to ensure that you and the rider are on the same page.
  • Stay four seconds back when driving behind a motorcycle. Many people do not think they're tailgating when they are just a second or two back, but they are. You need at least those four seconds so that you can stop and avoid an accident if something unexpected occurs.
  • Be cautious of your blind spots. Motorcycles are small. They fit into these blind spots easily. Just because you do not see a bike after a quick glance does not mean there is not one there. Check your blind spots and pay attention to traffic around you. If you see a bike coming up behind you and then lose sight of it, odds are it is in a blind spot.

Prom, cars and alcohol: A dangerous mix

High school students look forward to prom night for months. It's a celebration, a rite of passage and a tradition going back decades.

Unfortunately, it also carries a high level of risk. Kids often borrow their parents' cars or even rent cars to go to prom. They may have chaperones at the dance, but they do not have them in the car, at dinner or at an after party. A lot of teens engage in underage drinking, and experts warn that binge drinking is also common.

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