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Doylestown Pennsylvania Personal Injury Law Blog

Car accident deaths top 40,000 nationally for 2017

The National Safety Council gathers data on fatal car crashes in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, and in so doing it makes use of data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics. The NSC's preliminary estimate of fatalities on U.S. roads for 2017 is 40,100, slightly less than the reported 40,327 traffic fatalities in 2016. The 2017 number is 6 percent more than the number in 2015. Prior to 2016, the last year with 40,000 or more motor vehicle accident fatalities was 2007.

The NSC estimates societal costs related to car accidents, injuries and fatalities were $413.8 billion. Around 4.57 million individuals suffered serious injuries in car accidents in 2017. As compared to 2016, total miles driven increased by approximately 1 percent. According to the president and CEO of the NSC, mobility on roadways is costing the U.S. 40,000 lives a year, a reminder that complacency is a killer. She said a full court press is necessary to address safety on the roads.

How a parenting schedule can work for everyone

As part of the divorce process, Pennsylvania parents will need to create a schedule for child custody and visitation. This parenting schedule should be created with the child's needs prioritized over the parents'.

For example, individuals should put themselves in their children's place and think about what would be particularly difficult for them. They will also need to keep in mind various factors, such as the child's extracurricular activities, distance from the other parent's house, how the child will get to school and whether the child has special needs. Parents should try to maintain consistency where they can, such as keeping the same babysitter. Older children may want to have input into the creation of the schedule.

How can you stay safe when driving into the sun?

There is nothing more enjoyable than hitting the road on a beautiful summer day. However, as you make your way down the road, you may come to find that the sun is staring you straight in the face.

It may not seem like a big deal at first, but driving into the sun makes it difficult to see where you are going. Here are several tips that can help keep you safe when driving into the sun:

  • Wear polarized sunglasses: It's important to make sure your sunglasses have polarized lenses, as these are designed to help reduce glare.
  • Use your sun visor: It may not block all the sun, but it can go a long way in keeping it directly out of your eyes.
  • Use your headlights: It may not make sense, but this helps other drivers see your vehicle when they're also dealing with sun glare.
  • Leave more space: You should leave as much space as possible between your vehicle and others, as stopping times may be prolonged.
  • Keep a clean windshield: This can be a challenge in the summer, but debris and smudges can make it more difficult to see in heavy sunlight.

Does your choice in music impact how you drive?

Your parents only listen to classical music in the car; it is often soothing and relaxing. You like to listen to jazz or classic rock. It is a bit more upbeat and makes the drive exciting. Your teenage son likes to listen to punk rock and other fast, aggressive types of music. Whenever you ride with him, you feel like you can hardly hear anyone talk, the music is so loud.

Have you ever wondered if different music choices impact the way you drive? If so, you will be interested to know that researchers absolutely believe there is a link. In specific, studies have shown that fast music makes people worse drivers, and it has been linked to car accidents.

Why it is important to change beneficiaries after divorce

When couples in Pennsylvania make the decision to divorce, there can be serious, immediate financial concerns that follow. However, the financial impacts of divorce are not only those that occur immediately after the end of a marriage. It can be particularly important to handle important matters relating to retirement funds, life insurance policies and other accounts with beneficiaries.

When a couple divorces, they often have a number of contracts that name each other as beneficiaries. These can include life insurance policies and other long-term investments. The act of divorce itself does not change the contract between a person and their insurer or bank; instead, the account owner must make sure to file a change of beneficiary. The life insurance company will generally pay out the benefits to whoever is listed in their files. When one does not make the necessary changes after their divorce, it can leave their children or other loved ones without the money that they need to cover final expenses.

Head and brain injuries can happen with a slip-and-fall accident

When television shows and movies show a slip-and-fall accident, it is usually a humorous event. Everybody in the audience gets a laugh, and the character walks away with nothing but a bruised ego. In the real world, these kinds of accidents often result in serious injuries.

In older adults, the risk for broken bones, ranging from arms and legs to hips and ribs, is significant. Regardless of age, there is also real potential for head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). All too often, these serious injuries get overlooked in the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall.

Fourth of July accidents

Holidays entail celebrations and festivities, but they also cause an increase in the number of accidents, some of which may be fatal. Pennsylvania residents may be surprised to learn that the Fourth of July has such a negative effect on public health that the holiday is considered to be the deadliest in the U.S.A.

There are several reasons that make the Fourth of July a dangerous weekend, the first of which is the stark increase in the number of accidents caused by inebriated drivers traversing long stretches of road. Hundreds of these accidents are fatal, leading some insurance companies to estimate that 40 percent of all fatalities on highways happen during this holiday.

Reasons why a driver may strike a pedestrian

The thought of being hit by a motor vehicle is enough to make you cringe, as you know this will almost always result in serious injury or death. For this reason, you should do whatever you can to prevent trouble as a pedestrian.

You should also learn more about the most common causes of vehicle-pedestrian accidents, which include the following:

  • Disregarding traffic conditions, such as driving too fast during rush hour in a busy city
  • Distracted driving, including texting, talking on a cellphone and adjusting a GPS system
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • All forms of reckless driving
  • Disregarding weather conditions, such as neglecting to slow down when it's raining
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Drowsy driving

Drugged driving the subject of new GHSA study

Drivers in Pennsylvania should know that although alcohol-related car accidents have slightly declined over the past decade, there has been an increase in drug-related crashes. The Governors Highway Safety Association conducted a study recently that analyzed fatal car crash data from 2016 and compared it to the data of 2006. It found that the percentage of fatally injured drivers with drugs in their system rose from 28 to 44 percent.

Of those drivers, 38 percent tested positive for some form of marijuana, 16 percent for opioids and 4 percent for both. About 51 percent were found with two or more drugs. However, the GHSA stresses that drug-impaired driving should not be separated from alcohol-impaired driving. Similar methods are used in testing for both. Moreover, 49 percent of fatally injured drivers in 2016 were found using both drugs and alcohol.

Do these things to drive safely on slick roads

When the summer rain begins to fall, you need to alter your approach to driving. Neglecting to do so will increase the chance of an accident, which could cause injury or death to you or someone else on the road.

There are several things you can do to improve your safety on slick roads, including the following:

  • Make sure your tires are in good driving condition: In addition to enough tread, they should be properly inflated.
  • Slow down: When the rain begins to fall, it makes it more difficult to stop your vehicle in a timely manner. Furthermore, rain reduces visibility, allowing you to creep up on another vehicle or object quicker than expected.
  • Watch for debris on the road: When the rain falls and the wind blows, it's not out of the question for debris to make its way onto the road. From garbage cans to tree limbs, any object can result in a crash.
  • Keep a safe following distance: You shouldn't get into the habit of driving too closely to the vehicle in front of yours. This is particularly true in wet conditions when stopping times are increased.
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Doylestown, PA 18901

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