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May 2019 Archives

Memorial Day Weekend Driving

Enjoy your holiday weekend, but remember to be safe on the road, too. Memorial Day weekend is an especially dangerous weekend for driving on Pennsylvania roads.  Data from prior years shows a marked increase in car-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities across the state during this holiday weekend from Friday afternoon-Monday evening.   For example, in 2015, the state police were called in to investigate over 700 accidents.  Out of these accidents, there were 13 deaths and almost 250 injuries.  The majority of these accidents were alcohol-related. On top of investigating accidents, the state police made over 450 DUI arrests and cited over 1,000 people for not wearing their seatbelts. Over 300 adults were cited for not having children in proper safety seats, too. 

Summer Driving Hazards

Summer driving is just around the corner! As you drive to go on vacation, visit family and friends, and enjoy outdoor gatherings, are you being safe while driving, too? According to national statistics, the months of July and August are two of the months that are most highly correlated with car accidents and car-related deaths.  Additionally, teenage drivers are especially at risk for accidents during these months, too.

Rain and Auto Accidents

Did you know that rainfall, no matter how light, can significantly influence your chances of being in a fatal accident? According to reports from the American Meteorological Society, which studied over 125,000 fatal car crashes in the 48 continguous states, they found that wet roads (no matter from rain, sleet, snow, or hail) increased the risk of a fatal accident by about 34% across the country.  Even when the rain was light, the risk increased by over 25%.  The study utilitized advanced data techniques, including targeted use of high-resolution radars, that had not been used in such a large-scale study before.  For Pennsylvania in particular, a fatal crash appears to be almost 13% more likely to occur during any form of precipitation as opposed to when the roads are dry. 

Bicycle Safety Month

PennDOT periodically partners with other organizations to hold events aimed at community outreach and safety.  Recently, they held an event in partnership with several other organizations in Lycoming County to raise awareness about bicycle safety.  This event, which was a bike rodeo, focused on bike safety and helmet use in an effort to address Bicycle Safety Month.  Children who attended this event learned about PA's bicycle laws and general safety tips.  Some children received a free helmet, and there was a bicycle course set up at the event for participants to ride through.   PennDOT data from 2017 reflects a high number of bicycle accidents across the state, including over 1,000 crashes.  These crashes resulted in nearly 100 significant medical injuries and over 20 deaths.  Hopefully, these outreach programs will reduce these statistics in the coming years. 

Bicycling This Spring

Spring is here! That means many more people will be outside enjoying the weather and will be out walking, running, and riding their bicycles.  However, this also means that these same people are at a higher risk for accident and injury on roads that are frequently shared with cars.  Specifically relating to bicycle riding, general statistics state that about half a million people each year need medical treatment as a result of of bike accidents, and almost a thousand people die each year due to bicycle accidents. The most common bicycle injury, and most common cause of death, is as a result of a brain injury.  
In order to keep yourself safer on the road, consider the following tips and tricks:
  • Always, always, ALWAYS wear a helmet. 
  • Make sure your bicycle is in good working order, including the tire pressure, brakes, and reflectors. 
  • Wear reflective and bright clothing any time you're riding.  
  • Respect cars on the road and leave room! Be aware of their blind spots, including car doors potentially opening towards you.
As a car driver in our area, it is also your responsibility to be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists on the road, especially small children that may not be easily seen. By being alert and considerate and sharing the road, you will avoid serious injuries and complications to those around you. If you plan to bike or run outside, wear bright colors and make sure that you give appropriate and clear turning signals with your arms so that drivers know when and where you intend to turn.
Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in pedestrian and bicycle accidents. If you would like a consultation regarding your personal injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.
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The claims process begins with a free initial office consultation. We will take as much time as needed to learn about your accident, injuries, and damages. If Attorney Stoehr feels that he can help you, he will represent you on a contingent fee basis. This simply means that Attorney Stoehr is not paid anything until he obtains a successful recovery for you. To discuss your rights and legal options with a highly experienced personal injury lawyer, email or call us at 814-946-4100.

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