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England Is Revolutionizing Pedestrian Safety

There are many differences between the United Kingdom and the United States, but one of the latest differences comes from how pedestrian crosswalks are handled.  According to a recent article, a London company recently developed a "smart" pedestrian crossing zone. In this new zone, technology, including LED lights and cameras, are used to keep pedestrians and drivers safe. One of the features includes accounting for walkers looking down at their cell phones, which causes a warning light to come into the pedestrian's field of vision and veers them away from the road.  Another feature includes creating a virtual buffer around children who may run into the street.  Drivers and bikers on the road would see the danger ahead on the road and know to avoid the child. An additional great aspect is alerting drivers and cyclists when a pedestrian is in their blind spot.  

Currently, PA pedestrian law states that "When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection." However, pedestrians need to do their part to remain safe, too. The law additionally states that "No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard."

Pedestrian accidents are frightening and occur without warning.  Additionally, the consequences of pedestrian accidents can also be emotionally and physically damaging. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a lawyer specializing in personal injury and services the western and central Pennsylvania area.  If you feel that you have been wrongfully hurt in a pedestrian accident and would like to consult with him about a possible personal injury claim, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.

For more about the "smart" crosswalks in England, please click here

Large Trucks on the Road

Have you ever wondered how many tractor-trailer and large vehicle accidents occur on the road each year?  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has compiled data from 1975-2014 to track trends in vehicle safety and crashes.  Here are some of the highlights of their findings:

  • In 2014, almost 4,000 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal accidents
  • From 2013-2014, the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 21% (88,000 accidents in all).  There were also 346,000 large trucks involved in property damage during that time. 
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by large trucks increased by 1.5 percent from 2013-2014

Commercial truck drivers are a significant cause of motor vehicle accidents . Often, these commercial drivers are fatigued and are driving above the mandated allotment of hours. Additionally, many of them are driving large vehicles that are not up to federal and state safety standards. As a result, passengers and other vehicles often bear the brunt of their illegal activity and are often seriously injured or die from a resulting collision. If you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of a commercial vehicle accident, please contact our law office for a consultation at no cost to you at the Law Offices of Attorney Doug Stoehr at 814-946-4100.

To read more of the FMCSA's statistics, please click here

Halloween and Premises Liability

 If you are expecting to welcome trick or treaters onto your property this Halloween, there are a couple things that you should be aware of.   First, if you are a homeowner, you have a responsibility to keep your property safe for anyone entering your property.  These people are owed a duty to be protected from certain dangerous conditions that you either caused or created, know about, or should have known about.  These types of cases are known as premises liability cases, or more commonly, "slip and fall" cases.  Second, you could be responsible for injuries if it happens on your property, and you breached the duty owed to the people entering your property.  At the law firm of Douglas V. Stoehr, we have experience in handling premises liability or "slip and fall" cases, but we would prefer that no one gets injured this Halloween.  We can provide a few tips for you to keep in mind while decorating, and getting ready to hand out candy:  
  • Make sure that your walkway, sidewalk and/or steps are well-lit and visible from the street to your front door.
  • Make sure that any dangerous conditions on walkways, sidewalks and steps are repaired or marked clearly to let people know of the dangerous conditions
  • Remove anything that may cause an individual to trip or fall while on your property, i.e., decorations and extension cords. 
If you or a family member is a victim of a premises liability or "slip and fall" case, please call Attorney Doug Stoehr's Altoona, PA area firm at 814-946-4100 to discuss your potential claim.   As always, remember to have fun and be safe out there this Halloween.  

Car Seat Picture Goes Viral

In case you ever needed another reason to make sure that your children are properly secure in their carseats, look no further than this article.  A PA mother posted a picture on social media that showed the wreckage of her car after an accident next to a picture of her children's intact car seats.  To take a look at the picture and read more about the article, please click here

It is very important to remember that all babies and toddlers should be strapped into appropriate and properly installed car seats.  Older children should also use a booster seat.  Obviously, make sure that all children (and all passengers in general) are wearing their seat belts. It's also important to keep younger children away from airbags, which could do more harm than good in a crash.  You as a driver also need to do your part to drive safely and defensively.  Children should know that when you're driving, you will not be able to turn around to help them, check on them, give them food, etc.  Your focus needs to be on the road to keep your car, and other vehicles, on the road safe! 

However, despite our best efforts, sometimes an accident is unavoidable.  If an accident does occur, it's important to know that Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state.  Comparative negligence simply means that if your negligence contributed to the accident, your damages will then be reduced by the amount of your negligence.  So please take every precaution to decrease the chances of contributing to an accident, and properly prepare your vehicle, your family, and yourself for the conditions ahead. If you are injured in a vehicle accident, please allow Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr to review your claim by calling our Altoona, PA law firm at 814-946-4100.

Autumn Is A Dangerous Season For Driving

Autumn is fast approaching, which means cooler weather, changing leaves, and football. Unfortunately, it also means that certain kinds of accidents are also on the rise.  One of these potentially deadly types of accidents is pedestrian accidents.  According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian accidents are the most likely to happen during the fall months.  Take a look at some of these statistics highlighted in one of their reports from a few years ago:

  • Friday and Saturday have higher fatality rates than any other day of the week. 
  • October, November, and December have higher fatality rates than any other month. 
  • On average, 13 pedestrians die in vehicle crashes each day, or one pedestrian every 107 minutes. 
  • Bad weather does not necessarily contribute to a pedestrian death, but a bad light condition does. 
  • Nearly 46 percent of pedestrian fatalities are alcohol-involved. 
  • One in five pedestrians killed were killed in hit-and-run motor vehicle crashes. 
  • Autumn is the deadliest season for pedestrians, with two of the highest fatality months being October and November. 
  • The number of pedestrians killed between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. is greater than during any other 3-hour time frame. 

Pedestrian accidents are frightening and occur without warning.  Additionally, the consequences of pedestrian accidents can also be emotionally and physically damaging. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a lawyer specializing in personal injury and services the western and central Pennsylvania area.  If you feel that you have been wrongfully hurt in a pedestrian accident and would like to consult with him about a possible personal injury claim, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.

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