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.
In these harsh winter weather conditions, many car drivers across our state of Pennsylvania, as well as the country, are dealing with less than desirable road conditions. According to news source Syracuse.com, the phenomenon of "flash-freezing" is causing major problems on both roads and sidewalks across the East Coast this winter.
Winter is in full swing, but that doesn't mean you need to stay inside. However, walking safely in wintry conditions may be a hazard if you're not careful. According to a local news source, one way to stay safe this winter is to actually "walk like a penguin"! As funny as it sounds, taking these shorter, waddling steps may keep you more stable on the ice and help you avoid a slip and fall injury.
Sometimes, the difficulties we face after a personal injury, such as a car accident, are not purely physical. Sometimes, victims of accidents also experience psychological distress. For example, they may experience recurring nightmares related the accident, avoid areas where the accident took place, and/or experience a general onset of depression or anxiety. These feelings can interfere with daily life and can lead to isolation from family members and friends. It is important to seek medical advice in these situations in order to come up with a treatment plan and strategies to manage these feelings.
Do you sometimes enter a retail store or other public establishment and think "Huh, well THAT sidewalk/ramp/curb/entrance/puddle doesn't look safe". Chances are, you are probably right. Sometimes, these unsafe walking conditions lead to accidents, which then makes those businesses potentially liable for slip-and-fall lawsuits. One such accident occurred recently at a Big Lots in San Diego, CA. A woman fell in a Big Lots after she slipped and fell on a patch of dirt of the floor, which caused her to fall into a soda display shelf. As a result, she developed shoulder and neck injuries, had multiple surgeries, and required physical therapy afterwards. The injured party's attorney reported that Big Lots doesn't have a set sweeping schedule, and instructs employees to sweep "as needed". They implied that this lack of cleaning schedule may have, in part, contributed to the conditions responsible for this accident. The results of this trial have not been released yet, but it will be interesting to see what happens.
Across the country, pedestrian accidents are on the rise. Arizona currently has the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities in the country, but many states are experiencing this issue as well. Pennsylvania is no exception this. According to a news report by an Arizona news source, pedestrian and bike fatalities make up about a quarter of their total traffic fatalities. Given the number and severity of cases that Pennsylvania also sees in these areas, this number may be not far off in our state, too. Some of these accidents occur as a result of driver error or inattention, while others are caused by pedestrians and bicyclists who do not cross streets at designated times and/or places.