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.
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.
A lot goes through your mind when you are in a car crash. Sometimes, the emotional and physical impact of your crash doesn't really "set in" until a few days after the accident occurs. There are many injuries related to car crashes that may not be immediately apparent right after the accident happens. For example, many common injuries that can show up in the days or weeks following an accident include whiplash, headaches, back and neck pain, fogginess and disorientation, and emotional effects.
In the Pittsburgh area this week, a section of I-70 was closed due to a large tractor-trailer accident. According to accident reports, the truck went off the road and got stuck between the guard rail and the highway. The driver was trapped inside the car and received treatment at an area hospital for his injuries. At the time of the article, there was no mention of other cars being involved in the accident.
As you may be aware, Thanksgiving Day is one of the most dangerous days of the year to be on the road. As the holiday is fast approaching, it is a good time to remind others to take care as they plan their Thanksgiving holiday travel. According to USA Today, "During each Thanksgiving week from 2005-2010, the average number of traffic fatalities nationwide was 798; for all other weeks, the average was 748, according to a new University of Alabama analysis of federal data on road deaths." Additionally, car crashes, in general, tend to rise to about 25% above the average on Thanksgiving as compared to other days during the year.
It's back to school time! Be aware of the increase in children and families walking, driving, and taking the bus to their final stops.
According to a USA Today news report, the time after school lets out for the summer is considered one of the "100 deadliest days" of the summer. Taking data compiled by USAA, the article stated that about 1,000 people die in crashes with teenage drivers on the 100 day stretch from Memorial Day onward. This time results in raising the average number of car accident deaths up by 16% compared to other times during the calendar year. Distracted driving accounted for almost 60% of the crashes.
Be aware of the front end of your car when driving and pulling out of spaces! A local Pittsburgh news article highlighted the growing number of "frontover" accidents, in which a driver doesn't see a person (especially a child) in front of their car and pulls out, hitting the person. These accidents are becoming increasingly common as people are now driving much larger vehicles than the typical sedans of the past. It is notable that, according to some reports, about 80% of these types of accidents involve larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks. The blind zones in front of these types of cars can be up to 8 feet long.
According to reports via the Allentown Morning Call, Pennsylvania still has a lot of difficulty with distracted driving. According to their article, despite legislation five years ago that banned texting while driving, there has been over a 50% increase in the number of people being pulled over for distracted driving in the last three years. It is a hard position for law enforcement to be in, since drivers are still allowed to use their phones to make calls or to use apps like GPS. Commercial drivers, like truck drivers, can't use their phones at all unless they're placing an emergency call to police.