Have you ever wondered which seats in your car are the safest in the event of an accident? A recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examined this question and found some interesting results. According to their research, passengers in the back seat may be at heightened risk for serious injury or death in a head-on collision as opposed to travelers in the front seat. Although these results may seem like the opposite of what you might expect, researchers are attributing the risk to back seat passengers based on several factors. Many seatbelts in the back seat are not designed well for passengers, which may increase their risk for injury. Most research and crash tests tend to focus on the safety of front seat passengers as opposed to back seat passengers. Seatbelt safety technology has improved greatly over the years for those in the front seat, but these same technological advances are not always used in the back seat, too. Additionally, seatbelt tensions do not always react the same way in the back seat, which sometimes makes restraints too loose or too tight in the event of a collision. Additionally, there are no front airbags in the back seat.
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 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.
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.
Sometimes, general trends for certain types of lawsuits come and go. However, in the world of personal injury, there are several big areas that tend to make up the bulk of personal injury claims. Can you guess what they are?
This is good news! Five PA agencies are working together to make conditions safer for emergency responders and clear accident scenes faster on our state's highways. As a result of efforts spearheaded by the PA Turnpike Commission, many of the state's emergency responders have been trained to improve their ability to communicate and collaborate when working on highway accidents. As a way to formally address highway accident issues, the PennTIME program was formed. This program consists of the State Department of Health, PA State Police, PennDOT, the Turnpike Commission, and the state's Emergency Management Organzation. This program will help organize efforts between police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and accident removal companies (like towing and hazardous materials organizations) to have one efficient, coordinated response.
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.
Although they're providing a service to local families, many community service agencies often use vans and cars that are older and potentially unsafe for use. Organizations like churches, halfway houses, and shelters sometimes use vehicles to transport goods and people that are in serious need of repair, lack the proper safety mechanisms, and/or are not maintained in proper working condition. These car issues can lead to an increased risk for accident. and potentially more significant injuries if the car is involved in a wreck. If you're a passenger in one of these community service car and you're involved in an accident, you may find yourself in an unusual and somewhat complicated situation. If you're hit by one of these cars, the situation could be equally as complex. In these situations, ou will need an attorney who is experienced with handling such claims. Not only is Attorney Douglas Stoehr an experienced accident attorney, he also used to work for auto insurance companies and, as a result, has a large amount of knowledge relating to insurance claims from an insider's perspective. For more information on his practice and to schedule your free initial consultation, please call his Altoona, PA area practice at 814-946-4100.
Car crashes and chronic pain sometimes go together more commonly than you might think. In some studies, car crash victims have an over 80% increased risk of chronic pain in the future. As a result, although some people may like to "tough it out" after their car crash and minimize any post-accident pain, it is not helpful and may lead to increased medical and emotional difficulties in the future.