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Lehigh Valley Vehicle Accident Blog

5 signs an elderly person needs to stop driving

It's difficult to tell an elderly loved one that they need to stop driving. However, it may also be impossible to avoid.

If you need to have this conversation for their own safety -- and that of others on the road -- it can help to provide specific examples of why you think that they should stop. Don't just note that it's common at their age. They're likely to say that they can still drive safely, even if others cannot.

Speeding is about more than losing control

Many people assume that the danger of speeding comes from the fact that it's harder to control the car. They could lose control, spin out, and crash into someone else or a stationary object on the side of the road.

Ironically, this is why some people feel safe speeding. They can feel that they are still in control of the car. Maybe they're experienced speeders who do it all the time. They're not worried about causing an accident, so they think it's safe enough to speed.

The autumn motorcycle season is almost here

In some ways, riding your motorcycle in the autumn is even better than riding it in the summer. You get cooler temperatures, which can be nice when wearing leather or a protective suit. You get the beautiful leaves in Pennsylvania, which can be reason enough to go for a ride as they change colors. It's a wonderful time of year.

However, riding in the fall does come with some new hazards. First and foremost, the days are getting shorter. Rides that would have been well-lit in the summer are now done at dusk or even in the dark. This changes your visibility, making it harder for other drivers to see you, and could lead to an accident.

5 things you should know about night motorcycle riding

Riding a motorcycle at night can feel fun and exhilarating if you're just going out for the enjoyment of the ride. During the hot days of the summer, it can also be a way to take advantage of the cooler temps; you're going to get hot riding at noon in a leather jacket and a helmet. And, for those who use a motorcycle as their main means of transportation, night riding may just be unavoidable.

That said, night riding does come with its own challenges and accident risks. Here are five things you should know:

  1. Your lights need to be properly set up not just to make it easier for you to see, but so they make your bike as visible as possible to other drivers.
  2. It's dangerous to drive when you're tired or fatigued, so stay off of your bike when you feel this way.
  3. Never drink and ride. If you're going to the bar, find a designated driver or hire a rideshare driver instead of taking your bike.
  4. Speed is especially dangerous at night. Slow down. You already have less reaction time because it's dark, and excessive speed just cuts that even more.
  5. Defensive driving is the key to staying safe. Remember that other drivers may not see you, may not drive safely around you or may be intoxicated. A defensive driver works to see the hazards in advance, allowing them to keep their distance and avoid a crash.

Physical, mental repercussions of car accidents can last

For far too many people, car accidents can have lasting effects. Even if people do not suffer severe physical injuries, they can still sustain mental or emotional trauma that affects them for an extended period of time. Though you may have hoped to avoid involvement in this type of incident, you, like many other Pennsylvania residents, were not so lucky.

Most people find themselves involved in a car accident at some point. While some of those incidents may be minor, others are severe. You may have recently suffered serious injuries in a car crash and wonder how these injuries will affect you in the long term.

What if your car accident affects your income?

Car accidents clearly affect your life from the moment they happen. This is true even when just your car is damaged, but especially so when you suffer injuries. You may need to spend time in the hospital recovering and healing. Even after getting released, you may need more recovery time at home. It only takes a split second for another driver to cause a crash, but you could be paying for it for weeks.

But what if your injuries are more than a short-term issue? What if that car accident causes you to lose your job?

Load shifts can cause unavoidable accidents

When you see a semitruck go around a corner and roll, what is your first thought? Do you assume that the driver must have been going too fast?

This type of accident is very dangerous, especially for those who may be riding next to the truck on the road. A semi can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and can crush other vehicles in a second. It is true that some of these accidents happen when drivers are speeding, but that's not the only reason.

Crumple zones improve safety

Have you ever heard someone complain that "they just don't make cars like they used to"? Odds are, that person was involved in a minor accident. They may be frustrated by the way their new car seemed to take a lot of damage in the crash, and they may be complaining that a car they had back in the '70s would have simply had a few scratches and been fine.

The reason for this, in many cases, is that modern cars have crumple zones. However, this doesn't mean that they're worse. They're actually far better. These crumple zones increase safety on the road by a wide margin.

Avoid these driving mistakes and you can avoid accidents

If you want to avoid car accidents this year -- as we all do -- you need to know what steps to take. Too many people seem to just hope that they don't get hit by attempting to generally follow the traffic laws, rather than taking active steps to avoid a crash. That's often not enough. They get hit by other drivers or cause accidents themselves.

To help you take that more active role, here are a few mistakes you should strive to avoid:

  • Only using your mirrors when you are backing up, rather than turning around to look behind the car and using a backup camera.
  • Pulling out into an intersection when there is a green light, assuming that no one coming the other way is going to run the red light.
  • Not looking far enough in front of your car. For instance, it's a mistake to look just a few seconds ahead, since you really want to look 12 seconds in front of the vehicle.
  • Not leaving the proper distance between you and the next car on the road. You want to be three or four seconds behind them, at minimum, and yet many people drive at just one or two.
  • Letting go of the steering wheel with both hands when you need to do something in the car.
  • Using your cellphone while you drive, even if all that you are doing is making a call, not sending a text.

Safety tips from a man who lived through 2 motorcycle accidents

The first thing that you often hear about motorcycle accidents is just how likely they are to be fatal. The death rate is much higher than it is for those in car accidents. This is true.

However, that doesn't mean that there is nothing you can do to prevent such an outcome. In reality, most motorcyclists who get into accidents live through those accidents. One man survived two of them, and he offered up some survival tips afterward. They include:

  • Wear a helmet with a full mask, as most people are facing the pavement when they impact it. A smaller helmet may look "cooler", but it offers less protection.
  • Wear gloves. Any time you fall off of your bike, no matter the reason, you will reach out to break your fall.
  • Put on reflective clothes or bright colors so that it is easier for drivers to spot you.
  • Learn as much as you can about your bike, including what types of things may cause you to crash. Anticipating an accident can certainly help.
  • Remember that injury is nearly inevitable in a crash. Be ready for that and concentrate on trying to reduce the severity.
  • Don't drive too quickly. In one accident, he was racing another bike and came to a blind corner, causing both of them to crash. Slowing down reduces the odds of an accident and reduces the severity of the injury if a crash does happen.

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