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Lehigh Valley Vehicle Accident Blog

Preparing your car for winter weather

Getting into a car accident in the winter can be devastating. It's important to know how to drive safely. You need to slow down, create longer following distances, and understand how to react when the car slides on the ice and snow.l

However, you can't always prevent accidents. Someone else may drive recklessly and cause a crash. As such, it's also important to know how to prepare your car and your passengers for this eventuality.

Child injuries have a simple No. 1 cause

As a parent, do you often worry about your children getting hurt? It's ingrained in you. When they were babies, you worried about everything they put in their mouths. As toddlers, you followed them around while they learned to walk. When they first got on a bike, you helped them balance, bought them a helmet and gave them as much support as you could.

While injuries can happen in many ways -- playing sports, roughhousing on the playground, walking down a set of stairs in the snow -- there is one clear No. 1 cause. If you want to keep your kids safe, you need to know what it is. Per the National Institutes of Health, the No 1. cause is car accidents.

Trucks need extra space to stop

When driving around trucks, drivers need to understand that the safety rules are a bit different. If they do not act like these 80,000-pound vehicles are larger and heavier than the rest of the traffic around them, it can cause accidents.

For instance, one of the most important rules to follow is to always avoid cutting off a truck. Passing itself is not a problem, but only do it when you have plenty of space. Never dart in front of the truck right before a red light, for instance, and then hit the brakes. It may appear that you have enough room, but the truck driver was actually keeping that open space in front of them on purpose, as they need extra space to stop. If you put your car in the way and hit the brakes, the driver may have no way to avoid you.

Do you want to help your older loved one stay safe on the road?

From teenagers to those in their golden years, drivers of all ages grace the Pennsylvania roadways. You may have a parent or other older loved one who still drives, and while he or she may certainly have the capabilities to do so, you may still worry about the possibility of an accident. Whether your loved one contributes to an accident or not, you know that such an event could have devastating consequences on an older person.

As a result, you may want to make sure that your loved one can stay as safe as possible while on the road. It is likely that a loved one with good vision and good health will not simply hand over the car keys and limit his or her freedom, but you may be able to suggest some safety tips that seem acceptable.

Statistics to help you understand the risks on the road

You are aware, of course, that driving is dangerous. You see news stories about accidents all the time. However, you are not sure just how dangerous it is or what risks you really face.

Since it is important to know what the risks look like so that you can learn how to stay safe, let's take a look at a few important statistics:

  • About 50% of fatalities in red-light accidents come from people in cars that get hit or pedestrians. The other half of those are in the cars that are running the red lights.
  • There are nearly 5 million wrecks in the United States every year. Most of these do not result in fatalities or serious injuries, but the sheer number means that everyone faces risks.
  • More than half of these crashes can be traced back to aggressive driving. The most common infraction is breaking the speed limit.
  • Speed makes a huge difference for pedestrians. Someone who gets hit by a car that is going 20 miles per hour will live in 90% of these accidents. Increase that speed to 40 MPH, and the odds of survival plummet to 20%.
  • Winter conditions contribute to about 17% of all accidents.
  • Those driving on icy roads may need 10 times longer to bring their car to a halt than those driving in the summer.
  • Backover injuries happen more often to young kids under 5, in part due to their small stature.

In a car accident? You're not alone

Getting into a car accident often makes you feel alone. You wonder how it could have happened to you. You blame your bad luck and misfortune. You feel like you're the only one who has to deal with injuries, medical bills, car repairs, police reports and a lot more.

Here's one important thing to remember: You are absolutely not alone. Almost everyone goes through this at one point or another. In fact, many people you know have probably gotten into accidents that you know nothing about. Just because they don't talk about it doesn't mean it didn't happen. This is a very common occurrence in the United States, and you should not let "feeling alone" stress you out any more than necessary.

The dangers of truck drivers who don't get enough sleep

When someone has a medical emergency behind the wheel, it's very dangerous for themselves and others on the road. When that emergency happens while they're driving a semitruck, the danger to others increases tremendously. A semi can weigh 80,000 pounds. When a vehicle like that goes out of control, it can do a considerable amount of harm before it finally stops.

You have likely heard that truck driver fatigue is among the biggest issues facing modern semi drivers. It can lead to poor decision-making, slow reaction times and drivers falling asleep behind the wheel.

UPS trucks haven't turned left since 2004

Fifteen years ago, in 2004, UPS made a striking change to their driver policies. Drivers would no longer make left turns. This policy is still in place today.

While there are some rare cases in which drivers have no other options, they are told to always seek a route that avoids left turns. They even do this if it means making three right turns to get to the proper destination.

Go to the doctor after an accident, even when you feel fine

The car accident leaves you shaken and scared, but you do not think you got injured. There is no blood. There are no broken bones. You get out of the car on your own and walk to the side of the road, where you wait for the emergency crews.

It's tempting to assume you got lucky and opt not to seek medical treatment. Why talk to the doctor when you feel fine? You just want to go home and rest or start sorting out the insurance process for your wrecked vehicle.

Shock is normal after a car accident

Car accidents do not always impact people the way that they expect. These are traumatic events. If you get into a crash, it's normal to go through a period of shock after the crash.

Shock hits different people in different ways. It's often the result of all of that adrenaline in your system. It can make you feel shaky or weak. You may have wide eyes and find yourself staring at nothing. It may be difficult or even impossible for you to talk to people, even medical responders.

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