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Lehigh Valley Vehicle Accident Blog

Grandfather dies in multi-car crash

A multi-car crash in Pennsylvania left one person dead and injured four more.

An SUV reportedly started the chain-reaction accident when it slammed into a concrete barrier. This caused the SUV to roll, sending a nearby car careening into a second SUV. The grandfather who was driving that car died.

Driver behaviors are common causes of rollover crashes

As a passenger, you may trust your driver's skills enough to not think twice about getting into the vehicle. Nowadays, people commonly get into strangers' vehicles through rideshare services and often still do not think much about whether those people are safe drivers. You may have ridden in many vehicles without incident, but still, you are at risk of suffering injuries if a car accident takes place.

In particular, SUVs and other vehicles with higher centers of gravity, such as pickup trucks and vans, have a greater chance of rolling over in an accident. If you are a passenger in an SUV, you could easily suffer serious injuries in this type of event. If so, the driver could bear liability for damages you suffer.

5 things you can do to stay safe near a semi or a bus

The size difference between your passenger car and a semitruck or a bus puts you in significant danger whenever you drive near them. Even a small mistake can lead to a devastating accident. Your car's crash ratings do not give you that much comfort when you're worried about your 3,500-pound car getting hit by an 80,000-pound semi.

To stay safe, always do the following things:

  1. Practice patience: Remember that trucks are often limited to a far lower speed limit than you are, and this is done for your safety. If you can't get around, just wait. Never tailgate or drive aggressively.
  2. Remember that they make wide turns: If you're sitting in the left-hand turn lane and a truck is trying to turn into the lane next to you, back up a bit. That trailer may swing through your lane.
  3. Never get too close to the back of a truck: The driver cannot see you. He or she may have no idea you are there at all. The truck's own trailer blocks the view and creates a huge blind spot.
  4. Avoid blind spots: These are on the sides and in the front, as well. The lanes right next to a truck can be hazardous. If you're worried that you are in a blind spot and the driver cannot see you, even with the mirrors, adjust your speed to move out of the area.
  5. Remember that large vehicles take farther to stop: If you suddenly change lanes at a stoplight and cut off a bus or a truck, you could cause a rear-end accident.

8 things to include in a car accident report

You're looking to file a car accident report, but you have never been in a wreck before. You're not sure where to start and the authorities are not exactly easy to communicate with. What does the report need to include?

Below are eight critical pieces of information that should be in the report:

  1. The name, phone number and address for both you and the other driver.
  2. The driver's license number belonging to both people.
  3. Any contact information for others who may have been involved. For instance, perhaps a pedestrian was injured or maybe you had a passenger with you in the car at the time of the crash.
  4. The insurance information for both drivers, including the name of the company and the policy number.
  5. The license plate number from both of the cars involved -- or more, if this was a multi-vehicle wreck.
  6. The body style of each car, along with the specific make and model. For instance: Pickup truck, Ford F-150 or SUV, Jeep Grand Cherokee.
  7. The VIN from each car (Vehicle identification number).
  8. A brief description of the type of damage sustained by the vehicles. If you do not know the names of specific parts, just list where the damage occurred -- for example, the front left corner of the car.

6 tips to help you avoid car accidents

All car accidents cannot be avoided. Other drivers make mistakes, and they can easily hit you even if you have carefully followed all traffic laws.

That said, defensive driving can make an accident less likely. If you assume other drivers are going to make mistakes, that can help you react quickly. Below are six tips that can help you avoid some accidents.

  1. Stay out of the left-hand lane when possible. This is where reports show the majority of interstate accidents take place.
  2. Watch out for drivers who are distracted or who are not paying attention. If a driver seems to be swerving or drifting, stay far away.
  3. Watch out for cars that don't appear to be taken care of properly. If a car is dirty, loud and looking like it's on the verge of breaking down, it could be a hazard.
  4. Stay off the roads after dark. Night itself causes a lot of accidents, and most drunk driving accidents happen after the sun goes down. Plan to be home by then if you can.
  5. Keep both hands on the wheel. They tell you this in driver's ed, but many people don't do it. Having both hands ready means you can react faster to issues ahead of you.
  6. Understand blind spots. Know where yours are so that you can check them, and know when you could be dangerously driving in another vehicle's blind spot. This is especially an issue with semitrucks.

Drivers fail to see motorcycles twice as often as cars

Drivers often fail to see motorcycles. It sounds so simple, and so easily avoidable, but it happens all the time. It also leads to serious accidents. Drivers who don't see motorcycles may cut them off, turn in front of them, merge into them on the interstate or cause crashes in numerous other ways.

How often does it happen? One study showed people different vehicles in pictures when they were not sure what to expect. These people did not see taxi cabs in 31 percent of the cases. However, they did not see motorcycles in a stunning 65 percent of cases.

5 things you should know about distracted driving

Distracted driving accidents are all too common these days, and part of the reason is that people just don't understand the problem. For instance, did you know that thousands of people die in these accidents every year? They're by no means a minor problem.

To help paint the picture a bit better, here are five things you must know:

  1. Distractions last even after the activity ends. Mentally, you're still thinking about what you were doing, rather than driving. For instance, a study discovered that people who used hands-free devices with voice commands were still distracted, even after they finished giving commands, for about 27 seconds.
  2. Hundreds of thousands of distracted drivers are on the road at any given second, all across America. One study claimed there were 660,000 who were distracted by electronic devices alone.
  3. It goes well beyond cellphone use. Eating and drinking behind the wheel is a huge issue, and 86 percent of drivers in one poll admitted that they had done so.
  4. Even your mood can be a serious distraction. People who are feeling overly emotional -- sad or angry, in many cases -- often do not pay attention to the road.
  5. Parents are among the most distracted drivers when they have their children in the car with them. One study looked at simple 16-minute trips in the car and found that parents did not look at the road for a stunning 202 seconds each trip -- 3 minutes and 22 seconds, on average.

Pennsylvania lawmaker accused of crashing government car twice

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is facing serious accusations that she drove a government car, which is paid for by her taxpayers, while she had a suspended driver's license. According to reports, she's also been accused of causing a car accident in that same vehicle, and she then allegedly fled the scene of the crash.

The woman was actually charged with driving on that suspended license twice in just 12 days.

Drowsy truck drivers are a danger to Pennsylvania motorists

When a Pennsylvania truck driver is negligent or reckless, it poses a risk for everyone else on the road. This is also the case when a truck driver is tired while behind the wheel. Truckers work long hours and spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel, which may mean they are more prone than other types of drivers to be drowsy. 

Drowsy driving is a significant problem. Exhaustion can impact a trucker's physical reaction abilities as well as his or her cognitive abilities. If you suffered injuries in an accident involving a truck, it is possible that drowsy driving is to blame. You would have the right to seek compensation from all liable parties.

Remaining safe while sharing the road with semitrucks

For many drivers, large trucks are such a common part of driving that they forget just how dangerous these enormous automotive beasts can be. Especially on highways and interstates, large trucks pose serious threats to the safety of consumer drivers, who often behave dangerously when sharing the road.

Sharing the road with a large truck is an important responsibility for consumer drivers. Unfortunately, too many consumer drivers fail to realize just how differently these vehicles operate than their own vehicles, and end up causing or contributing to nearly 80 percent of all large truck accidents.

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