Pennsylvania Personal Injury Law Blog

FMCSA revives controversial trucking safety policy

As children, our parents and teachers help us to understand that rules exist for a reason. Especially when any given rule helps to ensure that individuals remain safe, we are taught to respect and abide by that rule. For better and worse, the rules that govern the adult world tend to be less straightforward than the rules that govern the world that children experience. Rules set by the government, by employers and by business tend to be riddled with exceptions and loopholes.

Some rules should be nuanced and should contain various loopholes in order to ensure that the purpose and intention of those rules are effectively processed. However, allowing exceptions to safety rules can result in devastating consequences. An excellent example of how exceptions to safety-related rules can cause negative consequences involves the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Dayton man faces charges stemming from one vehicle accident

A Pennsylvania man is facing felony counts stemming from a December 31, 2013 motor vehicle accident in which he is accused of causing a wreck that seriously injured several members of his family. The 28 year old man is accused of grabbing the steering wheel of the car while his wife was driving and steering the vehicle off of the roadway. The vehicle then overturned several times and came to rest upside down in a creek. This tragic one vehicle accident resulted in injuries to everyone in the vehicle including the couple's four children.

Lawmakers and businesses are clashing on interstate repair

Pennsylvania drivers face numerous road hazards on a daily basis: Distracted drivers, ice, snow and giant semi-trucks with fatigued operators, just to name a few. But one road hazard that few people often think about is the road itself.

Many of the nation’s highways are in serious disrepair. Sometimes these dangerous highways cause motor vehicle accidents and sometimes they exacerbate them. In either case, it’s clear that America’s highways need to be fixed and in some cases, rebuilt entirely. What is less clear, however, is just how to pay for this major project.

National Safety Council releases distracted driving statistics

We frequently write about the perils associated with distracted driving. While our readers will likely be unsurprised to learn that a significant fraction of distracted driving accidents involve cellphone use, you will likely be surprised by the fraction of accidents caused by texting as opposed to cellphone conversations.

According to a recently released report compiled by the National Safety Council, more than 25 percent of all collisions occurring on American roads today involve cellphone use by one or both drivers. Surprisingly however, this study indicates that only about five percent of all collisions involve texting, while more than 20 percent of collisions involve cellphone conversations on either hands-free or handheld cellphones.

Report indicates that Pennsylvania roads are dangerous

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 45,500 motor vehicles traveling on American roads were involved in fatal collisions during 2012 alone. Though the nation’s roads are often well constructed and modern vehicles are safer than older models, a staggering number of Americans are killed in motor vehicle collisions every year.

For better and for worse, some states’ roads are safer for travelers than others. A report recently released by the NHTSA indicates that travelers in some states are particularly prone to suffering fatal truck accidents. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is listed among the most dangerous states for fatal truck accident activity.

New smart bike design is aimed at keeping riders safe

We have previously written about some of the innovations currently influencing the future of motor vehicle manufacturing, technology and safety. For example, the government is currently testing the feasibility of having cars “talk” to one another in order to inform motorists of any conditions or movements which might lead to a crash if they do not respond appropriately.

However, motor vehicles are not the only modes of travel being made over in the name of safety. In an effort to reduce the prevalence of bicycle accidents nationwide, some students of mechanical engineering at Northeastern University are creating smart bike technology.

Recall scandal involves delays from both GM and the NHTSA

Readers no doubt remember the Toyota “sudden acceleration” scandal from a few years ago. While the alleged auto defects were troubling in and of themselves, most Americans were angrier about the fact that Toyota tried to downplay the problem and delayed a recall that could have prevented car accidents and saved lives.

Every automaker regularly needs to issue recalls due to defective parts or design problems in its vehicles. Such problems may be somewhat unavoidable when producing highly sophisticated machines on such a large scale. But when trusted car companies try to save money and avoid bad press by delaying or failing to issue recalls despite known defects, these companies often end up losing significantly more money and credibility when the public eventually learns the truth.

Leaving kids in cold cars is a dangerous safety hazard

We have previously written about the hazard of leaving children and pets in vehicles on hot days. Depending on the weather, the temperatures in motor vehicles can rise much faster than they may outdoors. The resulting overwhelming heat can cause significant injuries to children, even ones that prove fatal. What many parents may not know is that leaving children in cold cars can be just as hazardous as leaving them in ones that are hot.

It is generally a poor idea to leave children in motor vehicles generally. Even when you can see a child in your car just outside a shop window or as you speak with a neighbor, leaving him or her unattended can prove to be an injurious or even fatal mistake.

Thinking about cycling safety as spring approaches

The ice and snow of winter have yet to melt. And for many in the Northeast and Midwest, it feels like they may never melt. But spring is actually nearer than the weather suggests. And as a result, it is important to start thinking about the safety of all those cyclists and bicyclists who will soon be taking their equipment out of garages all across Pennsylvania.

In recent years, lawmakers across the nation have embraced a variety of policies aimed at reducing the prevalence of injurious and fatal bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, not all of these policies have proven to be as successful as lawmakers and safety advocates once hoped they would be. As spring rapidly approaches, what can Pennsylvania lawmakers and residents do to better ensure the safety of cyclists given that not all safety-minded policies currently being utilized seem to be working effectively?

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