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Safety organization advises drivers to take care this weekend

Summer is almost upon us and Memorial Day is just around the corner. Many people in the Pittsburgh area will have Memorial Day off and will enjoy the long weekend with friends and family. Some will have get-togethers, others will barbecue. Overall, it should be a fun weekend.

At the same time, there will be approximately 400 fatal motor vehicle accidents across the country between Friday at 6 pm and Monday at 11:59 pm, according to the National Safety Council. Though the number of fatal accidents will be considerably smaller in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, the increase in the number of fatal accidents in general is a cause for concern. On top of that, the Council estimates that there will be 40,900 people injured in motor vehicle accidents that will require medical attention.

The Council is recommending that drivers take care this weekend, but it is important to clarify that if a drunk, distracted or otherwise reckless driver hits someone, it is usually not the victim's fault. Of course, in the heat of the moment, it doesn't quite matter whose fault it is, as the victim just wants to be treated for his or her injuries. Once he or she has a moment to collect his or her thoughts, however, fault, negligence and legal liability come back into play.

When a driver injures another person because he or she was negligent or reckless, he or she can be ordered to pay his or her victim's damages. Whether that is medical costs, lost wages or property damage, irresponsible drivers can be held accountable.

Source: National Safety Council, "National Safety Council Estimates Nearly 400 Fatalities from Crashes this Memorial Day Weekend," May 19, 2014

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