Last year, we discussed the tragic truck accident involving actor and comedian Tracy Morgan. Morgan suffered severe injuries after a speeding Wal-Mart truck collided with the limousine bus carrying Morgan and six other people. Morgan's friend was killed in the accident. It was later discovered that the driver of the Wal-Mart truck had not slept in over 28 hours. He had driven 800 miles overnight from his home in Georgia to a distribution center in Delaware, then started out on his delivery route.
Every year transportation officials tell us how dangerous it is to use a cellphone while driving. What we didn't know is that it is even more dangerous than they originally thought. According to officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, cellphone use while driving is grossly underreported in car accidents. PennDOT spokeswoman Fritzi Schreffler says that it can be difficult to know exactly how many accidents are caused by driver cellphone use because people don't want to admit to doing it. Officers don't always see the driver on their phone, so they are unable to report it.
When a car accident occurs, victims and their families are typically overwhelmed with stress and emotions. Many people are concerned about their loved ones who may have suffered catastrophic injuries in the accident. Accident victims and their families are often hit with countless medical bills and rehabilitation costs, as well as lost wages. With so many things to worry about, it can be difficult to figure out your next steps.
Car accidents that solely involve other motor vehicles can be tragic enough. But, an accident involving a bicyclist can result in even more serious consequences. One woman was killed recently when her bike was struck by a vehicle near the University of Pittsburgh campus. The woman was an assistant director at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian and East European Studies.
Drivers are expected to exercise caution when they are behind the wheel. Drivers who behave negligently or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be held liable for any automobile accidents they cause. These accidents may involve other vehicles, pedestrians or mere bystanders. One man recently crashed into a little girl standing on her driveway in Shaler Township.
It comes as no surprise that thousands of Americans, including Pennsylvanians, are killed every year in drunk driving accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over 10,000 people in the United States were killed in accidents involving a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. Studies have shown that one-third of all accident deaths in the United States are caused by drivers with a blood alcohol level of over .08.
It is no surprise that Pittsburgh car accidents can result in serious injuries or death. Many of us will be involved in at least one car accident in our lifetimes, so it is important to know what steps to take following automobile accidents.First, you should always make sure that you stay at the scene of an accident, especially if someone was injured. Failure to do so may mean criminal charges against you as a hit-and-run driver. After contacting emergency medical services if necessary, you should call the police if there is significant property damage, physical injury or death. While at the scene of the incident, be careful not to apologize or take responsibility for anything at the scene. If you do, you may be admitting legal liability for what happened. The next step involves documenting the accident. Make sure to take down all of the other driver's information, including license plate number, insurance information and contact information. Drivers can also benefit from writing down details about the accident itself and talking to witnesses at the scene. Take photos and video of the damages. It may be beneficial to get the property damage valuation from your insurance company.
Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous and, unfortunately, it is a behavior that is on the rise. Even the most careful of drivers in Pittsburgh can cause a serious accident if they are distracted. Not only are they putting their lives and safety at risk, but also everyone else on the road. Though they may not intend to cause a crash, if their negligence causes one, they can be held responsible.