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Category Archives: Car Accidents


Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Support Safe Driving Practices This Thanksgiving.

Driving Safety Tips for the Thanksgiving Holiday Period

Now that Thanksgiving is close, safety advocacy agencies are sharing driving tips, and with good reason. The roads will be filled with millions of drivers, increasing the chances for minor and major car accidents. The big holiday travel period will start the Wednesday before the holiday and will not end until early Monday morning. What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones while traveling for the holiday?

Prep Yourself and Your Car

A few days before the trip, take your car in for a tune-up, or perform some maintenance at home. Check your tire pressure and treads, and test the car’s battery. Top off your fluids, fill up the gas tank, and make sure that the lights are working. This is also a good time to look over your emergency kit. If you do not have one, now is the time to put one together.

An emergency kit should have bottled water, non-perishable snacks, a phone charger, flashlights, extra batteries, warning triangles, jumper cables, and small tools. If you will be driving to an area that could be impacted by snow, bring along blankets, hats gloves, sand or cat litter, and a shovel. It is also wise to have a first aid kit, extra clothes, and cleaning rags.

Eliminate Distractions

Cellphones take your focus away from the road, so make sure to turn on Do Not Disturb mode before driving. Also, enter your route into the GPS before starting the car.

Additionally, make sure that your passengers have things to keep them occupied, like books or toys for young occupants. Every passenger needs to be buckled as well.

Avoid Peak Travel Times

Avoiding peak travel times can make the trip more tolerable, but this is not always possible. The worst travel times are usually Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, and Sunday night.

If you have no choice, getting into the right mindset can help. Hitting bad traffic is likely, so try to be patient and accept the fact that you might be late. The main goal is to arrive safely.

Drive Defensively

Other drivers might be aggressive or dangerous, but you do not have to follow suit. Avoid tailgating and speeding, and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. Follow traffic signs, and designate a passenger to answer your phone.

When you encounter oversized vehicles like tractor-trailers, give them extra room, as their blind spots are larger and they have longer stopping distances. Only pass large trucks and other vehicles when it is safe to do so, and remember to use your turn signal.

Take a Break

Another important safety tip is to take regular breaks when you are traveling for Thanksgiving; this benefits everyone. You and your passengers can stretch out your legs, grab a coffee, have a snack, or take a walk. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Support Safe Driving Practices This Thanksgiving

Even the most conscientious drivers get into auto accidents, and the risks increase during holidays. If you need help after a car crash, speak with one of our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at 302-427-9500 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

drowsy driving prevention

Observe National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week is observed every year during the first week of November. Now is a good time to review the dangers of drowsy driving and how it can be prevented.

Drowsy driving is a frequent occurrence and causes many car accidents every year in the United States. According to a study by the AAA, an estimated 328,000 drowsy driving accidents happen each year. Fatigue-related crashes most often happen between midnight and 6:00 a.m. as well as during the mid-afternoon. No matter the time they tend to happen, all of these incidents are preventable.

Why Is Drowsy Driving Dangerous?

A drowsy driver is less likely to pay attention to the road. They are slower to respond to dangers and may not brake or steer away in time. Decision-making is also more difficult, which can lead to taking unnecessary risks.

Spending too many hours without sleep is on par with driving while drunk. For example, 20 hours is the equivalent of a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent.

What Are the Signs of Drowsy Driving?

Ways to tell if you are too fatigued to keep driving include yawning, blinking, or rubbing your eyes frequently. Cognitive clues include irritability, disconnected thoughts, and trouble remembering the past few miles. Fatigued drivers are also more likely to miss their exits, drift from their lanes, tailgate, and have trouble maintaining safe speeds.

Who Is At Risk for Drowsy Driving?

Motorists who do not get adequate rest are more likely to be in drowsy driving accidents. Age can be a factor. Drivers under the age of 25 are vulnerable to driving while tired.

Medical issues, such as untreated sleep disorders or medications that cause drowsiness, may also cause motorists to lose focus behind the wheel.

Types of employment may also place people at risk for drowsy driving. Commercial motor vehicle drivers may face fatigue during long working hours. Employees assigned to nighttime duties or long shifts may find themselves driving while tired as well.

How Can I Prevent Drowsy Driving?

Consuming coffee or other caffeine products is not enough to combat driver fatigue. While they may provide a boost of energy, the effects are short-term. A person who is tired enough, even after drinking coffee, is at risk of falling into microsleeps. In this state, a person loses consciousness for four to five seconds and is vulnerable to causing an accident.

More effective ways to prevent drowsy driving include getting at least six hours of rest the night before a trip. When planning the drive, aim to travel during hours you are normally awake. Schedule a break for every two hours or 100 miles. If you feel sleepy, switch off driving responsibilities with another driver in the car, or pull over to a safe location, such as a well-lit rest stop, in order to take a nap.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Clients Injured in Drowsy Driving Accidents

If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by a drowsy driver, speak with one of the experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our offices are conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Help You if You Were Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident.

What Are Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents?

There are many different things competing for one’s attention when behind the wheel. It takes focus, concentration, and dedication to safely drive, but even the most vigilant motorists cannot control how others behave on the road. Recognizing common causes of distracted driving accidents and how you can help prevent one from happening is well worth your time to learn about.

Texting

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that about 1.6 million car accidents each year are caused by distracted driving. Nearly one out of four accidents are caused by texting.

While it is hard to ignore a text notification, reading it or sending a response will take your eyes from the road for at least five seconds. If you are driving 55 miles per hour, this can be compared to driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes shut; imagine how much worse that is when speeding.

Eating, Drinking, and Grooming

One reason why drive-throughs are so popular is because people try to save time by eating in their car. While a quick lunch in the driver’s seat can certainly save time, your hands and eyes are necessary to eat and drink. Messy foods are hard to eat in the first place, and eating while steering a vehicle in a confined space is very risky. Spilling a hot drink onto your lap could be even more dangerous.

Another time-saving activity for drivers is looking into the mirror to comb hair, floss teeth, and other kinds of grooming. Some people even try to apply eye makeup while driving.

Smoking

You might not think that smoking is a distraction, but lighting up a cigarette and putting ashes into an ashtray cause you to take your eyes off the road. Sometimes, burning ashes fall onto a driver’s lap or the floor as well.

Roadside Distractions

Another way that drivers lose focus is the pull of external distractions. This includes everything from a bright billboard to rubbernecking to see a crash on the side of the road.

Car Features

The inside of your car has many features that can be distracting. Drivers are always changing music stations, adjusting temperature controls, and fiddling with other features on their dashboards.

How Can I Avoid a Distracted Driving Accident?

Multitasking while driving is a stubborn habit to break for many people. Here are some tips for breaking the habit:

  • Put your cellphone on Do Not Disturb mode before turning on your car. If you are expecting important messages, pull over after a set amount of time and check.
  • Input your destination into your GPS before driving. Check the weather and traffic reports, and plan alternate timeframes or routes if needed.
  • Set your music and climate controls before leaving.
  • If you must eat on the road, pull over somewhere safe to do so.
  • If you are constantly running late, set your alarm clock earlier so you will have enough time.
  • Keep your pets in carriers, or secure them safely in the rear of the car.
  • Never drive while fatigued or stressed.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Help You if You Were Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident

Giving your full attention to the task of driving is crucial, but you cannot control other motorists. If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, consult with one of our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Those Who Have Been Injured in Halloween Crashes.

Driving This Halloween? Here Are Ways to Avoid an Accident

Halloween is a fun holiday for many families. However, Halloween also comes with driving dangers. There will be an increase in traffic, and drivers will see many pedestrians in popular trick-or-treating areas. Many adults will attend Halloween parties as well, increasing the likelihood of drunk driving car accidents.

Additionally, the combination of limited visibility due to darkness and an increase in the number of pedestrians makes driving on Halloween evening even more difficult and dangerous. Fortunately, some safety precautions can help you avoid a Halloween accident.

Plan Accordingly

Halloween falls on a Monday this year, which means many people will be celebrating the holiday throughout the weekend. Many neighborhoods or communities might hold early trick-or-treating events as well.

You should try to learn when and where events are scheduled that might affect your normal travels. A busy Halloween event might create more traffic and make driving especially difficult. When you know when and where local events are scheduled, you can plan to stay away from them by taking alternate routes.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Exceeding the posted speed limit on busy roads and when pedestrian activity is high creates dangers. You should try to abide by the posted speed limits and follow other vehicles at a safe distance to help prevent accidents.

Running a stop light or a stop sign on Halloween could be dangerous for pedestrians. Disregarding traffic lights and stop signs could cause you to hit someone who is trying to cross the street on Halloween night or during an early trick-or-treating event.

Watch Out for Pedestrians and Parked Vehicles

On Halloween night, you should be extra careful when driving between sunset and about 8:00 p.m. The two hours following sunset are the most active for trick-or-treaters and their chaperones.

You should pay close attention to the sidewalks, crosswalks, and road shoulders so that you know when pedestrians are close. A child might run into the roadway for just about any reason.

You also should watch for vehicles that are pulling away from or backing out of parking spaces and driveways. The drivers might be distracted or otherwise not see you.

Maintain Your Vehicle

If you have a headlight that is out, worn tires, or other mechanical issues with your vehicle, you should leave it at home. Only a well-maintained is safe to drive.

You should make sure all of your vehicle’s lights are working and replace them if they are not. You need headlights to see and be seen while driving, and you need working brake lights and taillights so that other drivers know what you are doing. All of these things are important, especially since winter will be coming soon.

Taking some simple safety precautions can help you avoid a Halloween car accident. Another motorist, though, might thwart your efforts and cause an accident due to no fault of your own. If this happens, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a lawyer.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Those Who Have Been Injured in Halloween Crashes

Driving on Halloween can be dangerous. If you become injured in a crash, you can speak with one of our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Clients Suffering From Crash-Related Head Injuries.

What Should I Do if I Have a Headache After a Car Accident?

Whenever a car accident occurs, obtaining medical attention is the most important thing to do right away. Some people suffer from hidden injuries that are not readily apparent immediately after an accident. If you experience a headache after a car accident, and especially several days afterward, that might be an indicator of a hidden and potentially serious injury.

Possibly the biggest health threat of headaches after a car accident is the potential of having a traumatic brain injury (TBI). You could suffer a TBI whenever you suffer a blow to your head.

According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs of a TBI include:

  • Headaches.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Ringing sound in your ears.
  • Feeling drowsy or fatigued.

If your experience headaches that worsen over time, you need to see a doctor right away. Your doctor could do an MRI scan and get a good look at any damage that might have occurred. If a TBI injury is confirmed, you might wind up in the hospital several days after your accident.

Although a headache may be a sign that you have a severe injury like a TBI, it may also just be a side effect from the accident. The mental stress and anxiety of an accident might be enough to cause bad headaches. Regardless, you should always go to a physician after a car accident, especially if you are having any sort of pain or discomfort.

If headaches occur, you should see your doctor and explain the problem. An MRI scan should tell whether or not that is a serious problem. Your doctor also could advise you to take over-the-counter medication that will help to ease the pain or prescribe something stronger if needed.

You might need to take a few days off of work to let your body heal up from the accident. That could be enough to enable your headaches to go away. If not, then you might need to see a specialist to take a closer look at your injuries.

Documenting Your Pain

Headaches after a car accident may indicate that something serious is happening in your body. Even if your doctor says you are in good health and the headaches will go away in time, you need to track them.

Jotting down notes about your headaches each day is helpful. If the headaches contributed to missing work, the loss of income could be reimbursed in an insurance claim or lawsuit. An experienced car accident lawyer is the best resource for helping document evidence of your car accident injury. If you want to find out your legal options after a car accident, speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Clients Suffering From Crash-Related Head Injuries

If you are suffering from a severe accident-related head injury, seek legal advice from one of our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

File Strong Claims with Help from an Experienced Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow.

Should I File a Counterclaim in a Car Accident Case?

The causes of car accidents often are not apparent. The drivers involved often dispute the causes and blame the other for causing the accident. When both drivers dispute who caused an accident, that is a good time to retain the services of a car accident lawyer. The insurers will have to investigate, and a lawsuit might be filed.

If you are involved in a disputed car accident and the other driver files a claim accusing you of causing the accident, you should file a counterclaim. When you file a counterclaim, you force the insurers to review the situation and put the other driver on the defensive. You also might prevail in a court case filed by the other driver.

Examples of Counterclaim Causes of Action

Delaware uses a fault system to determine who is liable for causing accidents. A disputed case that winds up in court enables the defendant to file a counterclaim. The same is true of the claims process used by auto insurers.

Commonly listed counterclaim causes of action include:

  • Loss of income
  • Medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Vehicular and other property damage

Filing a counterclaim does not automatically mean you will prevail. You need to provide evidence that supports your counterclaim. The other driver needs to provide evidence that supports a claim against you, as well.

Evidence could include witness statements, video footage of the accident, photographs of the accident scene, and other evidence that might better determine which driver caused the accident.

Delaware’s PIP Law Allows Lawsuits

Delaware’s optional no-fault auto insurance policy is called personal injury protection (PIP) and automatically covers the medical costs arising from an accident, no matter who caused it.

A PIP policy helps to reduce the number of lawsuits filed due to vehicular accidents, but it does not apply to property damage or pain and suffering. Even if you have a PIP policy, you still could file a claim or a counterclaim arising from an accident.

A Delaware car accident lawyer can help you to determine whether you should file a claim or a counterclaim following an accident.

Comparative Liability Applies in Delaware

Car accidents often have more than one driver who significantly contributes to making it happen. Delaware is a comparative liability state that will reduce a settlement amount based on a driver’s comparable negligence in causing a car accident.

Maybe one motorist is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while the other is texting while driving. Such dual negligent and unlawful driving practices could make both drivers at least partly liable for causing the accident, although the DUI offender likely would get the majority of the blame.

If you are determined to be partly responsible for causing an accident, any settlement that the other driver’s insurer pays could be lowered by the percentage of your comparable liability. If you are found to be 20 percent at fault, your settlement would be 80 percent of what it would have been if the other driver were fully at fault.

Comparative liability is another reason why you should file a counterclaim when the other driver accuses you of causing an accident. Comparative liability also applies in lawsuits.

File Strong Claims with Help from an Experienced Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow

You can get help with your accident claims from a Wilmington car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow by calling 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our law office in Wilmington, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Those Injured in a Car Accident.

Driving Safety Tips for Fall Season

Fall brings brilliant autumn leaves, breathable cool air, and an amazing October sky. Unfortunately, fall also creates a different set of driving conditions that could increase the chances of having an accident if a driver does not take the proper precautions.

The weather conditions and other variables during the fall season, which this year is September 22 to December 21, go from bad to worse; as a result, drivers need to make adjustments that go from cautious to high alert. From back to school to falling leaves, and early sunsets to freezing weather, the fall ushers in conditions that are different and more dangerous for drivers than the preceding summer season.

Whether you are taking a pleasure drive or simply driving to or from work, the fall season requires some simple, mindful adjustments to your driving habits. It is necessary, therefore, to take a long look at the dangers of the fall season and what you can do to keep yourself and those around you safe.

What Are the Dangers for Drivers During the Fall?

Because school is in session, the number one concern for drivers during the fall is children sharing the crosswalks and bicycling on the roads. During the morning and afternoon hours, there are children rushing to catch buses and walking to or from school. Many of them are distracted by cell phones, tablets, their friends, or any other of the numerous excitements and distractions on the street. Watch for children even when you are not near a school or park.

Halloween presents an even bigger danger for kids. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children on Halloween have twice the chance of being hit by a car and killed on Halloween compared to other days of the year. Halloween means copious trick-or-treaters roaming around distracted by the fun.

Autumn leaves fall to the ground, and that means slippery conditions, especially in the colder weather when wet leaves freeze. Accumulations of leaves also cause cars to park away from curves and children to walk close to passing vehicles.

Because of an earlier sunset and sunrise, fall causes many drivers to struggle with sun glare. Momentary blindness for just one second could cause an accident. The potential to hit animals is also greater during the fall. According to Consumer Reports, car insurance claims for hitting animals rise considerably during the fall, which coincides with the deer mating season.

Darkness is a problem for many drivers. Visibility is simply not as good at night as during the day. Many roads have poorly lit areas, and headlight glare only exacerbates the risk of having a nighttime accident. The fact is that more accidents per driver on the road happen at night than during the day.

Overnight freezing is perhaps the most dangerous of all conditions during the fall season. The end of fall can bring winter weather, and that means overnight freezing. Icy roads are more dangerous than any other road condition.

What Are Good Tips for Fall Driving?

First and foremost: take your time, especially in residential areas. In particular, watch for kids running across the street, especially from between cars. Do not drive close to or pass a school bus. When a school bus is stopped, wait until it removes its red signal lights and stop arm.

Prepare your car for the fall weather. Keep your headlights and windshield clean, and replace your windshield wipers if they are not working properly. Also check your tire pressure more frequently, as colder weather deflates them quicker.

Always have a pair of sunglasses handy in case of glare, and slow down or pull over if your vision is affected for any reason.

Be on the lookout for animals, especially at night when driving on roads near wooded areas.

Do not use your high beams in rainy or icy conditions, as doing so could cause a reflection that hits your eyes; it is also dangerous for opposing traffic. It is best to use roads you are familiar with. Be aware of icy patches in the morning, excessive leaves on the ground, and bad weather conditions that warrant staying off the roads.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Those Injured in a Car Accident.

If you have been seriously injured because of a negligent driver or any other reason, you need a serious, competent lawyer. Our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will fight hard to bring you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Those Injured by a Negligent Driver.

How To Identify Recoverable Damages in Car Accidents?

Recovering from a car accident is a difficult process. Even when a person escapes without injury, there is a psychological aspect that can linger. When a person has been injured, however, the recovery takes on a new meaning.

The more damages incurred by a car accident, the more difficult the recovery process becomes for the person injured. Property damage is almost never the main issue for a car accident victim, since a serious accident could leave someone with both physical and emotional damages that can prolong recovery time.

Unfortunately, the process of recovering damages is not an easy one, albeit it might seem as though it would be. If you are injured and are suffering after a car accident, you should be compensated, but it is rarely that simple. That is why it is important to understand how car accident claims work, and what you must do to ensure that you recover the damages that you deserve.

What Types of Damages Are There to Recover?

There are two types of damages that a person can recover from a car accident claim or lawsuit: economic and non-economic damages. There is another type called punitive damages, but that is less common and involves a court finding that the at-fault driver acted extremely recklessly or with malice.

Economic damages are the easiest of the two to recover. They can easily be accounted for because they have monetary value. Economic damages include medical costs, lost wages, future medical costs and wages, property damage, and out-of-pocket expenses.

Non-economic damages are more difficult to recover, because they are more subjective and more difficult to place a price tag on. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

What Gives You the Best Chance to Recover Damages?

Delaware is a no-fault car insurance state, but to recover damages in a Delaware court, a plaintiff must not be found more than 50 percent at fault. This is called “modified comparative negligence.” If the plaintiff is found 40 percent at fault, the plaintiff will receive 40 percent less than the full amount.

For the best chance to recover damages, begin by identifying what your damages are. Medical expenses are easy to prove: keep all your bills and receipts, and have your doctor work with you to evaluate what your future medical costs will be. You also want to keep track of your lost wages, including the wages you will miss for any extended amount of time.

Non-economic expenses are trickier to prove. However, if you are experiencing pain and suffering that are affecting your quality of life, you need to come up with a dollar amount. There are different ways to do this.

To value your non-economic expenses, you can estimate the total amount of your economic damages and multiply by two or three times. Although it is not very scientific, it places a value on your emotional state, which most people understand affects your overall well-being. You could also find a similar case to yours and use it as a basis from which to start.

In a court of law, medical records and testimony are critical. Medical records will show the extent of your injuries and the recovery process. A medical expert, such as your doctor or therapist, could shed light on the difficulty normally equated with your particular injury. Personal witnesses may also attest to the pain and suffering you are experiencing.

Recovering non-economic damages depends on how serious or life-altering your injuries are. That is why you should keep detailed records, bring witnesses, and explain any way that your life has been altered. For instance, if you had been physically active before the accident, you could provide video, expenses, club memberships, or witnesses to corroborate your claim that you can no longer do the things you used to do.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Those Injured by a Negligent Driver.

Recovering damages from a car accident requires a competent lawyer. Our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Accident Survivors Who Have Been Injured in Weather-Related Crashes.

What Are Safety Tips for Driving in the Rain?

Rainy weather makes driving more dangerous. Wet roads affect traction, while the rain and water spray coming off of the tires on other vehicles can reduce visibility. Delaware sees its share of rain and severe storms that can make driving very hazardous. Following safety tips could help you better handle rainy weather and prevent a car accident.

Check Your Tires, Brakes, and Lights

You should check the air pressure and tread condition on each tire before driving in rainy weather. A properly inflated tire will produce the best contact patch with the road surface and expel water. If you have damaged or worn tread, even the correct tire pressure might not be enough to help you maintain traction on wet roads.

You should also ensure the brakes are in good condition and your lights work so that you can see better and so that other drivers can see you.

Inspect Wiper Blades and Fluid

Good wiper blades help you see clearly when driving in the rain and on wet roads. The windshield wipers need to clear away the raindrops. They also need to clear away road grime from your windshield. If your wiper blades do not clear the water and road grime from your windshield, your vision greatly decreases. You might be blinded by the glare from the headlights on oncoming vehicles at night.

Wiper blades are inexpensive and easy to obtain and install. You should also top off the wiper fluid to help keep the windshield clean and clear.

Slow Down and Increase Following Distance

Wet roads make it easier to lose traction and control of your vehicle. You need to slow down and adjust your driving to match the current road conditions.

You also need to increase your following distance so that you do not rear-end another vehicle. Following four car lengths will give you more stopping distance and help you react accordingly to avoid an accident.

Watch for Ice on Overpasses and Bridges

The weather in Delaware can be very cool and rainy in the late fall. Whenever the air temperature is close to freezing, there is a greater potential for ice accumulation.

Because bridges and overpasses are elevated and have no earth to insulate them from cold air and winds, ice usually forms on them first. You should be cautious of icy conditions on overpasses and bridges, and slow down before passing over them.

Beware of Puddles and Flowing Water

Water on the road can conceal many dangers. A puddle might seem harmless, but it could cover a large pothole or debris. You should either slow down or try to go around puddles when you encounter them.

If the rain is causing localized flooding, you should not drive through flooded areas. Even driving very slowly through a flooded section of the road could result in your vehicle being swept away by flowing water.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Accident Survivors Who Have Been Injured in Weather-Related Crashes

If you need help after a wreck that was caused by bad weather conditions, speak with one of our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Clients Injured by Aggressive Drivers .

What Are Types of Aggressive Driving?

Aggressive driving occurs whenever a driver commits moving traffic offenses that endanger people and property. Speeding may be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of this behavior, and it is the most common form of aggressive driving, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). There are several other driving habits that increase the risk of altercations, auto accidents, and crash-related injuries. The more you know about aggressive driving and why it is so common, the more likely you may be to stay cool and collected behind the wheel.

Here are some of the most common moving traffic offenses that are considered aggressive driving:

Careless, Negligent or Erratic Operation of a Vehicle

Every driver has a duty to operate their vehicle in a safe and lawful manner. When they make that choice to drive recklessly, they become a hazard to themselves and others. Reckless driving can be driving drunk, texting while driving, drowsy driving, or any of the behaviors that follow.

 Erratic or Improper Lane Changes

Lane changes are generally used to overtake another vehicle. Traffic laws regulate permissible lane changes, depending upon the location, type of road, and direction vehicles are moving. Unlawful or unpredictable lane changes are dangerous and disrupt the safe flow of traffic.

If the passing vehicle does not create enough space when the switch lanes, the vehicle the are passing have to slam on the breaks or worse–may not have time or space to avoid a crash.

 Failure to Obey Traffic Signs, Signals, and Laws

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an average of 1,500 traffic fatalities occur every year at intersections controlled by traffic lights. More than half of those car accident deaths happen when driver run red lights, and approximately one-quarter are caused by drivers who fail to yield the right of way. Driving laws, signs, and signals create predictable and safe traffic patterns. Without them, our roads would be utter chaos.

Failure to Signal

In Delaware, Title 21 § 4155 states, “A signal of intention to turn or move right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last 300 feet or more than one-half mile traveled by the vehicle before turning.”

You may not think of turning without signaling as a particularly aggressive behavior. Yet when a driver does not use their turn signal, other drivers have no way of predicting their next move—and they respond in time.

 Illegal Driving on the Shoulder, Sidewalk, or Median

Driving on any surface not intended for road traffic is another form of aggressive driving. That includes passing on the left or right shoulder, the sidewalk, or the median. The shoulder specifically is used for emergency use only, and sidewalks are designated for pedestrian traffic.

Some drivers confuse a shoulder on the right with a right-turning lane. Turning from the shoulder is not permitted in Delaware, even if the driver is turning into a business or driveway. The only time driving in the shoulder is permissible is when a driver is passing a left-turning motorist on the right. Once they have passed the turning driver, they must return to their lane.

Improper Following

Following too closely, or “tailgating” as it is often called, is an incredibly dangerous and aggressive driving behavior. There are three factors at play in determining how long it takes a vehicle to stop:

  • Perception distance: the distance the vehicle travels from the time the driver first observes the event (like the brake lights engaged on the vehicle ahead)
  • Reaction distance: the distance the vehicle travels when the driver is prepares to react by moving their foot from the accelerator to the brake
  • Braking distance: the distance the vehicle travels from the time the brake is applied to the point the vehicle stops

When a driver tailgates the vehicle in front of them, they cut their available stopping time significantly, increasing the likelihood of a rear-end collision. The chance of serious injuries goes up the faster both vehicles are traveling.

Speeding

If you have any doubts about the dangers of speeding, consider this fact: the risk of a fatal crash doubles for every 10 miles per hour (mph) a vehicle travels over 50 mph. As with tailgating, speeding drastically cuts the time the driver has to identify a hazard and swerve or stop to avoid it.

It is important to note that even if speed limits are posted roadside, drivers must adjust their speed accordingly for the road and weather conditions. That means slowing down when rain, fog, snow, construction, and other hazards are present.

Why Do People Drive Aggressively?

Aggressive driving is an ever-present danger. But why do drivers engage in risky behaviors that lead to car accidents? Several years ago, NHTSA participated in an extensive study to assess the results of aggressive-driving enforcement campaigns. In the report, the agency identifies key factors that contribute to aggressive driving:

  • Anonymity
  • Running late
  • Traffic congestion
  • Disregard for others and the law
  • Clinical or habitual behavior

For some people, aggressive driving happens in the heat of the moment. They are running late or frustrated by a traffic jam. For others, aggressive driving is a habit they may not break until they get a ticket, or worse, cause an accident.

Anyone who has been driving for some time can probably recall a time where they got frustrated, maybe had a few choice words for another driver, or even made an aggressive gesture.

Knowing why drivers act aggressively can help us all be mindful or of our triggers and take steps to diffuse anger and remain calm and collected in all traffic situations. If you are involved in an accident, stay at the scene, call for medical attention, and report the crash to the police.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Clients Injured by Aggressive Drivers

If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt in a crash caused by an aggressive driver, our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. Call us at 302-427-9500 or inquire online to schedule a free consultation in our convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes. With offices in three counties, we proudly serve clients across the state of Delaware.

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