Rhoades & Morrow

Just another PLM WordPress site



Wilmington 302-427-9500 Bear 302-834-8484 Milford 302-422-6705

Category Archives: Car accidents

Drive Safely This Spring

Spring is almost here and with it comes warmer weather. While drivers no longer have to worry about snow or ice on the road, there are still risks that drivers should be aware of, including some that are unique to this season. Knowing the risks and engaging in safe driving behaviors can help drivers avoid spring-related car accidents.

Potholes Increase in Spring

Road surfaces become damaged during the winter season. Ice, salt, sand, and snowplows can weaken asphalt and dislodge large chunks, creating numerous potholes. Even a small pothole can knock wheels out of alignment or damage tires. Drivers should avoid potholes whenever possible, and make sure that their tires are properly inflated, this can help to minimize damage. Winter road conditions also lead to more construction in the spring, so drivers should proceed with caution in areas where road work is being done.

Watch for Pedestrians

When temperatures rise, pedestrian accidents become more frequent. More people may opt for two-wheeled transportation, such as bicycles or motorcycles. Drivers should be prepared to share the road, especially when entering intersections. More pedestrians are out in the spring, so drivers should use caution when turning, and make sure to yield when pedestrians have the right-of-way.

Animals also emerge in the spring and may dart out onto the road, forcing drivers to swerve or stop suddenly. Staying alert can help to minimize accidents caused by animals.

Spring Weather Hazards

Spring has its own weather pattern that makes driving difficult. Many areas experience heavy rain in the spring, which can impact visibility and cause large puddles to accumulate. Rain can make road surfaces slick and may cause cars to hydroplane. Drivers should increase their following distance and decrease their speed when driving in the rain, and if conditions become too dangerous, they should pull over until it is safe to drive. Heavy rain can also cause flooding, so drivers may have to avoid some areas altogether to prevent damage to their vehicle.

Some regions experience hailstorms in the spring, which can impede driving and force drivers off the road. Spring also brings seasonal allergies for many drivers, and the medications to treat them can cause drowsiness. Drivers should know how allergy drugs will affect them before they get behind the wheel.

Check the Condition of Your Vehicle

It is important for drivers to make sure their vehicle is in good condition, especially if it was not used much during the winter. Drivers should take the season change as a cue to check their cars and make sure that tires, brakes, and lights are working well.

Wiper blades often need to be replaced if they get worn out during the winter. If there are any rust spots on the car, they should be treated immediately before they become a bigger problem.

Milford Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Obtain Compensation for All Car Accident Victims

If you were injured in an auto accident, call one of our Milford car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers will thoroughly review the details of your case to determine who is responsible and get you the compensation to which you are entitled. To schedule a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 302-422-6705. With offices conveniently located in Milford, Wilmington, and Bear, Delaware, we help car accident victims throughout Delaware, including those in Elsmere and Seaford.

Pedestrian Deaths Rise Again in Delaware

Delaware roads are known for being some of the deadliest roads for pedestrians to walk. If were injured in a pedestrian accident, your injuries may be severe, and you may be eligible to collect compensation.

Pedestrian Deaths Increase in Delaware

According to the Office of Highway Safety, pedestrian deaths have rose from 24 to 30; the increase in deaths has returned to Delaware, and the state has become one of the worst places for pedestrians to work. Since the start of 2020, at least three pedestrians have died. Alcohol consumption plays a role in the number of pedestrians hit by vehicles.

Many of Delaware’s high-speed roads, including Kirkwood Highway and Philadelphia Pike, do not have enough crosswalks for pedestrians to cross safely.

What Delaware is Doing About Pedestrian Accidents

Delaware has created road improvement projects to lower pedestrian deaths since 2017. The Pedestrian Council focuses on discovering ways to lower the number of pedestrian deaths. The state has also installed sidewalks and crossings; however, pedestrians have been reluctant to use them.

Driver and Pedestrian Safety Tips

If you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, there are a few things you can do in order to keep yourself and others safe on the road:

  • Avoid distractions: Distractions include cellphone use, trying to operate the car radio or GPS, talking to passengers, and eating big meals. The best way to avoid distracted driving is to keep your eyes on the road.
  • Avoid speeding: Speeding can be dangerous and lead to serious consequences. It is important to maintain a safe speed, especially while driving through construction and school zones.
  • Avoid driving too close to pedestrians: If you see a pedestrian walking on the side of the road, slow down and pass them as widely as you can.
  • Be mindful in neighborhoods: While driving in neighborhoods, keep an eye out for children who might run out into the street without paying attention.

If you are a passenger walking on the road, there are a few things you can do to avoid being struck by a moving vehicle:

  • Pay attention to surroundings: You should always keep in mind that drivers do not always see pedestrians, regardless of what time it is or what the current weather conditions are like.
  • Make sure to look before crossing: Make certain to check all directions before crossing and only cross when you are sure it is safe.
  • Avoid walking on roads at night: This is especially true if the roads are rural roads or if they are narrow. A car may not see you until it is too late.
  • Always obey traffic laws: If you cannot walk on a sidewalk, be sure to walk facing traffic and stay far away from the edge of the road. If you are walking at night, you must carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing.

Delaware Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Clients Injured in Pedestrian Accidents

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, it is best to speak to one of our experienced lawyers. To reduce your chances of an accident, be mindful while walking on Delaware’s roads. Even while practicing extra safety measures, accidents can still happen. Our accomplished Delaware pedestrian accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will fight hard for your rights and will get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 to schedule a free consultation. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also represent clients in Elsmere and Seaford.

Emergency Vehicle Car Accidents

When someone is involved in an auto accident caused by another driver, they are typically able to file a personal injury lawsuit and recover damages for their injuries. However, what happens if they are in accident with an emergency vehicle?

Emergency vehicle car accidents, although rare, do occur. There are approximately 30,000 firetruck crashes each year, according to the United States Fire Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Injury claims for emergency vehicle car accidents can be complicated due to government liability; however, a personal injury plaintiff may be able to recover damages from an emergency vehicle car accident under certain circumstances.

Public Safety Personnel Immunity and Liability

While laws vary by state, those who provide emergency medical services generally have governmental, or sovereign, immunity. This means that firefighters, police officers, and ambulance drivers are generally exempt from liability and may not be held liable in civil actions. In Delaware, responsible public safety personnel who render emergency care or rescue assistance are not liable for any civil damages if they have the required training or certification, and if they did not cause the injuries or death willfully, wantonly, or recklessly by gross negligence.

Drivers of emergency vehicles are permitted to speed, run red lights, and break other traffic laws that the general population must follow. However, they are still required to exercise due care, such as using lights and sirens to alert other drivers to their presence. If an emergency vehicle driver is found to have willfully, wantonly, or recklessly caused an accident, they may be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Lawsuits Against Government Entities

Those who are injured in emergency vehicle car accidents will typically face more obstacles when it comes to obtaining compensation than those who are injured in regular car accidents involving at-fault drivers. In Delaware, an injured party may file a claim against a government agency or its employee only if the claim refers to a lawful action performed in the scope of the government employee’s duties. If the injury resulted from an unlawful action, the claimant may only sue the individual who caused the accident personally, not the government agency that the person works for. If successful, claimants may be able to recover damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Avoid Emergency Vehicle Car Accidents

Drivers can avoid getting in a car accident with an emergency vehicle by taking certain precautions. When an emergency vehicle is approaching, slow down and observe the surrounding traffic before pulling over to the side of the road. Also, exercise caution even when the emergency vehicle is not moving; Delaware law requires drivers to reduce speed and move to a lane not adjacent to the vehicle when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle.

Bear Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Assist Clients in Government Claims for Emergency Vehicle Car Accidents

If you were injured in an emergency vehicle car accident due to the driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to collect compensation. There are special legal rules pertaining injury claims against the government, such as shorter statute of limitations and notice requirements. Our experienced Bear car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will evaluate your case and help determine if you are eligible for compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484 to schedule a free consultation. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also represent clients in Elsmere and Seaford.

Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury law covers an extensive array of cases ranging from car accidents to product liability. There are many ways an injured person can seek damages from someone responsible for their injuries; likewise, there are many types of personal injury lawyers available to represent a case.

The circumstances of the case will determine which area of personal injury law applies to your case. By extension, your choice of lawyer should be influenced by how well suited they are to argue your case and to fit your personal situation. There are some important elements to consider while seeking a personal injury lawyer for your case.

Have You Handled a Case Like Mine?

An attorney with experience in a case like yours will be familiar with the legal issues your case might entail and can foresee common problems and viable solutions to address them. A lawyer with connections in the field may be able to tap experts to support your case.

Who Will Be Working on My Case?

While the name on the billboard may be the person you interview, you should know that a lot of the work might be handled by paralegals who draw up legal documents and perform other research and support functions. If your case will be assigned to a junior associate, you should know that too. Although it is possible that the case will be overseen by a senior attorney, the arrangement should be disclosed. Keep in mind that the use of lower level employees is likely to save you money in legal fees.

How Are Fees and Costs Handled?

You should be aware of the payment arrangement before you decide on an attorney. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis where they only collect fees if the case successfully yields monetary damages. The typical range for contingency fees is 25 to 40 percent of the amount agreed to in settlement or what will be awarded in court.

Be sure to ask how the payments are broken down and how costs factor in. Costs can include court filing fees, administrative expenditures, fees for expert witnesses, or evidence-collection expenses. In the best scenario, costs may come before the attorney’s fees. Otherwise, the costs will come out of the amount left after the lawyer takes their percentage-based cut. Usually the costs are part of the contingency arrangement, but find out if the costs will be your responsibility if the case is unsuccessful.

What Is Your Success Rate in Court?

Many personal injury cases end in settlement. That can be the best scenario, but you should be confident that your lawyer is prepared to take the case all the way to court, if necessary. Knowing how comfortable your lawyer is with arguing your case in court can mean that you can avoid pressure to settle because it better suits your attorney.

Bear Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Successfully Represent Injured Clients

When you experience a personal injury, it is best to have an experienced attorney at your side armed with extensive experience winning legal battles for clients with your type of injury. Our knowledgeable Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have the knowledge and resources to support your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484 to schedule a free consultation. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.

Brain and Neck Injuries at Work

Work-related injuries that affect the head and neck are among the most serious injuries that an employee can suffer. Many of these injuries are life-altering, and the person may no longer work again or find themselves unable to perform the duties of their current job.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often occurs in a workplace accident when an employee is directly hit on the head. The mildest form of a TBI is a concussion, and most people will recover within a few weeks. However, debilitating effects of a concussion can last longer for some individuals, and it may take months for a full recovery. Signs of a concussion include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Memory issues
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Coordination problems
  • Loss of consciousness

Moderate to severe TBIs may result in long-term or permanent impairment. In a worst-case scenario, other than a fatality, the person may lose mobility, the ability to communicate, or require full-time care. One example is a diffuse axonal injury, which results from the brain shaking within the skull due to the forceful trauma. Tissue inside the brain is torn, and death, coma, or severe brain damage can occur.

Brain and Neck Injury Causes

The most frequent cause of brain injury is trauma, and that may occur from a slip and fall in which a worker’s head hits the floor or a sharp or hard item. Objects falling and hitting an employee may cause a TBI and falls from heights. Workers driving while on the job are also vulnerable to brain and neck injuries if they are in a car accident.

Neck injuries may happen due to heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, or long hours spent at the computer. While TBIs occur suddenly, neck injuries often develop over time due to strain and wear and tear. Early signs of neck injuries include:

  • Pain when turning the head from side to side
  • Numbness in the arms
  • Pinched shoulders

What to do After a Brain or Neck Injury

Any type of head injury is a medical emergency. The worker should go directly to an emergency room, and they will require transportation. Report the injury to a supervisor immediately. Not all TBIs are apparent right away, but the longer a worker waits to seek medical treatment, the more likely continued brain swelling can cause long-term damage. Failure to go to the doctor quickly may cause the insurance company to allege the injury did not result from a workplace accident, seriously harming your claim.

A neck injury, if more gradual, still requires reporting and medical treatment. Unless the condition comes on suddenly, the worker may have to visit a healthcare provider recommended by the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company. The injured worker should document workplace activities that are contributing to the neck pain.

There are more serious neck injuries, such as fractures, which may cause paralysis. Of course, these injuries also require treatment in the emergency room.

Wilmington Work Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Workers Suffering Brain or Neck Injuries

If you experienced a brain or neck injury due to a workplace accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our dedicated Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain maximum compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.

Soft Tissue Injuries and Car Accidents

Car accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. Some are horrendously graphic, involving broken bones and profuse bleeding. Others are less obvious but are often quite painful and distressing. Some of the most common car accident injuries are injuries to soft tissues. Soft tissues injuries include bruises, sprains, or strains. Because painful symptoms are less observable, soft tissue injuries seem to be less significant. However, for many who have experienced such an injury, the pain can be substantial, and recovery can be incredibly difficult.

How do Soft Tissues Become Damaged?

Soft tissues are muscles, ligaments, and tendons. In most car accidents, soft tissues are damaged. Damage to these areas occurs from the body being twisted or overextended from a significant, violent, or sudden force. These type of forces often occur in car accidents, making soft tissue injuries rather common.

Types of Soft Tissue Injuries

Whiplash is the most common type of soft tissue injury from a motor vehicle accident. This injury is caused by a sudden jolt that results in the neck and head being jerked and violently hyperextended. This type of injury is technically a sprain of the soft tissues in the neck. Other common soft tissue injuries include sprains and strains to other parts of the body, as well as bruises.

Signs of a Soft tissue Injury

Soft tissue injuries are not easily recognizable, sometimes they can be overlooked. In the chaotic moments after a crash, an injured party may not immediately realize that they have been injured. Overexertion is identifiable, but the extent of the damage may not be immediately apparent.

Hyperextension injuries and sprains are more noticeable. Common symptoms associated with soft tissue injuries include soreness, swelling, and stiffness. Visible bruising is another observable result of soft tissue damage. Although, bruising can be internal and less evident, so it is important to seek medical attention immediately to determine the extent of your injuries.

Whiplash Symptoms

Soft tissue damage in the neck is especially significant. Unlike many other similar sprain injuries, the pain and damage involved in a whiplash injury may not appear immediately. The symptoms may take time to develop. Possible symptoms of whiplash include neck stiffness, sharp neck pain, back pain, and even difficulties with memory and concentration.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

If you were in an accident that involved a significant jolt or impact, you should be evaluated by a medical professional. If you experience delayed complications, you should report them to a doctor immediately to evaluate the extent of your injuries. It is important to protect your health and soft tissue injuries, especially whiplash injuries, can have long-term consequences if left untreated.

Also, seeking medical attention is a good way to maintain a record of your injuries that are directly linked to the car accident. This is vital information if you need to litigate a case against the responsibility party that caused your injuries.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Accident Victims with Soft Tissue Damage

If a car accident has left you with significant soft tissue damage, you may be eligible for compensation for your sufferings. Our dedicated Delaware car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you collect damages to pay for the costs of your mounting medical bills. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.

Side-Impact Accidents

Side-impact car accidents happen when a car is hit perpendicularly, they can be extremely dangerous. In most cases, vehicles lack major structural reinforcements where side-impact collisions occur on the car. For this reason, side-impact accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. This includes serious injuries to the head, neck, and spine.

According to the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, around 8,000 people are killed in side-impact collisions every year in the United States. The data shows that these collisions are significant. It is important to understand why side-impact car accidents occur and what do to if you are involved in a side-impact collision.

A Closer Look at Side-Impact Car Accidents

Side-impact crashes often happen at stop signs or stoplights where oncoming vehicles fail to yield to another vehicle that is crossing the intersection. If the oncoming car is traveling at a high-speed, the force of the crash can push the other vehicle into traffic, causing a secondary crash or even a rollover event. There are several reasons why side-impact collisions occur. This can include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Distracted driving that includes cellphone use, eating, adjusting the radio, or being distracted by other passengers.
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving that causes slow reaction times.
  • Inexperienced drivers on the road.
  • Reckless driving and disregarding traffic signs or signals.

What to do After a Side-Impact Car Accident

Your health and safety should be priority after a car accident happens. Assess the situation and call emergency services immediately. Even if you do not have visible injuries, internal damage is a strong possibility. Be sure to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

The reasons why these collisions occur matter greatly, proving fault is essential when filing a personal injury claim. For that reason, if you are involved in this type of crash, thoroughly document details of the scene and contact law enforcement to complete an accident report.

If anyone witnessed the car accident happen, make sure they talk to the police. Be sure to obtain the witness’s contact information, this will help you if you have any questions in the future. Do not admit fault at the time of the accident, and contact your auto insurance company. Your attorney will review your case to determine if you are entitled to compensation for damages and injuries.

Milford Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent All Car Accident Victims

If you were suffered injuries from a side-impact collision, you may be eligible for compensation. All car accidents can be frightening, and treatment for injuries can be costly. It is crucial to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to review your case. Our Milford accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will help you recover compensation for your injuries, damages, and mounting bills. Contact us online or call us at 302-422-6705 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Milford, Bear, and Wilmington, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.

How to Drive in Adverse Weather Conditions

Good weather makes the roads safer. Unfortunately, clear skies and warm temperatures do not occur every day. Drivers must often contend with unpleasant weather conditions such as snow, sleet, rain, and fog. Many times, these conditions change rapidly, and the risk for a car accident increases. Drivers should be aware of essential tips that will help reduce their risk for a car accident.

Slow Down Whenever Possible

Every motorist should learn to ease off the gas when weather becomes poor. The posted speed limit is for ideal weather conditions, so drivers should adapt their speed to current road conditions. If the safest speed is significantly less than the posted limit, drivers should turn on emergency hazards to alert others on the road.

Use Low Beams or High Beams Appropriately

Car lights are extremely useful when visibility plummets. However, not all conditions warrant high-beams. In fact, low-beams are required when there is fog because high-beams can reflect off water particles, causing the bright light to obscure the driver’s view. On the other hand, high-beams should be used during snow, rainstorms, and certainly at nighttime.

Prepare for Sun and Windshield Glare

Sunlight may cause significant windshield glare, particularly during dawn and dusk. If the glare becomes too intense, it can make navigation nearly impossible for drivers. Many car accidents are caused from sun glare, and the easiest way to avoid glare is to drive during low-glare times. If that is not realistic for commuters, they should wear anti-glare sunglasses and use their vehicle’s visors.

Understand the Rules of Driving on Snow and Ice

Snow and ice limits traction between the wheels of a car and the surface of the road. Certain types of winter weather tires can help increase the likelihood of traction by gripping the highway. Additionally, motorists driving on snow or ice should slow down to safer speeds while trying not to suddenly stop. If skidding occurs, it is best to turn the wheels towards the direction of the skid rather than away.

Drive Defensively When the Wind Picks Up

Wind can become a hazard on the road. Very windy conditions may make handling any vehicle difficult. Truckers trailing high-profile cabs may be susceptible to tipping when the wind becomes intense. Consequently, motorists should drive cautiously in wind and pay attention to the prevailing gusts, compensating as necessary.

Limit and Eliminate All Driving Distractions

All drivers on the road need to eliminate distractions. Distracted driving leads to car wrecks and serious injuries; many of these wrecks are preventable. All drivers should only eat while the vehicle is stopped and put away cellphones to avoid distractions. Most importantly, do not drive while extremely fatigued or intoxicated.

Milford Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent All Injured Car Accident Victims

If you were injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Winter weather causes serious hazards on the road. Even while using extra precautions, drivers can still get into a collision. Our experienced Milford accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will give you legal guidance about your case. Contact us online or call us at 302-422-6705 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.

Safety Driving Tips for Seniors

Seniors encounter both physical and mental challenges as they age. These challenges often affect the driving ability for the elderly. It is important for seniors to stay safe while driving in order to prevent a potential car accident that could result in auto-injuries. Aging does not necessarily mean that you need to stop driving. However, there are some tips to help senior drivers be safe on the roads.

Challenges Behind the Wheel

As a senior, more physical challenges arise. The following are some physical challenges that seniors may face:

  • Eyesight and Hearing Problems: If someone has problems with their eyesight, it may be challenging to read signs, view street markings, or see is there is a pedestrian crossing the street. Hearing loss can make it difficult for a senior to hear oncoming traffic, including emergency responders.
  • Loss of Flexibility and Coordination: Aging may affect flexibility and coordination. This presents challenges to senior drivers during navigation. It may be difficult to look over their shoulder before switching lanes or difficult to move their feet from the gas pedal to the brake.
  • Side Effects from Medication: Side effects from medication can include dizziness, fatigue, blurry vision, and other symptoms that can impair your ability to drive.

Safety Tips for Seniors

In order to safely operate a vehicle, a senior driver can do the following:

  • Regular Vision and Hearing Exams: Seniors are more susceptible to conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and hearing loss. These conditions can make it extremely difficult to drive, specifically at night and in traffic.
  • Take a Refresher Course: Courses can help seniors stay informed about the laws and guidelines of driving. This is important for seniors who may not have had formal driving education.
  • Stay Physically Active: Physical activity improves your flexibility and strength. Physical fitness can help a senior maneuver a vehicle more easily.
  • Acknowledge Limitations: Aging means you may not be able to perform, or perform efficiently, certain tasks that you could previously accomplish. Driving can be difficult for a senior. Acknowledging this can help you make necessary driving adjustments.
  • Avoid Driving in Bad Weather: If possible, do not drive if there is bad weather or poor road conditions. If visibility is poor, or if roads are icy or snow-covered, delay or cancel any driving plans.
  • Avoid Cell Phone Use: This is important for drivers of any age. It is vital to keep your focus on the road while operating your vehicle.

New Castle Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Clients Injured in Car Accidents

If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced New Castle car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow support victims who have suffered injuries in a car accident. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your potential case. Our dedicated lawyers will fight to protect your rights. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford, and throughout the state.

Accidents from Running Red Lights

Delaware car accident lawyers advocate for red light running accident victims. When a person enters an intersection after the light turns red, they committed a traffic violation.  This is referred to as running a red light.  The only exception to this is when right-on-red turns are allowed.  In this case, a driver failing to stop fully at the red light before turning is considered to have run a red light.

Running red lights is dangerous and has caused hundreds of traffic-related deaths each year. Over half of these deaths involved pedestrians or bicyclists. A recent analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that more than two people are killed every day in crashes from someone running a red light. Unfortunately, the frequency of fatal accidents caused by running red lights is on the rise. Further, running red lights causes many serious injuries. A recent study found that over 130,000 people were injured in red light accidents in a single year.

Research shows that knowledge of the serious risk of running red lights does not translate well into appropriate action. A recent survey by the AAA Foundation found that while most of those surveyed viewed running red lights as dangerous, one in three of them admitted to running a red light within the past 30 days.

Preventing Red Light Accidents

Stopping people from running red lights has not been easy. In order to create a deterrent effect, most states impose substantial penalties for running red lights, which may include fines and issuing points on the driver’s license. Insurance companies will typically raise rates on customers having points on their license.  Fear of getting ticketed alone does not provide an effective deterrent effect.

Signal Timing

Sometimes the yellow light on the signal is too short and does not give drivers enough advanced notice to stop. Adjusting timing of the yellow light to values established by the Institute of Transportation Engineers has been shown to decrease the frequency of violations, as well as the number of crashes from red light running.

Use of Red Light Cameras

Use of red light cameras to monitor intersections and enforce traffic laws has proven to be a useful tool. The cameras are mounted on traffic signal poles and photograph vehicles that run red lights. The photographs can be reviewed, and tickets issued of clear evidence of a violation is found. The cameras also serve as a visual cue to warn drivers to think twice before running a light. Before and after studies of crash data at intersections equipped with cameras showed significant reductions in the number of crashes from red light running.

Precautions to Take

Since pedestrians and bicyclists are at an increased risk of serious injury in the event of a crash, it is important that they stay safe at intersections. AAA recommends:

  • Waiting to be sure all cars have come to a stop before crossing
  • Staying alert and listen
  • Being visible by crossing in well-light areas or having reflective material on the bicycle or clothing
  • Making eye contact to be sure drivers see you

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Car Crash Victims

If you or someone you know was involved in a red light accident, contact a Delaware car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. For a free consultation, call us at 302-427-9500 or complete an online form. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.

Statement Regarding Coronavirus Disease ("Covid-19"):

A Message to Our Clients: We Are Here to Help You.

The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus changes daily. During this uncertain time, we can assure you that the team at Rhoades & Morrow continues to focus on helping our current clients as well as assisting new clients.

We know that legal questions still arise, and we are here to answer your questions and provide the trusted guidance that you have come to expect from us over the years. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and our clients, we are conducting virtual consultations via Zoom and by telephone. We also have the ability to exchange documents via secure e-mail.

We will continue to work to protect the rights of our clients. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online.

We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and healthy.