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Distracted driving kills thousands of people every year. In fact, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), every day 100 are injured and at least nine people are killed in motor vehicle accidents due to distracted driving.
The NSC has declared that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and a great time to remind everyone about the dangers of driving while not paying attention to the road.
Distracted driving car accidents happen when drivers are trying to multitask. Many things can cause distractions while driving, and everyone has probably been guilty of engaging in at least some form of distracted driving at one time or another.
Examples of distracted driving include:
Distracted driving accidents, although common, are 100 percent preventable. Practicing a few of these safety measures can help reduce your chances of being involved in a car crash:
If you were injured due to a distracted driver, you need a lawyer that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow represent victims injured in distracted driving accidents. For a free consultation, contact us online or contact us by phone at our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Bear office at 302-834-8484, or our Milford office at 302-422-6705. We proudly represent clients in Elsmere, Seaford, and across Delaware.
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is overseeing the installation of a new cable guardrail on Delaware Route 1. The 11.5-mile rail will be placed from Smyrna to Odessa, and is a portion of a larger, $8.5 million project to place high-tension cable on the highway.
The cable project started on December 17. According to the DelDOT’s Director of Community Relations, it is all part of a renovation to 17 miles along Delaware Route 1. It includes high-tension cable barriers and end treatments, plus new guardrail and end treatments.
The 11.5-mile guardrail will be placed at the scene of an accident last summer that killed five members of the same family.
On July 6 of 2018, a family was driving north on Delaware Route 1 in a minivan near Noxontown Road, and a pickup truck was driving on the southbound side. The truck drifted over and hopped the grass-covered median.
After the pickup crashed into a car, the minivan hit the truck. The minivan and pickup careened into a ditch. Though the father and mother were wearing seatbelts, the daughters were not. The father and all four daughters died.
The pickup truck driver survived the accident and was indicted in November. The charges include inattentive driving, vehicular assault, and second-degree vehicular homicide.
Plans to install a cable guardrail on Delaware Route 1, including where the crash occurred, had been approved three months before.
Over the past years, installations of cable guardrails on the nation’s highways have increased. The cables are able to absorb the impact from auto collisions better than other kinds of barriers, including metal and concrete. The cable is less rigid than the other materials, making it more flexible when hit. These guardrails can help lessen crash impacts on motorists.
Delaware Route 1 was constructed in the 1990s. Back then, the safety regulations were more lax, and did not call for a barrier to be installed near the Noxontown Road area. The new guardrail will function as an extra safety measure; DelDOT has been installing these cable barriers for years in areas that they have identified as being high-risk.
According to the DelDOT Director of Community Relations, these barriers can effectively decrease the number of fatal crashes when vehicles cross over medians into traffic.
From 2015 to 2017, the number of traffic fatalities on Delaware roads decreased slightly, from 133 to 118.
DelDOT has other plans in the works to upgrade the safety of their highways. The cable barrier systems are being placed in areas that present higher-risk, like narrow medians, curves, and high-traffic and high-crash areas.
Additional projects include installing rumble strips, safety edges, high-friction surfaces, and better warning signs. They also plan to install median barriers on U.S. 9 by the Pennsylvania state border.
DelDOT’s 2020 Strategic Highway Safety Program will review accident data, and will continue to focus on reducing the number of Delaware traffic fatalities.
If you or a family member sustained injuries in a car accident, we can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the Bear car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today for a free case evaluation. We serve clients throughout Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford. Call our Bear office at 302-834-8484, our Milford office at 302-422-6705, our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500 or fill out an online contact form.
Anyone who has experienced a motor vehicle accident probably remembers feeling “out of it” immediately afterwards. This lightheadedness is partly due to the human body’s physiological response to the shock and strain; it produces more adrenaline, which can temporarily lessen the physical pain.
The trauma of a car crash can make it hard for victims to grasp what actually happened. Later on, the body stabilizes and the adrenaline levels decrease. This is when people can better understand the extent of any injuries they may not have immediately noticed.
For some it can take hours; in other cases, it could be days or weeks. These issues can range from mild to life-threatening.
Common injuries that tend to go unnoticed include:
A nagging headache that presents itself the day after a car crash may not be immediately associated with the accident. However, it could be a sign of a concussion, back and neck injuries, or other bodily damage. Concussion symptoms include difficulties keeping awake or sleeping, trouble concentrating, blurred vision, nausea, and dizziness.
Whiplash may occur when a person’s neck and head are moved suddenly; this is commonly seen in rear-end collisions. This trauma may lead to neck pain, swelling, and vocal cord, ligament, and muscle damage.
Whenever the spinal cord is affected in a car accident, there is a risk for nerve damage. A car wreck can affect a person’s joints and also cause herniated discs. These can definitely worsen with the passage of time, especially if not treated.
Symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and ongoing back pain that can extend to the legs, arms, and other extremities.
Soft tissue injuries to ligaments, tendons, and muscles can also take a long time to show up. Diagnosing them can be complicated since they do not show up on X-rays. These injuries can cause decreased mobility, consistent pain, and swelling.
Car accident victims may also experience latent injuries to other body parts, including arms, legs, and their extremities.
Even if there are no physical injuries, psychological scars can destroy the lives of accident victims and those who have witnessed shocking motor vehicle crashes. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other forms of emotional trauma can be difficult to diagnose and can also worsen with time.
Although it may be hard to think clearly after a crash, it is essential to seek medical care. Even if a car accident victim is not experiencing symptoms, a physician may be able to diagnose underlying injuries. Further, a doctor can alert a patient as to what signs to look for in the coming days that could be indicative of an injury.
Contacting law enforcement at the accident scene is also important, since documentation, photographs, and other evidence can show responsibility for previously unnoticed injuries.
Car accident victims should also know that settling a claim offered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company too soon could be a mistake. In many cases, injuries can appear after a release form is signed and settlement has been made. If the victim has already settled, they have waived their legal right to seek additional benefits from that insurance company.
If you were involved in an automobile crash and are experiencing post-accident injuries, we can help. Contact an experienced Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow by calling our Bear office at 302-834-8484, our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Milford office at 302-422-6705, or fill out an online contact form. We serve clients in Elsmere, Seaford, and across Delaware.
Side-impact crashes occur when one vehicle is hit on its side by the front end of another vehicle. Since the placement of the involved cars or trucks form a “T”, these side impact car accidents frequently are referred to as T-Bone accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports over 8,500 people annually die as a result of T-Bone crashes.
T-Bone crashes can result in catastrophic physical injuries that often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. These injuries include broken bones, internal bleeding, injury to internal organs, cuts or lacerations, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, concussions, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other head injuries. Some of these injuries can be permanent in nature, causing lifelong disability.
Determining who is at fault when a side impact accident takes place can be an important step in obtaining compensation for those injured in the collision. In order for a driver to be liable, there must be negligence on the part of that driver.
Some common causes of T-Bone accidents are when drivers run red lights or otherwise fail to obey traffic signals or signs. This can constitute negligence on the part of the driver, which would result in liability for the injuries sustained by the occupants of the sideswiped vehicle. In other cases, a car cuts out in front of another car leading to a side impact collision.
In many side impact cases, courts will determine a driver’s percentage of fault based on who had the right-of-way at the time of the collision. For example, if a driver is crossing the lane of another driver who is continuing in their lane when arriving at an intersection, the driver crossing lanes will likely be assigned a greater proportion of the fault.
At times a malfunctioning vehicle component can play a part in causing a side-impact collision. If defective car parts such as failing brakes, non-functioning side impact air bags, or broken seatbelts contribute to the injuries, the car manufacturer also may face some liability.
When physical injuries result from a T-Bone accident caused by the negligence of one or more of the drivers or the car manufacturer, compensation may be available to the injured persons.
Injured individuals may be able to receive compensation for:
Individuals injured in side-impact collisions may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Retaining the legal services of an experienced Wilmington Car accident lawyer is the first step in determining if negligence exists.
If you are involved in a T-Bone accident, call the police immediately and make sure to obtain a copy of the police report. Obtaining the contact information from any witnesses at the scene of the accident and taking pictures of the damage and road conditions immediately after the collision are also good ideas following any car accident.
The experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow represent car accident victims throughout the state. To schedule a free confidential consultation today, call our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Bear office at 302-834-8484, or our Milford office at 302-422-6705 or fill out an online contact form. We serve clients in Elsmere, Seaford, and across Delaware.
For many drivers, navigating around and beside enormous tractor trailers can be nerve wracking. Their size, speed, weight, and power make them intimidating to drivers in smaller passenger cars and vans.
When a car collides with a large truck, the results can be devastating. Truck accidents leave victims with broken bones; head, neck, and spinal injuries; and may even prove to be fatal.
Traveling alongside these colossal trucks takes a bit of caution and patience, but it can be done safely.
Here are some things to remember when sharing the road with 18-wheelers and the like:
Commercial trucking is big business. Nearly 12.5 million commercial trucks and busses racked up nearly 300 million miles across the United States in 2016 alone. That same year, more than 10 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes on U.S. highways involved a tractor trailer or bus. And most of these fatalities were passengers in the other vehicles.
While these statistics may be daunting, they are just another reason why all drivers need to take extra caution when driving near tractor trailers. With care and common sense, we can all travel safely and avoid car accidents with trucks.
A collision with a commercial truck is rarely just a fender bender. Truck accidents can leave victims with devastating injuries. Bear truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow hold negligent parties responsible for truck accidents. This may include the truck owner, operator, manufacturer, loader, or shipper. We collect the crucial evidence and documentation essential to prove liability for your injuries, so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Before you talk to any insurance companies, call 302-834-8484 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today. With offices in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, we represent clients in Elsmere and Seaford, and throughout the great state of Delaware.
More than three million people in the United States are injured in car accidents each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). From January 1, 2018 until November 13, 2018, there were 92 car crash fatalities in Delaware alone.
Sadly, children may be in the car at the time of these accidents. Therefore, it is important to know how to handle car accidents involving children.
The first thing to do at the scene of the accident is check if your children are injured. Some injuries like lacerations and penetrating wounds are visible. Others may not be apparent, such as a concussion, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or whiplash. Children who are strapped into car seats must be carefully inspected for wounds that may not be readily noticeable.
Call 911 to report any injuries and ask for emergency assistance. Keep in mind that certain injuries to you or your children may take time to show symptoms, or may initially present as a minor injury. Therefore, you should always seek medical attention for you and your children after a car accident.
If you are able to, pull over as close to the accident scene as possible, to avoid obstructing traffic or causing any further accidents. Stay calm and assess the scene of the accident and the damage caused. Take notes and pictures of details like the location, time of day, weather conditions, any property damage caused, any injuries you and your children sustained, and other circumstances surrounding the accident.
Exchange information with the other parties involved, including their:
It is important that your rendition of the events be documented, so if the police were not called to the scene of the accident, be sure to file a police report afterwards.
In Delaware, certain car accidents must also be reported to the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), including if the car accident occurred on a public highway, resulted in at least $500 of property damage, or involved a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol and resulted in $1,000 of property damage or more.
It is advisable to speak with a Bear car accident lawyer before making any statements or agreeing to any settlements.
In Delaware, those who are injured in a car accident may file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident. Children are generally entitled to collect the same compensation that adults can receive, including medical bills, pain and suffering, disability, and other forms of compensation.
Parents of children under the age of 18 may negotiate the claim on the child’s behalf and recover compensation for any medical bills paid on behalf of their minor child.
If you or your child was injured in a car accident, contact a Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow as soon as possible. In Delaware, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Our experienced lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at our Wilmington, Delaware office at 302-427-9500, our Bear, Delaware office at 302-824-8484 or our Milford, Delaware office at 302-422-6705. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford.
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season ended on November 30, and it wreaked devastation on many areas. There were fifteen named storms during the season, plus many tropical storms and tropical depressions.
Any one of these events can produce flash flooding, but local downpours and storms are even more notorious for producing these dangerous events. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that flooding contributes to more deaths than hurricane-related causes.
Flash floods are especially hazardous because they are so unpredictable. They can happen almost anywhere, and the floodwaters can rise slowly or very quickly. More weather-related fatalities are caused by floodwaters than anything else. They can also be the cause of car accidents.
Most floodwater-related deaths occur when people in vehicles attempt to drive through them. Water has a very strong force, and can overpower vehicles. The floodwater does not have to be very deep, and it can be hard to gauge its depth. That is why drivers should never proceed through standing water in parking lots or on streets. The water can sweep the vehicle away, or the road beneath could collapse. It can also cause engines to stall and even ruin them.
The best thing for drivers to do for these situations is to avoid them by taking a different route. If there are barricades they must be adhered to; they are up there for a reason.
In some cases, driving through floodwaters cannot be avoided. In case of emergency or if there is no alternative, a driver will have to proceed with extreme caution.
The first thing to do is estimate how deep the water is. This can be done by watching other vehicles drive through. Once the water is entered, the driver must proceed at a slow, consistent speed as close to the waters’ edge as possible. It is essential to keep an eye out for downed power lines, since electricity travels through water. Large and small items like trees, debris, and other vehicles floating in the water can also be dangerous.
If the water level is past the wheel rims, the brakes may not work. When possible, once on dry ground, they should be tested with gentle pressure.
If the car does not stop, it may be possible to dry the brakes out. This can be done by pressing softly on the brake pedal with one foot while keeping a consistent pressure on the gas pedal.
In the case of the vehicle stalling, the best advice is to turn on the hazard lights and remove your seatbelt. If the door will not open, the window should be put down. The driver should get out of the vehicle immediately and head for higher ground, in especial if the water is rising. If this is not possible, the driver should look for close-by help or call 911
The key to avoiding flash flooding accidents is prevention. If you hear a warning issued for your area, pay attention. Head for higher ground, and listen to the local news for updates. Call the experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow if you or someone you care about was involved in a flash flood accident. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford, with offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford. Call our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500 or Bear office at 302-834-8484 or complete an online form to schedule a free initial consultation.
Until recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended keeping children in rear-facing car seats until at least the age of two. However, the AAP recently updated their guidelines to recommend that children remain rear-facing until they reach their child safety seat height and weight limits, even if they are over the age of two.
The new recommendation would leave many children in rear-facing car seats until up to the age of four. The rear-facing position has been shown to be safest for children who are involved in a car accident, as it best protects the head, neck, and legs from serious injury.
The AAP updated their guidelines for older children as well, recommending they continue riding in forward-facing safety and booster seats until they reach the manufacturers’ height and weight limits on their seats.
At this stage of development, infants have heavy heads, delicate necks, and soft spinal columns. When their bodies are jolted, as in the case of a serious car accident, their spinal column stretches, which increases the risk of serious spinal cord damage.
Imagine an infant facing forward during an accident when the car they are in suddenly collides with the car in front of them. The baby’s head would snap forward and back again, overextending the neck and damaging the delicate spinal cord.
The benefits for infants riding in rear-facing car seats are hard to dispute. A 2008 Pediatrics article reported that children under the age of two are 75 percent less likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries if they are riding rear-facing.
Since the article was published, child safety seats have advanced in quality and design, potentially making that percentage significantly even higher.
The safety benefits for children may even be greater when they are involved in a side-impact crash. Where a child facing forward may have their head snap side to side in a crash, the head of a rear-facing child is stabilized and cushioned by the sides of their seat.
In Sweden, parents have already been using these more conservative guidelines. Many Swedish children ride in rear-facing seats until up to five years of age. The country has seen a significant decrease in car accident injuries and fatalities among children, as a result. As Americans adopt the new AAP recommendations, children across the country may be spared countless serious car accident injuries.
Preventable car accidents caused by a driver’s carelessness or negligence cause millions of Americans painful and debilitating fatal injuries. When these accidents hurt our youngest family members, the impact is devastating.
Parents can do everything right to keep their children safe from harm, but some accidents are unavoidable. If you or a family member has suffered injuries resulting from a car accident, contact a Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow.
Call 302-834-8484 or contact us online for a free initial consultation regarding your accident. We have locations in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington to serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford and throughout Delaware.
Sometimes, while driving in winter weather, a car accident can feel like it was beyond your control. In fact, it often seems impossible to avoid sliding on snow or hitting an icy spot that sends your car careening into the oncoming lane.
When a collision occurs during inclement weather, both drivers may wonder who, if anyone, is at fault. Although road conditions are usually taken into account by police and insurance companies, all drivers must drive responsibly, regardless of the weather conditions.
Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicle safely on the road. However, what is constituted as safe driving will vary, depending on weather and road conditions. For example, traveling no faster than the posted speed limit is responsible; but if the roads are snow covered, it may be necessary to travel at a slower speed.
In addition to making driving adjustments for inclement weather, drivers must maintain their vehicles to avoid breakdowns and accidents, which can have devastating consequences in the colder months.
Delaware is often subject to sever winter storms, causing heavy snowfall and coastal flooding. For those that find themselves on the road during a winter storm, it is important to drive with caution.
Responsible driving during a storm includes:
However, it may go without saying, but the best way to stay safe is to avoid driving during hazardous winter weather events if at all possible.
Being a responsible driver is about more than just driving responsibly. Responsible drivers must maintain their vehicles all year long.
However, it is important to plan ahead to avoid the unique problems that winter weather can cause.
Even the most responsible drivers cannot prepare for what an unpredictable winter storm can bring. If you have been injured in a wintertime car accident or another type of collision, a Wilmington car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow is ready to hear your story, determine liability, and help you discover the compensation you may be entitled to. Call 302-427-9500 or complete an online form to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford, with offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford.
According to data provided by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), from 2012-2016 some 300 people died annually between Christmas and New Year’s as a result of a crash with an alcohol impaired driver.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that it might not take as much alcohol as one would suspect to impair driving. In fact, reaction times lessen when blood alcohol content (BAC) is just 0.02 percent.
Below are the CDC’s findings:
Delaware considers a driver intoxicated if their BAC is at 0.08 or higher; but it is important to keep in mind that drivers can still be charged with a DUI, even if their BAC is below 0.08 percent.
For those planning on just stopping by that yearly Christmas party for one drink, you may want to think again.
Although there is some debate about how long a person should wait before getting back behind the wheel after drinking, a general misconception is that it may be safe to wait one hour per standard sized drink.
A standard sized drink is generally defined as 5oz of wine, 1.5oz of distilled spirits, or 12oz of beer. However, this rule is not reliable, and can vary greatly depending on:
This holiday season, many of us will find ourselves attending multiple celebrations where alcohol is served. Although drinking and driving is a dangerous combination all year long, during the holidays people who do not normally drink may imbibe. This means that those who have lower tolerance for alcohol are on the roads.
Additionally, common weather found in winter, like snow and ice, can increase the chances of an accident even further.
For those that intend to drink, planning ahead can save lives:
If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver, contact an experienced Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Our lawyers are experienced in all facets of Delaware personal injury and car accident laws and will tirelessly work to get the compensation you need to recover. Call 302-834-8484 today or complete an online form to schedule a free, initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, from our offices conveniently located in Wilmington.