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Category Archives: Car Accidents


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

Who Is Liable in a Rental Car Accident?

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to know who is liable for the damage that results. This is especially true if a rental car was the cause of the crash. Different states have different laws about liability for rental cars. In some states, the renter is liable for any damage. In other states, the insurance company pays for any damage and then sues the renter to recover their losses.

Since rental cars are often used on vacations or when travelling for work, you must understand which state’s laws apply as accidents may occur in a different state than where you reside or normally work. If you are renting a car and get into an accident, it is important that you understand which state’s law applies before making any decisions that could affect your rights and responsibilities. On the reverse side of the crash, if you are involved in a crash that was caused by a negligent driver who was driving a rental car, you also need to know what to do and what not to do. There may be more steps to take care of than if the accident occurred between two privately-owned cars.

The renter is liable for any damage if they are the cause of the crash. However, there are many sources of recovery if you are hurt due to the negligence of a driver of a rental car. It depends upon what type of insurance policies are available and what type of coverage is paid for on each policy. The rental car company is liable for any damage to the rental car if the renter was in an accident and was found to be at fault. If the renter is not found to be responsible, then the renter will be liable for all damage incurred in an accident.

If you are seriously injured in a car accident that is caused by a rental car driver, one of the first phone calls you should make is to a law firm. You will need a lawyer who knows about the type of insurance involved in these crashes and how the law applies.

Here are the potential insurance policies that may come into play.

Rental Car Insurance

When you rent a car, the rental company always offers the renter extra coverage. What type of coverage and how much is offered will depend upon the state where the rental agreement is signed. However, this extra rental insurance could come into play if the rental driver causes the crash, and someone was seriously injured.

The At-Fault Driver’s Personal Insurance

In some cases, the rental driver’s insurance policy that covers their personal vehicle might come into play. Again, this depends upon the law of the state and the details of their personal automobile policy, but it is something that a thorough attorney will investigate and pursue if needed.

Credit Card Company Rental Car Insurance

When people rent a car, they will always use a credit card. In many instances, the credit card company has a standard benefit attached to it where it provides insurance that covers the rental car. Again, there is no guarantee that such a policy exists with every rental car purchase. Also, there is no guarantee that when there is credit card company rental car insurance, it will provide benefits and coverage to injured people.

The Rental Car Company

Most people think that if they were injured by a negligent driver of a rental car, that the owner of the rental car would also be liable and responsible for any injuries their driver caused. But this is not the case. A federal law passed in 2005 by Congress called the Graves Amendment made it impossible to file a lawsuit against a rental company merely for owning a vehicle that was involved in a crash due to the negligence of the driver. This type of liability is called vicarious liability, which means that the owner of the vehicle is vicariously liable for the actions of the driver. The Graves Amendment ended that in the United States.

However, if the injured person can demonstrate that the company’s negligence or actions contributed to those injuries, then the rental company can be held responsible. The type of negligence on behalf of the rental company could be that it failed to professionally train and supervise its employees as to renting out vehicles to proper drivers. Also, if the rental car company fails to perform proper maintenance and inspection of their vehicles, and it was proven that a malfunction of the vehicle caused the crash, then the company could be held responsible. Last, if the rental car employees rented a vehicle to someone who they clearly should not have rented to, then the rental car company could be liable for the negligent actions of their employees. Here are some potential ways that a rental car company employee could rent to the wrong person and be responsible for your injuries:

  • The rental car company rented a vehicle to someone who was clearly intoxicated on either alcohol or drugs and let them drive off the lot in that condition. If the intoxicated driver, then goes out and causes a crash, the rental car company could be responsible for the injuries that happened in the crash.
  • The rental car employee rented a vehicle to someone whose license is revoked.
  • The rental car company employee failed to review and verify the driver’s license information and it turned out the driver either did not have a license or the license was restricted in some manner.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Those Injured in Rental Car Accidents

If you were seriously injured by someone who was driving a rental car, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have decades of experience and can help. We have office locations in Bear, Wilmington, Milford and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties, we serve clients throughout the state. Call us at 302-427-9600 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.

 

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Fight for Those Seriously Injured in Roundabout Accidents.

Are Roundabouts Safer and More Efficient?

Entering a roundabout can be a tense situation for some drivers, especially when they are in an unfamiliar area. Even though many road safety experts say that roundabouts are safe overall, car accidents can still happen when navigating through them. If you are unfamiliar with roundabouts, that is understandable because some states and regions have very few, if any. The United States has only recently been pushing to build more roundabouts, as opposed to traditional intersections controlled with stop lights.

Roundabouts are circular traffic flow patterns that reduce the number of conflict points, aid in traffic flow, and enhance road safety. According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are 35 percent fewer accidents in roundabouts than intersections. This has led to a 90 percent decrease in fatalities and a 75 percent decrease in injuries nationwide. Over the last decade, the state of Delaware has been advocating for the use of more roundabouts versus intersections.

Roundabouts are cheaper to build, safer, and improve traffic flow, according to some road safety experts. What makes roundabouts safer, overall, than a traditional intersection is the number of conflict areas in each roundabout. A conflict area is an area where two vehicles could collide. A four-way intersection has 32 conflict areas, whereas a roundabout has only eight. The fact that there are way fewer points where vehicles could impact greatly reduces the likelihood of car accidents.

Also, given the fact that there is rarely the need to stop, rear-end collisions are also reduced in roundabouts. Crashes in roundabouts are typically minor fender-benders because most of the time vehicles have to naturally slow down when entering roundabouts. Less violent collisions means less catastrophic injuries.

Roundabouts are also cheaper to build and have lower maintenance costs. These are the reasons why many areas are seeing more roundabouts.

What Are Common Causes of Roundabout Car Accidents?

Even though roundabouts seem to be generally safer than traditional intersections, you can still get into a car crash while traveling through one. This can happen no matter how safe of a driver you are because you cannot guarantee other motorists will be following the rules of the road. There will always be motorists who drive recklessly with little care or concern for the vehicles that share the road with them.

Here are common reasons why roundabout car accidents occur:

  • As vehicles enter the roundabout, someone fails to yield to oncoming or incoming traffic.
  • Making erratic, sudden, and unsafe lane changes, especially without looking before changing lanes or without checking one’s blind spot.
  • Driving too fast, especially for the conditions of the road due to weather or traffic congestion.
  • Stopping the vehicle unexpectedly and without warning.
  • When entering the roundabout, the driver uses the wrong lane while circling, or they use the wrong lane to exit the roundabout, cutting in front of other vehicles.

Determining Fault in Roundabout Car Accidents

It is more difficult to determine who is at fault in a roundabout crash compared to other types of car accidents. At an intersection, most of the time, it is fairly easy to pin fault on a driver because they ran a red light or they were not paying attention and rear-ended someone. However, with a roundabout, traffic is often weaving in and out between all of the vehicles, so it is difficult to pinpoint who is ultimately the cause of the crash. For this reason, it is critical to speak with a lawyer after a serious roundabout accident.

A lawyer can help you in the following ways after a roundabout car accident:

  • Obtain footage: Many roundabouts have cameras constantly filming the traffic, similar to the cameras on stop lights at intersections. A lawyer may be able to help you obtain this footage.
  • Speak with witnesses: Also, a lawyer could interview any witnesses and obtain their statements so that they could use them later at trial if necessary.
  • Have an expert recreate the accident scene: You could give your lawyer pictures and videos of the entire accident scene. Your lawyer could have an expert attempt to recreate the accident to demonstrate which driver was negligent and violated the rules of the road.
  • Use your accident report: A lawyer can review your accident report, which could help build your case.

All of this can be used to prove someone was at fault in a roundabout car accident.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Fight for Those Seriously Injured in Roundabout Accidents

Driving in roundabouts can be overwhelming for some drivers. On days where traffic is congested and busy, entering a roundabout can be confusing, leading to a collision. If you have been seriously injured in a roundabout accident because of a negligent driver, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can protect your rights. Call us at 302-427-9500 or complete 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.

st patrick's day car accident

How Can I Stay Safe on the Road This St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that celebrates Ireland and people all over the world with Irish descent. However, it has also become an unofficial drinking day. Besides community parades, folklore and stories, and Irish dance and music performances around the country, St. Patrick’s Day is known for a day of drinking.

Pub crawls and other special events at bars and restaurants are popular activities in many communities on St. Patrick’s Day. Alcohol and cars is a bad combination, but it is likely that people will be driving to those events, and many of them will be drinking while they are there. According to data from WalletHub, about three out of four fatal drunk driving car accidents on St. Patrick’s Day involve a driver who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level that is twice over the legal limit.

Many people were wary of holiday celebrations over the last few years due to the coronavirus pandemic keeping people at home. However, restrictions have lifted and eased, so holiday events may be much more popular this year. It is estimated that over half of Americans plan on celebrating the holiday.

Because of alcohol-related St. Patrick’s Day events, police ramp up street patrols around the holiday, conducting sobriety checkpoints and traffic stops on the road. Breathalyzers may be used at these stops. Depending on the community, police may ask a driver to take a breathalyzer test, or they may conduct a field sobriety test.

Coming up with a game plan for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities is important. Here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself on St. Patrick’s Day.

Choose a Designated Driver Before You Head Out

You may be out this St. Patrick’s Day with a large group. If one person volunteers to stay sober for the night and get everyone home, that designated driver is stepping up to protect the lives of others in the group and others on the road.

A good way to thank the designated driver for taking this on is to pay their fare for the night and cover the costs of their non-alcoholic drinks and food.

Have an Alternate Plan

Having an alternate plan is a good idea on a holiday that centers so much around drinking. If the designated driver decides to indulge in a few drinks, do not get a ride home from that person. Call a friend or family member, or you can call a cab or use a rideshare service.

Use a Rideshare Service

Using a rideshare service is another way you can stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day, especially if you plan on drinking. Download the rideshare app on your phone and set up a ride to the event and a ride back.

Use Public Transportation

If you are familiar with the route to get home and pick-up and drop-off areas are close by to the event and your house, take public transit. This is a great way to avoid getting behind the wheel, and it is less expensive than most of the other options.

Communities and local restaurants and bars are aware of the drunk driving incidents and often offer rides for those participating in events. This will provide a ride to and from the event to a central location, which is likely a good spot to catch a ride home.

Plan to Stay Overnight Near the Event

Renting a hotel room nearby may seem like a ridiculous expense, but a crashed car, fines, jail time, and loss of driver’s license are much more expensive. Remember to go with a place within a quick walking distance, as drunk pedestrians are also often involved in accidents.

What If I am the Designated Driver for the Night?

If you are the designated driver this year for St. Patrick’s Day, you should consider the following:

  • No intoxicating substances. A sober person is one who has not consumed any alcohol or drugs, so avoid all intoxicating substances, legal or not. You need a clear mind to get everyone home safely.
  • Watch out for your friends. Staying sober gives you an advantage to help friends who are not. So, if you see a drunk friend trying to get behind the wheel to drive home, take their keys. Also, keep an eye out for friends who leave their drinks unattended. It is easy to put something in someone’s drink if they are not paying attention.
  • Check passengers in your car to make sure they are not bringing alcoholic drinks or drugs home. If you are stopped, this can lead to fines and jail time. Because intoxicated people may not even realize they are holding a drink, it is up to you, the sober person, to act quickly to prevent this.
  • Drive slowly and carefully. Intoxicated people may be crossing the road, jaywalking, riding a bike, or driving a car nearby. All of these activities are hazards, and you can avoid them by driving slowly and being vigilant on the trek home.
  • Take less traveled roads. If at all possible, avoid the main drags where bars and events are and drive on side roads or smaller roads. Where there are less cars, there are fewer chances of coming across drunk drivers.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Help You After a St. Patrick’s Day Accident

It is critical that you drive safely on St. Patrick’s Day if you plan to attend an event. It is even more important to find a sober ride if you plan to drink. However, you cannot guarantee that other motorists will be responsible on the holiday. If you have been injured in a drunk driving collision, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. Call us at 302-427-9500 or complete 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.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Help You if You Have Been Injured in a DST-Related Collision.

Do Car Accidents Increase Following the Start of Daylight Saving Time?

Twice a year, most of the United States has to shift their clocks back or forward one hour to observe daylight saving time (DST). Changing the clocks was initially designed to reduce energy consumption by maximizing daylight hours. This year, the clocks spring forward on March 13.

While the idea of maximizing daylight is appealing, the bi-annual clock changes are unpopular, and many people think the practice is antiquated. The time shift impacts sleep patterns, mood, work and school performance, and even driving.

Research from the University of Colorado, Boulder shows that fatal car accidents increase by nearly six percent in the week following DST in spring. The main reason behind the increase is a disruption in sleep patterns.

With spring forward, everyone loses an hour of sleep. People need six to eight hours of sleep a night, too much or too little can impact performance during the day. Also, it is easy for drowsiness to take over when driving.

Much like drunk drivers, drowsy drivers have a delayed reaction time, and because they may be nodding off, they may not be paying attention to the road. Lack of sleep can lead to agitation, aggression, and poor driving decisions, such as speeding and tailgating. Irritability around the time change also has biological reasons. Circadian rhythms get thrown off, which impacts mood, appetite, and sleep.

People often underestimate the impact sleep deprivation has on the body. It may be just one hour of lost sleep, but DST means that mornings might be darker as well, causing drowsiness.

How Can I Avoid a DST-Related Accident?

To minimize problems on the road following DST, experts recommend taking a week or so to adjust to the time change. A few other tips that might help you avoid a DST-related accident include:

  • Go to bed earlier. Head to bed at least an hour earlier and wake up an hour earlier on the days leading up to DST. This will give your body a chance to adjust to the time shift before it happens. It can be easier to introduce the body to the coming clock shift by doing this gradually, in 15-minute increments for four nights beforehand.
  • Avoid alcohol at night. Alcohol disrupts sleep. Do not consume alcohol at the end of the day before bed.
  • Avoid caffeine. Avoid caffeine at least four to six hours before going to bed. Caffeine in your body will impact your ability to fall asleep.
  • Do not eat heavy meals before bed. Avoid heavy meals before going to bed. Digesting a heavy meal could keep you up at night.
  • Avoid exercising before bed. Avoid heavy exercise just before bed. Exercises should not be strenuous, as you want to avoid getting your heart rate up just before you head to sleep.
  • Stick to a routine. Start waking up and going to bed at the same time every night. This may not be possible for many who work in rotating shifts. If you can, go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.
  • Use light to help you wake. There are alarm clocks that use a light pattern along with noise to help people wake up. Another way to quickly wake up is to go outdoors quickly after that alarm goes off, as the daylight will help you shake off drowsiness. You could walk your dog or take a quick jog. Even a few minutes in the daylight will help you significantly.
  • Maintain a safe following distance. This is two to three car lengths. Many times, people do not follow this rule. If the driver in front of you is nodding off or drifting out of their lane, the distance should increase another two to three car lengths.
  • Slow down. Slow down at crosswalks and intersections, and anticipate that pedestrians may cross mid-block.
  • Car maintenance is critical. Clean and maintain windshields, windows, and mirrors so your vision is clear for the road ahead. Because it is still cold in March, use your dehumidifier then wipers to clear the windshield.
  • Avoid distractions. Checking or sending a text, looking at your phone to dial a call, or finding the right music playlist or podcast are all activities that are ill-advised when the car is moving. Your cellphone will demand your visual focus, even if it is just for a second, so put it down. However, there are plenty of distractions in a car, such as finding the right music, eating, drinking, and having conversations with passengers. Driving is a responsibility. You should make sure you always drive safely, especially following the time change.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Help You if You Have Been Injured in a DST-Related Collision

Drowsy driving is dangerous, and you might see more fatigued motorists in the week following the start of DST. It is important to make sure you drive safely when the time shift happens, but you cannot guarantee other motorists will do the same. If you become involved in a drowsy driving accident, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. Call us at 302-427-9500 or complete 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

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Provide Legal Assistance to Those Injured in Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Accidents.

What Are the Primary Causes of Road Rage?

Roadways can be crowded and congested, which can lead to many frustrated drivers. In some cases, aggressive driving and road rage incidents can occur. However, road rage is more than just aggressive driving, it is a violent and intentional act to cause physical harm.

Drivers that tend to exhibit aggressive driving behaviors escalate their actions to the level of road rage for a number of reasons. Often, drivers who have road rage have not learned alternative ways of dealing with their emotions.

Common causes of road rage car accidents include:

  • Heavy traffic: Traffic tests all drivers’ patience.
  • Distracted drivers: It is likely that you have seen a driver on their phone or otherwise distracted. Besides being illegal, distracted driving threatens the safety of everyone on the road, and this is enough to cause a road rage incident.
  • Running behind schedule: The desperate feeling of being late to a meeting or appointment can cause road rage.
  • General disregard for the law: Drivers who think the rules do not apply to them and routinely practice aggressive driving tactics can easily become enraged.

Some drivers feel protected by the anonymity of being in a car sealed off from others around them. A driver can threaten others with their aggressive behavior and feel confident that they will not be confronted or held accountable for their actions.

What Are the Signs of Road Rage?

A driver that is experiencing road rage may exhibit these aggressive driving behaviors:

  • Tailgating or following a driver that offended them.
  • Honking, yelling, and gesturing.
  • Flashing headlights.
  • Blocking traffic lanes or purposely cutting other drivers off.
  • Speeding through traffic.
  • Weaving in and out of lanes without signaling.
  • Driving over shoulders, sidewalks, or medians.
  • Intentionally ramming another car.
  • Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver.

Road rage can be triggered by the irresponsible behavior of other drivers and other factors out of their control. Usually, someone who is prone to road rage is already very impatient, stressed, or aggravated and may exhibit violent behaviors in other areas of their life.

How Can Road Rage Be Prevented?

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent road rage:

  • Get a lot of rest. Insufficient sleep contributes to stress and makes it harder to stay in control. Everyone should make sure they are getting enough rest each night.
  • Allow extra travel time. Leaving early means a little extra traffic will not derail the day. All drivers should make it a routine to leave earlier than usual, especially in the morning.
  • Take a deep breath and count to 10. In heavy traffic, drivers can use this method to give themselves more time to calm down. They should focus on their breathing and not whatever is aggravating them.
  • Play calming music. Music can be calm and uplifting. Music may help drivers stay positive, despite traffic.
  • Start with the right attitude. Driving is not a game where someone wins. Driving safely is a top priority.
  • Be a courteous driver. Drivers should always use their turn signals, merge with plenty of room, move out of the left lane to let other drivers pass, and they should not tailgate.
  • Do not make rude gestures. All drivers should refrain from gesturing and honking, as this could escalate a situation and lead to a road rage incident.

What Should I Do if an Angry Driver Confronts Me?

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that aggressive driving behaviors are involved in 56 percent of all fatal crashes. Over a seven-year period, road rage incidents caused 12,610 injuries and at least 218 deaths. Being the target of an angry aggressive driver can be traumatic and even life threatening, so it is important to know what to do if it happens to you:

  • Do not engage with the other driver. Do not engage with them, stay cool, and resist the urge to retaliate with gestures, yelling, flashing headlights, or honking. Do not stare them down as well, in fact, it may be best to avoid eye contact altogether.
  • Stay away from the angry driver. Stay clear of an angry driver by giving them plenty of room. If you can, let them pass so that they are in front of you where they can do less damage. Then, put as much distance as possible between your car and theirs. Under no circumstances should you pull over and get out of the car to confront them.
  • Call for help. If the other driver escalates the situation by trying to follow or confront you, call for help. If you have a cellphone, call the police, and if you do not, then drive to a busy place where you can get help, such as a shopping center, police station, or hospital. Honk your horn to get someone’s attention for help, but do not leave your car. Never drive to your house.
  • Remember their information. Try to remember as much information about their vehicle as possible, such as the make and model and license plate number. Identifying marks such as dents or scratches from previous accidents can also be helpful.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Provide Legal Assistance to Those Injured in Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Accidents

If you have been injured in an aggressive driving or road rage incident, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you explore your options. Call us at 302-427-9500 or complete 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.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Those Injured in Nighttime Collisions.

Can Smart Headlights Prevent Car Accidents?

Smart headlights have been available for years in other countries and are finally on their way to the United States. The technology is much more sophisticated than the standard headlights currently in use, and they should improve safety and reduce car accidents.

Smart headlights are also known as adaptive driving beam (ADB) headlights. The technology is a huge improvement over the standard systems in most American cars. ADB systems essentially employ full illumination that is modified via cameras and sensors that adapt the shape, brightness, and direction of the light depending on the driving conditions. There are different types of ADB headlights. Some work by shuttering parts of the headlight similar to using an umbrella to block sunlight. Others employ a matrix of many LEDs that turn on and off when needed.

Currently drivers only have a choice between high-beams, which can blind other drivers if left on errantly, or low-beams, which may not be enough to handle inclement weather and fog. The most advanced system available in the U.S. is automatic high-beams, and they are not always reliable. In contrast, adaptive headlights are able to read the road and provide light where it is needed most. ADB headlights also keep extra glare from shining into the eyes of drivers in the opposite lane.

Another feature of ADB technology is the ability of the light to move in the same direction that the car is traveling. If the car turns or rounds a curve, the headlights direct the light around the curve, whereas with a traditional headlight, the light would stay pointed straight ahead, illuminating the side of the road.

The technology incorporated into German carmaker Audi’s headlights creates a carpet of light on the highway that shows the way ahead and widens as the car changes lanes and then narrows when the car has completed the lane change. This can help drivers stay in their lane and anticipate bends in the road.

Another smart headlight system developed by the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University can track the motion of raindrops and snowflakes and then direct the light beams between them using a computer algorithm to predict their position over just a few milliseconds. This both improves visibility for the driver and prevents the glare created by the reflection of headlight beams by precipitation.

How Can Smart Headlights Help Prevent Accidents?

According to a study done by the American Automobile Association (AAA), smart headlights are safer for nighttime driving because they illuminate more of the road without blinding other drivers as driving with high-beams on would. The study found that ADB headlights are as much as 86 percent better at providing consistent illumination in the presence of oncoming traffic.

Nighttime driving is riskier than driving during the day. Research by the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that the rate of nighttime crashes is three times that of crashes that occur during daylight hours. In dim light, it is also hardest to avoid collisions with animals, pedestrians, bicyclists, and roadside objects. The AAA study predicted that ADB headlights could reduce crashes with wildlife by 18,000, at a savings of $500 million annually. Pedestrian accidents could be reduced by six percent. Consumer Reports says that the additional illumination of 250 feet provided by ADB headlights could be the difference between being able to react in time and hitting an obstacle.

Who Is Already Using Smart Headlight Technology?

First introduced by three major automakers in Germany, smart headlight technology has been available in Europe and Asia for over a decade and is also already in use in Canada. General Motors produces cars for China that are equipped with ADB technology capable of producing 34 different beam patterns.

Implementation of smart headlight technology in the United States was delayed for many years simply because of an antiquated rule from 1967 that stated all cars must have two kinds of headlight beams: high and low. Since ADB technology does not meet this specification, it has been banned until now.

Many foreign cars have ADB headlights, but they are deactivated when imported into the United States. After the new law goes into effect, the smart headlights can be easily reactivated through a software update. The change has been supported by many safety advocates and automakers, like Audi, Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

When Americans finally do get the chance to buy a car with smart headlights, there will be a significant cost. Currently, ADB compatible headlights can cost between $3,400 and $6,600 more than regular headlights.

Improving Safety Is an Ongoing Effort

The provision in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act regarding smart headlights says that ADB headlights must be approved for use in the United States within two years. Experts say this is a chance for America to catch up with safety standards in the rest of the world. However, safety advocates such as Consumer Reports are hoping the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will require manufacturers to follow up with data on the new technology’s performance here and consumer experiences. Such data is extremely valuable in strengthening and fine-tuning safety standards to increase protection for everyone using the road, including pedestrians and cyclists.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Those Injured in Nighttime Collisions

Smart headlights are expected to increase safety and reduce nighttime accidents. At night, you should always be extra cautious while driving. If you have been involved in a nighttime accident, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you explore your legal options. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Will Help You Figure Out Your Next Best Steps After a Collision on Private Property.

What Happens After a Car Accident Occurs on Private Property?

A car accident can happen anywhere, including on private property. After a car accident happens on private property, it can be tough to know how to proceed after that type of crash. Are the procedures the same? Typically, you should always check for injuries and call 911 after any type of crash. This includes one that happens on private property. However, you should know that there are a few distinctions between public and private roads.

A car accident that happens on private property could range from a minor fender bender to a serious collision. The driver may not be the only party at fault for the incident. In some cases, the property owner could be at fault as well. How could a property owner be held liable? They could be liable if the accident happened because of hard-to-read signage or a poorly maintained premises. There are many reasons why a property owner could be fully or partially held at fault for a car accident.

Another difference between a private and public property car accident is that the police may come to the scene but they are not required to write an official police report. You can still ask for them to document the accident with an incident report. Their write-up can help show when the crash happened, who was involved, and other pertinent details.

How Is Fault Proven in This Type of Accident?

You might suspect that the party who hit your car on private property was distracted or otherwise negligent. However, regardless of your suspicions, you need to prove that they caused the accident. Without evidence, you might be on the hook to pay for your property damage, medical bills, and other expenses. Even if you carry the state-required minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, your insurance carrier may balk at paying you what you think you deserve. For this reason, many people seek out assistance from a car accident lawyer.

To help your case, you should gather evidence that proves that the other party negligently caused your accident. Your proof could come in the form of photographs, videos, and even eyewitness accounts. You might be able to obtain security camera footage as well. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case.

Should You Wait to Get Medical Treatment?

It can be tempting to put off going to an urgent care facility or emergency room, especially if you can still get around after the car accident. However, the problem with waiting is that the longer you put off getting diagnosed and treated, the more likely that an insurance company will say that your injuries were not related to the accident.

Even though you will have to pay out of pocket for some or all of your medical costs, you should get a check-up after any type of accident. A thorough examination can rule out conditions that may seem small at first but can lead to bigger problems, such as a traumatic brain injury. Always put your health first.

You may assume that your insurance company will be able to win a fight against another insurance company or that you can talk a property owner’s insurance company into covering your bills. However, dealing with insurance providers, including your own, after any type of accident can be overwhelming and confusing.

Insurance companies want to pay as little as they can. They can take a long time to accept liability. They may offer you a sum that does not adequately meet your needs. However, assistance from a car accident lawyer can be beneficial, particularly if you are trying to heal from a catastrophic injury. It is much easier to let a legal professional handle the process on your behalf.

How Can You Avoid a Car Accident on Private Property?

Not all car accidents are avoidable, but you should still take steps to avoid one from happening. Some important driving tips include:

  • Drive at a speed appropriate for your location, time of day, number of other vehicles around you, and weather conditions.
  • Never allow yourself to be distracted while driving.
  • Never drive while intoxicated or under the influence of any legal or illegal drug.
  • Pay careful attention when driving in an unknown area.
  • Steer clear of any driver who seems to be driving erratically.

Taking precautionary measures can help you prevent a car accident.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Will Help You Figure Out Your Next Best Steps After a Collision on Private Property

Were you recently injured in a car accident that happened on private property? Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you after any type of collision. Call us 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Protect Your Rights After an Accident.

How Is a Car’s Safety Rating Determined?

When looking to purchase a car, a person has to consider several important factors, such as what they can afford. However, it is also important to consider the safety rating of the vehicle.

In many cases, the more expensive cars are safer. However, nowadays, new safety features are being invented and introduced to cars often, and safety testing is performed on new cars. Finding a car at your price point with a good safety rating should be your goal.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performs crash tests on the new auto models every year and determines the safety ratings of those vehicles. The IIHS uses a series of tests involving dummies, and they crash these vehicles from different angles.

Frontal Crash Tests

Head-on collisions are responsible for the most car accident fatalities. The IIHS conducts low- and moderate-speed tests to see how a crash impacts a vehicle and the space for occupants. The IIHS has three different types of frontal crash tests that they perform:

  • Moderate impact tests: The vehicle travels at 40 miles per hour toward a barrier, striking at 40 percent of the vehicle width on the driver’s side front.
  • Two small impact tests on the driver and passenger side: This test is designed to replicate what happens when the front left corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object, like a tree or utility pole. It challenges safety belt and airbag designs because the crash causes occupants to move both forward and to the side of the vehicle. The test is repeated on the passenger side.

The reason for the two tests is that the outer edges of a vehicle are not well protected and the force of the crash usually goes into the front wheel, suspension system, and firewall. Often, this means the wheel will be forcefully pushed backward into the footwell, which can result in serious foot and leg injuries.

Side-Impact Tests

Side-impact collisions account for about 25 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in the United States, according to the IIHS. The sides of cars do not have much room between the window and door and the person seated inside. Occupants sitting near the doors do not have much to shield them from the force of an impact.

Some important factors engineers are looking for in these crash tests include:

  • Driver and passenger injury measures: Damage done to the dummies correlates injuries for people involved in a crash. Measures from sensors on the dummies, especially the ones from the head and upper body, are major components of each vehicle’s overall side safety rating.
  • Head protection: To determine how well the dummies heads are protected in the crash, the dummies heads are covered in grease paint before the test. If a vehicle has airbags that perform correctly, it will wind up with grease paint on the airbags.
  • Safety cage: Determining how well the safety cage performs during a collision is another test for the side of the car. It is expected that some intrusion into the seating area of the car will happen, but engineers are looking for a vehicle structure that is strong enough to keep that impact from seriously compromising the driver and passenger space.

Roof Strength

Every year, many people are killed in rollover car accidents. Fortunately, electronic stability control significantly reduces rollover collisions. Features such as side curtain airbags and strong seat belts help protect the people inside the vehicle. However, a strong roof also contributes to seat belt and airbag safety because a sturdy roof will not collapse. It also means that people inside the vehicle are less likely to wind up being ejected through the windshield or windows because of a severely damaged roof.

Head Restraints and Seat Tests

Neck injuries, such as whiplash, are common in car accidents, and a good head restraint can prevent these injuries from happening. Neck injuries can result from any type of collision, however, most often, they result from rear-end car accidents.

To perform these tests, a vehicle seat and dummy are placed on a sled that is then moved to simulate the impact of a crash.

Headlights

About half of vehicle crashes in the United States happen at night, which is why headlight safety is a critical component in crash prevention. Not all headlights perform equally when needed. The IIHS tests include checking headlights from straight ahead, curving to the right or left, or sharply curving to the right or left.

Front Crash Prevention Systems

Front crash prevention systems help drivers avoid car accidents with vehicles ahead of them. Since 2019, manufacturers have introduced a front crash prevention system that also recognizes pedestrians. The system and score are designed to help consumers choose a safe car.

Lower Anchors and Tethers

The Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system is designed to protect small children who are in car safety seats from being ejected out of the vehicle or from the seat coming loose. These tests are for the bottom component, which anchors the car safety seat, and the top, which is designed to keep the seat from pitching forward in a crash.

With these tests in mind, the IIHS hopes to offer consumers enough information about how their car could perform in a crash. Before buying a car, you should review its safety rating.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Protect Your Rights After an Accident

Before you purchase a car, you should review its safety rating. However, even if you have the safest car, you can still get into an accident. Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have decades of experience advocating for people involved in all types of auto collisions, and we can help if you have been severely injured in an accident. Call us at 302-427-9500 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

car accident injury

What Factors Determine the Severity of a Car Accident Injury?

A car accident can be a traumatic experience for anyone, both emotionally and physically. Even if you only suffered a minor injury, you should expect to be sore for at least a few days following the accident. However, there are times when some injuries could take longer to heal. With any injury, you want the recovery to happen as soon as possible. 

The extent of your injury plays a major role in how long your pain will last, but there are other factors as well. Your age, the type of injury, as well as what happened in the car accident all influence how long you will recover. 

If you are wearing a seat belt, the seat belt will restrain your body to help prevent a severe injury. If you are not wearing a seat belt, then something else must stop your body from moving when the car stops, such as the dashboard or the steering wheel, which can cause a catastrophic injury. When your body comes to a complete stop, the momentum of the accident can affect your internal organs, which can lead to internal organ damage.

What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?

Your age and overall health will also determine the severity of your injury. Younger people will generally heal quicker than the elderly. People with poor health cannot heal as quickly as well. For example, a person with a pre-existing condition like an autoimmune disease will take longer to heal, even if the accident is minor. 

Most mild injuries take a few days to a few weeks to heal. On average, a car accident injury takes about six weeks to heal, but each injury is different. You cannot predict the recovery time of your injury, so it is important to get medical help as soon as possible.

Although many factors can determine the severity of your injury, some injuries are more common than others. Common car accident injuries include:

  • Whiplash: Whiplash is common in rear-end accidents, where the head moves forward and back in a violent motion. This causes back and neck soreness, disc pain, and shoulder and arm pain. Whiplash is generally not felt immediately, rather, it takes hours or days after the accident to show up. If you have whiplash, your injury may take up to a few weeks or longer to heal.
  • Soft tissue injuries: There are many different types of soft tissue injuries, such as bruises, sprains, and strains. These injuries can take weeks or even months to heal. 
  • Back or neck injuries: The impact of a car accident can cause the discs in your spine to shift and go out of alignment. More serious accidents can cause major back injuries, such as ruptured discs. The recovery time of a back injury varies, but most take about six to 12 weeks to heal if surgery is not needed. 
  • Broken bones: In most cases, broken bones take six to eight weeks to heal. However, the severity of the injury can cause a longer recovery period.

It is imperative to seek medical attention after any type of car accident. Many injuries take days to appear. Additionally, insurance companies may deny a claim if you take too long to see a doctor after a car accident.

What Are Possible Treatments?

Every injury is unique as well as the treatment plan. Doctors may prescribe the following to treat your car accident injury:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Prescription medications.
  • Physical or occupational therapy.
  • Epidural injections.
  • Surgery.

What if My Pain Worsens?

A main reason to seek medical attention immediately after an accident is because a doctor can determine the severity of your injury. Minimal pain can be misleading, and you may be seriously injured without even realizing you are hurt. A doctor can examine you and create a treatment plan, and they can give you a timeframe of your recovery period.

You may find that your pain extends past your estimated healing time. If your pain worsens or does not subside, you should return to the doctor who diagnosed you, as they may have missed something during your initial appointment. You should schedule a follow-up appointment if you are experiencing the same symptoms. It is important to follow the doctor’s orders and go to all follow-up appointments. You should go to the doctor immediately if you have any new symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, or if you are having trouble sleeping.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

There are some steps to take following a car accident: 

  • Seek immediate medical attention. This is the only way you can determine the severity of your injury. 
  • Document your injury as well as your treatment plan. Keep all medical records.
  • You also should contact your insurance company right away. You should notify them of the accident.
  • Speak with a car accident lawyer. A lawyer will protect your rights and determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury suit.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Provide Legal Help While You Focus on Healing Your Car Accident Injury

Many factors determine the severity of a car accident injury. You should always go to the doctor after an accident, but it is also important to seek legal help if you have a catastrophic injury that was caused by a negligent driver. Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you explore your legal options after a collision. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

pregnant car accident

What Should I Do if I am in a Car Accident While Pregnant?

A car accident could cause harm to a mother-to-be and her unborn child. According to a University of Michigan study, about 200,000 pregnant women are involved in auto accidents every year. Even a minor accident could cause catastrophic injuries to the mother and endanger her baby. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car accidents are the leading cause of injury and death in pregnant women. Car accidents are also linked to about 400 fetal deaths per year. These alarming statistics affirm that pregnant drivers and their unborn babies have significantly greater health risks when on the road. Understanding the unique risks faced by pregnant drivers can help prevent more injuries or even deaths. 

A trip to the emergency room for a full diagnostic medical exam is in order for any pregnant driver or passenger who is involved in an accident. If the initial examination shows the baby is healthy and the mother is not seriously injured, extended rest and other at-home care will be needed. The mother-to-be should rest in bed as much as possible for at least a couple of days. 

While at home, the pregnant mother should monitor her condition. A fever could indicate infection. If any bleeding occurs, it is critical to notify the doctor as soon as possible. Any pain, discomfort, or other concerning symptoms after a car accident should be immediately reported. It is also critical to go to all follow-up care appointments.

Any appearance of amniotic fluid following a car accident is cause for alarm. An immediate trip to the doctor is needed to help provide the best possible outcome for the mother and child. Other symptoms pregnancy-related issues that could arise after a car accident include dizziness and fainting. These symptoms could mean dangerous changes in blood pressure. Fluctuating blood pressure might be dangerous for the baby. 

Unusual Risks That Pregnant Drivers Face

A pregnant driver does not have as much room in the seat, which makes using a seat belt much more difficult and uncomfortable. The bottom of the steering wheel is just inches away from a pregnant woman’s belly. If even a minor accident occurs, a pregnant woman might suffer a serious injury, such as a hemorrhage or sudden or early delivery. A hemorrhage might cause light bleeding, but heavy bleeding could be a sign of something much more serious. 

Any pregnant driver who is in an accident should immediately undergo medical diagnosis and treatment. That is the best way to prevent possible injury to the mother and/or baby.

What Are the Risks for Unborn Babies?

Death is not the only risk that an unborn baby faces in a car accident. A premature birth could occur and make the infant vulnerable to a variety of potential life-threatening injuries. An infant might also suffer neurological issues due to injuries from a car accident. 

If the mother is injured and begins to bleed heavily, the unborn baby could be affected as well. If a premature birth occurs and the mother bleeds heavily during the delivery, it could be life-threatening for the baby.

There are many possible treatments for injured pregnant drivers, which is why it is critical to go to the doctor after a collision. Even if a pregnant mother-to-be feels okay after an accident, they should still go to the doctor as soon as possible. You should get medically evaluated after any type of accident because you may have a hidden injury. Some injuries do not show up until days or even weeks later.

What Are Important Safety Tips for Pregnant Drivers?

Speed and deployment of air bags are the two biggest factors in causing pregnancy-related medical issues due to a car accident. Research shows an accident that occurs at 50 miles per hour or higher is much more dangerous for a pregnant driver. The deployment of airbags, which would injure the fetus, is also a risk for a pregnant driver. A pregnant driver needs to do her best to abide the posted speed limits and follow at a safe distance, just like all other motorists. 

You also can wear a seat belt that is situated below the belly with a lap restraint. The shoulder restraint should go around instead of across the belly to help prevent extreme pressure during an accident. 

Some mothers feel that they should not wear a seat belt during pregnancy because of the potential risks. However, doctors recommend to still wear a seat belt. You should also avoid turning off the airbags.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Protect the Rights of Injured Pregnant Drivers

Pregnant drivers and their babies are vulnerable in car accidents. If you have been involved in a car accident that caused an injury to you or your unborn baby, our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. You can contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 to schedule a free consultation today. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

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