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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.
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are the preferred method of transportation for millions of customers who need transportation from point A to point B. The rideshare apps make it quick and easy for a customer to contact a driver, arrange for a ride, and pay the driver is one simple transaction.
What many customers may not realize, however, is that many of the rideshare vehicles on the road today have open recalls for things like airbags, brakes, and computer systems. This could seriously jeopardize the safety of the customers, the driver, and other motorists on the road.
According to a representative from Carfax, people do not get recalls fixed because they do not take them seriously enough, or they assume nothing bad will happen to them. Unfortunately, the longer people wait to get their recalls fixed the more likely it is that the defect could cause a serious accident.
In extreme cases, unfixed recalls can cause accidents resulting in fatalities. For example, the Takata airbag defect was known to cause the airbag to explode, sending metal pieces into the faces of drivers and passengers.
Other unfixed recalls that have been found include defective seat belts, brake pedals that fall off, and fuel leaks that can cause fires or explosions.
Uber cars must pass a 19-point inspection, before drivers are allowed to pick up customers. The company encourages all drivers to check for open recalls, and recently joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) campaign, which raises awareness of open recalls, and the importance of getting defective parts fixed or replaced as soon as possible.
Lyft also requires drivers to have their vehicles inspected for any safety issues before they can operate on their platform. However, neither company requires drivers to get the safety recalls fixed. In addition, there are no federal laws that require ridesharing drivers to get recalls fixed.
Carfax has a free app that allows you to check for open recalls on a vehicle by plugging in the license plate number. If you are using Uber or Lyft, you can enter the license plate number of the rideshare vehicle after you order it. That way, you will know if it has any outstanding recalls before it arrives to pick you up. If it does, and you are uncomfortable accepting the ride, you can cancel the order.
The NHTSA’s website also provides information about vehicle recalls, if you have the vehicle’s VIN number.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident involving a ridesharing vehicle that has an open recall, do not hesitate to contact the Delaware car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Our experienced legal team will determine who is responsible for causing the accident. We will protect your rights as we pursue the maximum financial compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online.
Rhoades & Morrow handles personal injury and work injury cases throughout Delaware, including Wilmington, Hockessin, Newark, Glasgow, Bear, Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Georgetown, Elsmere and Seaford, as well communities in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.
On average, there are 12 ambulance crashes each day in this country, and one-third of these result in injury. Not all of these happen to the patient as first responders are also at risk. Ambulance passengers may now benefit from new technologies designed to keep them safer. According to ABC News, a new seat belt has been designed that may keep paramedics, emergency medical service providers (EMS), and passengers safe in the event of an ambulance crash. There are other technologies in the works as well.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 4,500 ambulance crashes occur every year in the U.S. In 84 percent, the first responders were not wearing their seat belts. The main reason is because it is more difficult for EMS providers and paramedics that are buckled in to work on patients.
Imma, a company that manufactures ambulance seat belts, has created a new restraint using Controlled Decelerator Technology. These new belts are different because they extend enough to allow first responders to remain buckled in while extending their bodies slightly forward. This lets them work on the patients and affords more flexibility that can lessen impact on the body from a crash.
ABC’s televised story on these seatbelts included side-by-side comparisons of what happened inside two ambulances during crashes. In one, crash test dummies were wearing seatbelts; in the other, they were not. The tests showed that it is imperative for these first responders to wear seatbelts.
An EMS worker needs space to work in, and keeping it safe, accessible, and functional is paramount. At the 2017 National Association of EMS Physicians annual meeting, this topic was explained that the communications, controls, and other equipment should be close to where the EMS workers sit. This reduces their need to move around the compartment and allows them to keep their seat belt on.
Ambulance design is regulated by the federal government, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) published a 2014 report on ambulance safety standards, which helps as a guideline for safety practices. Regulation varies between states, but following the standards is a key contributor to passenger safety.
The SAE reported that progress is being made toward improved provider and patient restraint systems, including the Controlled Decelerator Technology seatbelt, but more improvements still need to be made. They also pointed out that passenger body size and weight is a variable that can affect ergonomics in an ambulance crash as not everyone is affected by a crash in the same way.
When ambulance crashes happen, they can destroy lives. If you have been in a vehicle crash or work accident, you are not alone. Contact a Delaware work accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow for professional, compassionate guidance. Reach out today by calling us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free legal consultation. With office locations in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Cell phones and driving do not mix. Yet it is almost irresistible for people to use their cell phones while driving. Some technologic advances have been made to develop hands-free calling to minimize risk of distraction from dialing.
Chances are these have helped avoid some car accidents. But distracted driving from use of cell phones for texting and social media has more than offset any advances from hands free technology.
Delaware banned use of hand-held phones while driving in 2012. But this has not deterred many drivers from using their cell phones. The Delaware office of Highway Safety has noted that in the past five years distracted driving crashes have skyrocketed. From 2013 to 2017 there were 224 crashes involving a distracted driver using a cell phone. Sadly, seven of those crashes involved fatalities.
The trend is being repeated throughout the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2015, about ten percent of total highway deaths were related to distracted driving. Among twenty-somethings, that percentage is more than double the national average. About 27 percent of highway deaths among these young drivers are due to distracted driving.
There are some tell-tale signs of a driver using their cell phone. These include lane departures, running a stop sign, running a red light, or being slow to evade impact. Investigators look for these signs when evaluating the crash site.
In addition, crash investigations now include accounting for cell phones, and determining whether they were being used when the crash occurred. If there is probable cause that distraction factored into an accident, an investigating officer can get a court order to examine cell phone records. This allows them to determine if the device was in use during the crash, and reveals when text messages were sent or received.
A spokesperson from AAA Mid-Atlantic observed that more and more people recognize the dangers, yet they are still driving while distracted by using their cell phone. Delaware is planning on increasing its enforcement presence in order to reduce incidents of distracted driving.
In a recent enforcement campaign, unmarked vans on Route 1 in Dover were deployed to spot offending drivers. Thirty tickets for illegal phone use were issued over a two-month period.
In another campaign in Rehoboth Beach, officers wrote 16 citations for cell phone and safety belt infractions in just one afternoon. First offense fines are up to $100.00.
The Delaware Office of Highway Safety has granted funding to 14 police departments throughout the state for future patrols. These are considered necessary due to the excessive number of serious crashes being caused by cell phone use distraction.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. A free consultation can be scheduled by completing our online form or calling us at 302-427-9500. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware from our offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, including the communities of Elsmere and Seaford.
Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday to many Americans. It is a time when we make an extra effort to see family and celebrate our good fortune together. To many, that means driving.
Nearly 43 million Americans will take to the road for the holiday. Many of them will be driving for 50 miles or more.
Take the time before you go to consider the following safety tips to help avoid car accidents on a road trip.
Make sure your car is ready for the trip. A small effort to perform a maintenance check can avoid a big inconvenience later.
Tires, Tread and Fluids: Check tire pressure and tread depth. One trick for checking tread depth: place a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head toward the tire. You should not be able to see the top of Lincoln’s head.
Check oil, wiper fluid, and gas. Fill them up before you leave.
Weather: Check the forecast before you leave. Weather this time of year is unpredictable. Particularly in the northeast, this can help reduce the risk of driving on slippery and hard to see black ice.
Know Where You are Going: Distracted driving accounts for more and more accidents each year. Be sure you know the route and have directions at the ready without needing to fiddle with your phone or a map while driving.
Use a GPS navigation system if you have it. In addition to providing directions, they can also locate gas stations or restaurants on the route. Most GPS systems can also alert you to traffic disruptions and congestion and suggest alternative routes.
Expect traffic: Thanksgiving is the most heavily traveled holiday of the year. You will not be on time if you do not account for traffic. Add a buffer of time for the traffic and you will not be stressed or late. Consider traveling at off-peak times to avoid the worst of it.
Rest: Drive when you are alert and well rested. If you lead a stressful life, you may need to make an extra effort to get a good night’s sleep the day before you travel. Driving while tired can have an impact similar to driving while intoxicated. Reaction times, concentration, and coordination can all be compromised if you drive tired.
Avoid Distractions: Two seconds of distraction has been correlated with doubling the chance of an accident. Focus on the road to make sure you see what is coming and can react accordingly.
Seatbelts Save Lives: Everyone in the car should wear a safety belt, especially small children, who should be properly buckled into compliant car seats. Safety belts reduce the risk of fatalities by 45 percent.
Plan Ahead: Have a game plan for spending a long time in the car. The more prepared you are for the trip, the better. Particularly if you are traveling with kids. They can get bored or cranky on long trips. Anticipate this and have adequate water, snacks, games, music, and allow for rest stops.
Take these few precautions to ensure you can enjoy your visit with family and/or friends this Thanksgiving.
If you have been injured in a car accident, the Bear car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow are ready to assist you. You can get a free consultation by completing our online form or calling us at 302-834-8484. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware from our offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford.
Speeding is not just an expensive nuisance resulting in fines, suspensions, and insurance rate increases for guilty drivers. Speeding also poses a very real danger to drivers, their passengers, and any others traveling in their vicinity. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed is a factor in more than one-quarter of all fatal car accidents nationwide.
Online insurance shopping platform Insurify analyzed nearly one-and-a-half million auto insurance applications nationwide, to identify twenty cities in the United States with the most speeding violations.
Seaford, Delaware was among them, coming in at number three.
Seaford, the Sussex County town with a population of 7,750, was home to 39 speeding-related fatalities in 2016. A staggering one-fifth of drivers in Seaford reported at least one speeding violation on their auto insurance application.
Despite the warnings about the risks of speeding, Americans do not seem to be getting the message. A recent AAA report found that more than half of drivers surveyed admitted to driving at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit on the highway, and more than 18 percent said they did so often.
Many serious and fatal car accidents are not caused by human error. Poorly maintained roadways, hazardous weather conditions, and mechanical issues can lead to a crash.
However, many other types of motor vehicle accidents can be avoided with responsible driving habits. Collisions where speed is a factor can largely be prevented.
Like drunk driving, drowsy driving, and distracted driving, speeding increases the chance that the driver, or someone near the driver, will be killed or seriously injured in a collision. Even when a driver travels at just ten miles per hour over the speed limit, the risk of serious injuries rises significantly.
For example: A pedestrian hit by a car moving at 30 miles per hour has a 60 percent chance of surviving the accident; but that falls to 40 percent when the car is moving at 40 miles per hour. A speeding driver has less time to react to a hazard ahead to avoid a crash.
Traffic safety experts recommend increasing education about the dangers of speeding, making the consequences of speeding more severe, reducing speed limits in some high-crash areas, and adding more visible cues like speed bumps and crosswalks to protect everyone from the dangers of excessive speed.
If you have been harmed in a car accident due to another person’s distracted driving, drunk driving, or speeding, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow to work on your behalf, so you can focus on healing emotionally and physically from your injuries.
Our team of skilled personal injury lawyers handle all types of motor vehicle accidents. To get started today, call 302-834-8484 or contact us online. We offer free case consultations at our offices in Bear, Wilmington, and Milford, and serve clients in Seaford, Elsmere, and across Delaware.
Another school year is upon us as parents check off their child’s school supply list, rush out for back to school clothing sales, and say farewell to the long days of summer. We often forget that the most important part of preparing for back to school season is safety. School days, especially in the beginning of the year, bring a lot of congestion to the road with school buses, children on bicycles, and parents dropping off their children at school. The Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow wish everyone a smooth transition back to school. The following safety tips can help protect children from potential bus or pedestrian accidents.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 18 school-age children are fatally injured in school transportation-related crashes each year. On average, six of those are directly related to bus accidents. The other 12 are pedestrian accidents caused by school transportation vehicles or other vehicles involved in school bus-related crashes.
Whenever you are behind the wheel, be mindful that the road is being shared with young pedestrians. Consider the following safety tips:
If your child is traveling to school on their own, walk them through the process before the first day back and remind them of the following safety tips:
Please contact our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow in the event you or your child has been injured on the way to school. The safety and well-being of your child is our main priority and we will not stop working until the responsible parties are held accountable. For a free consultation, call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. From our offices in Wilmingon, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state of Delaware.
As families attend pool parties, BBQ’s, and prepare to send their kids off to college, the languid days of summer can easily lull us into a happy state of complacency. However, when it comes to our teenagers getting behind the wheel this summer, the sentiment should be anything but.
On average, 260 teens are fatally injured in car crashes each month during summer. This is an increase of 26 percent compared with the other months of the year. Because teen drivers are already three times more likely than experienced drivers to be involved in a fatal crash, adding risky driving behaviors to the mix is a daunting prospect.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has named distracted driving one of several risky driving behaviors. Unfortunately, in 2016 distracted driving claimed almost 4,000 lives. Teens were the largest group of distracted drivers reported at the time of the fatal wrecks.
When most of us think of distracted driving, we assume the definition is limited to texting or talking on the cell phone. However, distracted driving includes eating, changing the radio station, engaging with the GPS, and even talking to others in the vehicle. Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road. When it comes to an inexperienced driver, even something like talking to passenger can put lives at risk.
The rates of fatal accidents caused by teen drunk drivers are declining. Teens caught driving with alcohol in their system can face jail, fines, and loss of license. For those under 21, a Delaware law enforcement officer can issue a DUI for a BAC of .02 percent.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is involved in an ongoing campaign to educate all Americans about the dangers of risky driving. By forming partnerships with state and local police, the NHTSA works to enforce distracted and drunk driving laws.
Parents can join this fight to save lives and help their teens stay safe this summer by keeping the lines of communication open:
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving or drunk driving accident, contact the Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. To schedule a free consultation, call 302-427-0099 today or contact us online. From our offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford Delaware, we represent individuals and families upstate and downstate Delaware.
Have you ever checked your GPS or map on the way to a new location? Changed the radio station on your car radio while cruising down the road? Turned to answer a question posed by a passenger while driving? If so, you have engaged in distracted driving.
Most drivers have heard the warnings related to the dangers of texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. Traffic safety experts now hope to raise awareness on all types of “distracting driving” activities, which include:
Distracted driving occurs any time a driver takes their eyes off of the road, or is mentally engaged in a task other than driving. When drivers even temporarily lose sight or focus on the road ahead, they are engaged in distracted driving.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 9 people each day are killed in an automobile crash involving a distracted driver.
With over 480,000 drivers handling their cell phones or other electronic devices while driving at any given time in the United States, the problem of distracted driving continues to be a significant safety risk. Research conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute states that drivers are 3 times more likely to get into a motor vehicle accident when distracted by a cell phone while driving.
In response to the problem of distracted driving, car manufacturers are reexamining the functionality of infotainment systems and the mental demands they place on drivers. To complete an infotainment system task requires a driver’s visual and cognitive attention.
When a vehicle’s infotainment system allows the driver to perform tasks unrelated to driving, such as browsing the internet or checking social media, it increases the risk for distracted driving. AAA research indicates that of the 30 infotainment systems in new 2017 vehicles tested, 12 systems generated a “very high” demand on the drivers, while 11 systems creating a “high” demand on the driver.
Recognizing the dangers associated with distracted driving is the first step in reducing the frequency of this driving behavior. Many traffic safety advocacy organizations, such as the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, are launching research and public education campaigns to warn drivers of the risks associated with distracted driving.
Drivers should remember that even the five seconds it takes to send a text, travel time equivalent to crossing a football field, could cost someone their life.
Recognizing that cell phones are a major cause of distracted driving, several cell phone apps also have been developed to help fight distracted driving. Many drivers have taken a “Distracted Driving Pledge” to pull over to the side of the road before checking a map or sending a text message.
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation. To speak to an experienced Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow about your litigation options, call today at 302-834-8484 or submit an online inquiry form. From our offices in Bear, Wilmington, and Milford we serve injured workers throughout the state of Delaware.
If you have not seen Pulse technology yet, you are likely to see it soon. Instead of a standard, solid brake light, Pulse technology features, as its name implies, a pulsing light mounted in the center of a car’s regular brake lights.
When you are behind a car fitted with a Pulse light, if the vehicle slows or stops, the flashing Pulse light should grab your attention. The human eye is able to detect flashing lights more quickly than solid lights. This helps in making the roads safer for everyone and reducing the number of rear end collisions.
Many dealerships are installing this potentially lifesaving, third-party technology.
Pulse is an award winning, patented collision avoidance system. It is designed to be used in any vehicle (car, truck, or potentially even motorcycle) manufactured after 1991. The Pulse light flashes four times when the fitted vehicle slows or stops. It can be installed in vehicles with LED or regular incandescent lights, and it works with any 12-volt system.
Thirty-seven percent of all car accidents are rear end collisions. Further, not all of these accidents are minor fender benders. Some result in serious multi-car pileups. Twenty-eight percent of rear-end collisions are serious enough to result in a “total loss” of the vehicle (meaning the cost to repair exceeds the cost to replace the vehicle).
Both the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have found that 90 percent of rear end collisions could be avoided if the “trailing” driver had just one more second of warning. Because the human eye is able to detect flashing lights more quickly than a solid light, Pulse gives trailing drivers the extra one second edge that they need.
A recent study conducted by the NHTSA has found that Pulse technology actually increases trailing drivers’ reaction times by 40 percent. A similar study by auto-manufacturing giant Daimler Benz found that Pulse lights give the trailing driver 20 extra feet of reaction time if they are travelling 65 miles per hour.
Although many dealerships are installing Pulse on all new vehicles, anyone with a car or truck manufactured after 1991 can get Pulse at almost any car dealership. The Pulse technology is about the size of a stick of gum, and adds about $5 to the average monthly car payment. This makes it a fairly valuable investment when considering the safety benefits that it provides.
Pulse is currently working with a number of auto insurance underwriters to see if the installation of the technology can qualify for a discount in insurance premiums.
It has happened to most of us at one point or another. You are sitting in traffic, minding your own business, when you are unexpectedly hit from behind by a driver who was not maintaining a safe following distance, and likely not paying attention. If you have been injured in a rear end collision, or any type of car accident, we can help you to obtain compensation for your injuries and property damage. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, the Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow offer flexible appointment times, including evenings and weekends. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online.