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Category Archives: Distracted Driving


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.

distracted drivers

What Are the Biggest Distractions for Drivers?

Distracted driving is a significant cause of car accidents and injuries in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that distracted driving caused 3,142 fatalities in 2019, which represents a large portion of the overall driving fatalities for that year. The NHTSA also reports that distracted driving caused about 424,000 injuries to people in motor vehicle crashes in 2019.

Drivers who lack focus and allow their mind to wander while on the road account for many distracted driving accidents. Fatigue, drowsiness, or daydreaming is enough to cause your attention to lapse long enough to make an error while driving. If your eyes wander off the road for any reason, you are driving while distracted.

Although daydreaming is a top cause of distracted driving accidents, texting and driving is the number one cause. Out of all cellphone tasks, texting is the most dangerous.

Some other common causes for distracted driving car accidents include:

  • Cellphone use.
  • Looking at something located outside of the vehicle.
  • Being distracted by a passenger.
  • Reaching for something that you brought into the vehicle.
  • Eating or drinking beverages while driving.
  • Adjusting the audio, heater, or air conditioning.

Some lesser-known causes for distracted driving accidents include:

  • Using vehicle devices or controls, like adjusting outside mirrors or buckling your seat belt.
  • Lighting a cigarette.
  • Being distracted by pets.

Teenagers Are Especially Vulnerable to Distracted Driving

Typically, the younger the driver, the more likely that driver will engage in distracted driving. According to the Department of Transportation and the NHTSA, in 2018, 202 teenagers were killed in distracted driving accidents. There are many reasons why teenagers are prone to distracted driving.

Teenagers typically take longer to process hazardous road conditions and how to react properly in emergencies. Inexperienced drivers improve over time as they gain more experience with the rules of the road. Parents of teenage drivers should set a good example while driving by not using their cellphone or engaging in other unlawful driving behaviors.

Another issue that greatly affects teenage drivers is the number of passengers that they carry. When a teenage driver has more than one passenger of the same age in the car, that teenager is three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident. That is because the potential distractions are greater when multiple young people are in a vehicle with no parental supervision.

Teenage drivers typically engage in distracted driving far more than their older counterparts. Teenagers often use their cellphone, talk to friends, eat, adjust the radio, and even apply makeup while looking into a mirror instead of paying attention to the road. Parents can help their teenage drivers by strictly enforcing that they do not drive with more than one other teenage passenger.

States Regulate Cellphone Use

Since distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic fatalities in the United States, especially among young drivers and their passengers, most states strictly regulate cellphone use by drivers.

In Delaware, texting and driving became illegal in 2011. The state banned the use of hand-held phones and other mobile and electronic devices while driving, including laptops and games. Delaware only allows the use of hands-free devices while driving. You also cannot read, write, send text messages, email, or use the internet while driving in the state.

What are the Penalties for Cellphone Use in Delaware?

Anyone caught driving while using a hand-held cellphone or other device is subject to a $100 fine with the first offense. Subsequent offenses could net a fine between $200 and $300.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 24 states and the District of Columbia have banned the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. The offense is subject to primary enforcement, and you can be pulled over and given a ticket.

Texting and driving is banned in 48 states and the District of Columbia, and 36 states have phone use bans that specifically target young drivers.

While most states have laws designed to thwart distracted driving, it still occurs, and it is a rising concern among motorists of all ages. Many drivers are becoming more worried about the widespread use of mobile technology in vehicles.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Seek Justice for Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving is a significant cause of accidents, injuries, and deaths in the United States. Our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you if you were injured by a negligent, distracted driver. We know how distracted driving accidents can be devastating, and we can protect your rights. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 302-427-9500 today. We have offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

avoid car accidents on halloween

How Do I Avoid a Car Accident on Halloween?

Halloween is a fun holiday for many families. Children get dressed up and go trick-or-treating to get a lot of candy. It is a night when the street will be packed with young trick-or-treaters with candy on their mind.

As children go around the neighborhood, they do not always remember how to pay attention, particularly when they cross the street. The number of fatal car accidents rises significantly on Halloween night, and it is up to motorists to be extra vigilant, especially when it is dark.

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween. On average, there are about 2.6 child pedestrian fatalities per day, however, that number jumps to 5.5 fatalities on Halloween night, with children between 12 to 15 years old being the most impacted.

Given the increased dangers for pedestrians and children on this night, it is even more important that drivers are extra vigilant when they are out on the road. There are a few tips that drivers should take to ensure everyone’s safety on this evening.

Drive Slowly

Particularly in residential neighborhoods, you need to modify your speed to account for children running around. You should also drive slowly as you pull out of your driveway in anticipation of trick-or-treaters walking up and down the sidewalk. By driving slower, you can stop quicker if someone unexpectedly jumps out in front of your car.

Avoid Distractions

While it is always important to pay attention to the road, it is more so on Halloween. You need to avoid distractions, such as using your cellphone or adjusting your radio. Distracted driving should always be avoided, your attention should be on the road.

Use Headlights

Do not wait for the sun to set fully before you turn on your headlights. Children trick-or-treat well past dark, and it can be dangerous for those who are in dark-colored costumes. Turning your headlights on early will prevent you from getting caught without lights when it gets dark.

Watched for Parked Vehicles

While you are driving on Halloween night, you may encounter a vehicle pulled on the side of the road. Approach and pass these vehicles with caution. Many times, it is a parent dropping off or picking up children.

Listen

Keep your radio turned off, and open your windows so that you can hear everything that is going on around you. If you can hear children nearby, you will be more cautious with how you drive as you approach crosswalks and other areas.

Do Not Drink and Drive

Even though Halloween is mostly for children, adults still have their own fun and attend parties. There can be alcohol at Halloween parties. When you drink, your senses are impaired, and you will not react as quickly as you normally do. That can make for a dangerous combination on Halloween night. You should not drink and drive, and if you find yourself unable to drive, have a friend or hire a rideshare service.

Other parents might be driving their own children around for trick-or-treating on this night. While it is important that you make sure your child is buckled up, you should not do it while they are in their costume. Regardless of whether they are in a car seat or a regular seat, their costume could have extra padding or a hard surface that will make it difficult to fully secure the child.

When you pull over to drop your child off for trick-or-treating, be sure to do it in a safe spot. Turn on your hazards, and have all the children exit onto the curb and not the street. Finally, pull over somewhere where you will not have to back up to leave. Backing up can be more dangerous with children running around.

If you do have to back up, you should have another person stand outside your car who can help direct you out of the space and keep an eye out for anyone getting near your vehicle as you start to move.

How can Pedestrians Stay Safe on Halloween?

While drivers should increase their vigilance as they make their way around on Halloween night, pedestrians and trick-or-treaters should be cognizant of cars in the road and act accordingly. They should make themselves as visible as possible, including wearing a bright-colored costume or walking around with a flashlight. This will keep you visible to other pedestrians and drivers, particularly as it begins to get dark.

Always make sure to walk on the sidewalk as you go from house to house, and stay out of the road unless you are crossing. When you do cross, you should do so only at designated locations, such as crosswalks. Always look both ways when you cross the street or a driveway because drivers may dart out without looking.

Halloween can be a lot of fun for children as well as adults, but it can be also a very dangerous holiday. If an accident does happen, you might have legal recourse.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow are There for You if a Car Accident Ruins Your Halloween

A collision on Halloween can be traumatic, but our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow understand how you feel, and we will have your back. Call us at 302-427-9500 or fill out our online form today to schedule your free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

Distracted Driver

What are the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?

The 100 days between Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September are sometimes referred to as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. Car accidents across the United States rise during this time, especially among teenage drivers.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety, deaths among teenage drivers between 16 to 19 years old increase by 16 percent each day in the summer versus other times of the year. Studies by the safety advocacy group, We Save Lives, show that during this 100-day summer period, 260 teenagers lose their lives each month, which is a 26 percent increase compared to other months of the year. This includes both teenage drivers and their passengers.

What Factors Contribute to the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?

There are various reasons why teenagers have more car accidents in the summer. The list below contains information about the main causes of teen-related accidents in the summer.

More Time to Drive

Most teenage drivers are out of school for the summer. That gives them more time to be on the streets both during the day and at night. Since they are less experienced, more teen-related accidents will occur during the summer months.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the leading cause of accidents among teenage drivers. The three main categories of distractions include:

  • Visual: Taking eyes off the road.
  • Manual: Taking hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive: Taking the mind off driving.

Common teenage driver distractions include the following:

  • Talking and texting on a cellphone.
  • Bantering or laughing with other passengers in the vehicle.
  • Trying to retrieve an item in the car while driving.
  • Taking pictures with a cellphone.
  • Adjusting the navigational device or entering data into the system while driving.
  • Glancing down frequently to read directions or texts.
  • Fiddling with the temperature or radio controls.
  • Playing music too loudly.
  • Loud or rowdy passengers.
  • Eating and drinking.

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Teenagers often feel as if they are invincible. Sometimes, they want to impress their friends. Other times, they simply overlook the basics of safe driving. Whatever the reason, speeding and reckless driving cause a large number of teenage driving accidents. Reckless driving can include tailgating, not using turn signals, weaving in and out of traffic, changing lanes improperly, trying to pass, and other violations.

Not Using Seat Belts

Many teenage drivers do not want to or they forget to buckle up. Injuries and deaths from an accident increase when a person is not restrained by their seat belt. Before driving, all occupants in the vehicle should have their seat belts fastened securely.

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving frequently happens among teenage motorists. Inexperienced drivers under the influence are a danger to themselves and others. If a driver plans to drink on a night out, they should arrange for a ride home ahead of time.

Construction

Summer is road construction season as well, which can cause delays, lane closures, yields, merges, detours, and traffic back-ups. Any of these conditions can be confusing and difficult for an inexperienced teenage driver to navigate.

Car Problems

Heat and humidity can cause various car troubles, including overheated engines and overinflated/underinflated tires. An inexperienced teenage driver may not know what to do when their vehicle starts acting up or when a tire causes a blowout or steering problems.

More Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Everyone wants to spend more time outdoors in the summer, including pedestrians and bicyclists, but this also increases car accidents. Teenagers may not be experienced enough to share the road with those not in a vehicle. In addition, blind spots may be new to a teenage driver. Motorcycles also require extra vigilance by teenagers who may not see them or know how to drive with them.

Weather and Road Conditions

An inexperienced motorist may not know how to adjust their driving for the weather conditions or when to pull over and stop driving. Summer thunderstorms, unexpected downpours, tropical storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes can wreak danger on the roads for teenage drivers who may not know the correct course of action.

Road Congestion

More people on the roadways in the summer increases the potential for accidents. Teenage drivers often do not have the skills to navigate heavily traveled roads and traffic congestion.

How can Teenagers Stay Safe During the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?

Teenagers and their parents should set ground rules together for driving in the summer or any other time of the year:

  • Always set the cellphone to Do Not Disturb mode while driving.
  • No more than one other passenger in the car.
  • Program the navigation system before heading out.
  • No driving after a specific time at night.
  • Never drink and drive. It is a crime that can alter the rest of their lives. Inform them about the consequences of drinking and driving, which include injuries, deaths, possible jail time, and a criminal record.
  • Should drinking happen, teenagers should call their parents or a rideshare service. As a parent, permit them to call for a ride.
  • Do not get in the car with someone who has been drinking or doing drugs.
  • Wear a seat belt and require passengers to wear theirs as well.
  • Teenagers should avoid speeding, and they should always follow the rules of the road.
  • Drive cautiously in congestion, construction, and adverse weather.
  • Contact a lawyer after a collision.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Injured Drivers During the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

A car accident in the summer can be physically, financially, and emotionally devastating. The knowledgeable Delaware car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow help victims of negligent drivers. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation about your summer car accident case. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, and we proudly assist clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

Distracted Driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

In 2019, distracted driving claimed more than 3,000 lives across the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These deaths could have been prevented. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and numerous car accidents and fatalities occur each year in Delaware due to distracted driving. A Delaware Office of Highway Safety report shows that drivers under 30 years old, particularly men, are the most prone to distracted driving.

A car accident lawyer can attest to how many people cause needless injuries or fatalities simply because they were not focused on driving. A lawyer can help a victim recover the compensation they are entitled to after an accident with a distracted driver.

What is Distracted Driving?

Anything that takes a driver’s focus off the task at hand is a distraction. Distracted driving behaviors can be broken down into three categories:

  • Visual: The driver’s eyes are off the road.
  • Manual: This is when the driver’s hands are off the steering wheel.
  • Cognitive: A cognitive distraction is when the motorist is not focused on driving.

What are Common Causes of Distracted Driving?

There are many causes of distracted driving, including:

Cellphones: Many traffic accidents involve cellphone use, such as answering, dialing, talking, sending and receiving texts, and following a navigation application. All of these activities are distracting, and every state has laws against cellphone use.

Navigation Systems: Looking down at the navigational device frequently or programming it while driving can quickly cause an accident. Program destinations beforehand or pull over to do so safely. A motorist can also position the navigation device where it is easy to see and use the voice setting to get directions.

Loud Noises: Loud noises can distract the driver from focusing on the road. Children and teenagers, especially, should be encouraged to keep it quiet on the road. Excessive volume on a radio or video can be distracting as well. In addition, emergency vehicle sirens are difficult to hear when it is noisy inside the car.

Reaching for Items: Anything that takes eyes and hands off the road should not be done until safely pulled over. Unwrapping food, reaching for drinks, and even spills can cause unsafe driving. Additionally, many modern cars feature interactive screens for both vehicle information and entertainment. Interacting with these screens while driving is not safe. Adjusting controls while driving can also lead to an accident. Set everything before leaving.

Day Dreaming: Daydreaming or otherwise getting lost in thought can happen quickly, especially on long stretches of highway or when a driver knows a particular route well.

Personal Hygiene: Insurance company and police reports show that some drivers apply makeup, brush their hair, or even shave while driving. All drivers should avoid doing these dangerous actions.

Pets: Drivers can be distracted when a pet runs loose in the car or gets caught in their feet or lap. Motorists should keep pets secured.

Roadside Attractions: Signs, emergency vehicles, car accidents, and many other roadside attractions can take a driver’s attention away from the road ahead.

Fatigue: When a driver is fighting to keep their eyes open, they are dangerously distracted and need to stop driving immediately.

A car accident victim should consult a lawyer to begin the process of collecting compensation for injuries and damages, including lost wages, after a distracted driving collision.

What Laws Apply to Distracted Driving?

Delaware laws prohibit many of the leading causes of distracted driving. In Delaware, drivers cannot read or send text messages or use handheld devices, including cellphones, pagers, games, and laptops. Hands-free cellphone use is permitted. A driver with a learner’s permit cannot use a cellphone of any type, even a hands-free device. School bus drivers cannot use a cellphone of any type, even hands-free, while driving.

Delaware’s distracted driving laws do not apply to:

  • Law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, and operators of authorized emergency vehicles when performing their official duties.
  • Drivers who use a device to report an accident, road hazard, a crime, or a medical or hazardous materials emergency.
  • Drivers who are operating an unregistered farm tractor, truck, or other equipment.

It is important to note that drivers can touch their cellphones to activate or deactivate hands-free equipment.

What are Distracted Driving Penalties in Delaware?

Delaware uses primary enforcement of distracted driving laws. This means that authorities can pull drivers over if they see them violating state distracted driving laws, including using cellphones. Currently, Delaware fines for distracted driving include $100 for the first offense, and $200 to $300 for the second and future offenses. At present, distracted driving offenses in Delaware do not add points to a person’s driver’s license or end up on their driving record.

It is important to remember that many acts of distracted driving end up also being moving violations. While a person may not be cited for distracted driving, that does not mean they cannot be charged with another driving-related offense. After a distracted driving accident, a victim should consult with a lawyer for recourse.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Victims of Distracted Driving

When you are injured or a loved one is killed due to a distracted driver’s negligence, you have the right to be compensated for damages. A Wilmington car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow can help a victim of a distracted driving collision. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

rollover

What Should I Do After a Rollover Car Accident?

A rollover accident can be a traumatic experience. Rollover accidents occur less often than all other types of crashes, but when they happen, they are far more likely to be fatal. Rollover car accidents are more complex than regular crashes. Read on to find out more about rollover accidents and what to do if one happens.

What Typically Causes Rollover Accidents?

Certain types of vehicles are more prone to turning over than others. Vehicles with a high center of gravity and narrow track width are more unstable in maneuvers involving sharp turns. This instability increases the risk of tipping over if the vehicle begins to skid. Sport-utility vehicles and four-wheel drive pickup trucks are designed with a higher ground clearance for off-road driving, making them susceptible to rollover accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed is another cause of rollover accidents. Nearly 75 percent of all fatal rollovers occur in zones with speed limits of 55 miles per hour or higher. Excessive speeding is involved in 40 percent of all fatal rollover crashes.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a factor in almost half of all fatal rollover accidents. Alcohol can cause both anxiety and drowsiness, and it impairs a driver’s reaction time and affects their judgement, often giving a false impression of capability.

Distracted driving is at the root of many motor vehicle accidents, including rollover collisions. Since nearly 85 percent of all rollover-related fatalities involved only one vehicle performing a routine maneuver. The NHTSA concludes that driver behavior is a significant factor in rollover accidents. In the majority of cases, the vehicle that rolled over did not make contact with any other car.

Can Environmental Factors Cause Rollover Collisions?

There are other factors that can cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle, such as the following:

  • Defective Tires: A tire blow out can easily destabilize a vehicle traveling at high speeds.
  • Hazardous Weather Conditions: Snow and ice can result in slippery conditions that lead to a rollover accident.
  • Poorly Maintained Roads: Potholes, inadequately marked construction, and uneven road surfaces can take drivers by surprise and cause rollovers.
  • Manufacturing Recalls: Companies are required to warn consumers about known defects that can cause accidents.

What Injuries Occur from Rollover Accidents?

A rollover accident that is not fatal can cause severe and devastating injuries. Occupants of the vehicle are tossed as it rolls upside down and over. If occupants are not wearing seat belts, they can also be ejected from the vehicle. Broken glass and unsecured cargo can cause more injuries as the rollover occurs.

Injuries to the head, neck, and back are extremely common in rollover accidents. These include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, skull fractures, whip lash, and slipped or herniated discs. These types of injuries can require multiple surgeries, long hospital stays for healing, and extensive rehabilitation therapy afterwards. They may also leave victims with long-term health issues, like chronic pain or paralysis.

What Should I Do After a Rollover Collision?

After a rollover accident, it is possible that a victim may either be unconscious or unable to move. However, if a victim is able to, they should turn off the engine immediately and assess the situation. Check oneself and the passengers for injuries. Although one may feel okay, shock and adrenaline after an accident prevents many people from realizing they are injured. Call 9-1-1 immediately for help.

Determine the safest exit from the vehicle, and keep in mind that this is how many accident victims are injured. If the doors are jammed, one may have to lower or break a window to escape. Check for and clear away broken glass and debris before proceeding. After one is out of the car, help the passengers to exit the vehicle, and then move as far away from it as possible in case it is leaking fuel. Be sure to stay on the shoulder and away from the road and oncoming traffic. Many accident victims have been injured or killed in traffic after leaving their cars.

When speaking with the police, give them an honest account of what happened while stating only the facts of the matter. Never give a statement to an insurance company representative at the scene of an accident.

If a victim has been seriously injured, they may want to consult with an experienced lawyer who can investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and the best course of legal action. If another driver caused the accident, the victim may seek compensation for their injuries. If the rollover accident was caused by a manufacturing defect, the company that made the dangerous product should be held accountable.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Victims After Severe Rollover Collisions

A rollover accident often causes severe injuries. If you need help with compensation, speak to a Wilmington car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at 302-834-8484 or complete our online form for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

distracted driving

Avoiding Distracted Driving Saves Lives

The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately nine people are killed each day in the United States due to distracted driving. Anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road is a distraction, including smartphones, navigation systems, applying make-up, eating, drinking, conversing with passengers, and many other actions. Most distractions are avoidable if drivers are willing to take some safety precautions.

Do Not Use Your Phone While Driving

Approximately 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while driving, according to the NHTSA; using electronics distracts the driver, which can lead to a serious car accident. It is best to only use your cellphone for emergencies. Even hands-free devices can cause you to have a delayed reaction; therefore, if you must make a call, pull over safely to the side of the road or a rest stop.

While driving, put your phone on silent, do not disturb, or airplane mode so that you are not tempted to read and respond to text messages or phone calls. Sending or reading a text takes a driver’s attention off the road for about five seconds; during that time, those traveling at 55 miles per hour could travel the length of a football field, according to the NHTSA.

Ensure All Loose Objects Are Put Away or Secured Before Getting on the Road

Distracted driving statistics for 2020 reveal that reaching for an object increases the chances of getting in a car crash by eight times. Therefore, it is important to make sure all loose objects in the car are safely stowed away prior to getting on the road. If you must access something, pull over to a safe location, do not attempt to reach it while driving.

Make All Necessary Adjustments Before You Start Driving

Enter your destination into your GPS before you start driving so that you are not adjusting it while you are on the road. Also, make any necessary adjustments to your seat, mirrors, air conditioning, windows, and radio before heading out. Keep in mind that once you have been distracted, it only takes three seconds for a crash to occur.

Do Not Eat While Driving

Be sure to eat before or after your trip, it is important to not eat or drink while you are on the road. Spilling food, reaching for drinks, and other distracted behaviors can cause drivers to get in distracted driving accidents.

Inform Passengers of the Risk

Passengers can be extremely distracting to drivers; before getting on the road, inform them of the risks associated with distracted driving, and ask them to participate in making it a safe trip. Passengers should refrain from demanding the driver’s attention and avoid engaging in distracting behaviors, such as talking, pointing, or playing loud music.

Also, children should be secured before driving and only tended to once you have safely pulled over. Parents with children in the car are more likely to become involved in distracted driving accidents.

Milford Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents

If you were involved in a distracted driving accident, contact one of our Milford car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For more information, contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484 for a free consultation. With offices located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we advocate for injured car accident victims throughout the state, including Elsmere and Seaford.

pedestrians

Pedestrian Deaths Rise Again in Delaware

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

Pedestrian Deaths Increase in Delaware

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

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

What Delaware is Doing About Pedestrian Accidents

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

Driver and Pedestrian Safety Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

truck drivers

Truck Drivers Encounter New Distractions

Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers discuss new distractions for truck drivers. Among commercial truck drivers, distracted driving is the second leading cause of fatal crashes. Hands-free cell phone use is often touted to prevent drivers from becoming dangerously distracted behind the wheel, yet, it may also be interfering with safe driving. One recent study found a surprising and risky connection between hands-free phone use and other distracting behaviors.

According to research conducted by trucking technology company, Lytx, nearly one-quarter of drivers who engage in one risky driving behavior engage in other dangerous driving behaviors at the same time. That includes drivers who opted to use their phone hands-free. Lytx cautions that when hands-free chatting is combined with other habits that interrupt the driver’s attention and concentration, drivers increase their risk of a crash by 100 percent.

How Distractions Affect Driving

Drivers may not realize how quickly reaching down to grab something in the passenger seat or adjusting the radio can cause a crash. In as few as two or three seconds of a driver looking away from the road, they can veer out of their own lane into oncoming traffic.

Common driving distractions include:

  • Adjusting dashboard dials and controls
  • Eating and drinking
  • Looking behind the driver
  • Personal grooming
  • Smoking

When a truck driver attempts to do multiple activities at once, the risk of a distracted driving accident increases exponentially. Because distraction is not only about what the driver’s hands are doing, it is also about where their mind is; Lytx stresses that hands-free devices are not a perfect solution. Drivers who are concentrating on their hands-free phone call are not focused on the life and death decisions they make when operating a multi-ton vehicle. They are more likely to speed, tailgate, and make sudden stops while they are deep in conversation.

Preventing Distracted Driving Truck Accidents

Knowing how dangerous multi-tasking can be for truck drivers, owners and operators are taking steps to raise awareness about hands-free distractions and other hazards, which include:

  • Avoid eating or drinking behind the wheel
  • Hold off on communicating with dispatchers until stopped
  • Encourage calling or texting before driving

The unfortunate reality is, if you are the victim of a distracted driving truck accident, you are much more likely to be seriously hurt than if you were hit by a passenger vehicle. Commercial trucks bring more force into an accident. That force is absorbed by your body, increasing the likelihood of devastating head, neck, and spine injuries. To prevent distracted driving accidents, every truck driver needs to fully focus on operating their vehicle.

Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Victims Injured in Truck Accidents

If a distracted driving accident with a commercial truck left you with life-altering injuries, it is time to speak with a Delaware truck accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We work tirelessly to hold reckless drivers responsible and pursue the damages victims deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online today. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.

teen driving

Safe Summer Driving for Teens

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers provide safe summer driving tips for teens.For many parents, handing over the car keys to their teenage children leads to feelings of apprehension, especially those first few times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motor vehicle crashes are the main cause for teen deaths in this country; the teen fatality rates are three times more than for older drivers.

Once school lets out, the summer months present more driving opportunities, and teens must be experienced and prepared for unforeseen circumstances that can occur while they are driving. With teens driving to their summer jobs, weekends away, and driving at night, the roads can become quite dangerous for these young drivers. Though every new driver is required to pass written and road tests, extra support and practice can be helpful.

Parents Can Promote Safety

In order to instill safe driving habits in their teenage children, parents should be closely involved throughout the driver education process. This is key to decreasing the risk of accidents during the summer and throughout the year. Even though they are at the age when they relish their freedom, teenagers are still influenced by their parents and will absorb this useful knowledge.

First Steps

Each state has its own set of teenage driving laws. Many have a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program, which eases them into full driving privileges. They start with a learner stage, which entails supervised driving before their driver’s test; intermediate, where some unsupervised driving permitted; and full privileges with a standard driving license. Parents should familiarize themselves with these stages. GDL laws also include restrictions such as limited driving hours, number of passengers in the vehicle, and cell phone usage.

Parents should also consider the type of vehicle their teen will be driving. A large truck or powerful sports car may not be the right choice; something smaller and closer to the ground is more manageable. Drivers should also understand the basics of vehicle maintenance, such as checking tire pressure and fluids. Cars can overheat in high summer temperatures or break down, which can be problematic if the teenager is far from home.

Other Important Tips

The importance of wearing a seat belt cannot be stressed enough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers wearing seat belts reduce their chances of getting seriously injured in an auto crash by half. There are also new technologies that parents can use to monitor their teen’s driving behaviors, including driving speeds and locations.

Teenagers are faced with endless distractions when driving, especially in the summer. The necessity of keeping cell phones turned off, music turned down, and having other passengers stay calm should be reinforced. Reducing the amount of night driving is also important, since that is when a large percentage of teenage driving accidents occur.

Parents should also remember to strongly discourage driving under the influence and speeding, while encouraging a respect for other drivers who share the road. Naturally, parents should also set a good example by exhibiting these safe behaviors themselves.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Offer Experienced Legal Representation for Car Accident Victims

Parents need to be especially vigilant when their teenagers start to drive, and we can help if you or anyone in your family needs a qualified Wilmington car accident lawyer. Call Rhoades & Morrow at 302-427-9500 or complete an online form today for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.

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