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The Delaware State Police urge drivers to pay attention to school bus warnings. According to a recent survey of Delaware public school bus drivers, motorists in this state frequently drive past school buses illegally, putting children’s lives at risk. Ignoring school bus warnings can result in fines, driver’s license suspension, and imprisonment. Additionally, those who cause injury to children or other pedestrians may be liable for damages in personal injury lawsuits.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that students are approximately 70 times more likely to get to school safely by school bus than by any other vehicle. Although school buses are a safer mode of transportation than automobiles, children are still at risk when they are waiting at the bus stop, entering or exiting the school bus, and crossing the street. Most children who are injured in school bus-related crashes are not on the bus; they are hit by drivers who ignore school bus warnings and illegally drive past while students are getting on and off the bus.
In Delaware, if a school bus flashes its lights and extends its stop arm, drivers traveling in the same direction must stop and wait for the school bus to move or deactivate the stop lights before proceeding. Drivers traveling in the opposite direction of the bus must also stop unless they are across four or more lanes of traffic.
In 2018, a survey of Delaware public school bus drivers revealed that many drivers continue to flout the law despite safety concerns and existing penalties. Over the course of only one day, the bus drivers reported 1,108 illegal passes while having their lights flashing and stop arms extended. Parents in Delaware continue to express concern over their children’s safety due to such frequent violations and the potentially catastrophic consequences.
School bus accidents are often preventable. The Delaware State Police department recommends that drivers:
If your child was injured in a school bus accident, contact a Wilmington personal injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We understand how stressful it can be when motorists do not follow the driving laws. We will fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. With offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state, including those in Elsmere and Seaford. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 302-427-9500.
Warm weather means more cyclists are on the road, and unfortunately, it also means an increase in the number of accidents sending cyclists to the emergency room. The Beebe Healthcare’s Emergency Department reports treating more than twice the number of trauma cases involving cyclists so far this year than it did over the same period in 2018. The number of cyclists suffering significant trauma has also increased. Some of these injuries required transfer to a Level One trauma center, which included traumatic brain injury, organ lacerations, and bone fractures. While many cycling accidents result from collisions with motor vehicles, that is not true of all bike crashes.
Approximately 900 people lose their lives each year in bicycle crashes and 580,000 head to the emergency room. The largest number of fatalities occur in children and adolescents aged nine to 15, with boys more likely to be fatally injured in a bike accident than girls. The largest number of bike crashes occur in the summer, in the late afternoon or early evening. The most common cause of death, at 60 percent, is head injury, generally after colliding with a car. Head injuries are also the biggest cause of long-term disability in injured cyclists.
Many cyclists may be partly or completely at-fault for the accident, as they might perform stunts or speed. Crashes may also cause genital or rectal injuries in the cyclist. Landing on the handlebars may result in substantial abdominal injuries. Wearing a bike helmet may reduce head injuries by as much as 85 percent and facial injuries by 65 percent. Many cyclists ride off-road bikes, and while they are less likely to collide with a motor vehicle, mountain bike riders have their own share of injuries. Riding too fast results in injuries and deaths, as does hitting an obstacle on the trails and losing control of the mountain bike.
Following some basic safety types can help prevent cyclists from ending up in the emergency room. These include:
It is also critical that cyclists always pay attention to their surroundings and avoid any types of distractions.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a bicycle accident caused by a motor vehicle, you need the services of the Wilmington personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. We work tirelessly to hold 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.
Drivers tend to take their headlights for granted. If the lights work, they concentrate on other components, such as the amount of gas in the tank or the squeak they hear from the brakes. Yet, headlights are a critical safety feature in vehicles and are starting to get more press. Unfortunately, American headlight technology remains woefully behind headlight advancements helping people in most of the developed world.
Every driver has experienced the problem of not having adequate light while traveling on a winding road or cruising in bad weather, especially after dusk when most crashes occur. The issue is often that the headlights are not properly aimed at objects on the roadway. Instead, they may be too high, too low, or off to the side. Even a subtle headlight misalignment can lead a driver to see something when it is too late. Yet, even when they are installed properly, headlights might not provide enough protection. For instance, a truck with a heavy load can cause the headlights to aim too high despite being in the right place.
One method to make headlights safer is with adaptive driving beam (ADBs) lights and technology. Already used in vehicles around the globe, ADB lights consist of LED lights, which offer brightness without glare. Because they adapt to any circumstance, they effortlessly switch to and from high beams. They can also adjust to intuitively land on obstacles or items, not to mention away from other drivers’ eyes.
In practice, ADB lights quickly detect when something should be more illuminated. Best of all, LED lights are likely to last for years, taking away worries regarding the cost of light replacements. Plus, adding lasers to ADB light beams could improve their range substantially. However, American regulations necessitate that all vehicles have low-beam and high-beam systems that work independently of one another. Consequently, ADB lights are prohibited despite having proponents.
Although various vehicle-related entities agree that headlights are a concern, organizations have been slow to promote new regulations. To be sure, some manufacturers offer high-beam assist and curve-adaptive lights on certain models. Still, testing on a variety of 2019 vehicle models indicated that only 14 percent offered good headlight results. This means that the United States may be years away from making the roads safer.
If you were the victim of a collision caused in part or entirely by malfunctioning or inadequate headlights, the Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow welcome the chance to discuss your case, rights, and options. Call our team at 302-427-9500 or complete an online form to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
On Wednesday, July 17th, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford held its annual Legislative Luncheon. In addition, to members of the Chamber, state and local representatives attended the luncheon. Various legislative actions that took place in the recently completed legislative session were discussed as well as issues related to the growth of the City of Milford. During the luncheon it was announced that Steve Morrow would be serving on the Chamber’s newly created Legislative Affairs Committee. Steve is pictured with his father, Douglas Morrow, Sr, who serves as a councilman for the City of Milford’s third ward.
Despite being outlawed in many areas, the use of fireworks results in numerous deaths and more than 10,000 injuries every year. Most of these accidents are due to improper use or product malfunction. Gathering to watch a firework display has become an Independence Day tradition all over the United States. For many people, putting on a backyard sideshow of sparklers, firecrackers, and bottle rockets is an integral part of their Fourth of July celebrations.
Endearing as the tradition may be, fire marshals throughout the country have warned of the dangers associated with amateur use of fireworks, and other officials have reminded revelers that these activities may break the law. Possession, sale, or use of most types of fireworks may result in fines or other penalties in Delaware.
Recently, a bill was passed in Delaware that allowed for the possession, sale, and use of a limited number of fireworks, such as sparklers and other non-explosive, non-airborne novelty items. However, the sale of such items is still restricted to those over the age of 18, and their use is only permitted on July 4 and December 31 each year. Due to the bill’s restrictions, these legal fireworks will only be available in stores within the 30 days leading up to either holiday.
Beyond personal safety, there are other risks involved. Use of fireworks has been blamed for starting destructive fires, costing communities millions of dollars in damage to outdoor areas, buildings, and vehicles. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that most of these fires happen on July 4 each year. For safety’s sake, it is best to enjoy fireworks from a distance. Professional firework displays sponsored by local community organizations and staged by trained pyrotechnics experts are the safest way for the public to experience fireworks.
The prevalence of fireworks has minimized their danger in some people’s minds. Unfortunately, the risks are very real. Sparklers, which are mostly handled by children, burn as hot as 2,000 degrees and cause innumerable unreported burns every year. Bottle rockets and fire crackers use fuses that present the illusion that they can be operated at a safe distance, but the rockets can easily misfire. A Roman candle, which produces fire sparks from a canister held at arm’s length, can result in severe burns or the loss of a finger or hand. Explosive fireworks, which produce a recognizable boom that can be heard for miles, are manufactured illegally and without oversight. Some of the most severe firework injuries involved these devices.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving fireworks, the New Castle personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
For many families, summertime means a trip to a water park. While most people associate water parks with fun and relaxation, personal injury lawyers know they can also become accident sites. It is not difficult to imagine all the ways that a patron could get hurt or even killed in a water park environment. Some of the more common reasons for injuries sustained at water parks include slip and falls on wet surfaces, falls from water slide stairways and other heights, cuts from poorly maintained equipment, bacterial infections from improperly sanitized water, and drowning in pools.
These events can cause a host of physical issues, such as broken bones, muscle sprains and strains, lacerations, amputations, concussions, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, intestinal distress, and death. However, not all injuries may be the water park owner’s fault. That is why it is important to follow specific guidelines after getting hurt at a water park.
People who are injured at water parks should seek medical treatment immediately, if necessary. They should also carefully document everything that happened leading up to and after the incident. Names and phone numbers of witnesses should be collected. Images of the area where the injury occurred should be taken as close to the time of the injury as possible. Writing down this information is critical because people’s memories tend to fade quickly.
In addition to comprehensively documenting the event, any person injured at a water park should contact a personal injury lawyer. Attorneys can help water park injury victims file a lawsuit. For instance, if a patron slipped and fell because he chose not to follow posted safety rules, the owner might not be responsible. On the other hand, if a child nearly drowned because an untrained lifeguard was on duty, the child’s parents could bring suit based on premises liability. Each water park injury case is a unique situation, which is why obtaining advice from a lawyer is recommended before pursuing legal action.
If a victim of a water park accident wins a lawsuit, the court may award damages to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Often, cases are settled to avoid the high cost of a trial, especially if the injury is high-profile and could damage the reputation of the water park.
If you suffered harm due to the negligence of another party, call the Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow to set up a free initial consultation. We will hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at 302-834-8484 or fill out an online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calls summer one of the most dangerous times of the year on the nation’s roads because of the rise in traffic accidents. That rise in accidents includes those involving tractor trailers and other large trucks. Motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks are more likely to result in devastating injuries to all involved. With some of the largest tractor trailers weighing upwards of 30,000 pounds, the sheer impact of a collision with a vehicle this size can be catastrophic.
The following are common causes of summer truck accidents:
Any individual on the receiving end of a truck accident may end up with serious, life-threatening injuries. At Rhoades & Morrow, our Delaware truck accident lawyers help you move forward to physical, emotional, and financial recovery. We will fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today. With locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including those from Elsmere and Seaford.
There are certain areas on all vehicles where drivers cannot see the cars that surround them. These areas are called blind spots. While automakers are developing warning systems to alert drivers of the presence of objects in blind spots, the technology has not yet been perfected. Each year, nearly 840,000 accidents in the United States are caused by blind spots, causing about 300 deaths per year.
Truck drivers primarily rely on their oversized rearview mirrors to see as much traffic around them as possible. They carefully monitor the presence of vehicles in their vicinity, especially when they are maneuvering lane changes, accelerating, or decelerating.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration established a code setting minimum requirements for vehicle rear view mirrors. It requires two mirrors, one on each side of the vehicle located on the outside to reflect traffic around the truck. The code was recently revised to require video monitoring technology that displays the back of the vehicle. The mandated technology was introduced over time and must now be installed in new vehicles. The change is expected to minimize the risk of death and injury from backing accidents.
Blind spots on the sides of a truck are more problematic when driving. Also referred to as no zones, there are significant areas located along both sides of the truck where mirrors cannot detect vehicles. Drivers should be mindful of the truck’s blind spots and avoid them when possible. If a driver chooses to remain in a truck’s blind spot for an extended period and ends up colliding with the truck, they could be found partially responsible for the accident.
Due to the high risk of death or serious injury from truck accidents, truck drivers are held to a high standard of care. Failure to exercise reasonable care to avoid harm to others is illegal. The standard for establishing negligence involves proving that the driver had a duty, breached that duty, caused an injury, and resulted in damages. Often when a truck driver causes an accident, their employer can be held liable under a theory of vicarious liability. In this case, the accident must have been caused by a negligent act by the driver while driving for the employer’s interests.
Employers can also be held directly liable if they know or should have known that their employee should not have been driving. Certain examples include a driver having poor vision or a drinking problem.
If you or someone you know was involved in a truck accident, the Delaware truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can analyze your case and gather important details and evidence surrounding the accident. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including Elsmere and Seaford.