Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1 person was killed in an alcohol-impaired vehicle crash every 50 minutes in the United States in 2016.  That’s about 29 people a day.  Drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by 1/3 in the last 30 years. However, even with campaigns such as Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”, drunk driving crashes still claim over 10,000 lives per year.  In 2016, 28% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States were the result alcohol impairment. 11064883376_6771bd6c4a_b

Alcohol impairs thinking, judgment, muscle coordination and reaction time. These abilities are crucial to operating a vehicle safely.  After only a few drinks you may feel that you are capable of safely driving.  However, even a small amount of alcohol can lead to impairments even slight ones that can endanger your life, your passengers, and anyone else on the road.

When transitioning into the New Year, many people like to make resolutions to start fresh and make smarter decisions to better their lives.  This New Year make the resolution that you will never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking any substance that will impair your ability to drive.

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The winter season has arrived which means the possibility of snowy and icy weather is always present in Pennsylvania. This snowy and icy weather makes travel on the roadways difficult and dangerous.  Motorists should avoid traveling during winter storms if possible.  However certain situations make it impossible to avoid driving in bad weather. If you must be on the road during a winter storm you should use caution while driving.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement each year.  Additionally, nearly 900 people are killed and nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet each year.pexels-photo-12875

Heavy snow can greatly restrict or virtually eliminate a driver’s visibility.  With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy which can lead drivers to take less caution then is needed to travel safely.  Driving in wintery conditions is hard enough when taking proper care.  Don’t add bad decision making and recklessness to the equation or there could be disastrous results for you or the other motorists on the road.

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157059-161244-300x200The beginning of August fast approaches, and that means that summer is ending for students across the country. With the start of school comes increased road traffic from school buses and teen drivers, as well as plenty of children on bicycles, and young pedestrians hurrying to get to and from school.

Safe driving can save lives. Slowing down and paying extra attention to your surroundings, especially when you’re near a school, can help avoid tragedies. The National Safety Council has published a few recommendations to help make sure that back to school season is safe for everyone.

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The odds of getting into a crash increase with the number of cars on the road and Memorial Day weekend is one of the most heavily traveled weekends of the year.  The American Automobile Association (AAA) projects 34.6 million people will drive 50 miles (80 km) or more from home during this holiday period, the most since 37.3 million in 2005 and an increase of 2.4 million people from last year.

National Safety Council put out their highest estimate of Memorial Day holiday accident fatalities since 2012. The estimated number of fatalities is 12% higher than the average number of deaths that occurred during the previous six Memorial Day holiday periods.  The Council also estimates around 47,000 people may be seriously injured on the roads during the three-day holiday period, beginning Friday, May 26 and ending on Monday, May 29.

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“Memorial Day should mark the start of summer – not the start of another deadly driving season,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Paying attention, slowing down and being courteous can ensure you and your fellow travelers make it to picnics, beaches and BBQs rather than emergency rooms.”

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With the rising popularity of cell phone use over the years the amount of car accidents caused by distracted drivers has also increased.  More and more drivers are having trouble keeping their eyes on the road and instead are choosing to look at their cell phones to text, use Facebook and snapchat, read and send emails, or do any number of distracting things on their phone.  Even though almost all of the States ban texting while driving, the National Safety Council estimated that as many as 10,000 Americans were killed because of distracted driving last year.

If you are travelling at 55mph and are looking at your phone for 5 seconds you will travel the length of a football field without looking at the road and the possible dangers that exist on it.  By texting and driving you are essentially driving blindfolded and putting your life and the lives of others in danger.

In 2016, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey and found that 40% of drivers stated they have read a text or an email while driving, and nearly 1/3 reported typing one.  There have been numerous public service campaigns, such as “It can wait,” to convince people to put down their cell phones while they are driving but the distracted driving epidemic continues to exist at an alarming level.

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Spring is here which brings warmer temperatures.  Warmer temperatures mean that motorcycle riding season is here in Pennsylvania.

PennDOT is urging riders of all ages and skill levels to prepare for the season by taking the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program training course. The training courses are available throughout Pennsylvania and are free to all Pennsylvania residents and active duty military with a Motorcycle Learner’s permit or motorcycle license.  The free courses are for novice through seasoned riders and are under the supervision of certified instructors.

“Keeping skills sharp and reinforcing the importance of safety through Pennsylvania’s free motorcycle safety classes help both novice and experienced riders enjoy a safe and enjoyable riding season,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Riders can practice and refine their techniques while honing the split-second decision making required to safely operate a motorcycle.”

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reckless driverReckless driving seems easy enough to spot, right? But, accidents still happen and it’s important to know the signs so that you can avoid getting in one. What seems like common sense can sometimes be overlooked on the road. Keep an eye out for these kinds of driving behaviors to ensure you and your passengers remain safe.

Ignoring Traffic Signs and Lights

If a car is continually running stop signs, blowing through red lights and simply ignoring the rules of the road, they are a hazard. Make sure you are obeying all traffic signs and lights, as well as staying away from those drivers who don’t, to prevent a potential accident.

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fourth of july trafficTravelers this holiday weekend will be out in full force. In fact, AAA is projecting that over 43 million people will be hitting the road, air, rails and waterways to celebrate Independence Day somewhere other than the comfort of their own home. That figure is the highest total of any previous year and exceeds this year’s Memorial Day total by 5 million.

Of the 43 million travelers, a whopping 36 million (84%) of them will be traveling on the roadways by car. That figure is a 1.2% increase over last year. AAA President and CEO, Marshall Doney, says that lower prices at the fuel pump are the reason for the increased traffic. “Spurred by the lowest gas prices since 2005, more people than ever are planning to travel this Independence Day weekend.”

And Doney is right. National gas prices, on average, are 47 cents lower than they were over 4th of July weekend in 2015.

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Motorcycle Safety MonthAfter signing an official proclamation, Governor Tom Wolf has named May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. In 2015 alone, there were 3,400 crashes in Pennsylvania involving motorcycles. That number rose from 2014, but fortunately, the number of fatalities declined with a decade low of 179.

“Staying aware while driving or riding, obeying speed limits and being responsible will help keep fatalities and injuries as low as possible,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards in a news release earlier this month.

Michael J. O’Connor & Associates wants to do their part to prevent motorcycle accidents. Follow these tips to help keep the roads safe:

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May is a beautiful time of the year. The temperatures are rising, the sun sets later in the day, and people can be seen out enjoying the good weather. This also means that for our motorcycle riders across PA, it’s time to break out the bikes and go riding.

Drivers in our state probably haven’t seen many motorcycles out on the roads since we had such a long, harsh winter. It can be easy to get used to not having to check for motorcycles which is one of the main reasons why May is motorcycle awareness month.

This is the time of year that everyone needs to be reminded to check twice before turning or merging in case there is a motorcycle. Riders are harder to spot than cars or trucks and sadly most motorcycle injuries are caused by other drivers.