Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pittsburgh Personal Injury Blog

Crashes caused by a driver who is extremely drunk

Sometimes, drivers are charged with DUI after being pulled over and barely failing a breathalyzer test. Even though a driver may have barely been over the legal limit, they were still violating the law and endangering innocent lives. However, some drivers decide to get behind the wheel when they are extremely intoxicated due to consuming large amounts of alcohol. These drivers are especially dangerous and have caused many fatal accidents over the years. Furthermore, it is important to point out that some states penalize drivers who are "super drunk."

Unfortunately, many people continue to make this very poor decision even though they know how dangerous it is to drive in such a state. A driver who is severely inebriated may have a very hard time staying in their lane or following basic traffic safety laws. They may slam into a bicyclist or pedestrian without even realizing it, or they could fail to stop at a sign because they were not even paying attention. Some people who are extremely drunk may drive very slow, and others may speed, which is especially dangerous.

Why drivers do not “see” motorists

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, motorcycle crashes in the state decreased by 7.5 percent between 2017 and 2016. Rather than illustrate a steady decline, however, a look at the department’s reported figures from 2013 to 2017 shows troubling fluctuations in not just the number of crashes involving motorcycles, but also the number of fatal injury crashes involving a motorcycle. At the time of compiling this article, the Pennsylvania D.O.T. had not yet published the statistics for 2018.

But, why is it that so many drivers fail to see motorcyclists on the road? A motorcyclist who has had way too many close calls with your four-wheeled road companions may believe drivers are merely negligent and therefore at fault. However, while scientists certainly agree that drivers are at fault in a lot of these instances, negligence is not the scientific explanation they propose. Instead, scientists credit a lapse in how the brain processes information, called saccadic masking.

Know your rights if you are injured in a confined space

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration under the United States Department of Labor sets out laws and regulations to help employees work safely.

Among the many OSHA concerns is keeping workers safe in confined spaces, emphasizing care when the going gets tight.

How many job-related traffic crashes involve alcohol?

People are involved in various types of accidents while working, such as those which involve the use of dangerous equipment. However, motor vehicle collisions are especially concerning, and these accidents happen for all sorts of reasons, from inexperience to working too many hours and falling asleep on the road. Moreover, some job-related traffic collisions are caused by alcohol consumption, and it is important for employees, employers and everyone on the road to be aware of how prevalent this is.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 0.15 percent of transportation workers who were involved in accidents during 2008 were found to have had alcohol in their system at the time of the accident. However, this figure represents a decrease in the number of transportation accidents which involve a worker who was under the influence of alcohol in comparison to 2008, when 0.25 percent of transportation workers were found to have alcohol in their system after a wreck. The BTS states that alcohol testing devices from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are used to test millions of transportation workers across the country.

Steps to take after being hit by a drunk driver

If you are in a car accident in Pennsylvania, it can be a stressful event. When the at-fault party is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is important that you follow certain steps right after the crash occurs. This helps ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

According to MADD, drunk drivers cause 28% of traffic deaths every year. The organization gives the state a score of 2.5 and discusses additional steps, such as interlock devices for all offenders, it can take to cut down on intoxicated drivers. If you are in an accident with someone who has been drinking, the driver can face criminal charges and be responsible to pay for your medical and damage expenses.

Misconceptions of machine safety

Work accidents occur every day, and in many cases, these employees are working with machinery. Though companies utilize machines to make work faster, easier and more efficient, the operation and maintenance of these machines often create dangers for those who must use them and can lead to on-the-job accidents.

In an effort to reduce such instances, there are regulations and rules in place to enhance safety. However, for a few reasons, they are not always as affective as possible. Check out a few of the biggest misconceptions about machine safety.

Personal challenges and drunk driving

There are a number of reasons why some drivers get behind the wheel even though they are under the influence of alcohol. For example, some may forget that they are intoxicated, or they may not realize that their blood alcohol content level has exceeded the amount that is legally acceptable. Some drivers may operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol because they are struggling with alcohol addiction, and others may have personal problems they are going through which have resulted in an unusual amount of alcohol consumption.

There are a number of different personal challenges that people face which lead to increased alcohol consumption and in some cases, drunk driving. For example, someone may be going through a difficult divorce, or they could be facing problems at their place of work or in college. Moreover, difficulties related to raising children can be challenging and some people may also be trying to work through a serious health problem or another stressor in their life.

Flying debris and large truck crashes

A lot of large truck wrecks happen because of high speeds, fatigue or the use of intoxicating substances. These are certainly not the only reasons why collisions involving large trucks take place, however. For example, a large truck may be hauling materials that are not secured properly, which can cause a large truck driver or someone riding in another vehicle to become hurt or lose control of their vehicle. When these types of accidents occur, those who fail to secure materials should be held accountable.

There are many different types of debris that can fall off of a truck and lead to an accident. A large truck may be carrying gravel that is not contained properly, and rocks could go flying on the road. This could cause a rock to slam into the windshield of a vehicle heading in the opposite direction, startling the driver and prompting them to lose control of their vehicle. Or, large objects may fall off of the back of a truck, right into the path of traffic.

East Whitehead accident kills 2, puts 3 in hospital

The large trucks and commercial vehicles that people see driving in and around Pittsburgh may present several unique risks to others drivers. So unique, in fact, that a particular subsection of liability law has been created to deal primarily with the issues they present. When a large truck and a standard vehicle collide, it may not be difficult for one to imagine which vehicle (and which occupants) will get the worst of it. For this reason, truck drivers are expected to be especially careful in their operation of their vehicles. 

If and when they are not, the results can be catastrophic. This fact was evidenced in a recent collision between an SUV and a dump truck in East Whiteland. Accident investigators are still trying to determine how the dump truck came to rest atop the SUV. Yet as one can imagine, the dump truck landing on the SUV caused significant damage to the latter vehicle, so much so that its occupants could only be removed after rescuers cut off its passenger door and roof. 

How many firetruck crashes happen per year?

If you drive a firetruck, you may worry about any number of on the job hazards. Responding to fires can be dangerous for many reasons, including the risk of a traffic accident. These crashes may occur because another driver fails to obey the rules of the road, whether they drive through a stop sign or operate a vehicle while drunk. Moreover, firetruck crashes can also leave people riding in other vehicles hurt and killed. Sadly, firetruck accidents have claimed many lives in recent years.

According to a piece that appeared on the US National Library of Medicine’s website, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that more than 31,000 firetruck accidents happened between 2000 and 2009. Not only are these accidents incredibly dangerous for those riding in smaller vehicles, but those riding in firetrucks may be hurt or killed as well. During this time period, 49 resulted in someone passing away while riding in a firetruck.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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