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

Pittsburgh Personal Injury Blog

Pennsylvania tanker truck fire leads to injuries, road repairs

An accident involving a tanker truck in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania, last Thursday sent two people to the hospital with critical injuries and required extensive repairs to an Interstate 95 off-ramp after the vehicle caught on fire.

It is not clear what the tanker was hauling or whether the cargo consisted of hazardous materials. The cause of the collision is still under investigation, but authorities report that the tanker crashed late Thursday morning on the off-ramp linking northbound I-95 to Woodhaven Road and caught fire. Firefighters required hundreds of extra feet of hose, as well as a water tanker, to fight the blaze as there were no fire hydrants in the immediate vicinity of the interstate exit. Establishing a water supply to the scene required a delay of over an hour, during which time the fire spread to a nearby wooded area. 

Drunk driving and poor road conditions

Those who get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol place lives in danger regardless of the time of year. However, on certain occasions, it may become even more risky for someone to drive drunk. For example, when road conditions have deteriorated due to bad weather, a drunk driver may have an even higher chance of losing control of their vehicle and causing a collision. In the winter months, this is especially true in some parts of the country which see a great deal of snowfall, ice and other weather hazards.

When someone drives drunk, they may go too fast for the road conditions. For example, if ice has covered the roadway, they may disregard common sense and drive as if the roads are ice-free. Or, they might fail to realize a snow drift. Some people may even get behind the wheel when there is very little visibility and it is snowing so heavily that driving is not a good idea altogether. Essentially, alcohol and bad weather are a terrible combination and these risk factors have led to a lot of fatal accidents over the years.

Signs your Uber driver could cause an accident

Uber has made headlines for testing a new autonomous vehicle. Pennsylvania recently allowed these self-driving vehicles to resume testing on state roadways.

While safety concerns exist for such vehicles, passengers still need to watch out for accidents caused by Uber drivers. Most Uber motorists are extremely cautious, but you need to watch out for the signs your driver could cause an accident. There are certain behaviors no one behind the wheel should ever exhibit. If you notice the following in your Uber driver, then you need to get out the car right away before an accident occurs

Alcoholism and auto accidents

Whether someone gets in their car after having a few drinks while celebrating with their friends or accidentally drinking too much at a family function, there are many reasons why reckless drivers find themselves over the legal limit while behind the wheel. However, some people drink far more often than others, such as those who struggle with alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, these people may be even more likely to drive drunk for a variety of reasons, which we will explore in this post.

People develop drinking problems for different reasons, whether they have recently gone through a hard time in life (such as a difficult divorce) or they have been drinking too much since college. Sadly, people who struggle with alcohol addiction may drive drunk because they drink frequently and have to take care of various responsibilities in life, such as driving to work, running errands or taking a child to school. Someone who is an alcoholic may even drive drunk because they need to go to the party store to pick up more alcoholic beverages.

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.

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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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