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

Pittsburgh Personal Injury Blog

Staying safe on a motorcycle, despite the risks

You know that riding a motorcycle comes with several inherent risks. You can get into an accident in any vehicle, of course -- all it takes is one mistake by another driver -- but the odds of injury are far higher on a motorcycle.

So, can you do anything to stay safe and protect yourself, especially since the actions of other drivers are out of your control? You certainly can. It's important to:

  • Become a defensive driver. Watch other cars, anticipate mistakes, and drive in a way that prioritizes safety.
  • Wear the right motorcycling gear. This starts with a highly-rated motorcycle helmet, but you also want to consider bright colors and reflective vests to make yourself more visible.
  • Understand the traffic laws and follow them to the letter. Do not take risks. Try to limit your own mistakes. You cannot control others, but you do have control over how you drive.
  • Make sure that your top goal, as a motorcyclist, is just to stay safe. This mindset can go a long way.
  • Check your bike before every ride to make sure that it is in optimal working condition.
  • Understand the specific risks you face, such as drivers not seeing you and turning in front of you.
  • Don't ride if you're not in the perfect mental state to do so. For instance, if you have been drinking or if you are feeling exhausted, stay off of your bike.

If you are going to Louisiana, watch for distracted drivers

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but everyone should be on the alert for distracted drivers no matter what month it is.

While distracted driving is an ongoing problem all across the U.S., it is more of an issue in some states than in others: Louisiana, for example.

Implementing a safe driving plan may increase focus

Driving in Pennsylvania can be dreadful depending on the traffic conditions, the weather or unexpected environmental hazards that distract from a person's focus and visibility. People who do not put adequate effort toward focusing on what they are doing while they are driving, are at a much higher risk of being involved in a serious car accident that could alter their life or that of someone else. 

While the majority of people are familiar with statistics discussing the dangers of reckless behavior like speeding or texting while driving, many people still participate in such behaviors at some point or another. Nationwide Insurance suggests that people consider implementing a safe driving plan. This personal commitment to driving safely can maintain some general practices, but fluctuate in terms of detail each time a person drives.

More sleepy truck drivers soon to hit the roads

When driving in Pennsylvania, a driver’s worst nightmare is crossing paths with a sleepy truck driver. Truckers often drive for long hours on monotonous routes. Not surprisingly, many of them may nod off or fall asleep. When this happens, they may plow into a parked car at a red light or into oncoming traffic on a rural highway.

To combat this growing problem and provide better work conditions, the Obama administration put laws in place to restrict a truck driver’s consecutive hours behind the wheel. NPR reported in 2017 that truckers protested the use of electronic logging devices recommended to track this. These devices replaced log books that formerly allowed truckers to manually enter sleep and travel hours.

University study raises questions on seatbelt effectiveness

Almost every state has laws requiring the use of seatbelts for both drivers and passengers.

However, a study undertaken by university researchers looks at the effectiveness of primary and secondary enforcement seat belt laws in terms of helping to prevent traffic fatalities.

Educating people through the use of a DUI simulator

Among one of the most preventable reasons that people get into car accidents in Pennsylvania is their decision to drive while drunk. Unfortunately, this decision is made daily by people all over the nation and one that both lawmakers and authorities have tried relentlessly to prevent. What makes it doubly tragic is when people are injured or killed in a senseless accident that could have been completely prevented with a bit of thought. 

The issue of driving under the influence is not limited to adults only. In fact, young adults all over the nation are experiencing the temptation to drive after having partied with their friends and consuming alcohol. While attempts to educate and inform young adults about the dangers of driving while drunk, the problem continues and is widespread across all of the states.

How does drinking affect your ability to drive safely?

When you get into your vehicle, turn the ignition and prepare to drive, every possible distraction should be eliminated and your full focus should be on driving safely. Participating in risky behaviors while you are operating a vehicle can put you at a significantly higher chance of being involved in an accident that could have been preventable with more cautious behavior. One distraction, and one that can get you in serious legal trouble in Pennsylvania is the decision to drive while you are drunk. 

One fact that many people wrongfully discount is just how little alcohol consumption it takes for their body to become compromised. Your understanding of the direct correlation between your blood alcohol content and the way you are able to react while driving can help to illustrate just how dangerous drinking and driving is. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at only a .02 percent blood alcohol content level, your judgment can be impaired enough to delay your ability to make important decisions in an appropriate period of time. 

Protecting your body against common motorcycle injuries

There are many different reasons why you may choose to ride your motorcycle in Pennsylvania. Perhaps you are a thrill seeker who enjoys the adrenaline rush of cruising the open road. Maybe you have found that riding a motorcycle is the most efficient form of transportation for your lifestyle. You may even own a bike simply because you appreciate the timelessness of owning a classic motorbike. At Caroselli Beachler & Coleman we have been able to assist many victims of life-altering motorcycle accidents. 

Protecting yourself against the risks of riding a motorcycle is critical to your ability to enjoy a ride that is both memorable and safe. Motorcycle gear has been designed to provide your body with optimal protection in case you are involved in an accident. Wearing the proper safety gear can help reduce your chances of experiencing debilitating injuries like traumatic brain injuries. High-quality gear can also reduce the severity of road rash. 

Drive safe this football season

Football season in Pennsylvania is very popular, and watching the game or tailgating often includes drinking alcohol. For those watching numerous games, this can result in hours of drinking. Unfortunately, some choose to get behind the wheel after drinking too much, and this puts other people on the road in danger. Because drunk driving accidents tend to rise during this time, it is important to remember how alcohol affects driving and to always assign a designated driver.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 30 people each day are the victims of fatal accidents due to drunk driving, and operating a vehicle after drinking at a game increases the chances of a crash. It is illegal for anyone to drive if they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, but even one drink can begin to affect one's ability to drive. Some of the early effects of alcohol include a lapse in judgment, less alertness, difficulty focusing eyes and reduced coordination. At illegal limits, more pronounced effects include a lowered ability to brake in a timely manner, loss of speed control and difficulty controlling the vehicle.

What are hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers?

There has likely been a time when you, while driving around Pittsburgh, have begun to feel slightly drowsy. In such an event, you know what you need to do: get off the road as soon as possible and ensure that you are well-rested before getting behind the wheel again. Should you fall asleep at the wheel, you become an extreme danger to not yourself, but also those around you. If you can cause severe damage while asleep in your vehicle, imagine how much more extensive it might be if a truck driver dozed off while driving. 

In order to prevent truck drivers from becoming fatigued while on the job, federal regulations have been established that dictate how long they can be behind the wheel throughout the course of a single work week. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the hours-of-service standards for truck drivers are as follows: 

  • A driver can only drive a maximum of 11 hours after first having taken 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • A driver cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after a period of 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • A driver cannot drive for more than eight consecutive hours without taking a break of at least 30 minutes
  • A driver cannot drive for than 60 hours during a 7-day work week (70 hours during an 8-day work week)
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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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Phone: 412-567-1232
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