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Miner Martin & Hahn, PLC
1819 Virginia Avenue
Harrisonburg, VA 22802

Phone: 540-208-1501
Fax: 540-433-1104
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Phone: 540-208-1510
Fax: 540-433-1104
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Harrisonburg Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

Truck accident facts

Large truck accidents in Virginia can often be fatal for the occupants of other vehicles that are involved. According to 2012 data that was analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 73 percent of the fatalities in large truck accidents were people in other cars. Ten percent of the fatalities were pedestrians or bicyclists, and the remainder of the fatalities were occupants of the trucks.

The NHTSA data showed that there were 3,921 large truck accident fatalities in 2012. During the same time period, approximately 104,000 people were injured in an accident involving a large truck. The numbers represented a 4 percent increase in truck accident fatalities and an 18 percent increase in truck accident injuries from 2011.

The dangers of post-traumatic stress after a car accident

Individuals in Virginia who have been in a car accident can sometimes suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder along with any physical injuries. While it is normal to think about an accident afterward and to have some anxiety, if thoughts become intrusive and emotions about the accident begin to interfere with an individual's life, the victim may wish to seek additional help.

There are some normal responses to the stress of surviving a car accident. These include anger, nervousness, disbelief and shock. These feelings tend to dissipate over time. When the feelings do not dissipate or become stronger, the individual might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

V2V technology may help reduce motorcycle accidents

Virginia motorcyclists may benefit from advancements in vehicle-to-vehicle technology approved by the Department of Transportation for use with light vehicles such as cars, SUVs and pickup trucks. V2V technology involves the transfer of basic safety data, including speed and distance, from nearby vehicles that can be used to alert drivers of potential driving hazards, thus preventing possible accidents. It should be noted that the technology does not take control of vehicles or capture personal information.

If the technology is applied to motorcycles, it could serve as a way to alert car and truck drivers that a motorcycle is nearby. This is significant since a leading cause of motorcycle accidents is the fact that drivers failed to see the motorcycle in time to avoid a collision. Should V2V technology eventually be combined with on-board sensors, the result could be greater protection for motorcycle drivers and any passengers who may be on the motorcycle, possibly significantly reducing motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities.

Effectively treating the symptoms of whiplash

Virginia residents may be unaware of the complications surrounding a whiplash injury. Often, symptoms of whiplash may not show up for several hours after an accident and can include headache, nausea, difficulty swallowing, tightness or stiffness in the neck, back pain, difficulty concentrating and memory problems.

The most common source of whiplash is a motor vehicle accident; the injury happens whenever a sudden jolt back and forth impacts the neck area, but it can affect the back as well. In some cases, the recovery time for this type of injury can be two or three weeks; in more severe cases, symptoms can last for months or even years.

Drunk driving accidents in Virginia

Impaired drivers are responsible for thousands of deaths and injuries every year in major motor vehicle accidents. Despite educational campaigns and stiff potential penalties, people still drive while they are intoxicated. Drunk driving is a very serious public health concern, both in Virginia and across the country.

Studies have repeatedly revealed the dangers of drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drunk drivers were responsible for the deaths of 10,322 people in traffic collisions in 2012. Statistics from crashes reveal that a person dies every 51 minutes in a drunk driving accident with almost 30 people dying every day.

An overview of skull fractures

Virginia residents may not be aware about the most common types, symptoms and causes of skull fractures. Typical symptoms of a serious skull fracture include pain at the site of the trauma, swelling of the injured area, bruising around the injured area, redness or a warm sensation at the site and bleeding from the wound or near it. In some cases, bleeding can also occur in the ear, nose and eye areas. Some typical symptoms that may indicate a skull fracture are nausea, fainting, confusion, a stiff neck, imbalance, blurry vision, vomiting, headache and pupils that are non-reactive to light.

The four basic types of skull fractures include open, closed, basal and depressed. Further classification can be linear, in which the fracture occurs in a straight line, comminuted, in which it is broken into three or more sections and greenstick, in which the fracture is incomplete.

Advantages of roundabouts for Virginia drivers

Each type of Virginia intersection has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation, but for safety and speed concerns, a roundabout can be an ideal option. The design of a roundabout requires all drivers entering to ensure that the path is clear before merging. This gives right-of-way to drivers who are already in the roundabout and allows drivers to continue smoothly until they reach their desired exits.

Because of the roundabout design, these intersections have much fewer accidents than those with traffic signals or a two-way stop. Statistically, roundabout intersections have 82 percent fewer severe accidents than two-way stop intersections and 78 percent fewer than signaled intersections. The only other type of intersection with comparable safety statistics is the all-way stop intersection, which can slow the flow of traffic.

Virginia drivers must stop distracted driving, authorities say

For Virginia drivers, the convenience of modern technology has exponentially increased the threats posed by those who engage in distracted driving. Especially when these drivers are young and inexperienced, adding a smart phone to the steering wheel is a recipe for disaster.

Not all distracted driving cases are new. For decades, accidents have occurred when a driver looked away from the road to change the radio station or to switch cassettes. As vehicle technology has advanced, drivers have had increased numbers of gadgets to draw away their attention from the roadways. Even technology that is meant to make driving easier, like navigational systems, has played a part in distracted driving accidents. As more and more drivers take advantage of these new devices, it appears that they are paying less attention to the road and other drivers.

School bus crash leaves 3 dead, 23 injured

Virginia parents may be shocked to learn that three people were killed and 23 people were injured when two Tennessee school buses collided with each other on Dec. 2. The report stated that two of the three people killed were children, and the third was an adult aide for one of the schools.

The bus crash reportedly occurred on a highway in Knoxville around 3 p.m. No other information regarding how the incident occurred was available, though it was noted that a light rain had been falling and that there had been some fog and mist that day. One of the buses reportedly landed on its side following the collision. It was also determined that one of the buses was occupied by students in kindergarten through second grade, while the second bus was occupied by children in third through fifth grade.

Pedestrian safety

Virginia residents may be interested to know some facts related to pedestrian injuries and deaths. Though 76,000 pedestrians were injured in 2012, only 12 percent of pedestrian injuries were caused from vehicle collisions. Most injuries occur because of tripping and falling over cracks, uneven surfaces, rocks or holes in the walkway.

The majority of the 4,743 pedestrians killed in 2012 were male, and most of the accidents occurred in urban areas. A third of pedestrian fatalities involved a pedestrian under the influence of alcohol. The average age of pedestrians killed in 2012 was 46.