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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Aug 29, 2014 - Pedestrian Accidents

WHAT DOES PENNSYLVANIA DO TO REDUCE PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Friday, August 29, 2014. Pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania resulted in the deaths of 122 residents 2011. At first glance, that number seems high but it actually represents a steady decline from the previous years. In fact, in 2001 there were 195 fatal pedestrian accidents. Pennsylvania has identified crosswalks as being a problem area for pedestrian accidents. For this reason, in 2001, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation began placing signs in high pedestrian traffic areas that are specifically developed to alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians. The so-called “5300” signs are bright yellow-green and slightly larger than a traffic cone. They have a heavy base and are intended to be placed in the median of the road. Research has shown that drivers operating in areas where the 5300 signs are in place show a 30 to 40 percent increase in motorist’s compliance with pedestrian laws. PennDOT believes the signs may have contributed to as much as a 10 percent drop in pedestrian fatalities when compared to the average over a five-year period. Additionally, Pennsylvania has partnered with the national Safe Routes to School program in an effort to promote safety, awareness and participation of children between kindergarten age through the eighth grade to walk or bike to and from school. The primary goal of SRTS is to get children to be more physically active each day. It is also designed to help communities improve safety […]

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Aug 22, 2014 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

DO PENNSYLVANIA LAWS HELP LIMIT COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENTS?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Friday, August 22, 2014. Chances are that you see commercial vehicles every time you take to the road. In Pennsylvania, medium and heavy trucks, buses and school buses operate daily throughout the Commonwealth. These are the package delivery trucks that deliver your online purchases, the chartered buses that shuttle gawking tourists through Amish country and even the bread trucks that deliver doughnuts to your favorite coffee shop. The sheer number of this commercial fleet and their frequency on the roads ensures that there are always a fair number of accidents caused by their use. The good news is that Pennsylvania has specific regulations that govern these vehicles and attempt to limit commercial vehicle accidents. Here are a few examples of those rules taken from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s “Subchapter F”: — Steering wheels of commercial vehicles must have a minimum outside diameter of 13 inches. — Commercial vehicles are prohibited from using radial ply tires on the same axle with tires having a bias or belted design. — Any commercial vehicle in which the driver’s view from the rearview mirror is obstructed must have two outside rearview mirrors, with one on each side of the vehicle. For vehicles under 10,001 pounds, the reflective surface of these mirrors must be 19.5 square inches. For vehicles over 10,000 pounds, the required reflective surface must be at least 50 square inches. — The fenders and flaps […]

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Aug 15, 2014 - Truck Accidents

BICYCLIST SURVIVES DRUNKEN ROUTE 313 TRUCK ACCIDENT

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Truck Accidents on Friday, August 15, 2014. In what could only be described as something close to a miracle, Pennsylvania State Police say that a bicyclist survived after being struck by a tractor-trailer operated by suspected drunk driver. The accident occurred in East Rock Hill Township, Pennsylvania, along Route 313. According to records of emergency police broadcasts, a call came in to police from a motorist at about 3:48 a.m. on Aug. 10. The caller was reporting finding a bicycle wheel on Route 313, which is also known as Dublin Pike, near North Fifth Street. Subsequent radio dispatches described how the bicyclist ended up off of the road after presumably being thrown over a guardrail. State police based at Dublin, Pennsylvania, responded to the scene of the truck accident and soon located a tractor-trailer situated roughly a mile away. Upon discovery of the big-rig, police found its driver whom they suspected was under the influence of alcohol. They arrested that defendant under charges of drinking and driving, although additional charges may be added pending the results of a toxicology test. Authorities have not yet released the identities of either party involved in the crash. However, it was revealed that first responders took the bicyclist to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania via ambulance. The victim’s medical status is described as critical. Commercial tractor-trailers are already dangerous enough due to their enormous weight and massive size. When […]

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Aug 8, 2014 - Premises Liability

PENNSYLVANIA HOSPITAL SHOOTING RAISES ISSUE OF PREMISES LIABILITY

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Premises Liability on Friday, August 8, 2014. Last July, a patient at a Pennsylvania hospital unexpectedly flew into a rant about guns being banned at the facility before opening fire on his caseworker and wounding his psychiatrist. During the exchange, the psychiatrist was able to access his own firearm and stopped the shooter by firing back and injuring him. The defendant was then taken to the ground and apprehended. Additional ammunition was found in the defendant’s possession. This incident follows another situation that happened at a Utah hospital back in May. In that case, a man who had been turned away from the emergency room earlier returned and brandished two handguns before being shot and wounded by visiting parole officers. Although the shootings made sensational headlines, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that hospital staff are some of the most likely workers to become victims of workplace violence. Security consultants throughout the medical industry also agree with that assessment. According to them, people working in emergency rooms or mental health units need to have a plan and be ready to react to a variety of threats. That’s because hospital shootings occur several times each year and typically involve so-called mercy killings or disgruntled family members attacking doctors using firearms. The basic concept behind premises liability law is simple. Customers have a right not to be injured when visiting grocery stores, shopping malls, retail stores and other similar […]

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Aug 1, 2014 - Car Accidents

DISTRACTED DRIVING CRACKDOWN AIMED AT REDUCING CAR ACCIDENTS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, August 1, 2014. The widespread appeal of handheld electronic devices such as mobile phones has led to a dramatic rise in distracted driving. A Pennsylvania organization known as Just Drive PA, has launched an effort in June to increase public awareness about the link between distracted driving and car accidents. Just Drive PA has collected data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and created a website to get its message out to the public. Perhaps one of the most surprising details about distracted driving is that some states only require that new drivers refrain from texting while behind the wheel. Pennsylvania has taken a more strict approach. Drivers of all ages are prohibited from texting while driving. However, it’s a mistake to think that texting while behind the wheel is the only form of distracted driving. The driver is considered distracted when their attention is taken away from driving. That means anytime that their eyes are diverted away from the road or their hands are removed from the wheel. Here are just a few examples of activities that constitute distracted driving: — eating, drinking or smoking — grooming, applying makeup — interacting with a pet that is moving around loose inside the car — reaching into the back seat for something — adjusting mirrors and headlights Of course, this list is not exhaustive and used mostly to demonstrate activities that could constitute distracted […]

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