Resources

Jun 30, 2020 - Truck Accidents

How Long Can Semi-Truck Drivers Drive?

The “hours of service” regulations for semi-truck drivers in Bethlehem and elsewhere, established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), are designed to keep fatigued drivers off the public roadways. These regulations place limits on when and how long these drivers can drive, helping to ensure that they stay awake and alert while driving and to help reduce the possibility of driver fatigue. If you’ve been injured in a crash involving a truck driver who may have been on the road too long, contact our Bethlehem truck accident attorney today. The Basic Hours of Service Rules The hours of service regulations for property-carrying drivers (the rules for passenger-carrying drivers are somewhat different) can be summarized as follows: 11-Hour Driving Limit: A driver may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. 14-Hour Limit: A driver may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period. Rest Breaks: A driver may drive only if eight hours or less have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. 60-70 Hour Limit: A driver may not drive after 60-70 hours on duty in 7-8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7-8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. Who Must Comply With the Hours of Service Rules? The hours of service regulations, or rules, only apply to […]

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Jun 23, 2020 - Truck Accidents

Can a Semi-Truck Hydroplane?

Whether it occurs in Easton or elsewhere in the state, the answer is yes, it can. You’d think that a vehicle with 18 wheels would be able to maintain contact with a road surface, especially when fully-loaded, yet hydroplaning is a very real danger, even for semi-trucks. According to Miriam-Webster, the definition of hydroplaning is “to skid on a wet surface (such as pavement) because a film of water on the surface causes the tires to lose contact with it.”  In other words, hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle, even a vehicle as large as a semi-truck, is traveling on a thin layer of water instead of the actual road surface. Even a fractional amount of water, or “film,” underneath the tires can cause a vehicle to slide out of control. The danger is perhaps even greater for those vehicles around a hydroplaning truck, as they are typically smaller vehicles and may have trouble avoiding such a large truck that is out of control. If you’ve been involved in an accident, let our Easton truck accident attorney help. Three main factors contribute to hydroplaning: Water depth, Tire tread depth, and Vehicle speed. Despite the fact that water depth is one of these factors, hydroplaning is most common during the initial stages of a rainstorm, when the accumulating water mixes with the oil that has spilled onto the roadway during dry weather. As the rain continues to wash away this oil, the roadways become more reliable. How to Reduce or Eliminate Hydroplaning […]

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Jun 16, 2020 - Truck Accidents

Semi-Truck Jackknife Accidents

To “jackknife” a vehicle means to fold a multi-sectional vehicle, such as a semi-truck with a trailer, so that it resembles the angle of a folding pocket knife. When a vehicle towing a trailer begins to skid, the trailer can push the truck from behind until it turns around and faces backward.  Vehicle jackknifing in Stroudsburg and elsewhere throughout the state may be caused by equipment failures, such as defective brakes, improper braking technique, or dangerous road conditions like icy or wet road surfaces. Under certain circumstances, a semi-truck driver may attempt to deliberately jackknife a vehicle in order to halt it following a brake failure.  When a multi-sectional vehicle jackknifes, the cab is facing in the opposite direction of the trailer, making it impossible for the driver to move the truck and therefore the truck becomes stuck. Jackknife accidents can cause significant congestion and vehicle backups on roadways since a jackknifed truck is almost always facing sideways across the lanes of a road and can no longer move. If you’ve been involved in a crash, let our Stroudsburg personal injury lawyer help. Who Is at Fault in a Semi-truck Jackknife Accident? Semi-truck jackknife accidents can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including: Insufficient driver training. Driver failure to apply brakes correctly. Other types of driver error. Driver fatigue. Distracted or impaired driving. Defective equipment or equipment failure, particularly brake failure. Wet, frozen, and/or slippery road surfaces or other dangerous road conditions. Poor weather or other adverse driving […]

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Jun 9, 2020 - Truck Accidents

Semi-Truck vs. Train Accidents

Semi-trucks accidents can be severe, and train accidents can be equally catastrophic. When a train collides with a semi-truck, the results can be absolutely devastating. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 56,000 injury crashes involving truck combinations and 79,000 persons injured in combination truck crashes in 2017. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTA), there were 1,848 accidents involving trains, with 57 people injured in 2019. Semi-trucks and trains in Doylestown and throughout the state are both large and powerful modes of transporting freight, and the enormous damage caused by accidents involving them should not come as a surprise. Also unsurprising is the fact that accidents between them typically occur at railroad crossings, usually when a semi-truck fails to move past the crossing in time. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a truck or a train, speak to a Doylestown accident lawyer today. Trains often carry passengers as well as freight. In Pennsylvania, public transportation, including train transportation, is administered by the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association (PPTA), in affiliation with groups such as the Pennsylvania Transportation Resource and Information Network (PennTRAIN). The PPTA was created to advocate for public transportation in Pennsylvania and to support its members in achieving their defined missions. Who Is at Fault? Our Doylestown Accident Lawyer Explains Typically, as is the case with most accidents in Doylestown and elsewhere, truck drivers and train conductors blame each other for accidents between semi-trucks and trains. On one hand, semi-trucks are […]

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May 29, 2020 - Car Accidents

Choosing a Safe Vehicle

Our Stroudsburg personal injury lawyer knows all too well that car accidents are the most common way in which the average person may suffer a personal injury. With that in mind, it makes sense to take precautions and do as much as we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones. One precaution we can take is to buy a safe vehicle to drive. But how do we know which vehicles are safe? What to Consider When Shopping for a Car in Stroudsburg or Elsewhere In researching which cars are safe, there are four factors you should consider: How the vehicle performs in crash rate tests The vehicle’s weight The vehicle’s center of gravity The vehicle’s safety features  Crash-test ratings There are two entities that conduct crash tests and rate new vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (the “NHTSA”) – a federal agency – conducts crash tests on vehicles, rates them using a 5-star rating system, and provides the results to consumers.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the “IIHS”) – a non-profit organization funded by automobile insurance companies – also conducts crash tests.  It has tougher crash protection standards than the NHTSA, regularly updates them, and gives the safest vehicles its “Top Safety Pick” rating. Before buying a car, you should make sure it gets good crashworthiness ratings from the NHTSA and is an IIHS “Top Safety Pick.” Vehicle Weight It almost goes without saying that the heavier your vehicle is, the better it will protect you and […]

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May 29, 2020 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Tips for Avoiding Road Rage When Driving in Pennsylvania

A mother driving with her two young sons in the car accidentally cuts off a driver. When she pulls into a mall parking lot, he pins her in, exits his car, screams at her, and then punches her in the face when she rolls down the window to apologize to him. Another Pennsylvania driver becomes so enraged with a teen who tried to merge into his lane that he shoots and kills her and gets sentenced to 20+ years for his crime. These are not hypothetical stories. They’re real road rage incidents that took place in Pennsylvania. What is road rage? Road rage is defined as “violent anger caused by the stress and frustration involved in driving a motor vehicle in difficult conditions.” Road ragers make rude gestures at other drivers, sling insults, drive unsafely on purpose, make threats, and inflict physical harm upon other drivers in a confrontation. What causes road rage? Some believe that congested traffic, long commutes, stress, and aggressive drivers contribute to road rage. In fact, road rage is closely related to aggressive driving. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, road rage is often the result of aggressive driving behavior that escalates into an assault with a vehicle or other dangerous weapon. Are you an aggressive driver? Although road rage and aggressive driving are among the biggest causes of fatal car accidents in Pennsylvania, a lot of drivers don’t even realize that they’re aggressive drivers. You might be an aggressive driver if you regularly engage […]

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May 22, 2020 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Steps to Take After an Out-of-State Car Accident

You and your girlfriends decide to take a road trip.  You pull into a rest stop to get gas, coffee, doughnuts and chips for the road.  Before you pull out of the rest stop, you glance into the rearview mirror to make sure no cars are coming and it’s safe for you to go. As soon as you join the left lane, a car comes up fast from behind and proceeds to tailgate you.  You put on your right hand blinker and begin to move over into the right lane to let the tailgater pass. At the same time, the tailgater decides to illegally pass your car on the right. His car clips yours from behind and your car slams into the concrete median. Dazed and confused, the next thing you know, the tailgater is knocking on your window asking if you’re alright. What should you do? A lot of folks wonder what they should do if they have a car accident while they’re out of state.  The answer is simple.  Do the same things you would do after any car accident. Safety First Check for injuries.  Before you try to get out of the car, take a moment to see if you or the other occupants of the car are injured.  You don’t want to aggravate any serious injuries by trying to move too quickly. Turn your hazard lights on to warn other drivers.  You don’t want to take anyone by surprise. If your car is in the middle […]

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May 15, 2020 - Car Accidents

Doylestown Residents: Here’s What You Need to Know About Uninsured Motorist Insurance

As Doylestown and the rest of the state continues to reopen and people begin to reunite with small groups of family and/or friends, there will come a time when your loved ones will begin to travel long distances for visits and vacations. When that time comes, imagine that you’re picking up your in-laws from the airport. You make sure everyone fastens their seatbelts before hitting the road.  On the way back, you notice that the car next to you keeps veering close to the line separating your lanes.  The woman driving it is distracted, texting on her cell phone. You speed up a little, engage your blinker, and move into her lane to get out of the danger zone.  Ten minutes later, while you’re deep in a discussion with your mother-in-law about her favorite cake, the car behind you plows into the rear of your vehicle.  Sure enough, it’s the distracted driver who caused the accident.  To make matters worse, she’s uninsured. Both you and your in-laws are injured in the accident and require medical treatment. Plus, you’re out of work for a few weeks while getting treated for your injuries. Not to fear. Speak to our Doylestown accident lawyer today to find out what you need to do next. Since Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, all Pennsylvania drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP provides a certain amount of compensation for medical care and lost wages after an accident. Since PIP typically has low […]

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May 5, 2020 - Articles

Bicycle Riding Resurgence Amid COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Orders. How to Stay Safe.

  In an effort to stay active during the stay-at-home orders, many people are going into the garage to dust off their once-forgotten bicycle. Many bike shops are reporting an uptick in business as people are looking for ways to get outside and get exercise.  Several years ago, we posted an article on “Six Tips for Sharing the Road with Bicycles“, however , with more and more people getting back on their bikes, a refresher on bicycle law and safety is in order. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, if riding a bike on the sidewalk, pedestrians have the right-of-way on sidewalks and bicycle paths. You must give an audible signal as you approach and pass a pedestrian. Automobiles are not required to yield to bicycles being ridden across a crosswalk (at a trail crossing for example) as the bicycle is treated as a vehicle. A better choice is to dismount and walk your bike across. You are not permitted to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk in a business district (except where permitted by official traffic control devices) or where there is a bicycle-only lane available. If you choose to ride your bike in the roadway, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation states that bikes may be ridden on the shoulder of the road (in the same direction as the flow of traffic) but are not required to do so. Otherwise, the safest travel location for bicyclists is the center of the rightmost travel lane. Since it may have […]

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May 4, 2020 - Articles

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Avoiding Hydroplaning Accidents

  Given the almost daily deluge of rain we have been experiencing, hydroplaning is a very real problem for which all drivers must be prepared. Hydroplaning occurs when the vehicle’s tire-to-road traction becomes separated by water. This grip separation results in a loss of control (braking and steering), which can result in a violent accident. While hydroplaning can happen on any wet road surface, tire tread, tire inflation and speed are the key factors in causing hydroplaning to occur. According to the American Automobile Association, “when driving through just one-twelfth of an inch of water, each of your tires has to displace one gallon of water per second.” So, when the road surface is wet, you need to choose an appropriate speed that will displace enough road surface water, that allows your vehicle to maintain proper traction.  “At 30 mph or less, properly inflated tires with good tread will maintain contact.” While low tire pressure causes the tread to “squeeze together, narrowing the tread channels and reduces the tire’s ability to wipe or channel away water,” even with good tread and properly inflated tires, a vehicle can begin to hydroplane at speeds above 35 mph.   Below are six tips every driver should remember when driving on a wet surface. Avoid driving in the outer edges of a roadway. Most roadways have a slight “crown” in the middle of the road which causes water to accumulate on the edge of the roadway. Try to stay more toward the middle of […]

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