Traffic accidents can result in minor property damage to your vehicle or minor bumps and bruises that heal in a few days. However, traffic accidents can also result in horrific injuries that cause life-altering permanent injuries or death. To protect yourself, your family, and everyone using our roads in Pennsylvania, make sure that you do not make these dangerous driving decisions when you are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Fatalities from speeding accidents increased by three percent from 2014 (9,283) to 2015 (9,557). Twenty-seven (27) percent of the traffic fatalities in 2015 involved at least one speeding driver. Pennsylvania ranked fourth in 2015 for speeding accident deaths with 540 fatalities that year. In addition to the deaths, thousands of people are injured each year in speeding accidents.
To help avoid a speeding accident you can leave early to avoid the urge to rush to reach your destination. If you are driving on the interstate, set your cruise control at the speed limit to avoid speeding. In addition to making a conscious effort to follow the speed limit yourself, make sure you discuss the dangers of speeding with teen drivers. Teen drivers are often involved in speed-related accidents because they do not have the experience or knowledge to help them make safe driving decisions.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in each state. Every state has adopted laws making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. During 2015, 10,265 traffic fatalities were related to drunk driving — 29 percent of all traffic deaths that year. In addition, thousands of people are injured in drunk driving accidents each year. During 2015, 364 traffic deaths involved drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher. This number accounted for 30 percent of the traffic deaths in the state for that year.
Drunk driving is completely preventable — do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol. There are many ways to avoid drunk driving including using public transportation, calling a cab, or designating a sober driver for your group. If you intend to drink, do not drive. It is that simple.
Distracted driving is a serious problem throughout the United States. The use of cell phones has increased the risk of traffic accidents as drivers focus more on what they are doing inside the vehicle than they do on the traffic and conditions outside the vehicle. A very dangerous form of distracted driving involves using a cell phone or other electronic device while driving. Using an electronic device while driving requires you to remove your hands from the steering wheel, look away from the road, and focus your attention on the device instead of driving.
During 2015, 3,477 people lost their lives in distracted driving accidents in the United States. It is estimated that 391,000 people were injured in traffic accidents involving a distracted driver. As with drunk driving accidents, distracted driving accidents are preventable. When you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, your full attention should be on the task of driving. Avoid distractions while driving including:
- Cell phones and other electronic devices
- Eating and drinking
- Grooming and changing clothing
- Programming a GPS
- Texting, emailing, or posting to social media
- Pull over to care for children or other passengers
You can prevent distracted driving accidents by focusing your full attention on driving when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Erie Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You When You Are Injured
If you are hurt in a traffic accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Erie personal injury attorneys want to hear your story. Contact our office for a free legal consultation with an Erie accident lawyer.