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Personal Injury Law Blog

What does Pennsylvania do to reduce pedestrian accidents?

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.

Do Pennsylvania laws help limit commercial vehicle accidents?

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":

Bicyclist survives drunken Route 313 truck accident

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.

Pennsylvania hospital shooting raises issue of premises liability

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.

Distracted driving crackdown aimed at reducing car accidents

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.

Tragic DUI accident may give rise to wrongful death claim

On July 19, a Bedminster Township, Pennsylvania, motorcyclist died just a block from his home after he was struck by an alleged drunk driver. The accident occurred in the small Bucks County town around 10:20 p.m. near the 700 block of Keller's Church Road. The victim was operating his motorcycle at that time and had one passenger with him when a vehicle driven by a 64-year-old man struck the motorcycle.

First responders took the 47-year-old victim to St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania, where he later died from his injuries. The victim's passenger suffered injuries described as moderate in nature.

Bus overturns in deadly commercial vehicle accident

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have confirmed the death of a woman who was aboard a bus which overturned in Canada on July 13. According to the RCMP, a commercial tour bus chartered through a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, company was traveling near Neils Harbour, Nova Scotia, when the driver apparently lost control in a turn. The vehicle then hit the shoulder on the side of the road before overturning onto its side.

The RCMP says that there were 21 people aboard the chartered bus including the driver at the time of the accident. Most of the passengers were from the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, area. They were part of a tour group which had gone to sightsee along the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia.

Food truck explosion in Pennsylvania injures 12

When most people think of truck accidents, they envision a semi-truck involved in an accident while driving down the interstate. However, truck accidents can involve a wide range of commercial vehicles and a variety of different emergencies. For example, a food truck explosion in Feltonville, Pennsylvania, injured a dozen people. Five of those victims suffered serious burn injuries.

The truck accident happened on July 1. According to witnesses, it involved a massive fireball that resulted when the truck’s propane tank exploded. The explosion was so loud and forceful that many who live in the area around Wyoming Avenue and Third Street heard or felt it while in their homes.

Motorcycle rally offers chance to discuss motorcycle accidents

A recent June 28 motorcycle rally held in Drums, Pennsylvania, helped raise money for veterans. The event is called the UNICO Motorcycle Charity Run and operates in partnership with the Keystone Wounded Warriors. UNICO is an acronym representing Unity, Neighborliness, Charity and Opportunity. The non-profit helps veterans wounded after Sept. 11, 2001 who are facing hardship of some kind. The rally, which was held last Saturday, marked the fourth year of the annual event

A spokesperson for UNICO's Hazelton, Pennsylvania, chapter says that in the past UNICO was geared on only assisting seriously ill people. He says that the organization saw that there were also some veterans who also needed help. Originally, UNICO got its start as an Italian-American service organization found in 1922. The rally normally receives about 100 biker participants and brings in roughly $4,000 in charitable proceeds each year. They are expecting similar numbers for this year's event.

Patron shot at bar raises premises liability concerns

A man is in stable condition after police say he was shot in the leg while visiting a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, bar. The 38-year-old man suffered the gunshot injury to his leg on June 16 at around 1:30 a.m. Philadelphia police say the shooting happened after a fight erupted inside the bar. Police say that is when one man pulled out a gun and fired it at the victim.

The victim was evacuated from the bar, located in a West Kensington neighborhood, and admitted to Temple University Hospital for his injuries.

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