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State College Legal Blog

Pedestrian Right-of-Way

In Pennsylvania pedestrians have the right-of-way at a crosswalk when a traffic signal light is not at the intersection. Drivers must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the highway at an intersection. The pedestrian has the right-of-way whether or not the crosswalk is marked. Where there is no marked crosswalk, one is implied giving the pedestrian the right to cross the street in safety.

Pedestrians who are struck by a motor vehicle may have a right to make an insurance claim against the striking driver especially when the pedestrian is in a crosswalk whether or not it has been marked.

What should you do after a slip-and-fall accident?

Anyone, regardless of age, can become injured in an accident that involves a slip and fall. However, due to a number of different factors, the consequences of a slip-and-fall accident can often be more severe for the elderly. If you are a senior citizen in Pennsylvania concerned about what may happen to you after a fall, the National Institute on Aging has some suggestions about what you should do following a slip-and-fall accident. 

One of the most important concerns after a slip and fall is the ability to call for help if you need it. This can represent a challenge if you live alone. It may be helpful to invest in an emergency response system which allows you to summon assistance with the push of a button. Otherwise, it may also be a good idea to carry a cellular phone with you at all times so you can call 911 if needed. 

Does college expose you to more drugs and alcohol?

Many parents worry about their college-age children facing temptation to use and abuse drugs while away at college.

Maybe online universities and the growing number of college students living at home isolate students from a college drug culture, keeping them on the straight and narrow.

Can you get whiplash from falling?

Have you slipped and fallen in Pennsylvania? A fall can lead to many types of injury, including tenderness or pain in your neck. Whiplash may be commonly associated with car crashes, but it is possible to suffer from it because of a fall, as well.

Whiplash is defined by Mayo Clinic as an injury resulting from the head and neck making a whip-like motion. This is often attributed to car crashes, especially if you were rear-ended. However, any activity that causes your neck to move back and forward forcefully and rapidly can lead to whiplash. This includes playing sports, physical assault or abuse, and slipping or falling.

Don't take shortcuts when attaining your CDL

Holding a commercial driver’s license is a significant responsibility. That’s why Pennsylvania makes acquiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) a challenge. The onus is on you to prove that you are not only capable of driving a larger vehicle well but that you understand its equipment.

Why is Distracted Driving Awareness Month important?

It is wise to periodically refresh yourself on common traffic dangers. This is especially true for such a prevalent issue as distracted driving. You may actively choose not to drink and drive, but it can be easy to get distracted behind the wheel. In fact, you and other Pennsylvania drivers may become distracted without intending it.

The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so the public can refresh their memories on this dangerous and common occurrence. As we have discussed numerous times in this blog, distracted driving typically takes three forms – visual, manual and cognitive distractions – which can take your eyes, hands or mind off the road. For example, you can unwittingly be distracted by the sight of a serious accident at the side of the road, by two of your children who are arguing in the backseat or by a cup of coffee that has spilled on the floor. As you may already know, texting and driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three distraction types. Your eyes, hands and mind are taken off the task of driving when you are concentrating on reading or sending that text message.

Head-on collision on Pennsylvania Turnpike kills 2

Authorities responding to the scene of a head-on collision on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Saturday night said that the force of impact was similar to one car hitting a concrete wall at 140 miles per hour. Several vehicle occupants sustained injuries of varying severity, and both drivers are dead as a result of the accident. 

A 76-year-old male driver allegedly drove eight miles on the wrong side of the turnpike, traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes, before crashing into another vehicle going the other direction. Authorities speculate that he may not have realized that he was traveling in the wrong direction due to the late hour and the low levels of traffic. The driver's wife was also inside the vehicle and sustained possible serious injuries requiring hospitalization. It is unknown why she did not alert him to the fact that he was driving on the wrong side of the road.

Pennsylvania authorities set up holiday DUI checkpoints

Law enforcement in the region of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is setting up DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day. The holiday is a time of fun and festivities, but accidents and deaths related to drunk driving have the potential to spoil the good time for everyone, according to the director of the Center for Traffic Safety in nearby York County.

Since 2014, there have been three crashes related to drunk driving over the St. Patrick's Day period in Lancaster County, none of which resulted in fatalities, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. During the same period, there were four drunk driving deaths during the St. Patrick's Day period statewide. On the national level, during the 2017 St. Patrick's Day holiday, there were a total of 59 deaths due to crashes allegedly caused by drunk driving.

Is the nursing home chemically restraining your parent?

If you are one of the many people who has had to make the painful decision to place your elderly parent in a Pennsylvania nursing home, you likely make it a point to visit him or her as often as possible. You also likely have continuing concerns about the level of care (s)he receives, even though you carefully checked out the nursing homes in your area before choosing this particular one.

While most nursing homes do, in fact, take reasonably good care of their patients, some do not. That is what makes the results of a recent Human Rights Watch investigation of 15,000 nursing homes across the country so disturbing. This investigation found that many nursing homes routinely medicate their dementia and Alzheimer’s disease patients with antipsychotic drugs such as Haloperidol, Seroquel and Risperidone for no other reason or purpose than to control them and make their often obstreperous behaviors easier to manage. Elder rights activists call this chemical restraint, an illegal and abusive nursing home practice.

Weather Related Traffic Accidents

According to the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration there were over 5,890,000 vehicle crashes last year. Over 120,000 of those crashes were weather related. Meaning that the weather such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, cross winds and blowing snow or sand or a wet pavement contributed to the collision. According to the same publication nearly 5,000 people were killed and 418,000 were injured in weather related crashes.

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