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How much does a Pennsylvania DUI affect auto insurance rates?

A Pennsylvania drunk driving charge can cost you in more than a few ways, potentially endangering everything from your livelihood to your driver’s, professional or recreational license, depending on circumstances. A Pennsylvania DUI will also take a serious toll on your finances, and unfortunately, some of the financial repercussions of a drunk driving conviction are long-term in nature.

Almost all automotive insurers, per Insure.com, will raise your premiums once you have a drunk driving conviction on your record. However, you can expect there to be some variation in terms of how much an insurer might charge you after a DUI in exchange for coverage. Typically, though, a Pennsylvania driver who has a first-time DUI in his or her driving history pays more than 50% more than the average state driver to maintain automotive insurance coverage.

Is your traffic ticket worth fighting?

Pennsylvanian residents will often opt to simply pay off a traffic ticket once it is received. But did you know that this isn't your only option? In fact, in some cases, it might actually be more beneficial for you to fight the ticket.

FindLaw examines different potential reasons to fight your traffic ticket. One of the main reasons is long-term costs. While you may just be thinking about the initial cost of the ticket at first, some traffic tickets can carry long-lasting repercussions. This is especially true of speeding tickets. By having a speeding ticket on your record, it gives your insurance company a reason to raise your rates. For some, this hike in cost can equate to hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

Alleged hit-and-run causes vehicle to flip over

Injury is not a foregone conclusion in a car or truck accident, but a hit-and-run in New Jersey adds insult to whatever injury may occur. The victims of a hit and run can only attempt to recover damages if law enforcement finds the other driver. 

Authorities in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, have asked for the public's help in identifying the driver of a pickup who allegedly fled the scene in reverse after colliding with an SUV and causing it to flip onto its back. The woman who was driving the SUV required transportation the hospital for injuries. According to law enforcement, the accident is still under investigation. Authorities have not indicated whether the driver of the pickup faces any criminal charges if identified. 

Dangers of elevators for seniors

For elderly people in Pennsylvania with mobility issues, elevators can afford them the ability to go places that would not otherwise be accessible, maintaining at least some measure of normalcy and independence. However, elevators can also pose dangers that many seniors and their family members may not be aware of until it is too late and an accident occurs. 

Home Care Assistance Cincinnati cites a 2010 study demonstrating that thousands of elderly Americans injure themselves in or near elevators seriously enough to warrant hospitalization on a yearly basis. One of the most significant dangers that an elevator poses to an elderly person is the automatically closing door that can slide shut before the individual gets clear of them. Other elevator-related injuries involved a fall when getting on or off the elevator due to a slip or trip. It may be possible to mitigate these hazards by having someone else hold the door, if possible, and to take one's time when entering or exiting the elevator. 

Criminal charges sealed automatically under Pa. Clean Slate law

In December 2018, Pennsylvania passed a Clean Slate law that would seal the records of people with arrests and convictions on certain nonviolent misdemeanor charges. At that time, however, the people affected had to take the step of going to court and making a request to have the records sealed. As of Friday, as a result of an innovation unprecedented in this country, sealing the records can take place via an automated process.

The number of charges eligible for automatic sealing in Pennsylvania is currently 40 million. The Clean Slate law affects people with arrests or convictions related to drunk driving, prostitution, shoplifting and other similar nonviolent misdemeanor charges on their records. It also applies to summary offenses and to arrest records with no convictions. 

Negligent choices continue to claim innocent lives

It should be no surprise to any resident in Pennsylvania that driving a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol increases the chance of an accident because a person's ability to safely operate a car and make decisions is impaired when under the influence of alcohol. Similarly, there are reasons that speed limits are set for different roads and areas as it has been proven that driving any faster raises the risk of accidents happening. 

These facts, however, seem to be meaningless to many drivers who instead prefer to simply do what they want, when they want and why they want with little to no regard for anyone else. This might not be so bad if these people's actions did not impact anyone else but that is not the case. Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that between 28% and 30% of all vehicular fatalities statewide from 2013 to 2017 involved alcohol.

What are summer slip and fall risks?

In Pennsylvania, most of the biggest weather-related risks for slip and fall injuries are found in the winter. With summer, there isn't any ice or snow to worry about. However, that doesn't mean there are no slipping risks at all. Today, Lisko & Associates will examine some slip and fall risks specific to summer.

Of course, one of the biggest risks is the pool. While many people retreat there to stay cool during the blazing summer months, it can actually hold the biggest potential for injury. Not every pool has all of the safety measures in place that it should. Does your pool have a lifeguard? What about signs warning people not to run around the water's edge, where the deck is at its most slippery?

When a U-Turn is legal

When Pennsylvania drivers realize they have missed a turn, they may simply perform a U-turn. However, drivers may receive a traffic ticket for an illegal U-turn if they perform this maneuver in the wrong place.

Many drivers may think that a U-turn is an acceptable maneuver on the road. FindLaw says that not all U-turns are legal. Most of the time, there are guidelines that determine when drivers can use this method to turn around. If someone sees a sign prohibiting this maneuver, for example, a U-turn is illegal. Someone who makes this turn in this situation might receive a traffic ticket for making an illegal U-turn. Sometimes law enforcement officers may write a ticket because a driver performed an unsafe U-turn. This means that a driver may have had limited visibility, making the maneuver unsafe.

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.

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