Monmouth County New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Whiplash from car accidents: Symptoms and treatment

When you consider the gravitational forces involved in the average car crash, and you also take into account the way the head is prone to whipping back and forth from the base of the neck, it's understandable how whiplash injuries can happen. Whiplash happens after a violent shaking of the head and neck due to tearing, ripping and straining of the neck muscles, ligaments and bones.

Sometimes in the immediate aftermath of a car accident, the whiplash victim has no idea that he or she is injured. However, in the days that follow, the neck could become stiffer and more painful to the point that the victim can't even move his or her head without pain.

What are some creative ways to keep yourself alert while driving?

If you are a trucker in New Jersey, you face a variety of potential hazards when traveling long distances for your job. Some of these dangers can be environmental hazards, inclement weather, incorrectly loaded cargo and fatigue. In fact, driver exhaustion is to blame for a significant amount of trucking accidents each year. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to keep yourself alert and prepared without compromising your attention. 

According to, you can be creative in coming up with ways to keep yourself awake. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Stock up on chewing gum: Putting a stick of gum in your mouth is an excellent way to keep your mind alert by keeping your mouth moving and your brain wide awake.
  • Keep your eyes moist: Putting a small bottle of eye drops in your truck can be useful when your eyes start to feel dry. Keeping your eyes moist can help you to stay alert and comfortable.
  • Try essential oils: Smelling essential oils is another way to invigorate your senses without doing things that will compromise your attention and safety.
  • Sing along to the radio: Find music that you love and sing along! This activity will keep your brain fired up as you continuously think about which lyrics come next.

Sleep directly affects crash risks

Getting the recommended eight hours of sleep at night may seem impossible, or even like a ridiculous suggestion, to many people in New Jersey. In fact, getting five or six hours may seem like a challenge when work, commute and family responsibilities fill so many hours of the day. However, CBS News reports that getting into the driver's seat for that commute after such a short night can be extremely risky.

AAA research has revealed that a two- or three-hour sleep deficit can quadruple a driver's chances of crashing over a driver who slept for at least seven hours. Even when someone gets six hours of sleep, he or she has twice the risk of a crash over the person with seven hours. Getting on the road after four or fewer hours of sleep makes a driver about 12 times more likely to be in an accident.

Why pedestrian accidents are so deadly, and how to prevent them

People who live in walkable areas of New Jersey enjoy the benefits of exercise and lower vehicle expenses that come with going places on foot. However, they are also more vulnerable to serious injuries and fatalities in a traffic accident. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, usually in a vehicle-pedestrian collision, the front of the vehicle strikes the pedestrian. Adults are most likely to be struck at the knee by a car's bumper, and the hood's front edge typically strikes the thigh. If the car is going faster than about 12 mph, victims also may suffer injuries by sliding up the hood and striking the windshield.

Blood alcohol levels and physical reactions

A driver on the roads of any state in the country could be arrested if his or her blood alcohol content is above 0.08 percent. According to the State of New Jersey's Department of Law & Public Safety, any amount of alcohol could lead to a drunk driving conviction in the state if it results in erratic driving, traffic violations or other signs of intoxication.

Recovery Worldwide explains that there is good reason for law enforcement to hold people accountable for impaired behaviors after even just one drink. Although many factors contribute to how fast a person's liver metabolizes alcohol, no one is completely immune to the effects, and these may be noticeable in the following ways:

Factors that contribute to semitruck rollover crashes

With your vehicle's low center of gravity, a rollover crash on the roadways of New Jersey is probably one of the least of your worries. However, if you are next to a tractor-trailer, maybe it is not your own vehicle you should be worried about. We at Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli, LLP, are aware of many issues that could cause that 18-wheeler to roll.

The American International Group, Inc., explains that a truck's load is one of the major factors in whether it will roll. For example, a tanker truck has a constantly shifting liquid cargo that can throw the center of gravity off balance. If a solid load is not secured correctly, it also could shift and throw the weight of the trailer too far to one side on a sharp curve or a sudden stop. Other contributing factors may include the following:

  • Road conditions: Steep grades, winding roads, wet or icy surfaces and uneven roads can all contribute to rollover risks.
  • Truck conditions: Brake malfunctions, tire blow-outs or an issue with the truck's suspension system may compromise the trailer's stability.
  • Driver conditions: Fatigue and distraction are two major reasons that a trucker may be in the position to make a sudden stop or swerve.

Should I tell my friends to stop texting and driving?

We've all experienced the uncomfortable situation of riding in a friend's car, when he or she whips out a smartphone and starts texting while driving. Considering that scientific studies have shown texting while driving to be almost as dangerous as intoxicated driving, it's natural to be afraid in these circumstances.

But what should a passenger do? Be polite and let the friend text and drive, or speak up and potentially save your life?

Driver awareness may prevent motorcycle collisions

The many beautiful roads that traverse throughout New Jersey create a prime route for motorcyclists looking for a beautiful and memorable ride. Additionally, riding a motorcycle is a valuable form of transportation for many people that provides convenience, cost-effectiveness and flexibility. However, motorcyclists face an enhanced risk of injury and death because of the vulnerability they are exposed to on a bike. Unfortunately, if motorists fail to pay attention and stay vigilant, they may not notice a motorcycle and this oversight could result in fatal consequences. 

According to, there are several helpful considerations that all drivers can take in an effort to be aware of motorcyclists before it is too late. These include the following:

  • Drivers should always stay in their lane and avoid distractions that could impair attentiveness.
  • Drivers should pay extra attention in inclement weather to recognize motorcyclists.
  • Drivers should always check in their blind spots and use extra caution when they need to pass a motorcycle.
  • Drivers should remember that motorcycles can move faster than an average vehicle and allow them enough room to move quickly between lanes.
  • Drivers should watch for motorcycles that are turning. Likewise, they should inform motorcycle riders of their decision to turn by putting their turn signal on in anticipation of turning.

The dangers of parking lots

Whether driving around a parking lot looking for a good spot, walking in or out of the store or backing up to leave, people in New Jersey need to be fully aware of the dangers around them. According to the National Safety Council, about 500 people die in parking lots and garages across the U.S. each year, and thousands more are injured. 

In general, parking lots have marked lanes, directional arrows, stop signs and other traffic indicators, but many people ignore these out of carelessness. Even worse are the people who are looking at their phones. In a nationwide survey, more than half of the participants self-reported being OK with cellphone-related activities such as making phone calls, texting, using social media and programming GPS systems while in a moving vehicle in a parking area. 

Losing a loved one in a car accident increases your risk of PTSD

When you were hit by the driver who was texting, the worst part was not the damage to yourself but the loss of your loved one in the passenger seat. Our legal team at Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli in New Jersey understands that this trauma can cause mental and emotional harm that magnify the pain and suffering of the collision.

According to Psychiatry Advisor, post-traumatic stress disorder is common for a person whose loved one dies suddenly and unexpectedly. In fact, researchers have identified risk factors that can predict when someone in this type of situation is particularly in danger of developing PTSD. These include the following:

  • Your age
  • Your level of education
  • Your marital status
  • Your gender
  • A history of trauma exposure

Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli

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Allenhurst, New Jersey 07711

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Bayonne, New Jersey 07002
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Bayville, NJ 08721
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Phone: 732-663-1920
Fax: 732-663-0011