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Monmouth County New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

What are the hazards of driving at night?

Many people are not through with their day once the sun sets. As winter approaches and the days gradually become shorter, nighttime driving is a part of daily life. While you may be familiar with navigating the roadways in the dark, you may not fully understand the dangers that come with driving at night. Nighttime driving is associated with certain hazards that increase your risk of becoming involved in a deadly car accident. It is critical that you are aware of these dangers so you can minimize this risk and stay safe while driving at night. 

One of the most common nighttime hazards is the lack of natural light. We require light to process information and see our entire environment clearly. While the roadways may be illuminated with street lights, the areas around the road are dark and it can be difficult to see if there are hidden dangers, such as pedestrians or animals. Our response time when reacting to these hazards is also reduced at night. This is especially true for older drivers who require greater amounts of light to see. 

Drunk driving fatalities in New Jersey

For the last several decades, New Jersey residents have seen and heard many public awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers of drunk driving and encouraging people to make alternative decisions that are wise and safe. Unfortunately, there remains a core of people unwilling to put the safety of others and even of themselves ahead of their immediate wishes. As a result, too many innocent people continue to die in accidents caused by drunk drivers.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that New Jersey overall has a lower rate of vehicular fatalities attributed to alcohol than the national average. Still, 125 lives were lost statewide at the hands of drunk drivers in 2017 alone. That number represents 16% of all automotive deaths in New Jersey that year. In Monmouth County, however, the story is a bit different. Drunk driving was responsible for almost 21% of all vehicular fatalities in the county, claiming nine out of 43 lives lost.   

Be wary of insurance company tactics

Insurance companies provide a valuable service for many people. They help accident victims put their lives back together. However, insurers in New Jersey are probably not entirely on your side when it comes to paying for the damages you incur from truck or car accidents. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli & McPherson, we believe everyone deserves an ally in these types of struggles.

Serious injuries could change your life forever. It could take you years to realize the full extent of the injuries, especially if you try to avoid medical costs associated with diagnosis and therapy. Insurance companies know this, and it is often part of their strategy to delay you and keep you happy until the statute of limitation for your legal claim expires.

Are designated drivers a safe option?

If you are like many other people in New Jersey, you may have a few drinks when going out to dinner or spending a night out with friends. In these situations, you may have been told that designating a driver to stay sober is a good option, as that person will be able to drive everyone home safely. Yet, a study shows that even designated drivers may not stay sober during an evening of festivities and could compromise the safety of everyone they are driving home. 

A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs discovered that as much as 40% of designated drivers have consumed alcohol and some had enough alcohol to compromise the safety of other passengers in the vehicle. During the study, researchers measured the blood alcohol content level of designated drivers before they were getting into the car to drive others home. Approximately 18% of designated drivers had a BAC level of 0.05 or higher. Since the legal BAC is 0.08, this puts those drivers close to being over the legal limit. 

Brake failure a frequent cause of commercial truck crashes

Sharing the New Jersey roadway with commercial trucks can prove unnerving for many motorists, because when cars and trucks crash into one another, the drivers and passengers in the smaller vehicles typically suffer most. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli & McPherson, we recognize that air brake failure is a frequent cause of today’s semi-truck crashes, and we also understand that many incidents involving brake failure are avoidable.

According to Transport Topics, semi-truck drivers have a tendency to “ride the brakes” when maneuvering their vehicles down steep hills, but doing can, in some cases, lead to brake failure. If a truck driver presses the brakes the entire time his or her truck travels downhill, it can cause the brakes to overheat, lock up and even catch fire, potentially injuring not only the semi-truck driver, but everyone else in his or her path.

Plan to deal with financial impacts after a catastrophic injury

Suffering a brain injury during a motor vehicle accident can lead to serious life impacts. One area of your life that can be affected is your finances. You have to think about the increase in expenses that you will have because of the need for medical care and life assistance. You may not be able to continue to work at the same capacity as you did before the accident, which can mean you have a reduction in income.

Finding ways to make your finances work can be a challenge. Depending on the type of brain injury you have and the longevity of the impacts, you might need to make some long-term plans about money.

How to identify the signs of an aggressive driver

If you have ever been stuck in New Jersey traffic, you know first-hand the emotions involved when you are trying to get to your destination. Whether you are on your way to an important meeting or you are simply trying to get home from work, it can be frustrating to be stuck behind a slow driver or have someone pull out in front of you. Road rage is fairly common amongst drivers in New Jersey and throughout the United States. According to AAA, nearly 80% of U.S. drivers admit to having had feelings of road rage within the past year. The problem lies in the fact that aggressive driving behaviors can cause serious accidents. AAA also reported that as many as 56% of fatal car accidents involved some type of aggressive driving behavior.

Fortunately, you can minimize your risk of becoming involved in an accident caused by an aggressive driver by understanding how to spot the signs of such a motorist. These hazardous driving habits include the following:

The link between road construction and car wrecks

Road construction is virtually impossible to avoid when you make your way across New Jersey by car, but it may surprise you to know just how many automobile crashes take place in the nation’s work zones. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli & McPherson, we recognize that, while, nationally, road fatalities are decreasing, the number of people dying in car wrecks in the nation’s road construction zones each year is on the rise.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the number of people losing their lives in car wrecks occurring in areas where road construction is present rose 3% between 2016 and 2017. However, the number of road deaths that occurred outside of construction zones actually decreased by 1.5% during the timespan, showing a need for enhanced safety in these areas.

Proposed changes to trucker drive times could endanger public

There are rules and regulations currently in place that require New Jersey and the nation’s commercial truck drivers to rest every so often, and these rules exist to help prevent fatigued driving and improve public safety as a result. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli and McPherson, we understand the current administration is considering loosening up the rules governing trucker drive times, and we also recognize how doing so could potentially endanger everyone else on the roadway.

According to the Associated Press, many business owners and others with interests in the trucking industry have long desired a more relaxed ruleset governing trucker drive times, and many drivers have too, hoping that relaxing the rules would give them more flexibility. Opponents to relaxing the rules, though, argue that commercial truck crashes are already on the rise, and that anything that could lead truck drivers to put in even longer days poses a serious threat to public safety.

Making big companies take responsibility

Injuries happen every day, but we still do not live in a society where those responsible for injuring others always take appropriate action to remedy the situation. At the law firm of Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli & McPherson, we are proud to be part of a system that attempts to make sure nobody gets away with hurting someone else. The law is not perfect, but we believe that our work makes a big difference for our clients.

One of the times that this is most apparent is when our clients are in conflict with large trucking companies. Not only are these often the most severe accidents, but there is a high possibility that entities operating commercial motor vehicles would approach accident law cases with a very defensive attitude. 

Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli & McPherson

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Allenhurst, New Jersey 07711

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