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Worcester Personal Injury Blog

Many deadly underride collisions could be preventable

When large commercial vehicles collide with smaller passenger vehicles, the people in the smaller vehicles usually pay the price. Large commercial trucks can completely demolish smaller vehicles, resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries to the passengers inside.

The sad truth about these kinds of crashes is that, in many cases, they could have been prevented. Collisions often result from inattentiveness on the part of one or more drivers involved. Fatigue, distraction and impairment can also contribute. Issues with the safety equipment on a commercial truck can also impact how severe a crash ends up being.

Do you know the most dangerous time of day on the road?

Driving at any time of day is a somewhat dangerous activity. After all, you're traveling at high speeds in a box made of metal, glass and synthetic materials. Although the vast majority of people arrived safely at their destination when they drive, the potential for a collision is always there.

There are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of a crash. These include sharing the road with drunk drivers, bad weather conditions and exhaustion. You can make decisions that reduce your risk by avoiding distraction and impairment when you drive. You can also choose not to drive when you feel tired already.

Do you know the top causes of motor vehicle accidents?

Understanding the top causes of motor vehicle accidents can go a long way in keeping you safe. Not only will you know what to look for when driving, but you can also adjust your driving style with safety in mind.

Here are 7 common causes of motor vehicle accidents:

  • Distracted driving: This includes anything that distracts you, thus taking your attention away from the road and the vehicles in close proximity to yours. From texting to eating to conversing with passengers, there are many distractions to avoid.
  • Speeding: It's easy to drive faster than the speed limit, but doing so greatly increases the risk of causing an accident and/or losing control of your vehicle.
  • Driving under the influence: From drugs to alcohol, driving under the influence is a serious problem in the United States. Doing so impairs your ability to control your vehicle and make sound decisions.
  • Reckless driving: This takes on many forms, including but not limited to excessive speeding, illegal lane changes and road rage.
  • Ignoring weather conditions: When weather conditions change without much notice, which is often the case in Massachusetts, drivers should adjust their approach to the road. For example, driving in the snow requires a different approach than driving on dry pavement.
  • Running a red light or stop sign: Intersection accidents are all too common, and are often the result of a driver neglecting to stop at a red light or stop sign. As a driver, pay close attention to the activity at an intersection as you approach it.
  • Driving at night: It's difficult enough to drive safely during daylight hours. When you add in a lack of visibility, it's an even bigger challenge to avoid trouble. In addition to using your headlights, slow down when driving at night. This gives you more time to react in the event of an emergency, such as someone pulling out in front of you.

How to drive safely in the snow

As one of our Massachusetts readers, you know that snow, ice and sleet can wreak havoc all winter long. If you find yourself on the road when the snow begins to fall, it's critical to adjust your driving style with the idea of improving your safety.

Here are five things you can do to drive safely in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate under control: For example, a fast acceleration at a traffic light will cause your tires to spin out, which increases the risk of an accident. Just the same, slamming on your brakes increases the chance of losing control of your vehicle.
  • Slow down: Don't drive so slowly that it puts others in danger, but make sure you never exceed the speed limit. Driving too fast can lead you to lose control, such as by spinning out when you hit a slippery patch.
  • Don't stop unless it's necessary: If you stop your vehicle when driving up a hill, you may not be able to start back up. This leaves you with two options: Abandon your vehicle where you are or attempt to turn around and head back down the hill.
  • Leave more following space: Since it takes longer to stop your vehicle in the snow, leave a greater distance between your vehicle and the one in front of yours.
  • Don't take risks: Even if you have somewhere to be, your safety is more important than everything else. An example of an unnecessary risk is attempting to power up a hill that's covered in snow.

Follow these tips to drive safely in a construction zone

Even when you try to avoid it, there will be times when you drive directly into a construction zone. As frustrating as it may be, especially if you're in a hurry, you don't want to do anything that puts you or other people at risk of injury.

    These causes of distracted driving can impact anyone

    Even if you're the most cautious driver on the road, it doesn't mean you'll never make a mistake. For example, if your phone rings while you're sitting in traffic, you may take your eyes off the road to see who it is.

    Just as you can fall prey to distractions while driving, the same holds true of every other person on the road. This is why it's so important to always keep close tabs on what's happening around you.

    The upcoming holidays may result in more drunk drivers

    The holiday season brings both the opportunity for joy and plenty of reasons to feel stressed out. Whether you travel to stay with family or they come to you, there is much to arrange and plan for. You have to worry about gifts, meals, travel and keeping the peace. There is also the financial stress that comes from purchasing gifts for all the people you love in a short period of time.

    Some people even find spending a day or two with family to be a source of stress. Combine that with a desire to party and have fun, and you may find that more people are drinking alcohol then they would on other days of the year. It makes sense then, that drunk driving is a bigger risk around the holiday season.

    Learn what to do after a car wreck

    A car wreck will likely shake you up. The stress of knowing you were in an accident, the possibility of injuries and the concern about what is going to happen now can all come together to make a difficult situation even more complicated.

    Even though your mind is probably reeling, there are some points that you do need to know. 

      Follow these holiday driving tips to stay safe

      The holiday season is an enjoyable time. From the parties to great times with friends and family, you look forward to everything it will bring your way, despite the stress the season also tends to elicit.

      While there's nothing wrong with having a good time during the holidays, it's imperative to take steps that will keep you safe. This is particularly important when driving.

      Are you too tired to drive? Don’t push yourself

      A motor vehicle accident can happen for many reasons. As a driver, it's your responsibility to protect yourself at all times. In addition to closely monitoring those around you, it's critical to make good personal decisions.

      There is no excuse for driving drowsy, as doing so increases the risk of causing an accident.

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