Driving with Dogs: Some Safety Tips

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It’s not uncommon for us to travel with our constant friends. Cats and dogs frequently accompany their owners in the car, whether they’re going to the vet, performing errands, going on a road trip, or even just a joyride!

Safe driving, like riding without cats and dogs in the car, involves a level of planning and the ability to avoid distractions. Here’s a list of things to remember the next time you’re driving with your pet. There are three different forms of distractions that might happen when driving:

    • Visual distraction
    • Manual distraction
    • Cognitive distraction

When a driver’s eyes are taken off the road, this is known as a visual distraction. When a driver takes their hands off the steering wheel, this is known as manual distraction. Finally, cognitive distraction occurs when the driver’s attention is diverted from the activity at hand. When driving with a pet in the car, any or all of these distractions could occur.

Any type of distraction while driving, even being distracted by a pet, can result in a collision. That is why, especially when traveling with cats or dogs in the automobile, safe driving rules should be continuously enforced.

 

Understand the Rules of the Road When Driving With a Dog

First and foremost, you should be aware of the regulations governing the transportation of animals in vehicles. Because these rules might differ from place to location, it’s even more crucial to do your homework before you go so you don’t end up with a hefty fine. This covers legislation governing your pet’s safe transportation, such as whether or not the dog must be transported in a carrier.

“Dog In Car Stock” by RebaSpike is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Fearful or car-sick dogs should be trained or prepared

Long road journeys present a lot of obstacles, which are amplified if your dog dislikes traveling or gets car sick. You can teach your dog to not be afraid of automobile journeys. You begin by training your dog to eat food from a parked car that has not been turned on. Work your way up to eating in the car while it’s running. Then practice on short journeys that conclude in a pleasurable location, like a dog park. Because this process can take weeks or months, you should begin well in advance of any extended trips. However, with the right training, your dog may come to like vehicle rides!

Car sickness, on the other hand, is an entirely separate problem that you can’t prepare for. You might be able to talk to your veterinarian about drugs that can help ease your dog’s nausea or put him to sleep during long bouts of travel.

 

Always have some food and water with you

You never know what could happen, so keep some dog food and a water bottle on standby to keep your pup hydrated in case of emergency. Keeping a spill-proof water bowl with the dog’s name on it will make it apparent what the dish is for. Allow your pet to have a drink and some food whenever you stop on a long journey, so they are not alarmed if an emergency stop needs to be made.

 

Every few hours take a break

People were not built to ride in a vehicle for eight hours or more, and your pet should not be expected to do so either. Make it a point to stop every two to three hours if you’re on a long journey. Step outside and stretch, then do the same for your pet. Before getting back in the car for a few hours, go for a short stroll to burn off some pent-up energy. This is beneficial to everyone’s health!

“Dog Eats Car” by fsamuels is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Locking your dog in the car is not a good idea

There are a variety of reasons why you should never leave your pet in the car alone. The interior of automobiles can become excessively hot in the summer, suffocating animals. Temperatures might plummet in the winter, causing your pet to freeze. It is prohibited in some areas to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. 

 

Have fun on your journey!

Traveling with a dog is similar to traveling with a small child in many respects. Because they are unable to care for themselves throughout a journey, you must keep their needs in mind and be proactive in caring for them. Any resulting injuries of cars can be compensated by an Ontario car accident attorney. These suggestions should help you and your canine companion have a lot more enjoyable car rides in the future!

Tips To Prevent Dangerous Accidents in Your Home

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electrical injury baby

Unintentional injuries are one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and are the number one leading cause of death in those aged 35 and younger. Shockingly, about 76% of preventable injury-related deaths occur in the homes and communities. In fact, in 2019, 131,400 died from a preventable, unintentional injury. And over the last ten years, that number has been steadily creeping higher. 

Naturally, you would probably not think about bringing a lawsuit against someone if you or a loved one were injured in your own home. But if you were injured in a slip and fall, or other unintentional way in a house that is not your residence, you may have standing to file a claim against the negligent party. The team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can help you understand the claims process, and how you can receive fair compensation for your accident with a free consultation. We’ve also compiled a list of our top tips to prevent dangerous accidents in the home below. 

“ADA 5′ shower units (9) with seat frames and grab bars – $200” by Our United Villages is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

 

Tips to Avoid Dangerous Accidents In The Home

While unintentional injuries can be severe or life threatening, the steps you need to take to prevent them are usually simple. Here are our top tips to prevent injuries in the home:

Prevent Falls:

Falls are the most dangerous and most common unintentional household injury. To prevent falls, follow these tips:

    • Always clean up spills immediately after they occur: Liquids, grease, or other fluids should always be cleaned up immediately after spilling on the ground.
    • Secure rugs: Non skid pads, or slip resistant backings should be present on all rugs on the floor. Double sided carpet tape is also available to secure the edges. Especially watch out for rugs at the top of stairs or near drop offs in the house. 
    • Be mindful of where liquids are placed: Make sure cups with liquid are placed far away from the edge of the table. Watch out for placing liquids on tables that have a tablecloth or runner on it, as a child can easily pull on the fabric causing a spill. 
    • Take extra precautions in the bathroom: Install grab bars in the shower or near the toilet if you live with someone who is unsteady on their feet, such as an elderly family member. Properly installed hower bars or shower stools can help prevent dangerous falls in the bathroom. 
    • Check dangerous areas: Garages and basement are often cluttered and have trip and fall risks. Make sure there are clear paths through these areas and that boxes are stacked safely without the risk of falling over and injuring someone. 

      “How many adults does it take to help a kid down stairs?” by JenCarole is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Prevent Burns:

    • Watch where you place hot liquids: Follow the same steps as above and always be mindful of where you place cups of hot liquid such as tea or coffee.
    • Check your hot water heater: Keep water heaters set at or below 120 degrees to prevent burns from overly hot water. Young children and the elderly are the most susceptible to burns

General Safety:

    • Always keep electronics far away from water: Especially watch out for young children when in the bathroom and keep all electronics far away from the water
    • Stairs: Make sure your handrail runs the full length of the staircase and that there are no area rugs or mats at the base or top of stairs. Make sure outdoor stairs are well lit. 
    • Keep all cleaning products secure: All cleaning products should be stored in a secure and childproof cabinet. A high cabinet that children cannot reach is preferable. 
“Cleaning Product Organizer” by Hey Paul Studios is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

Getting Help When Accidents Happen

Of course, you may not be able to implement all of these suggestions in a house other than your own. But this short list of tips can serve as a guide for what to look out for when you or a loved one visit another house, as well as help you keep your own home as safe as possible.

You won’t always be able to prevent an unintentional injury from happening, but if you or someone you love were injured because of someone else’s negligence in keeping their home safe, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt today at 1-866-283-7804 or use the contact form here to find out what your rights are and get a free consultation.

 

Fatal Pedestrian Accidents Increased Dramatically During Coronavirus Pandemic

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Road Crowd People City Traffic Street. Source: Maxpixel.net, shared under a CC0 license

 

The lockdowns of 2020 caused many departures from routine. In the case of pedestrian accidents, these changes in pattern were sometimes tragic.

Vehicle miles traveled in the first six months of the year dropped by 16.5 percent compared with the same period in 2019. Despite this drop, an increase in pedestrian deaths was registered — from 2,951 in 2019 to 2,957 in 2020!

This continuity represents an actual pedestrian fatality rate increase of 20% over 2019. The fatality rate increased to 2.2 pedestrian deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled, compared to 1.8 deaths in 2019.

The pedestrian rights lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt represent civilians with cases of serious medical injuries or wrongful deaths caused by automobiles. If you were injured due to the negligence of a driver, we will fight for the compensation that you deserve.

 

What Causes These Accidents?

In the first months of the pandemic, traffic was light but enforcement was lax. In addition, many more pedestrians were on back roads near to their houses, owing to an excess of time spent at home and no open destinations to head to.

This may help to explain the per-mile spike in pedestrian deaths in 2020 — but it doesn’t excuse it. 

When pedestrian accidents occur, drivers are often speeding, distracted, or otherwise operating their vehicle in an unsafe manner. These are the most common causes of pedestrian traffic accidents:

  • Drunk or otherwise intoxicated driving
  • Running red lights 
  • Right turns through crosswalks without looking for pedestrians
  • Distracted driving, such as driving while texting
  • Illegally parked cars making it difficult to see pedestrians and bicycles

 

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?

Pedestrians harmed in traffic accidents are rarely to blame. If you or a loved one were injured on a sidewalk or at a crosswalk with no traffic signal, the driver was definitely in the wrong. Even if that was not the case, you may have had the right of way. 

Motorists must:

  • Yield to pedestrians crossing a roadway in a marked or unmarked crosswalk when the pedestrian has the right of way
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing a roadway with the assistance of a white/red-tipped cane or a guide dog. Motorists must also pay careful attention when moving past such individuals
  • Exercise “due care” by making use of all available precautions to avoid hitting pedestrians, including honking or giving audible signals when possible

Pedestrians have several responsibilities when dealing with traffic as well. They should:

  • Follow traffic control devices such as red lights, stop signs and “do not walk” signals
  • Cross at marked crosswalks or pedestrian crossings when traffic control devices are present at an intersection
  • When there are no designated crossings, pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

When a vehicle and pedestrian collide, the results are predictably tragic. Our lawyers have helped pedestrians who have suffered:

These injuries don’t just cause extensive pain and suffering, they also carry staggering medical expenses. A personal injury lawsuit can help you handle the heavy burden brought on by driver negligence.

 

Other Pedestrian Injuries

It isn’t just vehicles responsible for harm to pedestrians. Negligence of all kinds is to blame for many pedestrian injuries each year. 

Slip and fall injuries occur on icy and dangerous sidewalks, in open manhole covers, from falling debris from construction projects, and down slippery stairs. 

Negligent property owners may be liable for some or all of your injuries, including medical bills and other economic damages. If intangible damages occur as a result of their negligence, they may be responsible for these too.

Photo by Nout Gons from Pexels

When to Consult with an Experienced Traffic Accident Attorney

When a devastating accident occurs, it can be hard to understand the next steps. Insurance companies are not on your side. An experienced personal injury law firm like McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt is best equipped to help you navigate this challenging process.

If you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of a driver, property owner or construction project, don’t hesitate to contact our team of lawyers today. Fill out our form or call 1-866-382-4806.

 

What To Do After a Car Accident in Philadelphia

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ridesharing

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, whether minor or serious, you know that the aftermath can be a challenging time. The lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt have created the following list that we hope will be helpful to you in those first moments after a car accident. Feel free to bookmark this page or print it out to keep in your glove box in case of an emergency. 

1. Stay at the Scene

A hit-and-run is against the law, and you may face consequences even if the accident is minor and did not result in any injuries. Don’t run the risk of running afoul of the law; stay at the scene until you are given the all clear.

2. Check for Injuries

If occupants of either vehicle sustain any injuries in the crash, they should receive medical attention. It is a good idea to keep a first-aid kit in your vehicle at all times in case of minor injuries, but you should summon an ambulance for any severe injuries. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and call emergency services; it may save a life.

3. Call the Police

If the accident is not serious and you happen to have the non-emergency number, you can use it to summon the police, but there’s also nothing wrong with calling 911 for even a minor accident. To make an insurance claim later, you will probably need an official accident report from the police, so don’t hesitate to involve law enforcement, regardless of the severity of the accident. 

4. Make a Report

Tell the police exactly what happened to the best of your ability. Stick to the facts, and include as much detail as possible. However, be careful to avoid saying anything that could be construed as taking responsibility for the collision. Even saying “I’m sorry” could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Let the authorities and the insurance companies determine who was at fault.

5. Gather Data

This involves exchanging insurance information with the other driver, but it also includes identifying and obtaining contact information from any witnesses, noting the responding officer’s name and badge number, and documenting the scene of the accident. You should obtain the location’s address, if possible, or at least be able to name nearby cross streets. It is also a good idea to take pictures of the scene if you can do so safely.

6. Contact Your Insurance Company

You should do this as soon as possible to start the claims process. In many cases, it is also advisable to hire a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to represent your interests after a car accident. The lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can provide you with more information during your initial consultation, which is always provided free of charge.

 

What Not To Do After an Accident

There are a few important things to avoid saying or doing after being involved in a car accident. These include:

  • Not calling the police

    In some cases, people believe it is okay to just exchange information with the other driver and forgo calling the police. Not calling the police, however, means you will not receive an official accident report to provide as evidence of what happened. 

  • Avoid recorded statements:

    Insurance companies may try to reach out to you after the accident to ask for a recorded statement. We advise our clients to avoid doing that until they have obtained proper legal representation. Remember, an insurance company’s primary objective is to pay you as little as possible. As the victim, you deserve compensation that will cover your medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and property damage. 

  • Avoid waiting too long before seeking recovery on your claim

    In most states, there is a set time period for accident victims to sue for personal injuries or wrongful death cases. If the time limit is surpassed, your claim will not receive any coverage. 

The attorney’s at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can help you meet all the required deadlines, and gather the evidence you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 1-866-333-7715 or reach out online by filling out our form for your free consultation. 

 

Top Ten Reasons for Car Accidents in 2020 and 2021

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In order to receive compensation after a car accident, you will need to show that the person who caused your accident was negligent, and that their negligent actions led to the crash. Below, we’ve compiled the top ten reasons for a car accident in 2020 and moving into 2021, to help you gain a better understanding of why accidents happen and how to prevent them. 

 

1. COVID-19 and Car Accidents 

The global pandemic caused the number of vehicles on the road to dramatically decrease in 2020, so it’s natural to assume there would be a decrease in traffic accidents as well. But in fact, traffic-related fatalities rose by 4.6% nationwide. Philadelphia County reported 120 traffic related fatalities in 2020, up 60% from 2019. 

This rise in fatalities may be in part because the COVID-19 crisis led to increased alcohol consumption, potentially causing more drunk drivers. In addition, the decrease in vehicles caused less congestion on roadways, which allowed drivers who remained on the road to drive more recklessly.

 

2. Speeding

Speed limits are carefully determined by elected officials in conjunction with traffic engineers, and are put in place to keep people safe while driving. This is because speed is the number one factor in determining if an accident will be fatal. 

 

3. Drunk Driving

Intoxication, whether it be from alcohol or other substances, can impair an individual’s reaction time, motor functioning, and decision making. Drunk driving is another major contributing factor in determining if an accident will be fatal. 

 

4. Distracted Driving 

While drunk driving leads to a higher risk of fatalities, distracted driving is one of the top causes of accidents across the United States. 

Distracted driving can include:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Putting on makeup
  • Turning to talk to other passengers
  • Adjusting the navigation system

 

5. Texting and Driving

The most common form of distracted driving is texting and driving. Texting involves a visual distraction (looking at your phone), a manual distraction (typing), and a cognitive distraction (reading the text). It may seem like only a few seconds, but even 5 seconds of looking away from the road while driving at 55mph is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. 

 

6. Drowsy Driving

Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. In fact, in controlled studies, drunk and drowsy driving resulted in a similar number of crashes. 

 

7. Inexperienced Drivers

An experienced driver knows to keep a safe distance while following another car, as well as to check their blind spots while changing lanes. But an inexperienced driver may not remember to glance over their shoulder into the area their mirror cannot see, and may also inadvertently tailgate or fail to yield when they should. 

 

8. Aggressive Driving

Changing lanes rapidly, tailgating, or illegal passing of other cars may be the result of inexperience, but it can also be caused by an experienced, but aggressive driver. In Philadelphia, around 36% of traffic-related deaths are the result of aggressive driving.  

 

9. Road Rage

Aggressive driving may or may not be associated with road rage, which occurs when a driver gets angry at another vehicle on the road. This can result in behaviors like cutting in front of a car aggressively, using verbal insults, or threatening another driver.  

 

10. Poor Vehicle Maintenance

If a driver does not take proper care of their car, it can easily create a dangerous situation. Mechanical failures can occur that endanger the driver and other cars on the road, such as

 

What To Do if You Were Involved in a Car Accident 

Even if you take every precaution in the world, it’s impossible to prevent every car accident from occurring. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to cover your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and collect compensation for your pain and suffering. 

The Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt understand how difficult the aftermath of a serious car accident can be, and are ready to fight for you at every step of the way. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-866-333-7715 or reach out by filling out our form.

 

10 Tips To Help Prevent Accidents With Trucks and Other Commercial Vehicles

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Commercial trucks are a common sight on American roads, with nearly 37 million trucks being used for business purposes in 2018. Almost 4 million of those trucks were extra-large class 8 trucks, weighing over 33,001 pounds. Unfortunately, these large trucks can pose an extreme danger to other vehicles on the road, with over 500,000 trucking accidents reported in the United States every year. 

Because of the proliferation of large trucks, and their high likelihood for dangerous accidents, it is critical to learn how to drive safely around them. Below are our top safety tips to help you avoid a catastrophic accident with a large truck. 

  1. Give Trucks More Space

Commercial trucks can take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, with even greater distances on wet or slippery roads. If you are closely following a truck and it experiences a mechanical failure, or incident such as a tire blowout, you are highly likely to be involved in an accident. 

If you are driving below 40 mph, a good rule of thumb is to leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. This means you should leave about 4 seconds between your vehicle and a commercial truck. For speeds over 40 mph, leave one additional second. Double your following distance in adverse weather conditions such as rain. 

  1. Don’t Drive in a Truck’s Blind Spot

All vehicles have a blind spot, but commercial trucks have four large blind spots that pose a danger to other drivers. The most dangerous place to be when driving next to a commercial truck is on it’s passenger side, as that blind spot is significantly larger than the one on the driver’s side. Always pass large trucks on the driver’s side, and avoid staying directly alongside a commercial truck as you can easily be in their blind spot without knowing it. 

  1. Use Caution When Changing Lanes

Never pass trucks on the right, and do not linger as you pass the truck. If you cannot see the truck driver, they cannot see you. Move at a steady speed as you pass, and do not slow down or brake when you move in front of the truck, as they need more time than a passenger vehicle to slow down or stop. 

  1. Pay Attention in Adverse Weather Conditions

Rain, snow, ice, or fog are dangerous conditions for anyone to drive in, but they are particularly dangerous for commercial trucks. They will need extra time and distance to slow down or stop, so it is more critical than ever to give them enough room on the highway. Trucks can roll over or spin out in high winds or on wet roadways, and any passenger vehicles in their way are at risk of a serious accident. 

  1. Patience Is Key

It’s easy to become frustrated when sharing the road with a commercial truck. They take up a large amount of space and take longer to speed up or go around curves. Some drivers respond to this with road rage or aggression, but remember that if you are going up against a vehicle that is 20 times your size, you will almost always be putting yourself in grave danger. 

Trucks are often driving under speed caps that prevent them from driving the same speed as a personal vehicle, which is done for everyone’s safety. Truck drivers want to do their jobs safely and efficiently, so have patience when sharing the road with them, and wait for a safe time to pass. 

Not All Accidents Are Avoidable

Even if you follow all the above tips, it’s still possible that you may be the victim of a trucking accident. Truck drivers that are distracted, fatigued, or have a truck with a mechanical error, can create situations that are beyond your control. If you are involved in a trucking accident, a skilled lawyer can help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Call the team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt today to discuss your case. We can be reached by calling 1-866-333-7715 or by filling out our form

What Should You Do After a Truck Accident

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If you or your loved one were injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, you know firsthand how devastating this type of accident can be. Semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, making them roughly 20 times the size of a small passenger car. Their large size means they can take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, with even greater distances on wet or slippery roads. The sheer size and weight of a truck mean any encounter with them has the possibility to cause catastrophic injuries.

In 2018, large trucks and buses were involved in over 5,000 fatal crashes, and the number of large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes has increased by 48-percent since 2009. If you were injured in an accident involving a large truck, there are several steps you can take to ensure you receive fair compensation that covers the cost of your medical bills and auto repairs. Keep reading for our top tips on how to protect your legal rights after a trucking accident. 

Call for Help

Your first priority should be to assess your safety, as well as the safety of your passengers. Even if your injuries seem minor, you should immediately call 911 and request an ambulance. You should always be examined by a doctor, as internal injuries and head trauma can sometimes go undetected and cause greater damage later on. You will also want to get a police report, which will be pivotal in documenting and proving your case

Take Photos at the Accident Scene

Take shots from multiple angles, and be sure to include pictures of your vehicle, the truck, your injuries, and your passengers’ injuries. If you are unable to take photos yourself, have a trusted friend or family member take the pictures for you. Taking photos will be especially important if the weather may have been a factor in visibility, or in making the roads slick. 

Collect Witness Information and Other Documentation

Other things you should try to collect at the scene are:

  • The names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails of all drivers and witnesses 
  • Pictures of the truck driver’s insurance cards
  • Pictures of the truck driver’s license
  • The name and contact information of the trucking company the driver works for
  • The trucks license plate number, make and model, color, and any other identifying information

Leave Your Vehicle As It Is

Make sure to communicate to your mechanic that they are not to perform any repairs until the vehicle has been appraised by the insurance company. Just like injuries to your body, your car may seem fine, but it’s best to get the opinion of a trusted mechanic to check for hidden damages that may not be evident at first glance. 

What NOT To Do After a Trucking Accident

It is important that you don’t admit fault after a trucking accident. If you are partially responsible, a skilled lawyer can help you understand the extent to which you may be liable, and help you find ways to reduce your liability. 

You’re also under no obligation to talk with the insurance companies that will call you. Politely, but firmly, let them know “I am working with a lawyer, and they will reach out to you”. Insurance adjusters are notorious for offering small settlements in the hopes that you will accept readily, not realizing that you can fight for better compensation. 

Contact an Attorney

This is of the utmost importance because you can be sure that the trucking company already has specialized attorneys to minimize their own liability. A truck accident attorney working on your behalf will conduct an investigation, gather and protect key evidence, and handle communications with all other parties involved. This also lets the trucking company and their insurer know you mean serious business, and they are more likely to offer you a better settlement offer. 

Trucking accidents can be much more complicated than accidents involving two personal vehicles, as multiple other parties may be involved. These may include the trucking company, the driver’s employer, or the manufacturer of the goods being transported. The skilled lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can help you determine if you have a case, and who is ultimately liable for your accident, with a free consultation. Call us today at 1-866-333-7715 or reach out by filling out our form

 

Railroad Crossing Accidents Targeted By Nationwide NHTSA Campaign

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Recently, highway safety officials from federal agencies have started a multi-million dollar awareness campaign to educate people on the dangers associated with train crossings. They’re doing this partly in reaction to the latest study on railroad crossing accidents, which showed a greater need for efforts to reduce the number of resulting injuries and deaths.

“Stop. Trains Can’t.” is a campaign running nationwide as part of a joint effort by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). With a budget of over $6 million, funding is being spent to raise awareness on the dangers of railroad crossings by spreading the message via advertisements on digital, radio, and social media channels. The advertisements will urge drivers to be alert to railroad crossing warning devices, like descending gates or flashing lights, that show when a train is nearing. 

The two agencies will be targeting their ads at several areas in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee, and Texas, where there are an elevated number of higher-risk railroad crossings and fatal collisions. In 2019, accidents at railway crossings led to over 900 deaths. This was an increase on the previous year’s numbers by over 10%. Officials have asserted that these recent numbers are the highest levels recorded in over a decade. 

Why Trains Are So Dangerous

Part of the reason for such elevated death rates and the reason that the campaign is so important is that, according to figures from the NHTSA, a crash involving a train is nearly 20 times more likely to be fatal than an accident with another vehicle. There are a variety of causes for the elevated danger posed by railways, but the primary cause of danger is the massive force caused by the impact of a train, which can weigh anywhere from 4,000 to 20,000 tons.

Not only does the massive size of a train mean the damage from an impact involving one will be massive, but it also means that the train itself is less able to avoid the collision. A train can require more than one mile of the railway to stop, meaning that a train will not be able to stop itself from hitting a vehicle in its way, even if the emergency brakes are used. When you combine this with the fact that trains aren’t maneuverable and can’t turn to avoid a crash, it is entirely up to the operator of the motor vehicle to ensure that they heed warning signs and stay out of the train’s path.

Steps to Reduce Car Collisions

A talking point for the campaign is that the majority of railway crossing fatalities could be avoided if drivers took more precautions around railways. They’re promoting a series of proactive steps that the public should make when nearing railroad crossings to reduce the risk of collision and injury. They say that drivers should:

  • Stop, look both ways, and listen for trains because trains have the right of way and are unable to stop
  • Ensure that they have adequate room to cross the tracks before attempting to cross the railway
  • Stop 5 yards away from the any crossing gates so there’s no chance of crossing entering the track
  • Never ignore crossing alarms or attempt to cross when the gate is lowering
  • Allow the gate to fully raise and signals to stop entirely before crossing
  • Consider the possibility that there is more than one train passing

The agencies involved in this outreach campaign believe that if drivers follow these simple steps, fatalities around the country could be greatly reduced.

Even More Harbor Freight Jack Stands Recalled

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The very recent recalls of the Harbor Freight Steel Jack Stands have brought to light an alarming safety hazard and source of severe injuries that cause over 4,500 injuries each year according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NHTSA).

With over 1.7 million Pittsburgh 3-Ton and 6-Ton Jack Stands recalled to potential for severe injury and death from a jack stand collapse remains an incredible risk.  With decades of experience getting justice for injury victims, our jack stand collapse attorneys can help you or a loved one get suitable compensation for their injuries or possible death.  We have always offered a free case evaluation and you won’t pay a dime unless we win.

How Dangerous Are Floor Stand Jacks?

Even without recallable manufacturing defects, jack stands remain a dangerous tool for any business or individual needing to jack a vehicle up for repair.  Over 4,822 people were injured by collapsing jacks annually according to an NHTSA report, with over 96% of the individuals needing to visit the emergency room.  Currently – there is no concise study available on any fatal injuries caused by collapsing jack stands.

Of these 4,800+ injuries, the NHTSA broke them down into the following injury types:

  • 5% – Amputations
  • 40% – Contusions
  • 15% – Fractures
  • 18% – Lacerations
  • 10% – Strains or Sprains
  • 13% – Other Injuries

In over 39% of these cases – the hand, wrist, or fingers were injured by the jack stand collapse.

Our attorneys understand the law surrounding these incidents, and by calling us at 1-800-590-4116 we can help you learn whether or not you have a case with no fees required.

The May 2020 Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recalls 

After years of complaints, the NHTSA finally issued a recall of over 1.7 Million Pittsburgh Automotive® 3-Ton and 6-Ton Heavy-Duty Steel Jack Stands.

Harbor Freight is generally known for producing cheap tools and severe manufacturing defects within their Chinese factory led to the possibility of these stands collapsing suddenly under large loads.  This collapse can result in serious injuries and even death. 

The July 2020 Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recall

Harbor freight put out a new batch of jacks to replace the ones that had to be recalled, however, in July of 2020, just a few months later, the new 3-ton jacks also had to be recalled due to a manufacturing issue. A number of these new jack stands were failing and collapsing as the old batch had, except for a different reason this time. While the exact cause of the manufacturing issue has not been reported, the cause of these collapses is a defect in the welding of the jack stand. In response, the company has issued a recall to cover many of the jacks that people had bought to replace the jacks that had already been recalled.

What Harbor Freight Products Were Recalled?

In March 2020, an initial 454,000 Pittsburgh Automotive 6-Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands were recalled by Harbor Freight.  Only months later in May 2020, an additional 3-Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands were recalled due to the same manufacturing defect. In July 2020, more 3-Ton Heavy Duty Jack Stands were recalled, due to an issue with the welding which caused them to collapse.

What Manufacturing Defects Caused These Harbor Freight Jack Recalls?

The first two instances of these product recalls were linked to manufacturing defects within a manufacturer called Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools Co., Ltd.  An analysis of these jack stands determined that the product quality was inconsistent due to aged tooling – and due to this the gears used to keep the load aloft are prone to slippage.  In addition an inconsistent location of the main pawl armature hole also caused a margin of error which further exacerbated the issue.

The latest recall was due to a defect in the quality of the welding of load bearing pieces in the jack. When these welded joints received a heavy load, the stress caused them to snap and the jack to collapse, putting Harbor Freight customers in danger again due to twisting metal and falling loads.

This kind of welding defect could have a number of causes. If the joints don’t get hot enough when they’re formed, several issues could occur. For welding to be done successfully, both of the pieces have to be hot. This is because welding is basically fusing together two pieces of metal, until they become combined on the molecular level, if one of the pieces is too cold, that means it’s material won’t be altered enough to accept the fusing. The outcome of this is that if both pieces aren’t adequately heated at the same time, you’re essentially sticking one piece of metal onto another instead of fusing them together, creating a weak joint.

The failures of the July 3-Ton Jack Stand could also be due to cracking. This is a common defect that happens within the joints of the weld. It happens when the heated metal gets cooled rapidly, causing a build up of stress that makes cracks appear in the metal. A common process, annealing, is used to prevent this kind of issue from happening. By reheating the weld to a lower temperature than the original one and allowing the metal to then naturally cool, the metal refuses but undergoes less stress while cooling. Of course, cutting corners on these product quality steps is one way that suppliers and manufacturers are able to cut costs, unfortunately, the result is that the customer on the receiving end can be put at unnecessary risk.

Weld problems could also be a result of distortions, oxidation, slag, and corrosion, many issues that can be caused by poor quality base metals.

With such a large load depending on these jack stands, even a small defect can have catastrophic responses for those individuals working around the lifted load. 

How Were The Defective Harbor Freight Jack Stands Failing?

If affected by the May defect, the ratchet teeth on the jack stand lifting extension were inconsistency engaging the pawl, which provides the support for the load.  Due to the manufacturing defects these ratchet teeth were not engaging at an appropriate depth which could cause sudden slippage.

While under load, potential shifts in weight were causing these gear teeth to slip suddenly, which would cause the jack stand to collapse and potentially injure any bystanders. 

In the case of the July defect, the top stand that holds the arm of the jack is also the place where the teeth and levering action are located, because of the pyramid shape of the stand, the top of the stand had to be fused by welding. However, because this is where the levering action is located and where the arm meets the base, the area has to absorb a lot of stress, and the welds could not handle it and would fail, causing the entire jack to collapse.

How Can Our Jack Stand Collapse Attorneys Help You?

Our team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt have helped bring justice to hundreds of individuals that were injured through no fault of their own.  Our team provides a free consultation so we can help you understand whether or not your injuries deserve compensation.  Throughout the entire process – you won’t pay a single dime.  We don’t charge any fee unless we win your case.

If you or a loved one owns or has been injured by a jack stand collapse, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately at 1-800-590-4116 so we can help you determine whether or not you have a case.

What Trucking Companies Cause The Most Accidents On The Road?

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The East Coast is more developed and tightly populated than much of the rest of the country. The result of this congestion is that the highways that run across the area are very tightly packed. This means there is a greater density of drivers in the region than in other parts of the country, increasing the likelihood of accidents. When these accidents involve commercial trucks, the resulting damage is often serious.

Trucking accidents cause thousands of injuries every year, and because of the massive trailers and large loads they carry, the potential for serious, life-threatening accidents is increased. The size of the trucks and the loads they carry also means that more drivers can be impacted by accidents involving trucks, due to the potential for flying debris from the trailer, spilled cargo, and the number of space trucks take up on the road.

Unfortunately, many trucking companies are too lax in their safety standards and hiring practices, given how dangerous commercial trucking is. The result is that thousands of Americans are injured in trucking accidents every year. These injuries mean victims have to deal with emotional and physical pain and as well as financial hardship due to crushing medical debts, an inability to work, and car repairs. 

Thankfully, personal injury laws exist to help families get back on track after they suffer from a crash involving a truck. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help them navigate the complex liability laws involving commercial vehicles to hold the appropriate parties responsible and get the compensation they deserve.

At McEldrew Young & Purtell, we’ve handled thousands of personal injury cases and have won millions for our clients. As experts in truck accident injury laws, we’ll take a look at some of the trucking companies that get in the larger number of accidents, so you know who to look out for when you’re on the road.

United Parcel Service

More commonly known as UPS, United Parcel Service, Inc. is one of the largest parcel transport companies in the country. Headquartered in Atlanta, they have a large fleet and nearly 100,000 drivers on the road. While they have a fairly low number of safety inspection violations, UPS drivers were involved in nearly 2,300 crashes, causing 800 injuries and 55 deaths.

FedEx

FedEx Freight, Inc. is an Arizona based service that focuses on less-than-truckload shipping. They employ roughly 20,000 drivers, who were involved in almost 900 crashes, roughly 260 of which caused injuries. The accidents resulted in 26 deaths.

Swift Transportation

The Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona is another company that’s based out of the Grand Canyon State. Their business focuses on transporting truckload-sized freight. Their size is similar to that of FedEx, with roughly 20,500 drivers on the roster. Alarmingly, 15 percent of their vehicles were found to have violations during the inspection, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Their drivers were involved in around 1,800 crashes, roughly 520 of which caused injuries and 45 that caused deaths.

While not every trucking accident is serious, these statistics show how dangerous a truck-related crash can be.

Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered because of a truck-involved crash, your best course of action is to consult an experienced law firm as soon as possible. Only a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you get compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial harm your family has suffered.

With over 30 years of personal injury law experience, McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt has the expertise to fully evaluate your legal case and get you the payout you deserve. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.

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