How Are Car Safety Ratings Determined?
Deciding which car to buy can be a difficult decision. Before purchasing a vehicle, you might check out safety ratings online for information and recommendations. That way, you can proceed with a little more confidence.
Having immediate accessibility to car safety ratings makes vehicle shopping much easier. However, how are safety ratings determined? There are plenty of considerations that go into evaluating how safely a car will perform. Those considerations are made primarily by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), although other entities may also issue car safety ratings.
Unlike other entities, such as a car’s manufacturer or a dealership, the IIHS can provide an objective vehicle safety overview. For more than half a century, the IIHS has been in existence. Today, one of the organization’s main purposes is to use data to determine a car’s likeliness to protect drivers and passengers in a car accident and in other dangerous scenarios.
Additionally, lawmakers often rely on the organization’s findings to guide legal rules, regulations, and suggestions. This makes the IIHS a powerful agency. It also gives it tremendous influence when it comes to assessing car safety ratings.
What Specific Elements Go Into the Car Safety Rating System?
Researchers at the IIHS scrutinize many aspects of a car’s design and responsiveness before issuing a rating. All aspects fall under four basic elements:
- How effective are the seat belts?
- How effective are the airbags?
- What is the survival space?
- What happens to crash dummies involved in a mock car accident?
The IIHS uses a wide range of equipment and several tests to answer these questions. Equipment during those tests can involve anything from specialized software to carefully installed cameras designed to deliver precise feedback at the moment of impact.
What Happens in a Crash Test?
Cars that undergo IIHS crash tests are evaluated in a few ways. First, the car undergoes an accident at a medium-level speed. Afterward, researchers take careful measurements to figure out what would have happened to real people who had been involved in the incident. Next, testers see what will happen if the car is hit on either side. By varying the intensity of the impact, testers can decide what would happen in the case of a side-impact or similar accident. From that point, the tests will determine the strength of the roof. This helps get a better understanding of how the car would fare during a rollover accident. Finally, the car undergoes a mock rear-end collision.
Taken together, these tests help paint a picture of how safe it would be to be in the car during each type of common accident. To come up with their final rankings, the IIHS considers other elements of the car, including its headlight effectiveness and other safety features, like automatic brakes.
Are Car Safety Tests Fair?
You may wonder if all the safety tests are fair. Cars fall into different classes, so does that mean that smaller, less expensive car models are destined to get poor ratings since they may have fewer safety features? The IIHS takes different vehicle types into consideration, and they judge cars based on the standards that make sense for the car they are testing. That way, every car is vetted fairly. It is not uncommon for the IIHS to issue its Top Safety Pick award to a variety of car models.
Are There Other Car Safety Ratings?
Plenty of car buyers immediately look at IIHS rankings. However, the IIHS is not the only organization issuing car safety ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has its own star-based ranking system. Like the IIHS, the NHTSA is not beholden to any car manufacturer or organization. Therefore, when the NHTSA gives out five stars, its highest rating, it does so based on tests.
The tests performed by the NHTSA are similar to those completed by the IIHS. After simulating many types of crashes, the NHTSA can assign a ranking. Many cars that get high ratings from the IIHS also get high ratings from the NHTSA.
It should be noted that the NHTSA and IIHS tend to focus their crash tests only on popular, high-volume car models. Therefore, if you intend to purchase an exotic vehicle or limited edition car, you may not be able to find either an IIHS or NHTSA ranking.
Should a Safety Rating Be a Determining Factor When Buying a Car?
When buying a new or used car, you will probably want to check out its ratings. Why? Knowing whether a car has been assessed as poor, marginal, acceptable, or good by leading testing agencies will help you determine if it is worth your money. On the other hand, you never want to make a car buying decision based on ratings alone. Instead, use the ratings as one of many considerations, such as:
- The crash history of the car.
- The age and health of the vehicle.
- The car price point versus your budget.
- The safety add-ons of the car.
- The expected cost to keep up the car.
What if I Get in a Car Accident?
Even if you drive a car that has excellent safety ratings, you could still be injured in a serious accident. At that point, you will want to get the medical attention you need. Early medical treatment is the wisest course of action.
You may also want to contact a lawyer. Retaining a lawyer can be vital if you plan on suing another party for negligence.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Fight on Behalf of Those Seriously Injured in Collisions
Before you purchase a car, you should review its safety ratings. However, even in a safe, modern car, you can still be injured by a negligent motorist in an accident. If you have been injured in a collision, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Tesla Touch Screen Video Game Feature Raises Safety Concerns
With the rollout of its most recent software update, car manufacturer Tesla, Inc. is raising serious safety concerns due to a feature that allows drivers to play video games on the center touch screen while the vehicle is in motion. The video game feature is not a new addition to Tesla entertainment screens, however, previous versions of the software only permitted playing while the vehicle is in park.
The update in the Tesla Model 3 now allows some games to be played while the vehicle is in motion. Intended as a warning, when the game mode is accessed, it requires players to tap a button stating, “I AM A PASSENGER.” Numerous tests of this feature have shown that drivers can tap the button and be granted access to play while the car is in motion. Such activity drastically increases the risk of a serious car accident due to distracted driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the new feature following numerous customer complaints. Tesla features have drawn the attention of the NHTSA in the past as well, including the autopilot system and full self-driving mode and installation of the large entertainment screens enabling drivers to access other interactive features.
Nearly all new cars come equipped with video screens to control various features, including climate control, the radio, and even order food or schedule airline flights on some models. Typically, such functions only work when the car is not moving and in park. Some models have additional screens for passengers to access and watch certain media but are designed so the driver cannot see them.
Automakers must follow federal safety regulations regarding which functions can be utilized on video screens when the car is in motion.
Is Distracted Driving Really Dangerous?
Operating a vehicle while eating, texting, reading, sending emails, and interacting with children and other passengers or pets are all considered forms of distracted driving. Taking your eyes of the road for even a few seconds can result in a deadly crash.
According to the NHTSA, 3,142 fatalities resulted from distracted driving in 2019, making it the contributing factor in nearly 10 percent of all car accidents for that year. Additionally, the NHTSA estimates that approximately 280,000 individuals are injured every year due to such distractions, even though most states have issued bans against cellphone use while driving.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Assist Clients Injured by Distracted Drivers
A car accident can happen at any moment, especially if a driver participates in an activity that takes their eyes off the road. If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, one of our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Where Do Most Car Accidents Occur?
A car accident can occur anywhere, however, there are a few places where collisions happen more frequently. Below are several common car accident locations.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than one-third of all car accidents happen at intersections. What makes intersections so dangerous? Intersections can be complex. Not all intersections are four roads converging. Some involve only three roads. Others may include multiple roads and complicated traffic patterns, especially for newer drivers.
Distracted driving can also cause an intersection accident. If drivers are not paying attention to what is happening around them, they may be more inclined to run a red light, slam into the back of a stopped vehicle, or make a left turn into oncoming traffic.
What is the best way to avoid a car accident at a busy intersection? It is crucial to pay attention to what is happening around you. The more you stay in tune with the flow of traffic, the easier you can bypass mishaps.
When you approach a sharp turn, you are not able to see what is around the curve, such as a stopped car, icy road, or an animal crossing the path. The best way to reduce getting into a crash at a sharp turn is to slow down. You may want to reduce your speed beyond the posted limit, especially at nighttime or in fog, sleet, snow, or rain. The more time you give yourself to react, the more likely you will be able to veer out of the way in time to avoid a collision.
In Stopped Traffic
Most drivers feel fairly safe when they get into traffic jams. Since no one is speeding, some people assume that they have little chance of getting into a crash. However, it is important to think about how other drivers will react to stopped traffic.
Some drivers become aggressive when they are stopped in traffic. They try to look for a way around the traffic, and they may end up switching lanes abruptly or try to ride along the shoulder of the road. Motorcyclists will sometimes cruise between cars, making the situation even worse.
Multi-vehicle car accidents often happen in traffic jams because of aggressive driving. If you are stopped and someone slams into your car from behind, you have no ability to prepare for the force.
Fortunately, you can take a few preventive measures to reduce your chance of getting into an accident in a traffic jam. One is to keep a decent following distance. Another is to keep an eye on the movements of cars behind you.
On Rural Roads
Many people think of rural roads as places for leisurely drives. However, rural roads are not as safe as you might think. Despite rural road speed limits being lower than highway speeds, a lot of drivers speed.
When you are driving on a rural road, stay attuned to the speed limit. Also, watch out for deer and other animals.
Pedestrian crossings are often congested with traffic, and they can be confusing. You probably have driven up to a pedestrian crossing more than once and wondered when you were supposed to move forward. You should allow pedestrians and cyclists to move before you continue. When you start driving forward, be sure that you pump the gas slightly. Never put down the pedal in case someone walks in front of your car suddenly.
Close to Home
According to the NHTSA, drivers are more likely to get injured or killed in an accident while driving within 25 miles of their home. A main reason for this is because a driver’s guard may be down when they are in a familiar area. A driver may know the road so well that they stop paying attention.
Remind yourself that every local trip you take deserves your complete attention. You should avoid all distractions, even when you are close to home. Stow away your cellphone, and turn off the music or radio. Also, eat before you drive, not while cruising.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Even if you drive defensively, you can still end up in an accident because not all motorists follow the rules of the road. You should know what to do after an accident.
After a collision, you need to get checked out by a medical professional, even if the accident does not seem to be serious. You may have a severe, costly injury. You may also want to speak to a car accident lawyer to talk about your legal options.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Help You After Any Type of Collision
A car accident can happen anywhere, and one might leave you with a serious injury. If you have been injured in a collision, our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can offer legal assistance. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
What Does Total Loss Mean After a Car Accident?
Being involved in a car accident is a nerve-wracking experience, and your anxiety and stress can keep going long after the crash is over. Aside from making sure that everyone in your vehicle is not injured, you are going to have to assess the condition that your vehicle is in after your car accident. In order to make sure that you get a fair shake for your vehicle, it is imperative to know what a total loss vehicle means and the options that are available to you.
If an insurance company adjuster has found that your car has been totaled, they are estimating that the amount of money it will take to repair your vehicle is greater than the vehicle’s worth. If this is the case, then you are going to want to learn about your available options.
A variety of factors determine how insurance companies determine what your car is actually worth. Among the factors that they consider are your vehicle’s condition and age, mileage, resale value, along with what similar vehicles are selling for in your area by utilizing Kelley Blue Book and the National Automobile Dealers Association.
What Should I Do if My Car Is Totaled?
If the other party is at fault for the car accident that totaled your car, then their insurance company will have to reimburse you for the value of your vehicle. The following insurance policies can offer coverage for a totaled car:
- Comprehensive insurance coverage: If your car is totaled in a weather-related accident, collision with an animal, or destroyed in a fire, then comprehensive insurance coverage will compensate you for your vehicle after deductions. This coverage can also protect you if your car is stolen and then found in a condition that is beyond repair.
- Collision insurance coverage: Collision coverage will reimburse your vehicle’s value after your car crash, regardless of who is at fault.
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage: Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage will come into play when the at-fault party has no insurance or their insurance is not enough to compensate you.
In Delaware, you can pursue compensation if you are less than 50 percent at fault for your accident. You may be able to collect compensation for vehicle damages, hospital bills, disfigurement, and lost income.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Determine if You Can Collect Damages for a Totaled Vehicle
If a car accident has left you with severe injuries and a totaled vehicle, our skilled Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation today. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
How Can You Prepare Your Car for Winter?
It is important to prepare your car for winter before the season officially begins. If you drive in areas where snowstorms are common, then you need to prepare you car for handling those driving challenges as soon as possible. A good rule of thumb is to have your vehicle ready for the worst type of wintertime weather. Listed below are ways you can prepare your car for the upcoming winter season.
Check the Wiper Blades and Wiper Fluid
You need to see clearly while driving, but that can be harder to do during the winter season. Snow, sleet, rain, and slush can quickly accumulate while you are driving. If you park outside, frost could obscure some of the view during your morning commute if you do not defrost your vehicle.
It is beneficial to mount new wiper blades for winter travel. New wiper blades will help clear your windscreen of any obstructions. New and functioning wiper blades will help keep all precipitation and frost off of the windshield and out of your view while driving.
It helps to replace your windshield wiper fluid so that it does not freeze up as well. Freeze-resistant wiper fluid is critical for wintertime. If you have to drive while it is cold, you need to get rid of any frost or ice that accumulated on the windshield overnight.
Flush and Fill the Radiator
Your engine needs protection against the upcoming freezing weather. The radiator and engine core circulate coolant that could freeze up if it gets cold enough and if you did not replace the old antifreeze. Your mechanic can flush and fill the radiator with new coolant that gives your engine very good protection against overnight freezes.
Your mechanic will check the belts and hoses to make sure they are not cracking or showing signs of dry rot. The mechanic can also install a hotter thermostat that lets the engine heat up a bit more in the colder weather. Doing this can help melt frost and ice that might have accumulated on your windshield.
Oil and Filter Change
Cold weather means the engine will not run quite as hot during the winter months. It is a good time to change to a lower viscosity oil that will not make it harder for your engine to turn over on cold mornings. The starter motor can struggle to get the engine turning when the weather is cold and the oil is thick.
A change of the oil and oil filter can ensure you get good starts on cold mornings. You also should have the fuel filter checked and changed as needed to ensure there is a good flow of fuel to the engine. Checking and changing the engine air filter and the cabin air filter can ensure there is clean air for the engine.
Mount Snow Tires
Winter is hard on your car’s tires. You need to make sure you have good tread and properly inflated tires to obtain the best traction. If you anticipate driving in snowy conditions, it can help to mount snow tires on your vehicle. Snow tires have a narrower and more aggressive tread that give your car better traction when driving through slush or snow. Snow tires are taller than all-season tires, which gives you more ground clearance. That ground clearance makes it possible to drive through deeper snow.
Inspect the Battery
A technician can check the battery to see if it is taking a full charge or if it is growing weaker. The alternator also needs to produce a good supply of electricity that powers the electrical system and lights. If the alternator is weak, the battery will not get a full charge and could fail.
When the outdoor temperature drops to below freezing, a lot of car batteries die. That is because a car battery discharges twice the amount of stored electricity for every 25 degree change in ambient temperature.
Check and Replace Faulty Lights
Driving during the winter means traveling after dark more often. Your car needs to have good headlights and taillights to ensure you can see well and so that other drivers can see you. If you have a light out, you need to fix it right away. The same goes for any turn signals.
Since wintertime travel can be more dangerous, it is important to make sure other drivers can see you while driving. Your car’s taillights prevent rear-end car accidents, so make sure these are properly working as well.
Have a Winter Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is critical to have in your car during the winter. You should include water, food, one or more blankets, and road flares. The food and water will help you if you get stuck while traveling, and the blanket will help keep you warm if you are stranded. Road flares are important because they can warn other drivers that you are stranded.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Help You After a Winter Collision
It is important to prepare your car for winter, but not all drivers will take safety precautions. If you have been injured in a winter-related collision, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Are There More Car Accidents Around The Holidays?
Car accidents tend to increase during the holiday season. A main reason for this is because many holiday festivities involve alcohol consumption, which leads to more drunk driving accidents. There are many factors that lead to the increase in car accidents during the holiday season. The following includes reasons why car accidents increase.
When some people have off work for the holidays, they may celebrate by going to parties and drinking. More people consuming alcohol leads to more drunk driving collisions. There are more parties and celebrations during this time of the year.
More People Are Traveling
There tends to be more drivers on the roads during the holiday season, as people travel both short and long distances to see family and friends. Overall, there are more cars on the roadways during the holidays. Increased traffic leads to more possibilities for collisions.
Additionally, more individuals are out shopping and running errands for the holidays. The likelihood of being in a vehicle more frequently during this time leads to the greater possibility of a car accident.
Poor Weather Conditions
Poor weather conditions can make driving treacherous during the holiday season. In the winter, roads can be slippery and slick due to snow, slush, and ice, especially black ice. The combination of inclement weather and increased traffic leads to more collisions and injuries.
The demands of the holiday season, such as errands, shopping, decorating, and hosting parties, might be tiring. This can result in lack of sleep and driver fatigue. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), you are three times more likely to be involved in a car accident if you are drowsy. When you drive while drowsy, your capacity to detect hazards is impaired.
How Can Drivers Stay Safe During the Holiday Season?
You should not feel like you have to stay home and miss out on festivities with family and friends. You can travel and be safe during the holiday season if you follow some simple driving tips. Some ways you can stay safe during the holiday season include:
- Do not drink and drive.
- Obey all traffic laws.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Do not text and drive.
- Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, and do not speed.
- Do not drive aggressively or respond to aggressive drivers.
- Know your route before you leave, and plan for traffic delays.
- Pack an emergency kit that includes food, water, and a first-aid kit.
- Frequently check for updates on weather conditions, and plan your route accordingly.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Help You Navigate a Holiday Collision
You should always practice safe driving, especially during the holiday season. If you have been injured by a negligent driver during the holidays, contact our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Can Accident Reconstruction Help Determine Liability in a Car Accident?
A car accident can happen in an instant, and not being able to recall every detail is common after you have been involved in a collision. However, accident reconstruction can help determine which driver is ultimately responsible for the collision.
Using forensic science, accident reconstruction demonstrates the cause of the crash, the roles of each driver, the cars, the road, and the surrounding environment. Law enforcement agencies, lawyers, and consultants regularly use accident reconstruction experts to analyze what happened during a car crash.
Accident reconstruction is used beyond the scope of a single car accident as well. It is beneficial for determining road improvements and safety designs in cars.
What Is Accident Reconstruction?
Generally carried out by law enforcement or experts, using accident reconstruction is often necessary to determine the cause of the crash. Without fully investigating and recreating the scene, the cause may never be determined.
Accident reconstruction is the process of gathering evidence and performing an in-depth analysis on a variety of factors surrounding the crash to build a comprehensive simulation of the events leading up to, during, and after the collision. The analysis takes into account the drivers, vehicles, traffic, signage, lighting, roadway, weather, and more to determine the role of each in the accident.
To properly recreate the collision simulation, a reconstructionist essentially works in reverse, studying the after-effects of the collision to develop a conclusion as to what happened. The expert performs detailed and a precise investigation using the remaining physical evidence and data to determine the many factors associated with the crash. Some of those factors may include:
- Visiting the scene of the crash to document location, environment, and the roadway. This may include examining physical evidence left at the scene, such as tire marks and gauges. Skid marks can indicate the speed the vehicles were traveling and show whether the drivers reacted to the impending accident or not.
- Inspect the roadway to establish what type of material it is, such as asphalt or gravel, and whether the surface was compromised by spilled fuel, debris, of some sort or weather, like rain, snow, or ice.
- Photographs, including other entities or objects, such as bicycles, buildings, poles, trees, fencing, signage, and animals.
- Study visual evidence, such as surveillance video, police dashcam and bodycam footage, traffic videos, and photographs taken at the scene.
- Study all accident reports from police, eyewitnesses, and all of those involved in the accident.
- Research weather and other environmental conditions at the time the accident occurred.
- Document position of traffic signals and road signs and whether they are obstructed in any way.
- Research to determine whether or not there were safety recalls for any of the vehicle models involved that may have malfunctioned and contributed to the accident, such as lights, brakes, power steering, or airbags.
How Are Accident Simulations Created?
After documenting the scene, inspecting the cars, and reviewing accident reports, the reconstructionist, also called the forensic engineer, builds a visual simulation of the accident in real-time through the use of modeling and various computer technologies. Forensic engineers utilize software, such as computer-aided design (CAD), momentum, and energy analysis programs, collision simulators, vehicle specification databases, and other programs to aid in recreating the accident.
One common method uses 3D laser scanning, which creates a 3D visualization that analysists use to take measurements and develop computer models of the crash. These visualizations are the starting point toward recreating every aspect of the collision, such as speed, driver behavior, weather conditions, visibility, impact, and more.
Many newer model cars are installed with event data recorders (EDR). Similar to the black box in an airplane, these systems are able to provide data from the vehicles leading up to, during, and after the collision, such as vehicle speed, ignition cycles, braking, and seat belt status.
Should a Simulation Be Used for My Accident?
If you have been involved in a collision, accident reconstruction can play a crucial role in your case, particularly if there are opposing views of what happened. Accident reconstructionists are considered expert witnesses, and the court values their testimonies.
The expert testimony of a reconstructionist helps explain the truth of what happened during the crash, determine the at-fault driver, and demonstrate the severity of the accident, which helps to verify the value of your damages. This is especially helpful if you have incurred medical bills, lost wages, damage or loss of your vehicle, permanent disability, and pain and suffering as a result of the car accident.
Courts especially want to hear the expert testimony of the accident reconstructionist when the drivers have contradictory statements and when there are no witnesses or video footage of the accident. Additionally, accident reconstruction is almost always utilized in accidents that result in fatalities and wrongful death claims.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Use Accident Reconstruction to Help Prove Your Case
Our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can utilize accident reconstruction to accurately demonstrate the details of your collision. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Are You Traveling for Thanksgiving? Follow These Safety Tips
Each year, millions of Americans hop in the car to gather with loved ones for the annual turkey dinner celebration. Whether you travel across the country for Thanksgiving or just across town, you should be aware of the increased traffic and the dangers that threaten all travelers. Listed below are a few tips to keep you safe as you travel for Thanksgiving.
Take Your Car to a Mechanic
Before a long road trip, you should have a mechanic thoroughly inspect your car. You might be able to do some simple maintenance. Make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape. Address any wear and tear before it becomes a problem.
If your trip requires packing up the car, be sure the weight of the vehicle does not exceed its limits. Ensure that your load does not obstruct your view and that you can see out of all windows. Make sure that loose objects are tightly secured. Also, remember to pack activities for the children.
You should also pack an emergency kit that includes:
- Non-perishable foods
- First-aid supplies
- Jumper cables
- Tool kit
- Flashlight and batteries
- Extra cellphone charger
Buckle Up Your Seat Belt
The first step every car occupant should do is buckle up their seat belt. Small children should be secured into a car seat appropriate for their size and weight. These safety devices will help you and your family stay safe in the event of a car accident.
Do Not Speed
Speeding is a factor in about one-third of all fatal car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Speeding not only increases your chance of losing control of your vehicle, but it also leads to more severe injuries if a collision does happen, as a higher speed increases the force of impact.
Focus on the Road
Distracted driving is a major problem in the United States. Staying safe while driving means keeping your attention on the road instead of your smartphone. Other dangerous driving behaviors include adjusting the radio, eating, programming a navigation system, or even holding a conversation with a passenger.
Do Not Drive While Drowsy
You might feel tired if you have to travel at night or if you ate too much Thanksgiving dinner. However, drowsy driving is dangerous and should be avoided. Being extremely fatigued can have the same effects as having too much alcohol. Drowsy driving can affect your concentration and reaction time. Make sure to get enough sleep before traveling for Thanksgiving.
Avoid Drunk Driving
If you plan to drink alcohol on Thanksgiving, make sure to make driving arrangements ahead of time. Get a ride from a friend or relative, or you can call a rideshare service to get you home safely.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Clients Injured in Thanksgiving Collisions
Millions of people will be traveling for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, some motorists will drive recklessly. If you have been injured in a collision, speak with our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Can Car Accident Injuries Be Delayed?
After a car accident, you may not always have obvious injuries. A variety of conditions could make it difficult for you to recognize the full extent of your injuries. The pain from one injury might also mask pain of another wound. It might take time for swelling, bruising, or other conditions to manifest before you seek medical attention.
The effects of a car accident on your body could take several days to fully appear. That is why it is always important to undergo a thorough medical examination after any kind of accident. You should get medical attention as soon as possible. You should also follow-up with your primary doctor after the accident.
The sudden and jarring nature of car accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that might remain hidden for a period of time. Listed below are common injuries and symptoms that might not be immediately apparent.
Shock, Numbness, and Tingling
Immediately following a serious accident, your body could be in a state of shock. The combination of adrenaline and shock can make it possible to walk with a broken ankle and think you just suffered a minor sprain, for example. Numbness could mask otherwise painful injuries for hours or even days, and a tingling sensation might be a subtle indicator of a serious internal injury.
After a period of time, the shock usually goes away. When that happens, the hidden injuries could become more pronounced. Your doctor might need you to undergo an imaging scan to properly diagnose the extent of your injuries.
Whiplash and Other Neck Injuries
Whiplash commonly occurs in rear-end car accidents. Whiplash often heals within a few days, but some severe cases of whiplash can last longer. In some instances, you could experience extreme pain from whiplash that keeps you out of work for weeks or months.
You might also experience neck pain from a disc injury or damage to connective tissue. It could take some time for the swelling within a spinal disc or injured soft tissue to become extreme enough for you to feel the damage. However, when the pain starts, it could become very debilitating.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
A sprain, soft tissue damage, or spinal cord injury could occur during a car accident but not show itself right away. Many people initially walk away feeling relatively okay due to the effects of shock and adrenaline. When those effects wear off, the pain from a misaligned vertebrae, injured disc, or other back injury could become more prominent.
A back injury, especially a spinal cord injury, can be extremely painful. If the spinal cord injury is severe enough, you might have to undergo surgery. Surgery could be very costly as well as dangerous. The time away from work could be very long, leading to the piling up of medical bills.
The traumatic nature of car accidents makes it possible to suffer internal injuries that you do not notice right away. A combination of general soreness and the effects of adrenaline and shock could mask symptoms of internal injuries. If you are in a car accident and feel dizziness, suffer fainting spells, or your abdomen shows signs of bruising several days afterward, that could be internal bleeding.
Internal injuries can be dangerous if ignored. Whenever any symptoms of internal bleeding occur, a trip to the doctor is needed to ensure you did not suffer an injury that might become deadly if left untreated.
Headaches, Dizziness, and Behavioral Changes
A head injury is serious and could lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A brain injury could even lead to a comatose condition. That is why it is very important to have a thorough examination in an emergency room following a car accident that causes a head injury.
If you are knocked unconscious during an accident, you might have a TBI. Headaches, dizziness, and even changes in your behavior are signs of a delayed TBI. Only an imaging scan could help your doctor give you an accurate diagnosis.
Should I Accept a Settlement?
You will have to file an insurance claim for your injuries as well as property damage. You will be contacted by insurance adjusters representing your insurer and the insurer of the other driver. Usually, an insurance adjuster will try to offer a lowball settlement for your injuries and losses.
If you have delayed injuries and accept a settlement, you might wind up paying those medical costs out of your own pocket. It is always best to obtain legal representation to ensure you can get insurance coverage for your injuries and related damages.
Lost wages, transportation costs to and from doctor appointments, and pain and suffering are just some of the damages to which you might be entitled to collect. An experienced car accident lawyer can determine if you are eligible for damages and protect your rights so that you can focus on healing.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Help You Prove You Have a Serious Collision-Related Injury
Delayed injuries can be serious, so it is critical that you seek medical attention after any type of accident. If you have an injury and need legal assistance, our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation today. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
How Can I Remain Calm After a Car Accident?
After any type of a car accident, it is important to remain calm and be aware of your surroundings. A car accident can be an overwhelming experience, so it is important to learn about ways you can stay safe and calm.
After you have safely gotten out of your vehicle, take a deep breath to help ease your anxiety and to keep your adrenaline in check. Being able to keep your composure can be a difficult task, but a calm demeanor will help you handle the aftermath of a car accident, such as collecting evidence.
If you do need immediate medical help, call 911 and report the accident. Even if you do not think that you will need medical help, car crash injuries may not appear until hours or even days later. That is why remaining calm is important; you will be able to take necessary steps following a car accident if you are calm.
Seeking medical care will give your relief from any injuries that you have sustained and will also provide medical documentation. While healing from your injuries is paramount, medical documents will also support your case against the at-fault motorist.
A car accident can be minor or severe, but injuries can occur in either circumstance. Focusing on your immediate needs, such as medical care and calling a lawyer, will help you stay ahead of the game when you pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. Being able to keep your composure will help you begin the process of physical and financial recovery.
What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident?
Even though remaining calm is important, you should also know what to do after a collision happens.
Immediately after a car accident, you should make sure that everyone is okay. Always seek medical care for any serious injuries, and if you do not need emergency medical assistance, you can report the car accident to the police.
Document the car accident scene by taking photographs that may determine the cause of the car accident, such as skid marks, damage to a sign, guardrail, or pole. Also, take pictures at various angles of the cars involved in the accident.
If there are witnesses, obtain their names and contact information, along with information on how they saw the car accident unfold.
Document everything in writing, including physical details from the crash scene, witness statements, the at-fault motorist’s behavior before and after the crash, and how you are feeling after the accident.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Drivers Injured in Collisions
A car accident can happen at any time, and it is important that you remain calm should one occur. If you were injured by a negligent motorist, our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you identify the liable party so you can focus on recovery. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.