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AAA: deaths from red-light running crash reach 10-year high

The year 2017 saw a 10-year high in the number of deaths arising from red-light running crashes. The total came to 939 people, and in most cases, it was not the offending driver who died. Pennsylvania residents, whether they are drivers, pedestrians or bicyclists, will want to know how they can prevent themselves from becoming the victim of a reckless, impatient or distracted driver.

The first step is for residents to avoid distractions themselves. Drivers should not use their phones. If they look down for five seconds, drivers can virtually travel the length of a football field before looking up again. Pedestrians and cyclists should not wear headphones, which will reduce their attention to their surroundings.

How to drive safely in a fall thunder storm

As fall weather moves into the area, you're likely to find yourself on the road when the rain begins to fall. While it may not be as worrisome as snow and ice, it still has the potential to cause an accident.

Here are some of the many steps you can take to protect yourself when driving in a fall rainstorm:

  • Watch for wet leaves: There's nothing more beautiful than the changing of the leaves during the fall season, but as these make their way to the ground you must take extra caution. Driving over wet leaves, especially at a high rate of speed, can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you spot wet leaves on the road, slow down and do your best to avoid sudden accelerations or heavy braking.
  • Slow down: The faster you drive in wet weather, the greater chance there is of losing control of your vehicle. For example, if you hit standing water at a high rate of speed, your tires may lose contact with the road.
  • Use your headlights: Forget about the time of the day. If it's raining, you should turn your headlights on. This improves your visibility, while also making it easier for vehicles traveling in the opposite direction to see you.
  • Watch for wildlife: Deer, for example, are more likely to make their way onto the roadway during the fall season. Even if you don't hit a deer, you may have to swerve to avoid a collision, which can cause an accident with another vehicle.
  • Maintain your vehicle: This includes many things, such as regularly checking your tire pressure and changing your windshield wipers as necessary.

Truck drivers may get to work longer hours

Truck drivers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are allowed to work for 14 hours per day and drive for up to 11 per day. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is looking for ways to give drivers more flexibility as to how they perform their duties. This is in spite of the fact that driver fatigue has been cited as a safety concern by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

If a new rule is passed, drivers would be allowed to spend up to 17 hours a day in their trucks on duty. According to the FMCSA, there were 4,455 fatal crashes involving large trucks in the United States in 2017. That was the highest since 2007. Furthermore, the fatal crash rate per million miles driven in 2017 was the highest since 2007. The NTSB said that fatigue was a factor in the 2014 crash that injured Tracy Morgan.

Wayne Newton sued over alleged monkey attack

Pennsylvania residents who have visited Las Vegas may be aware that a mansion once owned by the singer and entertainer Wayne Newton was briefly turned into a tourist attraction. Visitors to Casa de Shenandoah could tour the house, view Newton's extensive collection of luxury cars and take a look inside his private jet. They could also see a menagerie of animals ranging from horses and penguins to peacocks and monkeys.

One of these monkeys recently became the subject of tabloid headlines. A woman alleges in a lawsuit filed against the 77-year-old singer that the animal attacked her daughter during an October 2017 tour. The litigation was filed in a Nevada state court on Aug. 7, and it seeks damages of at least $15,000. The woman claims that the monkey attack was unprovoked, but she has not revealed the extent of her daughter's injuries. According to media reports, the girl suffered a monkey bite on her right wrist.

Car technology can make driving more dangerous for older people

Pennsylvania drivers may be interested to learn that the advancing technology that's being put into vehicles may make driving more difficult or challenging for older people. In many cases, the new technology results in distracted driving that increases crash risks.

According to a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Utah, drivers who are between the ages of 55 and 75 are more likely to take their sight off the road while using in-vehicle technology than younger drivers. In fact, the older drivers had their eyes off the street for an average of eight seconds longer than the drivers between the ages of 21 to 36 years old.

Common causes of motor vehicle accidents

Human error is the main contributing factor in the majority of motor vehicle accidents that occur in Pennsylvania. A large number of these accidents are considered minor, and there is minimal damage. However, thousands of more serious accidents lead to fatalities every year.

One of the most common causes of motor vehicle collisions is distracted driving. In fact, it has been the most frequent cause of vehicle crashes in the United States over the past several years. There are many ways drivers can be distracted while behind the wheel. Eating food, using a smartphone, applying makeup or drinking from a bottle can all distract drivers for the few seconds it takes to cause an accident.

3 tips to help you stay safe around trucks

If you're like most drivers in the Penn State area, you have probably shared the road with a large commercial truck. Whether you are driving in the city or on a cross-country journey, it is inevitable to find yourself passing, being passed by or following a semitruck. You may have even had a close call with one or two in your time behind the wheel.

In general, semitrucks are much different than passenger cars. They handle differently, they are slower to speed up and slow down and even sudden gusts of wind pose a threat to the trucker and other people on the road. While there is no sure way to avoid sharing the road with a semi, there are a few things you can do to stay safe.

Trucking accidents and their causes

One reason that commercial trucking accidents may occur in Pennsylvania is improperly maintained vehicles. The trucks travel many miles every day, which results in significant wear and tear. It is the responsibility of the maintenance crews, drivers and trucking companies to ensure that the fleet is well-maintained. Cracked windshields or some other equipment failure can result in accidents.

Equipment failure can also be the result of the negligence of the equipment manufacturer. Negligence during the production of a part can result in defective components. If an accident is caused by defective parts, multiple parties may be held liable for the accident, including the part and truck manufacturers, the company that sold the truck and the mechanic who made repairs on the part.

Swimming pools can be a summer danger

While many people in Pennsylvania enjoy water activities as a way to escape the summer heat, pools and water parks can also come with dangers. Every day, around 10 people die due to accidental drowning across the United States, and two of them are children under the age of 15. It is the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury or death nationwide and the most common cause of death from injury for children ages 1 through 4. This means that drowning takes a significant toll from American families, a worry that can be important to keep in mind while enjoying water-based activities.

Swimming pools can be a popular feature in many families' backyards, but they can be dangerous for children, especially if unsecured. Children have been found dead or severely injured in neighbors' pools without supervision after entering through unlocked gates or fences. While parents or other adults can keep a close eye on children in the water in their presence, pools can present a nearly irresistible attraction for young kids outside. Police and other safety officials emphasize that children should never be left alone to play in the water. They need close supervision at all time in order to ensure that accidental drowning is avoided.

Summer months see higher number of teen crashes

Pennsylvania parents and teens may be particularly concerned about roadway safety in the summer. Because young people are out of school and involved in an array of parties and activities, car accidents may pose even more of a threat than usual. Teen drivers already face a higher risk of car crashes due to a number of factors, including their inexperience behind the wheel and the higher likelihood of distraction from electronic devices or from other friends in the vehicle. This risk grows during the summer.

According to a report by Ford Motor Co., the deadliest days for young drivers are the 100 days between Labor Day and Memorial Day. The American Automobile Association also warns about the dangers of summer driving for teens. Emergency medical providers report that the summer months are some of the busiest, with many victims of serious car crashes being brought to the hospital. On average, accidents involving teen drivers are 15% more likely to be deadly during the summer months. In some cases, the increased number of teen fatalities on the road are simply linked to the increased amount of time they spend behind the wheel.

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