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State College Pennsylvania Law Blog

Tips for safe driving on long road trips

With longer days, warmer weather and several longer holiday weekends, summer is a popular time to embark on extended road trips. Whether you choose to visit family across Pennsylvania or go on a cross-country adventure, road trips are a great way to enjoy some time away from your daily routine.

However, summer also brings more drivers out on the roads, increasing the chances of accidents. To enhance the safety of you, your passengers and all those sharing the roads with you, consider the following safety tips before embarking on your next road trip:

What is a concussion?

A concussion results from a blow to the head, which can occur because of a car accident, a slip and fall injury, and many other situations. While concussions are often mild, serious complications may occur that can sometimes have lifelong effects. The Mayo Clinic explains more about concussions and what to look out for if you've recently experienced a head injury. 

Your brain is cushioned by fluid within your skull, which protects it from everyday occurrences. When your head is struck with great force, your brain can ricochet back and forth against the sides of the skull, which causes physical damage to cells, as well as swelling and bleeding in severe cases. Falls are a leading cause of head injuries, especially among the very young and old. Additionally, your chance of experiencing a concussion becomes greater if you've suffered from the condition in the past. 

Distracted driving citations rise in Pennsylvania

Distracted driving has become a hot topic among safety advocates, law enforcement agencies, lawmakers and drivers alike across the United States over the past 15 years. This has happened as cell phones have gone from being something new and used by only a small percentage of the population to being something that virtually everyone has with them at all times. While many states have made the move to enact laws banning the handheld use of phones while driving entirely, Pennsylvania has not done so. 

The decision by the state of Pennsylvania lawmakers to allow drivers to use their phones in a manual mode while actively behind the wheel may not be popular among everyone but it is the law. That, however, has not completely stemmed the tide of people breaking what laws are in place regarding distracted driving.

The products consumers use should work and be defect-free, right?

Here's an assumption that we submit merits unanimous agreement among our readers and all Pennsylvania consumers: The products we daily use should operate safely and as intended.

That's hardly an unreasonable expectation. And it has always been the goal of regulators and government officials in the United States. Individuals and families necessarily rely in good faith on manufactured products from virtually every realm. It is not too much to ask that their makers and sellers act competently in offering them to the public.

What are some signs of internal bleeding?

A traumatic injury that produces internal bleeding is usually serious enough that the victim seeks medical help right away or the injury incapacitates the victim and someone on the scene calls for emergency assistance. However, it is possible for a person to suffer internal bleeding from a less severe injury but not be aware there is a problem. Pay attention to these symptoms that may indicate that medical help in Pennsylvania should be sought at once for internal bleeding.

According to WebMD, symptoms of internal bleeding can manifest from specific parts of the body, usually in locations where the injury was first sustained. A blow to the head can produce headaches and seizures. An injury to the leg can result in pain, tight feeling, or swelling in the leg. Damage to the spleen or liver may create pain in the abdominal area, as well as swelling.

What are the benefits of collaborative divorce?

Divorce is inevitably a difficult and emotionally trying time. You are splitting from your spouse and are about to begin a new life. However, being unhappy in your marriage does not mean you want to fight your soon-to-be ex.

You would like to avoid going to court, but are just unsure what other options are available. Collaborative divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution, and it was created around the idea of keeping a divorce out of court.

Woman's permanent injury prompts lawsuit

When people go to visit places in Pennsylvania, they are relying on the groundskeepers and maintenance workers to upkeep the surrounding areas so they can enjoy the attractions without being at risk of serious bodily harm. There are times, however, when people may experience a personal injury that they feel could have been entirely preventable if adequate measures were implemented to protect visitors of specific attractions. 

This is the scenario that one family in Horry County, South Carolina is facing after their recent visit to Family Kingdom. A woman alleges that she experienced a traumatic and permanent injury to her back. The woman acknowledged that she had experienced back problems previously, but claims that the car of a roller coaster she was riding on became airborne before slamming back onto the tracks and causing her previous pain to flare up with significant intensity. 

Traffic fatality trends in Pennsylvania

If you are like most people in Pennsylvania, you have driven past your fair share of accident scenes on area roads and highways. When you see these things, you may well wonder how many accidents actually happen and how many have severe outcomes. It is also interesting to know how many accidents or deaths are caused essentially by the negligent choices of drivers.

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of vehicular fatalities in Pennsylvania has actually dropped for two consecutive years. In 2015, there were 1,200 people who died in accidents across the state. That dopped slightly in 2016 to 1,188 and then it dropped even further to 1,137 in 2017. This trend was seen in multiple crash categories, including those events in which alcohol or speed was identified as a factor. Deaths in drunk driving accidents dropped from 363 in 2015 to 314 in 2017 and deaths in crashes involving speeding dropped from 540 in 2015 to 468 in 2017.

Challenges that arise after a multi-car accident

Every motor vehicle accident has the potential to be serious and complicated. However, when there are more than a couple vehicles involved in a crash, the situation can become even more serious -- and complex.

In these situations, there can be several injured victims, multiple damaged vehicles and many different versions of what happened. Sorting everything out for the purposes of determining liability and pursuing compensation can be difficult, but there are ways to do it.

Is a summary offense charge anything to worry about?

In the overall scheme of things, summary offenses in Pennsylvania might be easy to view as so much water off a duck's back. By description, they are lesser offenses than misdemeanors. And yet, a summary offense can result in serious consequences including terms of up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $1,500.

Perhaps more important, especially for young college students, is that while a summary offense does not constitute a criminal conviction, it becomes part of one's public record. That means it can be reported to a prospective employer doing a background checks and result in you being rejected for that job you want or need.

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