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Manassas Virginia Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Sharing the sidewalk with bicyclists

When walking in Manassas, you might think it easy to avoid danger: just stay off the road. The area does indeed have several miles of sidewalks on which you can walk. However, pedestrians must also be aware of bicyclists.   A collision with a bicyclist can be almost as devastating as one with a car. There can be dangers to both pedestrians and bicyclists when they are not aware of each other.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, bicycles can be ridden on the sidewalk in the Commonwealth unless prohibited by local ordinance. No such laws or policies exist in Manassas or Prince William County. Thus, a bicyclist has as much right to be on the sidewalk as you do as a pedestrian. 

Road rage incident targets mom and newborn baby

A string of recent road rage incidents in Virginia seem to be connected and may be committed by the same person. These incidents have become increasingly more violent throughout the country and the latest situation involved a young mother and her nine-week-old infant.

According to WTKR3, the male driver of the other vehicle approached the passenger side of her car after brake-checking her and zooming around her. The man requested that she roll down her window and then tried to open the door when she refused. The woman feared for her safety and that of her child and felt the behavior was threatening. She first noticed him when he seemed to be driving close to her rear bumper near an intersection.

Take extra precautions when driving at night

Even after the sun sets in Virginia, thousands of cars, trucks and motorcycles fill the roads. Whether people are coming home from work or heading out for a night on the town, they are still using the roadways to get where they need to go. According to the National Safety Council, people are three times more likely to get into a fatal car accident when driving at night than they are during daylight hours. So, what causes this increased accident rate and what can people do to avoid becoming involved in a catastrophic collision?

A lack of natural light can make driving more difficult. Although the streets may be illuminated with street lights and headlights, the eyes do not operate as well under these conditions. When making a turn out into traffic, it is harder to judge the distance and speed of an oncoming vehicle when it is dark. The lack of light also affects drivers' peripheral vision. It is best to wait until no cars are coming before turning out into traffic.

Rear-end wrecks: Tips to avoid a crash with the driver behind you

Rear-end collisions happen every day. Drivers may not be focused on the road ahead of them, could fall asleep behind the wheel, might look away at an outside distraction or may be focused on texts. No matter what they were doing, failing to focus can easily lead to a rear-end crash.

A rear-end collision is not impossible to avoid. While you can't control the actions of other drivers, you can look for signs that they're not being safe so that you can get out of the way.

How can you walk safely along the road?

For some reason, "walking down the street" has been identified as an innocuous scenario. For example, many in Manassas may use it when justifying certain activities, saying that you can just as easily be injured "walking down the street." This phrase affords little appreciation to just how dangerous walking down the street can be, particularly in those scenarios where you (as a pedestrian) may be forced to share the road with vehicles. 

When walking, the sidewalk is typically your domain. Vehicles do not drive on it, and you (in turn) avoid walking in the road. Yet there may be times when walking along the roadway is required, such as when no sidewalks are available or those that are may be inaccessible (either due to damage or construction work). The question then becomes how can you safely walk on the road while not interfering with traffic. 

What are the common causes of commercial truck accidents?

As a Virginia motorist, you may be used to sharing the road with tractor trailers on a daily basis. These massive vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and may have as many as three trailers filled with cargo. It is not surprising that an accident with one of these trucks can be catastrophic. From distracted drunk and drowsy truck drivers to reckless motorists who do not know how to drive safely around trucks, commercial truck accidents are not uncommon. It may help you to be familiar with the common causes of large truck accidents so that you may minimize your chances of becoming a victim of a truck accident.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has regulations in place involving commercial truck maintenance. Truck drivers, as well as commercial truck carriers, are responsible for ensuring their tractor trailers are property maintained. Wear and tear occurs on the trucks as they traverse long distances. An accident can occur from worn brake pads, bad lights or failure in one of the truck's key systems. If a tire blows on the freeway, it can spell disaster for the truckers as well as other motorists on the road.

How does someone recover from a traumatic brain injury?

Some traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have lasting effects on accident victims. Along with physical issues that result from brain trauma, a person may also experience emotional and cognitive impairments. This makes for a difficult recovery, especially when injuries are severe. The Mayo Clinic explains the effects of TBI and the different treatment options that are currently available.

Three steps to take after a car wreck

Imagine driving across Manassas from your house to your office. Traffic is light and you are running ahead of schedule, which means there is no need to rush. Unfortunately, not everyone is off to such a good start.

As you enter an intersection on a green light, another car suddenly hits you on the passenger side of your vehicle. Now, not only are you going to miss work, but your car has sustained substantial damages and you're beginning to experience pain in various places.

Dealing with hazardous driving conditions as a commercial driver

When you work for a commercial motor carrier in Northern Virginia, you know that the pressure of pleasing your customers is ever-present. This is especially true when you transport passengers.  While you want to ensure that you get passengers to their destination on time, every time, their safety must come first. Many come to us here at The Law Offices of Locklin and Coleman PLLC wondering at what point safety concerns override the desire to get customers to their destination on time.  Some might say that is a judgment call, yet federal law refutes that. 

Section 392.14 of the Code of Federal Regulations mandates that extreme caution should be used when operating commercial vehicles in hazardous conditions that can impede either traction or visibility. Specific hazards cited by the Federal Regulations include: 

  • Snow
  • Rain
  • Sleet
  • Fog or mist
  • Dust 
  • Smoke

How to recognize the signs of an aggressive driver

As a Virginia motorist, it is important that you drive cautiously and remain on the lookout for aggressive drivers. At any given time of the day, you may come into contact with motorists who have road rage, as they are rushing to get to an appointment or have just had a bad day. In fact, aggressive driving is involved in at least 56 percent of fatal accidents in the United States, according to AAA. Furthermore, at least 80 percent of American motorists admit to driving in an aggressive manner. It is critical that you are able to recognize these aggressive driving behaviors so that you may avoid becoming involved in a catastrophic accident.

Virginia law enforcement officers report that congested driving patterns can contribute to road rage. These behaviors include the following:

  •          Yelling at other drivers
  •          Horn honking or using profane hand gestures
  •          Speeding
  •          Constant lane changing between other vehicles
  •          Tailgating
  •          Cutting off other vehicles
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