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Manassas, VA 20110

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Manassas Virginia Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Making school bus stops safer for everyone

Every driver in the country deals with school bus stops at some point while on the road. While these stops can become a nuisance, they ensure that children can board and disembark from buses safely. Yet despite this crucial regulation, countless drivers in West Virginia ignore bus stops each day. Unfortunately, some innocent children have paid the price. 

Irresponsible drivers may always be an issue on busy roads, but the law is the law. The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (or NASDPTS) outlines the West Virginia bus stop law that, when a school bus stops with its red lights flashing, traffic in both directions must stop at least 20 feet from the vehicle. The law prohibits cars from passing the bus until the red lights have stopped flashing, thus indicating that all children have cleared from the road. One exception to this law is in the case of a median that pedestrians cannot cross; traffic coming toward a school bus in these situations do not have to stop. The regulation overall applies to both private and school properties.

3 tips for teen drivers to learn before hitting the road

Teen drivers are excited to say the least. They're getting more freedom with their ability to drive, and that means they're likely to want to get out and go as soon as they can.

With new freedoms does come some trouble, though. Teens have less experience driving, and that opens them up to mistakes that could lead to serious accidents. That doesn't have to happen, though, if they understand what they can do to stay safe.

Signaling while on your motorcycle

There is nothing quite like taking an exhilarating motorcycle ride in and around Manassas. Yet as a motorcyclist, you know full well that taking such a trip often means putting your safety in the hands of the motorists on the roads around you. Sadly, for some of those that we here at The Law Offices of Locklin & Coleman, PLLC have worked with, such rides have ended in tragedy due to motorists not taking the obligation to share the road seriously. Many of those involved in accidents with motorcyclists claim that it was the motorcyclists' unanticipated actions that caused such collisions, such as darting into their lanes without warning. 

How can you counter such a claim? Yes, your bike most likely has signaling lights, yet is there more you should do to clearly indicate your intentions to others on the road? Virginia law encourages the use of hand signals to make your ride safer. Section 46.2-849 of the Code of Virginia describes the state's approved roadway hand signals to be: 

  • The left arm extended to a horizontal position straight from the shoulder to indicate a left turn
  • The left arm extended upward to indicate a right turn
  • The left arm extended downward to indicate your needing to slow down or stop

How can I avoid driver fatigue?

Drunk drivers are not the only road hazard during the holidays. As families in Virginia and throughout the U.S. make their annual treks “home for the holidays,” driver fatigue is another reason you should exercise caution on America’s highways.

The federal government cites a report on commercial truck drivers, who regularly put in long hours behind the wheel, which finds fatigue is a factor in about 13 percent of the accidents in this group. Tips for drivers like you on extended trips to help reduce fatigue follow here.

Are school buses really safe?

Taxis, trains, Uber rides, school buses... what do all of these have in common? Aside from being modes of transportation, these services require customers to demonstrate a great deal of trust. Whether or not Virginians take this fact into account, thousands use these forms of conveyance each day. For the most part, taxis and buses are a reliable way to get to work and school; however, the comfort of the ride depends on the safety of the system.

USA Today spent time considering this reliability with public transportation -- particularly that of school buses. In response to the tragic 2015 school bus accident in Houston that killed two children, Today speculates on the number of fatal accidents that occur across the board. Drawing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the article uncovers the statistics that 1,214 school transportation accidents occurred between the years 2004 to 2013. These wrecks included regular trips to and from school, sports events and field trips. However, buses killed more people on the street than inside the vehicles between those years: only 54 of the 327 children killed in school transportation crashes were actually riding the bus. 

Should an attorney come to the scene of your car accident?

In the immediate aftermath of an automobile accident, some people do not fully understand the gravity of the situation. Many may not realize that the way they conduct themselves and the information they gather at the scene can greatly affect the future outcome of any legal actions the accident produces.

This is a normal state for a person who experiences such an accident, especially if that person suffers some form of personal injury. A person who suffers an injury should focus on addressing the needs of the injury first to ensure that the injury does not worsen from lack of care.

Does uber really make transportation safer?

In the midst of a technological revolution on the road, millions of drivers have become reliant on transportation systems such as Uber for a safe ride to a destination. Uber has found its way into the common psyche, indeed; the name has largely become synonymous with the word "taxi." Yet as Uber's clientele skyrockets, does it maintain its image of the safer travel option? In Virginia, passengers who suspect the process has gone awry after an Uber wreck may decide to take legal action. First, there are some aspects of the company worth considering.

Last summer, Entrepreneur lauded Uber for its hand in reducing the number of fatal accident rates since the company's launch in 2010. Using research carried out by Providence and Stonehill colleges, Entrepreneur showed that Uber is responsible for a 16.6 percent drop in vehicular fatalities each year. Likewise, the number of DUI cases seems to also be on the decline. The article concludes with a demand for more data on the topic, but also mentions the transportation company may play a role in reducing the number of curbside assaults in some cities, as well.

The legal details of auto-pedestrian accidents

Similar to many accidents involving vehicles, the cause of pedestrian accidents can often be difficult to determine. City dwellers are especially more aware of this problem, as the risk of travelling by sidewalks near roads increases in heavily congested areas. And like most states, Virginia sees pedestrian-related wrecks happen daily. Those who believe their situation has been handled unjustly may decide to take further legal action. 

Just last month, Channel 3 News highlighted the auto-pedestrian crash involving a mother, her three children and a senior citizen. The driver, aged 84, evidently lost control when attempting to make a turn onto a street near the family. The mother had been biking while pulling a netted stroller behind her when the man ran into them, nearly demolishing both the bike and accompanying child wagon. All three survived the crash; however, the report shared that one of the children had suffered life-threatening injuries. The mother also suffered serious damage.   

Distracted driving can pose serious dangers

When you are driving, one of the biggest frustrations can be dealing with drivers who are not paying attention to the road. One driver might be texting; another, talking on the phone; still another, using their dashboard touch-screen or navigating a destination. Distracted driving is a major problem that motorists face. In fact, on any given day, nearly 660,000 drivers will use their cell phones while driving.

To keep yourself safe, be proactive and learn about distracted driving.

Avoid drowsy drivers and keep your family safe

Driving is hard enough without having to watch out for people who aren't obeying the laws. For example, someone who doesn't get enough sleep may drift between lanes or start to go off the road, which could cause a crash.

Drowsy driving is just one kind of hazard you have to watch out for on the roads. It occurs when a person doesn't get enough sleep, takes a medication that makes him or her drowsy or has been driving so long that he or she has become bored or tired. It's necessary for drivers to be aware of the signs that someone is driving while drowsy.

The Law Offices of Locklin & Coleman, PLLC

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9253 Mosby Street, Suite 100
Manassas, VA 20110

Phone: 703-659-1961
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4041 University Drive, Suite 404
Fairfax, VA 22030

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One West Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

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Warrenton Office
P.O. Box 486
Warrenton, Virginia 20188

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