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Manassas Virginia Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Kevin L. Locklin Has Been Nominated and Accepted as a 2018 AIOPIA's 10 Best in Virginia For High Verdict & Settlement Attorney for Personal Injury

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The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of Virginia's Personal Injury Attorney Kevin L. Locklin as 2018 10 Best High Verdict & Settlement Attorney for Personal Injury.

Motorcycle collisions and brain injuries

All types of traffic accidents have the potential to be devastating, but motorcycle collisions are especially severe. A motorcyclist who is involved in an accident may face numerous consequences, some of which are physical, emotional and possibly financial. In this post, we will take a look at brain injuries that are caused by motorcycle collisions and some of the different ways that the victims of these terrible accidents may be able to recover in their lives.

With less to protect them, at least when compared to those driving larger vehicles, motorcyclists are particularly likely to be seriously hurt or killed in an accident. A motorcyclist may be thrown from their motorcycle or they may wipe out and slam their head on the ground or another vehicle. This can lead to a brain injury, which may be immediately evident or less noticeable, showing symptoms years later. Wearing a helmet can protect a motorcyclist's head but cannot always prevent brain injuries. Not to mention, motorcyclists are hurt in many other ways, from neck injuries to broken bones.

3 tips for avoiding getting hit by a driver who's texting

You might not think it's easy to avoid collisions, but the reality is that it can be. Drivers who are distracted are fairly obvious if you know the signs to watch out for. Additionally, there are steps you can take to make yourself a safer driver, so you greatly reduce your risk of injury.

Here are three tips that can help you avoid a collision with a driver who is texting. Texting is the most hazardous distraction, but with the right knowledge, you can prevent collisions.

Looking out for motorcycles

Residents in Virginia who ride motorcycles deserve to have their rights on the road respected just as much as do drivers of other vehicles. Unfortunately, bikers often end up being overlooked both literally and otherwise by people in standard passenger vehicles. It may also seem as though the larger vehicle drivers act like they have more of a right to be on the road than a motorcyclist.

Among the many common hazards for motorcyclists is the concern about a vehicle that turns into their path of travel. This may happen because the driver is rude or negligent or because the driver simply does not see the biker. Regardless of the reason, the outcome can be tragic.

Speeding is a dangerous driving habit

It's incumbent upon all Virginia motorists to maintain a safe speed when sharing the road. Failure to do so greatly increases the risk of an accident occurring, especially during inclement weather. The following information illustrates how serious speeding can be, as well as what you can do to be a safer driver overall.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding has a number of serious consequences. For instance, it's far more difficult to handle your vehicle when going over the posted speed limit. If another motorist makes an unexpected maneuver, it will be much harder for you to come to a complete stop if you're traveling at high speeds. If you are involved in a crash because of speeding, chances are any injuries will be far more serious.

Motorcycle safety during the fall

Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous at any time of the year, but certain seasons are especially hazardous in some parts of the nation. For example, the fall months can bring different types of weather-related road hazards, including strong winds, fog, rain and even ice or snow, in some places. These hazards can be particularly dangerous for those who ride motorcycles and it is paramount for you to focus on your safety if you plan on riding during the fall.

Sometimes, people put their motorcycles away for the year when summer comes to an end. Others, however, enjoy riding during the fall because the weather is not as hot. Riding a motorcycle in the fall can be rewarding, but it is crucial to keep the weather-related risks you may encounter in mind while on the road. For example, wet roads can cause motorcyclists to lose control, falling off of their motorcycle or colliding with a vehicle. Roads can be especially hazardous around sharp turns and in spots where wet leaves have accumulated.

Remember to stay safe after you're involved in a serious crash

There are dozens of different types of injuries that you could suffer in a car accident. Some of them are obvious, while others will take time to develop. Since there are times when injuries take longer to develop, it is always important to go to the emergency department following a crash, even if you think you will get better on your own.

Injuries that happen right away and are obvious may include broken bones, lacerations and head injuries. Other injuries take longer to appear. These include things such as slow internal bleeds or whiplash. Most of these injuries can be identified shortly following the accident if you see a doctor.

How can drivers safely share the road with motorcyclists?

Even the safest motorcyclists in Virginia may run afoul of distracted motorists. Serious injuries can occur as a result, some of which may even cause loss of life. Because it's crucial for both drivers and motorcyclists to coexist peacefully on the road, Esurance.com offers the following advice.

Check your blind spots

Can motor carriers require drivers to use phones while driving?

Given all of the awareness raised recently about the dangers of distracted driving, you likely would not even dream of pulling out your phone to send a text or take a call while driving on the roads in Manassas. How unsettling must it be, then, to find yourself a passenger on a commercial vehicle whose driver is indeed using his or her phone while driving? You might ask him or her to stop, only to be answered with the assertion that his or her employer requires him or her to communicate with the company while on a route. Can a commercial carrier really require this of its drivers? 

The answer to that question is a resounding no. Under Section 392.80 of the Code of Federal Regulations, commercial vehicle drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and the motor carriers that employ them cannot require them to do so. Furthermore, a commercial vehicle driver cannot send or receive text messages while operating his or her vehicle, even during temporary stops caused by traffic, traffic control devices or other delays. The only exception to this rule would be if the driver needed to communicate with law enforcement officials or first responders in an emergency situation. It should also be noted that if a commercial motor vehicle is stopped alongside a highway or roadway, the driver is not considered to be operating the vehicle (regardless of whether the engine is running or not). 

What are the qualifications to drive a school bus in Virginia?

Every day during the school year, you and countless other parents in Manassas place the safety of your children in the hands of a small group of individuals selected to drive school buses. Given the precious cargo that they are carrying, you might assume that bus drivers are subject to very strict standards. Yet how correct are you in that assumption, and what responsibility (if any) would a school district have if a bus driver causes an accident? 

Per Section 8VAC20-70-280 of Virginia's Administrative Code, those wanting to drive school buses in the state must meet the following requirements: 

  • Pass a physical examination and have a current endorsement signed by a physician or nurse practitioner verifying the driver's capacity to operate a bus
  • Provide a copy of records confirming that he or she has not been convicted of driving under the influence in the previous five years and has no more than two moving violations on his or her record in the previous 12 months 
  • Provide two letters of recommendation from people living within the school district's boundaries confirming his or her good moral character 
  • Have a current commercial driver's license
  • Pass alcohol and controlled substance screening tests
  • Be at least 18 years of age
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