Driving tips from a Pennsylvania attorney

The prevention of motor vehicle collisions remains a top priority, with 1,208 people killed in Pennsylvania in 2013 due to traffic accidents. Traffic safety laws can prevent motor vehicle collisions by causing drivers to stop engaging in high-risk behaviors. This is why traffic safety laws and driving safety tips are so important.

When traffic safety laws are passed, drivers who violate those laws are presumed to have behaved negligently. This can make it easier for victims to recover compensation after a car accident since they do not have to specifically prove the other motorist was negligent. Crash victims who wish to pursue a claim should consult with a car accident lawyer. Philadelphia victims of collisions can get legal help from KaplunMarx to pursue their damage claim.

Read more below to see the top Driving Safety Tips for Philadelphia drivers.

Pennsylvania Laws to Reduce Motor Vehicle Accidents

The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety assign three different rating levels to states based on how effective they have been in passing crash prevention legislation. A green rating means the state has made significant strides in implementing recommended public safety laws. A red rating means that the state has failed to implement many recommended regulations designed to reduce collisions. Finally, as Pennsylvania received, a yellow rating means that the state has made a moderate effort to pass recommended legislation.

Pennsylvania has only implemented eight out of the 15 recommended driver safety laws. The state does not have:

  •  A primary enforcement seat belt law gives law enforcement officers the right to stop and cite motorists if drivers or passengers in the front or back seats are not wearing seat belts.
  • A law requiring that all motorcycle riders within the state wear helmets.
  • Substantial nighttime driving restrictions on new teen drivers as part of a graduated driver's license program.
  • An effective cell phone restriction on new teen drivers as part of a graduated licensing program.
  • A graduated licensing program that requires teens to reach the age of 18 before getting a full and unrestricted license.
  • A law that would require all drunk driving offenders to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicles if they have been convicted. An ignition interlock device prevents future intoxicated driving by requiring motorists to take a breath test before starting the ignition of their cars.

Graduated licensing laws have proven essential to reduce crash risks among new drivers as teens are the group most likely to crash, and crashes are a top cause of fatalities among young people. Yet, while Pennsylvania lawmakers have passed some noteworthy laws to make the roads safe, there is much room for improvement. 

If any motorist violates safety laws, victims of a resulting crash should consult with a car accident lawyer. Philadelphia personal injury law firm KaplunMarx is here to help. If you or someone you love has been in a motor vehicle crash, get help from a Philadelphia car accident lawyer today. Contact KaplunMarx at 215-939-4895

Holiday Season Driving Safety Tips

Drivers should take special care this holiday season. Statistically, Christmas and New Year holidays increase the risk of driver fatalities by 12-15%, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study. In the Philadelphia region, a warm front right before Christmas has brought heavy rain, fog, and wind, making for treacherous holiday travel conditions.

The weather contributed to today's Christmas Eve early morning Philadelphia truck accident when a pickup overturned on the I-676 ramp to I-76 – causing a colossal morning rush hour back up. Luckily this truck accident happened in the early morning hours, and no one was seriously hurt. Still, as the statistics show, car accidents are more likely to be fatal during this time of year, leading to wrongful death cases.

Why is the Holiday Season Riskier for Drivers:

The holidays are a time to enjoy family and friends, but for some people, they feel this is a time to let loose, which often leads to misery. The top 3 causes for holiday driving fatalities are:

  1. Holiday Drunk Driving – Remember, buzzed driving is still drunk driving.
  2. Poor Weather Conditions – December is a notoriously messy month for drivers.
  3. Increase in Drivers on Road During the Holidays – Increase in the number of drivers and length/time those drivers are on the roadways.

Three Holiday Season Driving Safety Tips

For most people driving during the holiday season is unavoidable, so keep these three Driving Safety Tips in mind when headed out this holiday driving season:

  1. Avoid Distraction – Phone calls, texting while driving, or not paying attention can be deadly.
  2. Buckle Seat Belts – This should be done regardless but becomes more critical when the risk of fatalities increases.
  3. Do Not Drink and Drive – This is obvious for most but needs repeating. You could cost yourself or someone else their life.

The takeaway from this post should be that holiday driving is often unavoidable, but understanding the increased risk of fatalities for holiday motorists may be the difference between coming home to your family or ending up in the morgue. While harsh, understanding the statistics and the holiday season's safe driving tips can keep you and your family safe. 

However, if you or a family member is involved in a car accident, truck accident, or at worst, a wrongful death accident during the holiday season, make sure they get in contact with the Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Firm of KaplunMarx.

Serious Car Accidents Spike During the Summer

As Philadelphia car accident lawyers, we know the start of the summer season also signifies the beginning of a time where we tend to see more deadly car accidents involving teen drivers. According to a news report on CBS Philadelphia, fatal crashes involving teens tend to spike about 15 percent in the summer. 

Doctors say teenagers are more likely to drive while distracted and put themselves and others in dangerous situations. Dashcam videos can also show what happens when teens drive while distracted. For example, one video shows a teenager looking at her cell phone for six seconds before going off the road.

Risky Behavior While Driving

One study showed that 21 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones. A recent report from AAA also indicates that 16- and 17-year-old drivers are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly car accident. Safety experts say teens are also more likely to show risky behavior while driving, such as speeding, driving distracted, and not wearing their seatbelts.

Eleven teens die each day in the United States as a result of texting while driving. According to an AAA poll, 94 percent of teen drivers say they know and understand the dangers of texting and driving. However, 35 percent admit to doing it anyway. Experts also say that texting is the most alarming distraction because it takes the driver's hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and attention away from the task of driving. At 55 mph, that's pretty much like going the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Driving Safety Tips for Teens

Here are a few Driving Safety Tips parents should bring attention to when they teach their teens to drive:

  • Turn off that phone and put it in the glove box. Putting them out of sight limits the temptation to text and drive, post on social media, or worse, take selfies while driving.
  • Respect the speed limit. Excessive speed is a significant factor number of crashes, especially among teens who are less experienced. They should also be taught to adjust their speed according to traffic, roadways, and weather conditions.
  • Since teens are also more likely than adults to drink and drive, the severe consequences of drinking and driving need to be emphasized. When they drink and drive, they put themselves in danger and their passengers and others on the roadway.
  • Buckling up should become second nature. Teens tend to have a lower rate of seatbelt use than other age groups, and the consequences of such behavior can be disastrous.
  • Teens should be taught to follow the rules of the road. This includes yielding the right of way to pedestrians, not attempting to outrun yellow lights, coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, etc.
  • Drivers should always keep their hands on the wheel. This ensures that they have better control of the vehicle. Since the introduction of airbags, the "9 and 3 positions" has become the standard rule of thumb for hand placement. Another benefit of keeping hands on the wheel is that it helps discourage distracted driving.
  • Maintain a safe following distance at all times. This allows drivers to come to a stop promptly in an emergency. Keeping a safe distance helps prevent car accidents, period.
  • Young drivers should also be taught not to make sudden lane changes or weave between traffic lanes. Parents should stress the dangers of driving behaviors such as cutting off other drivers and dangerous passing.
  • Finally, parents should be good role models for young drivers by following what they preach.

Injured in a Car Accident? Get a Free Case Review

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, our experienced car accident lawyers in Pennsylvania can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Contact us at 215-939-4895 for a free and comprehensive consultation.


KaplanMarx is a Philadelphia based law firm focusing on personal injury and accident cases. We pride ourselves in our community roots and help injury victims and their families every day to recover.



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