After a long day at work, it’s easy to stop paying attention when rush hour traffic is backed up and moving at a glacial pace. Even worse is when tensions flare and frustrated motorists decide to drive aggressively. We all have a basic duty of care we are required to uphold when driving to keep other people safe. When that duty is breached by a negligent driver, anyone on the road can potentially sustain catastrophic injuries in a rush hour collision.
Causes of Common Rush Hour Accidents in Pennsylvania
Rush hour sees so many accidents because traffic is heavy at a time when glare is a serious problem, as the sun is often rising and setting at the exact times people are going to or coming home from work. Rear-end collisions are common in rush hour traffic, but they aren’t the only type of accident to take place during the after-work timeframe. Blindspot collisions are also a frequent occurrence, since there’s often less room to maneuver in heavy traffic.
Some of the most devastating rush hour wrecks are head-on collisions when someone tries to pass without enough room or run a red light. Accidents on the freeway may also involve a tractor-trailer jackknife or rollover, which can very easily lead to a major multi-vehicle pileup.
In any of these types of rush hour crashes, the ultimate cause of the accident usually lies with a careless driver engaging in negligent behaviors like:
- Distracted driving. Trying to scroll through social media or read emails while coasting through stop-and-start rush hour traffic can easily lead to a rear-end crash.
- Failing to leave enough room. Keeping adequate space between you and the vehicle in front of you is actually required by law, but that can be difficult to maintain in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic.
- Road rage. Sadly, dealing with this very dangerous behavior is a distinct possibility during Philadelphia’s rush hour. Collisions are much more likely when someone is aggressively attempting to cut people off or weave in and out of lanes to get ahead of other drivers.
- Tired driving. We have seen time and again that drowsy driving is equally as bad or worse than getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol. Heading to or from work without adequate rest the night before is a recipe for disaster.
How to Protect Yourself After a Rush Hour Crash
If the other driver was behaving negligently behind the wheel, then they may be liable for your damages. They could owe you compensation for your medical costs, property damage to your vehicle, lost income, and more.
For the best shot at actually receiving compensation, it’s important to take the right actions immediately after the collision. Although crashes are chaotic, it’s important to assess the situation and move your vehicle to the side of the road if it is likely to cause further accidents and make traffic even worse. After calling law enforcement to alert them to the crash, make sure to gather any contact details for witnesses who saw the wreck and can describe how the other driver caused the accident.
From there, you have two extremely important steps to take. The first is to see a doctor quickly to check for internal wounds and assess the extent of your injuries. You want a verifiable paper trail established to show how and when you were hurt. That is crucial evidence to provide either to an insurance adjuster or to a jury down the line.
After addressing your medical condition, the single most important action is to call an experienced car accident attorney who understands Pennsylvania auto laws. Your lawyer can investigate the crash, establish precisely who is liable for your damages, and then negotiate with insurance for the full amount you actually deserve. In some cases, a lawyer may also be needed to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Did you suffer a serious injury in a Philadelphia rush hour accident? Don’t wait to get the legal assistance you need. Talk to the Heslin Law Firm and find out if we can help you pursue financial recovery. Call directly at 215-332-0300 or send your contact info online here.