How Dangerous Are the Roads in Wilkes-Barre?
Wilkes-Barre sits in the middle of Luzerne County in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania. Boasting a population of just over 40,000, the town is home to heavily traveled roads such as I-81, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Route 11, and the Cross Valley. It’s no surprise the number of car accidents in Wilkes-Barre has steadily increased in recent years. So, where do most car accidents happen in Wilkes-Barre?
If you or your loved one were a victim of a car accident in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, you may have the right to compensation. The Wilkes-Barre car accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania law, various insurance policies, and the Pennsylvania court system. Call today for a free consultation with one of our expert car accident lawyers. We will guide you through the claims process and do everything in our power to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
What Are the Main Causes of Car Accidents in Wilkes-Barre?
In 2019, Luzerne County fell into Pennsylvania’s top ten counties with the most traffic-related fatalities, seeing 30 deaths that year. Two of those deaths occurred in the springtime in Wilkes-Barre on Main Street and Blackman Street. Accidents can happen anywhere, any time, to anyone. However, according to the city data, River Street, Market Street, North Cross Valley Expressway, and Pennsylvania Avenue are the most common spots for accidents in Wilkes-Barre.
What causes car accidents in Wilkes-Barre to occur? The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation highlights several factors that lead to car accidents in the state. According to the data, the leading causes of car wrecks in Wilkes-Barre are:
Speeding-related accidents double the amount of other accidents and have a fatality rate that almost triples other causes. When a driver is speeding, he or she has less time to react to road hazards and other drivers. Drivers going at high speeds also have less control over their vehicle and will make a greater impact when hitting another car, increasing the chances of severe injuries to all passengers involved. There were 29,978 speed-related crashes in Pennsylvania in 2019 resulting in 385 fatalities.
Distracted driving is a growing problem in Pennsylvania and across the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about eight people are killed from distracted driving every single day. Distracted driving comes in three forms:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off driving.
Nowadays, it is unfortunately common practice for drivers to engage in text messaging and emailing while driving, which has proven to be deadly for many. The CDC likens reading a text message while driving to driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Nothing is that urgent – drivers need to put their phones down and concentrate on the road.
There were 13,065 improper-turning related accidents in Pennsylvania that claimed more than 50 lives in 2019. Improper turns can be:
- Turning right on red when there is a “no turn on red” sign
- Turning left on a red light
- Going through a stop sign on a turn, instead of yielding to oncoming traffic
- Turning without signaling
- Making an illegal u-turn
- Turning without using a designated area to turn that way
Improper turns can cause collisions with other vehicles, but also collisions with bikers and pedestrians.
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol slows reaction times and leaves the driver having serious difficulty controlling their car. Driving while drunk or high makes it more difficult to control speed, steer the vehicle, and slow down when necessary. Lack of judgment, lack of coordination, and inability to track moving objects can lead to disastrous accidents.
Tailgating accidents topped 7,000 in 2019 with seven fatalities. Drivers who tailgate do not have time to come to a complete stop if they are driving too closely behind another car. This is especially dangerous when truck drivers tailgate. The weight of a semi truck or tractor trailer makes it extremely difficult for the truck driver to quickly come to a full stop, causing devastating accidents. A general rule of thumb to drive as safely as possible is to drive at least four seconds behind the car in front of you. So, if the car in front of you passes an exit sign, you should be able to count to four before you pass the same sign.
Other causes of car accidents in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania include:
- Careless/illegal passing
- Proceeding without clearance
- Drowsy driving
- Inclement weather
What Do I Do After Getting Into a Car Accident in Wilkes-Barre?
After being involved in an auto accident in Wilkes-Barre, it is critical that you keep calm and call 911 immediately. An accident report will need to be filed by the police which your insurance company will need to find who is at fault for the accident.
While you wait for help to arrive, try to gather evidence from the wreck. This contains images and videos of the crash site, as well as the other driver’s and any witnesses’ contact information.
When emergency services arrive, make a brief statement and do not admit fault, even if you believe you did something wrong. Get the police officer’s name and badge number, then follow up with them in a few weeks to get the final police report.
Visit the hospital to find out about your injuries. If you opt not to go to the hospital from the scene of the accident, arrange an appointment with your health care physician.
After a car accident, the best approach to safeguard your rights is to avoid speaking with the insurance company until you have first spoken with a Wilkes-Barre auto accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys who will defend your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Wilkes-Barre Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is There a Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania?
A: Yes, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of your accident. While that may seem like a long time, medical bills pile up quickly and can easily send you and your family into extreme financial distress. It is in your best interest to contact a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys car accident lawyer as soon as possible so they can recover enough damages to cover all expenses related to your Wilkes-Barre car accident.
Q: Is Pennsylvania a No-Fault State?
A: Pennsylvania is a unique state because drivers have the option of purchasing either fault or no fault insurance. Speak to your Munley car accident lawyer about Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence laws that may affect your claim. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to ensure the highest amount of compensation possible.
Q: What is Limited Tort Coverage?
A: Limited tort means you can recover actual costs, such as medical costs and lost wages, but you may not be able to collect damages for pain and suffering. Limited-tort coverage can prevent you from recovering compensation for pain and suffering, even if you were not responsible for the accident. The exceptions to this are:
- You were in a commercial vehicle
- You were a pedestrian and were not in a car when you were struck by another car
- You were on a motorcycle
- The at-fault driver is convicted of a DUI
- The at-fault vehicle was not registered in Pennsylvania
- You suffered a serious injury which led to a serious impairment to regular bodily function
- Your insurance company didn’t notify or obtain the proper paperwork about your options with limited and full tort.
Why Do I Need a Wilkes-Barre Car Accident Attorney?
If you suffered injuries due to a car accident in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania, reach out to a Munley car accident lawyer right away. Insurance companies are notorious for paying the minimum amount to their customers in order to keep costs low for themselves. A seasoned Munley car accident lawyer can help you make sure you have plenty of financial coverage for your current and future medical bills, as well as any property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering you experienced.
Leave the claims process up to your Wilkes-Barre car accident lawyer while you focus on a full recovery. Your attorney will handle all correspondence with the insurance companies. To prove your claim, they will gather evidence from the accident scene, including a police report, witness testimony, and any footage from surrounding security cameras. In certain cases, they will team up with accident reconstructionists and medical consultants. Munley’s commitment to their clients: they will not collect a fee unless a settlement or verdict is reached in your favor.
Call today for a free consultation with a leading Wilkes-Barre injury lawyer who can come alongside you on the road to recovery and find out more about where most car accidents happen in Wilkes-Barre and how we can help if you were involved in an accident.