Articles Posted in Car Accidents

New Hampshire is known for its quaint country roads and scenic drives, however many of these roads can be dangerous to drivers, and especially to pedestrians and bicyclists. The narrow, tree-lined roads that are so desirable for leisurely driving have not always been designed and maintained to maximize safety. A bicyclist traveling on Route 103 near Sunapee, NH was recently injured when he was hit by a car that veered into the breakdown lane near a curve in the road.

According to a local news report describing the crash, witnesses saw a man walking his bicycle on the side of Route 103 near Sunapee, when a vehicle approached from the rear and left the travel lane, striking the bicyclist and sending his body over a guardrail. Witnesses stopped to offer aid to the bicyclist, and authorities were called to the scene. According to the article, the bicyclist was treated at the scene and eventually airlifted to a local hospital by a medical helicopter.

Drivers who are traveling on narrow roads with limited visibility have a responsibility to use extra care when navigating corners and making other traffic maneuvers in order to prevent pedestrians and bicyclists from being injured on the roadside. A driver who fails to adjust their driving habits to road conditions could be held accountable in the event of an accident, even if they were otherwise following all of the traffic laws. If a bicyclist is traveling on the roadway or in the breakdown lane, it is the responsibility of a passing driver to ensure that they can safely execute the maneuver before starting to pass a cyclist. Any bicyclist or pedestrian who has been injured in a New Hampshire crash may have a claim for damages against the other drivers involved. The bodily injury liability auto insurance coverage that is mandatory for drivers in New Hampshire to have does cover injuries caused to bicyclists or pedestrians in accidents that are the fault of the policyholder. This means that any bicyclist or pedestrian who has been injured by an insured driver should be able to seek compensation by making a personal injury claim.

The Fourth of July is a favorite summer-time holiday for many. Fireworks, BBQs, and spending time with friends and family are staples for many over the Fourth of July weekend. However, so too is drinking, which means that the roads during this time have a high concentration of drunk drivers.

In fact, the Fourth of July is one of the most dangerous holidays for drunk driving. Several studies have shown that the 4th of July sees the highest number of drunk drivers on the road. Thus, it is essential for anyone who drives over the holiday to take extra precautions and remain especially vigilant.

Of course, even the most careful drivers cannot avoid every accident. This is especially the case with New Hampshire DUI accidents. Drunk drivers are often irrational and unpredictable, meaning there may be little to no opportunity to avoid a collision. Those who are injured in a New Hampshire DUI accident can pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.

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Drunk driving accident fatalities have steadily declined in the US over the past few decades; however, the numbers remain startlingly high. Especially concerning is that preliminary studies revealed an increase in drunk drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when fewer drivers were on the road. Despite widespread public knowledge about impaired driving, New Hampshire is one of the only states with more DUI arrests in 2019 compared to 2010.

Notwithstanding extensive efforts by safety advocates, politicians, and lobbyists, driving while intoxicated remains one of the top related factors for drivers involved in fatal accidents. The other contributing factors include speeding, failure to yield, improper lane usage, and distracted driving.

Pursuing Compensation After a New Hampshire Drunk Driving Accident

After a New Hampshire drunk driving accident, the at-fault party can face serious civil and criminal penalties. Generally, three types of damages are available after a favorable New Hampshire personal injury lawsuit. These damages include:

  • Economic,
  • Non-economic, and
  • Enhanced compensatory.

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Auto-pedestrian accidents are some of the most deadly types of motor vehicle incidents that occur on New Hampshire roads. Drivers may struggle to see pedestrians near the roadway, especially at night, and when pedestrians are struck by a moving vehicle, the damage can be catastrophic. A man who had walked out of a minimum-security corrections facility in New Hampshire earlier this month was struck by a car and killed while walking on a New Hampshire turnpike.

According to the facts discussed in a local news report coving the crash, the deceased man had walked away from a minimum-security transitional housing unit that was operated by the New Hampshire Department of Corrections. The man had been listed as escaped by the Department of Corrections for about a week when they received word of the crash. The man had been walking on the side of the Everett Turnpike in Nashua when he was struck by a driver and killed. The turnpike where the man was hit is not designed for pedestrian traffic, and pedestrians are not allowed to walk on the side of the road where the accident occurred.

Determining fault and financial liability for auto-pedestrian accidents can be a complicated endeavor in New Hampshire. Certain accidents are black-and-white, as one of the people involved was obviously responsible for the crash. In situations where both parties may have been negligent, New Hampshire law allows for the liability to be divided among the parties based on their portion of fault. New Hampshire practices comparative negligence law, which means that an accident victim is entitled to compensation for the proportion of the other driver’s fault. Unlike other states, this rule applies even in situations where the victim is substantially more at fault than the other driver.

Many people imagine a car accident as a collision involving two or more cars. But on many occasions, car accidents may take place with only one vehicle involved, and these single-vehicle car accidents can still result in serious injury or death. There are numerous reasons why these single-vehicle accidents occur. For example, a driver may accidentally crash into an object while swerving to avoid hitting another vehicle or pedestrian. A driver may also lose control over the vehicle, or hit an object on or near the road. In some cases, what caused the single-vehicle accident may be easy to identify, while in others it may be more difficult to identify.

According to a recent news report, one woman is dead after an accident involving one vehicle. A 70-year-old driver was behind the wheel of an SUV that accelerated in reverse, ramming into the spot where a greenhouse employee was standing. The employee was killed in the car accident. At this time, the 70-year-old driver is not facing charges. Two others were injured in the crash, including a 57-year-old man and an 8-year-old girl, both of whom were taken to the hospital.

It is common for the driver to be found at fault for a single-vehicle car accident. But in some instances, the driver may not be found at fault, such as when it is found that their vehicle was defective or if the driver was attempting to avoid an accident with a reckless driver, for example. In addition, some car accidents lead to drivers facing criminal charges, and those may include (but are not limited to) when the driver is found to have been driving under the influence or driving recklessly or when there is a hit-and-run.

Driving under the influence can lead to serious physical injuries, property damage, and fatalities, and it is not a risk that any driver should take. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes, which equates to one person every 52 minutes.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other substances substantially impairs thinking, reasoning, muscle coordination, and reaction time, which are necessary components of driving. Being under the influence while driving leads a driver to engage in reckless behavior such as speeding, swerving, running red lights, and crossing lanes without checking for obstacles around them.

For example, last month, WMUR Manchester reported on a crash that occurred on the Everett Turnpike in New Hampshire. A silver Ford Edge struck the back of a police cruiser after the driver veered into the right breakdown lane. Both the driver of the Ford Edge and the trooper were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Ford Edge was charged with driving under the influence.

New Hampshire consecutive crash (“CC)” and chain-reaction accidents typically involve multi-vehicle collisions, often resulting in the most severe injuries. CC series accidents refer to instances of consecutive crashes composed of a primary accident and one or more subsequent secondary crashes that occur immediately within a certain distance. Chain-reaction accidents involve incidents where a collision occurs because of a sudden change of the lead vehicle. While there are many similarities between these types of accidents, by definition, CC series involves a group of multiple accidents, each of which can include single or multiple vehicles. In contrast, chain-reaction is considered as one crash with multiple vehicles.

Recently, a New Hampshire news report described a multi-vehicle crash on the Spaulding Turnpike that shut down two lanes of traffic. State police explained that they received reports of a two-vehicle collision, and moments later, additional reports came in about a third vehicle. An initial investigation revealed that a Volvo driver and a Nissan driver were traveling parallel in the southbound lane when the Nissan driver encroached into the Volvo’s path. As a result, both drivers took evasive steering actions to avoid a collision which caused both drivers to lose control of their cars. The Volvo driver stopped on the southbound on-ramp; however, the Nissan driver collided with a concrete barrier. Moments later, a Chevrolet driver traveling southbound slammed into the back of the Nissan. This impact dislodged the Nissan driver from the vehicle, and he was pronounced dead at the accident scene. A preliminary investigation indicates that distraction by an electronic device may have set the chain reaction into motion.

Traffic crashes are a serious concern for New Hampshire road users despite enhanced safety features in vehicles. Through significant research, a common understanding has formed that the severity of a secondary crash is highly dependent on the characteristics of the primary crash. In both CC and chain-reaction accidents, road design, traffic conditions, and the position of the primary crash all impact the result of the secondary accident. While there are many similarities, CCs often result in more burdens to the relevant road and traffic. These crashes involve multiple collisions in a limited area, which often causes congestions that are difficult to escape.

Driving helps older adults maintain independence and stay mobile; however, advancing age can present impairments that may impact driving ability. New Hampshire car accidents involving older and wrong-way drivers can result in serious injuries and deaths.

According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), there are more than 45 million licensed drivers over 65. Further, approximately 8000 older adults over 65-years-old received emergency treatment for crash injuries. A study from the Journal of Safety Research indicates that drivers over 70 years old have a higher crash death rate than middle-aged drivers. The higher accident rates among that age group are predominately associated with increased vulnerability to serious injuries. In the last reporting year, 73% of fatal accident victims killed in crashes involving drivers 70 years or older were either the driver themselves or their older passengers.

Generally, older adults engage in safer driving behaviors than other age groups; however, age-related declines may affect some older adults’ abilities to operate their vehicles safely. Physical, cognitive, and visual abilities may decline with age, and this functional impairment can interfere with safe driving. These impairments can cause confusion while driving, leading to a wrong-way accident.

Vehicle fires can lead to serious property damage, significant injuries, and fatalities. Most New Hampshire car fires stem from situations where gas or diesel ignites and causes an explosion. Some common causes of a car fire include:

  • Vehicle defects: A design or manufacturing defect can increase the likelihood of a car explosion and fire. A defect combined with other factors may ignite a fire or create unfavorable conditions that lead to a fire.
  • Motor vehicle collisions: The force of an accident can cause one or more cars to ignite. The vehicle’s engine, battery, or another component may become damaged during an accident and cause gas spillage and an explosion.
  • Improper vehicle maintenance: Poor vehicle maintenance can cause a car explosion or fire.
  • System Failures: Faulty wiring or defective computer systems can increase the likelihood of a vehicle fire.

In some cases, drivers may notice certain signs that indicate a potential explosion or fire. Consumer Reports advises consumers to be aware of warning signs such as:

  • A burning or melting smell.
  • A warning light on the dashboard.
  • Smoke coming from the vehicle.

Vigilance about the presence of these signs can prevent severe injuries and deaths.

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Driving while intoxicated is one of the most reckless and dangerous behaviors for New Hampshire drivers to engage in. Impaired driving generally encourages other dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding and failure to yield, and can have catastrophic results. A recently published local news report discusses a driver in New Hampshire who crashed into a library while allegedly intoxicated, leaving his passenger with life-threatening injuries.

According to the local news report, a 31-year-old man lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the Conway Public Library. When authorities arrived on the scene, the driver and a 21-year-old female passenger were trapped in the vehicle. After freeing the occupants and rushing the woman to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, the driver of the vehicle was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI after showing signs of impairment.

Persons who are injured while a passenger in a single-vehicle collision may enjoy less insurance coverage than when involved in a multi-vehicle collision. In a multi-vehicle collision, the bodily injury coverage of the at-fault driver will pay for the damages of anyone injured in the crash. Furthermore, the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of any driver with an injured occupant can cover damages in excess of the bodily injury coverage policy limit. Because victims in single-vehicle accidents usually have less insurance coverage to work with, it is essential for them to consult with an experienced legal team to help collect all of the damages they are entitled to. Damages vary based on a number of factors, but may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, as well as for any pain and suffering a victim experienced as a result of their injuries.

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