19-Year Old Killed in Head-On Collision in Bedford County, Virginia

19-Year Old Killed in Head-On Collision in Bedford County, Virginia

According to the reporting of the News & Advance, a 19-year-old Hardy woman was killed on Wednesday, November 27. The incident took place in Bedford County, according to police. The accident was said to be a head-on collision.

The authorities described the accident as involving two cars that smashed into each other around 3:14 p.m. on Virginia 619 in western Bedford County. The Virginia State Police said that the incident took place a third of a mile west of Pedigo Road. The deceased was driving east in a 2005 Nissan Altima when she crossed the center line of the road and slammed into a 2001 Daewoo Leganza that was coming in the other direction toward her.

The police confirmed that the deceased woman, Kendra C. Shepherd of Hardy, was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. After the EMS and the police were on the scene, she was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Shepherd died at the hospital.

Amoni M. Logan, 18, of Goodview, was identified by authorities as the driver of the Daewoo. Logan sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to the hospital, as well. Logan was also not wearing a seatbelt.

The authorities have indicated that the investigation into the cause of the crash and the details that led to it remain ongoing. It is unclear at this time if intoxication was a factor in the crash. 

Seatbelts Save Lives

The “Seatbelts Save Lives Campaign” along with the “Click It or Ticket” campaigns were launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in response to the overwhelming proof of how important wearing a seatbelt is for both drivers and passengers alike. These campaigns have been around for many years, working to motivate drivers and passengers to buckle up. 

In the United States, traffic accidents are the leading cause of personal injuries. Wearing a seatbelt is the most proactive safety measure a driver or passenger can do to reduce their risk for injuries, severe injuries, or death in a car accident. In 2017, the NHTSA reports that wearing a seatbelt saved almost 15,000 lives. That same year there were 37,133 Americans killed in motor vehicle accidents, an astounding 47% did not wear a seatbelt. If everyone wore a seatbelt in 2017, over 2,500 lives would have been saved.

So why does wearing a seatbelt make such a significant impact on safety while in a car? Seatbelts secure bodies inside of vehicles and help to prevent them from increased impact or ejection from vehicles. Those individuals who do not wear a seatbelt in an automobile are 30 times more likely to be ejected. When a body is ejected from a vehicle, the end result is almost always deadly. 

While airbags are an important part of the safety equation, they alone will not protect you fully in the event of a crash. Airbags are a critical component towards saving your life in a serious crash, but alone, the speed at which they deploy is so much that they have the ability to substantially injure you. There have been many instances of defective airbags going off without accidents even triggering them and the results to the front seat driver and passengers have been devastating.

Wearing a seatbelt every time you hit the road provides you with invaluable protection against harm. The evidence is clear, front-seat passengers reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% if they wear a seatbelt, and they can avoid moderate injury by 50%. Truck drivers can reduce the risk of fatality in an accident by 60% if a seatbelt is worn, and critical injuries will be reduced by 65%. Males are the most at-risk group for accidents and in 2017, 51% of passenger vehicle occupants who were male that died from car crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.

Seatbelt Laws in Virginia

Wearing a seatbelt is the law in the state of Virginia. Any driver and passenger who is 16 years of age and older and sits in the front seat of a car must wear a seatbelt. Those young children who are under the age of 16, no matter where they sit, must also wear a seatbelt in a car or must be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat while in a vehicle.

If you are over the age of 18, the laws are secondarily enforced. What exactly does that mean? Older adults cannot be pulled over simply because they are not wearing a seatbelt, there must be another reason for pulling their vehicles over. Therefore, if you are speeding, for instance, and you get pulled over and you are also not wearing a seatbelt, you will face violations for both speeding and not wearing your seatbelt.

While enforcement is secondary in Virginia, it is primary in many other states. Therefore it is prudent for drivers to always wear their seatbelt, not only for safety reasons but also to avoid being pulled over and ticketed. 

Lynchburg Virginia Automobile Accident Attorneys Who Care

If you were involved in a crash that was not your fault but resulted in severe injuries, you need to obtain compensation for your losses. The Virginia catastrophic accident injury attorneys at the Straw Law Firm will help you pursue a successful personal injury claim against the negligent party who caused your damages. We are the Lynchburg, Virginia personal injury lawyers you want supporting you when you are seeking the highest amount of compensation after your accident. 

Accidents have stressful and challenging outcomes such as injuries from which to recover, inability to work and make a living, property damage, emotional trauma, and stress at home. This is why, when you have been victimized by a negligent party, you pursue a personal injury claim that will yield a fair settlement for your damages.

Do not hesitate to call us at (434) 595-3581 and speak to one of our highly knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorneys today. We care deeply about victims in Virginia and we will guide you through the personal injury claim process and answer all of your questions.

Virginia Has Highest Motorcycle Death Rate in a Decade

Virginia Has Highest Motorcycle Death Rate in a Decade

In Virginia, 2019 has seeing a significant increase in motorcyclist deaths over previous years, with seven reported so far. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reports that in all seven of these accidents, the driver was not wearing a helmet. These deaths mark a decade high for the State of Virginia. While 2019 only has about a month left in it, these numbers are troubling. The holiday season, like the summer, is statistically the highest-risk time for vehicle crashes.

Last year, none of the motorcycle fatalities were a result of not wearing a helmet. In 2017, there was only one death from an unhelmeted rider. There were four deaths from riders who did not wear a helmet in 2016 and three in 2015 across the state. 

Why are Helmets Important for Motorcyclists?

The body of a motorcycle does not provide its rider with much protection. Riders who want to protect themselves have to rely on the specialty gear that is made for motorcycle riding. Helmets, eye protection, ear protection, armored jackets, specialty gloves, boots, and even pants can all be worn together for protection on the road. Even with all of this gear, motorcycle accidents can still have catastrophic results. Helmets are by far the most important type of safety equipment a motorcyclist can wear.

According to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the most dangerous way to travel the roadways is on a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are almost 28 times more likely to be involved in a crash that will take their lives than their passenger car counterparts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that helmets were the reason that almost 2,000 lives were saved in motorcycle crashes in 2017. The rate at which riders and drivers alike are currently wearing helmets is decreasing societal harm by $17 billion. If all motorcyclists wear helmets when they were riding, there would be an additional $8 billion reduction.

The thing about motorcycle accidents is that when riders are injured, head injuries are common and are the leading factor in resulting deaths. Making sure you wear your helmet every time you get on your bike, no matter how long or short the drive is, is immensely important. Wearing a helmet when driving a motorcycle will reduce the chances that you will have a head injury by 69% and will reduce the likelihood of an accident leading to death by 42%.

Motorcycle Laws in Virginia

Not every state has laws requiring helmet use. Some states indicated that younger teens must wear a helmet, but adults can opt not to. In Virginia, all motorcycle passengers must wear helmets that meet set safety standards.

The Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute Inc., and The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) are all resources to figure out how to get a proper helmet. These organizations have guidelines that provide information regarding how to wear a helmet correctly as well as what type of certifications and specifications are required for an acceptable helmet.

According to the DMV, a helmet will reduce brain injuries in motorcycle riders by 67%. Conversely, when a helmet is not worn while driving, the driver is 40% more likely to sustain a serious head injury that will result in death. So, while all the other gear is recommended and helpful to promote rider safety and reduce injuries, helmets are by far the most crucial.

In addition to wearing the right gear and absolutely always having a helmet on, riders should observe responsible driving practices.

  • Do not drink and ride
  • Stay alert
  • Do not drive on the shoulder
  • Wear reflective gear, and brightly colored clothing to be more visible to other drivers
  • Do not weave in and out of traffic
  • Do not ride between lanes
  • Do not ride with more than two motorcycles per lane next to each other
  • Do not speed

While all of these actions can work together to be beneficial to motorcyclist safety, being prepared to ride with traffic is also necessary. Taking a driving class to learn how to operate your motorcycle will help you be more confident and knowledgeable on the road. You will find these classes offered at the DMV. 

An accident management course is also recommended. That way, if you find yourself in an accident and you have the ability to assess the damages and provide aid, you will know what to do. If you are in an accident, there is a high likelihood that you will suffer an injury. After you seek medical treatment, it is important to pursue a personal injury claim for the highest amount of compensation. You will need to recoup your losses so that you can recover effectively. The best way to accomplish this is to enlist the help of a Lynchburg personal injury attorney.

Obtaining Legal Help After a Devastating Motorcycle Accident in Lynchburg

The Straw Law Firm has the Virginia catastrophic accident injury attorneys you want on your side when you need to recoup costs associated with a devastating accident. Virginia motorcycle accidents take a tremendous toll on injured victims. These tragedies result in financial, emotional, and physical pain that the victims, as well as their families, have to endure. For this reason, it is important that you obtain a fair settlement after being injured due to someone else’s negligence. 

Your best chance of recouping compensation for your losses is to have an aggressive Lynchburg traffic accident attorney fight on your behalf and protect your legal rights. When victims team up with experienced legal help, their settlements are much higher than if they go the course alone. The Straw Law Firm is here for you and we will fight for your best interests. 

Do not hesitate to call us at (434) 595-3581 and speak to one of our highly knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorneys today. We care deeply about victims in Virginia and we will guide you through the personal injury claim process.