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An increase in car crashes on the Blue Ridge Parkway has law enforcement officials reminding motorists to drive safely while enjoying the fall scenery. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, this is one of the busiest seasons for the popular scenic roadway. There have been 19 crashes on the 469-mile stretch of road, and half of those wrecks happened in the Pisgah District. There is also some concern that drivers are looking at the leaves instead of focusing on the road.

Peak Traffic Season

Autumn, and October in particular, is one of the busiest seasons for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Drivers are out enjoying the wildlife, flowers, colors and scenery. This time of year is incredibly popular for motorcyclists too. Riders are trying to get in a few good cruises before the weather turns. In September, a well-known motorcyclist was killed in a crash on the Parkway. The wreck happened near mile post 394.

Distracted Driving and High Speeds

The Blue Ridge Parkway is intended to be driven at a leisurely pace, but many of the recent wrecks are being attributed to high speed and distracted driving. In many locations, the speed limit is 35 miles per hour, and this time of year, drivers are more distracted by what’s outside of the vehicle than what’s inside. Observing the fall colors has also been a factor in some of the recent Blue Ridge Parkway Crashes. Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving is considered a distraction. It’s not exactly a smart phone, but looking at the beautiful scenery rather than the road still puts everybody in danger.

Safety on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Motorists are reminded to use designated overlook areas to enjoy the colors of the season. Don’t take your eyes or mind off the wheel to observe the changing leaves. Watch the road, and wait for designated areas to enjoy the scenery. Always focus on the road, and enjoy the fall scenery when it is safe to pull over. If you or a loved one have been injured by a speeding or distracted driver on the Blue Ridge Parkway, contact the skilled team at Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation today.

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Cyclists are out in full force enjoying the crisp weather and beautiful fall foliage, so motorists in and around Asheville need to be on the lookout. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has great tips for cyclists and drivers to improve roadway safety for everybody.

Safety Tips for Cyclists

• Follow the rules of the road.
• Wear a bicycle helmet.
• Be predictable.
• Stay alert.
• Look before turning.

What can Drivers do?

• Never text and drive.
• Be on the lookout for cyclists, pedestrians and other roadway users.
• Give the cyclist at least three feet when passing.
• Yield to bicycles when turning.

Accidents involving cars and bicyclists can leave cyclists in the hospital or worse. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the experienced team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 866-397-2897 for a case consultation today.

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On Monday night, two people died in a wrong-way crash on I-26. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the Henderson County wreck happened at about 9:30 p.m. in the eastbound lanes, near mile marker 50. Initial reports indicate that an elderly male driver was headed the wrong way and crashed into a pickup truck head on. First responders, crews and investigators were on the scene until about 11:00 p.m., and both drivers were killed in the crash.

There’s no word on why the elderly driver was going the wrong direction. There is also no information on whether or not there were any passengers in either vehicle, or if anybody else was injured in the wreck. No names have been released, and the crash is likely still under investigation with law enforcement authorities.

Elderly Driver Safety in North Carolina

Although very little information has been released, elderly driver safety is becoming an increasingly important topic with an aging baby boomer population. Along with age comes a decline in vision, physical health and cognitive function. This means it is absolutely critical to ensure older drivers have all the tools necessary to safely navigate the roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has great online materials for helping families bring up the topic of safe driving with older loved ones.

Older “Drive Well Toolkit”

The NHTSA offers a helpful “Drive Well Toolkit” that is dedicated to promoting older driver safety and mobility in communities across the U.S. The toolkit gives families, loved ones, older drivers and concerned community members resources for improving roadway safety for older drivers and all other roadway users. Community building, older driver training events and education and advocacy material are all included in the Drive Well Toolkit for older drivers.

Older Driver Safety in Asheville
WLOS ABC News Channel 13 also recently reported on older driver health assessments in Asheville. An assessment can be scheduled with a local healthcare provider and can help give older drivers and their family members peace of mind about driving safety and limitations. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the two people who were killed in this terrible crash.

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On Tuesday afternoon, an unattended dump truck crashed through a mobile home in Candler. The incident happened sometime before 1:30 p.m. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the Waste Pro dump truck rolled about 65 feet downhill before slamming into the house on Shelba Drive.

Thankfully, nobody was in the house at the time of the crash, and the family’s dogs were reportedly okay. The driver, who was not in the dump truck at the time of the crash, did say that he set the parking break, but the incident is still under investigation with authorities. Waste Pro offered to pay for a hotel room for the homeowner overnight. Thankfully, this large truck hit a house when nobody was home. Unattended runaway trucks can be incredibly dangerous, and even deadly.

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A rollover crash on I-26 that sent six people to the hospital is being blamed on driver inexperience. According to the Times-News, the 15-year-old driver was licensed in South Carolina and had some type of conditional or provisional license, also known as a “learner’s permit.” Apparently, the teen driver’s vehicle drifted to the right shoulder of the road and hit a section of rumble strips. The driver then jerked the steering wheel and overcorrected the Mazda SUV. The vehicle flipped over on the roadway.

Two Juvenile Occupants Ejected from Car
All six occupants in the vehicle were hospitalized, and at least one of them had to be airlifted from the scene. Two unidentified juveniles were ejected from the vehicle, but thankfully they landed in the median away from the wreckage. There were apparently six people, including other children in the car that only had seats for five. It’s important to note that learner’s permits are only recognized in the state that they’re issued in. A North Carolina learner’s permit is only recognized in North Carolina, and the same goes for South Carolina.

National Teen Driver Safety Week
We recently reported on the upcoming National Teen Driver Safety Week. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is hoping to raise awareness about the safety concerns facing teen drivers across the country. In addition to issues like driving under the influence and distracted driving, parents are also being asked to limit peer passengers to no more than one at a time. Additional teen passengers can increase the crash risk for new drivers. Finally, the importance of seatbelts can’t be overstated when setting out rules for new drivers. Everybody, including passengers and parents, should be buckled up for every trip.

After a Crash Involving a Teen Driver
After any type of crash where another person’s negligent, careless or willfully dangerous actions caused your injury, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. As of Sunday night, at least three of the victims were still in critical condition, but there’s no word on the extent of their injuries or their current conditions. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. wishes everybody involved in the crash speedy and full recoveries from their injuries.

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On Wednesday morning, a school bus crash injured eight West Marion Elementary School students. The driver of a sedan crossed the centerline and struck the school bus head on. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the McDowell County collision happened at about 7:30 a.m. at Whitson’s Curve.

The impact of the crash sent both vehicles off of the roadway, and the bus ended up in a ditch. Witnesses and emergency responders were swiftly on the scene assisting the children. The driver of the car, 40-year-old Randall Webb, was arrested and charged with DWI, although very few details have been released about the investigation.

Thankfully, none of the children’s injuries were initially described as serious. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. wishes all of the children speedy and full recoveries from their injuries.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is getting ready for National Teen Driver Safety Week, which is from October 19 – 25, this year. Since motor vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of death for teens ages 14 to 18, the NHTSA is making this issue a top priority. The NHTSA’s “5 to Drive” rules are targeted at raising awareness about the five biggest issues facing teen drivers.

Safety Concerns Facing Teen Drivers

The NHTSA has singled out the top five safety concerns for teen drivers by analyzing data and statistics from car crashes involving teen drivers across the country. From drinking and driving to having too many passengers in the car, there are a variety of factors that can greatly increase a teen driver’s (or passenger’s) risk for being involved in an injury-causing or fatal accident.

Top Five Safety Concerns for Teens

1. Alcohol 2. Seat belts 3. Texting
4. Speeding 5. Passengers

Five to Drive
By addressing these safety concerns with teen drivers during dedicated conversations, parents can have a huge impact in their teen’s safety behind the wheel. Although teens aren’t legally allowed to consume alcohol, they’re actually at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes than drivers of any other age group. Teens should also be limited to no more than one peer passenger in their car at any time. Even seemingly small details can truly have a great impact on inexperienced drivers. The NHTSA offers parents a variety of resources for addressing these concerns, establishing the “5 to Drive” rules and entering into a safety contract with teen drivers.

Fatal Crash in Rutherford County

In August, we reported on a Rutherford County crash that took the life of a 15-year-old girl. The one-vehicle wreck happened when a teen driver reportedly lost control of his vehicle while negotiating a curve. Their truck left the roadway, flew down an embankment and hit several trees. Authorities did suspect excessive speed and driver inexperience to be factors.

What to do After a Crash
Inexperience and a variety of other factors can put teen drivers, passengers and other motorists on the roadway at a greater risk for injury-causing and fatal car accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in any kind of crash, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. can be reached at 866-397-2897.

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Traffic on I-26 and I-40 was backed up on Wednesday morning as crews worked to clear multiple crash scenes. At about 8:00 a.m. on I-40, two separate wrecks involving at least 10 cars sent three people to the hospital. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, lanes near the Sweeten Creek Road exit had to be closed until nearly 10:00 a.m. as crews worked the scenes.

On I-26, a dump truck reportedly rear-ended a small pickup truck near the Brevard Road exit. At least one person was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries. At about 10:00 a.m., a crash involving an 18-wheeler on Sweeten Creek Road injured at least one person.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash due to somebody else’s negligent, reckless or careless driving, contact the skilled team at Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation today.

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Early Friday morning, a construction worker was struck and killed by a motorist on I-40. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened sometime around 2:00 a.m., near Morganton. For currently unknown reasons, the driver of a pickup truck drover through construction cones in the work zone and struck three workers. First responders were swiftly on the scene, but one of the victims died on the way to the hospital. Reportedly, one of the victims was seriously injured, and another was treated for injuries and released. Very little information has been released on the extent of those injuries.

The incident happened in a construction zone near exit 105, where construction workers were working on a paving project on the bridge over highway 18. Crews and investigators were on the scene for hours. The westbound lane wasn’t reopened for drivers until sometime after 8:15 a.m. WLOS ABC News Channel 13 reports that the workers were wearing reflective vests, inside of the work zone, and that they were surrounded by construction barrels and the construction site was illuminated at the time of the crash.

Work Zone Safety in North Carolina

Last year, over 1,700 people were injured and 13 people were killed in work-zone crashes across the state. Motorists need to understand that these injuries and deaths are totally preventable. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) estimates that about 150 major work zones are operating at any given time in North Carolina. The National Highway Work Zone Safety Program also offers motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists plenty of resources for safely sharing the roadway in a work zone.

NCDOT’s Work Zone Safety Tips
• Stay alert • Obey posted speed limits • Do not speed • Keep a safe following distance • Minimize distractions like cell phones • Expect the unexpected

The cause of this crash is still under investigation with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and officials with the NCDOT are urging drivers to stay alert and use caution when driving through work zones. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the worker who was killed and wishes speedy and full recoveries to the surviving victims.

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On Tuesday afternoon, a tanker truck with Justice Rural Volunteer Fire Department overturned and took the life of a firefighter. The incident happened when the department was responding to a call near Louisburg. Fur currently unknown reasons, the tanker truck overturned. The driver was killed, and another firefighter was transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

At this time, there’s no information on how or why the tanker truck overturned. Additionally, there’s no word on the extent of injuries sustained by the firefighter who was taken to the hospital, but he or she has since been released. WLOS ABC News Channel 13 reports that the initial call the department was responding to turned out to be a false alarm. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members, friends and coworkers of the firefighter who was killed in the crash.