New Hampshire is known for its beautiful scenery, filled with mountains, lakes, fall foliage, and more. Along with that beauty comes the risk of natural debris. Last summer, a New Hampshire woman died after crashing into trees. In April 2021, a New Hampshire woman hit a tree on a Vermont road and died. A fire ensued mid-May 2021 after a driver hit a deer on Rt 118 in Dorchester.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, mandatory lockdowns resulted in many companies moving to remote work, resulting in fewer cars on the road. For months, highways and roads that had been stop-and-go during rush hour were now open and empty. With the decrease in activity, one would expect a decrease in automobile accidents. In fact, the opposite was true.
A National Safety Council report found that an estimated 42,060 individuals died in auto accidents during 2020—this represents an increase of 8% compared to 2019. Eight states had an increase of more than 17% (ranging from 18% to 33%) in the number of estimated deaths due to car crashes. Examined through another lens, if you compare national “traffic deaths to the number of miles driven, the rate of fatalities rose 24%.”
Winter snow is beautiful in New Hampshire, however it can be very dangerous, and sometimes frightening for motorists caught in dangerous conditions out on the roadways. A motorist has to be particularly careful, because auto accidents often happen in poor weather situations. Accidents can be minor or can be severe causing you to total your car or cause serious bodily injury. There are all kinds of basic safety rules that help you when you’re faced with a difficult winter road emergency; and tons of information available online. The State of New Hampshire reminds drivers with NH winter weather advisories to limit road travel in times of heavy snow storms to allow the Department of Transportation to plow and treat the roadways.
Here are a few very important driving tips when dealing with severe winter weather:
-Avoid driving when you’re particularly fatigued. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest before and after winter weather tasks so you’re well rested to avoid driving risks.
– Never leave your car turned on, or warm up vehicle in an open garage- you risk carbon monoxide poisoning, a serious, silent odorless killer.
Summer Travel Safety Tips in New Hampshire
Keeping safe during any summer travel requires proper preparation. Taking the time to think ahead can prevent a vacation from being ruined. Getting stuck on the side of the road with the kids and dog in the car is a sure fire way to dampen vacation plans. The following travel tips are beneficial for anyone planning to travel in New Hampshire.
Plan the Trip
Let other family members know your travel plans when planning a vacation. Making certain a loved one knows when you are scheduled to leave and return, and where you are headed is an important safety measure. It is also important to map out any travel routes. There are many options found online that can be used to estimate fuel costs and other aspects of your trip. Apps can also be used to find various restaurants and places of interest along the way.
Prepare the Vehicle
In New Hampshire, accidents happen every day. Some are severe, even fatal. The fatality rate of persons killed by motor vehicle accidents in NH remains steady year after year. These numbers could rise with the mass amount of smart phone usage and texting while driving increases. If you are looking at filing a legal claim or lawsuit due to injuries sustained through the negligence of others, you are probably wondering what your injury case may be worth. There are a lot of factors that will decide the dollar amount, however you must first determine if there is enough evidence to prove negligence, if the injuries are causally related and severe enough to provide for a monetary recovery or settlement.
In the end, it boils down to the damages sustained. You have to determine what your injuries cost you physically, mentally and monetarily. When it comes to personal injury cases, the company or the individual who is responsible for the accident can be held liable and ordered to pay monetary compensation to the injured party. Damage awards can be determined by a negotiated settlement between the attorneys, insurance company and the parties involved, or a jury and judge can decide at trial.
Don’t Sign Anything Until First Speaking With an Experienced NH Injury Attorney
The New Hampshire Legislature is considering a bill that would make it illegal to use a cell phone, iPad, GPS, or other electronic device while driving, stopped at a light, or while sitting in traffic.
Last week the Senate Transportation Committee heard testimony from several people, including Earl Sweeney, the Commissioner of Safety, as to why HB 1360 should pass. If this does happen, and it’s still a ways off, New Hampshire would be the thirteenth state to make the use of hand-held cell phones and electronic devices illegal while driving.
The Concord Monitor quoted Sweeney as saying, “This is the most-needed piece of highway safety legislation to come before you this year.” He told the committee that in the state between 2010 and 2013 about 124 people died in car crashes caused by distracted drivers.
Winter Car Accidents in NH
Winter in New Hampshire is a magical time of year. Snow-covered trees, frozen ponds and great outdoor fun for skiing, skating and snowboarding abound. But winter weather can also make NH roads treacherous. Snow, ice and frigid temperatures can make it difficult, if not impossible, to travel. Statistics show that there are over 1.5 million weather-related car accidents every year. Many of these collisions were caused by drivers that failed to proceed cautiously while driving in bad weather. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 24 percent of all annual crashes are weather-related.
Exercise Caution-Drive Responsibly