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Auto accidents – they’re a horrible reality in our modern-day, commuter lifestyle.  And sometimes, that reality turns deadly.  That’s what happened in a multi-vehicle crash that happened just 70 miles north of Philadelphia in northeastern Pennsylvania last month.

Four children in a single car were killed along with the driver, a 23 year-old.  The accident occurred on a Saturday afternoon, along Route 115 in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.  Emergency responders found the bodies of the four children and determined none of them — absolutely zero — were wearing seat belts or were placed in booster seats.  The driver was wearing a seatbelt.  Police say the accident happened when the driver was trying to pass another car on Route 115 but suddenly lost control.  She was apparently driving at a high rate of speed.  One other adult was found in the car, a 21 year-old who was injured in the accident.  The drivers of three other cars were injured as well.

Pennsylvania tracks nationwide averages closely when it comes to traffic fatalities.  In the most recent data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Pennsylvania saw just over 1300 traffic fatalities in the year 2012, averaging about 10.26 deaths per 100,000 people.  Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a car accident occurs every 10 seconds nationwide with 1% ending in death and a third of the accidents resulting in injury.

There are important points to remember if you are involved in an accident whether you are injured or not.  First, make sure you never leave the scene of an accident.  If you do leave, this may result in having your license suspended or having your driving privileges revoked.  Second, stop your vehicle, making sure you’re not obstructing any additional traffic, and calmly assess the situation.  Look for any immediate dangers arising from the accident and do your best to assist any other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians who may have been injured.  But take extra care in assisting other people or wait for an ambulance if possible.  And notify a police officer if there is any injury or fatality.  If you, yourself, have been injured in the accident, stay calm and make sure you’re not in the way of any oncoming traffic.  Call or wait for help.

If you are involved in an accident in Pennsylvania, the law requires you to exchange certain information with all other parties involved.  This information includes the following:

  • Name, address, and contact information
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number of all vehicles involved
  • Auto insurance information

And it may be useful to take photographs of the accident scene.

In certain circumstances, you are required to report the accident to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation by filing a Driver’s Accident Report within 5 days.  These involve accidents that were not investigated by police or if it resulted in death, injury, or severe damage to any vehicle.  Failure to do so can result in a license suspension.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident contact the expert attorneys at Stampone Law immediately.