Car accidents can result in life-changing consequences. This is, of course, true for accidents that result in fatalities, but even accidents where everyone involved survives can still have long-term effects. People in West Virginia who have been in an accident, or know someone who has been in an accident, may have their own examples of how a car accident affected their life and the lives of the people around them.
In the first quarter of this year, 46 people lost their lives on West Virginia's roadways. This is well below the average of roughly 68 deaths per quarter in 2014. But, that comparison can be misleading because the annual number of fatal accidents is not necessarily evenly distributed across all four quarters of the year. In other words, some parts of the year may have a disproportionate number of deadly accidents compared to other times of the year.
People in the Charleston area who have been touched by a spinal cord injury understand what a life-changing and difficult injury this can be for a person to deal with. These injuries are often debilitating, can cause paralysis and require the injured person to have long-term medical care. In addition, spinal cord injury victims may need help performing daily tasks that they easily could have accomplished on their own prior to the injury. Thus, a spinal cord injury can take a heavy toll on both the injured person and their loved ones.
Motor vehicle accidents are common throughout West Virginia. However, most people are not involved in multiple accidents over a short period of time. For example, some people may be involved in more than one accident during their lifetime but, even then, the accidents are likely spread out over months, years or even decades of the person's life. This means that few drivers are experienced in exactly what they need to do after an accident.
Whether it is a fall, a car accident, a workplace accident or a sports injury, spinal cord injuries can be considered some of the most devastating injuries out there, particularly when they lead to lifelong consequences. For those in West Virginia who survive a spinal cord injury, the rehabilitation process is an especially important -- and ultimately expensive -- factor in returning to daily functioning. The main goals of rehabilitation include maximizing the person's physical abilities, preventing secondary complications and returning the injured victim to their community.
Any West Virginian who has ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident knows that it can be a very nerve-wracking experience. Immediately after the accident, the scene can be chaotic and stressful. Emergency medical services and other emergency responders will tend to anyone who suffered injuries. Meanwhile, law enforcement officers will try to minimize the accident's effect on other traffic, while also looking out for the safety of the people involved in the accident.
During this time of year, the weather conditions in West Virginia can make the roads much more dangerous than usual. Snow, ice and rain can result in slippery driving surfaces, which means that drivers need to be especially careful to avoid car accidents.
Anyone in West Virginia who drives a car, SUV or other vehicle knows they have some risk of getting into an accident. Of course, people can reduce those risks by always putting safety first and adhering to all traffic laws. On the other hand, even the safest of drivers may still end up in an accident caused by a negligent driver.
Just like every other city in the country, car accidents are common in and around the Charleston area. Even a person that drives cautiously and follows all of the traffic laws can end up in an accident caused by a negligent driver. While most people understand that being in a car accident is a possibility, few of them think about what they would need to do immediately after an accident.
Most people understand that motor vehicles are an important means of transportation but that they come with some risks. However, many West Virginians are probably not aware of the enormous economic costs of motor vehicle accidents.