Last week, a 62-year-old Amish man in Pennsylvania was rear ended and died while riding in his horse and buggy on U.S. Route 522. Sadly, this situation occurs frequently around the Amish communities in Pennsylvania.
Since 2007, there have been over 625 car accidents involving horses and buggies in Pennsylvania, according to a local new source. These crashes have resulted in hundreds of injuries and at least 20 deaths. Pennsylvania is home to some of the largest Amish communities, which provide more opportunities for these types of accidents to occur in the state. Data suggest there are currently more than 63,000 Amish people and over 50 Amish communities in the state, which provides frequent opportunities for these type of accidents to occur.
Most car accidents from buggies occur from a rear ending. This often happens if a driver does not see the buggy or is traveling too fast to stop when he or she sees the buggy. Drivers are encouraged to decrease their speed when traveling around curves and hills. Additionally, motorists are encouraged to refrain from honking, because loud noises can scare the horses and lead additional accidents.
If a driver does pass a horse and buggy, he or she is encouraged to leave at least 20 feet of room between the car and the horse before returning to the right lane. This will allow enough room to pass safely and help prevent the car from scaring the horse. Because the Amish community tends to travel on Sundays, drivers are encouraged to be cautious on the weekends and avoid anything that might distract them while driving.
Determining who is at fault in a car accident with a buggy can be complex. If you or someone you love is injured in an accident with a buggy, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to discuss your options.