Posts made in October, 2016

During the first quarter of 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 6,800 fatal car crashes; this was 4.9% lower than the number during the same quarter in 2013 (7,150 fatalities). Despite the decrease, 6,800 is still pretty high for the simple reason that majority of car accidents, being due to driver error, are preventable, if only drivers will behave responsibly on the road and care more for their own safety and the safety of other motorists.

One law firm, the Bruner Law Firm, specifically, believes that most drivers know how to avoid a car accident. Unfortunately, however, so many of them do not consciously practice safe driving every time they get behind the wheel. With their smart phones and GPS devices within arms reach, their minds are easily distracted. As they try to do many things at once, the primary task of driving safely ends up being very poorly performed.

Distracted driving is another major cause of car accidents which result to thousands of fatalities and another tens of thousands of injuries. Unlike drunk-driving, overspeeding and reckless driving which a responsible driver will never commit, however, any driver, even the most careful ones can be guilty of distracted driving without even realizing it.

In the website of the law firm Williams Kherkher, it is said that driving distractions can be differentiated into three main categories:

  • Visual: When a driver takes his or her eyes off the road, they immediately increases their chances of getting into a crash. Visual distractions can include texting and other phone use or even looking at someone else in the car.
  • Manual: When a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel, the car is more prone to swerving or sudden adjustments that can result in a collision. Manual distractions can include applying makeup, eating, and drinking.
  • Cognitive: Whenever a driver takes his/her mind off of driving, the lack of focus slows down reaction times. Thus, daydreaming or experiencing strong emotions (such as crying or anger) can be dangerous while driving.

Texting while driving and talking with someone over the phone while behind the wheel are, presently, the worst kind of driving distraction. Other kinds include fixing a tie, combing or styling the hair, reading a map for directions, reaching for something, adjusting the radio or any electronic device, playing with a child or a pet while driving, lighting a cigarette and smoking, watching a movie from a laptop, and so forth. While anyone can be guilty of committing this dangerous driving lapse, young drivers, those aged between 18 and 25, are the ones identified to be the guiltiest, especially when it concerns texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.

Regardless of what caused distraction, the result, in the event of a crash, will always include property damage and/or harm to another individual (another motorist or a pedestrian). It is important that victims seek the help of a personal injury lawyer to make sure that all things necessary for a personal injury case to prosper are acquired, that the case is filed properly and all evidences are in order. All these are to enable the victims to merit the compensation they legally deserve.

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Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, or drivers who operate buses and trucks, especially 18-wheelers (also known as big rigs or semi-trailers) are subject to the same road safety rules as drivers of smaller vehicles; in addition to observing traffic rules, however, they should also yield to smaller vehicles to avoid catastrophic accidents which often result to severe injuries or deaths. Many accidents involving trucks are caused by truck drivers’ negligence: a failure on drivers’ part to exercise the level of care required in operating a vehicle as huge as the one they operate. These acts of negligence or error include:

  • Driving while fatigued. Many fatal truck accidents are due to a truck traveling at about 65 mph, failing to slow down and ramming into smaller vehicles. Though it may appear that the accident was caused by break failure, investigation often show that the driver was actually asleep while behind the wheel. This is often due to violation of the hours of service (HOS) regulation, which specify the length of a driver’s daily shift and the maximum number of driving hours during shift, the length of breaks and off-duty hours.
  • Traffic violations. Some of these violations, which are serious driving errors, include failure to signal when changing lanes, not stopping at red lights, beating a red light, driving erratically, driving above the speed limit, driving too fast despite poor road conditions.
  • Loading a truck improperly. This can result to cargo falling off a truck or, a truck overturning or jackknifing due to insecure or unevenly distributed cargo.
  • Rear-end collisions. A truck driver rear-ending another vehicle can be due to many different reasons, including failing to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, driving too fast for road conditions, falling asleep behind the wheel, and getting distracted while driving.

There are different contributory factors too why errors are committed even by veteran tractors. Two of these are driving while impaired (either by alcohol or illegal drug) and driving faster – in order to cover more miles and make delivery deadlines. Due to the commanding presence of 18-wheelers on the road, the Abel Law Firm says that drivers of smaller vehicles should take extra care around these large vehicles; however, truck drivers should also control their vehicles and exercise caution at all times to help avoid causing an accident.

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