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Personal Injury And Criminal Defense Law Blog

Fatal truck crashes increase in 2016

Wyoming residents who drive commercial vehicles may be interested to learn that fatal truck accidents increased slightly in 2016. The increase was 3 percent over 2015, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration.

While the number of large trucks involved in fatal trucking accidents increased, the fatality rate per 1 million miles driven remained the same at 1.46. Other vehicles, people, animals or objects in the trucker's lane or nearby was a factor in 73 percent of the fatal truck collisions. The agency also noted that 722 occupants of large trucks died in 2016, an increase over 2015's 665. Overall, 4,317 people died in truck crashes in 2016, compared to 4,097 the year before.

Out of state drug charges: What you need to know

As a college student, you find many ways to keep yourself entertained when not in class. From tailgating at your school's sporting events to visiting campuses out of state, you have been thoroughly enjoying the college experience.

While all of this traveling has been enjoyable, what do you do if you have an out of state run-in with the law? What was once a fun and care-free moment can become a nightmare on many fronts. If the local police file drug charges against you, there are some unique considerations you need to be aware of as a visitor to that state.

The steps to take following a car crash

For many Wyoming drivers, dealing with a car accident can be a complex process, especially if the other driver was at fault. However, knowing what to do when a car crash occurs could help drivers get the process moving more quickly without making themselves appear liable.

Drivers should be aware that they are legally obligated to stop if they are involved in a crash, even if there appears to be no damage. They should also never admit responsibility for the car crash as they may not actually be liable. When a car accident does occur, drivers should first determine the extent of the damage or injuries. Even minor accidents can result in serious injuries, so those involved may wish to call an ambulance. Even if it appears that there were no injuries, the police should still be contacted.

List of states with most distracted drivers

Distracted drivers are a serious concern for drivers in Wyoming and states across the country. New data collected suggests that the problem is more pervasive in some states than others.

The data, collected by the mobile app company Everdrive, studied data from app users in all 50 states. The app is designed to track driver habits with the goal of increasing driver safety. The data collected by Everdrive shows that out of all the states, Mississippi drivers were the most likely to be distracted by their phones while driving. Following closely behind were Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. Drivers in all four states had drivers distracted by electronic devices in more than 40 percent of all trips during 2017.

Settling out of court after a truck accident

Rather than going through a prolonged trial in civil court, victims of truck accidents in Wyoming have the option of settling out of court. They may find that the other side is also willing to go this route. It not only saves time and money but also creates a confidential environment, where both sides can speak candidly rather than defensively about who is responsible and how much should be paid out. Neither side makes any admission of fault.

An out-of-court settlement can be achieved through what's called alternative dispute resolution. The most common ADR methods are negotiations, mediation and arbitration. The first two methods are nonbinding, which means victims could still pursue litigation at the same time. Arbitration can lead to a binding agreement that prevents victims from pursuing further legal claims concerning the accident or the injuries they sustained from it.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April has been declared Distracted Driving Awareness Month to bring attention to a troubling hazard on the highways: driving while distracted. Drivers in Wyoming and throughout the country should heed the words of the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority on the subject.

The statistics are sobering: According to the NHTSA, nearly 3,500 people are killed annually due to distracted driving, and nearly 400,000 people are injured. The NHTSA has estimated that it takes approximately 5 seconds to read a text message. If the driver is operating a vehicle at 55 mph, he or she will have traveled nearly 300 feet while reading the text. If the speed is increased to 65 mph, the distance traveled increases to nearly 500 feet.

Challenge yourself to drive distraction-free

When you learn to drive you are taught to obey the laws and practice safe driving etiquette. You are told to place your hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel, use your turn signal, be mindful of your surroundings and yield to pedestrians.

Cars are equipped with several safety mechanisms, and new cars have a conglomerate of technology meant to decrease dangers. Despite all of these features, drivers are more distracted than ever. Cell phones, iPods, fast food options and busy schedules quickly interfere with our abilities to drive safe.

International Roadcheck to take place June 5-7

The 2018 International Roadcheck has been slated for June 5 to 7, so commercial truck drivers and bus drivers in Wyoming will want to make sure they're compliant with all vehicle- and driver-related safety guidelines. This annual event, conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, is a commercial truck and bus inspection spree that takes place across North America.

In last year's International Roadcheck, over 63,000 vehicles were inspected, which amounts to an average of 15 every minute. Out of that number, approximately 15,000 drivers were issued out-of-service orders: 12,000 for vehicle-related violations and 3,000 for driver-related violations. The top reasons why the drivers were put out of service were hours-of-service violations and brake-related non-compliance.

Truck accident causes and why the trucker isn't always at fault

It may seem like a silly question, but why do truck accidents happen? The cynical and obvious answer is that a truck collided with another vehicle, and the reason is't exactly important because accidents are just a part of life. But the reasons why these truck accidents happen is incredibly important, especially when it comes to determining liability and overall civil liability should a personal injury lawsuit be filed.

Truck accidents happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is the fault of other vehicles. Trucks are larger vehicles that take longer to slow down when traffic changes rapidly. So if you are merging in front of a truck suddenly or if you are driving in a truck's blind spot and then quickly approach them, they may not be able to react appropriately. Also, when a truck is trying to change lanes, you shouldn't speed up or try to somehow outmaneuver the truck. Allow them to merge safely into the lane.

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