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Personal Injury And Criminal Defense Law Blog

The impact of drowsy driving on motor vehicle accidents

Most responsible drivers in Wyoming probably wouldn't get behind the wheel while intoxicated. However, this isn't the only type of impairment that can affect driving abilities. Being excessively sleepy can be just as dangerous, and it's not a rare occurrence. Half of all adult drivers in the United States confess that they regularly take to the road while feeling fatigued, according to the American Sleep Foundation. In addition, 20 percent of the motorists surveyed said that they had fallen asleep while driving within the past year. Such stats emphasis the impact of drowsiness on driving.

Drowsy driving has the potential to contribute to a car accident much like what can happen when people are driving while under the influence of alcohol. Driving when going for at least 20 hours without sleep is equal to driving with a blood-alcohol concentration) of .08 percent, the legal limit for DUI in most states. Some fatigued drivers experience short bursts of inattention referred to as "micro sleep." If driving on the highway, a driver could travel the length of a football field while experiencing a brief micro sleep instance of just four to five seconds.

How data and tech can prevent distracted driving in Wyoming

Distracted driving accidents are some of the most severe in terms of injuries to passengers and damage to vehicles. Furthermore, distracted driving burdens trucking companies and other fleets with the delays that arise when employees are pulled over or undergo roadside inspections. That's why various companies have developed new tech that can help detect when drivers are distracted.

Data analytics is one way that businesses like Omnitracs, a fleet management systems company, can identify adverse events and identify when drivers are at risk for an accident. In 2016, Omnitracs created a web-based Driving Center tool that can detect things like fatigue and distraction before making its predictions. Other tech companies like Zendrive use information from smartphones for similar purposes.

If you were hurt while staying in a hotel, who is to blame?

When you check into a hotel, you do so with the assumption that you will not be facing any unnecessary risks or issues that could compromise your safety. Hotels should be safe and clean, so in the event of a slip-and-fall or other type of accident, you may be unsure who is to blame or what you can do about it. If you were hurt while staying in a hotel, you may be a victim of circumstances beyond your control. 

You may be unsure of what caused your accident or what you can do to get necessary care and financial support. If you believe you could have grounds for a civil claim against the hotel due to the circumstances of your accident, you will find it helpful to seek an evaluation of your case. You may have a rightful claim to financial compensation.

Truckers and drowsy driving

Commercial truck drivers in Wyoming and the rest of the country should make sure that they are able to get enough sleep before getting on the road. Drowsy driving is believed to result in at least 100,000 motor vehicle accidents every year in the United States, and due to their substantial weight and size, the most dangerous vehicles that can be involved in these accidents are big rigs.

Commercial truckers have a higher risk than other drivers in this regard. Constant pressure from employers, rushing to meet tight deadlines and excessive hours on the road can all result in drowsing driving. Truckers who are on a tight schedule to deliver goods may not have the luxury of pulling off to the side of the road to rest until they are able to drive safely again. Instead, truckers feel compelled to remain on the road while they are drowsy, increasing the danger for occupants of other vehicles.

Brake Safety Week calls attention to brake violations

Truckers in Wyoming will want to know that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has set its annual Brake Safety Week for September 16 to 22. This inspection spree is meant to ensure that truckers and all drivers of commercial motor vehicles are maintaining their brakes according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Improperly installed or maintained brakes can increase stopping distance and endanger public safety.

Previous CVSA inspection sprees show that brake-related violations are not uncommon. They made up the majority of violations during the 2017 International Roadcheck, for instance. During last year's brake inspection spree (which was held over a single day), 14 percent of CMVs that were stopped were placed out of service. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that where braking capacity was critical, trucks were 50 percent more likely to have bad brakes.

Decreasing The Sentence For Marijuana Possession

Residents in Afton, Wyoming are usually sentenced to about a year in jail if they are found to be in possession of marijuana. For each additional charge in the future, the length of time in jail increases as well as the fines that the person has to pay. Aside from a few states where selling and using marijuana is legal, it's still a crime in Wyoming. Jim Byrd is a sponsor and also a member of the democratic party who wants to see some of the marijuana laws in the state changed.

One of the things that Jim Byrd hopes to accomplish is ensuring that marijuana cases are tried in civil court instead of criminal court. The fines would also be lowered. Someone who has up to half an ounce of marijuana would only have a penalty of $50 while someone with an ounce would pay a fine of $100.

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.

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