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Personal Injury And Criminal Defense Law Blog

Common causes of car accidents

When Wyoming drivers get into car accidents, police investigators study the crash scene to determine who caused the collision. This is critical information because the at-fault driver could be issued a ticket or sued by injured parties. Meanwhile, insurance companies use the information to determine whether or not to make a settlement offer.

There are several common causes of car accidents, and many of them have to do with human error. After all, a driver is in control of the vehicle and must pay attention and adapt to driving conditions in order to prevent crashes. That's why distracted driving is such a danger. If drivers are looking at a cellphone or playing with the vehicle's GPS system, they aren't paying attention to the road and could cause an accident. Other types of crashes commonly caused by human error include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to properly maintain a vehicle, speeding, reckless driving and driving too fast for weather conditions.

Exploring incarceration alternatives for certain offenders

Incarceration rates in Wyoming and other states have been steadily declining following a peak in 2009. Since this time, many municipalities and jurisdictions have been offering alternative sentences for low-level offenses. There have also been reforms with certain police procedures, and some minor offenses have been decriminalized. Such efforts have resulted in a noticeable reduction in incarceration rates in the United States. In 2018, the FIRST STEP Act, which reduces sentences for non-violent offenses, was signed into law.

While supporters of lessening sentence severity for some drug crimes and other non-violent offenses welcome the FIRST STEP Act, they note that it only applies to a fraction of federal inmates. This is why there is a push to encourage additional state and local reform to reduce the incarceration population, which is estimated to include more than 2 million men and women.

Semi-truck may be cause of Florida chain-reaction crash

Drivers in Wyoming will want to know about a chain-reaction accident that occurred in Florida because it shows how dangerous semi-trucks can be. While Florida Highway Patrol has only produced a preliminary accident report, they believe that the cause of the accident lies with the 59-year-old driver of a semi-truck. Apparently, the truck, as it was going north on I-75 near Gainesville, moved left from the right lane and collided with a 2007 Honda sedan.

The two vehicles then moved through the median guardrail, causing collisions on both the north and southbound lanes. The truck hit a 2006 Chevrolet passenger van whose 12 occupants were traveling to Disney World. The van was flipped over, and an uncertain number of occupants were ejected. Police are unsure if they or anyone else wore a seatbelt.

When symptoms arise days or weeks after a Wyoming car accident

If a car accident tainted the end of your 2018 year or beginning of 2019, you may still be struggling emotionally to overcome the trauma you experienced. Depending on the events that led to the collision, such as whether it may have been unavoidable (as in a blown tire or extremely inclement weather and road conditions) or could have been prevented were it not for another driver's negligence, you may be able to enjoy a swift and full recovery or could be in for a long, arduous process.

If your injuries were moderate to severe, your life may never be the same as it was moments before the crash. Many Wyoming accident victims suffer partial or full disabilities that prompt changes in all aspects of their lives, including family life and the workplace. You may be among those who thought they were okay in the immediate aftermath of a crash only to develop symptoms later. In any case, the type of support you have may be a key factor toward your ability to recover.

FMCSA measures dump truck, concrete delivery truck crash rates

Many truckers in Wyoming and across the U.S. are getting into accidents through their own negligence. Experts say there is a multi-industry problem with poor habits such as distracted driving, drowsy driving and speeding. Many truckers feel urged to drive negligently because of the by-the-load incentives that they receive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released a report on the increasing rate of crashes involving dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks. In 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available, there were 8,206 dump truck accidents so severe that the vehicle had to be towed away. There were 838 such crashes among the concrete delivery trucks. These constitute a 9 and 9.6 percent increase, respectively, from 2015.

New technologies may help prevent distracted driving accidents

A major bank in the United States is predicting a fall in vehicle crashes due to the adoption of new car safety technologies. Statistics indicate that accidents have been on the rise in Wyoming and other states since 2011, but analysts believe the numbers will lower to their previous level with tech that counters distracted drivers. Smartphones and other devices used by drivers are blamed for the increase in crashes, but collision avoidance systems could counter the effect.

Another phenomenon that may be causing an increased rate in accidents is legalized marijuana use. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that there was a 5 percent increase in accidents in states where recreational cannabis use was legalized compared to states where it wasn't. Despite both these issues, the institute predicted that collisions would reduce by as much as 30 percent by the year 2030.

Winter driving: how to stay safe

When winter comes in Wyoming, it brings with it snow and ice, so drivers will want to make the appropriate preparations. One of the first steps is to get a mechanic to check the vehicle's components, including the battery, ignition, brakes and wiring. The mechanic could also check for worn or underinflated tires and ensure the right antifreeze level.

If their vehicle contains new safety technologies, drivers should know what their function is. Many drivers don't, which has led the National Safety Council and the University of Iowa to start an educational campaign called My Car Does What? At the very least, drivers should be familiar with traction control and anti-lock braking.

Rise in truck crash deaths may be due to conflict with HOS rules

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that large-truck fatalities in the U.S. went up 9 percent from 4,369 in 2016 to 4,761 in 2017. About 1,300 of these were truckers while the rest were occupants of the other vehicle. Truckers and truck fleet owners in Wyoming should know that some are attributing this increase to conflicts with current hours-of-service rules.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires commercial truckers to take a 30-minute rest break after eight consecutive hours of driving. In all, truckers are allowed 14 hours of service but 11 hours of driving time. Some truckers complain that the 30-minute break only increases their fatigue and that they would be better off driving 11 hours straight.

The damages you should fight for after a car accident

The aftermath of a car accident is complex, confusing and overwhelming. In the midst of this difficult time, you may have to make the decision about moving forward with a civil claim or accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. It is in your interests to know what you have a right to claim and how much your case is worth.

The value of your case and the types of damages you should seek depend largely upon the individual circumstances of your accident. The types of injuries you experienced and the amount of damage to your personal property can play a role as well. As you consider your post-accident options, it is beneficial to also consider how the accident could affect your future needs.

Improving visibility for drivers in bright sun

As the days get shorter in Wyoming after the change back to standard time, the sun is lower in the sky earlier in the day and can cause problems for drivers. Afternoon rush hour is one of the most dangerous times for driving, especially on days when the sun is bright. Though driving in bright sun is sometimes unavoidable, experts have tips for drivers to improve visibility and reduce the risk of crash.

Sunglasses improve vision when facing the sun as well as protecting the eyes from harmful UV rays. A good pair of sunglasses can be dedicated for driving by having them kept in the car so there's no risk of ever being without them when they're needed. Using the car's visor along with sunglasses can offer double protection. A correctly positioned visor can block the blinding rays of the sun without interfering with a driver's visibility of the road.

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