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Hernando Legal Blog

The dangers of drowsy driving

Traffic safety advocates are concerned that drivers in Mississippi and elsewhere aren't taking drowsy driving seriously enough. As a result, they're trying to raise awareness about the issue.

According to an AAA report, drowsy driving accidents are eight times more common than federal agencies currently estimate. Meanwhile, a National Sleep Foundation poll found that 60 percent of adult drivers say they've engaged in drowsy driving, while 37 percent admit they've fallen asleep while operating a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, many drivers don't understand how dangerous such behaviors can be. Studies have shown that fatigue impacts the body similarly to the way alcohol does. For example, staying awake for 24 consecutive hours can make someone feel like they have a blood alcohol level of .10 percent, which is higher than the legal limit.

Study examines top distracted driving causes

Some Mississippi drivers may be engaging in distracting behaviors behind the wheel without realizing how dangerous it can be. For example, conservative estimates are that drowsy driving is a factor in about 20 percent of the thousands of fatal accidents that happen each year.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham examined distracted driver behavior and found that drivers who slept only four or five hours per night were more than five times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than drivers who slept at least seven. Drowsy driving can cause decision-making and reaction time to slow down.  If you think you have been in an accident caused by a drowsy driver,  contact George B. Ready for our help.

Verizon Connect study ranks work vehicle safety by state

Anyone in Mississippi who makes a living driving a big rig, pickup, light van or other work vehicle will want to know about the results of a study by Verizon Connect, the fleet management systems provider. The study produced a ranking of the safest and the most dangerous states for work vehicle drivers.

Researchers came to their conclusions after analyzing the driver behavior of more than 6,200 of fleet customers between October 2015 and September 2017. These customers included small and mid-size businesses with anywhere from 2 to 200 work vehicles.

Information you should obtain from your car accident

You and other Mississippi drivers should know what steps to take if you end up in a car accident. The state is one of the most dangerous places to drive in the country, so you may end up coming across different negligent individuals who put others at risk on the road.

If one of these motorists crashes into you, one of the most important actions to take is recording any important details about the driver or accident itself. This information can help insurance companies and the police process the incident and can also serve as sufficient evidence should this evolve into a personal injury case.  

Drowsy driving and truck drivers

According to some estimates, drowsy driving is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents every year in the United States. Commercial truck drivers should be aware that they have a higher risk of driving while drowsy. The large weight and size of commercial big rigs and trucks makes them extreme hazards in drowsy driving accidents, and such vehicles are more likely to contribute to substantial and life-ending injuries.

With tight deadlines they have to meet, extensive hours on the road and pressure from their employers, truck drivers are particularly vulnerable to drowsy driving. When other drivers become too sleepy to drive safely, they have the option of getting off of the road and taking a nap until they are rested enough to drive again. Truck drivers, who are concerned with meeting deadlines to deliver their cargo, may feel that they do not have this choice given company demands and remain on the road.  If you have been involved in a wreck involving a truck,  give us a call to protect your rights.

Distracted driving continues to pose a threat

Throughout Mississippi and the rest of America, people on the roadways face a significant and growing threat from distracted driving. Despite laws prohibiting distracted driving in 47 states, it continues to be a serious phenomenon. In surveys, many people who denounce the practice as dangerous admit to driving while distracted. Despite recognition of the issue, drivers still feel compelled to play with mobile phones and other devices.

Each year, at least 3,500 lives are lost due to car accidents caused by distracted driving, and another 390,000 people are injured. Researchers note that as soon as a driver's eyes are taken from the road for more than two seconds, the risk of a dangerous crash increases. While many people think first of mobile phone distractions, there can be a number of different diversions that can keep a driver's attention and eyes away from the road. For example, auto "infotainment" systems are often distracting.

Brake violations are a common cause of trucking accidents

As motorists in Mississippi navigate traffic, they rely on their brakes to stay safe. Failing brakes, especially in commercial trucks and buses, represent a serious safety hazard. That's why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance schedules annual inspection sprees of trucks and buses. The alliance's upcoming event, Brake Safety Week, is scheduled for Sept. 16-22.

Enforcement actions like these promote public safety. The Large Truck Crash Causation study prepared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration noted that 32.7 percent of large trucks involved in crashes had brake violations before the crash. The study included an analysis of truck accidents in which brakes were an important factor. In this category of accidents, 45.5 percent of trucks had brake violations.

Report: Mississippi has the nations’ deadliest roads

A traffic wreck can change everything for a family. This is especially the case when the crash results in a death in the family. Such a loss can expose a family to extreme emotional hardships, along with potentially raising significant financial and legal issues. Unfortunately, such tragedies may be more common here in Mississippi than anywhere else in the nation.

A recent report ranked the states on how deadly their roads are. These rankings were reached by comparing the traffic fatality rates of the states for 2016.

Why texting while driving bans won’t stop distracted driving

In 2015, Mississippi became the 45th state to ban texting while driving. The state passed this law in hopes that it would minimize the amount of car crashes associated with distracted driving.

Despite this, recent studies show that Mississippi is one of the worst states when it comes to frequent phone use while driving. While most states have banned the behavior, distracted driving accidents have not decreased since 2015. Here are some reasons why:

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