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Hernando Legal Blog

Determining liability and other complications of truck accidents

For some people in Mississippi, being in a motor vehicle accident with a truck may cause more complications than being in one with a car. One reason is because the size of a semi-truck can mean an accident causes more damage. This size also means that if the vehicles remain on the highway after an accident, they might be more likely to cause additional accidents.

Other complications with truck accidents involve determining liability. This is necessary in case one party is required to pay compensation to others. Some trucks have black boxes that record data such as speed. While this can be useful in some cases, it can make an investigation more complicated if it is not consistent with other evidence. Another issue is determining whether the driver violated any trucking regulations, such as rules about number of hours driven. This can make the driver liable. Liability may also depend in part on whether the driver or the trucking company owns the truck. A trucking company, along with the insurance company, may fight efforts to collect compensation.

Car wrecks and demonstrating negligence

Negligence is a term that has a precise definition in legal practice. Knowing something about how negligence works in car accident cases could help Mississippi readers drive more safely or determine whether the other driver in a car wreck was negligent. In order for a determination of negligence by the court, the plaintiff must demonstrate a duty was breached by the defendant and that the breach directly caused the plaintiff's damages.

Drivers on Mississippi roads have a duty to exercise reasonable care when they're behind the wheel. They are expected to drive in a way that does not endanger other drivers or pedestrians. A demonstration of a breach of this duty could take many forms: The at-fault driver may have failed a breathalyzer after the crash or there may be witness testimony that the driver ran a stop sign.

How technology can reduce traffic fatalities

Getting behind the wheel of an automobile can end in a deadly accident, and in more than 90% of them, human error is to blame. Almost 100 people die every day in traffic-related accidents. The average annual death total from 2016 to 2018 was more than 40,000. Alcohol was a factor in around one-quarter of those fatalities. However, technology could be making the roads safer for people in Mississippi and throughout the country.

For example, requiring convicted drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle means they must take a breath test before driving. One representative from Michigan has introduced a bill in Congress to require such a device on all vehicles. Some correlation has been shown between a drop in drunk driving and the existence of Uber or Lyft in metro areas. According to one study, advanced driver assistance systems and other technology could save thousands of lives annually. There are also federal efforts underway to raise awareness about distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors.

CVSA to hold Operation Safe Driver Week July 14 to 20

Mississippi residents, including truck, bus and other commercial vehicle drivers, should be careful how they drive, especially during the week of July 14 to 20. The reason is that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will be holding its annual Operation Safe Driver Week at that time. This is a period of increased enforcement of traffic laws.

Last year, some 51,000 law enforcement personnel across North America were searching for unsafe drivers. They stopped 113,331 drivers in all and issued a total of 57,405 citations. It should be noted that 16,909 passenger vehicle drivers and 1,908 CMV drivers were cited for speeding. In addition, 87,907 were given warnings.

Graduation is a good time to discuss dangerous driving risks

Most parents in Mississippi want what's best for their children. In order to achieve this goal, it's sometimes necessary to reinforce the importance of taking proper precautions, especially while driving. A good time to start such conversations is when teens are likely to be behind the wheel more often. For many teens, this comes right after high school graduation when they head off into the real world.

One way for parents to discuss driving hazards is to emphasize the "dangerous D's" -- driving while drugged, distracted or drowsy. Parents may be able to prevent accidents by encouraging their teens to call for rides if they're in a car with someone who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

Fatal car crash risk increases even when there's light rain

Motorists in Mississippi and other states are generally aware of the potential risk for car accidents when roads are covered with snow, ice and heavy rain. However, a new study suggests even light rain can increase the odds of being involved in a fatal crash for drivers. According to the results, rain, snow and ice increase the risk of deadly crashes by 34%.

The fatal car accident risk goes up by nearly 30% when there's light rain, or a faint drizzle that's noticeable enough for people to consider taking out umbrellas. For the study, researchers looked at more than 100,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the continental United States over a five-year period. They also considered how many cars were on the road to make their fatal risk calculations.

The dangers of driving on a flat

We’ve all seen our own tire or the tire of another car looking more droopy than a round object should. Knowing what to do in these situations can be very important to your own safety and the safety of others. Here are a few guidelines to follow.

Insurance study reveals driver distraction still a major issue

Most drivers in Mississippi and other states are aware that driving while distracted is a problem. This is one of the main takeaways from an annual survey by an insurance company that offers discounts for drivers who avoid using their phones while driving. The insurance provider behind the study notes that for many drivers, mobile device use has become second nature, and there are more distractions than ever for drivers today.

The survey revealed that while many drivers know distracted driving is wrong, they still do it. Drivers who were surveyed admitted to using their devices while driving about 13 minutes a day. Also, nearly 40% of the drivers surveyed said they don't even put their devices down when they see law enforcement officials. Specific phone-related distractions identified included group chats, social media and streaming video.

Volvo plans to use technology to curb drunk driving

Driving while intoxicated can easily put Mississippi motorists at risk. This is one of the reasons why Volvo has announced plans to install cutting-edge safety tech in its vehicles. If driver intoxication is detected, the automaker's proposed system could potentially limit the vehicle's speed or park it in a safe spot. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 11,000 drunk driving fatalities occurred in 2017 alone.

In order to help curb drunk driving accidents, the Volvo plans to connect in-vehicle cameras and sensors designed to detect both driver intoxication and distraction. The technology the company plans to use will display warnings if signs of impairment or distraction that could result in a serious accident are detected. But it will also take intervention steps to prevent the impaired or distracted driver from putting themselves or others at risk.

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Law Office of George B. Ready
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Hernando, MS 38632

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