St. Paul Minnesota Car Accidents Legal Blog

Texting, driving, and preventable pedestrian accidents

Smart phones have become an indispensable part of Minnesota residents' lives. They have become so pervasive that law enforcement officials across the state have to be on the lookout for drivers who use their handheld devices while operating their motor vehicles. Texting and driving is a dangerous practice because it takes a driver's eyes off the road. When drivers divert their attention from the road, they could hit a pedestrian crossing the street or walking along the road.

Pedestrian accidents are often devastating because pedestrians have few protections to keep them safe. The impact of a car and the trauma of being thrown to the ground can cause a victim to incur serious physical harm, emotional distress, and other serious damages.

Tips for safe driving in heavy rain and wind

The weather can take a turn for the worse in Minnesota when you least expect it. If this happens while you're driving, it's critical to adjust your style to improve your safety.

Driving in heavy rain and/or wind is never easy, as you're faced with a variety of challenges. Fortunately, when you know how to drive in inclement weather, it's easier to proceed with confidence.

Damages may be sought after a car accident

A car accident can be a devastating experience for a Minnesota family. Not only may victims suffer serious and even life-threatening injuries, but they may also incur significant costs that they are not prepared to pay for. To determine the best course of action for recovery in the wake of a car crash, a victim can speak with a personal injury attorney to get case-specific advice.

This post does not offer legal guidance, but the following discusses some of the types of damages that victims may be able to recover. One of the most sizable forms of damages is based on the victim's incurred medical costs. A victim who must undergo medical assessments, treatments, surgeries, procedures, and other care-related medical evaluations may amass major bills and hefty expenses.

How can sleepiness affect a truck driver?

Sleepiness is a dangerous condition because it can creep up on a Minnesota resident without warning. A person may be performing their duties and tasks without issue, when suddenly, they realize that their pace has slowed, their energy has dropped, and their productivity is diminished. They may struggle to focus on the work in front of them and the completion of the responsibilities they have set out to perform.

While many people can stop what they are doing, take a rest, and then get back to their work, this is not an option for individuals in some industries. For example, truck drivers and other long-haul operators often must drive for hours at a time in order to meet their delivery deadlines and fulfill their driving commitments. When sleepiness affects a driver, they may not be willing to stop for much needed rest.

Driving distractions and motorcycle accidents

The summer months are a great time for Minnesota residents to get out of their homes and enjoy road trips. While some may choose to take their rides in their four-wheeled vehicles, others may elect to cross the state on their motorcycles. Motorcycles are an efficient and safe means of travel when drivers and motorcyclists both abide by the rules of the road. When drivers allow distractions to cloud their operating skills, however, motorcyclists can be seriously hurt.

Driving distractions affect all individuals who must share the roads with irresponsible drivers, and driving distractions can take on many forms. Texting and driving is one common way that drivers allow non-driving tasks to affect their operating abilities, but eating, drinking, talking on the phone, grooming, and other activities can also pose dangers. Because motorcycles and their riders are relatively small, they are sometimes missed by other drivers.

Safety considerations when children are present

School may be out for the summer for most Minnesota kids but that does not mean that drivers will stop seeing them out on local roads. As temperatures climb and children look for ways to have fun, they may increase their trips to their local parks, pools, and other areas of recreation. As they do, they may travel on foot to get to their destinations.

Drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians when they are traveling in St. Paul, but drivers should be especially aware of areas where children may linger. Children can be harder to see than adults because they are smaller. They also tend to be more impulsive than adults and may make dangerous decisions to cross streets when it isn't safe to do so.

Staying safe on the Minnesota roads means avoiding text messages

There are many myths out there about safe texting on the road. Some people think that teenagers are the only ones who cause crashes when they text and drive. Other people might think that it is okay to read a message, as long as they use voice to text program to compose their response. The truth is that there is no safe way to text while in control of a vehicle.

Even though you might think that you're a good enough driver to compensate for it, it simply isn't possible to text and drive safely. The best thing you can do to keep yourself safe and help everyone arrive at their intended destination is to commit yourself to turning off your ringer and keeping your phone out of your hands for as long as you are on the road.

'Road rage' can lead to motor vehicle accidents

Aggressive driving -- sometimes referred to as "road rage" -- is a very real danger on the streets and highways of St. Paul. There are various ways aggressive driving can cause a motor vehicle accident. Drivers who tailgate can cause rear-end collisions. Drivers who change lanes improperly or erratically could side-swipe other vehicles.

Accidents can also occur if a motorist drives on the shoulder of the road, on a sidewalk where pedestrians are present or over the median of the highway. Speeding or racing is another way an aggressive driver can cause a car crash. Aggressive drivers may also refuse to yield to the right of way to other motorists or may fail to obey traffic signals and signs, causing a collision. Improper turns can also lead to auto accidents.

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Spring has arrived in Minnesota, and thus more motorcyclists will be taking their bikes out of storage and hitting the road. Due in part to the fact that this is a popular time of the year for motorcycling, May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The goal of this public safety initiative is to bring motorists' attention to the presence of motorcycles in their vicinity while driving.

Motorcycles do not offer riders the same protection that occupants of automobiles have, such a seat belts, air bags and crumple zones. This means that motorcycle accidents often result in fatalities. In fact, in 2017 over 5,000 motorcycle occupants lost their lives in motorcycle accidents. Across the U.S. in 2017, 14% of all traffic deaths involved a person on a motorcycle.

How can pedestrians and vehicles share the road safely?

As winter finally releases its grip on Minnesota and warmer temperatures come, more pedestrians will be out and about on our state's streets. Some people prefer to walk to their destinations rather than drive, especially if roads are congested, if they want to reduce their carbon footprint, or if they simply want to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. However, motorists must keep in mind that pedestrians have every right to share the road. The failure of motorists to drive with due care around pedestrians could lead to an accident that injures or kills the pedestrian.

Of course, pedestrians can also take steps to stay safe on the roads. This includes crossing the street at designated crosswalks, crossing the street when they have the right of way, walking on sidewalks or on the correct side of the road, avoiding distractions and not darting into traffic.

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