St. Paul Minnesota Car Accidents Legal Blog

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.

Springtime snowstorm in Minnesota sees two fatal car accidents

By the time April rolls around, most Minnesotans are tired of the snow and ice and are eagerly anticipating warmer temperatures. However, springtime snowstorms are not unheard of. One recent springtime snowstorm in Minnesota saw traffic fatalities in two separate car accidents.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported that one fatal crash took place in Hawk Creek Township. A transport van was traveling eastbound when it crashed head-on with a pick-up truck that had veered over the center line after the driver lost control of the vehicle and began fishtailing. One person died in this incident and three were injured.

Teenage drivers must be safe on the road

During the summers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, teenagers are out more. The ones who don't have a driver's license may ride with friends. While this is a normal rite of passage, it is also a time during which safety must prevail. Keeping teens safe when they aren't right next to their parents or another responsible adult can be taxing.

The safety culture that each parent sets for the teen has a big impact on what the new driver or passenger will do while they are out with friends. It is important that the parents show these safety concepts so that the teen sees them in practice.

Can Minnesota truck companies face liability following a crash?

Semi-trucks are an important part of commerce in the U.S. For example, because of semi-trucks, oranges grown in Florida can reach store shelves in Minnesota. While this may be good for the nation's economy, it doesn't erase the fact that operating a semi-truck takes skill and care. Drivers must be properly licensed, well-rested and sober when driving a semi-truck. Unfortunately, sometimes a semi-truck strikes another motorist on the road, causing serious injuries or even death. When this happens, the victim or their loved ones may want to pursue a legal claim. It is important, however, to understand who may be liable for a motor vehicle accident involving a semi-truck.

While it may be understood that the driver of a semi-truck could be held liable in the event of a crash, it is also important to note that, under certain circumstances, the driver's employer may also be liable for collisions caused by the driver. This is due to the legal theory of "vicarious liability." Under this theory, the driver's employer may be held responsible for the driver's actions if there is an employer-employee relationship between the two and the accident occurred during the normal course of the driver's duties.

Do helmets save lives in motorcycle accidents?

Springtime is just around the corner in Minnesota, which means many motorcyclists will be taking their bikes out of storage to prepare them for use in the months ahead. However, motorcycle accidents are still a concern not just for the motorcyclists but also for others on the road.

In 2017, Minnesota saw 1,156 motorcycle accidents. This is a decrease of eight percent from the number of motorcycle accidents in 2016. Moreover, the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2017 was two percent lower than the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2016, while the number of motorcyclists injured decreased by nine percent.

Minnesotans have options when the at-fault party has no insurance

When a motorist in Minnesota is involved in a car crash, they may be thankful that they have auto insurance. However, what happens if the other motorist is uninsured? Can the injured party still receive benefits to cover medical expenses and property damage?

Uninsured motorist accidents may be more common than you think. In fact, approximately one out of seven motorists in Minnesota do not have the requisite auto insurance. However, you may have uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage on your own policy that may cover the expenses the at-fault party would have paid under their insurance policy, if they had it.

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