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St. Paul Minnesota Car Accidents Legal Blog

What is uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage used for?

By law drivers in Minnesota are required to carry auto insurance that contains liability coverage, personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured motorist coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. Optional types of coverage include collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Today we are going to focus on uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. What are the differences between these two types of auto insurance coverage?

Underinsured coverage comes into play when a person is injured in a car accident and the responsible party does not have enough liability coverage to cover the victim's medical expenses. Underinsured coverage pays, within stated limits, for policy-covered medical expenses. Underinsured motorist benefits can be used alongside PIP benefits.

Semi-truck drivers must not cause motor vehicle accidents

Semi-trucks are a vital part of commerce in Minnesota and across the nation. Many companies rely on semi-trucks to transport their goods for sale. Therefore, they may encourage drivers to complete as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible. However, this does not absolve a semi-truck driver of their duty to drive with due care. The failure to do so could lead to a truck accident resulting in injuries or fatalities.

There are numerous causes of truck accidents. The first boils down to driver error. Truckers are human, and, thus, make mistakes. For this reason, they must complete special training and they must obtain a special license to operate their vehicles. Studies of motor vehicle accidents involving trucks indicate that 22 percent of truck accidents are due to an error made by the truck driver. Truck drivers must drive with due care to avoid causing a collision.

Minnesota motorists must practice motorcycle awareness

Summer may be over, but Minnesota's trees will soon be bright with fall colors. An autumn ride on a motorcycle is a popular way for some people to enjoy these scenic views. However, this also means that other motorists must be aware of motorcycles to ensure everyone on the road remains safe.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents often occur when a motorist violates the motorcyclist's right of way. Motorcycles are smaller than standard vehicles, and, thus, less visible. Motorists may be distracted, and do not anticipate the motorcyclist's movements. And, a motorist may fail to check their blind spot before turning or changing lanes. All of these actions could lead to a motorcycle collision.

Follow these tips for safe highway driving

If you find yourself driving on the highways in and around St. Paul, you know just how dangerous it can be. Even when you're following the rules of the road and doing your best to maintain your safety, there are other drivers who don't seem to care much about you.

The best thing you can do is follow a variety of safe highway driving tips, as these will help prevent trouble on the road:

  • Be careful when merging: Accelerate at the proper speed to ensure that you safely merge into the flow of traffic.
  • Think before passing a vehicle: For example, you may assume that passing a truck on the right is a good idea, but this actually increases the risk of an accident. You should only pass in the left lane.
  • Pick a lane and stay there: It's commonplace for drivers to maneuver from lane to lane, especially when traffic is heavy. You should pick a lane and stay in it until it's time to exit.
  • Watch for stopped vehicles: Things can and will go wrong on the highway, so you should always watch for stopped vehicles, such as those that are disabled. If possible, move as far away as you can from a stopped vehicle.
  • Take breaks when necessary: Regardless of the length of your trip or destination, if you're too tired to drive you should pull over. A quick break may be all you need to refresh your mind and body.

Walking while intoxicated? Think again

When you hear last call at your local bar in St. Paul, Minnesota, you may think that it will be smart to walk back to your apartment. It is only a mile away and it’s safer than driving and less money than a cab, right?

While many know the dangers of drunk driving, not everyone realizes that drunk walking can put you in danger as well. Recent statistics show that walking home, or being a pedestrian in general, while intoxicated may not be the safest option. There were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016, and almost half of those involved an intoxicated individual.

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