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Denver Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

Types of injuries suffered by motorcyclists

Colorado motorcyclists are likely aware that riding their choice of vehicles can be particularly dangerous, especially if they fail to wear all of their safety gear. However, safety gear is bulky and sometimes uncomfortable. As such, some motorcyclists decide to stop wearing certain pieces of gear even though it puts them at risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the cases of more than 1.2 million motorcyclists who were treated in emergency rooms across the U.S. between 2001 and 2008 after they were involved in nonfatal motorcycle accidents. According to the CDC, 30 percent of all nonfatal motorcycle injuries occurred to the legs and feet. Twenty-two percent of nonfatal motorcycle accident injuries occurred to the head and neck. The number of injuries in the upper trunk, the arms and hands and the lower trunk followed.

3 tips for driving safely in heavy traffic after a Broncos game

Now that football season is here, you will probably head out to a few Broncos games. This is a huge part of Denver culture, and it is important for you to have fun at a big game. However, after every game, there is always that heavy traffic you dread.

Driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic can be dangerous, especially because you never know if other drivers are drunk, distracted or aggravated after the game. Here are three tips for you to drive safely. 

Driving safely around semi trucks

Navigating around semi trucks on Colorado roadways is never fun for the drivers of passenger vehicles. Large trucks tend to drift in and out of their lanes and are known for having numerous dangerous blind spots. However, by following certain tips, there are ways motorists can safely share the roads with big rigs and other large commercial vehicles.

Those who find themselves driving next to a large semi truck should take no chances. For example, many drivers want to speed up to cut off a truck that is attempting to move into their lane as this can slow them down. However, speeding up puts them at major risk for getting stuck in the truck's blind spot, potentially causing an accident. Further, trucks cannot stop as fast as passenger vehicles, meaning a truck may not be able to stop fast enough if a passenger car darts in front of it.

Surprising place where accidents occur most often

Motorists in Colorado and throughout the country tend to do the majority of their driving within 25 miles of home. Therefore, it may not be surprising to hear that this is where the majority of accidents take place. While drivers may believe that they can rely on muscle memory when driving in familiar areas, it is always good to stay alert and responsive while behind the wheel.

Wearing a seat belt may also be an effective way to stay safe while operating a motor vehicle. This may be a good habit even when driving only a few hundred yards from home. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, most drivers who don't wear seat belts cite the short nature of their trip for why they skip it. However, an accident could result in injuries no matter where a driver goes.

How to talk to teens about driving safely

Parents often feel both excited and anxious when their teens first start driving, and for good reason. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teenagers are nearly three times as likely to end up in a car accident as adults. Every year on Colorado roadways, teens end up getting hurt or worse while driving. 

Before a teenager can drive on his or her own, the parents need to sit down with their child and talk about the importance of driving safely. It is vital for parents to state what they expect. Any parents having trouble figuring out how to sit down with their youngsters should follow these guidelines. 

Driver duty and collision avoidance systems

In a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, researchers found that collision avoidance systems are effective at preventing many types of car accidents in Colorado and throughout the U.S. The IIHS is a non-profit group, and its focus is on the reduction of injuries and deaths due to motor vehicle accidents.

The vice president for research at IIHS said that collision avoidance systems are "saving lives." Furthermore, she added that anti-crash technology warning systems are working as intended. In its study, the IIHS found that collision avoidance systems reduce single-vehicle, side-swipe and head-on car crashes by 11 percent. Moreover, injury inducing car crashes of the same types get reduced by 21 percent when drivers operate vehicles equipped with anti-crash systems.

Sleep apnea's effect on truck drivers

Sleep apnea is a prevalent condition that prevents people from getting a good night's sleep. In the middle of the night, people's breathing will temporarily stop, causing them to wake up momentarily only to fall right back to sleep. Some people with sleep apnea wake up dozens of times throughout the night without even realizing it. While only about one to two percent of the American population suffers from sleep apnea, it can be found in nearly a third of commercial truck drivers

The reason this is so problematic is that people with sleep apnea often fall asleep during the day because they are so exhausted from the previous night. President Trump recently rejected legislation that would have required truck drivers to take sleeping exams before getting a truck driver job. Falling asleep at the wheel increases the risk of a truck accident, so it is the responsibility of drivers and companies to remain vigilant. 

Autonomous vehicles might not be on the immediate horizon

While Colorado residents might anticipate the day when driverless cars will be widely available, it may not come as quickly as they might expect. There are several issues that must first be addressed before self-driving cars can be offered in mass production. Other factors may also make people less willing to purchase these vehicles when they are available.

Before driverless cars can be released to the public, state and federal lawmakers along with regulatory agencies will first need to draft new laws and regulations that specifically govern driverless vehicles. The process of drafting and passing these new laws and rules can take years. There are also thorny issues of liability that will need to be determined, including the party or parties that could be held financially responsible if a self-driving car is at fault in an accident and what type of insurance will need to be purchased.

4 apps to prevent you from driving while distracted

Distracted driving is a much larger issue than most people realize. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every day, over 1,000 people suffer injuries as a result of distracted driving. Approximately nine people die every day as a result. 

One of the biggest causes for distraction is smartphones. Some drivers do not see the harm in quickly responding to a text or looking something up. However, taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can still lead to an accident. If you do not know if you can trust yourself to not look at your phone, then consider downloading one of the following apps to prevent you from becoming tempted. 

The various factors involved in truck accidents

Colorado motorists might be surprised to find out that there are many factors that contribute to the rising number of accidents involving big trucks. For example, 70 percent of accidents involving big rigs are actually caused by car drivers. In many of these accidents, whether caused by the car or the truck driver, human error is involved.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there are 475,000 accidents involving large trucks each year. As a result of these accidents, there are about 5,000 fatalities and 140,000 injuries. The perception is that truck drivers usually cause these incidents through aggressive driving. According to the data, however, distracted driving and speeding by the other drivers are the main contributing factors in these truck accidents.

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