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Twin Cities Legal Blog

At fault, negligent, reckless, liable: Are they all the same?

What if you're driving along a Minnesota highway on your way to visit friends or family, and suddenly another vehicle tries to cut you off on the road, but misjudges the space between you and smashes into your vehicle? Although you may be happy just to be alive, you may also be looking at a long, hard road ahead for recovery. Hopefully, first responders attended your injuries in a timely manner and transported you to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Perhaps you had to spend several days in the hospital before you were able to go home. All the while, a million thoughts swarmed your mind, such as when you'd be able to go back to work, whether there was anything left of your car, and who should pay all the medical bills you knew would start rolling in before long.

Are Minnesota's DWI laws tough enough?

For several decades now, groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving have tirelessly sought to raise public awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving in Minnesota and around the nation. While it may seem normal that people say they understand the risks associated with this behavior, lives continue to be lost at the hands of drunk drivers. Clearly, more is needed if there can ever be a way to stop this from happening.

You may wonder just what happens to someone who is convicted of or arrested for driving while intoxicated. Just how severe are the consequences? Maybe they are not harsh enough and if they were stronger, more people would think twice about getting behind the wheel after they have been drinking. Ignition interlock devices have been highlighted as effective ways of cracking down on impaired driving.

Car accidents could cause serious head, brain trauma

The fear of involvement in a car accident can plague many Minnesota residents, you included. Though some people may think of such fear as irrational, car crashes occur every day, and many of those incidents result in individuals suffering serious injuries. If you find yourself involved in a collision, you could easily suffer from a severe head injury that has significant impacts on your life.

Head injuries can come in many forms, and in many cases, your brain could suffer damage as well. The type of injury you suffer could depend on a variety of factors, and each type of head injury could have different outcomes as far as impacts on your overall health and abilities.

Biker hit and killed by 19-year-old driver

For motorcycle enthusiasts in Minnesota, summer is perhaps the best time of the year. They can hop on their favoritewheeled vehicles and enjoy riding on roads free of snow or ice. However, even the warm weather cannot protect bikers from what may well be one of the biggest dangers of all - drivers of cars and other vehicles.

Sadly, one man who was riding his Harley-Davidson bike on a Tuesday afternoon provides yet another example of exactly how dangerous passenger car drivers can be to motorcyclists. A woman in a typical passenger sedan started to make a left turn right into the path of the biker and hit him in the intersection. The man was taken by air to Duluth's St. Luke's Hospital but was not able to survive his injuries. The 60-year-old business owner died.

New partnership targets safety in autonomous cars

Minnesota residents know that when it comes to autonomous vehicles, one of the big benefits touted by the companies that are developing these cars is improved safety. While this is understandably of interest to most people, it is also important for drivers to understand exactly how this improved safety may come to be. Additionally, consumers need to be able to trust that the technologies used in self-driving cars is actually reliable and capable of keeping them and their loved ones safe from accidents.

Integral to the development of any self-driving vehicle is the ability for that vehicle to be able to detect other cars or trucks on the road. The autnomous cars must also be able to sense when there are other potential obstacles in a path of travel. These obstacles may be signs, roadblocks, pedestrians, bicyclists, buildings and more. A technology referred to as LiDAR has been identified as one integral to allowing these things to be seen by autonomous cars so that appropriate driving actions can be taken.

These facts about drunk driving may sober you up

As the story goes, even Henry Ford believed that drinking and driving don't mix. History records that he said, "booze had to go when modern industry and the motor car came in," and there were nowhere near as many vehicles on the roads as there are today. In fact, there really weren't as many roads either.

Now, however, statistics indicate that the United States has the more registered vehicles than any other country in the world -- and more miles of asphalt as well. The roads are so crowded that about every 45 minutes, someone dies in an accident involving a drunk driver in this country. Despite the dangers, however, people continue to drive after drinking.

Woman hits and hurts two people on motorcycle

For many motorcycle enthusiasts in Minnesota, summertime is all but synonymous with open road time. The ability to ride on a motorcycle without worries of ice or other inclement weather road hazards is a joy to bikers everywhere. However, no season or weather pattern can eliminate one of the biggest dangers faced by motorcyclists. That danger comes in the form of other drivers. Whether those drivers are distracted by their phones, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding or simply not paying close enough attention to the road, their actions and the choices they make can leave riders seriously injured or even killed in a flash.

One husband and wife from Cedar Falls were recently hit on their Harley Davidson motorcycle by a passenger car driven by a woman who was 26 years old. The woman was reportedly attempting to make a turn to go in the opposite direction than she was originally travelling. In the process, she ran her car into the motorcycle with the couple, both of whom were 63 years of age. A child who was only seven years old was also in the car but was not injured in the wreck.

What are local school bus driver regulations?

Throughout the year (yet especially in the fall and spring) you likely notice those familiar yellow school buses ferrying children and teens back and forth from Hennepin County schools. Those that drive these vehicles have a special responsibility to not only protect their precious cargo, but also those on the roads around them. Yet are you aware of what standards they are legally held to? Knowing them may prove useful should you or your child be injured by a bus driver’s actions.

 

Your rights during a traffic stop

A police officer following you for several miles can be intimidating. Were you going too fast? Is your tail light out? Did you fail to come to a complete stop at the last intersection? The officer may simply be patrolling his or her regular route or waiting for a safe place to pull you over.

When the red lights flash, do you know what to do to protect your civil rights? You may know enough to pull off the road and place your hands on the wheel. You certainly know to speak politely and remain calm. However, what should you do if the officer asks you to get out of the vehicle? Should you allow police to search your car?

Construction zone patrol increased for safety

Many of the laws that Minnesota drivers must abide by are in place in an effort to keep people safe. From speed limits to yielding the right of way, when drivers fail to obey the laws and rules of the road, they can put themselves and others at risk of serious injury or even death if an accident were to occur. When these accidents involve commercial vehicles like tractor trailers, the danger may increase due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles.

Concerns about truck crashes have actually escalated in the city of Minneapolis lately. Construction has gotten underway there in the Lowry tunnel and this has resulted in the reduction of traffic lanes down to two in either direction. These lanes are also narrow and span a width of 10 feet each. Given this, many vehicles like semi trucks have been banned from using the tunnel for the time being. Detour routes are available and should be used.

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