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Minneapolis Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Symptoms that may show up after a car accident

When car accidents occur in Minnesota, victims may be injured even if they do not initially realize it. There are several types of injuries that have delayed symptoms. These injuries might not show symptoms for hours or days following an accident. Therefore, it's best for crash victims to see their doctors right away to determine if they have been injured.

Many people develop headaches several days after accidents. In some cases, headaches are symptoms of serious conditions such as blood clots in the brain or concussions. Whiplash also leads to delayed symptoms, which may include neck pain, neck and shoulder stiffness and numbness in the arms or hands.

Car accidents can cause a range of injuries

There is a range of injuries that Minnesota residents can sustain in a car accident. The type of injuries that a driver or passenger may suffer from a crash can be affected by a number of factors, including the type of collision, location of the impact and physical position of the driver or passenger in the vehicle. These factors can make all the difference between whether someone experiences severe or mild injuries as a result of an auto accident.

Some common injuries caused by car accidents include neck pain resulting from whiplash, which is caused by the swift and sudden movement of the neck after a crash. Facial injuries, broken bones, bruising and back pain are also frequent consequences of a crash. More serious injuries can include traumatic brain injury, concussion or damage to other internal organs. The psychological impact of a devastating car crash cannot be underplayed either, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can frequently be experienced by car accident victims.

United States pedestrian deaths highest since 1990

Hundreds of years ago, no one had to worry about pedestrian death statistics. That's because walking is the most natural of all human activities. However, in the modern world, Minnesota residents face the threat of death and disabling injuries every time they take to the streets on foot. In fact, pedestrian deaths caused by vehicle accidents are currently higher than they've been in decades in the United States.

A recent report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that 2017 will likely report 6,000 pedestrian versus vehicle accident deaths, which will be the second year in a row this figure has been that high. Furthermore, it's the most pedestrian deaths reported since 1990.

How to make roads safer in the United States

A report published by the National Governors Association aims to reduce the number of traffic deaths and injuries in Minnesota and elsewhere. This report comes as the number of traffic deaths increased in the United States in 2016. That year, there were 37,461 traffic deaths, which was a 5.6 percent increase over 2015. Furthermore, 39 states reported an increase in traffic deaths.

One of the ways to increase road safety is through better coordination between agencies in different states. Governors themselves are urged to take a leadership role as it relates to making roads safer in their states. The recent report recommended that the United States look at improved road design as a way to make the streets safer for drivers and pedestrians.

Technology and its effects on distracted driving

Distracted driving is a huge problem for Minnesota drivers. Numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal distraction as a factor in 14 percent of all traffic accident reports with unofficial estimates being much higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nine people die each day because of distracted driving. With the ubiquity of smartphones and an ever-connected population, the problem will not go away on its own.

Awareness campaigns against distracted driving tend to focus on smartphones and other handheld devices, but the fight to reduce distracted driving involves both high-tech and low-tech solutions. With 52 percent of drivers admitting to the use of phones in the car, a huge emphasis must be placed on reducing this number. Software developers have created several apps that use GPS systems to disable texting functions while driving. Some apps specifically target teen drivers and will alert parents and provide information about driving habits. One app, SafeDrive, makes a game of avoiding phone usage, and drivers accumulate points for driving safely. Another app, Focus, senses phone movement and audibly tells drivers to stop looking at the phone.

Report shows speeding has led to traffic death increase

In 2017, the National Transportation Safety Board released a report stating that the rise in traffic deaths is due not to distractions or new technology but to speeding. By analyzing crash data from 2005 to 2014, the NTSB found that speeding caused approximately 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in that period. Drivers in Minnesota will want to know about how the NTSB proposes to address the increase.

The first move that the agency recommends is to create more severe punishments for speeding so that they're equal to those of DUI. Speeding and DUI have many similarities, with the latter contributing to 112,948 deaths in the 10-year period mentioned above. Yet there is no social stigma attached to the former, nor are there any campaigns to try and dissuade people from speeding.

Boating accidents surged in 2017

Many Minnesotans enjoy boating during the warmer months. However, it is important for people who ride on or operate boats to follow safety guidelines to help prevent boating accidents.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, boating fatalities fell in 2017 while non-fatal accidents increased. During the year, there were 90 boating accidents and 12 fatalities. The number of accidents was the highest that was reported since 2007. The number of accidents on Minnesota's waterways and lakes has more than doubled in just the past four years.

Boating accidents can bring danger on the water

Many people in Minnesota may think about car accidents when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, but it can be just as important to think about boating accidents before going out on the lake. Boating accidents can lead to serious personal injuries with long-term consequences, and taking action to prevent capsizes, crashes or other boat problems can help to protect the boat, the passengers and the captain. There are several tips that can help boaters to protect themselves from accidents and keep safe out on the water.

One of the easiest ways to avoid boating accidents is to steer clear of drinking when responsible for piloting the boat. While a party on the water can be great fun, alcoholic beverages are best reserved for the passengers, as boating under the influence is against the law as well as dangerous; it can increase the chances of a fatality while boating by 34 percent. Another way to stay safe on the water is to avoid speeding; in some states, boaters can even receive speeding tickets like the ones given for motor vehicles on land.

Impaired driving prevention gets its own month

The Trump administration has designated December 2017 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, which should interest those in Minnesota who wonder what they can do to lower the number of fatalities due to alcohol. Many are not aware that having even one drink could qualify as impairment, so it's important to also raise awareness of the trend.

The proclamation, which President Trump signed on November 30, 2017, contains many sobering statistics. In America, alcohol-related accidents lead to an average of one fatality every 50 minutes. In 2012, 4.2 million adults admitted that they drove under the influence of alcohol at least once in the 30 days preceding the survey.

Be sure to follow these car insurance claim tips

You never want to be part of a car accident, but there is no way of knowing what the future will bring. Even if you follow the rules of the road, another driver could make a mistake that causes a crash.

If you are part of an accident in the future, your health is top priority. Immediately following the crash, check yourself for injuries. If something is wrong, don't move. Call 911 and wait for police and an ambulance to arrive.

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