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Minneapolis Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

External airbags could reduce injury severity by 40 percent

The ZF Group is currently developing external airbags that go on the sides of a vehicle and protect occupants in the event of a side collision. Minnesota drivers who stay up to date on emerging car safety technology should know that these airbags could eventually become standard in most vehicles. However, the tech is still several years away from being perfected.

ZF is clear about the safety benefits, stating that external airbags could reduce an occupant's injury severity by up to 40 percent. This works by providing an additional crumple zone and absorbing some of the shock of a crash. There are concerns about the airbags not deploying in time or deploying when it is unneeded. Predictive systems with airbags are naturally more drastic than the current ones that adjust the suspension or tighten seatbelts.

Automatic braking systems are proving their worth

Motorists throughout Minnesota and the rest of the country desire a safer driving experience. To that end, manufacturers are adding additional safety features as new technology becomes available. One of the more recent safety enhancements, automatic emergency braking, is proving to be especially effective.

An automotive safety group recently performed a study on the emergency braking systems offered by a major vehicle manufacturer. The group studied rear-end accident statistics of General Motors vehicles for models installed with the manufacturer's new braking system over a three year period.

Brake checking: Know your rights if you get into a rear-end crash

As someone who has a job and family, there are times when you're in a rush. It's never a good idea to tailgate another vehicle, but if you're attempting to pass, you might have to get close to the vehicle to get ahead of someone in another lane before you can merge.

Some people don't take kindly to others getting too close to them. Most people would move out of the way, but some people become enraged and brake check the other vehicle.

Short days, long nights pose dangers for pedestrians

Daylight saving time ended on Nov. 4, meaning Minnesota motorists will spend more time driving in the dark. According to experts, this can lead to an increase in accidents involving cars and pedestrians.

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that 75 percent of all pedestrian deaths in 2016 happened after the sun had set. Further, a 2004 study published in Accident Analysis and Prevention found that eliminating the annual "fall back" and keeping an extra hour of sunlight in the evening would prevent over 170 pedestrian deaths every year. This is one of the reasons California recently voted to do away with twice-yearly time changes and keep daylight saving time all year round. However, the downside is that lighter evenings mean darker mornings for pedestrian commuters.

Driving safety tips for Halloween

On Halloween night, it is common to see ghosts, ghouls and goblins. Unfortunately, it is also common to encounter drunk drivers. Fortunately, there are several things Minnesota parents as well as motorists can do to increase the chances of a safe and fun night.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most drunk driving crashes on this fun time occur between 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and 6 a.m. on Nov. 1. In fact, between 2012 and 2016, 44 percent of all people killed in traffic accidents during those hours died in alcohol-related crashes. In 2016, almost 50 percent of all Halloween drunk driving deaths involved victims between the ages of 21 and 34. However, no pedestrians were killed on Halloween night that year.

Ways to prevent boating accidents

Boating can be a very enjoyable pastime. However, boating accidents do occur. Minnesota residents who enjoy boating may benefit from learning about the common reasons for boating accidents and what steps they can take to avoid accidents while out on the water.

Running out of gas while boating is not an unusual occurrence and can be a result of a miscalculation of the return bearing or trying to outrun inclement weather. However, running out of gas while in the middle of a large body of water can result in a very dangerous situation. This could be avoided by first planning beforehand and carefully calculating how many gallons of gas are needed to go into the water and return and then by adding an additional 10 to 20 percent of gas to be safe.

Drivers may be too reliant on safety features, says AAA

Minnesota drivers who use safety features like automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring should not over-rely on these features. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has come out with a report that sheds light on this trend, which raises questions about how drivers will be able to adapt to semi-autonomous vehicles in the future. At the root is ignorance of safety tech limitations.

Blind-spot monitoring, for example, is not so effective at detecting fast-approaching cars, bicyclists and pedestrians. Yet 80 percent of drivers in the AAA report overestimate this ability, and 20 percent are so trusting that they never look for oncoming vehicles when changing lanes.

Avoiding hydroplaning in the rainy season

Hydroplaning is common during the rainy season in Minnesota, so drivers will want to consider the following tips to reduce their risks. When wheels encounter more water on the road than they can handle, the pressure in the front of the tires pushes the water underneath and lifts the vehicle up on a thin layer of the water. The thicker that layer becomes, the more the tires lose traction.

The vehicle can then slide or skid uncontrollably, potentially causing a serious crash. This is why drivers should slow down and avoid large puddles when in the rain. They should be especially cautious during the first 10 minutes of rainfall, as this is the time when the water and the oily residues on the road mix together to create a slippery surface. Afterward, the rain will wash away most of the residue.

Distracted driving remains a problem

Most Minnesotans are probably aware of the risks of distracted driving. However, a new study shows that distractions are still a major problem for motorists. Auto manufacturer Volvo teamed up with the Harris Poll to gather more information about exactly what is keeping motorists from being more focused on the task of driving safely.

The study, which was conducted by polling two separate groups of 2,000 Americans each, reveals that a majority of respondents identify distracted driving as a substantial hazard affecting highway safety. Ninety percent of those questioned believed there are more distractions behind the wheel now than five years ago. Nearly twice as many people said distracted driving is more troubling to them than people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The next highest perceived threats were speeding and aggressive driving. More than half of those surveyed indicated feeling anxious when too busy. This anxiety accompanies them behind the wheel and can affect roadway safety for all.

Keep this information in mind to get your best settlement offer

Combined injuries are some of the hardest to deal with as a patient. Not only do you have physical struggles, but you're dealing with the hardship of mental troubles as well. Whether you're struggling with broken bones, traumatic brain injuries or depression as a result of the crash you were in, it's extremely difficult to get back to a normal life.

As someone who typically works to support yourself, you know that you have to get fair compensation for your injuries. Without it, you'll struggle to make ends meet and have to return to work before you have the full chance of recovery that you need.

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