Each year, distracted driving claims the lives of motorists and pedestrians across the United States. In fact, federal statistics show that distracted drivers killed 3,166 people in 2017, and many of these fatal accidents took place in Minnesota.
Multi-car crashes can be the fault of more than one driver, so determining liability can be difficult in these cases. Drivers in Minnesota should know the basics of determining liability, but it typically cannot be done without the help of crash investigators and police.
Ignition interlock devices help prevent people who have been convicted of drunk driving from driving their vehicles after they have drunk alcohol. While these devices save lives in Minnesota, they might also cause accidents.
Drivers in Minnesota and throughout the country may not fully understand what features such as adaptive cruise control are actually capable of doing. Therefore, they may rely on them more than they should while on the road. According to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist features can actually increase the risk of an accident. Research also found that drivers who used these features engaged in distracted driving twice as often as those who didn't.
Minnesota residents who are involved in a car crash may be wondering how the concept of negligence will come into play. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care, and in the case of drivers, that care is exercised toward other drivers and road users. When a driver's negligence directly causes injuries, property damage or other losses, then there may be a case against that person.
In Minnesota and across the United States, catastrophic injuries often take place because of distracted and drowsy drivers. A negligent driver may suffer from sleepiness caused by lack of sleep, chronic insomnia, alcohol consumption or working late hours. According to a 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, drowsy drivers caused approximately 72,000 car accidents, 44,000 personal injuries and 800 deaths in one year.
Minnesota residents who need to drive in winter weather should know what they must do to be safe. After all, accidents are more common when the roads are wet, icy or snowy. The first thing to do is to slow down because the faster a car goes, the less traction there is. Loss of traction increases braking distance, so drivers should keep far away from the vehicle in front. A distance of at least five to six seconds is recommended.
Minnesota pedestrians may be in greater danger than in previous years even though overall, fatalities from motor vehicle accidents declined around the country in 2018 for the second year in a row. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also said that the estimates from the first six months of 2019 show that the trend is likely to continue. This comes after two years of an increase in fatalities. That was attributed to more driving as a result of an improved economy. It is believed that more safety technology in vehicles has contributed to the decrease.
Minnesota drivers should be aware that there were about 40,000 car crash fatalities and 4.5 million car crash injuries in the U.S. in 2018. Every seven seconds, someone in this country is injured in an auto accident. To avoid becoming a statistic, and to keep others from becoming one as well, drivers may want to consider the following tips.
Road rage incidents are becoming worryingly common in Minnesota and around the country, and experts do not believe much can be done to solve the problem. Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that the number of deadly crashes caused by enraged drivers rose precipitously between 2006 and 2015, and another study indicates that an average of two American motorists point a gun at another road user every day.