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Harrison County Legal Issues Blog

5 common causes of motor vehicle wrecks

Car crashes are serious matters for the victims involved. There are many factors that contribute to wrecks. It is impossible to avoid them all, but risks can be greatly diminished when drivers are operating their vehicles in a safe manner.

Determining the cause of the crash is often a priority after the incident. Here are some possible causes:

Riding without a helmet complicates an accident claim

Here in the South, we take our personal freedoms seriously, so it is certainly understandable that many Mississippians who ride motorcycles may object to our state's mandatory helmet law. After all, the rider assumes the responsibility for his or her actions, so why should it matter if someone rides with a helmet or not?

While the issue of individual rights versus the responsibility of the government to keep citizens safe is complicated, the law is fairly clear on the matter. Riding without a helmet in Mississippi is not lawful, but the legal consequences of doing so are not really a motorcycle rider's biggest concerns. Riding without a helmet in Mississippi is not only dangerous, it may invalidate an accident claim.

The leading causes of truck accidents

Driving in close proximity to a commercial truck can quickly increase your anxiety level. Not only are you intimidated by the size of the vehicle, but you know that one mistake can cause a serious accident that results in injury or even death.

Fortunately, when you understand the leading causes of truck accidents you can adjust your driving style to improve your safety. Here are some of the top causes:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When a trucker is under the influence, there's a greater chance he or she will cause an accident. Prescription drugs can also impact a person's ability to drive.
  • Distracted driving. If a trucker is not paying attention to the road, maybe because he or she is texting or searching for something inside the cabin, there's a greater chance of making a mistake that leads to an accident.
  • Inadequate training. Trucking companies are staffed with the responsibility of training drivers on everything from defensive driving to technique and much more. Neglecting to do so puts the trucker and others at greater risk.
  • Unrealistic schedules. If a trucking company places an unrealistic schedule on a driver, he or she may begin to speed or drive too many hours without taking a break.
  • Drowsy driving. As the hours pass, a trucker has the tendency to wear down. This is why there are federal laws in place that require truckers to take breaks after so many consecutive hours on the road.
  • Reckless driving. There are many forms of reckless driving, with speeding and failure to signal among the most common. Not only should you watch for truckers who are driving recklessly, but you should also consider the things you can do to personally improve your driving style.

Does an ignition interlock device keep people safe?

You were having the time of your life with your friends and family before your accident. You had planned to travel down the highway and stop at unique destinations along the way. Unfortunately, a dangerous and drunk driver struck you on the road, leaving you and several of your loved ones injured.

Drivers who drink before getting behind the wheel have no place on the roads. They made a bad decision to get into a vehicle without the right mindset and put themselves and others in danger. Now, you're one of the people suffering the consequences.

Ignition interlock devices work: Here's why

You love driving in your area. The local area has lots to see and do. Unfortunately, not everyone pays attention to the roads, and now you have injuries as a result.

The shock of finding out that the driver was intoxicated is just another thing that you have to come to terms with. Now, you want to know that the driver won't be able to drive drunk on the roads again. One thing the courts may do is to require the driver to use an ignition interlock device.

There is no such thing as multitasking

People often think of performing multiple tasks simultaneously as multitasking. Perhaps you often find yourself taking on the phone to a client while sending an email to your boss and answering a colleague's question at the same time. You are the poster child of productivity in your Biloxi workplace. Or are you?

The problem is that multitasking, in the sense that we normally think of, does not actually exist. Researchers point to the concept of multitasking as a tool today's society uses to feel more efficient in what is generally a stressed environment.

Prevent right cross bicycle accidents

A right cross bicycle versus auto accident happens when you're riding straight across the line of an intersection or a driveway. If a car is entering the intersection, or crossing the road from the right side, it could hit you with its front or pull in front of you and cause you to hit its side.

Right cross incidents are the most common bicycle versus car accidents on the road, so bicyclists need to be aware of them and how to avoid them.

Study shows that reckless driving causes most cycling accidents

When you hit the road for a training or a commute, how many cars honk their horns at you while you are pedaling like mad? How many close calls have you had with drivers that did not see you? Of these encounters, how many times did they occur because you were not following traffic laws, wearing brightly colored clothing or staying in the bike lane? Chances are that 99.99 percent of these occasions occurred for no other reason than because you were cycling.

In general, drivers think of cyclists as annoyances, riding their bikes where only cars are meant to be, and causing road hazards. In reality, only a very small proportion of cycling accidents happen due to the actions of the cyclist him- or herself. While many reports seem to be pointing the finger at cyclists for engaging in risky behavior, such as ignoring traffic signals and riding with earbuds in, a government study suggests otherwise.

How to prepare for a settlement

Driving through Biloxi on your way to work can come with all sorts of dangers. You have to dodge semis that try to change lanes while you are next to them. Then, there are people that decide it is a good idea to send a text message while they are driving. And, of course, there are the ones that think that the traffic laws do not apply to them. Staying vigilant will help you avoid most accidents, but no matter what, there may be that one that you cannot get away from.

After an accident with a negligent motorist, such as a distracted driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation from that individual's insurance company. You certainly should not have to foot the bill for your injuries and the damages to your vehicle because of someone else's recklessness.

Consider all options after a crash with a drunk driver

You follow the law and make every effort to drive safely. Unfortunately, the bad decisions of other people can still put you and the people you love at risk. While certain factors increase the risk of a collision with a drunk driver, including the time of day and day of the week, it is not your responsibility to avoid driving after midnight just because someone could be drunk on the road. In fact, depending on the schedule of the person who decided to get behind the wheel intoxicated, you could experience a collision with a drunk driver in the early morning on your way to work. It's impossible to predict.

Car accidents can take a serious toll on the people involved. First, there's the physical trauma of the accident. It's relatively common for people to experience severe bruising, broken bones, head injuries and even spinal injuries in car crashes. The more serious the crash, the more likely it is that you'll be missing work afterward while you recuperate. You'll also have to handle the expenses involved with repairing or replacing your vehicle. This can cause severe financial hardship particularly if the drunk driver was either uninsured or only carried state minimum insurance.