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Kansas City Personal Injury Law Blog

Can distracted driving lead to crashes?

Missouri residents like you know about the big dangers on the road. Issues like driving while under the influence or texting while driving are publicized almost everywhere as being huge dangers to every single driver. But what about the dangers that people don't talk about?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that distracted driving comes in three categories. The first are visual distractions, or anything that takes your eyes off the road. The second are cognitive distractions, or anything that takes your mind away from focusing on driving. Third are manual distractions, or anything that takes your hands away from the wheel.

Is the condition of a roadway vital to your safety?

As someone who often drives in, around, or through Missouri, you know of some roads that have certainly seen better days. But did you know that poorly maintained roads can actually contribute to crashes? McShane & Brady LLC can help you if you've been harmed because of a faulty road.

The condition of a roadway itself is vital to the safety of the drivers on it. Did the road you traveled on have damage such as potholes? Were there cracks or other issues? Was the road uneven? Were these known problems, and yet nothing was done to fix them?

Make safety a priority during your summer travels

Many people tend to get out and travel during the warmer months of the year. If you are planning a trip for vacation or just to drive around and see local scenes, you need to ensure that you are properly prepared. Driving safety isn't something that you can skimp on during the summer months. Instead, you should be careful since the roads might be crowded.

Getting ready for your drive starts before you turn the key in the ignition. You have to go over your vehicle and plan your route. Make sure that you are leaving plenty of time to get to your destination since rushing can cause you to drive in an unsafe manner. Here are some other safety tips for you to follow:

  • Check your vehicle's tires, lights, brakes, fluids, battery and gasoline level. When any of these aren't how they should be, you run the risk of having an accident. Even if you don't have a wreck, it can still lead to your having problems while you are on the road.
  • Make sure that you get enough sleep before the outing. Driving when you are fatigued can lead to your not being able to react appropriately to hazards and obstacles on the road. You also need to ensure you are alert and focused when you drive. Never try to drive when you are distracted or impaired.
  • Pack an emergency kit in your vehicle. During the summer, you should make sure that you have plenty of water, some nonperishable snacks, emergency reflectors, a first aid kit, a phone charger and similar items that may come in handy if you are ever stranded on the side of the road.
  • Dress appropriately. You should wear sunglasses to help cut the glare of the sun so that you can see clearly when you are driving. Additionally, wear sturdy shoes. While flipflops or sandals can be comfy for walking, the straps might become entangled in the pedals, which can cause you to not be able to control the vehicle.
  • Plan to stop periodically when you are on the road. This gives you time to stretch your legs and rest your brain. It is also a good opportunity to grab a snack since eating while you drive is a distraction you should never succumb to.

Know the facts about shopping injuries

When you go shopping in Missouri, you do not expect to get hurt. However, you may sometimes sustain an injury if there are unsafe conditions in a store. At McShane and Brady, LLC, we know it is important for you to understand what you should do in this situation. 

You might get hurt in a store in many ways. According to FindLaw, you or your child may incur an injury if a shopping cart tips over. You might also slip in the parking lot if staff members do not remove snow, ice or leaves from the pavement. Additionally, if you reach for merchandise on a high shelf, you might get hurt if items fall off the shelf. Torn carpets and wet floors can also cause you to slip and fall. In some situations, a store might be responsible for the injuries you incurred if staff members did not properly maintain the premises or if they knew about a hazard but did not remove it.

How to drive safe with kids in the car

If you are a parent in Missouri, you may already know how distracting it can be to drive with kids in the car. Kids present a variety of situations which make safety an issue, so it is important to follow certain tips and advice to make sure you are fully present while driving.

According to Parents, there are many distractions that occur when you drive with children in the vehicle. Some include

  • Reaching in the back to retrieve a fallen toy or to hand out food or drink 
  • Looking frequently at the back seat to check on the kids
  • Soothing a crying baby
  • Turning on a video for the kids to watch 

What qualifies as an autonomous vehicle?

If you are like a lot of people in Missouri, you may have a lot of questions about self-driving cars. Are they really safe? Can they really eliminate traffic accidents as touted? What really classifies as a self-driving car? This latter question is one that confuses a lot of people. The answer to it is that there really is no single definition of a self-driving car. Instead, as Techopedia reports, there are multiple levels of autonomy in vehicle technology.

The Society of Automotive Engineers identified a six-level system to rate autonomous capabilities in vehicles with a level zero including no such capabilities at all and a level five being a fully autonomous vehicle with no human interaction at all beyond simply dictating the location of a desired destination. Level one vehicles are common today with driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control.

How dangerous is tailgating?

When driving on Missouri roads, you have likely been in a situation where another driver was following too close to the back end of your vehicle. This situation is often called tailgating. According to Infinity Insurance, tailgating is when one vehicle follows another too closely. There is a general road rule to leave at least two car lengths between you and the driver in front of you. This is courteous, but it also prevents accidents.

Tailgating can be quite dangerous. To begin with, the basic risk is a rear-end collision because when someone is following you too closely, they do not have the distance between their vehicle and yours that is required for proper stopping. If you have to stop fast, they will not have time to react and will probably slam into your car.

Is there a limit to how long a trucker can drive?

Like many Missouri residents, you may think that some truck drivers can stay on the road for long periods of time. However, there are guidelines that determine how long a trucker can drive each day and these regulations protect both truck drivers and other people on the road. 

Truck drivers can be on the road for a certain number of hours before they have to take a break. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that most of the time a trucker can drive 11 hours in a 14-hour period. After this time period ends, truckers generally need to stay off the road for at least 10 hours. This is to ensure that truckers do not drive when they are tired, as this can make it more likely that they will be in an accident. 

Tips for motorcycle safety as the riding season nears

Riding your motorcycle is a fun way to spend time, but only if you do it safely. You should think carefully about your plans before you leave home. While you can't control the actions of everyone on the road around you, it is possible to make sure that you take steps to keep yourself safe.

Even people who are experienced in motorcycle riding may benefit from reading up on some basic safety reminders. People who don't ride can also use this information since it can help them to better understand some of the challenges that motorcyclists face.

Family of TV crew member claims wrongful death

As law enforcement officials deal with calls in Missouri, they must use extreme caution when anything lethal can be involved. A recent case poses the question that even if the action is deemed justifiable under the law, do officers have a responsibility to private citizens that are with them at the time?

According to The Kansas City Star, a member of the sound technician team on the show “Cops” was doing research for the show and on a ride along with police officers when the call was made that there was an armed robber at a fast-food restaurant. During the confrontation, officers fired at the armed suspect up to 39 times even as he fled from the restaurant. One of the bullets managed to slip through the sound technician’s bulletproof vest and kill him.

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