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Hartford Law Blog

Car accidents often take place in familiar residential areas

Drivers in Connecticut and around the country are generally more vigilant when traffic is moving quickly. However, car accident studies reveal that many serious crashes occur on sparsely traveled roads and residential neighborhoods. Familiar or quiet surroundings encourage the mind to relax, and most motorists have realized at one time or another that they do not remember driving common routes. The subconscious mind is usually able to handle driving tasks fairly easily when the route being traveled is well known, but it may have difficulty coping with unexpected events such as an evasive maneuver from another vehicle or mechanical failure.

Road safety groups and first responders say that remaining alert and wearing safety belts are the best things that drivers can do to reduce their chances of being killed or seriously injured in a crash. Unfortunately, research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that many motorists fail to properly restrain themselves when driving around town or running errands. Local roads become especially dangerous in the late afternoon and early evening hours when impatient commuters are heading home.

Driving in the fall

Some motorists from Connecticut may wish to learn more about how they can keep themselves a little safer in fall weather conditions. The beauties of fall can often hide some unpleasant dangers that may require a bit more concentration than some might be accustomed to. Understanding these difficulties ahead of time can be a vital part of preventing hazardous situations and staying secure on the roadway.

This season brings with it a number of changing environmental conditions that one should watch out for. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sun glare can be an especially prominent hazard in the fall season. Though drivers might seldom think about sun glare, it can sometimes create potentially blinding conditions on the roads. Similarly, the presence of increased wildlife activity during this time of year is also an important reason for caution.

2 people face drug charges following traffic stop

In Connecticut, a 23-year-old man and 26-year-old woman are facing drug-related charges following a motor vehicle stop on September 1. News sources indicate that the incident took place in Plainfield in the vicinity of Gallup Road and Norwich Road during the evening hours. The charged individuals have now been released on bond. Authorities say that they are scheduled to appear before a Danielson Superior Court judge on Sept. 28.

Both individuals will answer to charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of narcotics. The man will also answer to charges of possession of narcotics with intent to sell and failure to grant the right of way at an intersection.

A case against wheel spikes

Wheel spikes are getting the attention of trucking companies as well as some governments. Many trucking companies are banning them because some other motorists view them as a sign of an aggressive truck driver. The companies want to promote images of drivers who operate their vehicles in reasonable and safe ways on Connecticut roads.

Hawaii passed legislation with the goal of eliminating dangerous wheels such as wheels that have wheel spikes. The statute prohibits any cap, wheel cover, or wheel decoration that extends at least four inches beyond the portion of the wheel rim that extends away from the vehicle.

How technology is helping to prevent car accidents

Connecticut residents are likely aware that collision avoidance systems are becoming more common in everyday life. A new report suggests that they are preventing injuries and saving a significant number of lives.

These systems were found to drastically reduce the number of accidents taking place on the road. The study highlighted the injuries and accidents that would be prevented if all cars had this technology. It also found that many drivers may be turning the features off, possibly because some of the systems beep instead of vibrate, and it is believed this may be more annoying to the driver.

Police officer injured in Connecticut SUV crash

A Bloomfield police officer was injured in a two-car accident on the morning of Aug. 10. The accident occurred on Tunxis Avenue, which is also called Route 189.

According to authorities, a police SUV collided with a Toyota Highlander SUV, causing the police SUV to veer off the road, smash into a utility pole and flip onto its side. The Toyota also left the road and sustained damage to its driver-side doors. The police officer was transported to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center near Hartford. He was treated for minor injuries caused by the air bag and shattered glass. The driver of the Toyota, a 40-year-old Bloomfield woman, and her two children did not appear to be injured in the accident. However, they were transported to Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Children's Medical Center as a precautionary measure.

1 dead, 2 injured in car chase accident

A car accident that occurred in Connecticut on Aug. 10 left one person dead and two others with serious injuries. According to reports, the crash took place on Railroad Avenue in Bridgeport as a driver was attempting to flee from the authorities.

Police reportedly attempted to stop the driver, a 21-year-old man, on Interstate 95 when he fled. He left the highway using the South Avenue exit. He broadsided a blue Toyota, causing it to be pushed into the corner of the intersection. The man's vehicle struck two pedestrians. The man then left the car and continued to flee before he finally broke into a residence. A K-9 eventually led the authorities to the basement where he was hiding. He was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries he suffered in the collision.

Some causes of Connecticut truck accidents

Each year, there are 475,000 large trucks that are involved in accidents across the country according to data from the Department of Labor. These accidents cause more than 5,000 deaths and more than 140,000 injures annually. The majority of these crashes occur between the hours of 6 a.m and 3 p.m,, which goes against the perception that most accidents involving large trucks take place at night. This is most likely related to driver error or drivers engaging in reckless behavior.

Another misconception is that people are most likely to die in an accident involving a large truck on an interstate or highway. However, data shows that 53 percent of deaths related to large truck accidents occurred on major roads while only 30 percent occurred on an interstate or highways. This is because speed limits are higher on major roads, and speed is deemed to be a factor in 20 percent of fatal crashes.

Hurdles still left for driverless cars to overcome

A handful of large car and technology companies are either developing their own self-driving technology or acquiring companies that are involved with it. However, this doesn't mean that driverless cars will be on Connecticut roadways anytime soon. In some ways, the driverless car craze is similar to the electric car hype in past years.

President Obama at one time said that by 2016, 1 million electric vehicles would be on America's roadways. The real number was roughly 300,000, and this is because of issues such as large and expensive batteries used in electric cars. For an autonomous vehicle to be accepted by society, there needs to be a consistent regulatory and legal framework surrounding their use. It is also necessary to create maps that the vehicles can follow, and that may be a challenge in a country as large as the United States.

Trucking industry will keep existing sleep apnea rule

Truck drivers in Connecticut and throughout the country will not be subject to new criteria and testing regarding sleep apnea after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced it would no longer be pursuing a proposed rule. In March 2016, the FMCA had published a pre-rule seeking input from industry and advisory committees. Among the recommendations were that drivers with a 40 or higher BMI or drivers with a 33 or higher BMI who had other risk factors should be screened for the disorder.

However, these guidelines would have led to up to 40 percent of drivers being screened for the condition at considerable cost to carriers and to drivers themselves. The protocol as issued in January 2015 by the FMCA says that drivers should be referred by medical examiners if those examiners believe the driver is at risk for sleep apnea. The drawback of this approach is that there is no consistent screening protocol for the condition. This could lead to unnecessary referrals and confusion.