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Hartford Law Blog

Drivers: Don’t Eat While Behind The Wheel!

With so much time spent in cars, drivers fight to remain productive during what they consider down time. Whether it is commuting to or from work, completing errands during lunch, or coming home after a long night out, drivers are likely to decide that having a snack while behind the wheel is a great way to pass the time.

It’s not.

Sharing the road with large trucks

Connecticut motorists might not enjoy sharing the road with a large truck. As a general rule, these vehicles take up more space on the road and have a harder time turning and stopping. This means that passenger car drivers may need to give them more space and stay patient in their presence. Doing so may reduce the odds that a large truck driver will need to hit the brakes.

A large truck may need twice as much time to stop compared to a passenger vehicle. Smaller vehicles may be vulnerable to sliding under a truck in a collision, which is referred to as an underride. It is also possible that a truck goes over a vehicle in a collision, which is known as an override. It should be pointed out that trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds are required to have underride guards, but it is questionable how well they actually work.

The importance of avoiding distractions while driving

Many people are injured in Connecticut accidents that are caused by distracted driving. This type of negligent driving behavior endangers drivers, passengers and occupants of other vehicles. People should avoid driving while they are distracted to help reduce the risk of accidents.

Trying to multitask while driving is dangerous because it takes away the drivers' attention manually, visually or cognitively. Manual distractions are those that require the drivers to take their hands off the wheel to adjust or type something. Visual distractions involve activities that remove the drivers' attention from the road. Cognitive distractions are activities that cause the drivers' focus to be removed from the act of driving. Some distracted driving activities may involve all three types of distraction such as texting while driving, which is especially dangerous.

Occupants of small vehicles have greater risk of injury

Connecticut consumers who are attracted to smaller cars should consider that compact vehicles fare poorly in most crashes. Even if their crash ratings appear to be good, those figures might not be based on scenarios with larger and heavier vehicles.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, crash testing has only begun in the past few years to look at impacts between vehicles of different sizes. Testing had traditionally evaluated how a vehicle reacted in an accident with a vehicle of similar size or against a fixed barrier. In 2009, the institute collected data on crashes between minicars or subcompacts and midsize sedans. Tests always showed that the larger vehicle came through the crash in better condition than the smaller vehicle.

Charges of selling or dealing drugs

While all drug crimes are treated harshly under Connecticut law, those involving sales or distribution may carry some of the longest sentences other than those involving drug trafficking. Drug dealing or sales are more limited in scope than are crimes involving trafficking.

Drug dealing is a felony in Connecticut. Drugs are classed into different penalty groups under the state's laws. Drug crimes charges may range in severity level according to the type and amount of drugs that the defendants had in their possession or sold.

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.

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