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Belgrade, Montana Personal Injury Blog

Legislation would require use of 'speed limiters' in large trucks

At a time when it seems like members of Congress can't reach across the aisle to accomplish just about anything, two U.S. senators, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, have introduced a bill they would increase the safety of large commercial trucks on our highways and interstates.

For a decade now, a rule that would require "speed limiters" has gone nowhere amid the bureaucracy of the federal government. The Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019 would require all new trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds to have these devices and to have them set at no more than 65 miles per hour at all times. Trucks already on the road that have the technology must use it. However, trucks that don't have the technology won't be required to have it installed.

How parents can minimize teen distracted driving

Summer brings many newly licensed teen drivers out on the roads. Some are driving to and from summer jobs, running errands for their parents and chauffeuring younger siblings. Still others are driving to the lakes, mountains and other destinations to hang out with their friends.

While teens have grown up hearing about the dangers of texting and talking on the phone while driving, a surprising number still admit to doing it. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that over half of the teen drivers it surveyed reported using their phone at least once in the last month while behind the wheel. Over a quarter admitted to texting while driving.

A motor vehicle accident can cause a concussion

A motor vehicle accident has the potential to cause a variety of injuries, with a concussion at the top of the list. If an object, such as the windshield, strikes your head with enough force, a concussion or more serious brain injury is possible.

If you suspect a concussion after a car accident, don't wait to receive a medical diagnosis. Neglecting to do so increases the risk of additional damage.

Take care of guns and ammunition on hot summer days

Summer heat brings challenges for Montana gun owners, including owners of Remington rifles. In order to minimize the risk of injuries or death due to firearms, it is critical for gun owners to take precautions specifically related to summer heat, such as keeping guns and ammunition in vehicles that can overheat quickly.

Ammunition is unlikely to explode due to being kept in a hot vehicle since the interior would have to reach a temperature of hundreds of degrees for that to happen. However, it is always a good idea to avoid storing guns and ammunition in your vehicle for too long because they can become hot to the touch and that in turn can result in inadvertently mishandling them. That can lead to accidents and corresponding firearm injuries.

Truckers are often guilty of reckless driving

When driving on the highways of Montana, you won't have to look far to spot a commercial truck. Sharing the road with these vehicles safely is imperative.

While most truckers do whatever it takes to avoid trouble on the road, some continue to violate the law. For example, when a trucker drives in a reckless manner, it greatly increases the risk of an accident with another vehicle.

How to prepare your vehicle for the summer heat

With the cold winter months firmly in the past, it's time to prepare your vehicle for the summer heat that's sure to come. By doing so, you're able to confidently maintain a high level of safety every time you get behind the wheel.

Here are a few things to consider as you prepare your vehicle for summer:

  • Check your tires: Bald tires are more likely to blow out when driving on hot roadways. Furthermore, tires with little or no tread don't provide the stability you need when driving in the rain, which increases the risk of hydroplaning.
  • Inspect your windshield wipers: When the rain begins to fall, you'll rely on your wipers to keep your windshield clear, allowing you to see the road ahead.
  • Cooling system: A top cause of summer breakdowns, your cooling system should be flushed, inspected and refilled approximately every two years.
  • Inspect your brakes: If you notice anything wrong with your braking system, such as longer stopping distances, have your mechanic take a closer look. Your brakes work hard at all times of the year, so they should always be in good condition.

How to stay safe on your summer road trip

Summer is the best time of the year for a road trip. It doesn't matter if you're heading for the beach, the mountains or somewhere in between, you're sure to enjoy your travels.

Unfortunately, there are a variety of dangers lurking on the road, all of which you need to account for.

How to safely store your guns at home

Things have changed over the years, and gun safety is more important than ever before. If you're keeping guns in your home, it's critical that the safety and well-being of you and your family is priority number one.

There are a variety of ways to safely store your guns at home, including the following:

  • Trigger lock: With this, you can prevent a gun from being loaded or fired by anyone but yourself. So, even if someone gains access to your gun, they're unable to load and use it.
  • Gun case: Gun cases range in price based on the size, material and strength. When you keep your guns inside a secure case, it's nearly impossible for someone to get them out without a key or combination.
  • Security case: Similar to a gun case, portability makes this a popular choice. A security case allows you to properly store your gun, while taking it with you on the go. This is perfect for people who regularly remove their guns from their home, such as to go hunting.
  • Gun safe: If top-notch security is on your mind, a gun safe is a must. It's the most secure gun storage option, as unauthorized access is impossible. The best gun safes have interior storage options, such as racks, along with lined interiors to protect your guns from damage. Furthermore, the weight of a gun safe makes it impossible to move.

Follow these tips to share the road with pedestrians

When operating a motor vehicle, you must share the road with other cars, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Failure to do so increases the likelihood of an accident that results in injury or even death.

Here are three simple tips you can follow to share the road with pedestrians:

  • Slow down: If you're driving in a city setting, for example, slow down to ensure that you have a clear idea of what's happening around you at all times. It's particularly important to slow down when approaching a crosswalk or intersection.
  • Be careful in parking lots: It's not just roadways that require your full attention. Parking lots are also a common place for car-pedestrian accidents. Again, slow down and pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Make eye contact: This is a two-way street, so both pedestrians and drivers should get into the habit of making eye contact with one another. For instance, if you're waiting for someone to cross the street at a crosswalk, make eye contact, so they know you're aware of their presence.

What are the top causes of truck driver fatigue?

Anyone can become fatigued when driving, but this is very common among commercial truckers who spend many consecutive hours behind the wheel.

While there are many causes of truck driver fatigue, these are among the most common:

  • Sleep disorders: For example, sleep apnea is known to cause high levels of fatigue, both during the day and at night. Since sleep apnea makes it difficult for a person to get the necessary amount of uninterrupted sleep, significant fatigue is a side effect.
  • Drug, alcohol or prescription medication use: Most types of illegal drugs and alcohol can cause fatigue. Many prescription medications also have this side effect.
  • Sleeping in the truck: Truckers who travel long distances typically have access to a sleeper berth. This allows them to get rest when they're too tired to drive or required by law to take a break. The issue with a sleeper berth is that it doesn't always provide the best environment for restful sleep. Therefore, while a trucker thinks they're well-rested, this may not actually be the case.
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Ramler Law Office, P.C.
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Belgrade, MT 59714

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