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Belgrade, Montana Personal Injury Blog

2 killed by semitruck driven by a 17-year-old Hardin man

Two people were killed and another one was injured last month on Highway 313 when a teen driving a semitruck veered into their lane, according to the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP). The fatal crash occurred on Sunday, Aug. 25 between Hardin and St. Xavier in Big Horn County.

The county coroner called it a "horrific crash." The two men who were killed were 58 and 67. The age of the woman who was injured wasn't reported. The 17-year-old driver of the semi, which was transporting an empty grain trailer, wasn't hurt.

Serious accident trends in Montana

If you're interested in the risks of driving and the odds of getting seriously injured in a crash, it is important to look at the statistics for the specific area where you drive. National statistics can help to paint a broad picture, but you should never assume that the driving conditions in California or New York are all that similar to the conditions in Montana. There are stark differences that you must take into account.

Fortunately, the government breaks up crash data by state, and so their reports can shed light on your specific risks. Let's take a look at some of these critical statistics.

Some all-too-common dangerous driving behaviors to avoid

Most people don't consider themselves bad drivers. However, many of us slip into bad driving habits. This is particularly true when we're on our daily commute to and from work, running errands around town or driving other familiar routes. We feel safe because we drive these roads all the time. Often, our minds are on other things besides what's going on around us. This complacency can be a recipe for tragedy.

Let's look at some all-too-common things drivers do that can lead to a serious crash:

Tips for staying safe during your work commute

Many car crashes occur during the morning and evening rush hours. That's when many roads are at their busiest, with people driving to and from work.

During their commute to work and back home, drivers are often running late and in a hurry. Their minds are at the office or on things going on at home. Many are dealing with phone calls, texts and emails, which are distracting even when they're using hands-free technology in their car.

Will Supreme Court take up lawsuit against Remington?

The U.S. Supreme Court has been reluctant in recent years to hear any cases that deal with Second Amendment issues. However, for the first time in almost a decade, the court has agreed to hear one such case when the justices return in October. The case involves how much control a city can have over gun owners' rights to transport their weapons.

There are two other gun-related cases that those on both sides hope the justices will also decide to hear. One of those is the Remington Arms Co. v. Soto case. The case stems from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in 2012 in which 21 first-graders along with six adults were killed by the shooter who then took his own life.

Relaxing 'Hours of Service' rules may not be a good thing

Late last month, the current presidential administration announced their plans to make changes to trucking safety regulations implemented by his predecessors. One of the first rules that the administration is looking to repeal is the Hours of Service Regulations.

When full, some of the tractor-trailers that are out there on the road weigh as much as 70,000 pounds. A passenger vehicle only weighs a fraction of that amount. It's often deadly when a semi-truck strikes a car.

Avoid these post-car accident mistakes

The first moments after a car accident can often seem like a blur of activity and fast decisions. From the moment of impact until the rush of adrenaline fades, things tend to happen very quickly. You may even have to make some major decisions in the immediate aftermath of a wreck. This is why it is important to know what to do and what mistakes to avoid after a motor vehicle collision.

While you might already be familiar with what to do after a wreck, such as calling the police and waiting for help, the mistakes you need to avoid are just as vital. Here are things you should not do after a car accident.

Dealing with your child's first car crash

Your child has been driving on their own for a few months -- or maybe just a few weeks. The moment you've dreaded arrives. You find out they've been involved in a crash.

The odds of this are higher than most parents would like to contemplate. According to the insurance company Geico, 20% of 16-year-old drivers are involved in a crash during their first year behind the wheel.

Who can you sue if you've been hurt during a police chase?

When police officers receive a call summoning them to a crime or crash scene, their adrenaline often kicks into overdrive. This is often why you see them speeding down the road with their blue lights flashing. Time is critical. Someone's life may be in danger if they don't make it their destination fast enough.

Adrenaline fuels them to engage in high-speed chases of suspected criminals too. Sadly, when two reckless motorists are driving down the road, it can have serious consequences for those around them. Unsuspecting motorists are often struck and injured or killed when police are making pursuit. If you've been hurt, then you may wonder who you can hold accountable for your medical costs and other expenses.

Mass shooting victim's family files suit against gun manufacturer

The family of one of the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in the history of our country is suing companies that manufacture and sell AR-15 style rifles. That was the weapon used by the gunman who killed 58 people and injured over 850 more on Oct. 1, 2017, at a Las Vegas music festival. The lead defendant is Colt's Manufacturing Co., which made the weapon used in that shooting.

AR-15 style rifles are considered semi-automatic weapons. They aren't as strictly regulated as automatic ones. They're considered "semi-automatic" because you have to pull the trigger each time you shoot a bullet. However, they reload automatically after each shot. Automatic weapons, on the other hand, fire continuously as long as the trigger is held down.

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