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Covington Law Blog

Drunk driver caught on video

People who live in Kentucky know that motor vehicle accidents can and do happen regardless of how safely they drive themselves. Despite knowing the facts about how to be safe on the roads, all too many drivers make negligent and reckless choices that put themselves and others in harm's way. In some situations, people might be lucky that a crisis could be averted but in other situations, tragedy can result.

Among the many selfish and reckless choices a driver today can make is to get behind the wheel of a car or other vehicle after they have consumed alcohol. A person does not even need to be legally intoxicated for their judgment to be impaired. Drunk driving has claimed the lives of many innocent people over the years and seems poised to continue to do so for a while. One driver who appears to have been drunk, however, appears to have been caught before he was able to kill anyone.

What are the most prevalent types of injury among crash victims?

Being involved in a motor vehicle collision can be a stressful and scary process, and likely an experience that you may wish to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, avoiding an accident could prove nearly impossible at times, as one can occur at virtually any moment and under a variety of circumstances.

Even if you consider yourself a safe driver, your well-being may be at risk should you encounter a negligent driver as you travel along Kentucky roads. While a minor accident may only wind up being an inconvenience, should your accident prove more dangerous, you might wake up in the hospital with severe injuries.

Hands-free vs. hand-held cellphones: Which is safer?

If you are like many other drivers in Kentucky and across the United States, you may have used your hand-held cellphone while driving in traffic. The dangers of engaging in this deadly act are apparent, as thousands of Americans have lost their lives in car accidents caused by distracted driving. Although it is legal to use a hand-held cellphone while driving in Kentucky, this practice is prohibited in several other states. Many people have turned to using hands-free devices are they are thought to be a safe alternative to using a hand-held device. Studies show, however, that people may want to reconsider using hands-free devices while behind the wheel.

In a study published by AAA, researchers asked participants to drive a simulator vehicle, as well as a vehicle equipped with monitoring devices. They measured participants eye movement, reaction time, brain activity and heart rate as they engaged in certain distractive activities while driving. These activities included the following:

  • Listening to an audio book
  • Listening to the radio
  • Maintaining a conversation using a hand-held and hands-free cellphone
  • Completing tasks using voice-activated technology
  • Holding a conversation with a passenger in the vehicle

Which safety responsibilities fall to my landlord?

Opportunities to get hurt exist nearly anywhere you go. You can slip on a spill at the grocery store or trip in your office parking lot. While you know that property owners are responsible for providing a safe place for their patrons to shop or work, you may wonder if your landlord has the same liabilities. The home you rent should be a safe place, but who should take the steps to keep it safe?

According to FindLaw, your landlord should ensure the building and unit you live in is safe and free of illegal and criminal activity. He or she may take the following precautions:

  • Making sure an apartment building is up to code and that the wiring and fixtures are properly maintained
  • Providing functional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Removing harmful elements like asbestos and lead paint or informing prospective tenants that these elements may exist in the home
  • Providing working locks on all doors leading outside
  • Evicting tenants who were involved in dangerous or illegal activities

ELDs and safety on the road

Kentucky residents have reason to be concerned about their safety when sharing the road with semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles. Business Insider reports that in 2016 alone, buses and large trucks were involved in 4,400 fatal accidents in the United States. These accidents involved a variety of contributing factors, of which trucker fatigue may well be one. 

In an effort to curb fatigue among commercial drivers, the federal government established its Hours of Service rule. This rule stipulates that in a single work day that lasts 14 hours, only 11 of those hours may be spent driving. The rule also has clear requirements for when breaks must be taken on a daily basis as well as between working days and working weeks.

A car accident can be a major headache

You make your way to town, looking forward to an afternoon of shopping. All of a sudden, a fellow motorist on the road hits your car, and the next thing you know, you're on the way to the hospital.

Unfortunately, sometimes, motor vehicle collisions can cause grave injuries, including injury to the brain. Here is a glimpse at what brain injuries involve and what your rights are following a brain injury-causing accident that was not your fault.

Impairment, speed continue to plague Kentucky roads

If you are like most people in Kentucky, you take care to drive your vehicle safely so as to protect yourself, your family and people in other vehicles. This would seem like something that every driver should do but, unfortunately, many people seem to be more concerned about other things and end up putting safety on the back burner. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that drinking and driving and speeding continue to be noted factors in many vehicular deaths across Kentucky.

The overall number of fatalities across the state from 2016 to 2017 declined from 834 to 782. However, the number of deaths associated with alcohol increased and the number of deaths associated with speeding remained consistent. In 2017, 181 people lost their lives at the hands of drunk drivers and 138 people died in crashes in which alcohol was a factor.  

How long are truck drivers allowed to work?

Despite your best efforts to avoid driving while drowsy, you likely understand what it is like to feel fatigued while behind the wheel. When you do, you typically can pull off the road to rest and recover. Yet what happens when those whose job it is to drive (such as truckers) begin to tire? The need to complete their routes may prompt them to try and power through their fatigue. The danger in this is that they drowsiness can inhibit their reaction times, making them a risk to you and others on the road. 

To avoid even the potential of truck drivers becoming fatigued while on the job, the federal government has established regulations related to the number of hours that they can be behind the wheel of their vehicles. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these regulations prohibit: 

  • Driving for more than 11 hours after having taken 10 consecutive hours off
  • Driving beyond the fourteenth hour after having a 10-hour off duty period
  • Driving for more than eight consecutive hours without taking a break of at least 30 minutes
  • Driving more than 60/70 hours during a 7/8 work week

What is loss of consortium?

Many viewing a situation from an outside perspective may question the motivation for you to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Covington, given that no amount of civil action will bring your loved one back. Yet while punitive measures may be among the reasons you might seek action for wrongful death (to the extent that it assigns responsibility for your family member or friend's death), the primary reason is often to compensate for the financial losses that their absence now brings. 

The common school of thought is that only those tangible types of losses can be quantified. Far greater, however, are the emotional losses you experience from being deprived of your loved one's company. Yet Kentucky law does indeed allow you (in certain situations) to recover damages for the non-economic losses (legally termed to be "loss of consortium"). 

Staying safe when you encounter an animal in the road

When you are driving, it often requires your full attention and then some to keep from becoming distracted. Often, you may encounter hazards that could potentially be dangerous if you are not prepared for them. At Russell Ireland Law Group, LLC, we have helped many people in Kentucky who are the victims of car accidents. 

Distractions can come in many forms including noisy passengers, texting, multitasking and sudden hazards that appear in the road. Animals, for example, can be a road hazard that if you encounter, could send you into a panic. One part of you is beginning to feel guilty for endangering the innocent animal's life while the other part of you may be scrambling to figure out how to avoid hitting the animal without hitting other motorists. 

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