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Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Hours of service violations and truck driver fatigue

As previous posts have highlighted, federal trucking regulations have been passed to address safety concerns regarding large trucks that travel on roadways in Iowa and states across the nation. Additionally, these regulations provide mechanisms to ensure that trucking companies and truck drivers comply with certain safety standards. Even though the violation of these rules could subject the driver and company to fines and other penalties, certain rules get violated frequently, causing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to consider ways to better enforce these rules.

The hours of service rule a critical safety rule. Despite that, the FMCSA maintains that the "30 minute rule" included in the federal hours-of-service rules is frequently violated. This rule provides that a commercial truck driver must take a 30 minute break after driving for eight consecutive hours. The FMCSA reported that this rule is the fourth most frequently violated rule out of the 40 different types of driver violations that it tracks.

What are the six levels of DOT truck inspections?

Federal trucking regulations require truck drivers and trucking companies to meet certain standards such as regular maintenance of the vehicles. Additionally, truck drivers are required to have special licensure and up-to-date medical information. In order to ensure that the vehicle and driver are complying with these regulations, the Department of Transportation conducts inspections. A driver and truck could encounter one or more levels of inspection to verify compliance.

What are the six levels of DOT truck inspections? The first level is a standard inspection and includes looking at important documents that a driver should have as well as an evaluation of the vehicle. This ensures that everything is up-to-date, up-to-code and safe for travel. A level two inspection involves everything in a level one inspection as well as a walk-around inspection of the vehicle. The professional inspecting the vehicle will examine everything that would not require him or her to get under the truck.

Seeking financial recovery after a drunk driving accident

Encountering a negligent driver is a very concerning thought for drivers in Iowa. While in some situations such an incident could be avoided, it is almost completely out of the hands of an individual when and if they encounter a negligent driver. This is especially true with intoxicated drivers, and the destruction caused by a drunk driving accident could be tremendous.

Being involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver not only has the potential to impact those directly involved in the incident, but oftentimes the incident also greatly effects the loved ones of the injured victim. Our law firm understands that drunk driving is a form of driver negligence that could result in serious injuries and severe damages. Because of this, we are focused on helping victims through the criminal and civil law processes used to hold the negligent party responsible for the damages and losses that driver has caused the victim.

Drunk driving: what are the visible signs of intoxication?

While automobile collisions are an unfortunate event to be involved in, drivers in Iowa may be aware that a common cause of car crashes is the negligence of one or more drivers. This could amount to the driver being distracted, fatigued, reckless or even intoxicated. If impaired driving is to blame, it is important to understand the elements of a drunk driving accident, and how an injured victim could hold the drunk driver responsible for damages caused by the incident.

Victim, witness and authority accounts of the accident are often considered and relied on in the investigation of a drunk driving accident. This often means spotting and understanding the visible signs of intoxication. For law enforcement officers and courts, this means assessing the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the incident.

When may speeding be a factor in a car collision?

It can happen to all drivers. An individual in Iowa is running late, and in order to get to his or her destination on time, he or she will drive faster. Whether this means exceeding the speed limit by one or 10 mph, speeding can create a dangerous condition on the roadway. Moreover, this situation could result in a speed-related accident, resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.

When is it more likely for speeding to be a factor in a car collision? According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are four major factors considered when addressing speed-related accidents. First, the study focused on whether a driver was exceeding the speed limit or traveling too fast for conditions at the time of the accident.

Intersection collision injures motorcyclist in Iowa crash

Although driving safely might seem like an innate action while behind the wheel of a vehicle, drivers in Iowa and elsewhere should always be alert and aware of their surroundings. This means taking constant notice of speed limit signs, traffic signals and signs, other vehicles on the roadway and any type of hazard that might be up ahead. Even when a driver is being cautious and believes he or she is driving safely, a simple moment of inattention could be the cause of an accident.

Authorities in Osceola County recently responded to an intersection collision that involved an automobile and a motorcycle. The motorcycle crash occurred at the intersection of County Road L-40 and County Road A-34.

What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents?

While motorcycles are generally considered less safe than other motor vehicles, many Iowa residents are aware of ways that they can increase their safety while driving or riding on a motorcycle. Safety gear such as protective clothing and a helmet could help reduce or prevent injuries from occurring if an accident were to occur. While taking protective measures is helpful, motorcyclists should also understand common causes so that they can avoid being involved in a collision.

What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents? The most common type of collision involving a motorcycle occurs when a vehicle is turning left in front of a motorcyclist. This happens when the driver fails to see the oncoming motorcycle or misjudges the speed of a motorcyclist. This is frequently blamed on the inattention, distraction or inexperience of the driver.

Helping motorcycle crash victims recover compensation for losses

While the warm months are frequently the time of year when Iowa residents are more concerned about motorcycle accidents, motorcycle safety should be stressed year-round. Because motorists will often assert that they did not see the motorcyclist before a collision occurred, it is crucial that traffic safety precautions regarding all types of vehicles are always stressed. Our law firm understands that motorcycle accidents are often tragic, and victims and their loved ones should understand the rights afforded to them when a negligent driver collides with a motorcycle.

The aftermath of a motorcycle accident is frequently gruesome. Although protective gear such as helmets and special clothing help to reduce and prevent injuries, these unfortunately do not always help victims evade injuries. Riders could suffer injuries such as head, neck and spine trauma, broken bones, lost limbs and other catastrophic injuries.

Teen drivers and car accident risks during summer

Summer is an exciting time for residents in Iowa and other states across the nation. It often means school is out, family vacations and several national holidays to celebrate with cookouts and fireworks. Despite it being a joyful time, there are downsides, dangers and risks during the summertime, including an increase in car accidents.

With school out, there is a surge in teen drivers on the road. Moreover, there is an increase in road traffic due to vacations and celebrations throughout the summer months. Accidents risks during summer are often attributed to teen drivers. In fact, the leading cause of death for teens during the summer months is car accidents that involve teen drivers.

What are the inspection requirements for commercial vehicles?

While large trucks such as tractor-trailers are an effective means to deliver large shipments across town, the state or even the nation, these vehicles pose many risks. Because of this, commercial vehicles must undergo inspection to ensure that the vehicle has been properly maintained and is safe for travel on the roadways.

What are the vehicle inspection requirements for commercial vehicles in Iowa? According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, a truck used in commerce that has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds must be inspected. Trucks used in commerce that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less are not required to be inspected unless the vehicle is used in combination with a trailer.