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Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Liability of an unqualified truck driver in a truck accident

Just like drivers of automobiles in Iowa and other states in the nation must pass a written test and a driving test to obtain a driver's license, drivers of commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks must also pass tests to get a commercial vehicle license. In fact, drivers have more strict guidelines to meet in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle, and if an unqualified truck driver is hired or continues to operate a large truck, this could create serious risk and dangers on the roadway. Moreover, this could help establish liability for a truck accident.

According to federal trucking regulations, a driver who is disqualified is not permitted to drive a commercial motor vehicle. This is true regardless if they previously drove a commercial vehicle. Moreover, a motor carrier cannot require or permit a driver who has been disqualified to drive a commercial vehicle even if the driver previously drove for the motor carrier.

How can bike safety measures reduce fatal accidents?

As the weather warms up, residents in Iowa can expect to see an increase in bicyclists throughout the state. Whether it is for exercise, recreational, to save energy, to run errands or commute to school or work, residents and visitors often opt to ride their bike on a nice day. While it is an enjoyable activity, biking also poses risks to riders. Bicyclists will often ride their bikes in areas where there is also automobile traffic. If a driver or cyclist fails to follow the rules of the road, they could cause a serious or even fatal crash.

How can bike safety measures reduce fatal bicycle accidents? According to a 2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report based on 2012 data, roughly 726 bicyclists were killed in 2012. Moreover, approximately 49,000 cyclists were injured in motor vehicle traffic collisions. This data respectively amounted to around 2 percent of fatal automobile accidents and 2 percent of the people injured in traffic crashes that year.

Iowa high school simulates DUI crash for prom-goers

Many are aware of the dangers that drinking and driving can present. A driver's ability to safely drive and maneuver a vehicle is compromised when a driver has consumed alcohol beverages. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated does not only risk the life of the driver and occupants of that vehicle, but it also presents some grave risks to others traveling on the road by automobile, bicycle and on foot. And while it is known that a drunk driver could cause an accident, all drivers, especially young ones, should understand how they could make responsible decisions.

Due to their impending prom, high school students in Davenport, Iowa, recently watched a simulation of a deadly drunk driving accident. Iowa firefighters, first responders and other emergency crewmembers helped stage the scene of a fatal head-on collision involving a drunk driver. In order to show students what could happen if they drink and drive, the staged accident displayed someone who was laying on the hood of their car after being thrown from their vehicle.

The safety risks running a red light pose to others on the road

It happens all too often. A driver is approaching a light when it turns yellow. In order to avoid stopping at the lighted intersection, a driver decides to hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal, causing them to travel through a red light. While this might seem like a harmless action to some Iowa drivers, running red lights could lead to serious and sometimes even fatal intersection collisions. Moreover, running a red light usually causes a driver to speed, and this recklessness could also lead to a car crash

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, red-light running is a serious intersection safety issue plaguing the entire nation. Roughly 2.3 million intersection-related crashes were reported in the Traffic Safety Facts 2008 Report, and of those crashes, more than 7,770 fatalities occurred and approximately 733,00 crashes resulted in injuries in 2008.

Is the fatality rate for car accidents in Iowa going down?

Drivers in Iowa do it on a daily basis; they travel on roads with other drivers in order to get from point A to point B. Despite this being a normal daily activity for most residents, for some, this could result in a tragic event. While it could be generally safe to drive on major highways, city streets and rural roads, serious and fatal car accidents to occur throughout the state of Iowa. This leads some to question the dangers present on the roads and whether traffic safety is improving in the state.

Is the fatality rate for car accidents in Iowa going down? According to report by the Iowa Department of Transportation, 77 fatalities have occurred due to car accidents this year. When compared to this date and time with previous years, this is an increase from the 76 fatalities reported last year at this time. However, this is a major drop from the number of fatalities reported in 2012, which were 104.

Iowa car accident victims taking action after a crash

A motor vehicle accident can be a very scary situation for Iowa drivers. They can suddenly occur, leaving an unsuspecting driver questioning how it happened. The causes of accident are not always obvious, and our law firm understands how this could present frustrations for accident victims. Following a car accident, it is important to conduct a thorough investigation. This could help establish the cause of the collision and assign liability to the party at fault.

A car accident can take many forms and could involve multiple vehicles. It is important to be knowledgeable about Iowa state laws, and to collect the evidence needed to hold a negligent party liable for injuries, damages and deaths resulting from the accident they caused.

Universal helmet laws reduce brain injuries in motorcycle crashes

It is a known fact that wearing a helmet helps protect motorcyclists from suffering serious injuries if an accident were to occur. Despite this knowledge, some riders in Iowa do not wear a helmet. And when a motorcycle accident occurs, a rider or a passenger could suffer a brain injury.

A recent study researched the affects of universal motorcycle helmet laws and how they interact with traumatic brain injuries. Specifically, whether the rate of these brain injuries are lower in states that have legislation that requires that all motorcycle riders wear a helmet versus those that only require helmets for younger riders.

How can drivers and motorcyclists increase motorcycle safety?

Now that the weather is warming up and it is starting to feel like spring in Iowa, residents will see more and more motorcycles traveling on the roadways. While it is always important to keep an eye out for smaller motor vehicles traveling on the roadways, it is a time of year when additional precaution is necessary to avoid motorcycle accidents.

How can drivers and motorcyclists increase motorcycle safety? There are various ways both can contribute to the safety of motorcyclists, but the most important way is to follow the rules of the road. This means traveling safe speeds, using signals and checking mirrors and blind spots, which should be done every time a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle.

One killed and two injured in Iowa truck crash on Interstate 35

Iowa residents are aware that various types of vehicles fill the major and minor roadways of the state. Some major roads, such as Interstate 35, experience high levels of traffic at certain hours of the day, making them more prone to accidents. Moreover, this interstate is frequently used by large vehicles such as semi-trucks. While these massive trucks could travel safely on these roads, unfortunately a truck crash could ensue due to driver negligence or dangerous conditions on the roadway.

A fatal crash recently occurred in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, involving a pickup truck and a semi-truck. According to preliminary reports, the incident occurred on Interstate 35 near the Clear Lake exit when a semi-truck rear-ended the pickup truck. Officer indicated that the 67-year-old woman driving the pickup truck was stalled in a lane of the interstate. Shortly after, the stalled vehicle was struck from behind by the semi-truck.

Drivers must comply with federal trucking regulations

It occurs everyday. Residents in Iowa encounter large trucks on the roadway. Semi-trucks are considered very beneficial to society and commerce in the nation. They help transport goods across a state, several states and even across the entire nation. Despite the many benefits these large motor vehicles provide, there are several risks and dangers. In some cases, truck drivers are pressured to make timely deliveries to a long-distance destination, leading to long hours behind the wheel of a truck.

In order to address the concern that truck drivers are behind the wheel for too long and do not take enough breaks, federal trucking regulations have been implemented to address the numerous concerns related to this issue. Many are fearful that long hours lead to driver fatigue, which could result in the driver falling asleep, being distracted or inattentive. Such a situation could result in a serious and even fatal truck accident.