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Jersey City Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Party host liability for guest's drunk driving accidents

If you live in New Jersey and like to entertain guests in your home, then you'll want to make sure that they don't leave your home drunk. That's because New Jersey is one of 18 states that have what's called a social host law on the books.

In each of these states, a party host can be held both financially and criminally liable for injuries another individual suffers if one of his or her guests is involved in an accident on his or her way home. They can also be held responsible for paying for any property damage sustained as well.

Distracted driving behaviors that can be deadly

Everyone has heard about the dangers of using hand-held devices to talk on the phone, text and access social media while driving. However, dangerous distracted driving behaviors, which result in an average of eight fatalities a day and far more injuries, include other activities that too many people are used to doing in their vehicles. These include:

Eating: Drive-thrus are everywhere. Whether you're picking up a quick bite to eat after a lunch hour of running errands or you simply can't bear to think about cooking after a long day at work, a stop at a drive-thru or for takeout is a tempting option. So is taking a bite of a French fry or sipping some coffee on your way home.

New Jersey bill seeks to extend school zone speed limits

New Jersey state lawmakers have proposed legislation that would allow municipalities and counties to make lower speed limits around schools permanent rather than only during designated times and days. As one assemblyman said, "This gives us an opportunity to protect children and give municipal officials an opportunity to do the right thing for their communities."

Not everyone is in favor of the bill, which is called "Antwan's Law." It is named after a high school student who was fatally struck by a drunk driver in Burlington City on Route 130. Although he was in a school zone, the accident occurred around midnight.

Can side guard rails on trucks prevent fatalities?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, truck guard rails could not only reduce the number of crashes but prevent fatalities. These aren't the guard rails that we all see along interstates and highways. They are guard rails on large trucks.

Under federal law, these trucks must be equipped with rear underride guards. Those prevent cars from going under trucks in a crash. However, there is no law requiring side guards, which can prevent fatalities if a vehicle hits the side of a trailer. Over 300 people were killed in such collisions in 2015.

Lexus versus truck crash causes Route 31 shutdown

When people hear about a truck versus car collision, they often assume that the truck driver was at fault. That's not always the case. However, no matter which driver was at fault, those in the smaller vehicle usually suffer the more serious injuries.

Last month, a 34-year-old New Jersey woman reportedly crossed over into oncoming traffic, striking a trash truck. Police say that she was driving southbound on Route 31 in Washington Township when she moved into the northbound lane.

You should wait to sign a settlement to avoid disappointment

You knew that it was a busy night in town, and you knew that there were a lot of bars open. You didn't expect to find that someone was weaving in and out of traffic so early in the evening, though. When you were hit, you soon discovered that the driver was intoxicated and had left a nearby bar just moments earlier. Now, you're facing injuries because of that person's negligent act.

You know that you may be lucky to be alive, but the severity of your injuries makes it hard to be grateful. How can you make sure that you have everything you need as you recover? Your attorney can help you get an appropriate settlement.

Why are pedestrian fatalities increasing?

According to a study released this month by the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities have risen by 22 percent in the U.S. during the past two years. The National Safety Council also reported an increase in deaths in pedestrian-vehicle accidents during that same period.

Over a third of pedestrian fatalities were linked with alcohol consumption -- specifically, people whose blood alcohol content was above the legal limit for driving. People are regularly cautioned against drunk driving, which is of course illegal. However, as someone involved with one of the studies noted, pedestrians under the influence "are walking in a diminished capacity. They can't react as quickly."

Flying ice and snow from trucks can cause injury, damage

Accidents with commercial trucks can be extremely serious -- not just because of the sheer size and weight of these vehicles, but because of the cargo that many of them carry. In some cases, a car doesn't even have to come in contact with a truck for its occupants to be injured or killed. In other cases, an accumulation of ice and snow on the truck can be the culprit.

That's what happened during the recent storms that hit the Northeast when a Delaware man was driving his SUV on Interstate 95. South of the I-95/I-295 interchange, a piece of ice came off of a tractor trailer and pierced his windshield. As it hit his car, it took off one of his rear-view mirrors. Although he didn't suffer any injuries, the man said that he had "glass all over my lap."

Fog can be one of the most dangerous driving conditions

Even though we deal with virtually every sort of inclement weather there is here in New Jersey, fog can be one of the most dangerous conditions for drivers. For the truck drivers who use our state's turnpikes and interstates, foggy conditions can present serious hazards, both to them and to others on the road.

While many types of weather are predictable, fog can come out of nowhere. If drivers don't respond accordingly, the results can be catastrophic.

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