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Jersey City Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Pedestrian accidents are a potential danger for college students

As millions of kids prepare to head off (or back) to college in New Jersey and across the country this fall, it's important for parents to talk with them about the dangers that they may face while navigating a busy college town or large city on foot.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, nearly three-quarters of fatal pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas. However, young people rushing to get to class, distracted by their phones or busy talking with friends while juggling a cup of coffee can find themselves in danger even in less populated areas where college students on bikes and on foot are ever-present amidst the usual traffic. In fact, pedestrian accidents are a major cause of injuries and death among college students.

Senator calls for stricter truck underride guard improvements

Many New Jersey residents have driven up Interstate 81 through northern New York. Early this month, a multi-fatality crash occurred on the interstate that has prompted a call by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer for new truck safety regulations, including underride guards.

The crash occurred on July 5 when the driver of a milk tanker truck swerved to avoid hitting a deer. The truck jackknifed on the two northbound lanes of the interstate. Two vehicles that could not stop in time went under the truck. Four men between the ages of 50 and 63 were killed in the crash.

Pedestrians are injured every 7 minutes

Distracted driving is obviously dangerous, but who hasn't texted while walking? It's incredibly common. Researchers warn that it can also be incredibly dangerous.

For example, Stony Brook University carried out a study to see how likely it was that people who were texting and walking would wander off of a straight line. They then compared that to how many people veered off line when they weren't texting. What they discovered was that, while it happened for both groups, those who were texting were 60 percent more likely to do it.

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."

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