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Aberdeen Personal Injury Law Blog

Does South Dakota have a reckless driving problem?

Most people are careful drivers who make sure that they follow the law and basic driver etiquette. Despite those efforts, many people still end up in car accidents. If the accident happens due to someone else's negligence, victims and their families often struggle to understand what happened and why.

What is often most upsetting is when someone drives in a way that disregards the safety of other people. Sometimes law enforcement calls this reckless driving, and far too many people on the road lose their lives because of it. A recent study found some troubling statistics here in South Dakota as this state now ranks the third highest for rates of reckless driving. If you find this troubling, there are several things you need to know that may help keep your family safe.

How do I prevent car accidents during the winter months?

This time of year often includes fun winter activities and gathering with family and friends. That means that many people need to drive, often great distances, in snow and ice. Though most people arrive safely to their destination, the road conditions at this time of year can raise the possibility of a car crash.

Here in South Dakota, people know all too well that they could get into a car accident because of dangerous roads due to winter weather. Luckily, if you need to drive in snow or ice, there are ways to keep you and your loved ones safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there are steps you can take to prepare your car as well as changes to your driving habits that will help.

Specific types of technology may be distracting for older drivers

You have probably shared the road with a South Dakota driver who was distracted at the time. Perhaps you looked over to see him or her texting or eating, or maybe you have noticed someone looking at his or her GPS system instead of the road. You are likely already very aware of the problem of distracted driving and how dangerous it is for every person on the road. 

Like many people, you may assume that younger drivers are more likely to engage in distracted driving than older drivers. While it is true that younger people are very connected to their phones and may be susceptible to the temptation of texting while driving, this is a concern for drivers of all ages. In fact, studies find that older drivers may be prone to distraction due to in-car technology.

Injured in a car crash? You have the right to seek compensation

Your trip to work starts out relatively ordinary: You are sipping coffee while listening to your favorite satellite radio station. However, not far from your workplace, another motorist who is apparently in a rush crashes into your car. Now, your morning is anything but ordinary.

Sometimes, car accidents happen simply because other motorists were careless behind the wheel. For example, they may have been speeding or driving while distracted. Unfortunately, this can leave you with major injuries. The good news is that you have the right to seek compensation for your car crash injuries in South Dakota.

Quirk in South Dakota law uses slight/gross negligence rule

Like people in every state, South Dakotans injured due to another person’s negligence might sue the negligent person and their insurance company. The lawsuit might help them recover costs of treating injuries, loss of work days or job opportunities, as well as pain and suffering.

But South Dakota’s personal injury laws have a minor quirk that make it unique among the 50 states. Only South Dakota acknowledges the apparently contradictory idea of “slight gross negligence.”

Vehicle-building collisions are common and preventable

Like everything else in the digital age, it’s hard to tell whether it’s happening more often, or just being seen on our cellphones more often. South Dakotans seem to be crashing cars into buildings.

Every day in the U.S. there are about 60 vehicle-versus-building crashes on average. According to Ameriprise Insurance, more than 500 people are killed every year when cars crash into businesses. Only about 63 people die from earthquakes, tornadoes and lightning strikes combined.

Leading causes of distracted driving

Distracted driving has become a massive issue in the United States. It has played a significant role in the injuries and deaths of thousands over the past decade. In 2017 alone, distracted driving contributed to the deaths of 3,166 people. Additionally, more than 1,000 people are injured daily due to this problem.

Preventing distracted driving has become a focal point of law enforcement in recent years. To do your part in putting an end to this issue, make sure you avoid the following leading causes of distracted driving.

Long drives on rural roads can be risky for commuters

Sometimes a job that requires a long commute is the best fit for your situation. However, a long commute can get old fast. You may get up early in the morning to beat traffic and get home late after you finish working. When you get home, you may delay going to bed so you can complete your responsibilities around your home or try to unwind before doing it all again the next day.

Although driving can be a safe mode of transportation most of the time, your extra time on the road may increase your chance of eventually being involved in a traffic collision. If a long stretch of your commute occurs on rural roads, you may be especially susceptible to drowsy driving crashes.

Drug use may be a factor in some commercial trucking accidents

The federal government limits the number of hours a commercial truck driver can drive without rest. However, truckers are paid based on the miles they drive, not the hours they work, so it is common for truck drivers to violate these regulations in an effort to make up for lost time.

When violating the federal hours-of-service regulations, truckers risk becoming too tired to drive safely. To combat fatigue, many drivers turn to illegal substances, like amphetamines and cocaine.

What causes car accidents?

Driving is a part of most people’s daily life. It might be unavoidable. However, driving is a particularly dangerous activity. Driving-related injury and even fatalities are relatively common. It is estimated there are approximately 17,000 accidents per day.

Due to this, you might be wondering how so many car accidents occur? What are the most common causes of car accidents?

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