Minneapolis Metro Personal Injury Law Blog

Drunk driving accidents are down, but more needs to be done

Since 1998, fewer Minnesota travelers are dying in crashes along the state's roadways. However, in spite of the decrease in fatal collisions, there is still work to be done to further reduce the numbers of drunk driving accidents. Public safety advocates are urging a change in tactics to help ensure the safety of travelers.

In 2001, two men made the decision to walk home after indulging in alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, one motorist did not make the same choice and wound up striking the two pedestrians, leaving both victims with life-changing injuries. Since that time, the numbers of crashes involving impaired drivers has trended downward with statistics reflecting an estimated 65% reduction in fatal accidents involving a drunk driver. In light of the fact that more than 100 people are still victims of drunk driving crashes in Minnesota every year, there is still work to be done.

Schools testing technology to prevent pedestrian accidents

Countless students begin their school day by riding a school bus. In the past year, there have been many tragic reports of children being struck by cars as they tried to get on or off their buses. One school system in Minnesota is currently testing new technology that may help prevent these types of horrendous pedestrian accidents.

The technology is called the Predictive Stop Arm and consists of a radar that can analyze the speed of oncoming traffic as it approaches a stopped school bus. The radar will then calculate the probability of a targeted vehicle's likelihood of stopping to allow the safe passage of passengers on or off the bus. If the computer predicts that a vehicle is unlikely to stop, it signals the bus driver with warning lights and a warning beep. If the oncoming car is calculated to have no chance of stopping in time, then an audible warning will be projected to students that warns them it is unsafe to cross the street. 

Could lawsuits over car accidents change how gig companies work?

One of the fastest growing job markets is the so-called "gig" market. These jobs typically involve independent contractors providing services on a temporary basis. Though this business model may save overhead costs, in the long run, this type of arrangement may prove to be quite costly. There have been several recent lawsuits over serious car accidents, including one here in Minnesota, that may change the way these companies do business.

According to the most recent lawsuit, an independent contractor was delivering for a local Bite Squad franchise. As the young man was attempting to complete an order, he struck a pedestrian. The 47-year-old woman died at a local hospital. Her family filed a lawsuit against the driver, his parents for permitting the use of their vehicle while he was possibly impaired, and Bite Squad. The suit alleges that the company shares in the responsibility since the 20-year-old was engaged in delivering under their name while distracted by their phone app at the time of the collision.

Get your teen safely through the year’s 100 deadliest days

Twin Cities parents know how excited their teens can get when summer arrives. School’s out, and the days are finally hot enough for kids to wear shorts and t-shirts and meet their friends at the lakes, pools and parks. But when your teens are driving, their summertime freedoms may come with deadly risks.

Your teen’s summer break coincides with the 100 deadliest days for Minnesota drivers. According to WCCO, the State Highway Patrol sees an increase in fatalities each year between Memorial and Labor Day.

Animal attacks often leave lasting physical and emotional scars

For many Minneapolis residents, the advent of warmer weather means more opportunities to enjoy all that the metropolitan area has to offer, including outdoor activities in favorite parks. Unfortunately, these outings can leave visitors with lasting physical and emotional scars if they become the unwitting victims of animal attacks. One woman recently shared the details of her terrifying encounter with an unattended dog.

The woman was taking one of her daily walks in Webber Park along the path that follows Shingle Creek. As she was walking, she was talking on her cellphone with a friend. She noticed a medium-sized dog approach from around a bend. She says the dog suddenly charged at her without any warning growls or barks.

Child struck by suspected impaired driver suffers head injuries

A parent's worst nightmare is losing a child or having him or her suffer grave injuries caused by a senseless and preventable accident. Sadly, every year, families experience the heartache of having a beloved child harmed while boarding or exiting their school buses. Recently, one Minnesota family received the horrible news that an 11-year-old girl suffered serious head injuries along with other injuries when she was struck after getting off of her school bus.

The young victim is in a coma, and physicians told her mother that she was not expected to survive the night. However, the girl remains hospitalized in critical condition. Doctors said that, while some of the brain swelling has subsided, it is unclear whether she will survive her traumatic injuries. Police stated that the driver who struck the child was released from custody while they await the results of toxicology testing.

Hit-and-run car accidents growing problem in the U.S.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there has been an alarming increase in a certain category of fatal motor vehicle collisions. Since 2006, the numbers of fatal hit-and-run car accidents has increased by an estimated 7.2 percent every year. Though Minnesota ranks in the bottom three for these types of tragedies, residents and visitors here could still be at risk.

Researchers with AAA discovered that there were an estimated 2,049 fatal hit-and-run crashes reported in 2016. That represents a nearly 60 percent increase since 2009. An estimated 680,000 hit-and-run wrecks occurred every year for the past nine years. Approximately 65 percent of these fatal crashes involved pedestrians or cyclists.

Light rail construction to close Minneapolis bike paths

As construction of the Southwest light-rail corridor moves forward, popular bike paths in Minneapolis and its western suburbs will close for up to three years beginning in May.

The popular Cedar Lake and Kenilworth trails connect downtown Minneapolis to the Greenway, St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Edina. They will close as soon as May 13, according to the “Star Tribune.”

New Minnesota law aims to reduce distracted driving car accidents

According to Minnesota's Department of Public Safety, distracted driving involving electronic gadgets played a role in an estimated 20 percent of the state's traffic collisions in both 2016 and 2017. In addition, citations issued last year for texting drivers increased substantially. Preliminary data from last year shows that approximately 178 people were injured in distracted driving car accidents in addition to the estimated 27 victims who suffered fatal injuries.

Earlier this month, the governor signed a bill into law that would restrict motorists to a hands-free mode for their devices beginning in August of 2019. The passage of this law comes after years of lobbying by the families of victims who were killed by the actions of a negligent driver. Both legislative branches have presented various forms of this type of bill in the past several years, but none had made it through both houses. The families of several victims planned to be in attendance when Governor Walz signed the new hands-free law.

Father seeks Minn Dot action to prevent serious car accidents

In less than a heartbeat, circumstances can combine that will result in heartbreaking tragedy. Along one stretch of Highway 12 in Minnesota, a particularly treacherous section has been referred to as the "Corridor of Death" due to the number of serious car accidents that have occurred. One father is now beseeching officials to take action to make improvements that might prevent more tragic deaths.

Earlier this year, an 18-year-old woman was driving along the infamous stretch of Highway 12 during a winter storm. According to the police report, the young driver purportedly lost control of her car along an icy patch and veered into the opposing lane. Her vehicle was struck by an oncoming tractor-trailer, which killed her.


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