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Wisconsin Law Blog

Texting while driving crackdown yields more than 900 tickets

In a prior post, we noted that distracted driving is still a problem…even in 2016. Law enforcement agencies apparently see it as an ongoing problem as well. Last week, officers across Minnesota participated in a week long crackdown on texting while driving violations.

According to a startribune.com report, officers from 300 agencies across the state issued 972 citations. In a few instances, drivers were cited twice for the same infraction on different days. A 17-year-old Elk River driver was ticketed twice in the same day for not putting down his phone while behind the wheel.

Federal trucking safety rules shelved for now

Through this blog, we have written a number of posts on how rules have been (and continue to be) developed on trucking safety. After all, semi-trucks are the largest and most dangerous vehicles on the road, so it is imperative that they be carefully regulated.

Indeed, trucking safety regulations become popular after an accident; especially if the crash involves dangerous and emotionally charged vices, such as drowsy driving, texting while driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol. With that federal regulators have initiated a number of rules to curb these practices and save lives. 

The re-learning process for motorcycle riders and drivers Part II

A month ago, a few days of warm weather had us convinced that winter was over and that spring had sprung. Then we faced the reality that in our region, winter weather typically lasts until April (even though the official start of spring was March 22nd.

With the calendar turning to April, we can be certain that winter is officially over. The warm weather will also bring out motorcycle riders, and drivers must have their annual reintroduction to them. Essentially, drivers must get used to seeing motorcycles again. While drivers have a duty to look out for riders, they may not always do so. As such, motorcycle riders must adhere to the following tips.

By the numbers, distracted driving is still a problem

What a difference a few days makes. Last week we saw snow and ice and cars sliding off roads as a result. This week, we are seeing the picture perfect weather that we expect out of spring. With that, it is expected that more drivers will be on the road, which may increase the likelihood of car accidents.

The warmer weather also increases the possibility that distracted drivers may be involved in traffic accidents. This post will highlight some of the important numbers behind an unresolved epidemic. 

Winter weather isn't over just yet...unfortunately

April is supposed to be the gateway to spring. After all, the weather is getting warmer and the remnants of winter are nearly gone. However, in this region we are not immune from the occasional spring snow that drives us crazy.

In fact, a recent weather event brought snow and ice to several counties in our region last week. I 43 and I-41 were closed because cars were sliding into ditches on Friday in Brown County. Authorities found that drivers were not slowing down and were losing control of their vehicles when they attempted to stop or avoid other accidents.  

Volvo recalls semi-trucks due to possible steering defect

Imagine a mammoth semi truck thundering down the highway at 65 miles per hour. Normally that would not inspire fear in most drivers because they believe that the truck is not a significant danger. However, if the driver loses control because he is unable no longer able to steer the truck, it becomes a significant hazard for all drivers.

Indeed, this is a nightmare scenario, but it ostensibly could become a reality for drivers of Volvo trucks. According to recent media reports, Volvo of North America has recalled nearly 16,000 semi-trucks because the steering mechanism may fail. 

Why parents should promote safe driving habits

In our last post, we highlighted how the old adage “hope springs eternal “ applies to the change in weather conditions. The saying can also apply to the optimism that comes with teens who have become newly minted drivers.

The optimism comes with the new found freedom that having a license brings. Gone are the days where a ride to the mall becomes necessary. However, this freedom comes with an expectation of responsibility. Given the propensity for new drivers to drive aggressively and make mistakes that can lead to disaster

How to avoid trouble in foggy conditions

In this region of the country, the old adage “hope springs eternal” is attributable to the change in weather patterns. Officially, spring is here; but you may not always know that according to the weather. Indeed, rain is more favorable than snow, because it may not lead to black ice like snow does, but foggy conditions could still pose a significant danger to drivers.

For the uninitiated, fog forms when the warm air competes with very cold soil (or vice versa) to create a vapor shield that may impede a driver’s vision of the road ahead. The thicker the fog, the less visible the road ahead. When this happens, drivers must exercise additional caution.

Nissan to recall 45,000 Leafs due to braking malfunction

While the popularity of cars with accident avoidance technologies continues to grow, the number of electric or “zero-emission” vehicles has grown as well. Arguably the most popular of these vehicles is the Nissan Leaf, which is touted as being the first, and most advanced of zero emission cars.

Given Nissan’s notoriety for producing fuel efficient cars, having the Leaf as a market leader certainly helps Nissan’s brand. However, a recent recall could threaten its reputation for safety. 

How fatigue can be proven in truck accident cases

It’s no secret that driver fatigue is one of the top reasons behind truck accidents. Given the hours regulations that commercial drivers are subject to and how many hours drivers are actually on the road, it is not surprising that falling asleep at the wheel, or the lack of reaction time that comes with fatigue leads to accidents.

Indeed, these theories make sense when attempting to assess blame for an accident, but actually proving that fatigue was the proximate cause of an accident is not easy. This post will highlight the clues that attorneys look to in proving fatigue cases.