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Wisconsin Personal Injury Law Blog

Drivers must be careful during Oktoberfest

The first weekend of October is significant in La Crosse and throughout our region. It is the beginning of Oktoberfest; which is the annual fall gathering to celebrate German culture. It is commonly highlighted by beer exhibitions and entertainment. The Oktoberfest celebration in La Crosse is similar to other celebrations around the country, all of which are based on the largest Volkfest held in Munich, Germany.

This year’s Oktoberfest began today with a salutation from the Oktoberfest President and a toast, which was met by thousands of people raising steins, cans and cups to commemorate the beginning of the festival. People attending the festival wore traditional outfits as well as Packers green and gold. Essentially, festival goers were out to have a good time. 

What drivers should do in construction zones

There’s an old saying in Wisconsin about the seasons. Essentially, there is winter and then there is construction season. Even though the summer driving season has come and gone, construction zones will survive the change to fall.

With that, drivers must still be vigilant in these zones like the first days of May when orange cones and road closures started popping up like daisies. This post will highlight a few helpful tips for drivers who encounter construction zones. 

Fall driving hazards and how to avoid them

Now that September is drawing to a close, you probably have noticed a change in the air; especially during the morning hours. Indeed, fall is now here, and this means that days will be shorter and the humidity associated with summer will no longer be around. Because of the change in conditions, drivers will have to adjust as well. After all, the hazards that drivers may have encountered during the summer are different in the fall.

This post will highlight a few of these hazards, and what drivers can do to avoid being in a car accident in Wisconsin

Two Toyota models honored by the IIHS

In our last post, we noted how dealerships will be clamoring to create space for the newest 2016 models. Because of this, buyers will likely find great discounts on 2015 models that are seemingly just as new. While some automakers will entice buyers with limited discounts on the newest models, others will tout the honors and additions their new offerings bring.

For Toyota, the Japanese automaker can claim two major awards that will help in its promotion of its Lexus ES and Scion iA models. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) named both vehicles to its list of Top Safety Pick Plus models. 

Do drivers need technology to be safe?

In a prior post, we highlighted how the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report exhibiting how advanced safety systems can help prevent many accidents caused by inattention or human error. If federal regulators believe that more than 500,000 accidents could be prevented through crash avoidance systems, you would think that automakers would make it known to consumers.

Given the latest car commercials, it appears that automakers are doing their best. More commercials are touting how cars can see around themselves and alert drivers to hazards. For instance, the newest commercials for the Mercedes-Benz GLE focuses on how the car actually has a brain. However, if consumers don’t know about these features, chances are that they will not come to dealerships to buy these cars. 

School is back in session. Drivers should beware.

Now that Labor Day weekend has come and gone in Wisconsin, hundreds of thousands of school age children will be going back to school. Yes, it seems like only yesterday that schools were letting out for summer vacation, but September is here again, and a new school year begins.

With that, we find it prudent to remind our readers of how important it is to watch out for pedestrians in the mornings and afternoons. According to a recent ABC report, bus drivers across the country are particularly concerned about how drivers are blatantly disregarding rules regarding school buses.

Holiday travel safety tips that most people don't think of

Most people know and understand that highway traffic before and after Labor Day weekend can be troublesome. It is essentially a tradition across Wisconsin for families to have one last summer get together before fall begins. This year is poised to be no different with gas prices dropping and more people having income (and time off) to drive to their favorite vacation spot.

But with more people on the road, drivers have to be extra cautious. Indeed, many drivers understand that they have to share the road, be mindful of speed limits and refrain from using alcohol, but it there are additional things that drivers should be mindful of as they embark on their holiday weekend journeys. 

Drivers must be aware of pedestrians during this time of year

If you are noticing a difference in the mornings these days, it is probably not the lack of humidity or chill in the air. It is probably not the fact that the sun is coming up later in the mornings. No, it is likely the increase in activity around the city in the mornings. This is because school is back in session, so you may be seeing more cars, buses and pedestrians during rush hour.

For drivers, it is a rite of late summer. (We can’t say fall for another few weeks). When children go back to school, drivers must be a little more vigilant so that they are aware of the greater number of pedestrians. Indeed, we need to pay attention to young children who are crossing the street, but the greater danger likely lies with older kids. 

The NTSB is helping new car buyers

Car buyers are waiting with baited breath for Labor Day weekend to come. What is known for the last summer holiday and road trips is also a great time for car buyers to get a great deal on a new car. This is because car dealers want to clear space for new 2016 models on their lots; which they can charge more for (and generate higher profits).

While this is not a surprise for buyers and dealers, it may be surprising how much support that federal regulators are showing in order to have early warning systems be a basic part of a new car’s offerings. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report earlier this summer suggesting that such systems should be standard on all new cars sold in the United States. 

Could first responders be held liable in truck accidents?

When a police car, fire truck or ambulance approaches you, it is natural for you to pull over. After all, yielding to an emergency vehicle is the law, and who wants to be the person standing in the way of a first responder and someone in need. So while a majority of drivers know to get out of the way, do the drivers of emergency vehicles know to do so as well?

It is reasonable to assume that they do, but like any other driver, sometimes drivers of emergency vehicles make mistakes and get into accidents. A prime example occurred in Miami, where an ambulance reportedly broadsided a fire truck. According to several media reports, the two emergency vehicles were responding to separate events and were crossing through a common intersection.