Sutten Law Group, LLC

Albuquerque Personal Injury Blog

Avoiding the risks of drowsy driving

A serious auto accident can happen within a split-second on a New Mexico road. While most people understand the dangers of speeding or being drunk behind the wheel, they often overlook the risks associated with fatigue. Many people do not even realize when they are too tired to drive.

Motorists can take a few steps to limit the risks of drowsy driving. To be fully rested, safety advocates say drivers should get at least seven hours of sleep. They must also understand when they have a sleep-related medical problem that requires treatment. Doctors should assess medications and how they could impact sleep. Finally, drivers should be prepared for an extended time behind the wheel as this can cause tiredness.

Stay safe on the road by avoiding distractions

In 2017, a total of 3,166 people were reported to have died in New Mexico and across the U.S. in distracted driving crashes. This is according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving is becoming a serious concern, but drivers can keep themselves from becoming a statistic by doing something about the distractions they normally encounter on the road.

One of those distractions is a driver's phone. Even a hands-free device can divert one's attention from what's ahead, so the best thing to do is to leave the phone on Do Not Disturb and to pull over if one must call or text. Next, drivers must avoid the distraction that comes with eating and drinking. Perhaps a no-eating policy for passengers as well can help by preventing spills and arguments among children regarding their food.

Older drivers may be at a higher risk for an accident

A study published on found that Georgia is ranked fifth in the country when it comes to accidents caused by older drivers. It also found that drivers age 65 and older caused 14% of fatal accidents nationwide in 2017. The number of fatal accidents involving senior drivers is going up despite the fact that traffic fatality rates are declining. However, age alone cannot explain why this is happening.

Nationally, there are 42 million people age 65 and older who have a valid drivers license. This represents a 60% increase since 1999, and it means that older drivers make up roughly 20% of the driving population. It is expected that the number of Americans in this age group will increase over the coming years and decades. The study also found that states with high numbers of fatal crashes involving senior drivers also have large populations. The list of 10 states with the most fatal crashes involving senior drivers includes California and Texas.

DOT moving to relax truck drivers' limits with hours

Some truck drivers in New Mexico and other states aren't happy with restrictions placed on their hours behind the wheel during long hauls. This is part of the reason why the trucking industry has been pushing for a relaxation of these restrictions. In response, the Department of Transportation is pushing to relax federal guidelines that place limits on driving hours. Safety advocates, however, are concerned about the move.

Long-haul truck driver hours are currently limited to 11 hours of driving within a 14-hour on-duty period. However, drivers are required to clock 10 consecutive off-duty hours before they start their on-duty rotation again. Plus, drivers must take a 30-minute break before they get to eight hours of driving time if they'll be driving for additional hours beyond this point. Violations could result in additional out of service days.

What should I do if my neighbor’s dog bites my child?

Many children are drawn to animals, so it is likely that if your neighbors have a dog, your child will probably take an interest in the pet. Unfortunately, no matter how nice the dog seems, any dog can bite. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are more likely than adults are to be bitten by a dog, and when children are bitten, the wounds are often more severe than they would have been to an adult.

There are many ways to try to prevent a dog from biting your child. However, if the dog already bit your child, there are several steps you should consider taking to ensure the wound is properly treated and the incident is properly documented.

2018: fewer car crash deaths, more cyclist and pedestrian deaths

For decades, the number of traffic fatalities was declining throughout New Mexico and the rest of the U.S., but in 2015 and 2016, this changed. The spike in deaths that 2015 saw was the greatest since the 1960s. Still, 2017 saw a decrease, and according to a new preliminary report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2018 did as well.

NHTSA says that compared to the 37,133 fatalities reported in 2017, there were 36,750 deaths in 2018. This represents a 1% decrease; the 2017 numbers themselves made up a 2% drop from 2016. Despite the stable number of motor vehicle crash fatalities, there is another group that is becoming more vulnerable: pedestrians and cyclists.

Study shows 1 in 5 Multiple Sclerosis patients misdiagnosed

Multiple sclerosis can have potentially debilitating effects on one’s life. The disease affects almost 1 million people in the United States, but what if someone told you that 20% of those people don’t really have multiple sclerosis?

A study published in the Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders journal found that 1 in 5 people were misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Misdiagnosis can have serious consequences, and there are several things to consider if you think you are affected.

How much should you trust Tesla’s Autopilot?

As technology advances, the prospect of driverless cars on roadways is closer to becoming a reality. Some vehicles are already semi-autonomous, such as Teslas which are equipped with an Autopilot system.

The Autopilot feature and similar systems allows the car to partially take over some driving functions, but does the name cause drivers to think it does more than its capable of? A new study suggests that it does.

Drivers can take steps to avoid some accidents

Traffic accidents are not uncommon on roads in New Mexico and throughout the country. However, there are things that drivers can do to lower their chances of being in a crash. One strategy is to never drive while drunk or impaired on any other controlled substance. According to the CDC, 31% of fatal accidents in 2013 occurred because of an impaired driver. It is also never a good idea to drive while tired or distracted.

Those who are tired while behind the wheel may process information slower and fail to react to changing road conditions. The same may be true of those who are focused on their phones or other passengers while driving. Drivers should pay attention to other vehicles at all times, and other drivers should clearly see their vehicles as well. This means making sure that headlights are working properly, and they are running at all times.

Understanding the common causes of truck accidents

If you’ve driven for any length of time, you have no doubt experienced sharing the road with a large semi-truck (and often, many trucks). If you’re nervous when driving behind or passing one, you likely have reason to be. Trucks weigh about 20 to 30 times more than typical passenger vehicles. And when a trucking accident occurs, it is rare that the truck driver is in danger. Most often, the victims who are injured and killed are occupants of smaller vehicles.

Truck accidents occur for numerous reasons, but there are some common causes that other drivers should be aware of. We’ll discuss several in today’s post.


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Sutten Law Group, LLC
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Albuquerque, NM 87109

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