Study finds aggressive driving to be relatively common

Colorado drivers may be interested to learn that nearly 80 percent of participants in a July 2016 study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety admitted to experiencing road rage at least once in the prior year. According to that same study, about eight million American drivers engaged in extreme road rage activities such as intentionally hitting another vehicle or getting out of a car to confront another motorist.

Poor driving, busy traffic and general stress were cited as factors that may lead to road rage. In some cases, the perceived offenses of other drivers were relatively minor in nature. The study found that roughly 90 percent of respondents feel that aggressive drivers are a threat to their safety. Roughly 66 percent found that aggressive driving was a bigger problem today than it was three years before the study took place.

Male drivers as well as those between the ages of 19 to 39 were more likely than others to behave aggressively behind the wheel. Furthermore, men were three times more likely than women to get out of a vehicle to confront a driver or hit another vehicle on purpose.

Car crashes may result in serious injuries such as concussions, broken bones or whiplash. If a driver is negligent in causing a crash, he or she may be liable for any financial damages that an injured victim may incur. Negligent actions might include texting while driving or failing to stop at a traffic light. Compensation may pay for medical bills or help make up for lost wages or future earnings.

New rule takes aim at threat of unqualified truck drivers

Inexperienced truck drivers will be seeing some changes to training in Colorado and throughout the United States thanks to a new federal rule. However, it will not go into effect until February 2020.

The rule for driver training for commercial driver’s license applicants was delayed for five months. The Trump administration imposed regulatory review before approving the rule, which has widespread support from the trucking industry itself. CDL applicants who receive their licenses on or after Feb. 7, 2020 must follow the new procedure.

Under the federal trucking regulation, all driver trainees and CDL applicants must receive a core training curriculum. In addition, some level of behind-the-wheel training, including course time and on-road time, is mandatory. This training must be provided by a trainer on a newly-created federal registry. In order for trainers and carrier training centers to be added to the registry, they must become federally certified to deliver the training.

However, while behind-the-wheel time is mandatory under the new regulations, there is no specific number of hours that new drivers must spend receiving instruction and training behind the wheel. Instead, readiness to receive a license is measured by a standard of proficiency used by the trainers. This has been criticized by many industry stakeholders.

Unqualified or poorly trained truck drivers present a real threat to safety on the road for people in other vehicles The massive size and weight of commercial trucks can result in serious injuries to those who are involved in such a collision. When it can be determined that the accident resulted from negligence on the part of the trucking company or driver, an attorney could be of assistance to injured victims in seeking compensation for their losses.

3 tips to avoid road rage in the heat

Summer means fun road trips, vacations and enjoying the beautiful weather. Unfortunately, it also means traffic and sometimes too much heat. When the Denver roads are full of tourists and the sun is blaring down on you, it can be easy to get agitated and angry. It is all too easy to slip into road rage and get into a dangerous situation during the summer.

Do not let these beautiful months get you up in arms. Continue reading for summer safety tips and how to avoid road rage.

1. Be mindful of the heat

You know it is going to be hot, and hot weather can easily lead to crankiness, so prepare ahead of time. Make sure you take a cold bottle of water or two with you whenever you drive, especially for an extended trip. Crank the air conditioner to keep yourself cool, calm and collected.

2. Roll up the windows

While you might enjoy rolling down the windows and feeling the breeze, it can actually increase the chances of road rage and injuries. Other drivers can easily shout at you when your windows are down and get a reaction out of you. If you get into an accident with the windows down, debris may fly into your vehicle and injure you.

3. Combat the glare

Proper visibility is necessary to drive safely. You must see bicyclists, pedestrians and other cars in order to avoid them. With the sunshine in high gear, the glare can affect your ability to see. Make sure to wear a hat with a visor and sunglasses whenever you drive during the day.

While inclement weather during the winter months contributes to accidents, you need to take precautionary steps during the summer as well. Do not forgo safety tips while you are on the road and having fun. If you get into a collision this summer, enlist the help of a personal injury attorney.

Common causes of today’s motorcycle accidents

Whether you’re cruising through Denver’s city streets or making your way up I-70 for a ride into the Rockies, you face unique dangers and hazards on a motorcycle that those driving in passenger vehicles may not. Because there is so little protecting you, should you take a fall, the injuries you may suffer in a motorcycle crash often outweigh those suffered in traditional car crashes in terms of severity.

Educating yourself is one of the best methods of increasing motorcycle safety, so as a rider, it is important for you to know that many motorcycle crashes result from:

Alcohol

Per RideApart.com, alcohol is a factor in about half of all bike wrecks. You face enhanced dangers if you imbibe before getting out on your bike, but you also face risks posed by other potentially impaired drivers who may be less likely to see you or react quickly enough to avoid striking you.

Cars turning left ahead of bikes

The best way to avoid an accident caused by a car turning left ahead of you, which is the single-most common cause of motorcycle accidents, is to try and anticipate the actions of other motorists as much as you can. Assume that other motorists may face distractions, or that you are in their blind spot, and proceed with extreme caution to minimize your chance of suffering injury in such an accident.

Cars changing lanes

Because you can prove harder to see on your bike, many motorcycle crashes and fatalities are the result of cars changing lanes and striking motorcycles who are already in them. Most drivers simply do not anticipate motorcycles around them in the same way they do other cars, and this often has deadly ramifications. To reduce your risk of an accident with a car maneuvering between lanes, first, stay vigilant and try to avoid traveling in blind spots. If you are not sure where those blind spots are, here is a good rule of thumb: look in the side-view mirrors. If you cannot see the motorist’s eyes, odds are, the driver cannot see you, either.

It is the time of year when many Coloradans and visitors are taking to the roadways on bikes, so recognize the unique hazards you face in doing so to improve your chances of staying safe.