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Assigning Fault After Accident with Commercial TruckThere are typically two parties who can be held at fault when a commercial truck causes a vehicle accident: the driver and the trucking company. The truck driver is often sued because he or she has the most direct control over whether an accident occurs. However, negligence or pressure by the trucking company can create the circumstances that lead to an accident. If you can prove that a trucking company was at fault, you may be able to receive greater personal injury compensation from them than you would from just the driver.

Driver Negligence

There are several ways that a truck driver can be at fault for a vehicle accident because they have to follow industry-specific regulations and the rules of the road. Common causes of truck accidents include:

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Can Ambulance Drivers Be Liable in Accidents?Illinois law requires drivers to cede the right of way to emergency vehicles that are responding to an incident as part of their duty. Obstructing such vehicles or getting into an accident can be a criminal offense. However, there are some scenarios with emergency vehicles that have less clear answers:

  • Can the driver of an emergency vehicle be liable for personal injury if he or she was at fault for an accident?;
  • What legal protections do emergency vehicles have if they are not using their lights and sirens?; and
  • Are ambulance drivers with a private service treated the same as those that work for a local government?

The Illinois Supreme Court answered these questions earlier this decade and found that emergency vehicle drivers do not have the same standard of negligence as other drivers, as long as they are on the job.

Liability Protection

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Dangers for Sober Drivers on St. Patrick's DayNo U.S. holiday is more associated with drinking than St. Patrick’s Day. Falling on a Saturday this year will only increase the number of people out celebrating. Lots of intoxicated people on the road means that there will be more instances of drunk driving. Local police are well aware of this and will be watching for people driving under the influence of alcohol. However, those who chose to stay sober face their own dangers. Sober drivers on St. Patrick’s Day must watch for intoxicated drivers and an increased police presence.

Personal Safety

You may celebrate the holiday responsibly by making sure you are not impaired before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, you should assume that someone else on the road is not being responsible. Unfortunately, drunk drivers often involve innocent drivers in their accidents, possibly causing serious injuries or death. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself and those who have chosen to drink too much:

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Rideshare Drivers Face Inherent DistractionsDrivers working for rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have the added responsibility for the safety of their passengers, to go along with all drivers’ responsibility to each other on the road. Because of the distractions involved with the job, safe driving advocates wonder whether rideshare drivers are more likely to be in car crashes. Unfortunately, there are no official records of the number of accidents involving rideshare drivers. Police crash reports do not categorize rideshare vehicles for statistical purposes. Unlike taxi cabs, rideshare vehicles are not obviously marked as a commercial vehicle. Analysis of how rideshare drivers operate suggests that they face increased distractions related to their work.

Focus on Phones

Whereas taxi drivers typically use radio dispatch for communications, rideshare drivers communicate using their phones. Drivers have their phones mounted to their dashboards, with their ridesharing app open. The app is used for accepting jobs, giving directions and contacting potential passengers. The rideshare companies say that they design their apps to minimize distractions. However, there are several unavoidable distractions involved with using a phone while driving:

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Distracted Driving Extends Beyond CellphonesDiscussions on distracted driving often focus on drivers using cellphones. Illinois is one of several states to criminalize talking or texting on a handheld electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. However, cellphones are not the only culprits in distracted driving. People regularly perform actions while driving that are legal but qualify as distracting. Any activity that momentarily shifts a person’s attention away from driving can cause a vehicle accident with personal injuries.

Physical Distractions

The obvious danger of using a cellphone while driving is that it takes a driver’s hands off the wheel and eyes off the road. In the moment that someone’s attention is drawn to his or her phone, an unexpected obstacle may appear in front of him or her. By the time the driver sees the danger, it may be too late to react and avoid an accident. There are other activities that demand the attention of someone’s eyes and hands, such as:

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