Memphis Personal Injury Law Blog

How can I protect my teen driver?

Younger drivers lack experience behind the wheel, which means they often face a greater risk of being involved in an accident. Accordingly, it’s up to parents to help their kids hone their driving skills, while also setting a good example when it comes to distracted driving or other issues. Consumer Reports offers the following tips to help you help your kids be the best drivers they can be.

Choose a new vehicle carefully

Are drivers aged between 15 and 25 more dangerous?

There’s a reason why auto insurance premiums typically decrease after a person reaches the age of 25. Many experts believe that for most people, 25 is the age that the human brain reaches full development.

But, if teens can be legally permitted to drive at the age of 15, do young adults in this 10-year gap present unnecessary danger to the road? Here are a few situations in which a young person may be more likely to contribute to an accident.

Mistakes to avoid when purchasing homeowner’s insurance

Purchasing a home is a big investment. This is true whether the home is a primary residence or rental property. To protect their investment, homeowners in Tennessee turn to home insurance.

Unfortunately, purchasing home insurance can often be a complex procedure. As a result, many homeowners err along the way. Here are some of the most common mistakes.

Motorcyclist accident realities in Tennessee

If you or one of your friends or relatives rides a motorcycle in Tennessee, you know that bikers face a lot of challenges and risks on the road. Drivers of other passenger or commercial vehicles do not always pay close attention to bikers as they seem to focus more on larger vehicles like cars or trucks. Riders continue to be injured or even killed in crashes every year.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the number of motorcyclist deaths across Tennessee have only slightly fluctuated in recent years. In 2013, there were 138 bikers killed in vehicle crashes. That number dropped a bit to 120 the following year and then went up to 123 in 2015. In 2016, the state experienced a larger increase in biker fatalities as 147 riders lost their lives in accidents. In 2017, the state experienced a total of 134 motorcyclist deaths. In Shelby County alone, 76 motorcyclists died in the five years spanning from 2013 to 2017.

How do truck weigh stations help avoid accidents?

You probably pass by Tennessee truck weigh stations often, perhaps even on a daily basis. However, if you do not drive a vehicle required to stop at a weigh station, you may not know what goes on there. 

As suggested by the name, weigh stations monitor the weight of the truck's cargo as well as the trucks themselves, the purpose of which is partly to ensure that the weight of the truck falls within safety guidelines. However, a news team from FOX13 Memphis discovered that this is not the only safety measure taken at truck weigh stations. Authorities also routinely perform inspections of both the driver and the truck in the interest of preventing accidents. 

Newport collision leaves six injured, one dead

If asked who is at fault in a car accident, most in Shelby would likely say the driver whose careless and reckless actions were deemed to have contributed to it. In most cases, that would be correct. Yet could there also be situations where others who might have not even been driving a vehicle also be held liable? What if the passengers in a vehicle were being complicit to a driver's dangerous behavior (or even worse, encouraging it)? One might argue that such actions were contributory, thus expanding liability for an accident. 

Authorities are currently looking into whether the actions of the passengers of a vehicle that caused an accident in Newport merit criminal charges. The driver of the vehicle in question was killed in the incident after he was ejected from his car following a collision with a pickup truck. It was reported that the car the deceased was driving disregarded a stop sign and drive into an intersection as the truck was passing. Another truck also became involved after the deceased's vehicle forced the truck that hit it into oncoming traffic. Ultimately. six sustained injuries in the accident. 

Truck accidents and driver fatigue

Residents in Tennessee should be able to trust that commercial truck drivers take safety seriously when on the roads. One important element to being safe is to avoid driving when fatigued. This is part of why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted its Hours of Service rule a few years ago. This rule provides caps on the number of hours in a day and in a week that a trucker can work and drive to avoid operators driving when tired.

Now, the FMCSA has a new requirement for trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices. ELDs are able to receive data from a truck's engine to track the date and time an engine is turned on, how long it is spent idling and how long a truck is actually being driven. This is one way that the government aims to crack down on fatigued driving among truckers. The goal of these rules is to improve safety and reduce accidents.

Memphis Tourists: Drive Carefully

Historically, Memphis has been a very popular tourist destination. And in recent years, our town has regained much of its previous popularity, ranking as the number one place to visit in the United States by tripsavvy.com.

A Top Tourist Destination And A Top Accident State

The reason behind daytime headlight laws

Should one ask a motorcyclist why their bike is equipped with a headlight, the answer would almost undoubtedly be due to the illumination that it offers when riding at night. Yet surprisingly, many states have begun to pass laws requiring that motorcyclists keep their headlights illuminated during the day. Indeed, in Section 55-8-164(b) of Tennessee's Code and Constitution, it states that motorcyclists must keep their headlight turned at all times. One might question the logic behind this law, as motorcyclists in Shelby typically have no trouble seeing where they are going during the day. Yet in the context of this law, the main emphasis is not on helping them to see, but rather helping them be seen. 

One of the more common answers given in response to how a motorist came to collide with a motorcyclist is that the driver of the vehicle couldn't see the motorcycle approaching. It is true that the combination of the relatively smaller size of motorcycles and the visual limitations imposed by vehicle blind spots can make motorcyclists difficult to see, yet that does not take away the need to be vigilant from motorists. At the same time, however, motorcyclists should take whatever measures are needed to make themselves more visible. Keeping their headlights running at all times does that. In fact, information compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that one study in daytime motorcycle headlight use yielded a 23 percent reduction in opposite-direction collisions. 

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