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Lakewood Colorado Legal Blog

Avoiding the 'no zones' can help you avoid accidents with trucks

As a driver, you probably are often sharing the road with other types of vehicles, such as large commercial trucks. In 2016, almost 4,500 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, and 83 percent of the fatalities were not occupants of commercial vehicles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). When you share the road, you can often avoid an accident with a commercial vehicle if you are familiar with the vehicles' blind spots and practice safe driving habits to avoid those blind spots.

What are the 'no zones'?

Fewer drunk driving arrests in Colorado aren't really progress

The number of drunk driving arrests made in Colorado during times of "increased enforcement" dropped significantly between 2017 and 2018 -- but law enforcement agencies within the state says there's no reason to celebrate.

Colorado's Department of Transportation says that 7,723 arrests for drunk and impaired driving were made during a total of 14 periods of high-level, high-visibility enforcement over the course of 2018. That's down from 10,350 arrests the previous year. But the difference probably isn't an indication that there are less drunk drivers on the state's roads.

How texting & driving hijacks control in three major ways

Everyone knows that texting while driving is dangerous and at the same time practically everyone is guilty of doing so at one time or another. Since cellphones became mainstream, there have been countless news stories of horrific accidents caused by drivers who choose to get distracted by their phones and suffer the consequences as a result. Car accidents may occur for various reasons, but texting while driving is easily preventable.

The voice in your head that wants you to check or respond to a text message while driving can feel like it’s only getting louder and louder the more you ignore it. However, getting caught up in the texting and driving trap inhibits your response time to real situations happening outside your vehicle (e.g. pedestrians crossing in front of your vehicle, bicyclists, green lights, red lights, making your exit, braking for congested traffic, etc.)

How texting & driving hijacks control in three major ways

Everyone knows that texting while driving is dangerous and at the same time practically everyone is guilty of doing so at one time or another. Since cellphones became mainstream, there have been countless news stories of horrific accidents caused by drivers who choose to get distracted by their phones and suffer the consequences as a result. Car accidents may occur for various reasons, but texting while driving is easily preventable.

The voice in your head that wants you to check or respond to a text message while driving can feel like it's only getting louder and louder the more you ignore it. However, getting caught up in the texting and driving trap inhibits your response time to real situations happening outside your vehicle (e.g. pedestrians crossing in front of your vehicle, bicyclists, green lights, red lights, making your exit, braking for congested traffic, etc.)

Know how to handle a sobriety checkpoint in Colorado

You probably know that a police officer can normally only initiate a traffic stop when the officer witnesses a traffic violation, notices a vehicle defect that could affect its safety or observes a pattern of behavior that suggests the driver of a car may be impaired by drugs or alcohol.

However, sobriety checkpoints are specifically allowed under the guidelines used by the Colorado Department of Transportation so long as certain rules are observed. These include:

  • They must be publicized in advance
  • The checkpoint must not require drivers to stop in an unsafe area
  • Drivers must be given adequate notice that they are approaching one of the checkpoints
  • Officers must be uniformed and visible
  • The checkpoints must be minimally inconvenient
  • The process of choosing which vehicles to stop must be consistent and nondiscriminatory

A long drive calls for these safety tips

When it comes to your safety, there's a big difference between driving your car across town and hitting the highway for hundreds of miles. While an accident can happen at any time, a long drive calls for you to alter your approach to improve your safety.

Here are five things you should do to help avoid a crash:

  • Get enough sleep: If you aren't well rested when you leave home, you could become drowsy while driving. This increases the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Stay hydrated: Neglecting to do so will zap you of your energy, while also leading to common ailments, such as a headache and cramps.
  • Plan stops in advance: This gives you the opportunity to rest your mind and body, thus helping ensure that your energy level remains high.
  • Sit up straight in your seat: Slouching may feel good for a bit, but it eventually takes a toll on your body. Sitting up straight allows you to maintain your comfort over the long run.
  • Focus on the road: Even if there's a lot going on in your car, such as passengers that want to chat, you must focus on the road. Distracted driving is one of the top causes of highway accidents.

Reckless driving is a serious traffic violation: Know your rights

There is never a good time to see police lights in your rearview mirror. If you're pulled to the side of the road for a traffic violation, it's imperative to know your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect them.

Reckless driving is among the most serious type of traffic violation. With this, you're pulled over for willful disregard for safety.

Will you lose your CDL after a DUI charge?

For most people with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), their license represents their livelihood. Losing a CDL means you can no longer do your job.

For commercial drivers, a DUI charge is a serious offense in Colorado. Here is what you need to know about the penalties for commercial drivers.

The many potential causes of holiday car accidents

It doesn't matter if you're taking a long road trip this holiday season or simply traveling across town to visit family, any time you get behind the wheel you're at risk of an accident.

There are many potential causes of holiday car accidents. Understanding these will go a long way in helping you remain safe.

  • Distracted driving. This can include drinking a cup of coffee, sending a text message or talking to children in the backseat.
  • Drowsy driving. It's easy to wear down during the holidays. Don't get behind the wheel if you're too tired to make safe and sound decisions at all times.
  • Road conditions. For example, heavy snow and ice could blanket the roads, making it more difficult to maintain control of your vehicle.
  • Nighttime driving. Decreased visibility during nighttime hours makes it more difficult to see the road ahead, as well as other vehicles.
  • Reckless driving. From speeding on the highway to illegal passing on a city road, there's never a good time to drive recklessly.

The most likely threat to your life might just be you

Do you ever feel you are your own worst enemy when it comes to putting yourself at risk for injury? Maybe you tried to put out a grease fire on your stove with water and inadvertently caused a larger blaze. How about taking an uncalculated risk while driving and almost lost control and crashed?   

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