Las Cruces Legal Blog

Safety advocates fight plan to ease truck driver regulations

Safety advocates warn that a Department of Transportation plan to loosen rules over the number of hours a truck driver can work may put other drivers at higher risk on U.S. highways. The Associated Press reports the trucking industry has long fought to see the federal guidelines relaxed, and is now seeing support from the current White House administration.

The plan comes after government statistics released in May showed a 10% rise in fatal accidents involving semitrailers. The data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) shows 4,657 fatal truck-related crashes reported in 2017. Another 344,000 non-fatal injury crashes also occurred. Safety advocates fear that weakening regulations will increase the likelihood of hazards, including driver fatigue.

Parents of deceased girl advocate for safer streets in New Mexico

The parents of 12-year-old Eliza Almuina recently appeared before the Albuquerque city council and spoke about making roads safer in the area. Tragically, their daughter was using a crosswalk in front of her school when she was struck and killed by a driver who said he did not see the girl or her friend as they tried to cross Louisiana Boulevard. Almanzar & Youngers, P.A., is representing the child's mother in her capacity as Personal Representative for the Wrongful Death Estate of Eliza Justine Almuina.

Video highlights liability for New Mexico hotels

A few years ago, a video made by guests at a New Mexico hotel made local news and was widely viewed online.

Because it involved potential safety issues at a hotel, the incident remains a lesson in premises liability. This legal concept differs somewhat from state to state, and New Mexico has its own rules regarding injury-causing mishaps that occur on someone else's property.

Despite restrictions, fireworks still a risk in New Mexico

New Mexico is one of the more restrictive states when it comes to legal fireworks sold to the public. However, there are still many firework-related injuries that occur each year, particularly in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday.

These injuries happen in neighborhoods, at family gatherings or even when professionals are working. You need only look at the injuries recently suffered by firefighters at a fireworks storage facility at the Roswell International Air Center to know how dangerous they can be.

Study shows teens at especially high risk of a car accident during summer months

A study released by AAA in May revealed that motor vehicle accidents involving teenage drivers increase by 15-17% between Memorial Day and Labor Day -- a period of time that the study dubs the "100 Deadliest Days." Crash data from 2013-2017 showed a consistent spike in accidents during the summer months. Researchers found that more than 700 people died in crashes involving teen drivers between Memorial Day and Labor Day over the study's five-year span. 

Is the Tesla Model 3 'Autopilot' too dangerous to use?

On March 1, a Tesla Model 3 was headed down a divided highway in Florida. The driver turned on the Autopilot system, which uses computers, cameras and long-range radar to avoid crashes. Almost as soon as the driver turned on the Autopilot and took his hands off the wheel, he crashed into a semi-truck. The car went under the trailer and killed the 50-year-old driver.

The crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). However, the agency confirmed initial data that the Autopilot feature was turned on just 10 seconds before the crash. Also, the car was going 68 mph in a 55-mph zone. And, the driver's hands were not on the steering wheel at the time leading up to the crash.

Has New Mexico improved its bicycle safety?

New Mexico has not historically been the most friendly home for bicyclists. The state ranked No. 44 in the nation in terms of bicycle safety in 2017.

The League of American Bicyclists, which releases the rankings, published progress reports at the end of 2018 instead of full report cards. A year later, how does New Mexico hold up?

Aftermarket safety tech could reduce your risk of a crash

From collision avoidance systems to autonomous vehicles, the technology to reduce motor vehicle crashes is already on the market. In the best new cars, drivers are warned about everything from drifting out of their lane to approaching an obstacle. In many cases, the car can respond to an imminent collision more quickly and skillfully than the best driver. And the technology continues to improve.

Unfortunately, the technology isn't standard on all new cars -- at least, not yet. And what if you're not in the market for a new car? Do you have to wait for the technology to gradually become available in the used car market? Luckily, much of the technology is available on the aftermarket. You can have an advanced driver assistance technology system installed in your existing car for around $1,000.

Who pays when an accident involves an Uber or Lyft driver?

The way we travel from Point A to Point B has changed dramatically over the last decade, thanks to services like Uber and Lyft. As rideshare services increase in popularity across the country, many people wonder who holds responsibility for accidents involving these ride service providers. The answer is not exactly clear cut, as liability often depends on what task the driver was performing.

Whether you are a rideshare passenger, a driver, or a pedestrian, here is what you need to know about accidents involving services like Lyft or Uber:

Inclined sleep products for infants connected to numerous deaths

A recent analysis by Consumer Reports raised alarms about several infant sleep products, leading to demands for a recall. The investigation linked more than 30 infant deaths between 2011 and 2018 to inclined infant sleep products, including Fisher Price’s Rock N’ Play Sleeper. 

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