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New Braunfels Law Blog

3 things to remember during a DWI stop

Summer in New Braunfels usually means regular weekend trips to the Guadalupe or Comal River for some tubing. On any given weekend, these areas are filled with people from Austin to San Antonio enjoying the cooling effects of the water and drinking beer.

However, there is also a fairly strong police presence on these rivers and many visitors find themselves in handcuffs after a fun-filled day. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a common charge that many people face after spending the day on the river.

Do you know the top causes of commercial truck accidents?

When driving, you won't have to look far to spot a commercial truck. In fact, if you find yourself on the highway, theses vehicles may surround you.

Understanding the top causes of commercial truck accidents can go a long way in keeping you safe.

  • Inadequate training: If truckers don't receive the proper training, such as on safety techniques, they're more likely to cause an accident.
  • Driving under the influence: Drugs, alcohol and prescription medication make it difficult for a trucker to focus on the road and make sound decisions.
  • Drowsy driving: Truckers are notorious for driving when tired, as they spend many hours behind the wheel.
  • Reckless driving: This takes on many forms, with excessive speeding and illegal passing among the most common.
  • Unrealistic schedule: When a trucking company implements an unrealistic schedule, a trucker is more likely to speed, violate other rules of the road and neglect to stop for sleep.

What to do when a truck accident occurs

It probably goes without saying that a motor vehicle accident can wreak havoc in the lives of the victims and their loved ones. In fact, the damages can be far worse if the victim was struck by a large truck. Usually, the sheer size of the truck is enough to inflict serious damage to the victim and their vehicle. It is due to this fact that claims related to truck accidents are often more complicated.

Although there are a number of trucking-related rules and regulations applicable in Texas and the rest of the country, truck accidents are often due to reasons for which the truck driver or the trucking company can be held liable. Some examples include lack of truck maintenance on the part of the trucking company and violation of traffic rules and trucking safety guidelines on the part of the truck driver.

Texas police arrest 45,000 every year for traffic violations

A recent report that analyzed 2018 data found that an alarming number of people in Texas were arrested for Class C misdemeanors, which are generally considered to be minor traffic offenses or violations of city code. According to Reason, the report found that about 45,000 drivers were arrested for Class C misdemeanors at traffic stops in Texas in 2018. 

The community where the most arrests took place was Waco, where 4.5 percent of drivers were arrested for Class C misdemeanors at traffic stops. In Houston, 53 drivers out of every 10,000 drivers pulled over were injured as a result of police force during the arrest. 

Tough sentences for marijuana crimes

Over the past 20 years, social attitudes and the legal landscape around marijuana has changed in much of the country. Several states have moved to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Texas is not one of them. Texas still imposes harsh penalties for marijuana possession and related charges.

Conviction on a first-time marijuana possession charge can bring a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. When aggravating circumstances are present, the court may sentence someone to a lifetime behind bars and/or pay a sentence of up to $50,000.

Signs of PTSD after a car wreck

Imagine driving down Loop 337 through New Braunfels on your way to River Road for a nice Saturday on the Guadalupe River. Traffic is heavier than usual with tourists coming into town for an afternoon or weekend getaway and many of these driver's do not know exactly where they are going. This means they are paying more attention to road signs and their GPS systems than what traffic is actually doing. In addition, this means you are more at risk of becoming involved in a car accident.

If it not uncommon for a car wreck to result in major damage to the vehicles involved as well as injuries ranging from a strained neck to broken bones and even more catastrophic conditions. A less talked about issue is the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that can develop after a car accident. Here are a few signs that you could be suffering from PTSD after a vehicle collision.

Drivers Responsibility Program can lead to suspended license

Recent reports indicated the state legislature is considering eliminating the Texas Drivers Responsibility Program. If you have never heard of this program, you're not alone, but you should be aware of it.

The program was instituted as part of a law passed in 2003. The intention was to keep a closer watch on drivers who had exhibited careless behavior, such as DWI or driving without insurance, by enrolling them in a special program. However, if the program ever had any educational aspect, this has all but disappeared in recent years. Instead, the program carries on simply as a requirement that these drivers pay an annual fee. If they fail to pay, their license is suspended.

Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks create dangerous situation

Semi-truck accidents are far too common in Texas, and overloaded or improperly loaded trailers is one of the leading causes of accidents. In 2016, Texas had the highest fatal truck accident rate in the nation according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Semi and other industrial trucks were involved in accidents that resulted in 484 fatalities.

Overloaded tractor trailer

Traumatic brain injury a leading cause of death for the young

Reports on concussions in football and other sports have put a spotlight on the challenges of traumatic brain injuries. What sometimes gets lost in this discussion of athletes is that TBIs affect people from all walks of life.

In fact, according to some researchers, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in young adults and children in the United States, many of whom are injured in car crashes or other accidents. TBI also affects a high number of elderly adults due to falls. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBIs factored into the deaths of more than 50,000 people in the United States in 2010. That year, more than 280,000 people with TBI were hospitalized. Many more sought help in an emergency room.

Are rural highways safer than city streets?

Many drivers who use rural highways may believe they are safer than when they drive through the city. Fewer drivers should mean fewer opportunities for an accident, right?

Unfortunately, the data does not entirely support this surface-level assumption. Regardless of how many cars are on the road, rural and urban roadways have fundamentally different characteristics that can impact how accidents occur.

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New Braunfels, TX 78130

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