Carrying Car Liability Insurance: A Mandate in the US

Purchasing a collision insurance policy may be the most logical way of protecting your car, meaning, of you having the needed cash for repairs or replacement in case it gets damaged in an accident or catches fire, or gets stolen. To be able to afford, and not default on paying, compensatory damages to a victim of an accident wherein you are at fault, then the best way is to carry car liability insurance.

Collision insurance, which you may or may not want to purchase, is designed to protect you; a car liability insurance, however, which is designed to protect an innocent accident victim, is something that you will need to have as it is mandated in all US states, with the exception of New Hampshire and Virginia.

The car insurance law was first made compulsory in 1925 in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Other states eventually also enacted their own mandatory car insurance liability laws. The reason behind the mandate is to make sure that at-fault drivers do not default on paying accident victims the compensation the court has declared them worthy to receive.

The type of car insurance coverage that drivers will need to purchase depends on what is required in the state where they reside. In tort states, drives need to carry the tort liability insurance coverage; in no-fault states, however, what drivers need to have is no-fault car insurance, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP).

Under the tort insurance system, an accident victim is allowed to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver for damages, which include cost of medical treatment and hospitalization, loss of wages, pain and suffering. A total of 38 states require this type of coverage on all their drivers.

In states where the no-fault car insurance coverage is required, however, compensation is paid by the respective insurance providers of the drivers involved in an accident. This eliminates the need for the victim to file a civil lawsuit against the at fault driver, as compensation will be paid regardless of who is at fault in the accident. No-fault insurance is required in Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Utah. In the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Kentucky, drivers have the option to carry either no-fault car insurance or full tort car insurance.

One bothering thing, though, is the fact that not all drivers carry car liability insurance because they find insurance premiums too costly to pay. Drivers can go to independent car insurance companies for help in finding the best possible policy regardless of their driving record and the kind of car they drive. These companies help make sure that drivers also get the policy that will not be a burden to their pocket.

Inspecting Your Truck Before a Trip

Trucks are the prime movers of the economy. We rely on them much for the delivery of our everyday goods. Without them, it would be impossible to shop for your weekly groceries, or receive packages from a friend living afar. With this high demand for trucks, it is impossible not to share roads with them. However, lawyers from the Sampson Law Firm say sharing roads with these colossal vehicles makes pedestrians and other drivers more prone to truck-related incidents. So to avoid getting into any trouble, it is important to inspect your truck first before hitting the road. You may do a clockwise check of your truck for your pre-trip inspection. To guide you, here are the things to watch out for when checking your truck:

• Engine – Look for leaks under the truck. Check if your belt is cracked, bent, frayed or broken. Wires should be properly mounted. See if the coolant reservoir is not leaking. Engine oil, power steering oil, and coolant should all be in normal levels.

• Tires and rims – Check your tires for any bulge and cracks. Air pressure should be within the recommended level. The depth of your tire treads should not be less than what is recommended. If you have dual tires, make sure that there is nothing stuck between the two tires.

• Mirrors and lights – Headlights, tail lights, and turn lights should all be working properly. Mirrors should be clear of any dirt and smudge, and should be properly mounted to provide better visibility.

• Trailer – Check if your load is properly secured. Electric and air lines should be tightly mounted. Trailer suspensions should have no leaks. Frames should be free from any crack and there should be no missing cross members.

Inspecting your truck before hitting the road is necessary not just for your safety, but also for the safety of others who share the road with you.

Common Types of Rollover Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration categorizes rollover accidents in two ways, tripped and untripped. Of all single-vehicle rollover accidents, 95% of them are tripped. This simply means that something catches the tires and causes the vehicle to rollover. Though much less common, untripped vehicle rollovers are just as severe as tripped rollovers. These are caused when a driver attempts a collision avoidance maneuver at speed.

Unlike untripped rollovers, tripped rollovers are broken down into three subcategories.

The NHTSA identifies the subcategories as soft soil, guardrail, and steep slope. Soft soil rollovers are a result of a vehicle attempting to recover after veering of the road and having its wheel get caught in soft soil such as soft shoulders, pavement surface discontinuations, snow banks, or other object such as curbs. Guardrail rollovers are caused when a vehicle’s tires ride up on a ramp-like object causing one side of the vehicles to become airborne or lose contact with the road and forcing the vehicle into a roll. Similar to soft soil rollovers, steep slope rollovers are causes by a vehicle veering off the road and onto an inclined slope that is too steep for the vehicle to remain upright. The NHTSA recommends always having the electronic stability control system on a vehicle activated in order to help avoid loss of control when veering off the road.

While tripped rollovers generally occur off the road, untripped rollovers often occur while still on the pavement. Greenfield car accident attorneys point out that these generally happen when a top-heavy vehicles attempts change the direction of a vehicle too quickly and thereby causes a quick shift in weight that initiates the rollover. These are most common in large vehicles like loaded trucks, SUVs, and 18-wheelers. Numerous studies have confirmed that SUVs are far more likely, by as much as 75 percent, than many other vehicles to be involved in a rollover accident due to their design. This may be why it seems as though they are more expensive to insure. Higher risk of accidents translated to inflated premiums.

Though many of these accidents are often caused by the driver’s own negligent driving, in some cases these accidents are caused by someone else on the road or even the manufacturers of the vehicle. The website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP states that many rollover accidents caused by a third party can be avoided if that other party had acted more responsibly. These cases are commonly associated with defective vehicle or tire manufacturing, road defects due to lack of maintenance or improper construction, and reckless or negligent driving by others.