Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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Is it safe to travel on the highways in California? Whether you are commuting to work in San Diego on the I-5 or are taking a vacation that requires you to drive with your family along the I-10, it is extremely important to be aware of serious car accident risks. According to a recent report from The California Report and KQED News, highway traffic fatalities are on the rise in California despite a relatively steady national number of deaths on America’s roadways. What is happening on California’s highways that makes driving in our state more dangerous? What can you do if you have suffered injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence?

Federal Highway Traffic Safety Data Highlights Substantial Death Toll

As the recent report makes clear, new federal highway safety data shows that “the traffic death toll in California continues to trend upward even as the number of people who die on roads nationwide holds steady.” Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identified nearly 33,000 auto accident fatalities and about 2.3 million accidents that resulted in injuries. While that death toll might strike you as shockingly high—and it is a high number, to be sure—it actually represents a decline in the total number of nationwide auto accident deaths from the previous year. Between 2013 and 2014, auto accident collisions caused 44 fewer fatalities.

Several decades ago, yearly traffic fatalities tended to total more than 50,000, but we have seen that number decreasing in a meaningful way throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The lowest number we have seen yet occurred in 2011, when the NHTSA reported a total of 32,479 car accident deaths. But the NHTSA’s recent report suggests that the number is likely to increase from last year—it is already up by more than 8% from the same period in 2014.

California is, unfortunately, leading the nation in terms of highway deaths relative to the total population. In 2014, California reported a total of 3,074 motor vehicle fatalities. That number represents a 2.5% increase from 2013, when the total death toll was 3,000. The lowest number of fatal highway accidents we have seen in California was back in 2010 when the total was 2,715. Since then, the number has increased at a relatively striking pace.

Difficulty Pinpointing the Impact of Smartphone Use

Many commentators suspect that the rise in California highway fatalities has a connection to the use of smartphones on the road. According to a spokesperson with the California Office of Traffic Safety, most Californians recognize that smartphone use is “a huge problem.” Indeed, “investigators and analysts estimate that personal electronic devices are involved in 10% to 20% of crashes.” Yet determining an absolute number is difficult because of the nature of the traffic violation.

With other traffic violations, law enforcement officers have evidence to back up their suspicions. For example, a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) often is backed up with a measurement of a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Or, if a driver is going too fast, a law enforcement officer has evidence of the excessive speed. With smartphone use, unless there is an eyewitness, it is difficult to know whether or not a driver may have been illegally using a cellphone while behind the wheel.

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you should speak with a dedicated San Diego car accident attorney to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. Contact the Walton Law Firm today.

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Holiday Driving Hazards
NTSB Says Product Recall System is Broken

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IMG_7906When San Diego residents hear about holiday driving hazards, many believe they are not at risk of an auto accident because of the relatively sunny weather we experience all year. Yet the risks that come with holiday driving are not necessarily impacted by inclement weather. According to an article in EHS Today, the most common holiday driving hazards have nothing to do with snow and ice. Rather, driving while you are impaired, distracted, fatigued, or experiencing stress can result in a severe car accident. In the event that you will be driving outside of Southern California during the holidays, it is important to keep in mind that snow-covered roads and limited visibility will only be made worse if you are not prepared to be behind the wheel.

What do you need to know about staying safe on the roads this holiday season? We will examine risky driving behaviors in more detail to make clear the ways in which these actions can pose serious risks to the driver, passengers, and others out on the roadways.

Impaired Driving During the Holiday Season

During the holidays, impaired driving occurs much too often. Holiday parties at your place of employment or holiday dinners at the houses of friends and family often involve drinking alcohol. Having even one drink too many can result in a deadly auto accident. According to the article, “an increase in the number of impaired drivers using the roadways during the winter holidays has been well-established by law enforcement, and the loss of life resulting from impaired driving is also well-established.”

How dangerous is drunk driving in California? According to a fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 10,000 people died in California car accidents involving a drunk driver between 2003 and 2012. A majority of the deaths involved people between the ages of 21-34, but persons in all age groups were impacted by alcohol-related crashes. California does have a slightly lower rate of alcohol-related accident fatalities than the national average, and fewer Californians self-report drinking and driving than do Americans surveyed to calculate the national average. However, drunk driving accidents do occur in our state, and we should be particularly careful about these preventable accidents during the holidays.

Other Holiday Driving Dangers

In addition to driving under the influence of alcohol, the article notes the following as serious holiday driving hazards:

  • Distracted driving: taking your eyes off the road or concentrating on other tasks while you are driving can result in a serious or even fatal car accident. Distracted driving includes cell phone use, texting, and even remapping a route on your GPS device.
  • Driving under pressure: the holiday season is often a stressful time for San Diego residents, from the financial strains of gift-giving to the year-end pressures at work. If you are stressed, you are more likely to drive aggressively, and aggressive driving can lead to a serious crash.
  • Fatigued driving: if you drive while you are too tired to be behind the wheel, you could be putting yourself and others at risk. While there are “increased demands and activities during the winter holidays [that] often mean significantly reduced sleep schedules,” according to the article, it is important to pull over if you are too tired to drive.

Auto accidents can happen suddenly and without warning. In many cases, another driver’s negligence is the cause of the crash. If another party’s negligence led to a traffic collision in which you sustained severe injuries, it is important to discuss your case with an aggressive San Diego car accident lawyer. You may be eligible to file a claim for financial compensation. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist with your case.

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Tire Tread 1If you have defective tires, are you at risk of sustaining serious injuries in a car accident? According to a recent article in CBS News, a majority of defective tires simply are not being taken off the road. Drivers with defective tires continue to take their vehicles onto neighborhood roads and city highways, putting themselves and others at substantial risk of harm.

How do we know that most of these dangerous automobile products are remaining on the roads? A federal accident investigations board within the National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) looked into the removal rate for recalled tires and determined that “only about 1 in 5 defective tires is being removed from the road through the safety recall process.” Given that abysmal number, the NTSB concluded that the “recall system is broken.”

Broken Recall System Failing to Alert Consumers

How is the recall system broken? According to the NTSB, manufacturers simply are not able to contact most defective tire owners. As such, those owners are not taking steps to prevent the continued use of those hazardous products. The NTSB determined that “as many as 80% of recalled tires do not get fixed, leaving danger rolling literally down American roads.” In some cases, car owners will replace their tires for other reasons, including flat tires or normal wear and tear (as many as about one quarter of drivers with defective tires). However, it looks as though part of the problem is one of registration.

Currently, tire dealers do not have to register sold tires with the tire manufacturer. Since this is not a requirement, most tire shops do not provide tire manufacturers with information about which consumers have purchased their products. Without this information, manufacturers are not able to contact many vehicle owners who could be driving around with dangerous tires on their cars. Independent tire dealers (meaning those that are not strictly owned or controlled by tire manufacturers) sell a large majority of consumer tires. CBS News indicated that these independent dealers that are not currently required to provide information about consumers sell more than 90% of consumer tires.

Tire Defects are Not Always Visible

Some people might suggest that consumers can examine their tires themselves to ensure that they do not contain hazards. However, it is important to keep in mind that many tire defects simply are not readily visible. For example, the article cited a car accident involving a 15-passenger van. When the driver felt the vehicle vibrating, he pulled over to check the tires but did not see a problem. Assuming that, because he could not see an issue with the tires, the vehicle was safe to drive, the van got back on the road. However, one of the tires failed, “causing the van with nine passengers to careen off the road and roll over.” The accident resulted in two fatalities and eight passengers with serious injuries. The defect, as it turned out, was on the inside of the tire.

What can consumers do? You can register your tires yourself with the manufacturer. By doing so, the manufacturer will be able to contact you as soon as there is a recall that could affect you. Between 2009 and 2013, 55 tire recall campaigns occurred that resulted in the recall of about 3.2 million tires. Every year, tire-related accidents lead to about 500 fatalities and 19,000 personal injuries.

If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a car accident that resulted from a product defect, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can help.

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Bus2Are children at risk of suffering a serious injury in a school bus accident? Do we need to consider the risks of traumatic brain injuries when we rely on school transportation? According to a recent report in the Times of San Diego, eight kids sustained injuries earlier this month while aboard a school bus that “made an abrupt stop.” The accident occurred close to Flinn Springs County Park in the later afternoon. At the time of the injuries, the bus had been carrying about 50 children. The California Highway Patrol indicated that many of those young students “reported hitting their heads as the vehicle lurched to a stop.”

Emergency responders ended up transporting eight of those kids to a local hospital for “precautionary exams.” Those medics evaluated numerous other children at the scene of the accident who complained of hitting their heads. What caused the accident and injuries? According to the California Highway Patrol, “the driver of the bus may have braked hard to avoid a collision.”

Deadly School Bus Accidents are Not the Norm

A recent article in USA Today emphasized that statistically speaking, deadly school bus crashes are rare, particularly when we are speaking of fatal injuries to children on board. When school bus collisions are fatal, “they rarely kill children, who log thousands of hours riding each year.” The article examined data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), noting that between 2004 and 2013 only 1,214 fatal school-related transportation accidents occurred. How small is that number in comparison to other auto accidents during the same period? In short, school bus accidents represent only about 0.4% of all fatal traffic collisions between 2004 and 2013.

Even when deadly school-related transportation accidents do take place, the victims who suffer fatal injuries are rarely those who are riding on the bus. According to the NHTSA, just over 130 people die each year in school bus accidents. And of those victims, only about 8% are school bus passengers. Who are the more common victims of fatal school bus accidents? In general, passengers in other vehicles tend to be at greatest risk of deadly injuries.

The NHTSA indicates that nearly 75% of fatal school bus accidents involve passengers in other cars. The remaining fatalities tend to involve pedestrians and bicyclists. As the article points out, “once a bus begins rolling down the road, a child is, statistically speaking, safer inside the bus than outside it.”

Preventing School Bus Accidents and Injuries

If children tend to be safest once they are inside a school bus (as opposed to outside of it), how can we take preventive measures to ensure that our children remain safe while they wait for the bus or step off the bus at the end of the school day? The National Safety Council recommends some of the following:

  • Stay away from traffic while waiting for the bus.
  • When the bus approaches, wait until it has completely stopped before trying to board.
  • Use the handrail when entering and exiting the bus.
  • Walk at least 10 feet ahead of the bus before crossing in front of it so the driver can see you.
  • Do not stand or walk anywhere near the rear wheels of the bus.

If your child suffered injuries in a school bus accident, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. An experienced San Diego bus accident attorney can answer your questions today. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist with your case.

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DSCN3891Fatal Car Accidents on Halloween

Last year around this time, the Associated Press reported on a severe auto accident in California that resulted in the deaths of three trick-or-treaters. The children who suffered fatal injuries in the pedestrian accident were 13-year-old girls, and two of them were twin sisters. The collision occurred in Santa Ana, and the hit-and-run driver fled the scene and later abandoned the SUV that struck the trick-or-treaters. The girls were struck while attempting to cross the road in a crosswalk.

While it may be impossible to avoid certain car accidents, it is possible to take preventive steps, particularly on Halloween. The article about the deadly hit-and-run accident last year noted that the young girls who were killed had been “wearing costumes with black leggings and dark clothing.”

It is difficult to know if this tragedy could have been prevented if the driver had been able to see the girls more clearly as they crossed in the crosswalk. At the same time, however, it is important to remember that the trick-or-treaters were following the rules for crossing the street: always cross at a crosswalk. Around the same time in Irvine, California, a man who had been trick-or-treating with his four-year-old son was also struck and killed by a car.

Preventing Accidents and Injuries During Halloween Celebrations

What can we do to prevent serious accidents from occurring in San Diego on Halloween? Car accidents involving pedestrians are just one source of serious injury that can happen on this holiday. According to a fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both trick-or-treaters and homeowners can take steps to make Halloween a safer holiday. If you are planning to go trick-or-treating with your child or are allowing your older teen to go trick-or-treating with friends, pay attention to the following safety tips:

  • Choose Halloween costumes that are light or brightly colored. If this is not possible, apply reflective tape to your child’s costume or trick-or-treating bag to make it easier for drivers to see your child.
  • Always carry a flashlight when you are out trick-or-treating. A flashlight can allow a driver to more easily see you and your child (thus preventing a serious car accident), and it can also allow you and your child to avoid slipping or tripping hazards (thus preventing a severe slip, trip, and fall accident).
  • Always walk—do not run—from one house to the next. Running between houses on Halloween can lead to a trip and fall accident.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street, and be sure to cross in a marked crosswalk if possible.
  • Walk on sidewalks wherever possible. If you must walk on the road, walk on the far edge of the street in a direction so that you are facing oncoming traffic and can quickly get out of the way if a car is coming.
  • Be sure that your child’s Halloween costume fits properly. An ill-fitting costume can lead to a trip and fall.
  • Buy flame-resistant costumes for your child, and encourage her to avoid lit jack-o-lanterns and luminaries. A burn accident can happen quickly.

Contact a San Diego Accident Lawyer

Nobody expects a deadly accident on Halloween. To be sure, this is an exciting holiday for children, and it should be a fun way for families and friends to celebrate together. However, accidents do happen on Halloween and they often result from another party’s negligence. If you or your child suffers a serious injury on Halloween, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.

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file0001569965691Deadly car accident rates are climbing across the country, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times. California is among the states with the highest fatality rates. Why are so many more fatal traffic collisions occurring? According to the article, the growing economy may be to blame.

Economic Factors Result in More Traffic Collisions

Now that the recession has ended, more Americans are working again. Even more of us can afford to buy cars. Gas prices have declined, making it more affordable for us to make daily commutes. What all of these factors add up to, however, is more vehicles on the road at any given time. Indeed, experts emphasize that “deadly automobile crashes have surged dramatically in the first half of 2015 as Americans hit the roads in record numbers, in part due to a stronger economy and more affordable fuel.” Gas prices are about $1 cheaper than this same time last year, meaning more families can afford to fuel up.

According to Ken Kolosh, the manager of statistics at the National Safety Council (NSC), “we’re not even into the more dangerous parts of the year” for car accidents. Yet the numbers are already troubling. For instance, traffic-related fatalities have climbed by 14% from the same period a year ago and nearly 33,000 people have died. As Kolosh explained, if this rate of fatal crashes continues, the U.S. could see more than 40,000 traffic-related deaths in 2015—a number that we have not seen in nearly a decade.

The rise in auto accidents comes as a surprise to many, given the trend toward fewer serious auto accidents over the last ten years. “Cars have become safer and traffic laws stricter.” Generally speaking, those two factors have helped to limit the number of deadly collisions. However, the sheer number of drivers on the roads in the first part of 2015 has resulted in more crashes. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) estimates that Americans drove about 1.54 trillion miles already this year—an all-time record.

When so many more miles are being traveled, there is a higher risk of encountering a negligent driver, such as a:

  • Drunk driver
  • Distracted driver
  • Drowsy driver

California Hit Hardest by Rise in Auto Fatalities

Why are such a large number of these crashes happening in California? Statistics show that accidents in our state have climbed by 20% from the same period in 2014, meaning that 1,566 people have suffered fatal injuries in California in 2015 alone. Texas was the only state in the country with more deadly crashes. Experts indicate that “the increase in miles driven doesn’t totally explain the increase in crashes in California.”

While it is still too early for experts to speculate on specific reasons for the rise in accident deaths California, some commentators suspect that distracted driving may be a significant factor. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to analyze data, hoping to pinpoint a reason for the upward trend in auto fatalities.

In the meantime, if you or someone you love suffered a serious injury in an auto accident, you should get in touch with an experienced San Diego car accident attorney as soon as possible to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist with your case.

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Seniors Suffer Long-Term Injuries from Auto Accidents

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In September 2014, John and Heidi were heading to a Central California hotel for their honeymoon. While on a two lane country road, a car heading the opposite direction suddenly swerved into their lane and hit them head on. The results were catastrophic. Two women in the small car were killed, and John and Heidi suffered massive injuries.

After a hospitalization and surgery, a friend recommended Walton Law Firm. Randy Walton took the case, and after an investigation and approximately 10 months of advocacy, Walton Law Firm was able to obtain a seven-figure settlement for the couple, which has helped them in their recovery and to regain the parts of their lives lost in the accident.

Here’s what they had to say about their experience with Walton Law Firm.

Walton Law Firm
(866) 607-1325

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Regardless of age, car accidents can cause serious and fatal injuries. Yet all auto accidents don’t produce the same level of damage or personal injuries. Indeed, some traffic collisions are more severe than others. However, when younger people sustain minor or moderate injuries in an auto crash, they tend to recover more quickly than older adults, according to a recent article in Science Daily. Given that information, it’s important to think carefully about the long-term injuries and problems the elderly can face after a car accident.Four Wheels In The Air, Plate 4

Measuring Quality of Life After a Traffic Collision

A recent study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine reported that “many seniors injured in motor vehicle crashes remain in pain for months afterwards, which negatively affects their quality of life, including the ability to live independently.” Indeed, according to Timothy Platts-Mills, MD, MSc, “the types of injuries that younger people recover from relatively quickly seem to put many seniors into a negative spiral of pain and disability.” Platts-Mills is the lead author of the study, and his academic home is in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Many seniors suffer injuries in car accidents, and Platts-Mills emphasizes the importance of analyzing their ability to recover after they’re involved in a collision. His research is particularly relevant given that America’s senior population is expected to double in the next twenty years.

Platts-Mills’ study looked at patients who required emergency room treatment for injuries they sustained in car crashes. At the time of the emergency room evaluation, about three-quarters of those in the study indicated they were experiencing “moderate to severe pain.” Six months later, more than one-quarter of those patients “were still reporting moderate to severe motor vehicle crash-related pain.”

And for those patients with persistent pain, nearly 75 percent of them “experienced a decline in their physical function,” while nearly 25 percent “experienced a change in living situation in order to obtain additional help.” In other words, car accident injuries can dramatically impact the daily lives—in the long term—of older adults who suffer moderate to severe injuries. Older adults who experienced lasting pain after a car accident were also “twice as likely to have visited the emergency department at some point during the 6 months after the motor vehicle crash.”

Preventing Car Accidents Among the Elderly

For Platts-Mills, learning about ways to identify patients who are likely to experience lasting pain upon a first emergency visit can allow physicians to begin therapies early on to deal with chronic pain. But in such cases, older adults still suffer significant pain from auto accident injuries. How can we prevent accidents from happening in the first place? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses that “the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash increases as you age.” To be sure, more than 580 seniors, on average, suffer injuries each day in auto accidents.

The CDC recommends the following for preventing traffic collisions among the elderly:

  • Wearing seatbelts anytime you’re behind the wheel;
  • Only driving when conditions are good: driving during daylight hours and avoiding inclement weather can help seniors to avoid car accidents;
  • Exercising on a regular basis to improve flexibility and strength behind the wheel;
  • Having eyes checked on a regular basis;
  • Planning or mapping out your route before you get into the car;
  • Avoiding driving distractions, including cell phone use; and
  • Considering driving alternatives, such as public transportation or riding with a family member to your destination.

If your elderly parent or loved one recently sustained injuries in an auto accident, you should contact a San Diego car accident lawyer to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Brooks via Compfight cc

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San Diego officials recently announced the launch of a program called “Vision Zero,” which aims to “eliminate traffic deaths by 2025” and to “make the city more pedestrian and bike-friendly,” according to a report from NBC San Diego. Many of us have read news stories about hit-and-run accidents in the San Diego area, as well as severe pedestrian and bicycle accidents that occur on our streets. The new program aspires to put an end to such accidents in the next ten years.2300190277_360853ae0d

Slowing Down the Speed with “Vision Zero”

What’s involved in a program created to end traffic fatalities within a decade? According to Jim Stone, the Executive Director of Circulate San Diego, the most important part of the initiative is its focus on safety. In other words, we need to take a look at the reasons for the program in order to understand how it might help to reduce traffic-related deaths in the city. As Stone explained, “We have a traffic fatality rate in San Diego that’s greater than our murder rate.”

One of the first orders of business is speed of travel. Speeding is a serious problem, and it’s a type of aggressive driving that’s responsible for numerous preventable accidents. For instance, Juniper Aavang suffered fatal injuries in a traffic collision caused by speeding just a couple of months ago “as her father pushed her in a stroller through a crosswalk at the intersection of Catalina and Cannon in Point Loma.”

Stone elaborated on the cause of the death, explaining, “we know that if someone is hit by a car going 40 miles per hour they have a 20 percent chance of surviving a crash.” Given those statistics, one of the primary goals of Vision Zero is “to slow things down to a safer speed.”

City Planning Measures Can Help to Reduce Speeding

If we know that speeding is a serious problem, what steps can be taken to help reduce it? The architects of Vision Zero are looking to areas such as Allison Street, which is next to La Mesa City Hall. There, “diagonal parking lines reduce the size of the street.” According to Stone, “studies show smaller streets help slow traffic.”

But it’s not just about reducing the urge to drive fast. To be sure, Vision Zero will also need to take steps to increase pedestrian visibility. Crosswalk lights on the ground, for example, can help to alert drivers that they need to stop. In addition, more signs pointing to crosswalks and curb extensions can help to reduce pedestrian fatalities. As you might imagine, some of these methods are relatively easy to implement—adding pedestrian-crossing signs to crosswalk areas can be accomplished with relative ease, and diagonal parking lines should be relatively straightforward to implement. However, curb extensions could take more time.

Curb extensions are very important in the Vision Zero scheme, though. With curb extensions, pedestrians “can see cars coming, but more importantly the cars can see them coming.” As such, Stone articulates, “it’s a great way to improve pedestrian safety.”

Vision Zero will hone in on “eight major corridors” in San Diego, including University Avenue, Market Street, and El Cajon Boulevard. News agencies recently reported that University Avenue is the most dangerous street for pedestrian accidents in our city. Getting the program underway will cost about $15 million.

Contact a San Diego Accident Attorney

Let’s hope that “Vision Zero” can help to eradicate the car crashes and traffic fatalities that plague Southern California. In the meantime, traffic-related accidents do happen. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto collision or a pedestrian accident, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer. An advocate at the Walton Law Firm can speak with you today.

Photo Credit: Nathan E Photography via Compfight cc

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Many San Diego residents decide to take vacations during the summer months, but traffic collisions can occur without warning. Whether you’re a weekend getaway or a family vacation is in your future, it’s important to think about highway safety. To be sure, a recent article from CNN emphasized that, beginning with Memorial Day, May through August are among the busiest road travel months of the year. As such, it’s important to stay cautious when you’re behind the wheel and to do everything you can to prevent a fatal car accident.4104830230_8176dd136f

Vacation Travel on the Highway

On the Memorial Day holiday alone, AAA estimates that about 33 million Americans take a trip that involves road travel. Indeed, the weekend “brings the start of the summer driving season” to our country, including to the scenic highways of California. At the same time, however, “between now and Labor Day can be one of the most dangerous times of the year to be behind the wheel.” As a result, it’s essential to think about safety matters.

One of the most important actions you and your family can take is, simply, to buckle up when you’re in an automobile. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more Americans than ever are using seat belts. Indeed, “Seat belt use reached an all-time high of 87 percent in 2013.” Yet many California residents still need a reminder to wear their seat belts. Nearly 50 percent of all Americans who died in car accidents last year weren’t buckled up.

In addition to wearing a seat belt, it’s also important to think carefully about your teenager’s driving experience. While a lot of teenagers in San Diego hope to take road trips once school lets our, “inexperience can put them at greater risk for accidents.” If you are going to allow your teenager to get behind the wheel this summer for a trip with friends, you should remind him or her about the dangers of distracted driving with the following rules:

  • Don’t use a smartphone in the car;
  • Limit the number of passengers in your teen’s vehicle; and
  • No nighttime driving.

Summer also tends to mean more roadside construction. It’s easier for construction crews to do some of the necessary repairs to our highways, and as such it’s essential to drive slowly in construction zones. Construction can also lead to detours, and you’ll need to stay alert to avoid getting lost or causing an accident.

Safety Tips for Long Drives and Road Trips

In addition to general safety tips for summertime driving, you should also consider particular issues that can arise on road trips and longer highway stints. An article in Independent Traveler provides some important tips for long hauls on the road:

  • Make sure to get enough sleep before you hit the road.
  • Take breaks and pull over, even if you don’t think you’re tired.
  • Share the drive with other reliable adults.
  • Don’t break cell phone laws in other states—know the laws before you set out, and don’t get distracted by using a smartphone while you’re on the road.
  • Don’t drink alcohol before your road trip.
  • Have a plan for inclement weather, including potential detours.
  • Always bring a map, as GPS devices aren’t infallible.
  • Have your vehicle tuned up before you get on the road.
  • Become a member of AAA or another roadside assistance program.

If you or someone you love recently sustained a serious injury in an auto accident, it’s important to discuss your situation with an experienced San Diego car accident attorney. Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be eligible to file a claim for financial compensation.

Photo Credit: chelle_1278 via Compfight cc

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