Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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800px-Motorcycle_AccidentGenerally speaking, the rate of deadly motorcycle accidents has been declining in the United States over the last decade. However, the rate of fatal motorcycle accidents actually has been rising in California, according to a recent article in Health Canal. While the cumulative rate of motorcycle accidents declined by about 7% in 2013, the rate of motorcycle deaths actually rose by 13% in California. Concerned about the spike in crashes and deaths, Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) looked at motorcycle accident rates between 2003-2012 and determined that fatal crashes increased by 23% across the state.

Why do the numbers make it seem as though motorcycling is more dangerous in California? Are motorcyclists at greater risk of suffering a serious or fatal injury in an accident in our state?

Highest Increases in Motorcycle Accident Fatalities in Southern California

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Car_Emergency_Brake_symbol_2484096111_oDo automatic emergency braking systems actually prevent car accidents? In other words, if you purchase a new vehicle with an automatic emergency braking system, can you simply stop worrying about paying attention to the car that is in front of you on the freeway or in your neighborhood? According to a recent news release from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, not all self-braking cars are made in the same way, and they do not all work at the same levels as one another. In other words, not all automatic braking systems have the same rates of success, and thereby the same accident-prevention abilities. The news release indicates how “new test results from AAA reveal that automatic braking systems—the safety technology that will soon be standard equipment on 99 percent of vehicles—vary widely in design and performance.”

What else should drivers in San Diego know about the recent AAA test and the future of automatic braking systems?

What Drivers Think Versus What Automatic Braking Systems Actually Do

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4104830230_8176dd136fWhether you are feeling tired on your drive home from work or are fatigued from having been on the highway for hours, drowsy driving can lead to serious and fatal car accidents. Many residents of San Diego get behind the wheel of an automobile when they are too sleepy to concentrate properly, and this practice can be hazardous to other drivers and passengers on the roads, as well as to cyclists and pedestrians.

According to a press release from the National Sleep Foundation, about 96% of Americans surveyed believe that “it is unacceptable for someone to drive when they are so sleepy they have trouble keeping their eyes open,” but more of us drive in such a state than you might think. Around 33% of those surveyed admitted to having driven when they were extremely fatigued at least once in the last 30 days. What else should you know about drowsy driving and how to prevent it?

Learning More About Sleep Safety

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Moving-2When we are on neighborhood roads or highways in Southern California, should we be concerned about the risk of a car accident caused by road debris? Most of us are typically on the lookout for other drivers who are not obeying the rules of the road or distracted pedestrians who might inadvertently step into traffic, but according to a recent report from CBS News, dangerous road debris causes far more car crashes than you might expect. Between 2011 and 2014, more than 200,000 collisions have been attributed to debris already in the road or to debris falling from unsecured truck loads. What else should you know about crashes caused by debris, and what can you do to prevent them?

AAA Study Highlights Severity of Crashes Caused by Debris and Unsecured Loads

The CBS News report cites a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which determined that approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths on the road between 2011 and 2014 resulted from debris. According to Tamra Johnson, a spokesperson for the AAA Foundation, “the really troublesome thing about all this is a majority of these crashes are preventable, if drivers would just take the necessary precautions to secure their load or maintain their vehicle properly.”

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Pokemon_go_home_@_MontrealFor kids and adults alike, the recent Pokémon GO smartphone game has been an exciting activity around Southern California and throughout the country. However, according to a recent report from, the game has also resulted in a number of alarming accidents and injuries. You might have heard about pedestrian accidents caused by distracted walking, but Pokémon GO has taken these collisions to a new level, along with serious distracted driving crashes. The problem is not only one affecting people who play the game. Pokémon GO players—due to extreme distractions from the game—are causing serious accidents that are impacting other pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists who are paying attention to the rules of the road.

What should you know about this new smartphone game, and how can you avoid serious accidents and injuries?

Pokémon GO Causes Accidents in Southern California and Across the U.S.

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Testing22222If you live in the San Diego area, you are probably familiar with Uber and Lyft. These ride-sharing services have become extremely popular in Southern California, allowing residents and visitors to take advantage of quicker, and often less expensive rides than taxis. Easier than making a phone call or hailing a cab, Uber and Lyft users can simply use an app to catch a ride. But are customers at risk of serious car accident injuries while they are riding in the backseats of Uber vehicles?

According to a recent article from Digital Trends, in response to the increasing use of Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided to begin putting crash-test dummies in back seats within the next few years. Can a shift in car accident testing help to prevent severe and fatal injuries in traffic collisions?

Ride-Sharing Services Expected to Grow, Prompting Need for Testing

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IMG_8957Carlsbad Pedestrian Struck on Freeway Shoulder

How often do pedestrian accidents, in particular hit-and-run collisions, occur in the San Diego area? According to a recent report from The San Diego Union-Tribune, a hit-and-run pickup truck driver recently struck a pedestrian who had been stopped to help a motorist on the shoulder of a Carlsbad freeway. The report indicates that the victim was a 48-year-old man from Tijuana, and his injuries were so severe that he may not survive.

How did the pedestrian accident happen? According to the report, the victim “parked on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 5, south of Palomar Airport Road, to assist a friend whose vehicle was disabled.” At the time of the crash, he had been standing in front of his own vehicle. The pickup reportedly “veered onto the shoulder and hit him.” California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt indicated that, after striking the victim, the driver of the pickup truck simply continue driving before taking an exit onto Palomar Airport Road.

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file0001569965691According to a recent report from NPR, car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers, and in a surprisingly high number of those crashes, alcohol plays a role. About 25% of all teenage traffic collisions involve alcohol. In states where there are substantial restrictions on alcohol usage and serious repercussions for impaired driving, the rate of teenage auto accident fatalities tends to be lower, according to a recent study reported by NPR. What do the findings of this new study tell us? California and states across the country should put policies into place that help to curb teens’ purchase and use of alcohol, and to take steps to make the consequences of drinking and driving more severe.

Regulations on Alcohol Sales for the General Population

When we talk about regulations aimed at limiting the purchase of alcohol and its consumption by underage teen drivers, what kinds of regulations are we thinking about in practice? According to the NPR report, there are a number of regulations that can accomplish these goals with relative ease, and all of them target the general population. In other words, policies aimed strictly at teens do not tend to have the results we want. Rather, it is important to consider regulations that would limit alcohol purchases for everyone, including San Diego residents who can legally purchase it. Examples of these policies include but are not limited to:

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Mini Lada amarilloAre we going to see more self-driving cars on California’s roads in the upcoming weeks and months? According to a recent article in The Washington Post, auto accident safety experts and representatives from the automotive industry expressed serious concerns about the likely link between self-driving vehicles and serious car accidents. Earlier this month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked a number of different groups to provide input while it develops guidance for automated vehicles, but the federal agency quickly learned that many leaders in the field simply do not approve of the technology—and allowing it out on the roads—as it currently stands.

Self-Driving Vehicle Owners Will Need Time to Adjust

What is one of the primary reasons that Californians are not yet ready to own self-driving vehicles on a large scale? According to a representative from the National Safety Council (NSC), many of the features of these automated vehicles have been named and designed for marketing purposes. In practical terms, that means that it will likely be difficult for owners—both young and old—to understand how to properly engage the technology and to avoid a severe traffic collision.

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_DSC2929Whether you are driving along the I-5 or are moving at slower speeds through a shopping area and get hit by a Google self-driving car, are you eligible to file a car accident claim? If there is no driver in the self-driving car—as its name suggests—who can be held liable for the collision? According to a recent article in The Guardian, a traffic collision involving a Google self-driving car and a city bus recently occurred in California. While the accident report did not indicate liability for the crash, if Google is found to be liable, “it would be the first time one of its SUVs caused an accident while in autonomous mode.”

Self-driving cars might sound like pieces of technology that could not possibly exist today, but they do. While California state law requires that a self-driving vehicle’s test driver be in the front seat in the event that something goes wrong, more and more Californians are seeing these vehicles on the road. Are they safe for use? Or are they likely to cause more auto accidents?

Recent Incident Involving California City Bus and Self-Driving Car