Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200If you live in Rancho Bernardo and regularly commute within the San Diego area, you probably know that self-driving cars have become a frequent topic of conversation and concern in California. Many Southern California residents are not yet ready to share the road with autonomous vehicles, while others in the industry are pushing for the expansion of the self-driving car market. On the one hand, those in favor of self-driving cars argue, for instance, that these vehicles “will help create a safer, cleaner, and more mobile society,” according to a recent article in Science Magazine. On the other hand, some consumer safety advocates contend that the costs associated with autonomous vehicles may not outweigh the safety benefits, according to a recent report in USA Today.

Where does California law stand on autonomous vehicles and auto accidents? How should Rancho Bernardo residents assess the risks and benefits of self-driving cars?

Liability and Manufacturer Specifications

steve-halama-324710-copy-177x300As many residents of San Marcos know, California law allows adults aged 21 and older to buy, possess, and consume marijuana as long as it is one ounce or less in a private residents or in an area in which marijuana consumption is legal. In addition, the law permits adults to grow marijuana plants in a small number (up to six of them), as long as they are growing the marijuana plants in a secure place where the public cannot view them. What does this have to do with car accident rates in San Marcos? According to an article in The Washington Post, two studies conducted earlier this year “came to seemingly opposite conclusions on whether marijuana use is causing an increase in car crashes in states that have legalized the drug.”

Since California is one of those states, it is important for residents to consider the potential link between marijuana use and motor vehicle crash rates. If you or someone you love got hurt in a traffic collision caused by a drugged driver, you should learn more about filing a claim for compensation.

Are Car Accident Insurance Claims Higher in States Where Marijuana is Legal?

kalu-ci-146209-300x200When you live in Encinitas or in a nearby part of North County, you likely know about the risks of alcohol-impaired driving. We often hear about DUI laws in California and the serious consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights how an average of 28 people sustain fatal injuries in car accidents each day caused by drunk drivers (or, to put that number another way, one person dies every 51 minutes because a driver decided to drink and drive).

What about drugged driving? How does smoking or otherwise consuming marijuana affect a person’s ability to drive safely? How often do prescription drugs or illegal substances play a role in serious and fatal car accidents in Encinitas? According to a recent report from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), the FDA’s newly finalized study provides guidance on drugged driving.

Drugged Driving Laws in California

bethany-legg-14229-copy-300x200Many Valley Center residents have heard about the risks of distracted driving. Indeed, as a report from ABC News 10 discusses, on January 1, 2017 additional cell phone laws took effect that prevent California drivers from holding a phone or doing anything more than making a single tap or a single swipe. While drivers are still permitted to use cell phones as GPS devices, provided that they are mounted somewhere in the vehicle, the change to the law aims to prevent distracted driving accidents. What about distracted walking? While the term might sound like an odd one, it is becoming a relatively serious problem in California and throughout major urban areas in the country.

According to a recent report from KEYT News 3, a local official is proposing a change to the law. In short, in order to improve public safety, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa is hoping to institute a distracted walking law that “would make it illegal to use the crosswalk while using your cell phone.” Is such a law likely to pass? Is it necessary to prevent pedestrian accidents?

Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise Due to Smartphone Use

michael-mroczek-199379-copy-300x200For parents and their neighbors in Rancho Bernardo, it is important to understand important school bus safety laws as kids throughout California return to school. We can all take steps to prevent bus accidents. However, according to a recent report from CBS News, many drivers do not always obey school bus safety laws simply because they do not know them. Now is the time to learn because the California Highway Patrol (CHP) plans to conduct pedestrian safety enforcement operations along the California coast in the coming school days.

What are School Bus Laws in California?

In short, it is important for motorists to know how to behave around a school bus (and how to obey the law). In particular, if you are driving behind a school bus that is picking up or dropping off children, or if you are approaching such a bus from the opposite direction, what does the law require you to do? The report emphasizes the importance of understanding and abiding by the following laws to prevent child pedestrian accidents and fatalities:

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200Pedestrian accidents happen a lot more frequently than they should in Encinitas, according to a recent article in The San Diego Union-Tribune. The city recognizes the particular risks for pedestrians who walk along El Camino Real, and the city is taking steps to try to make this stretch safer for anyone who is on foot. The city recently hired an expert to conduct a “walking audit” of El Camino Real with a group of participants and to make recommendations for preventing a pedestrian accident and improving safety in general for pedestrians in the area.

What can the city do to make Encinitas a more pedestrian-friendly place?

The “Walking Audit” and its Outcome

david-cohen-249124-copy-300x160Could a multi-vehicle accident caused by road rage and aggressive driving happen in Vista, California? According to a recent report from ABC News, a motorcyclist’s road rage and aggressive driving caused a serious crash around Santa Clarita. The collision involved a sedan and a pickup truck, and that pickup truck overturned as a result of the crash. The motorcyclist—who was caught on film by other drivers, fled the scene of the car accident. The incident should alerts drivers throughout Southern California to the serious risks associated with road rage and other forms of aggressive driving.

Details of the Road Rage Accident

According to report, the accident happened at approximately 5:45 a.m. on a recent weekday morning. While witnesses could not say precisely what started the altercation, those heading southbound on State Road 14 managed to film a motorcyclist who “appears to try to kick the sedan” the approaches on his right. As a result of the motorcyclist’s behavior, the “sedan veers to the left and briefly collides with the motorcyclist before losing control and crashing into the highway divider wall.”

aaron-burden-60068-copy-300x212For families living in Carlsbad, it is extremely important to ensure that your children are wearing seatbelts and are properly restrained in the event of a car accident in Southern California. According to a recent report from NPR, 43% of kids who die in motor vehicle crashes are not properly restrained, which means that these children either were not wearing seatbelts at all or were not wearing seatbelts or other safety harnesses in the proper manner. What can parents learn from this information? It is extremely important to require your kids to wear seatbelts whenever they are in the car, and it is also necessary for parents to educate themselves about the proper restraints for children of all ages.

Traffic Accidents on the Rise

As the report explains, deadly traffic accidents are on the rise in the U.S., and many of them are preventable. In particular, in fatal crashes involving children, the simple act of properly restraining your child could prevent deadly injuries. We do know that some parts of the country have higher rates of child fatalities than others. All in all, however, more than 18,000 children across the U.S. were involved in car accidents between the years 2010 and 2014, and of those children, 15.9% died as a result of the car accident.

igor-ovsyannykov-219657-copy-300x200If you live in Valley Center or elsewhere in Southern California, now is a great time to learn more about motorcycle safety. According to a recent article in the Patch, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in California, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is taking steps to prevent serious and deadly motorcycle accidents throughout the state. Although the weather is warm enough year-round for motorcyclists to enjoy the streets and highways of Southern California, it is a fact that more bikers are on the road in the spring and summer months. As such, it is an important time to assess previous motorcycle safety problems and to institute better practices going forward.

High Rate of Motorcycle Accidents Last Year in California

As the article explains, we are not seeing a noticeable reduction in the rates of motorcycle accidents in California. In 2015, there were 494 motorcycle accident fatalities and more than 13,500 accident-related injuries. By 2016, the number of nonfatal accidents had increased to more than 14,000, while the fatality rate dropped, although not considerably, to 476.

bethany-legg-14229-copy-300x200For residents of Vista, California who regularly commute to work in San Diego County or have teen drivers on the road, it is extremely important to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving. As a fact sheet from the National Safety Council (NSC) explains, April is distracted driving awareness month. It is always a good idea to think about how distracted driving can impact our lives and to discuss safe driving and car accident prevention tips with your teen drivers. What else should you know about distracted driving and the risks of a crash in Southern California?

Using Technology to Prevent Distracted Driving in Vista

We often link technology with the increased risks of distracted driving. For instance, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting or talking on a cell phone while driving can greatly increase the risk of a serious motor vehicle crash. However, sometimes technology can actually help when it comes to distracted driving prevention.

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