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Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

Just how dangerous are cell phones when it comes to causing distracted driving crashes in Valley Center? According to a recent report released by Cambridge Mobile Telematics, cell phones are much more dangerous than many of us assume. Even if drivers keep their phones away most of the time while they are driving, a high percentage of motorists will use their phone at least once or twice while behind the wheel. Some motorists assume it is relatively safe to check email or send a text message while sitting at a stop light or in heavy traffic. Others assume that quickly updating the navigation system on a smartphone will not result in any permanent consequences. 

Yet according to the Cambridge Mobile Telematics, more than 40% of all drivers in the U.S. are distracted by their phones while driving at any given point during daylight hours. Since it is not yet possible to know with certainty whether a collision was caused by a distracted driver, the new report intimates that cell phone-related distractions may cause many more serious and fatal traffic collisions than we would like to believe.

Distracted Driving Crashes can be Avoided, but We Need to do More

When teenagers begin driving in Escondido, the experience can be extremely stressful for parents—both as passengers in the front seat and as nervous figures waiting at home for a teenager to return safely with the car. According to an article in Forbes, parent anxiety might not be helping teenagers at all when it comes to reducing the rate of car accidents. Rather than feeling nervous about having your teen behind the wheel, it is better to take steps to combat your anxieties surrounding your child obtaining a driver’s license and to focus on rational tasks that can provide your teen driver with the safety training they need to stay safe on the road.

Teen Driving is Dangerous

Parents’ anxieties surrounding teen driving are not unfounded. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, on average, six teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 die every day in a motor vehicle collision, and as many as 300,000 teens require treatment in emergency departments every year for car accident injuries. Yet, as the CDC underscores and the Forbes article emphasizes, teen driving collisions are preventable.

Whether you are on the road heading to or from work, or you are driving up the California coast with your family for a weekend vacation, you should know that some types of accidents tend to happen more often in the summer than during other months. Winter weather collisions are not typically an issue in Southern California given that the weather is temperate year-round, but many of the summer and warm-weather accident hazards that exist throughout the country are certainly present in San Diego County and throughout the state in the summer. Travelers Insurance identifies some of the most common causes of car crashes from June through September. The following are tips for avoiding a summer auto accident.

 

  1. High Temperatures can Pose Dangers to Your Vehicle

 
High temperatures can wreak havoc on an automobile if it is not regularly and properly maintained. For example, if tires are underinflated and the weather is particularly hot, you could be at risk of a tire blowout while you are driving. Engines can also be at increased risk of overheating during the summer. Most of the vehicle-related risks that come with hot weather can be avoided if you have your vehicle serviced regularly.

When most of us think of speeding and car accidents, we think about drivers who are traveling at a speed well beyond the posted speed limit and often behaving in other aggressive ways. Yet speeding does not have to mean just driving beyond the posted speed limit. When there is inclement weather or there are poor driving conditions, motorists need to behave reasonably and need to recognize that they owe a duty of care to other drivers and passengers on the road. As such, even if a motorist is traveling at a speed below the posted speed limit, that motorist still may be unlawfully speeding—and thus may be responsible for injuries in an accident—if the speed is too fast to be considered safe for the conditions. 

When Traveling Below the Speed Limit May Still be Speeding

According to California Vehicle Code Section 22350, which is the speeding law in the state, “no person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”

When researchers began to develop autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, the thinking was that these vehicles could eliminate the element of human error that contributes to so many car accidents in Southern California. Yet in the time that autonomous vehicles have been tested, they have not actually proven to be all that safe. Indeed, in some cases, self-driving cars have resulted in serious and fatal injuries, especially to pedestrians. According to a recent article in California StreetsBlog, a new study conducted by researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that autonomous vehicles will likely prevent only about one-third of all motor vehicle collisions in California and across the country.

 
Why are autonomous vehicles so ineffective? Is there a possibility that the technology will improve in the coming years such that self-driving cars will do more to reduce the rates of traffic collisions in California?

 
IIHS Says Identifying Hazards is Not Enough to Prevent Collisions

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200If you were injured in a car accident in San Marcos or elsewhere in Southern California, it is essential to know how to file an auto accident claim. Every car accident case will have its own particular set of facts, but we want to provide you with more information about the claims process and the ways a San Marcos car accident lawyer can help. 

Gather Information to Support Your Claim

You will need to gather information and evidence to support your car accident case. This process starts at the scene of the accident, where you should take photographs of the scene on your smartphone. You should also obtain contact information for anyone else involved in the collisions as well as witnesses who may be able to support your version of the events. Beyond the initial scene, it is also important to get medical attention as soon as possible. By seeing a doctor quickly, you will be able to prove that your injuries resulted from the car accident, and your medical records will become important evidence in your case.

lance-asper-pAWY7xrsLwc-unsplash-copy-300x169If you live in Encinitas or in another part of San Diego County, you have likely been staying home as much as possible for the last number of weeks. All Californians are required to stay home “except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job,” according to the state’s stay-home order. The order is in place until further notice, and it first took effect on March 19, 2020. While anyone who has an essential job—and thus must drive to work—or needs to leave the house for food or medicine is still at risk of being injured in a motor vehicle crash, it looks like that risk is significantly lower. Indeed, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, since the stay-home order took effect, motor vehicle collision rates have dropped significantly. 

We want to say more about the lowered risk of an auto accident during the pandemic, and to discuss what you should do if you are involved in a crash at this time.

Fewer Motor Vehicle Crashes With Lower Traffic Rates

sara-the-freak-v4lRAcrhBr8-unsplash-copy-300x200When you are driving in San Clemente or elsewhere in Southern California, are you at greater risk of being involved in a car accident than you think? Most San Diego County or Los Angeles County residents do not get behind the wheel with the expectation of suffering injuries in a serious motor vehicle collision. Many drivers have a false sense of security when it comes to driving and auto accident risk. According to a recent article in the Patch, a high percentage of Southern Californians are “in denial about safety” based on information from a recent study. We want to tell you more about the study and discuss actual car crash risks in Southern California. 

Driving is King in Southern California

More than in most other major urban areas of the U.S., driving remains the preferred mode of transportation in Los Angeles County and San Diego County. Indeed, in Los Angeles County, according to the article, “private vehicles are used at more than twice the rate of the second-most popular transportation mode, ride-hailing.” To put it another way, more than double the number of people drive than use Lyft or Uber.

sharon-mccutcheon-5BRIjMTKFkU-unsplash-copy-300x200We often read information about auto product recalls in Escondido that could result in serious injuries in a car accident, or information about child car seat safety. Yet it is not especially common to hear about a car that has been recalled for a safety defect related to child car seats. According to a recent article in Consumer Reports, that is precisely what is happening with a current BMW recall. The report indicates that “BMW of North America is recalling 32,760 vehicles from its 2015 to 2019 model years because the lower rear-seat anchor bars at the seat crease used to secure a child car seat may become damaged.” In other words, if a child is strapped into a car seat in one of these vehicles and a car crash happens, the vehicle may not properly hold the car seat. Accordingly, a child strapped into the car seat could sustain injuries that otherwise might have been prevented. 

What follows is everything you need to know about the recall. If your child has already been injured because of a defective auto part, you should discuss your case with a car accident lawyer in Escondido.

Details of the Recall

anja-137284-300x225If you are in a car accident in Vista and file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, how will your case be impacted if the defendant says you are partially to blame for the accident? This question concerns “comparative fault,” which is sometimes known as contributory negligence or contributory fault. In short, when a plaintiff files an accident claim against the responsible party, that defendant can raise the issue of comparative fault as a defense to avoid paying the plaintiff the full amount of compensation he or she is seeking. While each state has its own laws concerning comparative fault, it is important to know that a plaintiff in California can still recover damages even if the court says the plaintiff is partially to blame.

We want to tell you more about California’s comparative fault law, and to explain how it may affect a car accident lawsuit in Vista.

California Follows a Pure Comparative Fault Rule

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