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Articles Tagged with car accidents

For most Valley Center residents, news of a distracted driving accident does not produce an image of an older adult driver talking or texting on a cell phone. Yet seniors in California routinely use their phones when they are behind the wheel of an automobile, including in San Diego County. California has had a ban on handheld cell phone use while driving since 2008, but seniors, along with drivers of other ages, continue to talk and text on their phones despite the ban. Indeed, data from a distracted driving study in Southern California suggests that teenagers and young adults certainly are not the only age group responsible for distracted driving crashes resulting from improper cell phone use. What should you know about older adult drivers and the risks of distracted driving? 

UC San Diego School of Medicine Study Shows Seniors Engage in Distracted Driving Behaviors at High Rates

According to a study conducted by researchers at the UC San Diego, seniors use cell phones behind the wheel much more frequently than you might think. Indeed, researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine’s Training, Research, and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) program found that almost 60% of seniors aged 65 and older use their cell phones for talking or texting while driving, putting themselves and others on the road at serious risk of injury in a distracted driving collision. 

Whether you are involved in a motor vehicle collision in Rancho Bernardo or elsewhere in Southern California, you may already know just how important seat belts are to preventing serious and fatal injuries. Yet many vehicle occupants still do not buckle up, especially when they are sitting in the back seat of a car or SUV. A recent article in Bankrate addresses the history of seat belts and motor vehicle safety and considers who far we have come by 2021. We want to discuss some of those considerations with you here and to urge you to seek advice from a Rancho Bernardo car accident attorney if you need help filing a claim for financial compensation. 

Long History of Motor Vehicles and Limited Seat Belt Use

According to the Bankrate article, seat belts have been around for much longer than you might think. To be sure, this safety device actually dates back to the 19th century—long before a majority of Americans owned any kind of vehicle—yet they have not been used as widely as many safety advocates would like. Indeed, by 1980, only about 10% of Americans reported that they wore seat belts when driving a car or occupying a passenger seat in a vehicle. Those numbers improved significantly in the late twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. By 2019, just over 90% of Americans report that they wear a seat belt whether driving or riding in an automobile.

Nobody expects to get hurt in a car accident in Vista or elsewhere in Southern California, yet negligent motorists routinely cause serious crashes that result in significant and debilitating injuries. When someone is injured in a collision, they should be able to have the option of filing a third-party claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance or filing a first-party claim through their own insurance. As you may know, California is an at-fault state or a “tort” state when it comes to auto insurance, and motorists are required to carry liability coverage to compensate others who have been injured in collisions. 

What happens when an uninsured motorist causes a car crash in Vista or in another part of San Diego County? What options does an injured party have for seeking financial compensation?

Determine if You Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage

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.

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.

anja-137284-300x225What are some of the most common causes of fatal teen driving accidents in San Diego? According to a recent report from NBC San Diego, a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that speeding, a form of aggressive driving, and distracted driving top the list for common causes of deadly, yet preventable, crashes involving teens. It is important for teens who are getting behind the wheel in Southern California to recognize their own limited experience and to take extra precautions to avoid a dangerous or life-threatening car accident, but the impetus should also be on parents to ensure that their teenage drivers understand the serious risks associated with aggressive and distracted driving.

Details of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Report

As the report explains, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted a large-scale study that aimed to determine the common causes of fatal accidents among teenage drivers. What did the survey determine? Over the last five years, “speeding was one of the top mistakes made by teen drivers in fatal crashes across the country.” The report indicated that teenagers have been drivers in around 14,000 deadly collisions during the time period, and of those crashes, about “4,200 involved speeding.” To put that number another way, around 30% of all fatal teen car accidents involved speeding. Yet it is often the other driver or drivers in the crash who suffer the consequences of the teen’s choices.

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.”

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

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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