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Anaheim Personal Injury Law Blog

A head injury can destroy many relationships

Suffering a blow to the head often leads to a mild traumatic brain injury, if not a severe traumatic brain injury. Severe injuries are typically simple to identify, because they cause visible symptoms in their victims that indicate an injury, such as loss of consciousness. Mild Traumatic brain Injuries, or TBIs, may go undiagnosed if the victim does not receive proper medical treatment soon after the injury. This means that a victim may not even realize they have a medical condition until it causes major complications in their personal and professional lives.

Mild TBIs can cause many symptoms, depending on the person. Some head injuries only amount to a big hangover, while others may produce symptoms that make it very difficult to communicate with others, perform simple tasks, or remain calm in the face of frustration.

Number of large truck crash deaths increase from 2016 to 2017

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released data comparing the number of traffic accident fatalities in 2016 and 2017. The number of overall fatalities dropped as well as the number of passenger car accident deaths. The number of traffic deaths in crashes involving large trucks, though, increased year over year. Large truck accidents on roadways in California and across the U.S. are likely to be more severe than other crashes because of the size of the trucks and their momentum at speed.

The total number of traffic accident deaths dropped from 37,806 in 2016 to 37,133 in 2017. There were 4,761 deaths in wrecks involving large trucks in 2017, which is 392 more deaths that occurred due to large truck crashes in 2016. That represents an increase of 9 percent. In reviewing the data, large trucks included all trucks with a gross weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds.

Car crashes in mobile workforce rise with smartphone ownership

California residents who use their own vehicles for work purposes may find themselves being distracted by texts and phone calls while behind the wheel. As the mobile workforce is increasingly becoming connected, this is not surprising. Nevertheless, it is still a dangerous trend. Motus, the vehicle management workforce company, has some interesting things to say about these hazards in its 2018 Distracted Driving Report.

Motus found that the percentage of mobile workers who own smartphones rose from 55 to 77 between 2013 and 2017. In that same period, the number of car accidents that mobile workers were in increased from 5.7 million to 6.4 million. The report also mentions a substantial spike in smartphone ownership and in accidents involving property damage, injuries or fatalities between 2014 and 2016.

Drivers and pedestrians should be aware of each other

Pedestrian fatalities in California have increased by almost 33 percent since 2012, and agencies and community partners are taking steps to keep pedestrians safer. September is Pedestrian Safety Month, and law enforcement is urging drivers and pedestrians to be aware of one another and learn to responsibly share the road.

During 2016, more than 14,000 pedestrians were injured and 867 were killed on California roads. The California Office of Traffic Safety has launched a campaign to raise awareness of pedestrians, featuring pedestrians wearing armor made of car parts to remind drivers that pedestrians do not, in fact, have armor. They don't have any protection if they're hit by a car, regardless of who is at fault.

Roundabouts reduce serious accidents at rural intersections

Traffic lights and stop signs depend on drivers in California obeying the signals or judging traffic correctly before entering an intersection. When drivers fail to do the right things, accidents causing serious injuries and fatalities sometimes result. Roundabouts, however, have emerged as an effective method for transportation officials to improve safety at the intersections of rural highways. Roundabouts slow traffic and only require people to check to the left as they navigate the intersection. The shape of the roundabouts physically forces vehicles to slow down and reduces the severity of wrecks when they do happen.

Although roundabouts do not lower the number of intersection accidents, people in roundabout crashes generally only have minor injuries instead of catastrophic ones. For example, one state transportation department spent $1.2 million to build a roundabout at a rural intersection known for disastrous accidents. Engineers predicted that the roundabout would prevent approximately $2.5 million in costs to injured people every year by limiting the force of crashes. Transportation officials expected the roundabout to lessen injuries by 89 percent compared to the previous history at that location.

Preparing for human error behind the wheel

Government statistics reveal that the vast majority of car accidents in California and around the country are caused at least in part by human error. Ignoring posted speed limits, violating traffic laws, using cellphones while driving and getting behind the wheel after taking drugs or drinking alcohol all greatly increase the chances of being involved in a crash, but avoiding this kind of behavior greatly increases the likelihood that motorists will arrive at their destinations unharmed and without incident.

Driving defensively is another good way to reduce the chances of being killed or injured. This involves paying attention to what other drivers are doing and being prepared for any erratic behavior. Maintaining a two-second gap between vehicles can be difficult when traffic is heavy and drivers are impatient, but this space can be crucial in emergency situations as it allows motorists to brake or take evasive action.

Special evidence to gather after a commercial truck accident

It is wise after any accident to take photo and video evidence of the scene. Also, seek security footage from nearby businesses and homes that may depict the collision and gather written or recorded statements from witnesses, whether the collision involves commercial vehicles or not.

However, unlike consumer car accidents, collisions involving commercial trucks often affect many parties and generate several additional layers of legal complexity a victim must deal with when building an injury or property damage claim. Because of the massive amount of damage that such a vehicle can create, lawsuits around commercial truck accidents often take a significant amount of time to resolve. Building the strongest case possible is important for any victim.

Study finds women more prone to phone use behind the wheel

The Society for Risk Analysis has conducted a situation-based analysis of drivers and distracted behavior. The results allowed researchers to uncover four profiles of drivers who are most strongly inclined to use their phones while behind the wheel. California residents will want to know what these profiles are because they can help target distracted driving campaigns.

The first group consisted of women drivers, who were more likely than men to use their mobile phones while on the road. This was followed by drivers who call and text frequently, drivers who have negative attitudes toward safety and drivers with little inhibitions. Talking on the phone doubles the chances of an accident while texting raises that risk by six times. Despite these figures, 68 percent of the participants said they do not believe texting while driving is dangerous.

Nationwide CMV brake inspections to take place 9/16-9/22

Commercial motor vehicle drivers in California will want to prepare themselves for the annual Brake Safety Week held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. In fact, all drivers should keep their brakes in good working order; improperly installed or poorly maintained brakes will increase stopping distance and raise the risk for accidents, especially rear-end collisions. The CVSA has scheduled its event for September 16 to 22.

During last year's Brake Inspection Day, 14 percent of the inspections that were conducted ended in vehicles being put out of service for brake-related violations. This year, the percentage of out-of-service orders may go up since personnel will be conducting mostly Level I inspections. These 37-step procedures check for driver compliance in addition to vehicle safety.

Distractions often result in road accidents

With pedestrian fatalities from car accidents increasing at a much faster rate than other vehicle-related deaths, California residents might be worried about roadway safety. According to some experts, one reason for the increase might be distraction. What might be surprising to hear is that both drivers and pedestrians are exhibiting distracted behavior that results in accidents.

Experts point to the increased use of smartphones by both drivers and pedestrians and the distracting information systems in many new vehicles. While the safety focus is usually on driver behavior, pedestrians often cross streets without looking up from their phones. This distracted walking could be a big reason for fatal pedestrian accidents.

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