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Anaheim Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

New GHSA study on drugs and fatal car crashes

The Governors Highway Safety Association has conducted a study on drug use and its connection to fatal car crashes in 2016. Drivers in California may not be surprised to hear that the percentage of fatally injured drivers with drugs in their system has increased from 28 percent in 2006 to 44 percent in 2016. The drug most frequently found was marijuana at 38 percent, followed by opioids at 16 percent and a combination of the two at 4 percent.

According to the study, 51 percent of impaired drivers tested positive for two or more drugs. Moreover, 49 percent had both drugs and alcohol in their system. The GHSA stresses that the two should not be considered separately. At the same time, the organization acknowledges that not every driver who tests positive for drugs can be considered impaired. The study does not state that these drivers were impaired but simply that drugs were found in their system.

A car accident can result in injuries of varying severity

There is no way of knowing what will happen if you are involved in a car accident, which is why you should do whatever you can to remain safe every time you get behind the wheel.

Any type of injury, even one that appears minor on the surface, calls for evaluation by a medical professional.

Large truck accident figures released

California drivers might be interested in the findings of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report about truck accidents. The number of trucks that were involved in fatal accidents increased 3 percent from 2015 to 2016; a critical event in 73 percent of these crashes was an animal, object, person or another vehicle crowding into the truck's traffic lane.

The large truck involvement rate, which reflects the number of fatal large truck crashes per 100 million miles of large truck travel, stayed constant at 1.46 between 2015 and 2016. The FMCSA defines large trucks to include trucks with gross weight ratings greater than 10,000 pounds. There were more registered large trucks in 2016 at 11.5 million compared to 2015's 11.2 million.

Learning how to drive safely on California highways

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Operation Safe Driver Week will take place from July 15 through July 21, 2018. During the week, law enforcement officers from different states will join California's officials in an attempt to identify unsafe driving habits. The alliance will study the habitual practices of truck drivers and drivers of passenger vehicles.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers displaying unsafe driving habits cause approximately 90 percent of crashes occurring with passenger vehicles. Officials plan to look for drivers who are breaking the speed limit, driving without seat belts, texting while driving and disobeying common traffic regulations. The purpose is to prevent a future truck accident from taking place on any highway.

Pedestrian deaths linked to distraction, marijuana use

The recent alarming rise in pedestrian deaths in California and around the country has been attributed to distraction and cell phone use by many road safety experts. However, a report released on Feb. 28 by the Governors Highway Safety Association suggests that marijuana use may also be contributing to the problem. According to the GHSA, pedestrian fatalities during the first six months of 2017 rose by an average of 16.4 percent in the District of Columbia and the seven states where the recreational use of marijuana is permitted. The road safety group's figures reveal that pedestrian deaths during the same period fell by 5.8 percent on average in the rest of the country.

However, distraction is seen by most road safety experts as the bigger threat, and studies have found that pedestrians staring at their phones are just as much of an issue as drivers using mobile devices behind the wheel. Pedestrians in Montclair can be ticketed for using their cell phones while they cross the street, and lawmakers in several other parts of the country are considering similar measures. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian deaths rose by 9.5 percent in 2015 and 9 percent in 2016, and the figures for 2017 are expected to be just as sobering. The GHSA report puts the 2017 pedestrian death toll at 5,984.

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