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Anaheim Personal Injury Law Blog

Do I need uninsured motorist insurance in California?

Making sure that you are meeting the minimum requirements for car insurance is very important. If you fall short of your state's requirements, you are technically breaking the law. While many consider meeting their state's minimum requirement sufficient, others want to make sure that they are protected financially under any circumstances.

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) reported in 2004 that 14.43 percent of drivers were on the road with no car insurance. This makes the chance of becoming involved in an accident with an uninsured driver reasonably high. As a result, many drivers in California wonder whether it would be worthwhile to take out uninsured driver insurance.

Daylight saving time increases car accident risk

Drivers in California and around the country need to get enough sleep in order to safely operate their vehicles. Unfortunately, daylight saving time cuts into the sleep time of many drivers, making it more likely they could get into a crash, according to researchers from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

AAA says that people need at least seven hours of sleep every 24 hours to be safe drivers, and research shows that missing just two hours of sleep can double the risk of getting into an accident. Further, the organization also reports that people who get five hours of sleep have a crash risk similar to that of drunk drivers. Meanwhile, the National Sleep Foundation has determined that drivers who get less than two hours of sleep in a 24-hour period are "unfit" to get behind the wheel.

Traffic deaths stay above 40,000

Although traffic deaths declined in California and throughout the country last year, they still topped 40,000 for the third straight year. This was according to the National Safety Council. It was also reported that serious injuries were up 1 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. Driver distraction is cited as a key reason why traffic fatalities are so common. Since 2008, infotainment systems and smartphones have grown in popularity.

If there is a silver lining, advanced safety features may be able to help drivers stay safe while on the road. For example, emergency braking systems are available in some vehicles, and pedestrian detection systems are being developed. However, pedestrian detection systems are not available in a large enough number of vehicles to have any statistically significant impact on traffic fatality rates. Even if a car does have such features, they may not be equally effective across all makes and models.

Tips to stay safe on a motorcycle

According to 2016 crash data, motorcycle riders around the country were 28 times more likely to die in an accident compared to other vehicles. Therefore, it is important that riders understand basic safety rules and tactics that they can employ to reduce the chances of an accident occurring. It is also critical that anyone who wishes to ride a motorcycle is properly licensed before riding on a California road or highway.

Rider education courses as well as a skills test may be part of the licensing process in a given state. However, even if a rider education course is not required, it is generally advisable to participate in one anyway. After obtaining a license, it is a good idea to spend time practicing in a variety of different conditions. This can help a person get a better idea of how a bike handles when roads are cold, wet or slippery.

Distracted driving poses serious threats on USA highways

In California, a recent study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated that more drivers are using their cellphones to read and send emails in lieu of talking. In addition, drivers are texting messages and performing other miscellaneous actions on their cellphones. Although the percentage of drivers using hand-held phones has declined, the number of distracted drivers has increased. According to the author of the study, people are becoming more distracted while driving their vehicles.

A large percentage of distracted drivers manipulate their cellphones. Recent state laws regarding talking on cellphones while driving have not deterred drivers from using their phones in other ways. The author of the study, who is also employed by the Highway Loss Date Institute as a senior research scientist, mentioned that cellphone usage while driving poses dangers to society. Kidd added that a distracted driver using their cellphone is apt to cause a fatal car accident.

Do I really need a personal injury attorney?

A motor vehicle accident can alter your life in many ways, as it can result in serious injuries with long-reaching financial implications. For this reason, you need to know exactly which steps to take if you find yourself in this position.

It's easy to believe you can work closely with your insurance agent to receive all the compensation you deserve, but taking this approach is a mistake. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, so they often throw out lowball offers to see if an accident victim bites.

Preventing collisions with commercial trucks

Large truck crashes led to 3,986 deaths in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. This represents a 27 percent jump from 2009, and the upward trend appears to be continuing. One expert from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance states that passenger vehicle drivers are to blame for at least 70 percent of all collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles. For this reason, drivers in California should consider the following safety tips when sharing the road with trucks.

First, it's important to maintain a safe distance from trucks; over 500 feet is good, but it will depend on speed. Drivers should also avoid engaging in distracting activities. Smartphones especially should be out of sight and out of mind. This is because drivers must be attentive to the trucker's movements. Drifting in and out of a lane could indicate a drowsy or distracted trucker.

Bikers can help to protect themselves from motorcycle crashes

Motorcyclists in California may be concerned about the risks that they face when they take to the roads. Because motorcycle drivers are largely unprotected, accidents can be serious and lead to devastating injuries. Motorcyclists may face broken bones, internal organ damage or even traumatic brain injuries as a result of a crash. There are various tools that people can use to help to protect themselves and avoid common types of motorcycle crashes before they occur.

Trained motorcyclists are less likely to suffer a severe motorcycle accident. By seeking out a rider course, people can learn more about how to protect themselves even when facing other dangerous or negligent drivers on the road. In addition, safety gear like helmets can help to prevent or reduce injuries as a result of a crash. One of the most common types of accidents takes place when a car turns left in front of a motorcycle after failing to judge the bike's speed correctly. Motorcyclists may need to look for gaps in order to identify spots that could pose a danger at each intersection.

Safety technology may reduce accident rates by 30 percent

In California, car accident rates have surged over the past seven years. The trend has occurred across the U.S. Since 2011, accidents have increased by 30 percent. Experts attribute the rise in car accidents to several factors, including an improved economy, distracted driving and the legalization of marijuana in some states such as California.

According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, new safety technology could combat the rise in car accidents, including those caused by distracted driving and driving under the influence of marijuana, bringing the rates back down to pre-2011 numbers. Analysts state that smartphone use has contributed to 20 percent of the increase in accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that states in which marijuana has been legalized have experienced a 5 percent increase in car accidents.

Winter Weather Tips for California Drivers

For many, winter brings to mind memories of the holidays or cozy evenings by a fire. Unfortunately, another big part of winter is inclement weather. Sleet, snow, and ice are a major cause for vehicle accidents during winter months. Thankfully, there are many ways that California drivers can keep themselves safe during rough weather.

First and foremost, the best way to avoid winter weather is by not traveling in it to begin with. This sounds simplistic, but simply leaving later or early in order to avoid the worst of a storm can have a big impact. What's more, some areas are more adversely affected by severe weather than others. Avoiding these areas and using alternate routes can make a difference.

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