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Anaheim Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Navigating liability in a complex, multi-car pileup

Imagine you're driving down the road and a driver decides to make a left turn right in front of your path. You crash into him. Another car crashes into the back of you. A third car crashes into the back of that car. As you can imagine, you're at the center of a very complicated crash.

When a multi-vehicle pileup happens, it's important to determine fault and liability so injured victims can pursue damages from the person responsible. However, the complexity of these crashes can make it difficult -- even impossible -- to sort out who's to blame.

Tips for pedestrian safety

Pedestrians in California might be in growing danger of being injured in a motor vehicle accident. In 2016, pedestrian deaths increased to more than 5,900 from 5,495 in the previous year. Both drivers and pedestrians can take steps to avoid these types of accidents.

Drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians, particularly when they are backing up, when the weather is bad or at night. They should give pedestrians the right of way in crosswalks. Stopping a distance back from the crosswalk allows other drivers to see that there is a pedestrian in the crosswalk as well. They should not pass vehicles at the crosswalk since someone may be crossing. Drivers should always follow the speed limit and avoid using alcohol or drugs.

How to avoid deadly roadway dangers

For people in California and across the country, fatal risks could come from unexpected places. The leading cause of death for Americans age 44 and under is accidental injury. In 2016 alone, 61,749 people were killed in unintentional incidents, a figure almost twice that of the combined death toll of heart disease and cancer. While there are a number of everyday dangers that can prove deadly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that motor vehicle accidents and unintentional poisoning were the most common causes of death.

People can take action to help improve their roadway safety and their chances of survival in case of a car crash. Every year, over 32,000 people lose their lives in collisions, and another 2 million people are injured, often seriously. Safety technologies like seat belts and proper child car seats can help save lives. In addition, avoiding negligent or dangerous driving behavior is critical to preventing accidents. Distracted driving is one major threat on American roadways today; texting while driving draws a driver's hands away from the wheel, eyes away from the road and mind away from the drive.

Technology companies take aim at fatigued truck drivers

Drowsiness plays a role in about 100,000 motor vehicle accidents throughout California and the rest of the country each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and fatigued tractor-trailer drivers are an especially serious road hazard. About 13 percent of all fatal truck accidents involve a drowsy driver, and strictly enforcing federal hours of service regulations have not been enough to stem the problem.

Driving hundreds of miles on repetitive roads can make remaining vigilant a challenge, but several technology companies have developed devices and systems designed to keep truck operators awake and alert. These systems use cameras and sensors to monitor drivers and watch out for unusual head or eye movements. Some systems are even able to identify a driver's posture and individual habits. In addition to monitoring driver behavior, this technology keeps track of hours logged behind the wheel and issues alerts when hours of service limits are reached.

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.

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