Articles Posted in Car Accidents

The death of a California college student by a distracted driver prompts his father to file a claim against Apple for a failure to institute a program to disable texting while driving.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge, Judge Maureen Folan decided against plaintiff Craig Riggs in August, saying he had not adequately proved that  Apple should bear responsibility in the death of his son, David Riggs in 2013. The suit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning no option of refiling the claim.

David Riggs died in 2013 while riding a scooter on the way to his Minnesota home. He was hit by a distracted teen driver sending text messages on his iPhone in a Honda Civic. The teen was only convicted of a misdemeanor.

Trees falling onto motorists traveling along the highway can be deadly. This has proved to be a consistent problem in the Tahoe Basin area year after year, season after season. In September, California Public Service workers will begin cutting down trees that are drought-weakened or dead. This major statewide effort attempts to protect motorists from falling trees.

Earlier this year, during heavy winter snowstorm weather on Highway 89, a tree fell into the roadway and killed a Tahoe City woman as she drove in her car in Squaw Valley. Other mountain highways near the lake have also experienced tragic crashes caused by falling limbs and trees. Highway 89 will be where crews begin their work. A $115 million California safety campaign has made it possible for crews to have already cut more than 100,00 dead trees all over the state on state property next to highways.

The next step in the process begins after Labor Day when crews will begin cutting trees on private property that sits adjacent to highways. According to the State Department of Transportation, crews are instructed to approach private dwellings and ask for permission to cut the trees at the expense of the state. The trees must be dead and in danger of obstructing the roadway to be cut down. Once trees are marked to be cut, property owners will receive a Permission to Enter form in the mail within one to six months. It is illegal for the state to cut down trees on private property without the owner’s permission. Some dead trees on private property have already been marked along highways around Tahoe including 28, 50, 89, and 267, which are all used heavily by skiers and winter sports enthusiasts.

If you are in a car accident you have to prove any damages you have claimed in order to get the compensation owed to you for any damages in the accident. It is a common concern accident victims have as it can be tricky to accomplish. There are several things to keep in mind to successfully prove your damages.

California is Not a No-Fault Car Accident Insurance State

In California, you must prove fault in order to prove your damages in a car accident. California is not a no-fault state and so tort law is used to determine responsibility for a car accident. Car accidents are most often the result of a driver’s negligence. Negligence is when someone does not act with due care and common sense. They violate their duty to be safe to other drivers on the road. Violation of that duty resulted in the injury of another person on the road. The injury could be personal or that of property.

The latest edition of the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria has a new section instructing how to report on the newly emerging autonomous automobiles.

Administrators from all sectors of the automotive and technology fields, as well as government officials, are actively preparing for the very-near future of self-driving cars. The Governors Highway Safety Association, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), have just released the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria, which is the criteria by which law enforcement and other agencies report car accident data. The fifth edition is the first to include instructions on reporting crashes involving autonomous vehicles. It is updated every five years.

Many American drivers are not aware of how soon we will be seeing self-driving cars on our roads with regularity. More companies are announcing their intent to develop these cars every year. It is estimated the United States will have several thousand self-driving vehicles on the streets by 2020. The number goes up to 4.5 million by 2035.

Have you recently been involved in a car accident? It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or someone else’s, there are probably a lot of questions popping into your head. The first few questions are usually centered on injuries, insurance and attorneys.  These three things will affect you the most immediately after an accident as well as later, just when you think it’s all over. While nothing will completely ease your stress and anxiety after an accident, having all your ducks in a row can make things a lot easier. It also eases the confusion when you make your first contact with a car accident attorney.

The Scene of the Accident

Although it is hard to, victims of a car accident should stay extremely aware the first few moments after it occurs. The more details you can recall and document from these initial moments could prove highly important to your case. Take notes of your immediate thoughts. What happened. What did you see? Write down witness statements and take down their phone numbers. Don’t forget to take down the license plate number of all vehicles involved. Everyone has a camera on their phone these days and now is the time they really come in handy. Take photos of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles involved and any injuries obtained. Do not remove your car from where it was hit unless there are no damages or injuries. Leave it where the accident happened until police arrive.

A new study shows Sacramento drivers are the worst out of all 75 of the most populated urban areas in the country. Drivers in Detroit and Orlando, Florida are the best. Salt Lake City, Utah has the second worst drivers in the country behind Sacramento. Two million nationwide data points were studied throughout 2016 to find these results. Incident counts for all 75 inner city areas were weighted against the occurrence percentages. Traffic citations, DUI’s, speeding tickets and number of accidents were all calculated to find the final rankings.

Sacramento earned its distinguished title of worst drivers in the country because it also has the highest rate of traffic citations in the nation. QuoteWizard Insurance, the agency reporting the study results suggested Sacramentans consider traveling the cities many waterways to work as an option to its dangerous streets. Besides Sacramento, Fresno, Riverside, San Diego and Los Angeles were also among the nation’s worst drivers.

A sevenfold increase in opioid-related car crash deaths has recently been reported by researchers. Yet another sure sign the U.S. opioid epidemic is deadlier than ever. More drivers than ever before are dying in crashes while under the influence of prescription painkillers. Columbia University researchers released a statement discussing how prescriptions for opioids like morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone have more than quadrupled in recent years. Seventy-six million were reported in 1991 compared to the 300 million in 2014.

With numbers soaring to such heights, it isn’t surprising we are beginning to see a connection to highway deaths. The increase in drivers testing positive for prescription opioids has become a public health concern in 2017. These types of drugs are used to kill pain from serious injury. Their effects include slowed reaction times, impaired cognitive skills, and drowsiness. All things that add a significant risk while driving. While it’s true that these prescription painkiller users are driving under the influence with more regularity than ever before, researchers say they still need to do more research before any clear facts are established.

This rising epidemic has caught the eye of more than one activist organization, including MADD or Mothers Against Drunk Driving. They have voiced their concerns over the lack of reliable testing for opioids on the road and committed themselves to fighting the problem along with all impairing drugs.

A recently released study has shown obese drivers to be at a greater risk of a car accident than average weight drivers. Seventy-eight percent more likely. A body mass index of over 30 is considered to be obese. The finding showed a rise in deaths among people who weighed more than average despite the considerable increase in commercial and personal vehicle safety technology. Study results indicated this increased risk is due to other health-related problems obese people have. It also raises the issue that auto safety technology is not equipped to accommodate heavier drivers. The finding alarmed government safety officials who noted the disturbing rise in American obesity will coincide with more fatal car crashes regardless of any safety measures.

Obesity

Body mass index or BMI measure body fat in relation to height. It is used as an estimate to roughly judge the portion of the body that is fat. There are four established weight ranges when BMI is considered:

The bay region’s highways are increasingly more crowded with motorists, and the dangers increase along with them. The more motorist crammed on the roads, the bigger the risk of an accident. More and more, cyclists and pedestrians are traveling the roads along with motorists and facing the same risks. Newly released data from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission showed the number of fatal automobile, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian crashes in the Bay Area jumped 43% from 2010 to 2016.

Researchers usually point to two major factors as a cause for this uptick. More drivers and longer commutes. The sharp rise in population and the increasingly long and mind-numbing commutes account for only a portion of the increase. There was a total of 455 fatal crashes in the area in 2016. Compare this statistic with 318 in 2010. Five out of the six years showed increases in the death toll. This followed four previous years of decline. But 2016 was not the highest point. In 2003, there were 509 fatal crashes. The highest number in the 16-year span studied. Experts have some other theories for the rise including distracted driving and a slow-down in advancements in safety features like seatbelts, anti-lock brakes, and shatter-proof windshields.

Ultimately, the real problem is simply human error. Data analysts have pointed out three major factors that continually top the charts of accident causes: unsafe turns, DUI, and speeding. Unsafe driver behavior is the cause of most vehicle accidents on the bay area roads. It isn’t only the Bay Area, either. There has been a steady uptick in deadly car wrecks all across the United States since the Great Recession, which officially ended in 2009. Between 2010 and 2016, deadly accidents rose 33% in California.

Many drivers do not fully understand what huge impact car accidents have on the cost of their insurance. It is easy to understand why your own wrecks increase your rates, but harder to comprehend the correlation of the nation’s crash rate and insurance costs. What’s more, there are specific types of car accidents that happen more often than others and make the biggest impact on car insurance costs. Not only do your own accidents influence your car insurance rates, but those in the community around you, especially if they are one of these five specific types.

Five Most Common Types of Car Accidents in the United States

While the specific circumstances will vary, there are five different types of accidents that happen repeatedly in the United States. A large majority of these accidents are minor and end up in nothing more than a few dents and bruises. Unfortunately, a smaller percentage end tragically in a death or with serious and life-altering injury. Any accident can be deadly. The five most common types of car accidents are:

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