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Los Angeles Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Driver-less cars: the answer to preventing car accident injuries and deaths

Each year across the U.S. an estimated 30,000 men, women and children are killed in car, motorcycle and truck accidents and many thousands more are seriously injured. For years, highway safety officials have focused on finding ways to prevent car accidents while car manufacturers have largely focused on developing safety features to reduce the likelihood of serious injury or death if a driver is involved in an accident. Additionally, federal agencies have worked to pass laws aimed to reduce dangerous driving behaviors and mandate the use of safety features like seatbelts.

Throughout the years, these strategies have been somewhat effective in helping reduce the number of serious and fatal car accidents. However, one serious car accident-related injury or death is still one too many. Enter Google's self-driving car and what may be the solution to America's car accident conundrum.

Controversy over publishing of lane splitting guidelines persists

Mild year-round temperatures allow motorcycle enthusiasts in the Los Angeles area to enjoy biking even during the winter months. The state is home to an estimated 800,000 motorcycle owners who frequently enjoy traveling along both California's scenic and less scenic roads and freeways.

As residents in and around Los Angeles are well aware, traffic congestion along area freeways is a constant. For a motorcyclist who is stuck in stopped or slowed traffic, a driving maneuver referred to as lane splitting may be employed.

Teens and texting: Do laws banning texting save lives?

Texting and driving is dangerous. A new study out of the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama has found that laws banning texting and driving are effective. The study, published in the August edition of the American Journal of Public Health, reviewed 11 years of data from the continental United States. The researchers than adjusted for various factors that could influence results including unemployment, as it could lead to fewer workers driving and less traffic, as well as high gas prices, which could also impact how many drivers were on the road. According to a recent report in The Washington Post, the researchers found that having a texting law resulted in a 2.3 percent decrease in overall traffic fatalities.

Even more striking, when the data is adjusted to focus on teens the researchers find an even greater impact. The percentage jumps to an 11 percent reduction in traffic fatalities for this age group in states with primary texting bans. A primary ban allows an enforcement officer to make a stop solely because the driver was texting, no other violation is required.

Los Angeles appoints new head of DOT, known for pedestrian safety

The Los Angeles City Council recently considered the nomination of Seleta Reynolds to the head position of the Los Angeles City Transportation Department, or LADOT. Ms. Reynolds was nominated by Mayor Eric Garcetti and has previously worked with San Francisco on a livable streets project. She has built a reputation for a focus on the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

According a report in LA's StreetsBlog, Ms. Reynolds plans on taking the city towards a "safer, more shared and more community-friendly future." The vision is one that seems to be shared by the council, who approved the candidate's nomination unanimously.

Tracy Morgan to continue rehabilitation at home after truck crash

It's been more than a month since a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer slammed into the van limousine in which Tracy Morgan was a passenger. The comedian just recently emerged from a rehabilitation facility to continue his treatment at home. Morgan was seriously injured in the crash, and his friend and fellow comedian Jimmy Mack lost his life.

The accident has drawn nationwide attention to the problem of truck driver fatigue. Criminal charges have been brought against the Wal-Mart truck driver, who investigators say hadn't slept in more than 24 hours at the time of the crash. Federal regulations require that drivers of large commercial vehicles have enough sleep before they get behind the wheel. Federal rules also require truck drivers to take breaks, log hours of service and avoid fatigue.

Fiery car accident claims 3 lives, seriously injures 2 more

A fatal accident recently occurred in Palmdale. After 10:30 p.m., the California Highway Patrol arrived at the scene to find one of the cars involved on fire. Unfortunately, three people were killed in the car accident -- two of whom were children -- and two other individuals suffered serious injuries.

The two cars were traveling south on the 14 Freeway. The exact details surrounding the crash are unknown at this time because the crash is still under investigation. However, it is clear that one of the cars rear-ended the other, and the latter car caught on fire as a result of the impact.

Driver to be tried for fatal work vehicle accident in California

A man who formally worked for the San Diego Gas & Electric Company has recently waived his right to a preliminary hearing in his criminal case. The California man was driving his commercial vehicle when he allegedly hit a pedestrian and left the scene of the crash. The pedestrian lost his life in the work vehicle accident.

The authorities hypothesized that the 56-year-old man struck a pedestrian with his work vehicle as the pedestrian was attempting to cross the street. The man continued to drive his truck away from the accident. The impact knocked the pedestrian out into the road where he was struck by another vehicle. The second motorist stopped after the accident and called the police. The pedestrian was pronounced dead when the emergency responders reached the scene.

Federal officials crack down on unsafe motor coach businesses

Would you want to ride on a commercial bus if you knew it was unsafe? Would you trust a bus driver if you knew they had falsified their driving logs to make it look like they had been on the road for less time than they had been? If you answered no to either of these questions then you wouldn’t be alone. Many residents in California would not willingly choose to get on a bus if they knew that they could be at risk of getting into a serious or even fatal motor vehicle accident.

Unfortunately, signs of a safety hazard are not always in plain sight. Most companies will not openly admit to breaking any laws and in some cases, such as the one we are about to present, will show that companies have been known to cover up these violations to prevent themselves from getting into trouble.

Are America's guardrails putting you in danger?

You’ve probably seen one while driving along the interstate: that yellow and black striped cap at the end of a guardrail. Called an “end terminal,” these end caps are “designed to give way when hit, absorbing energy to slow a crashing car.” There are hundreds of thousands of these safety devices in every state across the nation, including here in California. But as several lawsuits suggest, these devices might not be as safe as we may think.

The end terminal most frequently named in these lawsuits is manufactured and distributed by Trinity Highway Products LLC, which is one of the largest distributors of guardrails in the United States. Although their end terminal, called the ET-Plus, was crash tested and approved by the Federal Highway Administration, or FHWA, one self-proclaimed safety expert believes that a small design change after approval compromised the device’s integrity, turning it into a dangerous weapon in the event of an auto accident.

California teen's recent injures highlight party bus dangers

For a long time, the preferred mode of transportation for teenagers going to prom or other important social events has been the limousine. As many occupants would agree, the problem with these vehicles is that they do not allow you to easily move around. Though the party bus fixed this problem, it also created another one: how do you keep people safe in a commercial vehicle such as this?

As you may already know, party buses are often renovated school buses where the bus’s owner has changed the seating and likely added sound systems and lights as well. But in some instances, these buses have not been inspected to make sure that they are safe for passengers. Everything from faulty brake lines to loose windows could spell disaster in the event of an accident.

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