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Los Angeles Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

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.

Crash in Ventura County leaves 1 dead, 1 injured

We’ve all heard a story at some point in our lives about a person who meant to press a brake pedal but accidently stepped on the gas pedal instead. If that person has been driving for awhile, this mistake seems difficult to believe -- farfetched even. But as a case out of Ventura County will show, these mistakes can happen and with deadly consequences.

A woman was killed and another injured when a female driver mistook her accelerator pedal for her brake. This caused her vehicle to suddenly crash into a woman near a church parking lot. The car then slammed into a brick wall near the church where the vehicle came to a rest. At some point during the collision, another woman was also hurt. She suffered two broken legs while the first woman is reported to have died at the scene.

Is your sleep aid making you a dangerous drowsy driver?

Whether you live here in California or another state, fatigued driving can turn into a huge problem, especially if it results in a serious crash. While this drowsiness is often caused by a lack of sleep, in a growing number of cases it is being caused by sleep aids. And because millions of Americans are now taking these medications to help with insomnia and other sleep disorders, the risk of a crash rises significantly.

The Food and Drug Administration nearly addressed this problem almost a year and a half ago when it said that it would “begin requiring manufacturers of popular sleep medications such as Ambien to scale back their recommended dosages.” The recommendation was made after it was learned that some people were still experiencing the effects of the drug the next morning. This caused them to become impaired while driving.

GM fined $35 million for negligence in auto defect case

Imagine that you are driving along the freeway when suddenly the engine of your vehicle turns off. This causes all of your important safety systems such as your airbags to turn off. It also causes power brakes and power steering to fail. This leaves you in a particularly dangerous situation, especially if you are involved in a serious motor vehicle accident.

As many of our California readers may have realized, this was the problem with several models of vehicles made by General Motors Co. The problem stemmed from faulty ignition switches that would suddenly turn from the “on” position to the “accessory” position. This caused a number of car accidents across the nation and was linked to at least 13 deaths.

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