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How to drive safe with a kid in the car

If you are a parent in California, you probably understand how distracting it can be to ride with your kid in the car. When you take into account trying to stop a crying baby, handing back food, looking over your shoulder to look at your child and the tiredness that accompanies being a parent, studies have shown that driving with kids in the car is one of the most distracting things you can do. Taking certain steps can help prevent an increase in accidents due to these distractions.

According to Medical Daily, a study showed that driving with kids is actually 12 times riskier than driving while using a cell phone. The types of distraction include turning around, handing the child a toy or food, conversing with the child and playing. 

Economic vs. non-economic damages

Drivers and passengers who are involved in car accidents in California may be awarded a variety of damages. These damages fall into two categories: economic and non-economic, and these amounts add up to almost $1 trillion in accident-related losses every year. Economic damages are easier to determine and put a dollar amount on, while non-economic damages are harder to prove and settle on. Even if a driver is determined to be the major cause of the accident, he or she may be eligible for a proportional amount of the damages except in certain situations.  

The Los Angeles Times reports that accidents result in an economic loss of $277 billion of tangible costs every year and around $594 billion in other damages. Actual losses include those from:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost productivity
  • Traffic-related congestion

How does a brain injury impact a patient?

There are many symptoms of traumatic brain injuries that can have long-term, if not life-long, consequences. For patients first experiencing an injury, it can be unclear how much they'll recover and if they have a chance of recovery at all. Many people only recover significantly through the first year or two following an accident, with extremely small, incremental recoveries after that.

There are a number of different possible symptoms patients could face following a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury. Some can be life-altering, while others are simply an aggravation throughout the recovery process. Here's a little more about what patients might expect after an injury.

Are you suffering from a traumatic brain injury?

California drivers who have been in an accident can suffer in a variety of ways. Besides property damage, bruises and potential whiplash, they may even have traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even with accidents in which the driver is not going fast, the brunt of a collision can cause damage to the brain, resulting in short- or long-term consequences. It is important to understand the symptoms of a TBI so one can get medical help right away.

According to Brainline, a number of things can happen when there is a blow to the head, like from a car accident. Collision can cause the head to move abnormally side to side or forward and backwards, and this causes the brain to hit the hard skull multiple times. This causes blood vessels to tear and bruising to the brain, which results in damage to certain areas of the brain. During impact, a car accident can also cause neuronal axons to stretch, which can disrupt communication between areas of the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body.

Drivers and motorcyclists need to share the road

California is the perfect state for motorcycles, but having them on the road can be risky for everyone. Accidents involving motorcycles are often caused by other drivers, which is why all motor vehicle operators should know how to share the road safely with motorcyclists.

According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, in almost half of all fatal accidents involving motorcycles the other driver is found to be at fault. Because they are small and narrow, a motorcycle is often harder for motor vehicle operators to see, so there are numerous tips drivers should follow to ensure safety for motorcyclists. They include:

  • Leave a three- to four-second distance between you and a motorcycle in front of you
  • Leave a bigger distance in inclement weather
  • Take a little extra time to look for motorcycles when turning or changing lanes
  • Never share a lane with a motorcycle 

What is the Negligent Operator Treatment System?

If you are cited for a driving violation in California, there can be more consequences than just a pricey ticket. If you have multiple citations over the last number of years, you may feel the effects long after the tickets have been paid. This is thanks to the state's Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS), which is a program that tracks driving records and places sanctions against the driver based on the number of negligent operator points a driver has.

According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, the number of points added to a driver's record is based on the severity of the traffic conviction or degree of fault in a collision. Drivers get one point each time they are convicted due to an unsafe operation of a vehicle. This includes speeding and driving a vehicle that is not maintained properly. Two points are given in cases where there is an increased risk to traffic safety. Examples of two-point convictions include DUIs and hit-and-run accidents. Drivers of commercial vehicles are assessed additional points for convictions.

These driving tips can help you avoid an accident

Most people do not get up in the morning and decide to have a car wreck on the way to work, no matter how hard they are looking for an excuse to call in sick. Unfortunately, the risk of having an accident during your commute through San Francisco is very real. In fact, it only takes a few seconds on the road for things to go terribly wrong.

Good driving habits can go a long way to help you avoid a car accident. There are a few extra things you can do to reduce your risk of a motor vehicle collision the next time you get behind the wheel. Follow these driving tips every time you are on the road and you could have a better chance of avoiding an accident.

Back to school means more accidents

Now that fall is approaching, parents, teachers and kids in California are preparing for the start of the school year. While this can be an exciting time, this means that more people are on the road and there are more car accidents. To reduce the chances, drivers and pedestrians should follow a set of basic guidelines.

According to the National Safety Council, the areas around schools pose danger to the children which results in a relatively high number of pedestrian accidents. Drivers should follow the school speed limit, which is often 10 mph slower than the regular speed. Other ways to increase safety include carpooling to cut down on the number of cars, unloading kids on the same side of the street as the school and parking in designated areas.

Understanding your diffuse axonal injury

While you may be familiar with brain injuries caused by impact, one you may not be as familiar with is the brain injury caused by sheering. Known as a diffuse axonal injury, or DAI, this injury happens when the brain's long connective tissues and nerve fibers are torn as the brain rotates inside the skull.

This is a serious form of brain injury and one that requires emergency medical care. Here's a little bit more that you should know about a DAI.

What if you cannot afford car insurance?

Drivers in California are all required to carry car insurance or some other type of proof of financial responsibility. Without it, drivers can be penalized in a number of ways such as having their vehicle registration suspended, be fined and be personally responsible for damage caused by an accident. Unfortunately, car insurance can be more than some can afford, which puts everyone on the road at risk. Fortunately, the state has a program in place to help low-income drivers afford insurance.

According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, all drivers must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. For personal injury, the driver must have coverage for at least $15,000 in the event one person is injured or killed and $30,000 for more than one person. Drivers must also carry coverage of $5,000 for property damage. Drivers may also choose to have collision or comprehensive coverage, but these do not count towards the minimum liability. Drivers who are not able to afford the minimum may qualify for the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program.

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