While driving in California, almost everyone has encountered a wrong-way driver at least once. In fact, it may even be fair to say that most people have been a wrong-way driver before, too. This may happen when someone is unfamiliar with an area and turns onto a one-way street or turns onto an exit ramp from the highway. Many people escape these scenarios with only a racing heart and honks from angry drivers who slow down while they pull off a hurried three-point turn.
Many California cyclists ride in bike lanes hoping to find a safe haven from the dangers of pedaling around large motor vehicles. However, sometimes automobiles have to make turns into bike lanes, which is just one of a number of possible hazards that bike lanes can present. To properly enjoy a bike lane in the Golden State, cyclists should be on watch for perils that can cause severe injury or death.
Drivers in California need to know how to drive safely around motorcycles because the year-round nice weather means there are many of them on the road. Not only are motorcyclists more difficult to see than other motorists, they operate in ways that vehicle drivers do not always understand.
One of the worst things that can happen to people in California is a hit and run. Sometimes these accidents are little more than a fender-bender, but in other instances, the result is death. Forbes estimates that in 2016 alone, almost 2050 people were killed because of hit-and-runs. These figures represented a 60% climb from where they stood in 2009.
During an accident, head trauma can lead to brain injury. This may happen if an occupant of a vehicle hits their head against the window, or fails to wear a seatbelt and is projected through the windshield. Even airbags have been known to cause head trauma in California. Pedestrians struck by motor vehicles also face a very high risk of brain injury. Victims and their families often prepare for the physical aspects of this, but what about the psychological effects?
Smaller and lighter cars are becoming more popular in California as drivers try to lower gas expenses. However, according to Forbes, these vehicles can be costly in other ways. Smaller and lighter cars tend to have more medical payments claims than any other category of cars. The main reason for this is easy to guess at. Smaller cars typically sustain greater damage during a car crash, which means that the occupants of the vehicle may suffer greater injuries.
The Los Angeles Times reports that previous plans to obligate mandatory safety features to prevent the unintended acceleration of vehicles are no longer in motion. The change comes after automakers voluntarily installed safety systems, which were implemented because of issues with Toyota accelerators that caused numerous accidents from 2009 to 2012. Automakers claim that all vehicles currently being manufactured have override systems that prevent acceleration if both the brakes and the gas are pressed at the same time. As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has rescinded their previous request for an official requirement for such safety systems.
Parents in California are always looking for new ways to keep their children safe and to play an active role in their lives. As a result, many parents opt to drop kids off at school themselves, rather than let them take the bus. However, year and year, statistics have shown that school-transportation vehicles have the lowest crash and fatality rates.
According to the NHTSA, in 2017, distracted driving cost 3,166 people their lives. In California, teens were often blamed for this problem, but studies show that parents struggle just as much with setting their phone aside. This is despite the fact that there is more pressure on parents to lead by example. After all, teens are unlikely to listen to their parents when they talk about distracted driving, if the parents are still using the phone while driving.
California has more vehicles on the road than ever before. When you add construction site slowdowns, detours, road rage and distracted driving, there is also an increased number of crashes involving more than two vehicles. At Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP our team of attorneys often represent clients with catastrophic burns sustained in a car accident.