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Roseville Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Limo safety concerns after recent crash

California is one of the few states to enact safety measures to protect passengers traveling in limousines. After a limo fire killed five women in 2013, California regulators took action by requiring limo companies to install emergency exits and provide safety briefings to their passengers. Now, a deadly limo accident in New York is raising more awareness about crashes involving large limousines.

In July, four women were killed and four others were seriously injured on Long Island when the limo they were riding in was broadsided by another vehicle. At the time, the limo was performing a U-turn, and the driver of the second vehicle was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. The chief of police in Southold, New York, said that there were no airbags in the limo and he is not aware if any of the passengers had seat belts on.

Diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans

California residents may be surprised to learn that 60 percent of the infectious diseases that affect humans originated in animals. Three quarters of all emerging infectious diseases are also zoonotic. Most people are aware of the dangers of zoonotic conditions such as rabies, but there are a number of other conditions that can be contracted by contact with wild animals or pets.

It may come as a surprise to learn that doctors in Florida have linked nine cases of leprosy in humans to armadillos. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is another potentially deadly but rare condition spread by animals, and humans do not even need to have direct contact with the disease's rodent carriers. Sufferers usually contract the disease after inhaling dust thrown up when rodent droppings are disturbed or placing their fingers in their mouths after touching rodent nesting materials or droppings.

The casues of tanker truck rollover accidents

Semi-trucks hauling containers of gasoline, flammable gas or crude oil are not an uncommon sight on California's highways, and they are generally given a wide berth by passenger vehicle drivers. While the vast majority of these commercial vehicles arrive safely at their destinations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that over 1,300 such vehicles are involved in rollover accidents every year. These can rupture cargo tanks and lead to dangerous chemical and fuel spills.

This kind of commercial vehicle accident is sometimes blamed on reckless truck drivers who lose control of their vehicles after taking a sharp turn too quickly, but the statistics tell a different story. More than half of all cargo tank rollover accidents take place on a straight section of road, and speed is only discovered to have played a role about 50 percent of the time. Driver inexperience may also be suspected after a rollover accident, but the FMCSA reports that about two thirds of the truck drivers involved in these accidents each year have 10 or more years experience behind the wheel.

Drunk driver sentenced to 18 years for killing three friends

On July 10, a California man was sentenced to 18 years in prison for a deadly drunk driving crash early last year. The 26-year-old was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI in June.

According to authorities, the defendant's blood alcohol content was between .10 and .18 percent when he lost control of his SUV on a northbound Interstate 805 transition ramp at around 11:15 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2014. The SUV flipped at least five times, and four of his five male passengers were thrown from the vehicle. Three of his passengers, ages 23, 29 and 35, died at the scene of the crash. A survivor of the accident testified that all five passengers asked the defendant to slow down immediately before the accident.

Learn the facts about drinking and driving

Every day, a person in California or another state dies every 51 minutes because of an alcohol-impaired driver. This means that about 30 people die every day in this country in perfectly preventable accidents. In 2013, about one-third of traffic-related deaths were due to impaired driving with many of these deaths being of children age 14 or younger. About half of the children who died in alcohol-related accidents were in the same vehicle as the impaired driver.

Driving under the influence costs the United States an estimated $59 billion annually in societal and economic costs. Drugs other than alcohol cause about 18 percent of motor vehicle deaths. Many of the impaired drivers who caused fatal accidents were younger drivers. About one-third of the drivers were between the age of 21 and 24 and another 53 percent were between the ages of 25 and 44. These numbers hold true for motorcyclist deaths as well with 27 percent of them having a BAC of 0.08 or greater.

Teenage drinking and fatal auto accidents

California parents of teenage children may be alarmed to learn that while drivers under age 21 account for roughly 10 percent of licensed drivers, they account for significantly more fatal alcohol-related accidents. Approximately 17 percent of alcohol-related accidents that result in a fatality are attributed to drivers in this age range. Teenage drivers are also disproportionately involved in accidents caused by texting while driving. These rates are partly due to the tendency of teenage drivers to believe that they are invulnerable to the consequences of dangerous driving behavior.

Despite strict blood alcohol concentration guidelines in most states, nearly 2,000 underage drinkers are killed each year while driving in the United States. Statistics estimate that alcohol is a factor in one-third of all vehicular accidents involving teenagers. Those who begin consuming alcohol at a younger age are seven times more likely to be involved in an alcohol-related accident. Texting while driving results in more than 3,000 teenage deaths each year, and texting while driving alone makes an accident 23 times more likely.

Most common type of motorcycle wreck in 2014? Single-vehicle

If you're like most motorcyclists, you've probably been told to take special care at intersections, because drivers often don't notice motorcycles when they make turns. Another hazard is following or being followed by passenger vehicles, because drivers often don't understand how quickly bikes can stop -- or they themselves stop on a dime without any warning.

Those are definitely two situations where even a veteran rider can get hurt, and it's crucial for you to be aware of that. What may come as more of a surprise, however, is that single-vehicle accidents appear to be far more common than we probably thought. In fact, single-vehicle claims topped Progressive Insurance's list in 2014, in terms of total motorcycle claims.

Should collision-avoidance systems become standard issue? Part II

In our post last week, we began a discussion about safety features in automobiles. Specifically, the safety features we tend to take for granted (like seat belts and air bags) were once optional add-ons for which car buyers paid a premium. Through common-sense regulatory efforts, however, truly crucial safety features have become standard in all new vehicles.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been recommending similar measures for one piece of safety equipment for the past two decades, with little success. Collision avoidance systems are becoming ever more sophisticated, and the NTSB recently reiterated its recommendation that these systems become standard features in all newly manufactured passenger and commercial vehicles.

Should collision-avoidance systems become standard issue? Part I

Some of the vehicle safety features that we now take for granted have not been around all that long. It is difficult to imagine driving a car without seat belts or air bags. But after each was invented, there was a period of time in which they were optional "luxury" items that customers had to pay more money for.

Such is the power of government regulation. Today, there is no question that new vehicles must come with seat belts and at least a minimum number of air bags. These safety features are simply too valuable to be considered optional add-ons. Should regulators be making similar decisions about other types of auto safety technology?

NHTSA working on tech to eliminate drunk driving accidents

Each year, some 10,000 people are killed in drunk-driving accidents on U.S. roads and highways. And while some of the victims are the drunk drivers themselves, many are innocent individuals (including children) who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Drunk driving and DUI accident rates used to be much higher than they are today. Increasingly tough laws and public awareness campaigns have made it clear that drunk driving is both illegal and socially unacceptable. But we have not been able to eliminate the behavior altogether, as evidenced by the 10,000 people who lose their lives each year. Could we ever get to a point where drunk driving is no longer a threat?


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