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Roseville Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

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?

What caused the deadly balcony collapse in CA this week?

At this point, most Roseville readers (and Californians in general) are well aware of the tragedy that occurred in Berkeley earlier this week. During a birthday party at an apartment complex near the UC-Berkeley campus, a fourth-floor balcony collapsed suddenly, dropping 13 people down about 50 feet onto the street below.

Six of those victims died and the other seven suffered severe injuries. Most of the victims and partygoers were students from Ireland, staying and working here on non-immigrant visas. While families mourn and others look on in disbelief, investigators are trying to discover why the balcony collapsed and who may be responsible for the tragic accident.

California led the nation in 2014 dog-bite insurance claims

The idea that dogs frequently bite mail carriers has long been a cliché. But like most clichés, it is rooted in truth. According to the U.S. Postal Service, approximately 5,767 postal workers nationwide were attacked by dogs in 2014.

Postal workers obviously face higher risks because their job involves walking on the properties of dog owners. But these individuals are not the only victims of dog bites and attacks. In fact, dog bites (and other injuries related to dogs) accounted for more than $530 million in insurance claims during 2014. This sum represents about one-third of total payouts for homeowner liability insurance.

Is distracted driving really worth the risks?

Whether or not we realize it, many of our decisions in life are based on an immediate cost-benefit analysis. Behavioral rewards are weighed against risks, and we choose accordingly. And while we usually get things right, we often make the wrong decisions as well.

Why do some errors leave us feeling like we did our best while others leave us with deep regret? In many cases, a mistake feels especially "stupid" because we didn't carefully consider the serious negative consequences of a behavior; we only considered the marginal benefits. Distracted driving is one of the best examples of this phenomenon.

With self-driving Google cars, speed gets traded for safety

Most Californians are well aware of Google's project to develop fully autonomous vehicles. While many universities and private companies are working on perfecting the technology of self-driving cars, Google's efforts are especially noticeable, as their vehicles have already logged more than 1 million miles of test driving, most of which were on California roads.

So how do other drivers rate the performance of these vehicles? Do they fit right in? Do they make dangerous maneuvers? According to at least one eyewitness account, the vehicles appear to be very safe but they "drive like your grandma."

Motorcycle lane splitting isn't already legal in California?

At the beginning of the month, we wrote that May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month across California. With all the traffic congestion and year-round warm weather we experience here in the Golden State, motorcycle safety needs to be an even higher priority here than in other parts of the country.

California also takes a unique approach to motorcycling. No other state in America allows motorcyclists to engage in "lane splitting," which is when motorcycles drive between lanes of traffic in times of congestion. This practice has been going on for decades, which is why you may be surprised to learn that it isn't technically legal. There is not yet a statute that specifically permits lane splitting, but that could soon be changing.

Takata air bag recall to affect 34 million U.S. vehicles: Part II

In today's post, we're continuing a discussion about a recent announcement by Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata. The company, which has provided air bags to most of the major automakers around the world, just announced that its safety recall will include 34 million vehicles in the United States, which is twice as many as originally planned.

The defective air bags can inflate too forcefully, causing metal components to explode and sending shrapnel flying. Complaints about Takata's exploding air bags go back as far as the year 2000. Considering just how many cars may have the dangerous air bags installed, it will take some time to even sort out which vehicles need to be recalled.

Accolades

  • Avvo Clients' Choice 2013 Personal Injury
  • Avvo Clients' Choice 2012 Car Accident
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Personal Injury
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell from LexisNexis 2012

Association

  • American Association for Justice
  • Consumer Attorneys of California

Rosenthal & Kreeger LLP OFFICE LOCATIONS

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Sacramento, CA 95814
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