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Roseville Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

DOT delays proposed rules for trucking industry again

Two proposed trucking industry regulations, which would affect drivers in California and around the country, have been delayed again. The rules have yet to be finalized. One would mandate that carriers install speed limiters on all trucks weighing more than 27,000 pounds. The other would require carriers to annually report truckers that fail or refuse to submit to alcohol or drug tests.

The proposed speed limiter mandate was sent to the White House's Office of Management and Budget in May 2015. It has languished since that time, and no new projected date for finalization have been issued, although it is expected to be sometime in the spring.

Accident leaves 5 California road users injured

Police in California have reported that an accident involving a sedan and an SUV left five people injured on April 16. Reports indicate that drug use or drinking are not thought to have played a role. Four of the accident victims suffered what are described as significant injuries, but they are all expected to survive. The accident took place at approximately 7:55 p.m. at the intersection of Del Mar Heights Road and Camino Del Mar Road in Del Mar.

According to reports, the SUV was proceeding southbound on Camino Del Mar Road when its driver attempted to turn into the eastbound lanes of Del Mar Heights Road. The SUV was then struck by a sedan that had been traveling northbound on Camino Del Mar Road. An eyewitness is said to have told responding police officers that the SUV attempted to turn left against a red arrow. Police do not believe that the sedan was traveling at an excessive speed at the time of the crash.

Fatal accident shuts down both sides of highway

On April 5, the California Highway Patrol reported a fatal motorcycle accident in Walnut Creek. The crash took place near the North Main Street off-ramp on Interstate 680 shortly before 12:41 p.m. A motorcyclist was ejected from a motorcycle and thrown from one side of the highway to the other after colliding with a vehicle.

The motorcyclist was taken to John Muir Medical Center with severe injuries, and emergency responders extricated a motorist from a vehicle that was not involved in the initial collision. The injuries subsequently proved to be fatal. Initial reports did not provide the identity of the decedent.

Does hands-free technology improve driving safety?

Although texting and driving can be a deadly combination on California roads, banning such activity does not necessarily remove all communication-related distractions. Many vehicle manufacturers have incorporated hands-free systems into their designs for facilitating calls and other activities on the road. Referred to as infotainment systems, some dashboards offer extensive touchscreen management of music, directions and other interests during a drive. Although a majority of drivers believe that these technologies are safe, safety is not implicit in their design. Anything that draws a driver's attention from the road could be considered a distraction, including on-board technologies.

The use of eyes, hands and the brain in texting and smartphone activities while driving can create particularly serious dangers. However, engaging the brain in a conversation can pull a driver's attention from the road and increase the danger of car crashes. While it may be impossible to remove every possible distraction, some employers have recognized the danger of any cellphone activity while driving, banning all related communication for employees who are on the clock.

Head-on crash kills 2 in California

The California Highway Patrol says that its investigation into a fatal April 5 Mariposa County accident is ongoing and that alcohol consumption or drug use have not been ruled out. The accident claimed the life of a 56-year-old Midpines man and a 47-year-old woman from El Portal. A 48-year-old man was seriously hurt in the crash. The accident took place at about 1:15 p.m. on Highway 140 near Bull Creek.

Police say that the woman's SUV struck an oncoming minivan after straying into the path of westbound traffic in the vicinity of Briceburg Bridge. The woman had been heading eastbound on Highway 140 toward Yosemite National Park at the time of the crash. Debris from the two vehicles blocked both the eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 140, and police diverted traffic for several hours as first responders went about their duties. The road was reopened to traffic at about 5:00 p.m.

Repeated drunk truck driver has privileges shut down by FMCSA

Authorities in California try to be vigilant about possible dangers on the road that can result in a truck accident. With the numerous problems that can result from a crash, one of the most dangerous issues is a drunk truck driver. One driver in particular has had his driving privileges shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration due to repeated incidents of driving under the influence.

The man, whose license is in California, was issued a citation by law enforcement in Illinois because of driving under the influence. His blood alcohol content registered at .308, which is more than seven times the legal amount for commercial vehicle drives. He was also cited for possessing an intoxicant while he was on duty, for failing to keep his trucking log for the previous week, for transporting alcohol illegally, and for an improper lane change.

California crash leaves 1 dead and 7 injured

A collision between two vehicles left one person dead and several other people injured on March 21 in the Moss Landing area. The incident took place on Highway 1 near Molera Road at about 12:30 p.m.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the fatal accident occurred when a 19-year-old woman, driving a black Lexus SUV, rolled down her window to throw out a cigarette, losing control and veering into oncoming traffic, where she collided with a silver Mazda sedan. The woman admitted to police that she was speeding before the accident as well as smoking marijuana and taking prescription pain pills while driving. Police reported that the woman will be facing charges of DUI and perhaps vehicular homicide in connection with the crash.

Increased numbers of pedestrian deaths in 2015

Greater numbers of people walking near California roadways can impact the number of pedestrian deaths in a given year. Additionally, an increase in driving activity could contribute to greater potential for fatal accidents, including those that affect pedestrians. On a national scale, declining gasoline prices in 2015 may have played a partial role in an estimated 10 percent increase in pedestrian deaths during the year.

A report indicates that the estimated figure for pedestrian fatalities in 2015 has been based on statistics for the first six months of the year, during which time there was a 6 percent increase in such incidents in comparison to the same period for 2014. In the preceding five years, the latter half of each year had approximately 25 percent more such incidents than during the first half. It is important to recognize that the second half of the year includes the summer months, during which time there tends to be a significant increase in pedestrian activity.

Vehicle maintenance tips for good-working brakes

A large number of California residents rely on their vehicle to get them to their workplaces safely in all types of weather conditions. Therefore, as one of the most important components of a vehicle, the braking system should always be kept in tip-top condition. There are some tips to help motorists detect the condition of their car's brakes and if a maintenance check or repair is necessary.

Whenever a vehicle's brakes begin to go bad, there are certain warning signs. Motorists who ignore these signs may end up paying more in repairs later on or suffer a crash because of the inability to stop.

Report looks at data on fatigue in truck drivers

With concerns about truck driver fatigue and road safety in California and throughout the country increasing among regulators and law enforcement, a satisfactory solution has not yet been found for measuring the condition. Drivers' Fourth Amendment rights to avoid an unreasonable search and seizure were found in 2011 to have been violated by Minnesota State Police efforts to work from a checklist. One of the most critical problems is that determining fatigue is often subjective. However, the issue is also one that affects truck drivers' long-term health.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has prepared a report sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation that looked at current research into the topic. Among other findings, it reported that there is little data on owner-operators and small carriers compared to large. The report also stated that routine medical exams did not tend to detect conditions such as sleep apnea that might lead to fatigue while hours of service limitations failed to ensure drivers got the rest they needed.


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