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Roseville Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Intoxication suspected as cause of fatal crash

Police in California say that a drunk driver caused a wrong-way accident in Marin County during the early morning hours of Aug. 19 that claimed the life of a 63-year-old Santa Rosa woman. The allegedly intoxicated driver was also seriously hurt in the crash, which took place on Highway 101 near the border between Marin and Sonoma counties at approximately 1:11 a.m. A third motorist suffered minor injuries after his pickup truck struck the accident wreckage.

A California Highway Patrol representative said that calls were received shortly before the crash about a vehicle traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 101 in the vicinity of San Antonio Road. Police report that a Honda minivan was traveling north at approximately 65 mph when it struck an oncoming Mercedes sedan head-on. Police say that the 47-year-old woman behind the wheel of the Mercedes may have believed that she was traveling in the southbound slow lane instead of the northbound fast lane.

Bicyclists face serious accident dangers

As bicycle-friendly as some parts of the state are, significant numbers of accidents involving cyclists take place on California roadways. In 2013 alone, bike riders accounted for almost 5 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state, which was more than double the national average. In the three years prior, the number of such fatalities rose by almost 20 percent nationwide.

According to analysts, cycling accidents may result in more serious injuries when they involve riders decelerating rapidly. These types of incidents can cause a cyclist's brain to impact the inside of their skull and result in cerebral trauma. Some victims even sustain fractured skulls, spinal cord damage or external injuries due to sliding friction.

Study: The real smartphone danger for drivers may be apps

For a long time we at Cutter Law have been issuing warnings about the dangers of texting while driving. But a new study suggests that another smartphone activity is replacing texting as the deadliest behavior - using apps.

The organization is SADD - Students Against Destructive Decisions, in collaboration with Liberty Mutual Insurance. The apps cited in the survey include music apps and navigational (GPS) apps.

The study, titled asked students to rate warnings against what they actually believed:

Almost all teens acknowledge[d] app usage as a danger behind the wheel (95 percent). However, when presented with a visual of an app notification appearing on a smartphone during implicit association testing, it was revealed that approximately 80 percent of teens fundamentally view app use while driving as "not distracting."

Bad rap for self-driving cars might be unfounded

It is unlikely that there is anything the general public unanimously agrees on, so every issue always has people on both sides that make a big deal when evidence goes along with their opinions. This has led to uproar whenever those against self-driving vehicles hear about the autonomous cars being involved in accidents, but it is hard to make definitive conclusions regarding the vehicles yet as there are positives and negatives that California residents might not know about.

One incident featuring Tesla's Autopilot software took place when the Tesla Model S scraped against a car sitting on the shoulder. This collision that happened in China was recorded and made the Autopilot program look bad, but further information revealed that the driver played a role in the accident. This specific software is intended to assist motorists and requires that a driver hold onto the steering wheel in order to take over if necessary. The driver in this case looked down to check his phone and had his hands off the wheel.

Model X autopilot feature prevents car crash

Many California residents who have been following Tesla Motor's rise to fame have probably heard about the controversy surrounding the vehicle maker's Autopilot software. There have been numerous reported accidents where drivers had the Autopilot feature engaged but still became involved in collisions. However, a post on Facebook by a Tesla owner showed how the Autopilot feature actually prevented a crash.

The driver said that he was leaving Las Vegas in a Model X when a vehicle that was on the left suddenly crossed multiple lanes in front of him. The other vehicle came within a foot of the Tesla's front bumper. The Autopilot software braked the car to prevent an impact. The driver stated that if Autopilot had not braked the car, the other vehicle would have clipped the front end, resulting in a high speed crash that could have potentially involved multiple vehicles.

Which car makes and models have the highest fatality rates?

Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety lists which vehicles were involved in the most fatal crashes.

Before reading you should know several things:

  • Cars are actually safer today than ever.
  • It's not always the car's fault - by design or performance -- that the accident proves fatal.
  • These numbers reflect fatalities from years gone by. This year's list covers the model years 2008-2011. These cars may be better today, or there may be other models that are now worse.

Here ten, are the 19 deadliest cars from the past few years, with the number of deaths per million:

Coming soon: Operation Safe Driver Week

Every year, a number of Californians are seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents, some of which involve collisions with large trucks. In order to help to combat the problem, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance as well as local law enforcement agencies will be conducting Operation Safe Driver Week Oct. 16 - 22.

The event is meant to raise driver awareness of poor driving behaviors that can lead to serious accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that 93 percent of passenger vehicle crashes and 88 percent of large truck accidents happen because of negligent driving behaviors. Agencies will be addressing bad driving behaviors through a combination of education and enforcement.

Distracted driving causes at least 8 deaths per day

Driving on crowded California freeways presents many challenges to drivers. When drivers look at their smartphones instead of the road, accidents become more likely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over eight people die every day in car accidents involving distracted driving. Daily injuries from such collisions exceed 1,000.

A representative from the National Safety Council believes that distracted drivers could be contributing to even more deaths. Elusive figures about crashes that result from distractions make accurate counts difficult to obtain. She said that drivers who survive crashes tend not to disclose smartphone usage before the accident. When the NSC studied crash data about accidents involving phone use, the council calculated that roughly one-quarter of car accidents involve this type of distraction.

Not every commercial driver has legitimate medical papers

A recent Overdrive story told how some truck drivers, with help from their fleet owners, are faking their commercial driver's license credentials to stay on the road.

Here are two of the CDL fraud stories, supplied by the Department of Transportation's Inspector General.

The case of the falsified test results

The first case took place in Louisiana, where a CDL driver's license examiner falsified test results and took money from applicants rather than examining them.

The CDL exam required n you take for your medical certificate confirms that you are healthy enough to do the work of CMV driver. With falsified test results, who knows what problems that driver behind you has? Epilepsy, narcolepsy, hypertension, drug addiction - these are things your family doesn't need to deal with.

Proving a truck driver is liable for an accident

California residents who become involved in vehicle accidents with commercial trucks understand just how damaging those crashes can be. If a person is dealing with an injury or other damage that was caused by a commercial vehicle accident, there are certain things they will need to know when thinking about filing a lawsuit.

In order to potentially win a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person and his or her attorney will need to show that the truck driver and the employer were liable. One way to do this is to show that the truck driver was breaking a law when the accident occurred. If the truck driver was drinking and driving or speeding excessively, for example, the driver and the company could be held liable under the concept of "negligence per se."

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