May 15 was the start of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which aims to teach dog owners how to keep them from biting. It is sponsored by the U.S Postal Service, insurance companies and animal enthusiasts themselves. While dog owners may think that their insurance will cover the bill, some in California could be charged with a misdemeanor as well as risk being dropped by their insurance company.
An accident that took place at about 8:42 p.m on May 12 left one person dead and two people injured. Police said that a 32-year-old women had been taken into custody after causing the crash near Yorba Street and East Chapman Avenue in Orange. At the time that she was taken into custody, she was driving on a suspended license because of violations that occurred in 2012 and 2014.
The accident happened after the woman rear-ended a gray sedan while driving her own vehicle west on Chapman Avenue. The sedan was pushed into the intersection and burst to into flames after the impact. One of the occupants inside the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene. Another person was injured and treated at a hospital for minor injuries after that person's vehicle was side-swiped while waiting at a light.
Many Californians enjoy walking from place to place rather that being behind the wheel when the weather is nice. Unlike occupants of cars, pedestrians do not have protection from the frame of a vehicle, and if they are struck by an auto they are much likelier to suffer severe injuries that can often be fatal.
A report by the Governors' Highway Safety Association shows that the number of U.S. pedestrian accidents has been on the rise for quite some time. In 2015, the number of pedestrian accidents increased by 10 percent over the preceding year and by 19 percent since 2009. A majority of them happen at non-intersections. Senior citizens, however, are killed in pedestrian accidents at intersections by much higher percentages than people of other age groups.
Google has been testing its autonomous vehicles on California roads. While some people believe that the mass adoption of the self-driving car may spell an end to the auto insurance industry, that may not be the case. Even if some manufacturers agree to self-insure their vehicles, it could result in a barrier to entry that smaller businesses may not be able to overcome. It may also create situations where companies refuse to allow a car to venture into an area where accidents or thefts occur at a high rate.
That could restrict where people could travel or when they could drive. In addition, there is still a chance that an autonomous car could get into an accident or that several cars could experience problems at the same time. This is because of the complex software that runs each vehicle. If they were connected to a single grid or network, a software issue with one vehicle could suddenly turn into a much wider problem.
There are a number of myths about motorcycle safety that cyclists in California should be familiar with. For example, leather is not just for fashion. It helps prevent scrapes and cuts in an accident. That full-faced helmets restrict visibility is another myth. The Department of Transportation requires all such helmets to be constructed so that peripheral vision is unaffected. Furthermore, unlike open-face helmets, they protect from bugs, weather and other distractions that may also be impediments to safety.
Beginners are often attracted to big bikes, but because they weigh hundreds of pounds, they can be difficult to control. Smaller bikes are a better choice for new riders. Cyclists may also have heard that a loud exhaust pipe helps warn motorists of their approach, but because the sound is directed backwards instead of ahead, this is unlikely. In addition to assuming that drivers will not hear them, motorcyclists should operate as though they are not seen either. Riding close to the dividing line helps keep motorcyclists out of drivers' blind spots.
Fatal truck accidents decreased in 2014 throughout the country from the previous year, but injury rates were up, and truckers in California and across the U.S. are wondering what is causing this. According to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there was a 21 percent increase in truck accident injuries in 2014, but the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents was down 5 percent from the 2013 total.
Some theories have been advanced to explain this seeming discrepancy. An FMCSA spokesman says that big rig accidents are more survivable now. Forward collision warning, automatic braking, electronic stability control and other technological innovations have made it less likely that an accident will be fatal.
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.
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.
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.
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.