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Roseville Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Owner of car may be responsible in hit-and-run accident

A white BMW belonging to Blac Chyna was involved in an accident in Southern California on Nov. 7. Although the businesswoman was reportedly at home at the time, she may still be partially responsible.

Reportedly, the car sped down Reseda Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley and ran a stop sign before hitting a black Audi. Allegedly, the BMW also hit a fire hydrant and a pole while the Audi was knocked across several lanes of traffic. All of the passengers in the Audi were injured. Reports say that after the accident, two women got out of the BMW and into another car.

Making driving in California safer

Improvements in vehicle safety have dramatically reduced the number of road related deaths over the last several decades. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, enacting regulations like seat belt requirements in cars has saved an annual average of more than 11,000 lives annually between 1960 and 2012. However, safety regulations aren't the only way that traffic deaths can be reduced.

The less time that people spend on the road, the less likely that they are to get into an accident. Reducing someone's commute to work, even by just a mile, can dramatically lower their risks of being in a car accident.

Two in five drivers admit to drowsy driving

According to a new study, approximately two of every five drivers in California and across the U.S. have dozed off while behind the wheel of a car at some point in their lives. The study, which was conducted by AAA, was released as part of National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in November.

At the Asleep at the Wheel forum held in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that between 5,000 and 7,000 Americans are killed each year due to drowsy driving. The agency revealed that driver fatigue was a factor in an estimated 39.5 percent of major accident investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board between 2001 and 2012. Overall, drowsy driving was a factor in 20 percent of all NTSB investigations.

Single-vehicle crash in California claims 2 lives, injures 1

The California Highway Patrol report that two young women died from injuries they suffered in a single vehicle crash during the early morning hours of Nov. 1. The driver of the vehicle, who was also another young woman, was severely injured in the accident.

According to the report, the accident took place on Franklin Canyon Road in Contra Costa County when an SUV suddenly swerved from the roadway and crashed into a tree. Two of the vehicle's occupants were instantly killed, and an ambulance took the driver to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for treatment of life-threatening injuries. Law enforcement officials said that the driver had apparently dozed at the wheel while traveling around 60 mph.

Fiery head-on collision kills 5

Five people were killed in a fiery car accident in California Oct. 24. The fatal crash happened east of Groveland along Highway 120, the highway that connects the Bay Area to Yosemite National Park. The two vehicles collided head on, but police could not immediately determine which of the two vehicles had crossed the centerline.

The head-on collision took place around 6:30 p.m. when a 2012 Nissan Maxima sedan and a 2012 Mercedes-Benz SUV collided near the intersection of Smith Station Road. The drivers of both of the vehicles were pronounced dead at the scene as well as all but one passenger in the Mercedes. There were two survivors of the crash. In the Mercedes, a woman in her 50s survived as well as a 22-year-old woman in the Nissan. The younger woman suffered from major injuries, and both women were airlifted to the hospital.

Ad campaign aims to educate California teen drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced recently that it would be partnering with the Ad Council on a PSA related to underage drunk driving. The PSA was created as part of National Teen Driver Safety Week and aims to show teenagers that drinking and driving can lead to permanent consequences. Footage for the commercial was shot entirely on an iPhone and portrays drunk driving as a party foul.

However, the commercial stresses that unlike spilling a drink, drinking and driving is something that no one will forget. Those who view the commercial can then go to a dedicated website to learn more about the consequences of drinking and driving. According to the NHTSA, nearly a quarter of drivers under 21 involved in fatal car accidents had alcohol in their system. Nearly half of teens who die in alcohol-related car crashes were the ones who caused the crash.

The consequences of running a red light

Running a red light is a major safety risk at intersections in California and across the rest of the country. The Traffic Safety Facts 2008 Report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that drivers who run red lights caused 762 deaths in that year. Additionally, it is estimated that red-light runners cause about 165,000 injuries every year.

Under the permissive yellow rule in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices issued by the Federal Highway Administration, drivers can legally enter an intersection while the traffic light is yellow and are only in violation of traffic law if they enter the intersection after the traffic light turns red. This means that the traffic light could turn red after the driver is in the intersection but before the driver has cleared the intersection without the driver being in violation of traffic law. In a few states, however, drivers are required to stop or clear the intersection before the light turns red.

The statistical risks of road travel

Thousands of people are killed or injured on the roads of California annually, but the chances of being involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident have fallen sharply in recent years. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that the number of fatal auto accidents has been declining since 1985, and the number of people killed on the nation's roads fell by about a third between 2011 and 2014.

Auto manufacturers have received much of the credit for these reduced accident fatality rates. Safety is a major concern for many car buyers, and technology such as airbags, anti-lock braking systems and vehicle crumple zones protect vehicle occupants and drive foot traffic to showrooms. Auto industry experts predict that road safety will continue to improve in coming years as even more sophisticated safety technology such as accident avoidance systems become more widely available.

Autonomous vehicles and the question of liability

As California residents may know, self-driving features are being added to motor vehicles by some companies, including Mercedes, Tesla and Google. Others are working on their own versions of autonomous cars. A question has arisen in who carries responsibility if one of these vehicles is involved in an accident.

California is currently one of only four states in the country that allow self-driving cars to be tested on roads that are public. Because these vehicles may end up having access nationwide to roads in the United States, the CEO of Volvo believes that autonomous cars should be addressed by the U.S. government. In a television interview, he, along with representatives from Google and Mercedes-Benz, said that their companies would take responsibility for accidents caused by their autonomous vehicles. The Volvo CEO expressed concern about a lack of national rules to govern the on-road use of autonomous vehicles. Because the government is not involved in the development of these cars, states might enact different rules on the usage of these vehicles. That might make it difficult to keep these vehicles in compliance.

Claiming wrongful death for a fatal crash

California residents might be interested in understanding more about why Paul Walker's daughter has filed a lawsuit against Porsche over the late actor's sudden death in a car accident in 2013. Walker died after the 2004 Carrera GT he was a passenger in crashed into a concrete lamppost. Investigators believe the vehicle was traveling up to 94 mph in an area with a 45 mph speed limit.

According to the lawsuit, the family 's investigators claim the vehicle was moving at 63 to 71 mph when the crash occurred. Authorities indicated that the accident resulted from poor driving at an excessive speed, while the lawsuit contends that the vehicle's manufacturer failed to include standard safety components. Specifically, it claims that the Carrera GT was lacking a stabilization sensor system. The lawsuit also claims that the Porsche's seat belt system trapped the actor inside the vehicle, breaking his pelvis and ribs, as he and the driver burned in the resulting fire.


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