When California residents are involved in car accidents, they are at risk for suffering serious injuries that could potentially include broken bones and damage to internal organs. However, there are cases where a driver or passenger may walk away from a crash only to begin suffering from accident symptoms later on. This is because some symptoms can take hours, days or even weeks to show up.
Many California residents probably remember the 2014 New Jersey motor vehicle accident involving comedian Tracy Morgan. He was a passenger in a limousine that was struck by a Walmart truck driver who had not slept for 28 hours prior to the wreck. The limousine was rear-ended, putting Morgan in a two-week coma and killing another passenger. The wreck would not have happened had the truck driver slowed from 65 mph to 45 mph. It brought extensive publicity to the dangers of driving while sleep-deprived.
On Aug. 21, it was announced that Caitlyn Jenner, who was involved in a fatal car crash in California, could face a manslaughter charge for her involvement. Following an investigation, authorities reportedly determined that she was driving her vehicle too fast, resulting in a four-vehicle crash.
A 28-year-old man who drove his 2012 Mercedes-Benz the wrong way in the eastbound lane of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach remained in critical condition on Aug. 1. Authorities have not been able to determine why he was driving erratically. Earlier in the day, police had spotted the Mercedes crashing into event barricades at the Special Olympics.
California is one of the few states to enact safety measures to protect passengers traveling in limousines. After a limo fire killed five women in 2013, California regulators took action by requiring limo companies to install emergency exits and provide safety briefings to their passengers. Now, a deadly limo accident in New York is raising more awareness about crashes involving large limousines.
California parents of teenage children may be alarmed to learn that while drivers under age 21 account for roughly 10 percent of licensed drivers, they account for significantly more fatal alcohol-related accidents. Approximately 17 percent of alcohol-related accidents that result in a fatality are attributed to drivers in this age range. Teenage drivers are also disproportionately involved in accidents caused by texting while driving. These rates are partly due to the tendency of teenage drivers to believe that they are invulnerable to the consequences of dangerous driving behavior.
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.
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.
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.
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.