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 28-year-old woman was killed and two other women were seriously injured when two cars struck each other head-on on California State Road 4 in Stanislaus County on the evening of July 14. Police investigating the accident said that it had not yet been determined if alcohol consumption or drug use were contributory factors.
While California and the rest of the U.S. have seen a decrease in motor vehicle fatality rates, a recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention underscores that much still needs to be done. The report, which was released on July 6, compared U.S. traffic fatality rates to those of 19 other high-income countries.
A California highway was the site of a major accident on Friday, July 1, 2016, involving a Dodge Ram pickup and a Caltrans vehicle. The incident left one person dead, one critically injured and two others with minor injuries. While authorities have ruled out drugs and alcohol as causes of the accident, the reasons for the collision are still unclear.
California motorists pay more at the pump than drivers in most other states, but a 30 percent fall in gas prices between July 2014 and June 2015 was a major reason that traffic accident fatalities in the Golden State surged by 20 percent during the first six months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014. A report from the nonprofit National Safety Council reveals that accident fatalities and injuries across the country were up sharply in the first six months of 2015, and falling energy costs combined with an improving economy are seen as the factors most influencing these increases.
Teen drivers can be a danger to others on the road, and California residents might like to know about the report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Teens are the age group with the highest rate of motor vehicle accidents, and almost two-thirds of those killed or injured in teen driving crashes are people besides the teen driver.
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.
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.
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 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.