Pheffer Law Menu Contact

Los Angeles California Personal Injury Law Blog

What’s the big deal about hydroplaning?

A driver who successfully commutes in the rain may tend to downplay the dangers of hydroplaning. In fact, you may have already experienced a few seconds of hydroplaning and come out fine on the other side. But the hazards are real, and like any dangerous road condition, can cause accidents that result in injuries and death.

What is hydroplaning? Farmers Insurance describes it as something that occurs on wet pavement when your tires lose contact with the surface of the road and travel on top of the water. You may notice that the back end of your car feels loose or moving where you are not steering, almost like fishtailing, but on a smaller scale. Situations that contribute to the likelihood of hydroplaning include:

  • The depth of water: You can still lose traction in shallow layers of water, but in general, deeper water causes loss of traction to occur sooner.
  • Tire tread: Deeper, wider treads scatter more water, so worn tires do not work as well at this task.
  • Speed: Faster speeds cause reduced traction on wet surfaces and can add to your chances of experiencing a complete loss of traction.

What issues do self-driving car makers face?

If you are a resident of California, you may well have seen a self-driving vehicle somewhere on the road in the last couple of years. Certainly the state is one of the key places from where the development of these vehicles is being led. However, you may have your concerns about how safe these cars really are and what issues might be experienced by the companies working to develop and further the technology used in them.

Auto Finance News recently reported on some results of a Autonomous Vehicle Summit Survey from Automotive IQ. It seems that safety, costs, security and regulation generally speaking top the list of issues facing autonomous car manufacturers today. Regarding safety some issues surround the risk of piracy or technology hacks as well as technology accuracy. The cost of many technologies in these vehicles may pose a problem to companies as they are aware that consumers will be price conscious when evaluating auto purchases.

The hazards and tragic consequences of drowsy driving

Drowsy drivers are the cause of as many as 6,000 fatal crashes each year in the United States. Fatigue and sleepiness while driving pose risks and dangers to all motor vehicle drivers on the road, and also can lead to tragedy.

Before hitting the road, one must make sure to eat right and get enough sleep. You, your passengers and other drivers depend on this. Doing so just may help prevent an accident.

Understanding whiplash from a car crash

Some people in California might be quick to dismiss the concept of whiplash as a serious injury but they should not do this. Whiplash is a real injury that impacts many people and can cause serious pain and reduced functioning. Understanding it is important as it can happen as the result of even a relatively minor accident.

As explained by Spine Health, there are multiple phases of a whiplash injury that may contribute to soft tissue damage as well as damage to the intervertebral discs in the neck and spine. First a car seat might compress a spine in an upward motion and then the head may be forced into the headrest of the seat and then forward again. In one part of this series a person's upper body may be pushed forward while the head remains in the original location which puts the spine's normal angle out of whack.

Highlighting the risks posed by eating while driving

You have likely heard enough horror stories told by people in Los Angeles to avoid even considering getting behind the wheel after having been drinking. That same might true of texting or talking on your cell phone while driving. Yet our team here at Pheffer Law can attest to the fact that there are several other distractions that can make you or others dangerous while behind the wheel. What is more, these forms of distraction may present an even greater threat given that they are activities that most would view as being mundane and harmless. 

For example, take eating while driving. This is likely something that you have done many times before. Eating may seem like such a natural function to you that you do not view it as being distracting in any way. Consider, however, the three main types of distractions that hinder drivers: 

  • Manual distractions: Activities that require you to take your hands off the steering wheel.
  • Cognitive distractions: Activities that cause you to divert your attention away from the road. 
  • Visual distractions: Activities that cause you to look away from the road immediately ahead of you. 

Preventing a car accident: proactive steps

In today's fast-paced world, it is rare to go even a few moments without a distraction. However, the constant use of cell phones and other distracting activities have in part led to an unsettling increase in car accidents across the nation. Most Los Angeles drivers understand the consequences of driving while sidetracked, but there are other preventative steps ones can take to avoid a catastrophic wreck altogether.

While it is impossible to control another driver's irresponsible actions, California residents can hone their own defensive driving skills to reduce chances of an accident. For example, driving safety resource Driver's Alert first shares the defensive driving strategy of placing enough distance between cars. "Blind spots" is another term that most drivers use, but often easily forget about; paying attention to one's own blind spots and those of other drivers can be crucial. Although it may seem apparent, using turn signals is another safety practice that is easy to ignore. Driver's Alert also encourages readers to always assume that surrounding drivers have poor driving skills. By assuming those in surrounding cars will exhibit unsafe practices -- such as running a red light or passing illegally -- drivers can be better prepared in urgent situations.

Preventing a car accident this summer, the right way

Most California drivers have heard it all before: wear a seatbelt, stay away from cell phones and pay attention when operating a vehicle. Yet when many jump behind the wheel, safety precautions often fly out the window. While a number of distractions have long been a threat on America's roads, some safety tips and current discussions on new technologies can give insight on preventing crashes in the future. 

Again, while a large majority of Americans are aware that car crashes make up the leading cause of death across various demographics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supplies additional information on car accidents in the state and ways to prevent them. Between 2003 and 2012, car crashes claimed the lives of 23,125 California drivers. More specifically, the CDC shares that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among Americans for the first three decades of their lives. Although the report provided in the CDC's brochure shows that 96 percent of Californians wear seatbelts, the study may not reflect a crystal-clear picture of seatbelt use in the state. Nevertheless, wearing a seatbelt can make a significant impact on the outcome of an accident. 

Important tips after a vehicle crash

California residents know that there is always the chance of being involved in a motor vehicle accident when they get into their cars. Fortunately many such accidents are minor but that does not mean that people should avoid taking certain steps after they happen. It is always important for motorists to protect themselves at every step of the way.

As NerdWallet explains, the first priority in any accident should always be the health and safety of the people involved. Identifying potential injuries and calling for emergency help should come before everything else. A person who appears to be seriously injured should not be moved until help arrives.

Planning a summer road trip? Stay safe with these tips

Summer is quickly approaching and for many that means that it’s finally time for the long-awaited road trip. You’re likely eager to hit the road, but road trips aren’t always fun and games if you aren’t prepared. Long drives can put you at a greater risk of an accident so staying safe is key.

Here are some tips to stay safe when you take off on your upcoming adventure.

Avoiding car accidents: precautionary steps

Most Californians have experienced a minor fender bender or scrape on the side of a car door. These incidents generally fade to the background as quickly as they occurred, leaving no major consequences in terms of car repair or driver safety.

Not all drivers leave accidents unscathed, however, as some prove to be incredibly dangerous. The information below discusses some recent precautionary steps taken to reduce the number of car crashes, as well as other preventative methods drivers can keep in mind on the next road trip. 

12121 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1103 Los Angeles, CA 90025 Phone: 310-909-7801 Map & Directions