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Los Angeles California Personal Injury Law Blog

What are the dangers of potholes?

As winter gives way to spring, California drivers need to be extra mindful of potholes, which can do damage to your vehicle's tires, alignment, steering, suspension, rims and body. The damage done to your automobile may result in costly repairs. Forbes Magazine cites a recent study by AAA auto club indicating that American drivers spend $3 billion per year on repairs to vehicles due to potholes. 

If you think your vehicle may have sustained damage because of a pothole, take it for an inspection of the undercarriage, tires and suspension by an ASE-certified technician as soon as you can. The problem may get worse if you ignore it, and therefore become more costly to fix. 

Safety risks motorcyclists need to be aware of

Southern California's temperature climate makes it an ideal place to ride a motorcycle. In fact, many people in Los Angeles find a bike a great mode of transportation all year round. Other people may drive passenger vehicles some of the time and then bring out their bikes for special riding days or long trips with fellow motorcyclists. Either way, the joy of riding on two wheels is unique but so too are the risks faced by riders. 

As explained by Cheat Sheet, a large number of the risks faced by motorcyclists involve drivers of other types of vehicles. In the city or even along stretches of the coast highway where cars park off to one side, bikers must watch for opening car doors that can knock into them. Sometimes a door can be opened without enough time for bikers to avoid driving right into it. Cars, trucks and other vehicles making turns, especially left turns may do so in front of bikers. This may happen without sufficient time for the riders to respond, thus resulting in an accident.

How often are work zones a factor in car accidents?

If you feel as if the city of Los Angeles and the entire state of California are constantly under construction, you are not alone. New roadways and communities are rising every day, and with all this new infrastructure comes a need for construction teams who can build and maintain it. Unfortunately, though, these road construction zones present substantial hazards for motorists, and the dangers associated with driving through them are considerable.

Furthermore, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, work zone crashes are on the rise across the nation, with the number of construction zone car crashes skyrocketing more than 40 percent between 2013 and 2015. Just what is it about construction zones that make them so hazardous for motorists?

Easy ways to cut down on distractions in the car

Californian roads can become dangerous when the drivers on it are displaying reckless behaviors due to distraction. It is important for everyone to look at how they can cut down on their own distractions and make the roads a safer place for everyone.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) takes a look at both in-vehicle and out-of-vehicle distractions, which have the same effect on drivers: it takes their attention away from the road. The NHTSA considers out-of-vehicle distractions to be things such as road construction, crashes, or things (or people) of interest outside of the vehicle.

Hands-free driving is not risk-free driving

At Pheffer Law in California, we represent many clients who have suffered serious injuries in car crashes. Often they tell us that the driver of the car that caused the accident was driving distracted, usually using his or her cellphone in some manner.

The National Safety Council reports that around 100 people die in a car crash every day, and distractions remain a a top factor in these fatal car crashes. With respect to cellphones, however, many people believe that if they use a hands-free device to make and receive calls and texts while driving, these activities will not distract them. Unfortunately, such is not the case. The NSC reminds you that your cellphone conversation or text itself represents the distraction.

What is defensive driving?

Los Angeles can be a challenging city to drive in even for residents. That’s why all motorists must take every precaution while driving, from following traffic rules to limiting distractions in their vehicle. Motorists are also encouraged to adopt defensive driving behaviors, as explained by Esurance.

Be calm behind the wheel

Trucker requirement to monitor drive time

Residents in California often see semi-trucks or other large commercial vehicles on area roads and highways. These vehicles are an important means of delivering goods to stores and to consumers. However, many truck drivers often work long hours and must find ways to avoid getting fatigued when behind the wheel. This safety issue is one that is at the heart of some rules created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The FMCSA has regulations in place that limit the number of hours a trucker may work and drive in a given day and in a given work week. One of the ways that the agency monitors this is through the capture of data from electronic logging devices, or ELDs. It is now required that any truck driver who must provide Hours of Service records to the FMCSA must also operate a vehicle equipped with an ELD.

4 injured, 1 dead in 3-car California crash

The rules of the road are there for a reason, and breaking them can lead to a chain reaction that can cause an accident and lead to injuries and death. That is allegedly what happened west of Woodland, California, where a three-vehicle collision injured four of the occupants of the vehicles and killed another. 

The three vehicles involved were a Chevrolet, a Honda and a Ford. The collision took place near county roads 92C and 19 last Friday morning when the westbound Honda, which carried three passengers, allegedly crossed a double-solid yellow line to pass the Chevrolet, crashing into the eastbound Ford, which then collided with the westbound Chevrolet.

Driving drowsy? Rolling down windows or cranking radio won’t help

Your cure for trying to stay awake while driving does not work. Studies have been conclusive that opening your windows to get a little breeze on your face or turning up the radio is not an effective way to keep you awake when extremely tired or fatigued while driving.

Driving drowsy is simply dangerous. It can take the same amount of attention off the road as if you were distracted by your phone or cause the same amount of delay in your reaction time as if you are near the legal limit of blood alcohol content. However, driving while sleepy continues to be a problem and nearly a third of people in a survey said they had recently drove when they were so tired they could barely keep their eyes open.

Ownership change in self-driving car test location

Most residents in California are likely aware that their roads and highways have been the location of many test rides by autonomous vehicle manufacturers. From Silicon Valley down through Southern California, the state has been a leader in advancing the notion of fully self-driving cars on American roads to improve safety and reduce accidents.

In fact, California is home to the biggest site where autonomous vehicles are tested. Called GoMentum Station, the location is in the Bay Area and was originally owned and operated by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. It, however, has just been sold to AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah. According to Transport Topics, the change in ownership is designed to allow AAA to further work already in progress but also to tap into its large member base to drive consumer trust in and adoption of these technologies.

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