Pheffer Law Menu Contact

Los Angeles California Personal Injury Law Blog

How can I ensure safety when approaching a stopped bus?

Hearing news of any school bus accident in California is terrible, but it becomes even worse when the accident occurs because motorists do not stop for the bus when it is picking up children. These types of accidents are 100 percent preventable, but every motorist must do his or her part to ensure they do not happen. To ensure that you do not become a news story for your bad driving around a school bus, you should learn the laws and rules about interacting with school buses on the roads.

The Department of Motor Vehicles explains that it is the law that you must stop if you come upon a bus that is stopped with its red lights on. This is regardless of which direction you are traveling in. The only exception is if you are on a divided or multilane highway. If you are going in the opposite direction on such roadways, you do not have to stop. When the red lights are on, you must stop and stay stopped. Once the bus driver turns the lights off, you may proceed.

Does caffeine really help you stay awake when driving?

Drowsy driving can be hazardous for both drivers and other individuals on the road. Research says drowsy may even compare to driving while under the influence of alcohol. To evade drowsiness while driving, many individuals will drink coffee, or something with caffeine.

Does caffeine really help individuals stay awake when they are feeling tired behind the wheel?

How sleep apnea contributes to auto accident risk

The effects of a common medical disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea may contribute to car accidents on California roadways. According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep apnea occurs when muscles supporting certain structures in the throat, such as the uvula, soft palate, tongue and tonsils, relax too much when the patient lies down to sleep. The relaxed muscles can cause these structures to block the airway in the throat, which temporarily prevents the body from breathing for as long as 20 seconds at a time.

In order to clear the obstruction and recompense breathing, the brain causes the body to wake briefly and reopen the airway. While some people with sleep apnea are aware of the sleep interruptions due to symptoms of gasping, choking, snorting or transient shortness of breath upon awakening, many people with sleep apnea do not recall waking up during the night and are not aware of the condition until someone else points it out to them.

Study suggests legal marijuana may result in more car crashes

When people hit the road in Calfornia, they may worry about drunk drivers more than drivers using marijuana. However, marijuana can also impair drivers and a new study suggests that the use of legal recreational marijuana may cause more car accidents.

A joint study by the Highway Loss Data Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examines possible correlations between car accident rates and legal recreational marijuana. The researchers examined insurance claims from states that have legalized this substance and compared them to claims from states where this substance is still illegal. Factors such as the season and weather and the location of the collision, as well as the employment status and age of the driver, were controlled. The study concludes that car accident rates have risen 6 percent in states with legal recreational marijuana. Another conclusion of the study is that the dangers of using marijuana before getting behind the wheel seem to be misunderstood by many drivers.

Study shows accident risk declines after eye surgery

People in California who want to find ways to improve their safety on the road might often think about laws that could be created or stronger penalties for those who break those laws. These actions often some means of guiding drivers to the behaviors that are desired and away from the behaviors that are not. There are, however, other avenues to reducing the risk of an accident on the road that may actually be related to caring for one's health.

Diminishing eyesight can be a natural problem for people as they age. Some even develop cataracts, which is a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes clouded, thereby impairing a person's ability to see clearly. Certainly, reduced eye function can make a person more apt to be in an accident as perhaps they do not see an object, a vehicle or a person. They may even have difficulty seeing traffic signs.

New state law loosens safety requirements

Many people in California have witnessed firsthand the amazing influx of electric scooters in their local areas. These new modes of transportation may look fun and inviting to many but they may also be somewhat dangerous, especially in the event of an accident. Just like riding a motorcycle, a bicycle, a skateboard or a non-motorized scooter, a person is always at a grave risk for a head injury if they crash for whatever reason.

While people who rent and ride these new scooters have theoretically been required to wear helmets, almost none seem to do so. Now the Governor of California has signed into law a bill that makes the actions of people basically the law. Effective January 1, 2019, helmets will not be required for any adult riding an electric scooter. It should be noted that most companies only allow adults to ride and rent the scooters so the fact that minors are still required to wear helmets is somewhat not important.

Selfies: A form of distracted driving

If you use your phone while driving in Los Angeles, you are not alone. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 660,000 motorists use their cellphones at any given moment of the day. Although talking or texting on a cellphone while driving is prohibited in California, it still occurs. It does not stop there, however. Drivers who take selfies while behind the wheel may cause a catastrophic car accident, putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.

There are three forms of distraction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Manual distractions occur when drivers removed their hands from the steering wheel to engage in a task, while visual distractions involve drivers taking their eyes off the road. Cognitive distractions occur when a driver is no longer concentrating on the road, but on something else. Taking a selfie while driving involves all three distractions. Drivers take their hands off the wheel to get their cellphone ready and positioned perfectly for a photo. They also take their eyes off the road to pose for the picture or to look through prompts. Finally, people cannot fully focus on the road when they are concentrating on taking a selfie and posting it to social media.

Do you have any of these 5 common bad driving habits?

Driving can be frustrating and frightening when the rules of the road are neglected. However, it can be easy for all of us to pick up bad habits.

While these common driving habits may seem to get us to where we’re going faster or easier, they can be incredibly hazardous and easily lead to an accident.

What can bicyclists can do to make bike riding safer?

Bicyclists who want to enjoy the beautiful California weather should not have to worry about ending up in a hospital due to a serious traffic accident. One of the keys to safe bike riding is to maintain full control of the bicycle and not allow an unexpected problem to suddenly cause a bike riding disaster. Fortunately, you can take simple steps before you mount your bike that can help make your next bike ride safer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out that what you put on can affect your bike ride. Loose pant legs, for instance, can get snagged in bike chains, which is partly why you see many bike riders wearing shorts. If you still prefer to wear long pants, tuck your pant legs into your socks to lessen chain jamming risks. Additionally, your shoelaces might get caught in your bicycle chain if they are not tied up. If you are not confident you can ride with laced shoes, try shoes with Velcro instead. 

Group seeks to create stigma around distracted driving

For several decades now, numerous campaigns against drinking and driving have been launched in California. These awareness efforts have focused on trying to reduce the number of accidents caused by drunk drivers in part by conjuring up very negative images in people's minds when they hear the term "drunk driver". The path to effectiveness here is to make people think negatively of those who choose to drive when they are drunk.

Today, the Auto Club of Southern California is attempting to leverage that same strategy to combat distracted driving according to ABC7. Statistics show that on a daily basis as many as 1,000 people are injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers who are texting or otherwise distracted behind the wheel. Another nine people are killed in these types of crashes every day. That amounts to more than 3,200 lives lost annually in accidents that are completely preventable if people are willing to make safe choices.

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