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San Jose Personal Injury Law Blog

NTSB urges new safety regulations for California truckers

Per a report from the U.S. Transportation Department, the number of people killed in large-truck crashes increased for the fourth year in a row, with nearly 4,000 fatalities in 2013. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that deaths have increased by 17 percent since 2009, so it is no surprise that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is urging regulators to adopt a variety of new safety regulations.

In an interview, the NTSB's director stated that there are a number of technological improvements that are already available to help reduce crashes. Examples of this include new systems that use sensors to warn truckers when they are about to collide with another vehicle or are changing lanes.

Car drives through Macy's in California

A vehicle drove into a Macy's department store in Newark on Jan. 14, and four people were injured in the accident. The store was evacuated after the crash occurred. At the time of the report, authorities were still investigating the incident.

A representative of the Alameda County Fire Department reported that the accident took place around 4:50 p.m. at the NewPark Mall. A vehicle being driven by a 63-year-old woman allegedly waited outside of the store while a 12-year-old boy exited the vehicle to use a mall restroom. While the reason for the accident was unknown at the time of the report, the vehicle then jolted forward and went about 50 feet inside the Macy's.

New vehicle communication system can lead to accident decrease

California residents may be interested in an emerging technology that one day might prevent accidents involving motorcycles. The vehicle-to-vehicle communication system is being tested now on some automobiles, but the time may come when it could be used to prevent motorcycle accidents.

The U.S. Department of Transportation began a pilot test of the communications technology with 3,000 Michigan vehicles in August 2012. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is now doing paperwork to extend this technology to sport utility vehicles, cars and pickups. This technology allows a vehicle's on-board sensors to communicate with other vehicles equipped with the same technology. Information the two vehicles share can include speed of the vehicles and distance between them, and whether one car is about to change lanes or make a left turn. Drivers are then alerted and can take action to avoid an accident.

Preventable injuries in car accidents

Car accidents often result in serious injuries that can bring lasting pain, complications and even death to California residents. Understanding the major types of car accident injuries and how to prevent them can be one way to help ensure that an accident results in as little harm as possible.

Brain, head, neck and spine injuries are common in car accidents, and they are also the most problematic. Severe whiplash can result in injuries to the neck, spine, inner ears and brain that can have serious health consequences. Damage to the spine and vertebrae can easily cause pain, permanent paralysis or loss of function. Many such injuries require months or years of treatment before being fully resolved. Traumatic brain injury may result in permanent brain damage and loss of memory or function. Airbags and seat belts are the best tools currently for preventing such injuries. While airbags themselves can cause some injury, the possible injuries are much less severe than those they can help prevent.

4 die in 2-vehicle head-on crash

In Fair Oaks, a town near Sacramento, California, a 2003 Subaru Outback going north on San Juan Avenue was hit head-on by a 1932 Buick LeSabre going south. The Buick crossed over the centerline and hit the Subaru head on, causing critical injuries. The accident occurred at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday.

The Buick was engulfed in flames by the time authorities arrived on scene, and three of its occupants had already died. A local resident pulled two other victims out of the Buick but one of them, a woman, died at the scene. The other woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The driver of the Subaru is in serious condition. A CHP spokesman stated that several of the passengers were not wearing seat belts, and the accident is difficult to investigate because things were tossed around inside the vehicle.

Postal truck involved in Christmas Eve highway crash

On Dec. 24, a United States Postal Service truck became involved in an accident on California's popular coastline highway, State Highway 1, according to authorities. Three individuals were hospitalized with injuries after the wreck.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the USPS truck was traveling south on Highway 1 near Half Moon Bay at approximately 11:40 a.m., and that is when, for reasons not immediately ascertained, the postal truck and a northbound Subaru came into contact with each other. The speed and weight of the crash generated enough violence to leave behind wreckage across both directions of the highway and to require the roadway's closure for more than an hour. It was not certain immediately after the accident if either of the two drivers involved might face criminal charges connected with the event.

Trucking industry facing reduced paperwork requirements

California truck drivers may feel a huge relief as their paperwork requirements diminish. The Dec. 18 implementation of a final rule by the U.S. Department of Transportation has resulted in a potential savings of more than 46 million work hours per year that were once spent on creating and filing reports. While some paperwork is still required, truck drivers will be relieved of the need to file reports for vehicle inspections before and after trips when no safety problems are identified.

According to the DOT, an average of 95 percent of these inspections produce no signs of trouble. However, the related reports that were previously required accounted for nearly $2 billion in costs that can now be saved without any compromise to safety on the roads. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation indicated that this change reflects President Obama's desire to see red tape and waste reduced. The rule will enable the trucking industry to focus more on the safe delivery of goods and greater attention to avoiding accidents.

California drunk-driving accident leaves 11 injured

Authorities reported that a Dec. 14 accident in Alhambra involved three vehicles and a large group of pedestrians, resulting in 11 individuals hospitalized with injuries. One of the injured individuals required treatment in the intensive care unit, reportedly.

According to the Alhambra Police Department, the accident occurred near Fremont Avenue and Poplar Boulevard. Allegedly, a 28-year-old Los Angeles man driving a truck north crossed into the southbound lane of the roadway and crashed into two parked vehicles, both of which were occupied. The momentum of the moving truck carried the vehicles onto the sidewalk and struck a group of pedestrians who were reportedly admiring Christmas lights in the residential neighborhood. The driver of the truck was detained on suspicion of drunk driving and booked into custody. The investigation is ongoing, officials said.

Decreasing the chances of a motorcycle accident

California motorcyclists should make road safety their absolute highest priority. Although motorcycles are fuel efficient and enjoyable, motorcyclists are also nearly thirty times more likely to experience a fatal accident than automobile drivers.

Statistics indicate that 42 percent of all motorcycle fatalities involve alcohol intoxication in some way. Nearly half of the fatalities listed speeding as a factor in the accident. Simply refusing to partake in either behavior will have the effect of reducing risk by an enormous degree. Antilock brakes have also been shown to have a large effect on fatality statistics. Riders with ABS brakes saw a 37 percent reduction in the fatality rate. Helmets also have a dramatic impact on the chances of a fatal result. They have been estimated to reduce the risk of death between 21 and 31 percent.

Drivers hospitalized with serious injuries after head-on crash

A head-on collision between a 1986 Ford Ranger and an 2001 Nissan Frontier near Gird Road on State Route 76 in San Diego sent both drivers to the hospital with serious injuries. The accident is under investigation, however neither alcohol nor drugs are believed to have been contributing factors, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP reports that the collision occurred at around 6:50 a.m. on Dec. 8. They say the Ford Ranger driven by a 54-year-old Murrieta woman was traveling west on SR 76 when it drove into eastbound traffic and collided with the Nissan Frontier driven by a 64-year-old man from Dana Point. The drivers were freed from the wreckage by paramedics and transported to Palomar Medical Center for treatment. The woman reportedly had several facial fractures, and the man's legs were broken, according to the CHP.

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John J. Garvey III

Attorney John J. Garvey, III

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