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A head-on collision on Highway 1 near Lompoc left one man dead and another seriously hurt on March 10. The crash happened at approximately 6:30 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Authorities said a man driving to work in a Toyota Tacoma drifted over the double-yellow line and collided head-on with a Chevrolet Silverado just south of Jalama Road. The Toyota driver, a 32-year-old man from Lynwood, died at the scene. The Chevrolet driver, a 33-year-old man from Lompoc, was trapped in his vehicle following the accident. A representative of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department reported on Twitter that it took 30 minutes to free him. He was transported to Cottage Hospital with major injuries.

CHP closed the southbound lanes of Highway 1 near Jalama Road for several hours as they investigated the scene. The accident remains under investigation.

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The California Highway Patrol and Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office were on the scene of a deadly accident that occurred in the community of Aptos at about 8 p.m. on March 1. Alcohol bottles were found at the scene of the crash, and DUI is a possible factor in a fatal head-on collision in which the 22-year-old driver of a Mercedes was killed. There were seven people in the vehicle designed to seat five, and none of the occupants were wearing a seat belt according to authorities. A 19-year-old woman and 18-year-old man riding in the front seat along with a 16-year-old girl riding in the back seat were all pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident happened when the westbound driver of the Mercedes was allegedly driving recklessly on Freedom Boulevard. He suddenly crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a Ford F-150 pickup driven by a 56-year-old man. According to a spokesperson for the CHP, the driver suffered severe injuries and remained hospitalized at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center the following day. There were no passengers in the pickup truck.

Also hospitalized in critical condition were an 18-year-old year-old female and a 21-year-old male passenger from the Mercedes. A third survivor from that vehicle is a 17-year-old female. She suffered the least injuries in the wreck but remained a patient at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Authorities involved in the accident investigation had not been able to get any information from the girl regarding the circumstances surrounding the wreck.

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California Highway Patrol confirmed that four people were killed in a head-on collision on March 1. The fatal motor vehicle accident took place on a rural road in Santa Cruz County at about 8 p.m. According to CHP reports, the driver of a black Mercedes sedan entered the path of oncoming traffic and struck a gray Ford F-150 head on.

Following the crash, firefighters had to tear the Mercedes apart in order to free some of the injured victims. The 22-year-old driver of the Mercedes and two of his teenage passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. Another teenage passenger in the Mercedes was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital. Three other Mercedes passengers and the 56-year-old driver of the Ford were treated at the hospital for injuries.

Although the investigation is ongoing, an officer with CHP said that alcohol and drugs were likely factors in the crash. Some evidence of alcohol consumption was found at the scene of the accident. There were also witnesses who said that they had seen the Mercedes speeding and driving erratically prior to the crash. None of the deceased victims had been wearing seat belts.

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Individuals who have been involved in a car accident are obligated to stop and call the proper authorities. If anyone involved in the accident has been injured, someone must make an effort to provide reasonable assistance. This may include calling 911, taking that person to the hospital or rendering first aid. To ensure that safety of those involved in the accident and other motorists, it may be worthwhile to place warning cones or flares at the scene.

Although state law says that those involved should render aid to injured car accident victims, they should only do so under certain circumstances. For example, it may only be safe to pull someone from a car before it becomes engulfed in flames. However, if the car is already on fire, it may be more prudent to simply call 911 and wait for help. Outside help may consist of first responders or it may involve other passing motorists.

Regardless of whether there are injuries in the accident, it may be required that each driver exchange his or her information. Each driver should be able to see the other driver's registration and driver's license. It may be prudent to take down that information as well as the name, age and address of passengers in each car as well as any witnesses to the crash.

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A multiple-vehicle collision that killed a woman started with a mattress that had fallen on the 55 Freeway in Santa Ana. According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident happened on Feb. 13 just before 12:00 a.m. in the northbound lanes.

A 53-year-old Costa Mesa woman was reportedly driving her 1982 Toyota Celica in the fast lane of the roadway when she struck the mattress. The force of the collision sent her car into the center divider. Following that initial collision, her vehicle landed sideways on the freeway. She was then struck by a 19-year-old Irvine man who was driving a van.

The second collision sent the Celica spinning across the lanes of traffic and into the path of an oncoming 1999 Toyota sedan, which subsequently struck the Celica from behind. The vehicle then reportedly spun around and came to a stop facing the wrong way, when it was hit by a 1995 Honda head on. The woman was pronounced dead at the accident scene. The 19-year-old was arrested after he reportedly drove his van approximately 500 feet north and then ran away on foot. Police took him into custody for suspicions of drunk driving. In addition to the woman who was killed, two others were injured and required transport to Western Medical Center for treatment. The accident resulted in the closure of the northbound lanes for multiple hours while police conducted their investigation and cleanup.

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Tagged in: California police

A Feb. 17 accident left one dead and one seriously injured in Chollas View. The 2 a.m. incident occurred as a 32-year-old man lost control after he attempted to travel from I-805 onto Route 94. The dark Nissan truck flipped after slamming into the guardrail on the outer edge of the ramp.

After the truck overturned, a Toyota Matrix driven by a 37-year-old individual collided with it. This individual reportedly experienced major injuries as a result of the collision. The truck's driver, meanwhile, expired at the scene of the serious car accident. Authorities indicate that there is no suspicion of drugs or alcohol causing this car wreck. The accident resulted in a shutdown of the on-ramp for several hours.

Authorities typically conduct an investigation after a major accident to identify potential causes. In some cases, impaired driving or excessive speed can contribute to a crash. In other cases, exhaustion or health problems may contribute to a driver's error or inability to maneuver safely. It is even possible that an obstacle in a road or a manufacturer's defect in a vehicle can have deadly results as an accident occurs.

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The woman driver of a blue Honda SUV who died in an accident with a pickup truck on Feb. 6 was not immediately identified at the time of the accident. The California Highway Patrol reported that the fatal crash took place on Highway 101 near Gilroy.

It was south of Masten Avenue where a white pickup truck left the road and went on to the shoulder. The driver swerved in an attempt to get back on the road and T-boned a Honda SUV in the left lane. Both vehicles flipped over and finally stopped on the center highway divider, according to the CHP report.

Although the woman died, the driver of the truck survived. He went to an area hospital for the treatment of minor injuries. He did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but the CHP continues to look into the cause of the accident.

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A fiery crash in Fremont resulted after a 22-year-old woman drove north on Interstate Highway 880 in the southbound lanes. The California Highway Patrol received a report of the driver going the wrong way shortly before the call about an accident came in.

The woman's 1999 Volvo hit a Chevrolet Silverado truck on the interstate near Thornton Avenue. Her car was burning when authorities arrived on scene. The acting deputy chief for the Fremont Fire Department reported that firefighters were unable to rescue the woman who was trapped in her vehicle. She later died. The accident report stated that she was from Santa Clara, but her identity was withheld so her family could be notified.

Rescue workers did manage to remove the three passengers of the pickup truck that was also threatened by the burning car. The passengers had major injuries. The CHP continues to investigate the accident. Where or how the woman entered the highway on the wrong side has not yet been determined. Investigators have not eliminated the possibility of drugs or alcohol contributing to the driving error.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Drivers on the California roads are taking risks if they drive with worn tires. However, statistics indicate that many vehicles on the road are driving with at least one dangerously worn tire in use.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report that indicates that one in 10 cars has a tire that is completely bald. That means that the tire tread has worn away so much that the surface is essentially flat. This seriously impairs the driver's ability to handle the vehicle, especially on wet or icy surfaces.

American tire tread is most often measured in 1/32nd inch increments. A new tire will most often have grooves inscribed in the surface of the tire to the depth of 10/32nds of an inch, and they will be considered worn by the time the tread reaches only 2/32nds. At this point the grooves in the tire will no longer be able to properly serve their purpose of increasing the tire's grip in wet conditions, and the car will become more likely to hydroplane or otherwise go out of control. This condition is estimated by the NHTSA to affect as many as half of all the cars on the road. This means that driving in rainy or snowy conditions is more hazardous than it might otherwise be. Even if many people properly maintain their vehicle, the chances are good that they will encounter another one that was not as prepared.

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Tagged in: California

An pre-dawn truck accident on Highway 41 near Fresno began when a fuel tanker truck hit the back of a truck hauling live poultry. The poultry truck was pulled over on the northbound side of the highway, according to the California Highway Patrol, but the reason for the stoppage was not immediately apparent.

The 39-year-old male driver of the poultry truck was outside the vehicle when the tanker truck hit. The accident resulted in the man being hit by the tanker truck and then dragged while pinned under a tire. The wreck then snowballed when a pickup truck and a second poultry truck also carrying livestock collided with the vehicles.

Community Regional Medical Center confirmed the death of the man who had been dragged under a tire. The crash also inflicted major injuries on the fuel tanker driver, a man from Visalia, California. Minor injuries were suffered by the Riverdale man driving the pickup truck while the driver of the second poultry truck remained unharmed. The highway patrol suspects fog might have played a role in the accident.

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As reported by the California Highway Patrol, an accident involving a pickup and a tow truck left one man dead and another critically injured. The incident took place on Jan. 17 on Route 78 in San Marcos after a 43-year-old man called the tow truck company for assistance changing a flat tire on his Nissan. The man was parked on a freeway by Nordahl Road when the two tow trucks were dispatched.

When the tow truck drivers arrived just after 7 a.m., a male pickup truck driver lost control and slammed into one of the tow trucks, its driver and then the immobile car. He also struck the second tow truck driver who was on scene, followed by the truck. At the time of reporting, it was unclear why the 52-year-old driver of the 2003 Ford F-250 crossed into their path; he was uninjured in the accident.

The older tow truck driver was killed quickly due to the impact, and the other tow truck driver was transported to a local hospital and treated for multiple fractures, a broken leg and critical internal injuries. The driver of the Nissan had been inside his vehicle when the truck slammed into it. He was treated for cuts and abrasions.

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Tagged in: California damages

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.

Another issue that the NTSB points out is that driver fatigue is still a significant concern. While the board can make recommendations, it is not a legislative body, so trucking companies can ignore suggestions to improve managing fatigue on the roads. Additionally, Congress weakened regulations aimed at reducing driver fatigue due to a concern that the new rules might lead to a greater number of large trucks on the road during rush hours.

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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.

The driver and two men shopping inside the store all suffered injuries, though the extent of their injuries was unknown, and a man who was in front of the store on a sidewalk went to a hospital with critical injuries. Another woman and a 10-year-old girl were passengers in the vehicle, but they were unharmed in the collision. At least two witnesses reported panic attacks after the crash.

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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.

One of the major causes of motorcycle accidents is motorists not seeing motorcycles until it is too late to avoid an accident. If the new technology can be applied to motorcycles, experts say it could dramatically reduce the number of motorcycle accidents, especially those involving left turns at intersections, multi-vehicle crashes and rear-end collisions. The sensors could warn inattentive drivers that a motorcycle is nearby.

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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.

Injuries to the lower body, such as the leg, foot and knee, are the next leading most common car accident injuries. These injuries tend to be less severe than others, but can still be serious and require extensive medical treatment. One way to prevent such injuries is to keep the legs together and not sit or lay in the car at awkward angles.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

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.

The investigation is ongoing and it is suspected that speed may have been a factor. Crash scene investigators will need to determine if road conditions, driver fatigue or distractions contributed to the accident. It was determined that the driver of the Subaru was not under the influence of alcohol, and a toxicology test will be performed on the other driver to determine if alcohol consumption contributed to the crash.

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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.

Authorities reported that USPS truck driver suffered a serious head injury in the wreck. Emergency crews transported the man to Stanford Hospital via helicopter. Two occupants of the Subaru were also airlifted to the Stanford facility. While authorities indicated that the nature of the injuries they both suffered was major, the extent of the two individuals' bodily damage was not immediately reported.

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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.

While the paperwork load for the industry is expected to drop from the 19th highest to the 79th highest among federal agencies, paperwork requirements will remain in effect when defects or safety issues are identified. These records may be important in case of equipment failure resulting in accidents. Even in cases of truck accidents not attributed to equipment problems, service records and inspection reports may be evaluated for signs of problems that should have been addressed.

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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.

Besides a full and completed investigation, this particular case must be adjudicated officially and in the appropriate arena to know for sure the true story behind this incident. Yet, it does evoke the horrific and seemingly interminable consequences that oftentimes accompany drunk-driving wrecks. When a drunk driver does in fact injure others, especially defenseless pedestrians, during the course of an accident, both the driver and the victim may face a future filled with consequences stemming from the incident. Whereas the driver may face criminal penalties, like fines and jail time, the victim may suffer lingering physical ailments, chronic pain and financial ruin on account of accident-related injuries.

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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.

Riders over 60 years of age are at more risk. Older riders have been shown to be three times more likely to require hospitalization after an accident. Experts also speculate that issues such as poor proficiency and wrongly-fitted equipment increase the odds of an accident or fatality. They point out that modern motorcycles are much faster than the older models and may take some riders by surprise.

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