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Costa Mesa California Personal Injury Law Blog

Humans are the leading cause of self-driving car accidents

As more manufacturers fine-tune autonomous driving technology, it's inevitable that self-driving cars will soon be a common sight on California roads. While there is some concern about the safety of autonomous vehicles, the results from a study of incidents related to self-driving vehicles in California suggest human error is more likely to be responsible for accidents involving driverless cars. During the four-year period covered by the study, there were nearly 40 incidents involving self-driving cars that were moving. Humans were responsible for all but one of these accidents.

An additional two-dozen incidents occurred when self-driving mode was on and the vehicles were stopped. However, none of these auto accidents involved autonomous technology. And when the self-driving cars were in conventional mode -- meaning a human driver was able to intervene in the driving process -- only six of the nearly 20 accidents that occurred when vehicles were moving were related to self-driving technology.

Semitruck crash statistics provide shocking information and hope

Semitrucks serve the important role of getting large quantities of product or equipment from one point to another. Without these big rigs, grocery stores and other retailers wouldn't be able to stock the shelves as efficiently, farmers might have trouble getting the tractors and other implements they need to get the job done and other massive items couldn't be hauled around effectively.

As much as these 18-wheelers serve this country, they are also a huge liability. Semitruck wrecks can leave innocent victims catastrophically injured or even dead. All truckers must ensure they are driving in a safe manner so they don't cause an accident.

Morgue and hospital visits found to help teen drivers

A team of researchers from Baylor University recently studied the effectiveness of supplemental driver education programs that add visits to hospital trauma centers and mortuaries to conventional classroom sessions. After surveying 21 young drivers who took part in such a program, the researchers concluded that they could be a useful tool to reduce reckless and distracted driving in California and around the country.

The participants, who were all involved because they had behaved negligently behind the wheel, were asked a series of questions dealing with safe driving behavior both before they took part in the risk reduction program and after they had completed the course. Their answers suggested that being confronted with the real-world outcomes of excessive speed and distraction helped them to grasp the importance of acting responsibly on the roads. The researchers say that follow-up studies will be needed to find out if these lessons were truly learned.

Campaign aims to stop dog attacks on mail carriers

While the stereotype of dogs chasing after mailmen may be common in cartoons, it's also an unfortunate reality for many California letter carriers. As part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the Postal Service works to highlight the situation of mail carriers being attacked by dogs. In 2017 alone, 6,244 workers for the Postal Service were attacked by dogs. While this is a high number, it represents an improvement -- 500 fewer people were attacked in 2017 than the prior year.

In San Diego alone, postal workers were attacked 46 times by dogs in 2017. Postal officials said that they are emphasizing dog bite prevention training as well as technological improvements to provide greater protection moving forward. In 2010, one postal carrier was killed by a Rottweiler after being attacked as he delivered the mail. The dog charged at him, knocking him to the ground and causing a severe injury to his head. In another 2012 case, a postal carrier was attacked from behind by a dog, after which she suffered a stroke and died.

What to do after a dog bite

California residents who are bitten or attacked by a dog may experience significant injuries. However, there are ways that they can protect themselves in the event of an attack. One strategy a person can use is to put a coat or bag in front of the dog. It is also possible to curl into a ball while covering the ears and neck.

In the event that an individual is bitten, the bite should be reported to authorities. This can be especially helpful if a victim doesn't know if the dog has had a rabies vaccination or if the victim saw the dog acting strangely before attacking. Contacting the dog's owner may make it possible to confirm whether or not it was vaccinated. How a person should react after being bitten depends on the severity of the bite. If the bite is minor, it may be possible to simply wash it with soap and warm water.

Best practices when involved in a motor vehicle accident

Being involved in even a minor car accident in California can shock a person. To avoid legal troubles that might arise, people should strive not to panic and be sure to follow the necessary steps after a crash.

Checking for injuries is the first step. This includes people in the car, the other vehicle and potentially pedestrians or bicyclists. Staying at the accident scene is very important. Abandoning an unprocessed accident could represent an illegal act with penalties. The people involved should wait in their vehicles if possible because standing outside on a busy road exposes them to traffic dangers. A call to 911 will notify local authorities who can dispatch a police officer and an ambulance if necessary. The police officer should complete a written accident report.

Elder neglect and abuse are atrocities that must be stopped

Elder abuse is an issue for some older Americans who are being cared for in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living homes or in their own house using caregivers. It is important that anyone who has a family member in one of these care situations know the signs of elder abuse and neglect.

It is troublesome to think about this happening to someone you love but catching it as early as possible might help to prevent the person from suffering horrific injuries. Here are some points about these atrocities you need to know:

Defensive driving helps avoid accidents on the roadways

Whether driving on California roadways or anywhere else in the world, motor vehicle accidents happen. Therefore, it makes sense for drivers everywhere to adhere to some defensive driving habits.

Though laws have been put into effect regarding mobile phone usage on the nation's highways, cellphones remain a big distraction for drivers. However, other interferences can contribute to auto accidents. It is imperative that drivers keep their eyes on the road because it only takes a moment for a vehicle crash to take place. This means eating, adjusting the radio and glancing into the backseat of a vehicle are all dangerous practices that drivers should avoid.

Teen drivers more likely to crash after getting license

California parents may be concerned to learn that teen drivers are significantly more likely to cause a car accident during their first few months as a licensed driver. A study that reached this conclusion was conducted by the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University.

For the study, which was published in July, researchers monitored the driving performance of 90 teen drivers from the moment they qualified for their learner's permit until they completed one year with their driver's license. Each participant's vehicle had a dash cam that recorded both the driver and the road and software that recorded the driver's speed and braking patterns. They found that teen drivers are eight times more likely to crash or almost crash during their first 90 days of driving alone, compared to their last 90 days driving with adult supervision. They also found that newly-licensed teen drivers tend to accelerate too fast, brake too harshly and turn too sharply, which can put them at risk for accidents.

Distraction while driving can cause car crashes

California drivers should pay attention to some key safety concerns before they get behind the wheel, according to researchers who have analyzed common causes of car accidents. Each year, thousands of people are killed and 2 million more injured across the country due to car crashes, and certain factors play a major role in increasing the likelihood of a collision. Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents include being distracted, sleep-deprived or impaired.

While people may think first of driving under the influence as a major cause of car crashes, around 21 percent of all fatal collisions include drowsy driving as a contributing factor. When people drive while overly tired, they are less likely to be alert and respond quickly in an emergency situation. Drivers who get only four to five hours of sleep a night are over 5 times more likely to be involved in a crash as those who get seven hours or more of sleep nightly. Drivers can watch out for their own body signals and stay off of the road when they are too tired to drive safely. Some indications of a drowsy driver include more frequent blinking, swerving and poor decision-making.

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