Nine People Injured in Metro Bus-Truck Accident

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Nine people have been injured in an accident involving a Metro bus and a truck in downtown Los Angeles.  This accident comes just a few days after a Metro train was involved in an accident with another bus. 

There were about a dozen people on the bus when it collided with a truck.  The accident occurred at the intersection of Hill and Temple Street.  The impact of the accident caused the bus to strike a pole, and then a gate.  Nine people in all suffered injuries, and had to be taken to the hospital.  The driver of the truck also suffered injuries.  None of the injuries are reported to be life-threatening.

Police are investigating the accident.  According to them, both the bus and the truck driver reported seeing a green light.  Obviously, one of them was wrong.  It's very likely that one of the drivers involved here ran a red light.  There could be any number of reasons why this happened.  It's especially important for Los Angeles bus accident lawyers to discuss this considering that this is National Stop on Red week across the country.  Across the US, law enforcement agencies are marking the week with special awareness programs to educate motorists about the need to observe red light traffic rules at all times.  Red light violations may seem like minor offenses, but these can be linked to thousands of accidents and injuries every year.  The week is being marked from August 1 to August 7.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 880 people were killed in 2007 in accidents caused because a motorist ran a red light.  These accidents injure an estimated 165,000 people every year.  Many red light violation-related accidents can be traced to distracted driving.  If they motorist is not paying attention behind the wheel, it can cause him to miss a red light.  Even the most experienced driver can miss seeing the light, because he is otherwise distracted by his cell phone.

Distracted Driving Widespread among Teen Motorists

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A new survey by the American Automobile Association and Seventeen magazine shows that Los Angeles car accident lawyers must continue their concern about teen motorists and distractions.  The survey shows that nine out of the 10 American teenagers have engaged in some form of distracted driving behind the wheel, even though they are perfectly aware that such behavior can increase their risks of being involved in a crash.  According to the survey, 84% of motorists aged between 16 and 19 are aware that distracted driving can increase the risk of an accident, but it doesn't prevent 86% of them from engaging in such behavior anyway. 

That may not exactly be news, but the real eye-opener in the survey is that texting while driving and cell phone use are not the biggest distractions for teenage motorists.  There are other distractions that increase these motorists’ risk being involved in an accident, and law enforcement agencies in California and legislators would do well to target these distractions too.  Teenagers are distracted by a number of behaviors, including applying makeup, eating, texting, talking on cell phones, talking to their fellow teen passengers and changing radio stations. 

In fact, changing radio channels or changing CDs is the number one distraction with 70% of the teen motorists in the survey admitting to doing this.  Eating and talking on a cell phone while driving follow close behind with 61% and 60% of the motorists admitting to these practices.  Texting while driving is further down the list with just 28% of the motorists admitting to texting at the wheel.  That should definitely be a wake-up call to law enforcement agencies that seem to be fixated on the use of cell phones and texting devices at the wheel. 

Drivers aged between 18 and 19 years of age are much more likely to be distracted, compared to drivers between 16 and 17 years.  Obviously, age doesn't necessarily make these motorists wiser.  Teens, who drive their own vehicles are also much more likely to be distracted (35%), compared to teen motorists who have to share their cars (20%).

Bicycle Safety in Los Angeles

Monday, August 02, 2010

This week, the Royal Mail in the UK announced that it was doing away with bicycles for postal deliveries.  That decision was made because of the large number of accidents involving letter carriers on bicycles.  In fact, according to the Royal Mail, between 2008 and 2009, letter carriers suffered more than 1,000 injuries.  The English postman on his bicycle, a long and beloved tradition that dates back to 1880, will soon end.  Not that Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers don't understand why the British want to keep letter carriers off bicycles, considering that we live in one of the country's most hostile areas for bicyclists.

Last month, the city's first citizen had a sampling of what Los Angeles bicyclists face every day when he had a taxi pull out in front of his bike, sending him head first to the ground.  Fortunately, the mayor suffered no serious injuries.  However, it only served to underscore the kind of risks bicyclists face every day.  A bicyclist or Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney will tell you that this one of the most frequent ways that bicycle accidents are caused.  Motorists must understand that it's dangerous for bicyclists to brake suddenly, and that doing so can throw a bicyclist off his bike.

Unfortunately, bicycle safety groups, who were expecting strong action against the motorist in the mayor's accident, were disappointed.  Mayor Villaraigosa said no charges will be pressed against the motorist, citing that the motorist was “careless” but that wasn't illegal.  It is that kind of attitude that's very troubling to Los Angeles personal injury lawyers.  To a bicyclist, it matters greatly when a motorist is careless.  In fact, it can mean the difference between life and death when a motorist decides to drive too close to a bicyclist, or pulls out in front of him, suddenly and without warning.  The mayor could have been less flippant about his accident, and a little more concerned about the city's bicyclists.

SUV Driver in Fresno Bus Accident Was Intoxicated

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New facts are emerging about the Fresno bus accident last week that killed six people, and injured nearly 2 dozen others.  According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the SUV that was struck was driving under the influence.  Initially, authorities believed that a passenger in the SUV, who was killed in the accident, had been driving the SUV.  However, they have now confirmed that the driver was an 18-year-old woman, who was returning from a dance party in Fresno with her friends. 

According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver made a sudden left turn across the northbound lanes of Highway 99, and struck the center divider.  The SUV flipped over on its side.  Just a few seconds later, the bus, which was on its way from Los Angeles to Sacramento, struck the overturned SUV.  The bus then went down an embankment, and hit a tree.  Three people in the bus and three others in the SUV sustained fatal injuries. 

The bus was severely damaged, and several people have been critically injured.  The California Highway Patrol has confirmed that the SUV driver was driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legally-allowed limit of .08%.  It has been confirmed that the driver of the bus was not driving under the influence.

Bus accident claims in California typically name the driver of the bus, the bus company, charter companies and other entities that are involved in owning or operating the bus at the time of the accident.  However, there are other entities may also be named in a claim.  For instance, if there are other vehicles or motorists that are involved in the accident, a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer can name these people in your claim.  However, for these entities to be named, their actions should have directly contributed to the accident. 

Los Angeles Mayor Recuperating after Bicycle Accident

Monday, July 26, 2010

The lack of safety for bicyclists in Los Angeles has long been a major safety issue for the bicycling community here.  Bicyclists in the city have long complained of an inadequate number of bike lanes, hostile motorists and a “don't care” attitude on the part of law enforcement agencies.  The discussion about bicycle safety in Los Angeles will get interesting this week, after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was injured in a bike accident.  The mayor was riding his bicycle on Venice Blvd., which is notorious for its lack of bike lanes.  Apparently, a taxi suddenly pulled out in front of the mayor, who applied his brakes to avoid an impact and fell off his bicycle.  He sustained an elbow injury and had to undergo surgery.

What happened immediately after the accident will be of great interest to Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers, and will confirm what Los Angeles biking groups have been saying for years.  The mayor was accompanied by security, but no one managed to take down the number of the taxi or the name of the taxi company.  The taxi fled the scene of the accident, and the driver hasn't been heard from since.  There were no witnesses to testify about exactly what happened.  There has been no investigation into the accident at all.

Bicycle safety advocates will tell you that when something like this happens to the mayor of the city, it's easy to imagine what the regular Joe riding by on his bike is subjected to.  Bicycle safety in Los Angeles would have been a joke, except for the hundreds of injuries that occur in Los Angeles on the streets every year.  Motorists pulling out in front of bicyclists, driving up close to bicyclists and honking loudly to scare them, yelling, taunting, teasing, throwing stuff at bicyclists - these are common on Los Angeles streets as any bicyclist will tell you. 

The mayor has a great opportunity to bring attention to the problem of bicycle safety in Los Angeles.  Los Angeles bike accident lawyers and bike safety groups here will be hopeful that he will step up and add his voice to ours.

Greyhound Bus Crashes Injuring 34 People and Killing 6.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Greyhound bus carrying 47 people crashed into an overturned SUV on Highway 99 in California.  The bus was traveling from Los Angeles to Sacramento when the accident occurred.  6 people were killed and 34 others were injured.  For the full story visit Greyhound Bus Crash.

LA Area City Reviewing Fireworks Program after Fatal Car Accident

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The city of Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County is looking at how it can avoid a repeat of a fatal accident on Valencia Blvd. over the Fourth of July holiday, in which one person was killed.  The city has had a long-standing tradition of holding a fireworks display, but has never seen the need to block traffic on that day.  That, however, changed on the Fourth of July.  An Infinity and a sports utility vehicle collided on Valencia Blvd.  The impact of the accident caused one of the vehicles to jump the curb, striking a pedestrian, who was watching the fireworks display.  The woman was killed in the accident and seven people, including two of the women's children, were injured.

Investigations have shown that the driver of the Infinity ran a red light just before the accident.  He has not yet been charged however. 

Santa Clarita city has never seen it fit to close traffic during its fireworks display.  The accident is forcing the city to answer questions from residents, who wonder why should take a fatal accident for the city to understand that there is a need to close off traffic when there is such a major gathering of people.

Holding a city or county agency responsible for an accident in California is not easy.  Many cities and counties enjoy certain immunities from lawsuits, and this can impact your results when your Los Angeles car accident lawyer files a claim.  However, California laws do allow city, county and state agencies to be named in a car accident claim, when an accident has been caused due to defective road conditions or poor maintenance.  The defective conditions can include poor design or construction of a road.   City and county agencies can be named in an accident caused by malfunctioning traffic lights, lack of streetlights, lack of speed breakers, and other details that can increase a motorist’s risk of accident. 

High-Speed, Alcohol Blamed for Fatal Los Angeles Car Accident

Monday, July 19, 2010

Alcohol and speed can be a dangerous combination.  A Los Angeles family found this out the hard way after their car was involved in a crash allegedly caused by a drunk and speeding driver.  The accident occurred in East Los Angeles County this week on a road between La Puente and the City of Commerce. 

According to preliminary investigations, a white sedan carrying a family of four was struck by a Jeep Cherokee traveling at high speeds.  The man, who was driving the white sedan, was killed in the accident.  At least four people, including the man's children and a woman in the car, were seriously injured in the crash.  Damage from the accident was severe, and the survivors had to be extricated using the Jaws of Life. There was only one passenger in the Jeep Cherokee, and he's expected to survive his injuries.

Traffic investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department say they have no idea yet what speeds the Jeep Cherokee was traveling at the time of the crash, but the speed was high judging from the impact of the accident.  The impact broke the wheel assembly and the axle of the Jeep Cherokee, and instantly killed the driver of the sedan.  The drunk driver has now been arrested. 

It's not uncommon to see speed being involved in accidents caused by drunk driving.  Driving under the influence severely impairs a person's judgment, and his ability to make rational decisions.  It leads to lack of inhibition and recklessness, and the person may indulge in dangerous behaviors, like driving at high speeds.  Speeding and alcohol use are two of the most common causes of accidents.  Nationwide, speeding is the number one killer, contributing to 31% of all accident fatalities.  It is followed closely by intoxicated driving. 

Strong efforts by auto safety advocates and Los Angeles car accident lawyers to bring awareness to this problem, has led to a decline in the number of people being killed every year in alcohol-related accidents over the past decade.

Rollover Accidents

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rollover accidents are some of the most dangerous of auto accidents. They only makeup of a small percentage of the total number of motor vehicle accidents in the United States, but comprise a large number of fatalities.

In 2002, only 3% of accidents involving passenger cars, pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles, were rollovers. However, these accidents resulted in 33% of the total number of fatalities that year. That same year, more than 10,000 people died in rollover accidents. On an average, approximately 8,000 people are killed every year in rollover accidents.

Often, rollover crashes are caused because of hydroplaning, a tire blowout, loss of control of the car and other such causes. There are some things that motorists can do to prevent rollover risks.

The important thing to do is not to panic when you feel like your car is going off the road, or that you're losing control. Experts advise you to gradually reduce speeds if your vehicle begins to go off the road, and slowly attempt to steer it back onto the road. Make sure that your tire pressure is optimum. Avoid overloading your vehicle.  Check the maximum load limit which will be included in your vehicle user’s manual. Check tire treads often. A tire blowout is very often the cause of rollover accidents.

If you're in the market for a new car, consider models that come with Electronic Stability Control systems. These technologies have proved to be very effective in preventing rollover crashes. These technologies help drivers retain control of the vehicle by steering the car in the intended direction.

Of course, the simplest thing you can do to prevent the risk of injury during a rollover, is the one Los Angeles car accident attorneys never tire of stressing. Always wear your seatbelts. Approximately 70% of all fatalities in rollover accidents were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Ejection is a major cause of serious or fatal injuries during rollovers.

Check if your car has side-impact airbags that can be deployed as rollover airbags. Not all side impact airbags are deployed during a rollover. Check with your dealer to see if you have this feature. Auto safety features like these can dramatically reduce your chances of injuries during a rollover.

Focus on Trailer Towing Accidents this Summer

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Many Americans tend to schedule a move for a summer, which means the next two months will see more numbers of passenger vehicles towing trailers on the highways. It's the right time to draw attention to the fact that every year hundreds of people are killed or seriously injured in accidents caused when unsecured or poorly secured trailers come loose from vehicles.

USA Today has a report on how states around the country are acting to toughen existing laws aimed at preventing runaway trailers. According to federal data, every day one person dies in such accidents across the country. Most of the accidents occur when a poorly secured trailer goes out of control. Such trailers can careen into traffic around the vehicle, causing serious collisions, multi-vehicle accidents, and pileups.

Motorists, who are unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity when the trailer breaks loose, are at serious risk of catastrophic injuries. Nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15,211 people were killed in trailer accidents between 1975 and 2008. According to Ron Melancon, who is a trailer safety activist from Virginia, California has seen major loss of life and property in trailer accidents. Since 1975, 1,706 people have died in trailer accidents in California. Since 1988, 51,806 people have been injured, and 91,268 cars have been destroyed in these accidents. The toll in damage and fatalities has been devastating. During this period of time, the cost of property damage from these accidents has touched $189 million, and the cost of fatalities from these accidents has topped $4 billion. Overall the economic cost of such accidents has topped $4.87 billion.

California is one of several states that require safety chains that prevent a trailer from going out of control when it breaks free from the vehicle. Safety chains in California must have a breaking strength that is equal to or greater than the total weight of the towed material. According to trailer safety activists and Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, the only ways to prevent these accidents is education, awareness, enforcement and enhanced engineering and design that can minimize the impact of human error.


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