Car Accidents Archives

High-Speed Crashes Take Lives

No one could have imagined the tragedy of a Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles County. That is when a Mercedes careened through a red light and slammed into cross traffic, resulting in the ejection of multiple people and two vehicles consumed by flames.

Is California a No-Fault State?

California follows no-fault laws, meaning the driver that caused the accident is responsible for paying damages. Under tort law, you must prove another person was to blame, as well as the value of your losses.

Car Accident Causes Me to Miss Work

You can claim compensation after a car accident in CA, including any wages you missed after taking time off from work.

Who is at Fault in a Rear End Accident?

The law requires you to use reasonable caution when driving a motor vehicle; in legal terms, this means that you have a duty of care toward other drivers on the road to drive safely. This includes knowledge of your state’s traffic laws, which is why you must pass a written test on traffic laws before you can even get a provisional driver’s license. It also means paying attention to the other cars on the road and to road conditions, which is why you can get a traffic ticket for distracted driving.

What Should I Do if I am a Witness to an Accident?

Most car accidents do not result in civil lawsuits or criminal charges, but statements from witnesses who were not in either of the vehicles involved in the collision can still be useful to insurance companies when apportioning fault for the accident and determining appropriate settlement amounts for the parties who filed claims in connection to the accident.

Reckless Driving Can Cause Multi-Vehicle Accidents That Injure Multiple People

Assigning percentages of fault after a car accident that involves only two cars is not always simple. Unless one driver did something egregiously dangerous, such as driving at double the speed limit or driving north in a southbound lane, there are usually things that both drivers could have done differently to prevent the accident.

What Happens if the Person Who Hit Me Has Little or No Insurance?

If you get hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, your uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist policies may pay for your damages, if you have these types of insurance coverage, but you may still need a lawyer’s help to get the insurance companies to pay enough to cover all your accident-related expenses.

Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are among the most obvious examples of how fragile the human body is. You might be able to bench press an impressive amount of weight at the gym or juggle two jobs and all your family responsibilities, but you are little match for fast-moving steel machines and hard pavement. The chances of a motorcyclist getting injured in a motor vehicle collision are greater than for occupants of cars.

How Safe is the Tesla Autopilot?

If you have seen the old “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” Mickey Mouse cartoon or heard the robots’ chorus on the Alan Parson Project’s I Robot album, you are familiar with the concept that, if machines were given the ability and the opportunity to make decisions, they would act like rebellious teenagers.

Seatbelts are the Safest Safety Feature

Car enthusiasts keep track of the newest safety features that promise to make cars more error-proof. In fact, many recent models of cars contain features that alert you to cars in your blind spot, help you back out of driveways, and even brake automatically to prevent crashes.

Try to Get Photos After a Car Accident

These days, almost everyone who has a car also has a cell phone that can take pictures at much higher resolutions than the consumer cameras of our childhood were able to take; plenty of people who are too young to drive also have such cameras on their phones. Even better, the pictures are ready for immediate viewing, so you can retake them within seconds if they are not clear enough.

Taking photos can provide important evidence in car accident claims

Motor vehicle accidents are sudden, unexpected events. While drivers often experience varying degrees of shock in the immediate aftermath, it is important to be aware that the things you do or say during this time can have a major impact on your rights when filing a claim.

Safety systems reduce car accident risk

Many people in California are excited by the automated safety features being introduced to the car market. These features may be part of fully autonomous, self-driving cars in the future. For now, these technologies aim to make the roadway safer by giving drivers a slate of automated tools to help them avoid serious car accidents. Taken together, automated safety features are known as automated driver assistance systems, or ADAS. According to one study released by GM, research shows that the presence of these devices can substantially lower the risk of certain types of collisions.

10-year high in red-light running deaths concerns safety experts

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that in 2017, the latest year for which crash data is available, there were 939 deaths stemming from red-light running crashes. This marks a 10-year high. More than two people are killed every day in the U.S. in red-light running crashes. California motorists should know that the victim is usually someone else besides the offending driver.

Drunk drivers kill more than 10,000 people each year

Drunk driving deaths have fallen by a third in California and around the country during the last 30 years, but accidents caused by intoxicated motorists still claim more than 10,000 lives and cost the economy over $40 billion each year. Drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher are considered too drunk to drive, but judgment, reaction times and coordination may be dangerously impaired at blood alcohol levels well below the legal limit. In 2017, accidents involving drivers with BACs of between .01 and .07 killed 1,837 road users.

Safe cars and accident rates

Despite getting the highest possible safety rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the Subaru Crosstrek has the highest rates of at-fault accidents in California and other parts of the United States. This information was gathered in an industry survey that asked vehicle owners whether their vehicle had been in an accident. The survey takers compiled a list of the top 10 vehicles for accidents and found that 9 out of 10 were imports.

Drowsy driving and how to avoid it

Almost one third of respondents to a AAA study admitted that at least once in the past month, they drove in such a drowsy condition that they had trouble keeping their eyes open. Drowsy driving, California residents should know, can be almost as bad as drunk driving in terms of its effects. The National Sleep Foundation says that being awake for 24 hours straight can be like having a BAC of .10.

Police accident reports gather incomplete data

Road deaths in California and around the country topped 40,000 for the third consecutive year in 2018, but a report released by the National Safety Council reveals that the government agencies and nonprofit organizations tasked with improving road safety are not being provided with complete data. After examining police accident reports from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the NSC discovered that all the information lawmakers and advocates need to reduce traffic fatalities was not being collected anywhere in the United States.

Injured California women die underrepresented in crash-tests.

Seat belts fit men and women differently. Men and women are not just different heights and weights. Men tend to gain weight in the abdominal area and women gain weight around their waists and thighs. The most frequent complaint about automotive seat belts is that they irritate drivers' necks. The seatbelt belongs over the driver's hips and under the driver's stomach. The driver sits safely at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel. Women tend to be more vulnerable than men during head-on collisions because they suffer injuries from airbags and the steering wheel.

California the third-worst state for senior-involved car crashes

Seniors can be unsafe behind the wheel, so it's not surprising that they contribute to many auto accidents. A study from The Senior List has ranked the 10 worst states when it comes to crashes involving seniors as well as the 10 safest states. Unfortunately, California is the third-worst state, surpassed only by Florida and Texas. After California comes Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Most car accidents are preventable

California residents spend a great deal of time on the state's freeways and local roads. Although driving is second nature for many adults, it's also the single most dangerous activity they engage in. There are thousands of fatal automobile accidents every year in the U.S. To stay safe, it's important that drivers understand the most common causes of car accidents.

Drivers may want to avoid some California roads

According to the America's Safe Drivers Report 2019, Los Angeles is one of the most dangerous places for a person to drive. The report, which was issued by Allstate, found that the 405 Freeway was among the most dangerous roads in the city. Los Angeles landed at No. 6 overall on the list.

Drivers may want to avoid some California roads

According to the America's Safe Drivers Report 2019, Los Angeles is one of the most dangerous places for a person to drive. The report, which was issued by Allstate, found that the 405 Freeway was among the most dangerous roads in the city. Los Angeles landed at No. 6 overall on the list.

NHTSA estimates 1% decline in roadway fatalities in 2018

After seeing a record jump in 2015 and 2016, the number of roadway fatalities in California and the rest of the U.S. has been gradually declining. If the estimates of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are accurate, 2018 will be the second year in a row to see a decrease, however slight it might seem.

Tesla's Navigate on Autopilot feature may be flawed

California motorists may be interested in a new safety report pertaining to Tesla's automated driving features. According to testers with Consumer Reports, Tesla's updated Navigate on Autopilot feature has serious issues. A test on Model 3 showed that the semi-autonomous Autopilot feature made several mistakes. For example, the system made illegal passes and cut off approaching automobiles.

Without training, drivers may be confused by new car safety tech

Drivers in California and across the U.S. may be looking forward to the advent of self-driving cars. However, many people overestimate the abilities of current vehicle safety technology. The Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making has published a discussion between a professor of cognitive sciences and a NASA scientist on the way that drivers interact with car safety tech. It appears that a lack of training is creating confusion.

What teens should know about driving hazards

There will be about 3.6 million teens graduating from high school in the late spring and early summer of 2019. This means that there could soon be millions of California teenagers driving to and from parties and other graduation events. Parents are encouraged to talk to their sons and daughters about the hazards of driving while distracted or under the influence of drugs. Teens should also be warned about the dangers of driving while drowsy.

Online study: drivers distracted by memes, other social media

Phones, as most California residents know, are some of the most widespread sources of distraction among drivers. In an online study that involved nearly 2,000 U.S. drivers, 99% named phones as one of the top three distractions. Nearly half of the respondents also said that they make distracted driving their top concern behind the wheel.

Root Insurance: distractions a blind spot for many drivers

Distractions are a blind spot for many drivers in California. The problem is a nationwide one, and a new study from Root Insurance has shed some light on it. Of those surveyed, 47% said they make distractions a top concern when driving, and 99% placed phones among the top three distractions. Yet respondents themselves would use their phones behind the wheel, spending an average of 13 minutes a day on them.

Driver fatigue responsible for many truck accidents

Truckers in California may be interested in research from the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, which found that a majority of truck accidents in North Dakota occurred in the state's oil region. This research was spurred by several high-profile accidents along the Highway 23 bypass. The main reason for this problem is thought to be driver fatigue from overwork. While data from the oil region is particularly troublesome, fatigue is a serious issue on roadways all over the country.

Radar analysis measures precipitation risk for car crashes

Researchers have used radar data to determine how precipitation can affect the risk for fatal highway crashes. California residents should know that the results of this study are more precise than those of previous studies, which would rely on police reports or field observations to determine if there was precipitation at the time of a crash.

IIHS: new pickups less safe for passengers than for drivers

California residents who own a newer pickup truck should know that there may be a discrepancy between drivers-side safety and passengers-side safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety began crash testing both sides in 2017, and after a round of crash tests involving 11 newer two-row pickups, it discovered that passengers are indeed at a higher risk for injuries or death than drivers.

Legislators consider "textalyzer" to detect distracted driving

As an increasing number of severe and deadly car accidents are linked to distracted driving in California and across the country, lawmakers in one state are considering a technology that could show if a driver was using the phone during a crash. Most states already ban texting, emailing or surfing the internet while driving, but many drivers continue to engage in these dangerous practices. Nevada legislators are considering permitting police to use a so-called "textalyzer" to determine if a driver was using a phone before or during a collision.

Distraction linked with high risk of highway work zone crashes

California drivers should know that the average text message takes five seconds to read. In those same five seconds, a vehicle going 55 mph will travel the length of a football field. This is just one illustration of the hazards of distracted driving. This form of negligence can raise the risk of a crash in a highway work zone.

AAA warns against health risks of daylight saving time

Drivers in California should be aware of one health risk associated with daylight saving time: increased fatigue. Everyone should sleep at least seven hours, and losing one hour may lead to impairment behind the wheel. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that those who lose one to two hours of sleep in the previous 24 hours nearly double their car crash risk.

Safety groups push for truck safety rules with crash data

Commercial trucks move many of the goods flowing into California ports throughout the country. To reduce truck accidents, traffic safety activists, such as Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition, have renewed their efforts to obtain meaningful federal regulations. They have been presenting crash data to lawmakers in the hopes of gaining laws that require heavy-duty commercial trucks to use speed limiters and automatic emergency braking systems.

Study notes opioid link to fatal crashes

For many California residents, the opiate epidemic has led to a number of concerns, including the danger of fatal overdoses or the growing trend of addiction to illegal drugs. Prescription opioid use could also lead to other consequences, including a potential link to deadly car accidents. One study indicated that drivers found to be responsible for fatal two-car crashes were nearly two times as likely to have prescription opiates in their system at the time of the accident as the driver of the other vehicle.

Car accidents: the most frequent causes

California motorists would do well to know what are the most common causes of car accidents. It has been found that human error is behind most crashes, especially distracted driving. While smartphones and in-car infotainment systems are becoming frequent sources of distraction, even ordinary activities like eating, drinking or talking with passengers can produce inattention.

ADHD medication might lower car accident risk

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may pose special risks when it comes to driving, but people with ADHD might reduce the risks by taking medication. According to research published by JAMA Psychiatry, as many as 22.1 percent of car accidents involving ADHD patients may have been avoided if the patients had been taking proper medication.

ZF says external airbags reduce severity of side impact injuries

Side impact crashes are some of the most severe car crashes in California. Many car parts manufacturers, however, are working to perfect the technology behind external airbags. According to one of these manufacturers, the ZF Group, external airbags can reduce the injury severity of side collisions by up to 40 percent. This could encourage others to consider the technology.

Safe driving tips for the winter

California drivers should consider the following tips so that they can stay safe on the snowy, icy and wet roads that winter brings. Most of the tips are concerned with preparation. For example, to ensure that the vehicle is properly winterized, drivers could hire a mechanic to check components like the brakes, ignition, wiring and filters. Mechanics could also check tire pressure and antifreeze levels.

Car accident injuries are not always immediately diagnosed

Thousands of California residents are hurt in motor vehicle accidents every year, but the severity of their injuries is not always immediately apparent even to highly trained emergency services workers with years of experience. Minor symptoms that linger for days or weeks could be a sign of a far more serious medical condition, and vivid flashbacks and trouble sleeping may be signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Even California's sunny weather can be dangerous for drivers

California is known for its beautiful weather, but days of endless sunshine can sometimes be as dangerous for drivers as driving in sleet or snow. The sudden glare of direct sunlight can temporarily blind motorists as they round a bend or emerge from a shaded section of highway. This danger is particularly pronounced in the morning or afternoon when the sun is rising or setting. However, drivers who take a few basic precautions can greatly reduce their chances of being involved in a collision caused by glare or bright light.

Drivers everywhere need to heed the dangers of distracted driving

In California, between 14 and 16 percent of the time drivers spend behind the wheel they are still using their cell phones to access apps, text, or talk. The average time spent across the country is about 17 percent. Most states have now banned texting, but some, including California, banned any use of handheld electronic devices while driving.

Younger drivers put others in harm's way

Ideally, teen motorists in California will have at least 100 hours of supervised driving time before they drive on their own. Since younger drivers lack experience behind the wheel, they are more likely to be involved in deadly crashes. When a teen driver is in a vehicle with other teen passengers, the fatality risks increase even higher.

Driver safety technologies misunderstood

Drivers on California roads are likely to overestimate the capabilities of their vehicles' safety features, according to research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The AAA study found that drivers think blind spot monitoring and other safety technologies are more advanced than they are. It may indicate that more driver education is necessary before American drivers are ready to adopt self-driving and other motor vehicle technology.

Touring emergency rooms, morgue may improve teen driving

Across California and the United States, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in teenagers. A recent study found that seeing the extreme consequences of vehicular accidents may improve teenage driving statistics. The study, which was done by researchers at Baylor University, found that teenage drivers who entered into a supplemental drivers' education program had an increased awareness of the consequences of risky driving practices.

Study shows distracted driving common to all generations

Drivers in California may be surprised by the results of a distracted driving study that was conducted by Volvo and the Harris Poll. The study, which involved 2,000 participants of varying ages, found that distracted driving is common among all generations. Approximately 81 percent of millennials and Gen Xers admitted to phone use behind wheel, followed by 71 percent of Gen Xers, 64 percent of baby boomers and 50 percent of the Silent Generation.

Experts say roundabouts can save lives

Anyone who has driven in California in recent years may have encountered roundabouts. The state is one of many that have replaced some traffic signals at intersections with roundabouts; traffic circles can help reduce fatalities and serious injuries. Roundabouts are common in Europe and some other parts of the world, but the United States has been slow to adopt them. However, one state is now installing more roundabouts even in rural areas.

Avoiding car accidents during the school year

While safe driving is a must for every time of the year, it becomes even more critical when school is in session and the holidays are around the corner. California drivers will therefore want to consider the following tips, which can allow them to share the road safely with school buses and other vehicles.

Drowsy driving just as dangerous as drunk driving

Drowsy driving is prevalent in California and across the U.S. In fact, a study by the American Sleep Foundation found that around 50 percent of adult drivers engage in drowsy driving. Worse, 40 percent of drivers admit they've fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point in their lives, and 20 percent admit they've fallen asleep while driving within the last 12 months.

Teenage drivers, licenses and safety

California parents who have teenagers who have just begun driving should be aware that there is a high chance of their offspring being responsible for a motor vehicle accident during their first months of having a driver's license. According to a study that was conducted jointly by the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University, the likelihood that teenagers will experience a collision or a near miss with another vehicle during their first three months of driving by themselves is eight times more than during the last three months in which they have a driver's permit and are driving with an adult.

GHSA report reveals alarming rise in drug use by drivers

Police departments in California and around the country use breath testing equipment to reliably determine whether or not a driver is intoxicated by alcohol, but no such test currently exists to identify marijuana impairment. This is a problem because drug tests performed on motorists killed in accidents discovered traces of the drug 38 percent of the time according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

July 4 worst day of year for fatal car crashes

As is the case throughout the rest of the country, most people in California use the Fourth of July as a time to relax and celebrate their personal freedoms. The annual holiday is also when many individuals take to the roads to do things like visit friends and family or attend fireworks celebrations and other events. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Esurance estimate that it's the worst day of the year for fatal car accidents.

How new tech could prevent distractions on the road

Considering the popularity of smartphone use, distracted driving is a major problem in California. That's why several phone providers offer free apps that can silence all incoming communications and keep users from texting when a car is in motion. However, most of these apps do not prevent all outgoing communications. New technology may be able to address this problem more thoroughly.

Drowsy driving just as dangerous as DUI

Drivers in California may know that intoxicated driving is unsafe, but they may not be aware that drowsy driving is similar to intoxicated driving in its effects. Drowsy driving is a widespread issue: 60 percent of adults in the U.S. claim to have done it at least once with a third of those even admitting that they fell asleep behind the wheel.

Tesla CEO criticizes media coverage of semi-autonomous car crash

Drivers in California may be interested in the recent spate of accidents involving self-driving vehicles, especially those that operate on Tesla's Autopilot program. In May, a Utah driver collided with a fire truck even though the Autopilot on her Tesla Model S was engaged. She said she was looking down at her phone when the crash took place.

New AI technology could prevent distracted driving crashes

California motorists may have heard that autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles can drive more safely than humans can. However, it is still important for people to keep their eyes on the road while operating them. This was proven in Arizona when an Uber self-driving car struck and killed a pedestrian while its human driver was distracted.

Distracted driving continues despite attitudes against it

A new survey finds that many drivers don't practice what they preach when it comes to distracted driving. California drivers may be interested in the results, which indicate that many people who say using cellphones while driving is a bad idea continue to do it anyway.

Common delayed car crash injury symptoms

Getting into a car accident is often a traumatic event. This is true even if it appears no one was injured in the crash. For example, mental anguish can afflict people who were not physically injured in an accident. Further, some physical injuries can take hours or days to show any symptoms, catching a California car crash victim off guard.

Study finds high rates of driver distraction despite disapproval

Even California drivers who disapprove of distracted driving might still be likely to engage in it themselves. A study by the insurance company Esurance found that more than 90 percent of participants said emailing, texting and browsing for apps while driving were all distracting behaviors, but more than 50 percent said they did them anyway. Longer commutes increased the likelihood that drivers would become distracted.

Governors to pave the way for better road safety

California residents are probably aware that road safety is not what it could be, especially when compared to other developed countries. The number of traffic fatalities in the U.S. has been rising in recent years, with a 5.6 percent increase in 2016. That year, more than 37,000 road users were killed, and 39 states saw an increase in traffic deaths that year compared to 2015.

AAA reveals surprising frequency of drowsy driving

With more than a third of American adults getting less than seven hours of sleep a day, according to the CDC, it's no surprise that drowsy driving is an issue. What drivers in California, and elsewhere in the U.S., may not realize is that drowsy driving is currently an underreported issue. The most recent statistics show that drowsiness causes 1 to 2 percent of all crashes, but the percentage is arguably higher.

How to reduce the odds of driving while distracted

California motorists may be putting others at risk by using their smartphones while driving. This may be true even as cars come with automatic braking and lane departure warning systems. However, according to a Consumer Reports survey, 52 percent of respondents who were licensed drivers said that they used their phone to send messages or watch videos. To help guard against smartphone use while driving, Apple has introduced a mode that can blocks incoming calls or messages.

Drugged driving to be addressed by the NHTSA

Motorists in California may be interested to know that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to address the issue of driving while under the influence of drugs. As the number of drugged driving accidents is increasing and the legalization of marijuana and the nationwide opioid problem in the United States are on the minds of the public, safety advocates say action is needed.

How and when to report car accidents in California

In the absolute best-case scenario, car accidents are inconvenient. If there are serious injuries to anyone involved, the first priority should be getting appropriate medical treatment for anyone hurt. With a minor fender bender or one-car accident, a motorist may be tempted to skip reporting altogether. The following are some guidelines for how and when to report a car accident.

Can science help drivers avoid accidents?

California drivers spend many hours on the road, and many of them are involved in or witness accidents. While it is impossible to know every detail of the causes of an accident, studies are now analyzing information to provide help to drivers that might help them avoid some collisions.

Driving while texting versus under the influence of marijuana

Not having one's attention completely focused on the road can result in a fatal motor vehicle accident. According to a survey that was conducted for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, a majority of people in California and the rest of the nation consider driving while texting even more dangerous than driving while high on marijuana.

Preparing for winter driving

The Federal Highway Administration states that 22 percent of all accidents are weather-related; that's nearly 1.3 million out of 5.7 million crashes every year. Many drivers in California have to face heavy snows, freezing rains, and floods in the winter, which means an increased risk for car crashes during this most dangerous of seasons.

Study links people with ADHD to higher risk of car accidents

Driving vehicles requires people to adopt safe behaviors and successfully combine cognitive, motor and visual skills. Among people in California diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, their tendency to be easily distracted has appeared to impact their driving abilities according to multiple studies. The defining characteristics of ADHD include impulsiveness, hyperactivity and difficulty paying attention.

Wildlife collisions increase with end of daylight saving time

Most wild animals are active when it's dark, so they especially become a danger to drivers when the days get shorter. The autumn season also complicates matters as bears will be prowling around for food before hibernation, and deer will be mating. Drivers in California should know that there are precautions they can take to avoid accidents with wildlife.

Self-driving vehicle regulations meet roadblock

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that it needs further instructions on how to revise current auto safety regulations for self-driving vehicles. It is also asking for comments on whether it should eliminate certain regulations altogether. This could affect how soon drivers in California and across the U.S. can get self-driving vehicles.

Traffic accident deaths rise alarmingly for the second year

California residents may recall President Obama setting a goal last year to eliminate traffic accident deaths within 30 years. It was hoped that the advent of autonomous vehicle technology would eliminate the human error thought to be responsible for most highway crashes, but figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Oct. 6 suggest that sophisticated accident avoidance and prevention systems have done little to stem a worrying increase in fatal accidents.

Older cars more dangerous to drive than newer models

California residents may love driving new cars because they're fun, stylish and equipped the latest technology, especially safety features. Some divers might prefer older cars because new cars depreciate greatly in the first year off the lot, making used cars a better bargain. It's these older cars, however, that can be deadlier.

Tips for night driving

Statistics have shown that the rate of traffic fatalities are three times as great at night than during the day. Many California motorists have realized that their confidence in driving is not as strong after the sun has gone down. There are a few reasons for this.

Drivers send mixed signals in distracted driving study

California has some of the strictest distracted driving laws in the country, and the results of a recent study conducted by Progressive Insurance suggest that most drivers in the Golden State support these measures. An overwhelming 97 percent of the women and 88 of the men who responded to the insurance company's online poll said that they supported tough distracted driving laws, and 65 percent cited cellphone use behind the wheel as the leading cause of car accidents.

Effectiveness of crash avoidance systems

California residents might like to know about an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study that looked at collision avoidance systems. Researchers studied vehicles that had lane departure warning systems and blind spot alerts. They also examined accident data for more than 5,000 accidents in 2015. They focused on accidents that the warning systems were made to protect against.

3-car crash kills 1, injures 5

The California Highway Patrol reported that a car accident that occurred on Aug. 13 left one person dead and five with injuries. The crash occurred on Highway 88 and Waterloo Road in Stockton at about 2:30 p.m., resulting in the closing of the roadway for almost two hours.

Correlation between fatalities and higher speed limits

As California works towards a goal of zero fatalities from car accidents, one study is highlighting an issue that might be preventing this. Despite the increases in safety features in vehicles as well as programs that encourage safe driving, the study points towards the increasing speed limits throughout the nation as a cause for fatalities.

IIHS safety ratings show not all large sedans created equal

Crash testing results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety could help people in California select a vehicle with truly reliable protection in an accident. In the category of large sedans, the nonprofit institute calculated that the Lincoln Continental, Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan and the Toyota Avalon buffered occupants from the impact of crashes to a higher degree than other models. These three cars earned the designation Top Safety Pick Plus.

Lawmakers call for national autonomous vehicle standards

California's Department of Motor Vehicles signaled its intention to allow self-driving cars onto the state's roads by proposing autonomous vehicle testing and deployment guidelines in March 2017, but road safety advocates and many lawmakers believe that this is an issue that should be regulated at the federal level. They worry that a patchwork of state laws is creating an inconsistent regulatory landscape and could allow unproven and possibly unsafe technology onto the roads.

The importance of avoiding distracted driving

California motorists might have to become more defensive to prevent getting into accidents with distracted drivers. Traffic fatalities began to rise in 2015 after dropping for several years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving as a cause of accidents rose more quickly than drunk driving, speeding, drowsy driving, or driving without a seat belt.

Legal issues in accidents where cars failed to brake

Distracted driving accidents are becoming a serious problem in California and motorists staring at cellphone screens are now a familiar sight on the nation's roads. Police officers may suspect distraction when motorists failed to apply their brakes prior to crashing into the vehicle in front of them, but this type of accident can also be caused by inadequate maintenance, a defective part or a mechanical failure.

Self-driving cars could radically change auto insurance

Self-driving cars and trucks promise to make the roads in California and around the country safer in the years ahead, and autonomous vehicle technology is also poised to change the way automobile accident claims are handled according to industry experts. Car accident lawsuits today are generally filed against negligent drivers or their auto insurance companies, but injured road users in the future may be more likely to sue software developers or driverless car builders.

National Safety Council wants to ban cellphone use by drivers

Lower gas prices and an improved economy resulted in people driving more in California and around the country in 2016, but the chief of the National Safety Council said that the rise in traffic fatalities could not be credited entirely to a 3 percent rise in miles traveled. The council reported that in 2016, 40,200 people died in motor vehicle accidents nationwide. This figure reflects a 6 percent increase from 2015 and a 14 percent jump compared to deaths in 2014.

Driving behaviors of millenials

According to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, millennials in California and the rest of the country have the worst driving habits when compared to other age groups. The survey found that 88 percent of drivers aged 19 to 24 years of age admitted to taking part in dangerous driving behavior at some time during the previous 30 days. The behaviors included running red lights, speeding and texting while driving.

Accident victims sue Apple over texting feature

California-based Apple Inc. has been sued by a group of distracted driving accident victims. The class-action lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles, accuses the technology leader of acting negligently by not releasing a safety feature that prevents drivers from texting while behind the wheel. The lawsuit claims that Apple developed the safety feature in 2008 and was awarded a patent for it in 2014.

California 7-car crash injures 3

Three people were injured in a chain-reaction crash involving seven vehicles on Highway 1 at Firefighter Road nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base. The accident took place about 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 11. According to authorities, the multi-vehicle wreck began when a Lompoc woman driving a northbound Dodge Magnum on the highway was suddenly unable to control her vehicle and smashed into another northbound vehicle, a Toyota Camry driven by a 35-year-old man.

New bill would raise age of driving restrictions

Minors in California may soon have restrictions placed on their drivers' licenses until they reach age 21 if a bill is passed. The bill, AB 63, was introduced into the state's legislature on Dec. 14. It would raise the age at which drivers must have provisional licenses from 18 to 21.

Snapchat speed filter reportedly linked to deadly collisions

Distracted driving poses a huge safety risk for drivers across California and throughout the U.S. From cellphone use to eating and even talking to other passengers, there are myriad reasons that people can become distracted when behind the wheel. As technology advances, even more potential distractions and driving hazards are cropping up, often in the form of apps and gadgets. As an example, Snapchat's speed filter has come under scrutiny as a potentially dangerous driving tool.

Why California drivers need adequate sleep

According to a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the odds of a car crash double for drivers who sleep five or six hours per 24-hour period as opposed to those who get seven or more. Those who sleep only four or five hours per 24-hour period are four times more likely to get in a crash, and that is similar to the crash rates of drunk drivers.

The deadliest time of the year for roadway travelers

Motorists in California and across the country may enjoy a safer holiday season if they remain mindful that Thanksgiving traditionally marks the beginning of the most dangerous time of the year on the nation's roadways. According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, more fatal motor vehicle accidents occurred on Thanksgiving in 2012 than on any other holiday that year. The research suggests that a number of the reported incidents may have been preventable.

Distracted driving may cause many teen car accidents

Teenagers in California and around the country may run a higher risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident than other age groups, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. In 2015, traffic fatalities across all groups had the highest year-over-year percentage leap in 50 years, and the number of deaths increased for the first time since 2007. The upward trend is expected to continue in 2016 based on preliminary figures for the first six months of the year.

Safety regulators plan for zero traffic fatalities in 30 years

Traffic safety regulators reported a 7.2 percent increase in road deaths in 2015. This marked the biggest annual surge since 1966. California road users might be relieved to learn that several regulatory agencies have formed a coalition to end the surge and reduce traffic fatalities to zero in just 30 years.

High school provides counselors after teens die in crash

The death of two teenagers in Arvin prompted administrators at the local high school to prepare for grieving students. The California Highway Patrol confirmed that two young men, ages 14 and 16, perished when they were ejected from a 2004 Honda Accord that rolled over after hitting a dirt mound at a high rate of speed. In response to the news, the principal of Arvin High School transformed the school's career center into a counseling area. Psychologists, counselors and mental health workers met with students upset by the loss of classmates.

Older drivers may benefit from autonomous car technology

Sophisticated safety systems that constantly monitor road conditions and are able to actually steer around obstructions or brake to avoid a crash are already available on many new cars and trucks, and the California-based technology giant Google hopes to introduce a fully autonomous vehicle by 2020. Many road safety experts believe that this kind of technology has the potential to greatly reduce or even eliminate traffic accidents, and self-driving cars could be a particularly attractive option to the country's growing number of retirees.

Annual car accident death toll was higher in 2015

California residents may be aware that there has been a decline in car accident fatalities over the past decade. There were 42,708 car accident deaths in the U.S. in 2005 compared to 35,092 car accident deaths in 2015. The decrease in car accidents has been attributed to factors like fewer drunk drivers on the roads, greater use of seat belts and vehicle safety improvements.

Drowsy driving creates serious danger on the road

Many California motorists are likely among the estimated 83 million people who drive while drowsy each day.The problem is a serious one, and the Governors Highway Safety Association released a report on Aug. 8 that said approximately 5,000 people had died in 2015 in accidents in which drowsy driving was a factor. That same year, overall motor vehicle fatalities were up 7.7 percent from the previous year.

Social media, games and more distract drivers

California motorists are not permitted to text while driving, and drivers throughout the country are increasingly aware of the dangers of that behavior. However, there are many other equally dangerous distractions including Snapchat and Pokemon Go, and it is likely there will continue to be similar ones in the future.

Wrong-way driver causes fiery crash in California

Police in California say that a motorist was traveling at a high rate of speed and was proceeding against the flow of traffic on a one-way street when he lost control of his Honda Accord sedan and struck an oncoming delivery truck head-on. The man, who police only described as being in his 20s, suffered serious injuries in the fiery crash, and he was later reported to be in critical condition. The accident took place in downtown Los Angeles on June 20 at about 3:30 a.m.

Car manufacturers tracking driver behavior

Tesla may already be tracking the activity of drivers of its vehicles in California and throughout the country, and it is a trend that is likely to grow as other automakers begin gathering more information on driver behavior. Furthermore, that data will be increasingly transmitted directly to companies using the Internet.

Summertime means more teen crashes in California

In the 100 days between Memorial Day and the start of the new school year, teenage motor vehicle deaths increase by 16 percent. On average, 1,022 people have died after crashes involving teenage drivers during this time of the year from 2009 to 2014, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The majority of crashes, 58.5 percent, occur because of distracted driving.

Self-driving cars and auto insurance

Many California residents have seen one of Google's self-driving cars being tested. Autonomous cars like the one being developed by Google are often advertised as the solution to car accidents. According to the president of Volvo, the many autonomous safety features on the Swedish company's cars could make fatal crashes a thing of the past. Volvo is hoping to make an accident-proof car by 2020.

Passenger sought in accident that killed 2 men

A California man who had recently begun a job as a Lyft driver was killed in an accident at about 7:50 a.m., along with his passenger, when the vehicle was struck by a Nissan that ran a stop sign. According to police, they are looking for a young person running from the accident scene who was videotaped by a bystander who witnessed the crash.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

According to the National Safety Council, cellphone conversations are fatally injuring people in California and across the United States, but many people are still unaware of the danger. The organization says that 53 percent of drivers believe that hands-free phone technology in vehicles is safe to use while driving, but statistics show that both hands-free and hand-held phone conversations significantly increase a motorist's chances of crashing.

Braking technology could prevent 20 percent of car accidents

A rear-end crash on a California road can be an annoyance as the driver in the front vehicle deals with damages, possible injuries, and the red tape involved in filing an insurance claim. On a national level, the number of injuries and deaths each year because of this type of accident can be quite high. Research has shown, however, that a large number of serious rear-enders could be curbed through automatic braking technology. An agreement has been reached between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and most of the nation's auto manufacturers, and it is aimed at making this a standard vehicle feature by 2022.

The future of self-driving cars

Self-driving cars may eventually make roadways much safer than they have ever been before. Google has been test-driving such vehicles in California, and so far, no injuries have been reported as a result of any accidents caused by the autonomous driving technology. However, there was an accident with no injuries caused at least in part by the technology on Feb. 14, which leads many people to speculate what will happen when a self-driving car is involved in a serious accident.

Safety features to reduce rear-end crashes

California drivers might be interested in learning about the latest findings from a study that indicates that front crash prevention systems can actually reduce the number of rear-end collisions. Thought not available as a standard feature on most vehicles yet, these systems might be an indication that roads can be safer if the right technology is installed in vehicles.

Software is driver in self-driving cars, NHTSA says

Although California regulators have asked that self-driving cars have a licensed driver on board and a steering wheel, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration may be prepared to waive these and other safety regulations. In a Feb. 4 letter, the NHTSA told Google that for purposes of federal law, the software responsible for the decision-making in autonomous cars could be considered the driver.

California police chase results in highway closure

A vehicle fleeing a police officer in Gilroy crashed through a fence on East Ninth Street and caused a four-vehicle crash on southbound U.S. Highway 101 on Jan. 30, 2016. The police report stated that an officer had first spotted the vehicle speeding on Chestnut Street and then attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle evaded police at high speed and hit a tree in a parking lot before driving off.

Volvo hopes to eliminate all fatalities in their cars by 2020

California residents may take innovative safety features like seat belts and airbags for granted. Volvo plans to incorporate these features and others into a 'death-proof" car model by 2020. These safety features include a series of sensors and radar technology to monitor road and traffic conditions and to control vehicles when danger is sensed using anti-lock braking, traction-control and stability-control systems. The Swedish company has an impressive automotive safety track record, and the carmaker says that it aims to eliminate all fatalities in their cars and SUVs by 2020.

The NTSB's top safety concerns for 2016

Many car accidents that take place on roads in California are caused by driver fatigue. On Jan. 13, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that driver fatigue was among its top 10 transportation safety concerns. The NTSB revealed its 'most wanted" list of transportation safety improvements at the annual Transportation Research Board meeting.

Driving in snowy weather in California

Although Murrieta often does not get snow during the winter, drivers should still be aware just how dangerous driving in different types of snowy weather can be, especially if a rare snowstorm does hit the area. Meteorologists actually note that the roads are more dangerous when the snow is light as opposed to when a blizzard is blowing through.

Autonomous cars involved in accidents caused by human drivers

Although it may still be a rare sight, driverless cars can be increasingly found on California roadways. As more vehicles are taking to the roads, however, a glitch in their programming has caused them to have a crash rate that is double the crash rate involving human drivers.

Fatal California accident blamed on illegal street racing

Police in California say that the scene of a deadly accident on Nov. 14 is a known as a popular illegal street racing venue. Three bystanders were killed and two others seriously injured when a vehicle thought to have been involved in a street race struck another vehicle near the intersection of Telegraph Road and South Malt Avenue in the City of Commerce. A representative of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said that the accident occurred at about 1:00 a.m.

Improving driving safety

Many California motorists are faced with the challenges of long commutes. In fact, long commuting distances are among the major risk factors for serious car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3 trillion miles were driven in automobiles in the United States during 2013. During this period, there were nearly 33,000 deaths related to auto accidents, more than one death per 100 million miles traveled by the nation's motorists.

Study shows drivers are often sleep deprived

There may be more drowsy drivers on the roads in California than most people would like to think. A recent study by AAA found that 43 percent of U.S. drivers who were surveyed admitted that they had dosed off while operating a moving vehicle at least once in their life. The study also found that 31.5 percent of all drivers surveyed, regardless of their age, admitted that they had struggled to stay awake while driving sometime in the previous month.

The dangers of running a red light

The vast majority of drivers in California and around the country feel that red light runners pose a serious threat to their safety according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the federal agency, 97 percent of drivers worry about other road users ignoring a red light, and a 1999 survey conducted by Old Dominion University found that about a third of respondents say that they knew somebody who was injured or killed in an accident involving a red light runner.

Odds of dying in a car accident

California motorists may be relieved to know that their state is not among the top 10 states when motor vehicle fatality rates are measured. However, California is also not among the 10 states in which it is least likely to perish in this manner. A recent study explored statistics for such fatalities on a national level, comparing them to other manners of death. The positive view for those concerned about incidents related to motor vehicles is that traffic deaths are on the decline.

Determining liability in accidents involving self-driving cars

Autonomous vehicles have long been a popular staple for science fiction writers, but they may soon become a presence on California roads. Some luxury cars are already available with semiautonomous driving systems, and several car makers and technology companies are developing vehicles that will require no input from the driver at all other than a destination address.

Drivers' convictions overturned after recall

Many California motorists were affected by the February 2014 General Motors recall due to a faulty ignition in some vehicles. Since then, several people who were charged with or convicted of crimes such as vehicular homicide have had their charges reversed or are struggling to clear their names and get compensation from the auto manufacturer.

Uber may prevent DUI deaths

Researchers looking at drunk driving accident statistics in California found evidence that car-sharing services like Uber save lives. After analyzing data gathered between 2009 and 2014, researchers from said that the number of fatal drunk driving accidents in certain areas goes down by between 3.6 and 5.6 percent once Uber enters the market.

Fatigued driving in California

New technology is helping to reduce the number of accidents caused by driving while drowsy. According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 25 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes involve people driving while fatigued, which can limit people's ability to respond to and prevent accidents in a manner that is similar to being intoxicated.

Limousine safety concerns rise after fatal car accident

Limousines are a common sight in California. The potential danger to passengers when riding in one have long been a concern, and a recent accident has exacerbated this worry. Four young women taking a tour of wineries on Long Island were killed when the limousine they were riding in was hit on its side as it made a U-turn. The vehicle that hit them is believed to have been operated by a drunk driver.

Drunk driver gets 18 years in prison

A 26-year-old California man was sentenced to 18 years in prison on July 10 for his role in a 2014 drunk driving accident that claimed the lives of three people. The man was convicted of charges including vehicular manslaughter and DUI in June, but he was acquitted of murder in the second degree. The accident took place in northern San Diego at approximately 11:15 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2014.

Dangerous driving behavior in teens

Many teen drivers in California and across the nation tend to be dangerous. Some experts say teens have an aura of invincibility and a lack of understanding as to how risky the road can be. In years past, drunk driving was the biggest concern in regards to younger drivers. Drunk driving is still a problem; however, there are also other dangers cropping up. Texting and driving is also raising the stakes behind the wheel.

3 dead and 5 injured in van accident

Fatal accidents often involve multiple drivers, but even a lone vehicle can crash due to unsafe road conditions or a negligent driver. A highway in central California was the scene of a tragic accident involving one vehicle that resulted in serious injuries and several deaths. The accident occurred on June 20 on the Merced County stretch of state Route 152.

Drowsy driving a factor in many motor vehicle accidents

California drivers may be in agreement with the 96 percent of people surveyed in 2014 who said driving while drowsy was unacceptable, but 37 percent of those drivers surveyed also admitted to having fallen asleep while driving at least once in their lives. In the previous year, 11 percent said they had done so.

California drivers and collision avoidance system technology

California motorists may want to know that the National Transportation Safety Board has called for collision avoidance systems to be installed in every single new commercial and passenger vehicle. The NTSB suggests that making these systems standard equipment could help prevent thousands of injuries and deaths each year. Chairman Christopher Hart explained that drivers should not have to pay extra for this technology, which could help prevent collisions. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has previously taken a different stance, stating that the decision to buy a car with a collision avoidance system should be up to the consumer.

Potentially exploding airbags subject of latest recall

In our last post, we highlighted the recalls issued by Chrysler Corporation to address ignition switch issues similar to those found in General Motors’ vehicles. Auto recalls have been a recurring theme in 2014, with a number of automakers potentially recalling more vehicles this year than in 2013.

Chrysler cars now being recalled due to ignition switch issues

A number of recalls have been initiated by General Motors this year to correct a defect in the ignition switch found in millions of GM vehicles. Essentially, the ignition key could be jarred loose and potentially disable the vehicle. GM reported that it knew about several crashes and deaths attributable to the issue, but because of their apathy in remedying the issue, the company was subject to a $35 million fine.

The downside of Google's driver-less car

While the thought of getting into a car that has no steering wheel, gas pedal or brake may seem insane, the developers at Google believe that it makes perfect sense to eliminate these things. Of course, the car it is developing will be able to accelerate, stop and steer, but a human won’t be doing it. Instead, an elaborate guidance system would guide the car through the streets and past potential hazards.

Counterfeit airbags could be a problem in used cars

Much has been said about the ignition switch problems potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of vehicles manufactured by General Motors. One of the difficulties in abating these problems is that many of these vehicles are on the second hand market (i.e. used car lots) where recall notices would not reach owners of these cars.

GM recalls continue, now more than 11 million cars need repairs

For embattled automaker General Motors, the year just keeps getting longer. It recently announced a new round of recalls in the wake of a $35 million fine for failing to address past defects; specifically a ignition switch issue that led to the recall of more than 750,000 vehicles.

Study suggests that pregnant women are at risk while driving

While many women have what are called “routine” pregnancies, there are still health risks that come with developing a new life. With the possible infections and complications that can come about between baby and mom, people may not think about driving as being a serious hazard.

Left turns continue to be a risky proposition for drivers

Despite the joy of open roads and freeways in Riverside County, driving can be dangerous; especially for pedestrians and bicyclists on city streets. Essentially, left turns are particularly treacherous. According to federal crash statistics, more than half of all crossing-path injuries involve left turns. This is nearly ten times the number of injuries suffered with right turns. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 36 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involve left hand turns.