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Long Beach California Personal Injury Blog

New frightening statistics for male bicyclists and big cities

With so much land to explore, California is one of the top destinations for bicyclists in the nation. It has all types of terrain ranging from mountains, forests and big cities that have a quality almost unrivaled to them by other states. With the state’s handheld ban on cell-phones, they should have little to worry about when it comes to cycling on the road.

However, recent reports are suggesting otherwise. Despite having the potential to be a cyclist’s paradise, the Golden State has been appearing in frequent studies as of late to be a dangerous area for riders. It is important for bicyclists to be aware of these studies so they can take more caution on the road and for the state to improve itself to be a more bicycle friendly location.

Good news and bad news from NHTSA

The good news from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is that the overall number of 2017 car crash fatalities in the nation decreased to 37,133 from 37,806 the previous year. This works out to a 1.8 percent decline in fatal accidents on roadways throughout California and the rest of the country. The largest declines were among bicyclist-related accidents at 8.1 percent and motorcyclist-related accidents at 3.1 percent. Deaths from passenger vehicle crashes decreased by 1.4 percent.

However, the grim news is that the administration saw a significant rise in the number of fatalities involving large trucks. The NHTSA describes large trucks as those in excess of 10,000 pounds. During 2017, truck accidents were on the rise. A total of 4,761 casualties were reported from crashes involving trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds. This was 392 more deaths than in 2016 for an overall increase of 9 percent.

Many drivers don't understand "smart" cars

The ability to save time while becoming more efficient is a common desire among many busy California professionals. Fully self-driving vehicles will allow for more productivity during necessary commute times, but the technology is not quite there yet.

The current driver assistance systems being implemented in greater numbers each year are designed to make drivers better able to face the challenges of the road and remain safe. However, many drivers fail to understand that technology has its limits. The innovations currently in place do not replace the actions of the driver but instead assist the driver. When a vehicle is driven relying solely on the available technology without human oversight, unsafe action and accidents are more likely to occur even if the technology is performing flawlessly.

Smartphones among mobile workers linked with car crash increase

The workforce management company Motus has released its 2018 Distracted Driving Report, and its findings will be of interest to mobile workers across California. The report has connected smartphone ownership with the number of car crashes involving mobile workers. Between 2013 and 2017, the former went up from 55 to 77 percent among mobile workers, while the latter increased from 5.7 million to 6.4 million.

This 12.3 percent increase in car crashes is worrying, especially since mobile employees take 49 percent more trips than any other type of worker. Motus calculated that mobile workers travel 1,200 "distracted miles" every year. In other words, they drive a total of 1,200 miles in a distracted frame of mind.

Trucks ordered out-of-service

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts periodic roadchecks. During the events, truck drivers in California and throughout North America are subject to being stopped and to undergo an inspection of their vehicle and possibly one involving the driver's certificates and overall fitness to drive.

Each CVSA inspection has a primary focus on a specific safety regulation. The trucking industry is subject to a wide range of standards designed to keep nations' roadways safe. A failure to comply with the rules and regulations can lead to the vehicle or driver, or both, being placed in out-of-service status.

Researchers endorse education programs for young drivers

Irresponsible road behavior in California and around the country could be reduced if teens who have been issued citations for distracted, impaired or reckless driving were required to take part in supplemental driver's education programs that confront them with the possible consequences of this type of behavior. This was the conclusion arrived at by researchers from Baylor University after observing 21 young drivers attending such a program in Texas.

The program, which was sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation, included visits to mortuaries and intensive care units as well as classroom sessions. Researchers gauged its effectiveness by comparing answers the participants gave to a series of driving safety questions that were asked both before the program began and after it had concluded. The results indicated that lessons had been learned, but they did not reveal whether or not they ultimately motivated the teens to change their driving habits.

Top causes of bicycle accidents

Many individuals choose to make biking their primary form of transportation or go out on scenic bike rides for a fun activity. Unfortunately, bicyclists can be in danger of getting hit by motorists who may be sharing the road.

Bicyclist fatalities are on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has seen a growth of over 10 percent regarding cyclist fatalities in just one year. What are the main causes of cyclist/ motor vehicle accidents?

The most common injuries in a car accident

Car accidents are a leading cause of injuries throughout California and the rest of the country. In 2012, for example, there were 5.6 million car accidents reported, with 1.6 million resulting in injuries and over 30,000 ending in fatalities. Car accidents cost an estimated $877 billion each year, and included in that cost are medical expenses. The following are just a few of the most common injuries that arise from car crashes.

A high-speed collision can lead to traumatic brain injuries when a victim hits their head on the steering wheel, dashboard or windows. TBIs lead to concussions and sometimes long-lasting cognitive difficulties. Head injuries can be accompanied by skull fractures and even hearing loss and vision problems. The impact could also injure the spine and cause disk herniation.

Thermal, electrical and other types of burns

With plenty of warm weather and popular beaches, Southern California is prone to causing sunburns. However, this is just one of the many types of burns that people can get. These common injuries range in severity from minor first-degree burns to potentially life-threatening third-degree wounds. Furthermore, burns are divided into several different categories, including thermal, electrical, friction and more. Experts say that knowing the type of burn can help in finding the proper treatment.

Thermal burns are burns caused by heat or something hot. That includes fire, hot stoves, hot liquid or steam. Minor thermal burns can be treated at home, but putting ice on a burn can make it worse. Cold water should be used instead.

Traffic safety tips to avoid car accidents

California drivers have a lot to contend with while on the road, including pedestrians, other drivers, weather conditions and distractions. In order to reduce the chances of a car accident, experts recommend that motorists follow some basic safety rules.

First, they should make sure they avoid all distractions and pay attention to the road. Texting and talking on the phone can distract a driver and significantly increase the risk of getting into a crash. Activities like eating, drinking and adjusting the vehicle's entertainment system are also distracting and could potentially lead to an accident. Second, people should get in the habit of driving defensively. This means anticipating the actions of other drivers and being prepared to avoid collisions. To this end, they should always leave a 2- to 4-second cushion between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them, depending upon weather conditions.

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