Motor Vehicle Accidents More Likely With Older Models

In California and across the U.S., car crashes more commonly happen with vehicles that are older than 10 years. These older vehicles are often involved in fatal or preventable crashes because owners fail to do routine maintenance, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

In one study of the last three years, older vehicles were involved in the majority of vehicle defect-related crashes. According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, 56% of accidents were caused by defective equipment in vehicles with model years from 1999 to 2008. Only 24% of accidents caused by defective equipment happened in vehicles with model years from 2009 to 2018.

The most common causes of motor vehicle accidents were blown tires and brakes that failed. Blown tires caused 42% of fatal crashes. These accidents could have been prevented with regular vehicle maintenance.

According to the Ohio Insurance Institute, the average vehicle age is 11.8 years, and that is the highest it has ever been. The average vehicle age has been steadily increasing since 2002 when the number was 9.6 years. These figures reflect the fact that drivers are keeping vehicles longer, and some vehicles can last for 15 years and go up to 300,000 miles. One of the reasons that drivers keep vehicles longer is because it is more expensive to repair and replace parts on newer vehicles. An example is a bumper that would cost $200 to repair on an older vehicle and now costs $1,000 on a newer vehicle.

With more older vehicles on the road today, the likelihood of being in a motor vehicle accident has increased. Car accidents can result in serious or debilitating injuries that can last a lifetime as well as cause job loss and excessive medical bills. When an individual is a victim of a motor vehicle accident, it may be important to have a personal injury lawyer to fight for just compensation.

Crash Risk Higher For Teens Who Have A Peer As A Passenger

Teenagers are inexperienced drivers and can be distracted even by other people in the car, especially when those people happen to be their friends. California parents should know that teens run a 44% higher risk for a car crash when they invite just one peer to be a passenger. This is according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

For this reason, experts recommend that teens keep from having any young passengers for at least six months after obtaining their license. If parents can get them to do this for the first year, then all the better.

However, parents should not make an allowance for siblings. Though it can be convenient to have teens pick up and drop off their siblings in lieu of the parents, this is actually more dangerous than having a friend in the car. A younger sibling could easily get the older sibling excited or angry, which means a greater chance for inattentive driving.

Parents may want to set up restrictions when it comes to having their teens ride in a friend’s car. For example, if the friend is newly licensed and they intend to make a long trip, parents should give their disapproval. The possibility of night driving is another factor that parents may want to consider.

School Start Times May Affect Safety Of Teen Drivers

Teenagers require 8 to 10 hours of sleep a day, and they usually need to sleep late into the day as well. What time school starts in the morning, then, can influence how much sleep teens get. This, in turn, can affect things like academic performance, mental health and, as one study suggests, safety behind the wheel. California residents should know that later school start times may lead to fewer car crashes involving teens.

The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine published a study that focused on the change that Fairfax County, Virginia, made to its school start times back in the fall of 2015. Specifically, it pushed back the start times from 7:20am to 8:10am. Researchers calculated, for the year before the change and the year after it, the rate of car crashes involving licensed drivers between the age of 16 and 18. They saw the rate decline from 31.63 to 29.59 crashes per 1,000 drivers.

Incidentally, the rest of Virginia, which did not alter school start times, saw the same steady rate of teen car crashes. Researchers noted that teens who get more sleep are less likely to drive distracted or engage in other risky behavior. The AASM has echoed these thoughts and actually recommends that middle and high schools start at 8:30am or later.

Preventing distracted driving is so important in this period of increasing smartphone and in-vehicle technology use. It is a form of negligence, and when it is behind motor vehicle accidents, those who were injured and who contributed little or nothing to their injuries can be eligible for compensation. To learn more about how their case holds up under personal injury law, victims usually see a lawyer. A lawyer may be especially helpful when it comes to negotiating a settlement.

Cities With The Highest Motor Vehicle Accidents Rates

Thousands of motor vehicle accidents happen in California every year. While many of these accidents are relatively minor, some cause serious injuries or deaths. Certain areas are more prone to accidents, according to a recent study.

Study of accident patterns

Go Safe Labs, which is a nonprofit based in San Francisco, analyzed almost 2 million car accidents by reviewing accident reports from 2018 and 2019. Researchers then took the data by location and date to determine the 10 cities in the U.S. with the highest rates of accidents. Researchers also used latitude and longitude to determine the 10 spots with the highest risks of accidents.

Cities with the highest number of accidents

Houston, Texas, had the highest number of accidents with 22,118 in 2019. Houston was followed by Charlotte, North Carolina, with 21,818. Los Angeles came in third with 19,660 accidents. Rounding out the top 10 cities were Austin and Dallas, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; and Phoenix, Arizona. Nationally, accidents increased by 6% from 2018 to 2019.

Avoiding accidents

One possible reason why Los Angeles had so many motor vehicle accidents in 2019 is traffic congestion on its roads and highways. People who drive on Californias roads should exercise caution at all times and take steps to prevent accidents. They should obey the traffic laws, keep their eyes focused on the roads and avoid distracted, drunk and drowsy driving. When people are seriously injured in accidents that are caused by the actions of other motorists, they might be entitled to recover compensation by filing personal injury lawsuits.
Experienced motor vehicle accidents lawyers might review the police reports, scene photographs, medical reports and other evidence from collisions to assess the merits of potential claims. If they agree to accept the representation of a victim, the attorneys may be able to negotiate with the insurance companies for their clients to try to secure damages in amounts that fairly compensate the victims for all of the economic and non-economic losses that have been suffered.

Multi-Vehicle Accidents, And How To Prove Fault

Proving negligence in a car accident can be difficult, and it becomes even more so in the case of a multi-vehicle accidents. Residents of California may do well to know what the process is like, though. Negligence, first of all, is a legal concept referring to a persons failure to exercise reasonable care.

Multi-vehicle crashes are often a series of rear-end collisions and can be caused by drivers who speed, follow too closely to the vehicle in front and commit other negligent acts. In the case of two-rear end collisions, the first driver, Driver A, might be blameless while the two behind him or her can be held to be at fault if they were negligent.

However, it often turns out that the driver in the middle, Driver B, did nothing wrong and that the negligence of a Driver C caused Driver B to collide with Driver A. In that case, Driver A holds Driver C responsible. Driver B may also file a claim against Driver C.

To prove negligence, one will need plenty of evidence. This can include the police reports and any physical evidence at the crash site, including skid marks and vehicle debris. Eyewitness testimony, such as from passers-by or from the passengers in the cars that collided, can be helpful as well.

When victims of motor vehicle accidents want to see if they are eligible for compensation under personal injury law, they usually see a lawyer for a case evaluation. This may help them decide if they should file a claim. The filing process can be complicated, but a lawyer may handle every step, especially the negotiating of a settlement out of court. A successful claim may cover victims for past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.

Truckers More Likely To Crash With The More Caffeine They Use

High amounts of caffeine over the short term can help truckers through the day, but if this becomes a habit, it may raise the risk for an accident. One study suggests a link between high caffeine use and higher crash risk, though future studies will be needed to prove any cause-effect relationship. California drivers may nonetheless be interested to hear the results, which were published in the journal Safety Science.

The study involved 3,007 truck drivers from eight different states, including California. These truckers were chosen specifically because of their caffeine-using habits. On the one hand were those who consume a single cup, glass or pill of a caffeinated product every day. On the other hand were those who consume over five of them.

Asked in a questionnaire about their health, the high caffeine users reported poorer health overall. This included poor sleep, an unhealthy diet and a habit of smoking. Researchers also asked if they were in a crash in the past three years: 27.8% of the high caffeine users said yes, which was significantly more than the first group (21.6%).

Again, correlation does not mean causation, but researchers are confident that the link will only become clearer with time. Future studies can focus, for example, on the tipping point where caffeine consumption leads to unsafe behavior.

Truckers could cause motor vehicle crashes because they are drowsy, intoxicated, distracted or negligent in some other way. Victims of such negligence may be able to seek compensatory damages, but they may want to consult an attorney in advance. Personal injury attorneys usually have a network of investigators and other third parties who can bring together proof of the defendants negligence. Victims may then have their attorney negotiate on their behalf.

Multi-vehicle Fatal Accident Leaves 2 Dead

Practicing safe driving habits like removing distractions and always wearing a seat belt can potentially help reduce a persons risk of being involved in an accident. Unfortunately, being a safe driver does not address at least one issue other drivers. A recent fatal accident on a California highway demonstrates just how difficult it is to avoid unexpected dangers on the road.

At approximately 5:20 a.m., a 52-year-old man somehow left his lane and struck the divider separating the two sides of the freeway. After striking the divider the car came to a stop across multiple lanes of traffic, including the fast lane. A pickup truck that had been traveling in the same direction could not stop in time to avoid a collision. The driver who initially wrecked his car suffered fatal injuries when he was thrown from the vehicle.
Several other vehicles were also involved in the wreck. After the pickup truck collided with the first wrecked car, there was not enough time for a 25-year-old man on a motorcycle to maneuver out of the fast lane or slow to a stop. He hit the pickup and and was thrown off his motorcycle. This young man also died at the scene of the accident. Three other vehicles collided with the other cars after that, but the driver of the pickup truck was the only person who had to be taken to the hospital for injuries.

A multi-vehicle fatal accident causes so much more than just an unfortunate death. Friends and family members are left behind to handle the devastating aftermath, much of which is both emotional and financial. California families need time to grieve their losses, but are often so caught up in finding money for funeral expenses or making ends meet that doing so is simply not possible. Families can address these issues through wrongful death claims, which can still be filed even if the negligent driver also died in the accident.

Research Demonstrates Link Between Music And Car Accidents

Musicians from all walks of life and genres have immortalized the state of California in song. While music is certainly an important part of the state, it could also be making the roads more dangerous. Scientists recently demonstrated that songs with certain BPM levels beats per minute influence drivers to engage in more risky behaviors while behind the wheel. This means that listening to certain types of music could actually increase the risk of car accidents.

The study was conducted with participants who were asked to drive on a simulated, six-lane road. Researchers had participants either listen to music or drive in silence, then observed their driving behaviors. One of the main points of data the scientists looked at was how often participants changed lanes.

On average, the study participants switched lanes 20 times for every 70 minutes behind the wheel. However, since this was the average number of lane changes, some groups switched much more often and others much less. The group that had the highest number of lane switches were those that listened to high-tempo music of 120 BPM or more, who averaged double the average number of lane changes and drove at least 5 mph over the limit. The popular song American Idiot by Green Day was determined to be the most dangerous driving song, followed by Miley Cyrus Party in the USA and The Killers Mr. Brightside.

Music is an integral part of many peoples lives, but it can be dangerous. For example, if a driver chooses to focus on the music coming out of the radio instead of on the road, he or she would be putting other drivers in danger. However, in California it is possible for distracted and dangerous drivers who cause car accidents tobe held accountable for their actions. This is usually accomplished through successfully pursued personal injury claims.

Pedestrian Accidents: Tesla Driver Runs Down Couple

California police say that a woman in a rented car caused a recent deadly accident. One person was killed and another was injured in the pedestrian accident, and neither the responsible driver nor another involved motorists suffered any injuries. Pedestrian accidents can be particularly tragic, since victims who are traveling on foot are more vulnerable to fatal injuries than people who are traveling in enclosed motor vehicles.

According to police, the 21-year-old driver had used the Getaround app to rent a Tesla. The app works much like Airbnb, and allows owners to rent out their vehicles. For reasons that are still not clear, the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed when she drove straight through a red light and hit another vehicle. Both drivers lost control of their vehicles, and the Tesla driver ended up running down two pedestrians. The pair was a couple who were out celebrating their wedding anniversary.

Both the husband and wife were transported to an area hospital, where the man later died. Neither of the drivers involved in the wreck were injured, and both stayed at the scene of the accident and cooperated with investigators. Authorities have since stated that neither drugs no alcohol were factors in the crash and that the Teslas autopilot feature was not engaged at the time. California police arrested the Tesla driver and charged her with running a red light and vehicular manslaughter.

When traveling by foot, pedestrians have little to no protection against large motor vehicles. Victims often suffer serious and even fatal injuries in pedestrian accidents. The extreme physical and emotional trauma of these accidents place an enormous burden on victims and families alike, not to mention the financial problems that often come with medical bills. Although undoing the harm caused by serious or fatal accidents is not possible, compensation achieved through personal injury or wrongful death claims can be beneficial for recovery, grieving and moving forward with life.

How To Protect Your Legal Rights After a Car Crash

Statistically, it is likely that you will be in at least one car accident. When this happens, the legal determination of liability is probably the last thing on your mind. However, there are certain steps that you can take in the days and weeks following a crash that will protect your legal rights and facilitate the advocacy that a personal injury attorney will eventually do on your behalf.

First, we recommend calling the police after every accident, even minor ones. The reporting officer will prepare a police statement which, although generally inadmissible as hearsay in a court of law, is an important investigative resource.

Second, it is important to notify your insurance carrier of the accident, even if you are concerned you were partially at fault. In many policies, this is a prerequisite to seeking important benefits under your policy. However, you do not have to make speculations regarding fault during this initial call. We advise limiting your conversation to the facts outlined in the police report and consulting with an attorney. In particularly, we caution against making any recorded statements to an insurance adjuster without your attorney present.
Finally, it is important to seek treatment for all medical symptoms you may experience after a car accident. Although it is common in our culture to shrug off minor discomforts, an attorney will need to understand the full scope of your medical condition. The cost of your medical treatment, the impact to your earning capacity, and your pain and suffering may all go toward the calculation of your damages, which is the amount of compensation you will request in a car accident lawsuit. Seeking early treatment may also prevent more serious medical complications down the road.

Source: FindLaw, Car Accidents FAQ, copyright 2019, Thomson Reuters