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Cell Phone-Related Accident Fatalities Involving Younger Persons Up

Monday, March 10, 2014

Distracted driving accidents involving cell phone use is killing more young people than ever before. According to new statistics released by the National Safety Council, however, car accidents are not the number one cause of accidental fatalities in the United States. More people now are killed from poisoning, especially those related to drug overdoses, than any other cause.

However, among younger people, cell phone-related distracted driving accidents are a major cause of fatalities. In fact, according to the statistics, auto accidents caused the highest number of fatal injuries involving younger persons, and cell phone-related distractions contributed significantly to those accidents.

When it came to senior citizens in the above-65 age category, fall accidents were the number one cause of fatal injuries. In fact, earlier studies have indicated that falls can actually increase mortality risks among senior citizens. A senior’s risk of dying increases dramatically in the one year after he has suffered a slip and fall. The report finds that there was an increase of 3.2% in the number of injury-related fatalities in 2012, compared to the previous year.

In recent years, poisonings especially those related to the over use, misuse and abuse of prescription runs, has dominated injury-related fatality data. Earlier, poisoning-related fatalities often involved children, who gained access to household chemical and solvents. However, somewhere in 1993, according to the National Safety Council, the number of people who died from accidental poisoning actually began increasing, and most of those deaths were related to the misuse of prescription drugs.

Meanwhile, to reduce the number of young people dying in auto accidents, it is important to focus especially hard distracted driving. Laws that ban such practices are important, and primary enforcement and more stringent penalties must be attached to those laws. Fall accident strategies meanwhile are vital to help reduce fatality risks involving senior citizens.

New Auto Safety Laws Go Into Effect in 2014

Thursday, February 06, 2014

A number of new traffic safety laws in California are expected to roll in or go into effect in the year 2014.

At least one of those laws targets distracted driving. California’s distracted driving laws are already some of the toughest in the country, and make it illegal for persons to use a hand-held cell phone or text while driving. The new law makes it illegal for drivers below the age of 18 to use handheld cellphones or texting devices at the wheel.

That applies to the use of hands-free sets by motorists below the age of 18. It also includes the use of voice-activated communication systems that do not require a driver to use his or her hands to operate the cellphone. Basically, motorists in this category are now prohibited from using any type of cell phone at the wheel.

Burbank car accident lawyers believe that this is an important law, specifically targeting distracted driving in the below 18-age category. Teenagers are some of the heaviest users of smart phones, and also are at the highest risk for distracted driving.

Another law that is expected to go into effect in September 2014 is related to bicyclist safety. Effective September 16, 2014, motorists in California will be required to maintain a three-foot distance when they are passing by a bicyclist. The 3-foot law was passed in 2013, and is specifically aimed at helping keep bicyclists safe from taunting, and aggressive driving behaviors by motorists.

A motorist may sometimes taunt a bicyclist by driving too close, or in other cases, may simply ignore the need to maintain a safe distance from a bicyclist while passing by. Driving too close to a bicyclist increases the chances that the bicyclist will panic and fall off his bicycle. From September 2014, motorists will be required to maintain a minimum gap of 3 feet when they pass by a bicyclist.

How to Deal with an Aggressive Driver

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Aggressive driving is not just well alive and well on American roads, but it is actually on the increase. According to a recent State Farm survey involving more than 1,000 American drivers above the age of 18, approximately 64% of American drivers reported experiencing aggressive driving behavior at least six times over the past three months.

The rates of such behaviors are very high in California which has notorious problems with congested traffic. It is no secret that motorists are much more likely to indulge in aggressive driving, when they are stressed, frustrated, stuck in traffic, or in other similar situations.

It is very important to deal responsibly and safely with a driver who is becoming hostile towards you on the road, and not do anything thing that will exacerbate the situation. Make no mistake. Aggressive drivers maybe much more prone to fits of road rage that can actually end in harm to you.

If you come across a hostile driver, avoid all eye contact with the driver. Stay calm, and avoiding getting dragged into what could be a potentially nasty situation. Avoid stress at all costs, and avoid responding or retaliating in any way.

Maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you. If the driver is driving too close to you, pull out of the way, and allow the driver to pass. Keep your windows closed, and the doors locked.

Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol, because alcohol impairs judgment skills, and increases the likelihood that you will get involved in a confrontation with an aggressive motorist. You need all your senses about you when you're dealing with such motorists, and alcohol interferes with your ability to do that.

Teen Driver Accident Risks Depend on Music Tastes

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Teenage drivers who are listening to their favorite and preferred music in the car are much more likely to make driving mistakes, increasing the risks of an accident. That information comes from research that was conducted by Israeli researchers, and published recently in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

The research found that male teenage drivers in particular were much more likely to make driving mistakes, when they listened to their favorite music in the car. The study was based on a total of 85 young teenage drivers, who were also accompanied by a researcher. Each driver was made to take 6, 40-minute trips. In two of the trips, they listened to music from their own playlist, while in two of the trips; they listened to background music that was especially designed to make it safer for the teenage motorist to drive. They also made at least two trips without any music.

The researchers found that when the teenage drivers were listening to music of their own choice, almost 98% of them showed deficient driving on at least one of the trips. Approximately 2% of the teenage drivers required a verbal warning or a command for action to prevent the risk of an accident, and 20% required braking assistance to prevent an accident. Other errors including driving at excessive speeds, tailgating, passing vehicles, inappropriate change of lanes, and driving with just one hand on the steering wheel.

The researchers also found that when the teenage drivers were driving without any music, 92% of them made errors. However, when they were driving with music that was specially designed to increase safety, the deficient driving behaviors dropped by 20%.

Make Room in Your Car for the “Designated Texter”

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

After the success of the designated driver in helping reduce the incidence of alcohol- related car accidents across the country, federal authorities are pushing for the introduction of the “designated texter” in every automobile. These texters would be especially beneficial in cars that are being operated by teen drivers, who have a much higher risk of texting while driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is leading a campaign, in which it promotes the use of the designated texter, whose job it would be to act as an extra pair of thumbs for a motorist who is itching to text.

That itch to text contributes to thousands of accidents every year, although it is hard to confirm the exact number of accidents being caused by persons who are texting while driving. That is because many states have varying laws on distracted driving. Many states do not require that motorists involved in an accident confirm if they were texting at the time.

However, every Burbank car accident lawyer agrees that texting while driving is highly distracting behavior, and seriously increases your risk of an accident. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute rates the risks of being involved in an accident as approximately 23 times higher than for a motorist who is not texting while driving.

A study by State Farm recently found that the designated texter is already a fixture in many automobiles operated by teenagers. Teenagers, who are at a higher risk of such destructive behavior while they are driving, have taken to appointing friends in their cars, whose task is to help the teen motorist send and read and text messages. “I’ll text for you” could be the sacred mantra that helps to reduce the number of texting and while driving-related accidents involving teenage drivers.



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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.