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Riverside County Personal Injury Law Blog

Survey finds aggressive behavior among drivers widespread

Some California motorists may be among the 90 percent of drivers who reported in a 2016 survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that they are concerned about the threat that aggressive drivers present to their safety. At the same time, the survey found that about 80 percent of the respondents said that they had become angry or aggressive behind the wheel in the past year.

The survey questioned drivers about specific aggressive behaviors and found that a number of drivers admitted to engaging in these behaviors. Just over half had intentionally tailgated another driver, and almost half had yelled at other drivers. Nearly as many had used their horn to show annoyance. Drivers also said they had made angry gestures, tried to stop other drivers attempting lane changes and had deliberately cut off drivers. A smaller number of people even said they had confronted other drivers outside of their vehicles or deliberately run into another another vehicle.

How to react after an accident caused by another driver

Whether an individual is involved in an accident in California or any other state, there are protocols that he or she should follow regardless of who is at fault. The first thing that someone should do is take a deep breath before confronting the other driver. He or she should try to remain calm even if the other driver flees the scene or is otherwise uncooperative after causing the crash.

If it's possible to safely do so, the individuals involved in the accident should move their vehicles to the side of the road. Then all the drivers and passengers should be checked to make sure that they are unharmed. An injured person should not be moved unless his or her safety is compromised. It is important that the driver who wasn't at fault collects as much information about the other driver as possible, including the individual's name, address and phone number.

Ankle injuries resulting from hazardous premises

A California resident who slips and falls while on someone else's property is at serious risk for suffering ankle injuries. Even minor ankle injuries can cause a person to suffer serious pain and experience limited mobility in the joint. Victims may have the grounds to file a claim against the owner of the property.

The ankle joint is comprised of three bones, tendons, ligaments and a joint capsule. When an injury occurs to the area, some or all of the ankle components can affected. This means that a person could suffer several different types of injuries, including fractures, sprains and strains or torn ligaments and tendons. Each ankle injury type could require months of recovery and treatment. In some cases, a person could suffer permanent limited mobility issues if the injury is severe enough.

The importance of insurance for amusement parks

While California residents may enjoy rollercoasters because of the thrills that they provide, insurance companies are more focused on the liability risk that they create. At the Emerald Glen Park at Dublin, a 10-year-old boy suffered cuts and scrapes while after being thrown from a waterslide onto concrete. The ride had only been open for about 90 minutes when the incident occurred, and parts of the park had to be shutdown afterward.

Another 10-year-old boy was killed in an accident last year in Kansas when he was decapitated while on a water ride at Schlitterbahn WaterPark. The settlement in that case was believed to be near $20 million, but the exact terms of the deal were not disclosed. One attorney said that in addition to general liability insurance, a ride manufacturer may need to have excess liability as well as professional exposure liability coverage.

CVSA International Roadcheck safety blitz gets underway

Truck drivers in California and around the country can expect more scrutiny between June 6 and June 8 as law enforcement agencies take part in the annual International Roadcheck safety blitz conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The nonprofit organization says that the goal of the effort is to protect road users and prevent truck accidents by encouraging compliance with and enforcing federal safety regulations.

Inspectors will be paying close scrutiny to how well cargo is secured during the 2017 International Roadcheck. Cargo checks are a routine part of roadside commercial vehicle inspections, but loose loads and worn, damaged or insufficient cargo tie-downs are more likely to cause trucks to be ordered off the road during the yearly safety push. The CVSA says that truck drivers and companies can avoid such problems by ensuring that loads are secure and all vehicle equipment is functioning properly.

How some drivers explain hitting a bicyclist

When a car-bicycle collision occurs, it is often the bicyclist who suffers more. After all, cars weigh much more than bicycles, and a helmet might be the extent of a cyclist's protection while a driver has the car around him or her.

Drivers of cars and other vehicles have a responsibility to others on the road and in places such as parking lots. This responsibility includes looking for vehicles, pedestrians and others before backing out of a parking space. Too often, though, drivers, after they hit a bicyclist, try to justify it by placing the blame on the cyclist. Sometimes, yes, it can be wholly or partly the cyclist's fault, but further assessment on the driver's part might reveal a different tale.

Traffic fatality rates for vehicles

Motorists in California may be interested to know that SUVs and pickup trucks both have vehicle fatality rates that are better than the industry average, according to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The results of the study showed that the overall driver fatality rate for all passenger vehicles was 30 per million registrations for models dated from 2011 to 2014.

The results of the study were obtained at a time when the number of traffic deaths are increasing. The number of people who died in 2015 as a result of the motor vehicle collisions increased by 7 percent to over 35,000.

Sleep apnea a factor in truck driver accidents

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision not to hear a case by a truck driver who alleged that one of his carriers impeded against his rights by forcing him to undergo sleep apnea tests is sending waves throughout the trucking industry. The decision may lead to more screening requirements in California to determine if drivers suffer from the condition.

The driver who filed the request was appealing a decision from a lower court that his carrier did not infringe on his rights by requiring a test for sleep apnea because he had a body mass index of 35 or more. The driver refused to take the test and was subsequently fired.

Poor urban design blamed for spike in pedestrian deaths

California is known for having heavy traffic, and pedestrians face an increasingly dangerous environment. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association showed that pedestrian deaths from traffic accidents around the country rose 11 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. This spike in fatalities exacerbates the dangerous trend that produced a 12 percent increase in fatal pedestrian accidents between 2006 and 2015.

A senior researcher at the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center believes that part of the problem comes from road designs meant to allow motor vehicles to move as fast as possible without consideration for the safety of people on foot. Low-income, immigrant and minority neighborhoods tend to have the most pedestrian accidents. These areas generally lack infrastructure that accommodates walkers, runners and bicyclists.

Crypto outbreaks on the rise in swimming pools

California residents that enjoy swimming in pools may be interested in learning that outbreaks of Cryptosporidium, a parasitic infection, have been on the rise since 2014. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were twice as many outbreaks reported in 2016 as there were in 2014.

The parasite, commonly referred to as Crypto, spreads when a person ingests something that has been in contact with the feces of a sick person. Contaminated pool water spreads Crypto because the parasite isn't easily eliminated by chlorine and can live up to 10 days in water that has been properly treated. All a person needs to do to become infected with the parasite is swallow a mouthful of contaminated pool water. He or she then may become sick for up to three weeks and experience nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps, which can easily lead to dehydration.