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Riverside County Personal Injury Law Blog

Car and trucks associated with the most injuries after a crash

The good news is that most of the new cars available for drivers in California include high-tech features designed to improve safety and minimize injuries in the event of an accident. However, certain cars and trucks offer more crash protection than others, according to insurance loss statistics reported by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

Not surprisingly, smaller and lighter cars tend to be less safe. Among all models, the HLDI data shows that four-door micro vehicles have the highest claims frequency. Mini-cars fared slightly better, coming in just ahead of smaller four-door cars. Vehicles associated with the lowest claims frequency are large pickup trucks and luxury sport utility vehicles.

Travelers warns about summertime distracted driving

The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of a leading provider of property casualty insurance, hosted an event called Every Second Matters™ back in June to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. The institute used new research data to show that the issue becomes more prominent in the summer, so California residents who are planning to take road trips soon should take note.

The data came from a study by TrueMotion, a smartphone telematics platform. Using sensor data from its distracted driving mobile app, called TrueMotion Family, researchers analyzed the behavior of over 20,000 drivers between January 2017 and May 2018. They found that drivers were the most distracted in the months of June, July and August.

Businesses responsible for avoiding on-premises injuries

When people in California go out to shop at a mall, visit the laundromat or watch a movie, they rarely expect to encounter severe hazards along the way. However, when business owners do not maintain their properties, dangers could lurk for unsuspecting consumers. In fact, many people have been seriously injured in slip-and-fall accidents caused by hazardous conditions in places that people might expect to be safe and well-kept. Business owners with premises open to the public have a responsibility to keep their properties safe for visitors and guests.

Buisiness have the responsibility to maintain sidewalks and floors, keeping them smooth, clean and tiled. Staircases and escalators should be particularly well-maintained, without hazardous machinery or loose handrails. In addition, it can be particularly important to care for property in winter storms and other wet weather. Ice and snow that are not cleared from public areas can be the cause of many injuries. People may think that most slip-and-fall incidents are minor, but depending on the height of the fall, the condition of the area and the health of the injured person, these kinds of accidents can lead to serious injuries.

Driver and pedestrian distraction causing increase in fatalities

In California and the rest of the U.S., pedestrian fatalities have sharply increased over the past decade even though cars have become safer. Experts attribute this increase in pedestrian deaths to the problem of driver distraction.

According to the Detroit Free Press, pedestrian deaths have increased by 46 percent while overall traffic fatalities have increased by 11 percent since 2009. From 2010 to 2016, the use of cell phones increased by 236 percent. People are often distracted by their smartphones while they are driving. When they take their eyes and attention away from the act of driving, the drivers may cause traffic accidents, including pedestrian crashes.

Highways become dangerous over the holidays

In what is supposed to be a festive holiday period, the Fourth of July can also be a dangerous and often deadly time of year. California residents in Riverside County and elsewhere should take note of some important facts.

According to a major insurance group that tracks highway deaths, the statistics are sobering. In the four days surrounding the Fourth of July, at least 40 percent of deaths involve drunk driving. When coupled with the fact that this is also one of the most traveled periods of the year, it can be a dangerous time to be on the road.

How to protect yourself – and your kids – from a dog attack

You log in to your favorite news site and immediately notice the heartbreaking headline: A family pet mauled another child in California, changing lives forever. This kind of thing happens far too often, you think, and then you realize that you and your children encounter dogs all the time. How can you avoid this kind of tragedy?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that every year, dogs bite about 4.7 million people across the country. It may dismay you to learn that around half of dog bites victims are children. Senior citizens and postal workers are also vulnerable. Most dog attacks originate from a pet the victim was familiar with, and about one out of every five bites requires medical attention.

Data shows an increase in drug-related fatal car accidents

California motorists may be interested to learn that the number of drug-impaired drivers killed in car accidents is on the increase. At the same time, the number of alcohol-impaired drivers killed is on the decrease. However, drunk drivers remain a significant threat.

In 2016, 44 percent of drivers who were killed in car accidents and tested for drugs in their systems tested positive, according to the Governors Highway Safety Administration. Ten years ago, that percentage was only 28 percent. Of the fatally injured motorists who tested positive for drugs in 2016, 38 percent tested positive for marijuana, 16 percent were positive for opioids and 4 percent tested positive for both. By contrast, the number of alcohol-impaired drivers killed in car accidents dropped from 41 percent to 38 percent in the same time period.

Roller coaster derails in Daytona Beach

California residents who enjoy going to amusement parks may wonder from time to time if the rides they go on are entirely safe. Unfortunately, a recent incident in Daytona Beach, Florida, does not provide reassurance. On the night of June 14, a Daytona Beach Boardwalk roller coaster derailed, sending two riders plunging 34 feet to the ground and leaving two other riders dangling upside down.

The two people who fell suffered traumatic injuries. A special tech rescue team, part of the city's fire department, rescued the eight riders who were stuck. The operation was a time-sensitive one as the dangling cars were in danger of falling at any time. In all, nine people were admitted to the hospital. Their conditions are currently unknown.

Technology might help solve distracted driving problem

Developing technologies are beginning to address the distracted driving problem on California roads in new ways. A device called Groove is designed to be installed in vehicles. When the driver gets into the car, he or she plugs the phone into Groove, and the device is connected to the cloud, which lets the person's mobile provider know he or she is driving. Emails, social media updates, texts and other notifications are then blocked by the mobile provider until the person disconnects his or her device from Groove.

The inventor of the Groove device hopes his device will prevent distracted driving car accidents and save lives. In addition, some wireless providers have released apps that silence the phone in some of the same ways. Sprint's Drive First, AT&T's Drivemode and Verizon's Safely Go all hold incoming calls and texts. They also prevent the driver from sending texts.

Landlord responsibilities when dealing with drug-using tenants

Landlords in California have certain responsibilities when it comes to how properties are kept up. But are landlords also responsible for activities of tenants that may be illegal or unsafe? This was the question at the center of a case involving an eighteen-year-old individual who died from a drug overdose while at a property owned by another individual. A complaint filed by the decedent's parents alleges that the property owner should have taken steps to keep the house in "reasonably safe" condition.

This premises liability case raises several legal questions. An argument can be made that a property owner would assume the role of police officer if they had to report all suspicious or potentially harmful activities going on within properties they are renting or leasing. There's also the question of whether or not the a landlord who knew of such activities would be obligated to report them or legally responsible in the event of someone staying at the property being harmed.