Tuesday, April 1, 2014

U.S. Pedestrian Fatalities Saw Significant Decrease, A First Over a Four-year Span

Pedestrian Accidents

The latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics in motor vehicle crashes saw an increase in road user deaths. From 32,479 in 2011, the U.S. lost at least 33,561 people in roadway crashes in 2012, the year that covered the latest NHTSA data. The said figure was the first increase after six straight years of decrease in the number of deaths.

Upward trends were seen across many categories, including pedestrians. In fact, at least 4,743 pedestrians were killed in 2012, a 6.4-percent increase from the previous year. The 2012 figure accounted for 14 percent of the total number of motor vehicle crash deaths in the U.S. In California, of the 2,857 people killed, about 21 percent of them were pedestrians (621 people).

Increases in pedestrian accident deaths have been around for the past few years. However, a report released earlier this month saw a significant decline in this category, a first over a four-year span. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in the first half of 2013, there were 1,985 deaths as opposed to the first half of the previous year 2012, which saw 2,175 fatalities. In all, it was an 8.7 percent fall between the two.

As the report from the GHSA suggests, it is projected that there would be a significant drop in pedestrian deaths in the year 2013 compared to the previous year, although the full stats are yet to be released. Dr. Alan Williams, the lead researcher for the GHSA, was surprised by this sudden change in trends. He didn’t state any one particular reason for the rise and fall of the pedestrian deaths, but he quickly thought that this was brought about by economics.

He theorized that as the economy recovered from the recession that happened in the late 2000’s, more and more people who once ceased driving their vehicles began going back to their old ways, only to worsen the trend of increasing fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. This is one of the reasons why the increase in 2012 was the first over a seven-year span.

Meanwhile, a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles commented on this report, saying that the decrease in pedestrian fatalities are brought about by continuous educational awareness on the part of local, state, and national government in instilling safety on the roads. California, in fact, had been making strides in doing so; it had 37 fewer pedestrian deaths year over year.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Latest Dog Bite Statistics: 2013 Data


Image Source: http://www.pavlovdogtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/aggression-dog.jpg

Despite dogs being known for their gentleness and loyalty towards humans, they are still known to possess aggression, regardless if they were provoked or not. When these canines direct their aggression towards either their owners or to other people, the results can be catastrophic. Indeed, when a dog is threatened, its tendency is to attack through biting. Also, if a dog owner fails to take care of his or her pet, the potential of biting him or her or any other stranger increases.

While constant care, companionship, and training are still imperative in keeping canines from showing aggression towards their masters and strangers, occurrences of dog bites still occur every year, resulting in injuries and fatalities.

In fact, from 2005 to last year 2013, at least 283 Americans died because of dog bite injuries. Of the said figure, about 62 percent of these deaths (176) involved pit bulls, making the dog breed the most lethal. Following pit bulls in the said category are rottweilers, accounting for nearly 12 percent, or 33 out of the total fatality figure within the 9-year period.

Moreover, in the latest dog bite statistics for 2013, a slight decrease in U.S. dog bite fatalities were seen. Last year, at least 32 dog bite-related deaths happened, which was a big difference from 2012 wherein 38 fatalities were recorded. Of the said 2013 figure, 25 of them involved pit bulls despite being regulated in housing areas for military personnel and over 700 cities in the nation. The most lethal dog breed accounted for only 6 percent of the total dog population in the nation.

Also, out of the 32 who died due to dog bites in 2013, 18 of them were children 7 years old or below, while adults aged 25 years old or older accounted for 14 of the fatalities. Of the 18 children, 11 of them were 4 years old or younger. In terms of gender, male and female deaths were the same, at 16 each. Furthermore, five of the fatal dog bite incidents happened in the State of California, all of which involved pit bulls and three of them resulted in criminal charges.

Meanwhile, a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles continuously reminds dog owners to exercise important measures with their pet canines so that fatalities can be avoided to them and to others. It would also help them avoid facing claims from the victims for their dog bite injuries.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Some Reminders in Getting Your Car Fixed After a Fender Bender

California, being one of the highly-motorized states in the U.S., is no stranger to motor vehicle crash incidents that result in serious injuries, fatalities, and expensive costs in property damage. These unfortunate occurrences are mostly attributed to certain factors such as distractions brought about by the use of mobile phones, as well as inclement weather conditions and fatigue. Fortunately, a large number of road accidents that happen in the state are simple fender benders, with passenger vehicle occupants, including drivers, escape unscathed.

But then, getting involved in a fender bender would definitely leave your vehicle badly-damaged. Typical vehicle parts that sustain minor to heavy damage include car doors and, of course, the car’s front and/or rear bumper. If your car is insured, then your provider can easily have your vehicle fixed right away. However, there are some reminders you need to keep in mind to make sure that your vehicle is back to its appearance before the accident happened. Here are some of them:

  • Although your insurance provider can recommend a body repair shop that is capable of high-quality repairs at low costs, make sure that it is rated highly in business review sites like Yelp. If it has bad customer reviews, you might want to choose the body shop that you like.
  • Inquire with the owner of the body repair shop about what replacement parts they use for repair. It would do you good if it uses new, original parts, as well as used parts. If it uses aftermarket parts, then you might want to look for another repair shop; such parts are just imitations of the original or used parts, and are usually inferior in quality and would easily deteriorate, therefore reducing the value of your vehicle.
  • When you are about to pick up your refurbished vehicle, ensure that the warning lights in your dashboard are turned off. Typically in an accident, warnings lights for the airbag, low coolant, and check engine are on, and if they are after the repair, you might want to have your car’s programming fixed, as well as if there are electrical wiring that need to be replaced.

Putting these things into mind can help you a lot in ensuring that your car is back to its original condition and appearance, just like you the time you first bought it. Another reminder that you should always keep in mind in case of a fender bender is that if you feel you are injured, have yourself treated immediately. You may never know, but a whiplash injury may turn into something worse. Since fender benders are usually due to one’s negligence, you might want to seek legal assistance with a Los Angeles lawyer for brain injury and other serious injury claims.

Source: http://autos.aol.com/article/auto-body-repair-tips/

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Los Angeles’ Switch to LED Street Lights: Promoting Change

Image Source: http://www.sandiegolovesgreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/image14-320x202.jpg
 The so-called “green” revolution has been on full swing as of late, as a lot of cities are finding ways to become energy efficient. One of them is the switch to LED street lights, which has been a project by large and small California cities. Last year, it was the City of Los Angeles’ turn, and it successfully completed its four-year project of installing light-emitting diode (LED) street light fixtures to replace the yellow-hued high-density discharge (HID) street lights. The said endeavor was considered the largest in the world, with more than 140,000 street lights currently now fixed with LED lights.

Before the project was started, street lighting in Los Angeles accounted for nearly 40 percent of the whole city’s bill on electricity. With the LED fixtures installed, it is estimated that at least $7 million is saved on electricity, with another $2.5 million saved in avoiding the cost of maintenance every year. In addition, the LED fixtures only consume around 63 percent less electricity than the replaced HIDs, making them last longer.

While the move to switch to LEDs is met with positive response among the citizens of Los Angeles and proponents of energy efficiency, it is believed that this would change the city’s image as seen in the movies. Apparently, Dave Kendricken argued in his piece for No Film School that the visual representation of Los Angeles at night will drastically change how the city is seen in movies. He added that “Hollywood will never look the same,” referring to the yellow-hued imagery of the city at night prior to the switch to LEDs. Click here for the Kendricken article.

Meanwhile, it is also worth mentioning how LED streetlights in Los Angeles can greatly affect nighttime driving. According to a Los Angeles car accident attorney, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), driving at night accounts for about a fourth of all traffic in the U.S. However, about one-half of car accidents that result in deaths occur after dark.

Fortunately, LEDs have been seen as an improvement from the HIDs previously installed in streetlights as far as visibility improvement is concerned. Ed Ebrahimian (Read More), the director of the city’s Bureau of Street Lighting, was quoted in this Forbes.com article as saying that the white light emitted by the LEDs increases lighting levels, improving the ability of residents to see at night. With LED headlights gaining traction in today’s motoring, it is therefore safe to say that LED streetlights do have a positive effect on how motorists can see the road at night.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

New California Traffic Laws That Have Already Taken Effect This Year


Road rules and regulations in California continue to change, especially every first day of a new year. Existing laws that have been in effect in the state for the longest time are expected to be overlapped with certain amendments, providing a safer, well-constructed traffic environment in California which would benefit all the state’s road users. These laws are passed by Governor Jerry Brown, thanks largely through the efforts of the California legislature, both the state’s Assembly and Senate. The additions to the already-established traffic laws are enforced by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), alongside other entities such as county police departments,

Here are some of the new California traffic rules that have already taken effect since January 1 of this year:

•    Senate Bill (SB) 194. This amends the already existing anti-texting laws in the state, and targets teenage drivers. The bill states that it is illegal for a driver who is under 18 years old to use a wireless telecommunications device to read, send, and create a text-based message while driving a motor vehicle, even if the device has a hands-free device installed.

•    Assembly Bill (AB) 1047. This newly-signed bill allows California DMV to conduct commercial drive tests to individuals with commercial learner’s permits obtained from outside the state. Applicants’ information would then be electronically transferred to their respective DMVs in their home states. Aside from that, requirements on bus operation have been altered. Here, drivers operating buses more than 26,000 pounds are required to hold Class B licenses, while those who operate buses that are 26,000 pounds or less are required to hold Class C licenses.

•    SB 717. This amends an already existing California law on driving under the influence (DUI). Here, a search warrant can be served on a driver who decides not to undergo or fails to complete a blood test. A law enforcement officer may issue a search warrant, authorizing him or her to draw blood from the driver through a manner that is clinically approved.

•    AB 184. This amends the currently existing statutes of limitations on hit-and-run accidents. Here, hit-and-run victims and/or their families can file charges against the negligent party within six years from the date of injury or death.

Meanwhile, another law to look out for this year is the AB 1317, also known as the Three Feet for Safety Act, which will be made effective on September of this year. According to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, upon implementation, a motor vehicle driver trying to pass a bicycle moving at the same direction as the traffic must maintain a distance of no less than 3 feet between the driver the cyclist. The attorney added that failure to do so may cause the passing driver to face fines, regardless if an accident happened or not.