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.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Los Angeles’ Switch to LED Street Lights: Promoting Change

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 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 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.