Articles Posted in Miscellaneous News

A study done by YourMechanic, a startup in Mountain View, California, recently revealed an interesting fact about California drivers—according to the study, California drivers rank first place for the “Most Aggressive Drivers” in the country.

The startup specializes in serving car owners with car problems. Their study also analyzed other categories including “Which is the Most Dangerous State to Drive in?” and “Average Driver Speed.” Surprisingly, New Mexico took first place for “Most Dangerous State to Drive in” and Wyoming took first place for “Average Driver Speed.”

In determining the state with the most aggressive drivers, the study looked at the rate of aggressive driving events per minute of travel. These events included things like speeding, hard braking, and accelerating. California has the most frequent rate “with an average of 6.6 minutes per journey” involving these aggressive driving events. On YourMechanic’s rubric, in terms of aggressive driving, California earned a 10—a perfect score.

2018 marked the 10-year anniversary of the enactment of hands-free cell phone and no-texting laws in California. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) this milestone showed a decrease in the number of citations issued for distracted driving and a decrease in the number of collisions caused by distracted driving. However, even with this decrease, the problem of cell-phone use and texting while driving still persists.

Texting While Driving is Distracted Driving

Texting while driving falls under the umbrella of “Distracted Driving.” There are many ways a driver can be distracted while driving—anything from eating or looking down to change the music station to looking at a passenger can dangerously take a driver’s attention from the road. However, cell phones continue to be a top cause of distracted driving accidents.

Over the past few weeks the Southern California mountains have been hit by several winter storms. According to CBS 8, “The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory above 5,000 feet for the San Diego mountains.” While this is good news for ski resorts, the advisory states that drivers should expect slick road conditions.

From Mount Laguna to the San Bernardino and Riverside County mountains, the latest storms have brought 4-12 inches of snow. With all this snow, the National Weather Service is concerned about the impact it could have on Interstate 5. While traveling to the snow can be fun for recreational activities, it can be particularly dangerous for drivers, especially if you are unprepared. Because snow isn’t a typical part of Southern California life, if you plan to travel to or through snowy areas, make sure to use caution to avoid a Southern California car accident.

Although driving in snow can be dangerous, there are certain tips you can follow to stay safer even in icy and snowy conditions. To avoid a snow-related car collision be sure to:

California is currently in a state of emergency because of fires burning throughout the state. On the morning of August 8, 2018, a 51-year-old man, Forrest Gordon Clark, was arrested at his home in connection with the large forest fire in the Cleveland National forest, that has burned over 18,000 acres. According to ABC 7 News, the Orange County fire authority became suspicious of Clark when they discovered the origin of the fire was near the cabin he owns. So far, no one has been injured but many cabins and homes have burned, and firefighters fear more structures could be in harm’s way.

Currently, investigators believe the fire was an intentional act. They have been gathering evidence to support this claim. For example, the fire originated near Clark’s cabin, and of the 14 cabins in the area, Clark’s is the only one still standing. Clark also sent an email to the volunteer fire chief last week warning, “This place will burn” after a dispute with his neighbors.

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A fire that began in a Victorville neighborhood and raged through the hills, was started by illegal fireworks. ABC 7 News reported that after the fire began an explosion and a wind gust spread the fire quickly.  The fire caused damage to several homes and yards, though luckily, due to the quick response of firefighters, no homes were completely lost. One resident stated, “I pulled [my] curtain open, I looked through the blinds, and all I saw was a huge fire right above our house, it looked like it was going to fall into our back yard.” Fortunately for those who set off the illegal fireworks, there were no personal injuries caused by the fire.

Southern California fire marshals have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to illegal fireworks because of how dangerous they can be in the dry, fire-prone, Southern California environment. With the 4th of July just around the corner, residents in this Victorville neighborhood are urging people to remember that when “You shoot off a firework, and it only takes one spark for it to light a whole street on fire, if it wasn’t for the fire department being right up that street, who knows what would have happened?”

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According to the Daily Breeze, many mobile traffic map apps are causing problems on small Los Angeles residential streets. The apps such as Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps attempt to help drivers take the fastest route to their destination and avoid detected traffic. The problem is that some of the traffic is diverted to small side streets or residential streets that are not designed for heavy traffic, and too much traffic on these small streets can lead to dangerous conditions.

A new motion before the Los Angeles city council proposes that the city get involved with these app makers to attempt to reduce the problems these apps cause. As one councilman put it, “Mobile app makers are sacrificing the quality of life in our neighborhoods, just so drivers can save a few seconds or minutes with an alternate route, we have an obligation to see what can be done to protect our neighborhoods and prevent these apps from continuing to divert drivers from major avenues onto small residential streets that aren’t designed to accommodate high-volume traffic.”  Continue Reading

According to ABC 7 News, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake shook Southern California Thursday afternoon. The earthquake struck of the coast, near the Channel Islands, approximately “39 miles southwest of Oxnard.” People in areas such as downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, West Los Angeles, Calabasas and Santa Monica all reported feeling the shaking of the quake.

Immediately following the quake the Los Angeles Fire Department surveyed and examined the Los Angeles area, checking buildings, transportation, and power. Luckily, no earthquake damage or injuries have been reported so far on the mainland, though the Channel Islands suffered some structural damage.

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According to the Agoura Patch, California’s drivers ranked 18th in the United States in the category of worst drivers. Only 17 states had worse drivers than California, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Further, the United States ranked 19th among similar economic countries in the category of destructive driving.

The items that were taken into account for these rankings included drunk driving, careless driving, auto accident fatalities, seatbelt use, driving without a license, speeding and failure to obey traffic laws. According to the statistics, the worst characteristics of California drivers was their drunk driving and speeding. Continue Reading

If you love animals like we do, we highly support contributing money to VETPAW –  Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife.  This organization not only helps protect African wildlife like elephants and rhinos from hunters and poachers, but it also employs United States military veterans.  Essentially, it is contributing to two great causes – protecting animals and employing veterans.

To learn more about the amazing job that VETPAW is doing with our veterans, to help protect animals, please visit their website at www.vetpaw.org.  Also, to donate money to their cause, visit the following page: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/vetpaw2015.

Our California personal injury attorneys at the Walch Law Corporation are animal lovers and support and donate money to many different animal welfare causes, including again today to VETPAW.  Attorney Robert Walch is a member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and, in addition to donating money to the cause, attended their last symposium in May in downtown Los Angeles, to learn about more ways to help animals.

Did you know that there is a new device able to test if a driver has used recreational drugs and is driving while high?  As you may know, medical marijuana is used by many and there is a proposed ballot measure to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in California.   As a result, on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, California legislators proposed a new law to use this new technology to stop motorists who are driving while under the influence of drugs.

The proposed legislation – referred to as SB 1462 – would give California police authority to use an oral swab test when there is probable cause to believe a driver is impaired and failed a field sobriety test.  The swab is read by a hand held portable electronic device that is able to detect the presence of not only marijuana, but also cocaine, amphetamines and pain medications like opiates.

The proposed bill is authored and sponsored by Republican Senator Bob Huff of San Dimas, California.  This bill also is backed by the California Police Chiefs Association and the California Narcotic Officers Association.

Backers of SB 1462 referred to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which found a 22% increase in driving arrests relating to the use of drugs while driving from 2007 to 2014.

In Colorado, where recreational marijuana use was permitted in 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times, marijuana related traffic deaths went up by 32% in just one year!

If you have any thoughts about this new device and proposed legislation, you are encouraged to contact Senator Bob Huff of San Dimas or our personal injury & wrongful death accident lawyers.

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