California Law Against Hanging Things from Rear View Mirror

Hanging an air freshener, fuzzy dice or other objects  from your rearview mirror could be a violation of the law in your state. Specifically, in California the law prohibits placing an object that “obstructs or reduces the driver’s clear view through the windshield or side windows.”  Therefore, be certain anything you hang from your car’s rearview mirror does NOT obstruct or reduce your clear view.

California Law on Engine Modifications

California car enthusiasts love to modify their cars, from exhaust systems to window tinting to neon underglow lighting.  Before you make any modifications to your car be sure to check whether California prohibits your desired modification.  The following will briefly review several of the more popular vehicle modifications:

Illegal: Loud Exhaust Systems

If you want people to hear your car before they see it, make sure it’s not illegal to have a loud exhaust.   Many car enthusiasts want to modify their car’s exhaust system, but there are laws governing the noise limit your vehicle can produce. California changed its exhaust law in 2019 so that having a loud muffler is no longer just a fix-it ticket but rather a ticketed fine. In short, vehicles must have a muffler that prevents “excessive noise from the exhaust system.”

The owners of the Santa Barbara dive boat that burned during the Labor Day weekend by the Chanel Islands, killing 34 people on board, including 33 passengers and one crew member, are attempting to not only limit their liability but actually are attempting to use an old Maritime law so they do not have to pay any compensation at all to the families of those killed or any money to anyone else who may have been injured.

Since this horrific incident occurred on a boat at sea it is governed by United States maritime law, which is different than the law most of us are used to.   Under U.S. maritime law, the owners of a ship may be responsible or liable for personal injuries and deaths, as well as other losses and damages.  But also under maritime law this legal responsibility or liability may be limited to the value of the ship and its freight at the end of the voyage if the owner of the ship can show the acts of negligence or unseaworthiness that caused the injury or loss were not known and should not have been known by the owners of the ship.

And, of course, the owners of the Conception, or perhaps their insurers, are trying to take advantage of this antiquated, unconscionable and unfair law to limit their liability because the value post voyage is probably nothing or zero dollars (except for some possible salvage value of the destroyed boat which may be exceeded by the salvage costs).

According to Santa Barbara new outlet The Noozhawk, a local man suffered serious burns when his Jeep Cherokee caught on fire. Bystanders who witnessed the fire rushed to help the man. One witness reported that “he saw the guy was screaming, yelling for help, crying. His whole body was on fire.” Bystanders helped him get out of the car and get his shirt off and called emergency personnel.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, the car was completely engulfed in flames and the fire had spread to a building next to where the car was parked. A team went to work extinguishing the fire, while other firefighters assisted in aiding the burned man. Police reported that the burn victim had moderate to severe burn injuries on his upper torso, arms, hands and face. He was taken to the hospital, and then transferred to a burn center in Southern California for treatment of these injuries. Investigators are now looking into what caused the fire in the first place—as of now, it appears the blaze started in the back of the vehicle.

The Severity of Burn Injuries

Drunk driving is a continual problem on California roads. In order to combat this deadly danger, a new state bill has been proposed which would lower the legal blood-alcohol level for drivers in California to .05%. ABC 7 News reports that California law makers are considering the bill, AB 1713, to reduce the amount of alcohol you can legally have in your system when you drive by .03%, as California’s current limit is .08%.

This idea to lower the legal blood alcohol level to .05% came after the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report recommending lowering the drunken-driving threshold from .08% to .05%. This recommendation was made in hopes that it will reduce the number of alcohol-impaired deaths that occur each year in America. “Driving under the influence is blamed for some 10,000 deaths a year…Each day, 29 people in the U.S. die in alcohol-related crashes. Forty-percent of those killed are not the drunken driver.”

Many supporters of this bill believe it is necessary because “current blood alcohol content (BAC) is too high and leaves more drivers impaired, which results in more deadly crashes.” Studies show that for a driver with a blood alcohol level of .05%-.079% “the risk of being in a fatal crash is at least seven times higher than for drivers with no alcohol in their system.”

A family of three recently suffered personal injuries while on a ride at a Southern California amusement park. The family was on the log ride, a ride involving water, at Castle Park in Riverside when the accident occurred. According to USA Today, the ride malfunctioned and the family—mother, father, and child—were ejected from the ride.

The initial investigation shows that a pump that controls the water level on the ride was not functioning at the time the family was riding. On the final descent of the ride, the log-shaped car they were riding in failed to slow down because there was not enough water at the bottom. As a result the car “hit the bottom of a water slide, flipped over and ejected the three from the vessel.”

The mother was critically injured, and her husband and child suffered minor injuries in the accident. The family was taken to a local hospital to be treated for their injuries. Castle Park said the log ride will remain closed while the park and state officials conducted an investigation into what caused the malfunction.

Working with heavy machinery can certainly be dangerous job. This is especially true when dealing with forklifts. Recently, an accident involving a forklift at a loading dock in the City of Industry resulted in the serious injury of a worker.

According to The Patch, a dock worker was driving a forklift, when it fell off the loading dock. The worker, and 29-year-old male, was trapped with his arm pinned under the heavy forklift and the Technical Rescue team of the Los Angeles Fire Department was called for the rescue. Firefighters were “able to free the victim by using another forklift, [but] the victim suffered a partial arm amputation during the incident.”

The worker was airlifted by helicopter to a nearby trauma center. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was alerted to investigate the situation, which is typical in this type of workplace accident.

Recently Southern California has been hit by a series of back to back earthquakes and several aftershocks. According to the Los Angeles Times, the first quake with a magnitude of 6.4, occurred on July 4th—the second quake occurred the next day, and this time it was a 7.1 magnitude quake.

The epicenter of both quakes was located near Ridgecrest, CA, a Mojave Desert town around 125 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The shaking from the quakes was “felt as far away as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Baja California and Reno.” Since the quakes occurred there have been hundreds of aftershocks.

Thankfully, no one was killed in these earthquakes, though many people in Ridgecrest suffered minor injuries. There was, however, significant structural damages to homes, stores, and infrastructure—”The earthquake sparked several gas leaks and four fires, destroying several mobile homes.” Many homes were weakened in the initial quakes and officials are concerned that aftershocks could cause further damage or collapse.

Earlier this year a driver of a Toyota Tacoma drove onto a sidewalk in Fullerton, injuring nine pedestrians. One of the pedestrians, Sara Polanco, was seriously injured—she was hospitalized with a shattered pelvis and lacerated liver.

Polanco has now filed a Southern California personal injury lawsuit to be compensated for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills she has incurred as a result of her injuries. In this suit Polanco has looked beyond just the driver that hit her to two Lyft drivers who were parked on the street the night of the accident. According to Mercury News, Polanco is “alleging that two of [Lyft’s] ride-share drivers were illegally parked and may have helped cause the traffic incident.”

The lawsuit claims that one of the Lyft drivers suddenly stopped while looking for directions for his passengers, causing the Tacoma driver to strike the Lyft and lose control. Then, a “second Lyft driver…abruptly and unsafely stopped to pick up passengers, then suddenly struck the back of [the Tacoma] causing it to further lose control and end up on the sidewalk where the nine pedestrians were struck.” Polanco believes that the Tacoma driver would have never lost control and hit her had the Lyft drivers not been stopped illegally. She argues the Lyft drivers were “disregarding the safety rules of the road in the operation of their Lyft vehicles” and therefore, Lyft should be liable for her injuries.

Contact Information