10 Tips for Putting an End to Your Road Rage

road-rage

Road rage is an epidemic on American roads, and actually increases the risks of accidents, assaults and other adverse events.

We’ve all experienced it from either side. We have either been that motorist, screaming and yelling at other drivers on the road, or we’ve been yelled at while driving by a motorist who was out of control of his emotions. Road rage is an epidemic on American roads, and actually increases the risks of accidents, assaults and other adverse events.

In California, road rage is probably much more common than in other states, because of the heavy traffic congestion problems we have here. There is limited space for an ever-increasing population of motorists, and that simply creates conditions that are ripe for poor behavior on the roads.

You can reduce your risk of behaving badly on the roads, and keep the environment safer for yourself and other motorists.

  1. Make sure you get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. Research indicates that lack of sleep can contribute to irritability while driving, contributing to road rage.
  2. Practice calming and meditation techniques if you feel yourself getting annoyed and frustrated. Breathe deeply, or count to 10. Those age-old techniques for alleviating anger can work very well behind the wheel.
  3. Don’t bring your frustrations from work into your car. Understand, that there’s a place and time for venting your frustrations, and your car isn’t one of those places. Put those tensions behind until you reach home or wherever it is you are going, before you can really begin to let off steam.
  4. Some types of music can make you more aggressive. Listen to calming music that helps you relax.
  5. Avoid making eye contact with a motorist who is threatening or abusing you.
  6. Practice empathy. If the other driver is screaming at you or is in a bad mood, understand that there are possibly factors beyond the person’s control that is making them behave that way.
  7. While driving, behave as you would like other people to behave towards you.
  8. Avoid being competitive on the road.
  9. Frequently evaluate your driving behavior. If you find yourself verbally abusing others, flashing lights or speeding, take stock of the situation.
  10. If necessary, take a course in anger management.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 198 N. Arrowhead Avenue San Bernardino, CA, 92408 (909) 657-0576

Top Four Worst Celebrity Drivers

movie-stars-injured

Some of the worst celebrity drivers out there has to be Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. There are a few others as well that you might be aware of.

Unfortunately, being famous, rich and successful doesn’t necessarily guarantee traffic sense. Rich and famous celebrities are often not required to drive at all, wealthy enough as they are to afford their own chauffeurs. However, when they do drive, many of them   display   atrocious driving skills that result in traffic violations, and even injurious accidents.

One of the worst celebrity drivers out there has to be Paris Hilton. Not only does the pampered hotel heiress have a long record of being involved in hit-and-run accidents, but she has also been involved in several other incidents, including one incident in which she backed up her car into a parked car, and then coolly drove away.

Many of Britney Spears’ escapades have made headlines over the past few years, as the actress went through a particularly horrific public meltdown. However, some of the worst episodes from that meltdown involved the actress’ irresponsible behavior behind the wheel. She was found driving with her baby on her lap, without wearing a seatbelt. Operating a car with your toddler baby on your lap, without bothering to restrain him in a car safety seat is one of the most irresponsible examples of parenting you could possibly display. It was bad enough that Spears exposed herself to the risk of injuries by not wearing a seat belt, but to expose her baby to serious harm was even worse. When the singer finally did get around to putting her baby in a safety seat, she put the baby in a seat that was facing the wrong way. The actress also has a longer history of minor accidents, dents, fender benders, and scrapes that make her eligible for this category.

Singer Billy Joel has a long history of accidents, having been involved in accidents back in 2002, 2003, and 2004. He was even involved in a motorcycle accident back in 1983. With   such a long history of accidents,   one of them even involving a slow Citroen 2CV, it would be fair to wonder about his driving abilities.

The worst driver on this list has to be Lindsay Lohan. In recent years, the actress has made the news for crashing her car into the back of an 18 wheeler, and most famously, getting arrested several times for driving under the influence. Lohan’s irresponsible behavior behind the wheel has resulted in several court appearances for her.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1 World Trade Center, Suite 800 Long Beach, CA 90831 (562) 528-3135

Distracted Driving Beyond Cell Phone Use

texting while driving

Modern automobiles come with a wide array of sophisticated gadgetry, and these gadgets do increase the risk of distracted driving.

The Department of Transportation has focused very heavily on distractions arising from the use of cell phones at the wheel. However, although cellphone use and texting while driving remain some of the most destructive practices affecting motorists, the fact is that there are other distracting practices that can pose an equally severe risk of accidents while driving.

For instance, statistics show that eating while driving is much riskier, and increases your risk of being involved in an accident much more than having a conversation on a hand-held cellphone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the extended glance length of eating while driving caused a 1.57:1 crash risk ratio. However, in comparison, having a conversation on a hand-held cell phone while driving caused a 1.29:1 crash risk ratio.

We have all done it, especially while driving along a long and uninteresting highway. Daydreaming, or dreaming while driving increases the risk of an accident. According to one study by an insurance company, drivers who were lost in thought are believed to be to be involved 62% of the time in auto accidents. Daydreaming while driving is a hugely underestimated risk, because the person is not necessarily taking his eyes off the road or his hands off the steering wheel, but the risks of being involved in an accident are just as great. Distraction does not have to involve taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel.

Modern automobiles come with a wide array of sophisticated gadgetry, and these gadgets do increase the risk of distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that accident risks increased when drivers took their eyes off the road for more than two seconds. There is a wide array of gadgetry, displays, controls and high technological aids that are fairly standard in many automobiles, and increases accident risks.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1055 W 7th St #3333, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 271-9318

Increase in Hit and Run Accidents Across US

hit and run accidents

Across the country, there has been a spike in the number of hit and run accidents recorded.

Across the country, there has been a spike in the number of hit and run accidents recorded. What is even more worrisome is that fatal hit-and-run numbers are also increasing across the country.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates an upward trend in the number of fatal hit-and-run accidents being reported from around the country. Back in 2009, 1,274 fatal hit-and-run accidents were reported from around the US. That number had increased to 1,449 accidents in 2011.  That amounts to a 13.7% increase in the number of fatal hit-and-run fatalities during that period of time. What really stands out in that statistic is that that increase was recorded during a time when the number of traffic accident fatalities overall dropped by 4.5%.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that this is a widely underestimated safety problem. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed hit-and-run accident data, and found that approximately one in five of all pedestrian accident deaths in this country involved a hit-and-run accident. That could be part of the reason why pedestrian accident fatality cases are resolved so infrequently. Besides, the analysis also found that 60% of all hit-and-run accident fatalities are pedestrian victims.

In cases of pedestrian accidents, motorists are much more likely to drive off the scene of an accident if they have a reason to feel guilty. For instance, if a person is driving under the influence of alcohol, he’s much more likely to drive off from the scene of an accident after hitting a pedestrian. He is also much more likely to drive away from the scene if he is driving under a suspended license. Young motorists, who do not yet have a full license, are also more likely to drive off from the scene of an accident.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 200 West Santa Ana Boulevard, Suite 630 Santa Ana, CA 92701 (714) 550-6000

Driving Selfies: The New Face of Distracted Driving

driving selfies

Photo sharing websites like Instagram and Twitter are full of driving selfies of motorists at the wheel, and thousands of these photographs have been tagged “#driving selfie” and variations on both of these websites.

Gone are the days when California law enforcement officers only had to worry about people using their cellphones to have conversations or texting while driving. These days, motorists use cell phones for a wide variety of purposes.  One of the more worrying of these is the practice of using cell phones to take selfies, or photographs of themselves while driving.

Photo sharing websites like Instagram and Twitter are full of driving selfies of motorists at the wheel, and thousands of these photographs have been tagged “#driving selfie” and variations on both of these websites. Even though taking a picture with your own cell phone camera takes much less time than texting while driving or having a conversation on a cell phone, in many ways, taking a selfie at the wheel is much more distracting. For one thing, your attention is entirely on your camera and perfecting your pose or pout. For another, at least one hand is off your steering wheel.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there is no way to know exactly what kind of accident risk we’re talking about here. Selfies are a relatively new phenomenon, and in 2013, the word has actually made its way into the Oxford Dictionaries. A selfie is one’s own photograph that is taken on a smart phone, and usually posted on social media websites like Facebook or Twitter. Any kind of cell phone use increases the risk of an accident, but car accident lawyers do not know how many accidents every year are caused by motorists taking selfies while driving.

There is no denying the fact that this is an extremely irresponsible practice. Avoid taking photographs of yourself while driving, and if you’re driving in a car operated by a motorist who is  taking selfies, stop him from doing so.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 43141 Business Center Pkwy #200a, Lancaster, CA 93535 (661) 202-3142

Bulky Clothing May Increase Risk of Injuries among Children

bulky clothing

According to Consumer Reports, the combination of a bulky jacket to keep a child warm, and a car seat, can be dangerous.

As temperatures dip, and the weather becomes colder across California, many parents are likely to bundle up their children in warm jackets and bulky clothes, to keep them warm. However, it may be dangerous to put a child in a car seat, while he is wearing such bulky clothing.

According to Consumer Reports, the combination of a bulky jacket to keep a child warm, and a car seat, can be dangerous. When temperatures drop, you need to be much more cautious about restraining your child securely.  Many parents do not realize that bulky clothing can place a child at risk of injuries in an accident.

Avoid putting your child in winter coats or bulky coats underneath the hardness of a car seat. If a child is wearing bulky gear, and is then secured into a seat, the harness can actually become to lose. A loose car seat harness does nothing to help prevent injury or fatality in a car accident.

Consumer Reports suggests that you first put the coat on the child, put him in the child seat and fasten the harness until it is so tight that you cannot pinch the webbing with your thumb and forefinger. Now, remove the child from the car seat without unlocking the harness, take the coat off, and put him back into the car seat. Perform the webbing test again. If you still find that you can pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger, then the coat is much too bulky to be worn under the harness.

Instead, strap your child without the coat into the hardness, and put the coat on the child backwards, slipping his arms through the sleeves and tucking the front behind him to keep him warm. You can now use a blanket to keep him warm further. This is much safer than using the bulky coat under a harness.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1055 W 7th St #3333, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 271-9318

Teens with Tough Parents Less Likely to Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol

teen driver

Teenagers, whose parents set down strict rules about driving safely, are 71% less likely to drive under the influence of alcohol.

Teenagers, whose parents set down strict rules about driving safely, are 71% less likely to drive under the influence of alcohol. That information comes from a new report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association to coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week which was marked in October this year.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, parental involvement is the single biggest factor that can help reduce the risk of teen-related car accidents. That does not mean that strong parental involvement alone can be sufficient to help reduce these accident risks. After all, there are a number of other factors that contribute to the high accident risk for this category of motorists. However, the data does indicate that the foundation for good driving practices is laid right at home.

If you are a parent who wants to ensure that your teenager has an accident-free journey towards a full license, here are a few rules.

Establish a parent-child driving contract. Establish your expectations for your teen’s driving behaviors in the contract, and set out penalties if your rules are violated.

Make sure that you are aware of California’s graduated driver licensing program, especially the restrictions on nighttime driving and driving with teenage passengers. Driving at night increases the risks of an accident, and so does driving with teenage passengers in the car. Make sure that your teenager obeys these rules.

Don’t skip driving together with your teenager once the supervised hours of driving are up. Grab opportunities to drive frequently with your child, so he can benefit from your driving experience.

Set down strict rules about driving under the influence of alcohol and distracted driving. In fact, there are technologies that are available to help you block your teenager’s ability to use the cell phone while the car is in operation. Look into these gadgets and apps.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1055 W 7th St #3333, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 271-9318

Most Drunk Driving Accidents Caused by Repeat Offenders

car accident

Data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that the bulk of alcohol-related car accident fatalities are caused by repeat drunken-driving offenders.

Data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that the bulk of alcohol-related car accident fatalities are caused by repeat drunken-driving offenders.  According to the data, in the year 2012, there was actually an increase in the number of people who were killed in drunk driving accidents.

The number of people being killed in such accidents continues to remain at record lows as it has over the past couple of years. However, last year, there was an increase of 4.6% in the number of people killed in alcohol-related car accidents compared to 2011. Most of those accidents involved drivers who were driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of at least .15. That is close to twice the maximum blood-alcohol permissible level of .08.

Typically, persons who are driving with a blood-alcohol level of .115 are considered hard-core offenders. Similarly, persons who are convicted of repeat driving offences are also considered extreme offenders, who are much more likely to cause a serious or fatal accident.

California has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the country. Under a pilot program that is currently underway in four different California counties, persons who are convicted even for the first time of driving under the influence, can be required to have an alcohol ignition interlock system installed in their car. Under the current law, repeat offenders are required to have ignition interlock systems installed in the car, but the pilot program requires all motorists convicted of DWI, even those who are convicted of the very first time, to have these gadgets installed in the car.

An ignition interlock system detects the amount of alcohol that a motorist has in his system. If the gadget detects that the alcohol amount is greater than a preset limit, then the system shuts down the ignition, preventing the driver from operating the car. The increase in car accident fatalities related to alcohol use seems to indicate that there is a need to expand the program to cover the rest of the state.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1 World Trade Center #800, Long Beach, CA 90831 (562) 528-3135

Daylight Savings Time Change Safety Tips for Pedestrians, Motorists

The daylight savings time change now in effect across California essentially means that you will be walking and driving in darker conditions more than before.

The daylight savings time change now in effect across California essentially means that you will be walking and driving in darker conditions more than before.

The daylight savings time change now in effect across California essentially means that you will be walking and driving in darker conditions more than before. That automatically means a higher risk of accidents, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Ministration has already warned that the Daylight Savings Time 2013 which ended on November 3 could increase the risk of auto and pedestrian accidents.

Many of us have already noticed the difference as we drive home in darkness . The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking both motorists and pedestrians to exercise additional caution as they drive and walk home in the darkness over the next few months.

Motorists must drive at low speeds to help them see pedestrians in time while driving. You are driving in darker conditions now, and it may be more difficult to notice a pedestrian. Also look out for pedestrians who may be distracted with their headphones, or because their ears are now covered with hats, wool caps and earmuffs. They may not be able to hear your approaching car.

High visibility is more important now more than ever. Make sure that the windshield of your car and window glass is sparkling clean. Your windshield wipers should be working properly, and defrosters must be at functioning capacity.

The daylight savings time change also means additional danger for pedestrians walking in the darkness. If you are walking in the evening, carry a flashlight. Retro reflective tape is a lifesaver for pedestrians walking in dark conditions. Stick tape to your clothing, bags and purses. You can use florescent tape to reflect the light from the tape back to drivers, helping them to see you. Walk on sidewalks wherever possible, be extra careful and look both sides for approaching vehicles while crossing the street, and avoid distractions while walking.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1 World Trade Center #800, Long Beach, CA 90831 (562) 528-3135

 

 

New Study Finds That Fatal Accidents Involving Teens Continue to Rise

teen driver

A new recent study shows that fatal accidents involving teens continues to rise.

Another new study should end any complacency that parents or California transportation safety agencies have been feeling about teen safety. The study released by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute clearly indicates that the risk of being involved in a fatal accident for teen motorists and passengers has actually increased over the past decade.

The report is titled “Are Teens Safer on the Road than They Were 10 Years Ago” and in the report, the researchers analyzed fatal accidents involving teens between the age of 13 and 17 over a decade-long period.

They then compared these crashes with other accidents involving young adult drivers between the age of 18 and 24 to develop a relative risk index.  The researchers found that the risk for teenage drivers driving with a single teen passenger increased over the last decade from a score of 3.7 to 5.1. That means that in 2011, novice drivers  had a five- times increased likelihood of being involved in a fatal accident, compared to young adult drivers during the same period of time.

Those risks increased significantly when novice drivers were driving with two or more passengers. When these young teenage drivers were carrying more than two passengers in their car, the risk was approximately 7.7, an increase of 5.9 just 10 years ago. Teenage drivers driving with two or more passengers were approximately 8 times more likely to experience or be involved in a fatal accident compared to young adults.

The researchers are pointing to a number of possible reasons for the spike. These reasons include an overall lack of experience involving young teenage drivers and the natural learning curve that is associated with operating a car. Besides, teenage drivers may be susceptible to feelings of invincibility, and may lack the understanding of the very serious consequences of being involved in a car accident.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 3890 11th St Riverside, CA 92501 (951) 324-5174

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