Are You Aware of California’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws?

motorcycle helmet

Under California motorcycle helmet laws, all riders are required to wear helmets while riding, and not just those who are below the age of 17, or just amateur motorcyclists.

No matter whether you’re a beginner motorcyclist or a professional who has been motorcycling for many years, you will need to wear a motorcycle helmet at all times. California is one of the few states in the country that has stringent universal motorcycle helmet laws for all motorcyclist riders and passengers.

Under California motorcycle helmet laws, all riders are required to wear helmets while riding, and not just those who are below the age of 17, or just amateur motorcyclists. These laws have helped reduce the number of people being killed in   accidents in California. However, motorcycle accident lawyers believe that many more lives could be saved every year, if all motorcyclists wear a helmet while riding.

Only 20 states across the country and the District of Columbia have universal motorcycle helmet laws in place. Other states have variations in their helmet laws, and some require only riders below the age of 20 to wear helmets, while others require only riders below the age of 17 to be helmeted while riding.

Earlier research has indicated that states that do not have universal motorcycle helmet laws have much lower rates of motorcycle helmet usage. In fact according to statistics, in 2010, in those states where all riders and passengers are required to wear motorcycle helmets, 98% of motorcyclists were actually wearing them. However, in those states that did not have universal motorcycle helmet laws, only about 48 % of motorcyclists were wearing helmets.

Earlier research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms that wearing helmets reduces the risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury. Not only is a motorcyclist wearing a helmet much more likely to survive head injuries in an accident, but he is also likely to be discharged from hospital earlier, and incur lower hospital expenses, compared to non-helmeted motorcyclists.

 

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

Older Bicyclists at Higher Risk of Injuries, Fatalities

bicycle accident

Older bicyclists, especially those above the age of 50, may be at a much higher risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries in accidents.

Older bicyclists, especially those above the age of 50, may be at a much higher risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries in accidents. That is confirmed not just by number of studies, but also by data presented by the federal administration.

In 2011, according to data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicyclists between the age of 45 and 54 had some of the highest accident fatality numbers. In this category, 130 bicyclists were killed in bicycle accidents in 2011. The risk of being injured in accidents or killed in accidents was very high in the 55 to 64 age category, and in this group, 98 bicyclists were killed in accidents in 2011. In the 65 to 70 category, 50 persons died in bicycle accidents in the same year.

In fact, bicycle accident fatality numbers seemed to increase with the age of the bicyclists involved. For instance, according to the data in 2011, 27 of those who were killed were between 10 and 15 years of age. 44 bicycle accident fatalities were between 16 and 20 years of age, 42 fatalities were in the 21 to 24 age category, and 59 fatalities were in the 25 to 34 age category. 72 fatalities belonged to the 35 to 44 age category.

Older bicyclists may not be more likely to be involved in an accident, but could be at a higher risk of suffering fatal injuries in an accident. That is because of age-related physical changes that may make these persons more vulnerable to injuries in an accident. For instance, the same kind of injuries may affect a 25-year-old bicyclist differently from a 75 or 80-year-old bicyclist. In the latter case, the injuries could even be fatal or have long-term consequences.

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

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

Women May Have Slower Concussion Recovery If Injured During Periods

concussion

Women, who suffer a concussion in the days leading up to their menstrual period, experience much slower concussion recovery of their injury.

Women, who suffer a concussion in the days leading up to their menstrual period, experience much slower concussion recovery of their injury. According to the results of a new study, the phase of the woman’s menstrual cycle during which she suffers the brain injury does have a lot to do with the outcome.

The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. The researchers analyzed 144 women who suffered a mild brain injury, like a concussion. These women were evaluated in the hospital a month after the injury.

The researchers found during the follow-up evaluation month later, that the women, who had suffered a concussion in the two weeks before their menstrual period, had an overall poor perception of their general health after the concussion. They were also much more likely to experience symptoms of the concussion, like headaches and dizziness days after.

In contrast, women who had suffered the concussion in the two weeks after their menstrual period seemed to have much faster recovery. Women who were on birth control pills also seemed to have a much quicker pace of recovery after a brain injury. The results of the study were published recently in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

According to the researchers, there is a simple explanation for this slower pace of recovery at a specific time of the month. It could have much to do with the levels of progesterone, a hormone which is believed to have protective effects on the brain. Any stressful event can cause the brain’s pituitary gland, which is responsible for the generation of progesterone, to shut down. A brain injury like a concussion could qualify as that kind of stressful event. Not surprisingly, women who were injured during this time of the month, continued to have symptoms of the injury for days later.

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

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

Solitary Drinking May Increase Risk of Teen Drinking Problems

teen drinking

Alcohol-related problems among teenagers have a number of consequences, not the least of which is a higher risk of being involved in potentially fatal or serious drunk driving accidents while driving.

Alcohol-related problems among teenagers have a number of consequences, not the least of which is a higher risk of being involved in potentially fatal or serious drunk driving accidents while driving. Negative alcohol-related practices very often continue into adulthood, increasing those risks further. A new study finds that teenagers, who spend time drinking alone, are much more likely to develop alcohol-related problems as adults.

The study was published recently in the journal Clinical Psychological Science of the Association for Psychological Science. According to the study, teenagers who drink alone, are much more likely to suffer from alcohol-related problems later in life, compared to peers who drink only in a social environment. Most teenagers drink in social environments, but there are many teenagers who prefer to drink when they are alone.

Such solitary drinking could be an indicator of alcohol-related problems down the road down the road. Teenagers, who drink alone, according to the study, are more likely to be heavier drinkers. They are also much more likely to indulge in other negative alcohol-related practices like drinking when they are faced with negative emotions or circumstances.

The researchers found that teenagers, who drink when they are alone, have a psychological basis for their practices. These are typically teenagers who are feeling lonely, or are feeling hostile, or are in a bad mood. Teenagers, who have had an argument with a friend or family member, are much more likely to drink alone.

In such cases, alcohol is used as a way of self-medication, and a coping mechanism to help deal with negative emotions. Not surprisingly, such behaviors are much more likely to translate into heavy-duty alcohol-related problems, like binge drinking and other practices that increase the risk of being involved in an accident.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 28202 Cabot Road, Suite 300 Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 (949) 614-1142

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