CHP statistics showed a declining number of traffic-related deaths this past holiday weekend. Even though it was predicted that our freeways would have record number of drivers, and some roads were jammed for hours, drivers appear to have been driving more safely.
May through September has a higher rate of fatal motorcycle crashes than other months, with midsummer generally accounting for twice as many crashes as midwinter simply because more people are riding, according to the CHP safety office. Child bicycle fatalities also go up by as much as 45 percent during the summer.
April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month and May is Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Awareness month. The consistent message here is to be aware of the distractions that take your mind and eye off the road, even for that nano second. Drive safe and keep your family and friends safe this summer.Filed Under Auto Accident, Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury, children, motorcycle safety, wrongful death
California is blessed with great weather and many places to enjoy it. Three days off work jammed roads and driving distracted can be a deadly combination this weekend.
Memorial Day Weekend brings increased traffic and a sad history of a high number of highway tragedies and the needless loss of life.
“When everything comes together just right like on Memorial Day weekend, we hit the road and unfortunately some of us hit each other,” reports Chris Cochran of the state Office of Traffic Safety.
Law enforcement throughout California will be looking for drivers and passengers who don’t buckle up during the “Click-it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign. They will be on the lookout for drivers and passengers – including passengers in the back seat, day and night.
So when you load up the family in the car this weekend please do so safely.
Eliminate those distractions you can control. (cell phone, texting, eating, grooming, etc.)
Share the road. Watch out for other drivers, riders and pedestrians on the road.
Don’t put your own life at risk, or the life of your family or friends. One needless car wreck can wreck it all.Filed Under Auto Accident, Personal Injury, children, motorcycle safety, wrongful death
With that warm and beautiful weather, comes an even greater responsibility for adults and children be aware of your surroundings as you head out to share and enjoy the roads on your bicycle.
According to the NHTSA, 630 pedalcyclists were killed and an additional 51,000 were injured in 2009 in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Pedalcyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities, and made up 2 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.
The best guideline is: Be Alert. Be Wary. Be Seen.
Be Alert: Scan ahead, center, left and right.
Although drivers of motor vehicles need to share the road with bicyclists, many times the cyclist is not seen. All drivers and riders should be courteous.
>allow at least three feet clearance when passing a bicyclist on the road,
> look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space,
> and yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals.
> Be especially watchful for cyclists when making turns, either left or right.
Cyclists need to
> keep your head up and look ahead, not at the ground. You need to see what is coming up so you have time to react and maneuver.
> ride one person per bike. Riding with unsecured passengers puts you at risk for injury to yourself and others.
> ride in single file with space between bikes.
> ride on the right side of the road, never against traffic. Otherwise, you are at risk for an accident – or a ticket.
Be Wary: Pay attention to vehicles, pedestrians and others on the road.
Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings. When cycling in the street, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
Be Seen: Use your horn, hand signals and light to be seen by others on the road.
Bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, dawn,
and dusk. To be noticed when riding at night, use a front light and a red reflector or flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing.
Important Safety Reminder:
All bicyclists should wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way
to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash. California state law requires helmets for all bicyclists under age 18.
Between the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state, 57,000 tickets were issued during Distracted Driving Awareness month, for driving while using a handheld cell phone or texting, and another 3,800 for additional distracted driving violations which could include eating, grooming, programming a GPS, and other functions.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing that the problem of cell phone use for talking and texting while driving is not going away anytime soon,” said California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Director Christopher J. Murphy. “There are those who understand the dangers and have curtailed their use, while others think the hazards apply to everyone else but them.”
The ability to safely multi-task while driving is myth. While many people know texting while driving increases crash risk, the lack of understanding about the risks of phone conversation, even hands-free, while driving remains a challenge. Talking on hands-free or handheld cell phones requires the brain to multitask – a process it cannot do safely while driving.
To explain the limitations of the human brain when multitasking the National Safety Council (NSC) released a white paper, “Understanding the Distracted Brain: Why driving while using hands-free devices is risky behavior.“
It only takes a second to swerve a few feet.
Swerving out of your lane to the left could put you in line of another vehicle coming in the opposite direction. Swerving to the right could cause you to hit a pedestrian or another car slowing down to turn right. Big trucks do not have the ability to stop or swerve to miss a car that unexpectedly swerves into their lane.
Looking away for only a second, you could miss seeing the motorcycle in front of you or one that is splitting lanes next to you.
Looking away for only a second is all it takes to potentially cause serious injuries to yourself or another person – or worse – even death. One teenage driver currently under arrest said the distraction of a hand-held cell phone caused her to fatally hit a 44-year-old jogger.
April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month and May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. The consistent message here is to be aware of the distractions that take your mind and eye off the road, even for that nano second.
Common sense tips to protecting yourself from distracted driving:
> Put your cell phone out of reach when you get in the car so you won’t be tempted to use it.
> Mention on your outgoing voicemail message that you won’t answer when you are driving.
> Don’t call or text anyone when there is a good chance that they may be driving.
> When you must call or text, pull into a parking space.
> Never eat, groom, program a GPS, check Facebook, run an app, read or otherwise allow your full attention to leave the task of safely driving.
Share the road. Drive safe.Filed Under Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Safety, children, motorcycle safety, wrongful death
According to new research published in the Journal of Neuroscience even mild head injuries can cause significant abnormalities in brain function that last for several days.
Scientists at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine say this may explain the neurological symptoms experienced by those who have experienced a head injury associated with sports, accidents or combat.
Previous research has shown that even a mild case of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in long-lasting neurological issues, such as slowing of cognitive processes, confusion, chronic headaches, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
Protect your brain. Head injuries can occur from playing sports, a motorcycle crash, an auto accident, falling on the ground and many other accidents. TBI affects all ages, all ethnic communities, and all professions, but is particularly prevalent in young children and older people where it is now the leading cause of death and disability. Among older people, falls are the primary cause of TBI, and among younger people, car crashes and sports injuries are significant contributors.
People are becoming more aware of brain trauma, but it’s important to continually educate yourself.
Read more on Traumatic Brain FAQ’s .
Drive safe, be aware of other drivers on the road, including motorcycle riders, bicyclists and pedestrians. Wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle, a bicycle or play certain sports.
Share the road.Filed Under Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Safety, Sports injuries, Traumatic Brain Injury, motorcycle safety
The forecasters are predicting warm and clear weather this weekend, stressing the importance of alertness when out on the road.
April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month and May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. It is essential that all road users are reminded to never drive, ride, walk or bicycle while distracted.
Whether a driver is at an intersection or changing lanes, they should always keep an eye out for motorcyclists. Because motorcycles have a much smaller profile than other vehicles, it can be difficult for drivers to judge the distance and speed of an approaching motorcycle.
Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too. They should obey traffic rules, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and always wear proper protective gear, including a helmet.
The warmer weather brings more traffic to the roads, especially near the parks and beaches. During thsi time, it’s important to be more vigilant in staying alert while driving and riding.
“Share the Road” is the message during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
In a car versus motorcycle crash, the biker will lose every time, however, the passengers in the car can also be fatally hurt at the same time.
NHTSA encourages local, State, and national organizations to use this model “Share the Road” language in their driver awareness programs:
- Road users are reminded to never drive, bike, or walk while distracted. Doing so can result in tragic consequences for motorcyclists.
- A motorcycle has the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the roadway.
- Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Although it may seem that there is enough room in the traffic lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely. Do not share the lane.
- Because motorcycles are small, they can be difficult for other road users to see them, or judge their speed and distance as they approach.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
- Because of its smaller size, a motorcyclist can be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Always check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals may not be self-canceling and motorcyclists sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the rider is going to turn before you proceed.
- Remember that road conditions that are minor annoyances to motorists can pose major hazards to motorcyclists. Motorcycle riders may change speed or adjust position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.
- Allow more following distance — three or four seconds – when following a motorcycle so the motorcycle rider has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
Shared Respect Among All Road Users Can Save LivesFiled Under Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Safety, motorcycle safety
Motorcycle season is in full swing and now is the perfect time to remind all drivers to play it safe. There are more than one million licensed motorcycle riders in Calif. and the climate in the sun-drenched state means motorcyclists will be numerous in the coming months.
In conjunction with declaring May to be Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. the California Office of Traffic Safety has published the results of its first-ever survey on the thoughts of both motorcyclists and automobile drivers on lane-splitting.
“Lane-splitting” is squeezing between two lanes of slower vehicle traffic headed in the same direction. Experts urge motorcyclists and drivers to be aware of the riders who split lanes. Although it’s legal, the survey shows that only 53 percent of drivers know that, and some of them admit trying to stop bikers from riding between lanes of traffic.
While drivers need to look for motorcycle riders, it’s important for motorcyclists to minimize their risks by riding responsibly. They need to assume that people driving cars may not see them, especially if the rider is in their blind spots. Motorcycle riders need to look out for themselves by wearing the right gear – a proper correctly fit helmet, armored jacket, pants, boots and gloves. Every motorcycle rider, from novice to experienced bikers, can also benefit from safety training. The CHP offers a California Motorcyclist Safety Program.
“Share the Road” is the Message During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.Filed Under Auto Accident, News, Product Liability, Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury, motorcycle safety
Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a national initiative aimed at getting motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” with each other.
“NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,829 motorcyclists’ lives in 2008, and that 823 more could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.”
Motorcycle helmets provide the best protection from head injury for motorcyclists involved in traffic crashes.
Protect your brain! It’s the only one you’ll ever have! Learn more.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.Filed Under Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, children, motorcycle safety
The National Safety Council today released the white paper “Employer Liability and the Case for Comprehensive Cell Phone Policies,” which details the potential liability employers face when employees are involved in crashes where cell phone use is a factor.
The research includes examples of employers who have been held liable with awards reaching into the tens of millions of dollars, including cases involving employee-owned cell phones and cars and in situations where employees were driving during non-working hours or engaged in personal phone calls.
“Business leaders owe it to their employees to put safety first – especially when employees are on the roads,” said Janet Froetscher, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimate on-the-job crashes cost employers more than $24,500 per property damage crash. The cost rises to $150,000 per injury and to as much as $3.6 million per fatality.
NSC president and CEO. “Employers should know a policy that prohibits handheld and hands-free cell phone use by all employees while driving is not only a best safety practice but also contributes to the bottom line.”
Even though April has been Distracted Drivers Awareness Month, distracted driving is still an everyday occurrence. The news has reported that thousands of tickets have been issued to distracted drivers this month. You not only need to be aware of your driving, you need to be aware of the distracted drivers on the road with you.
Although distracted driving accidents may cost millions of dollars, the ultimate high price is the loss of loved ones. Drive alert, drive safe.Filed Under Uncategorized