Heavy Rains Trigger Mud Slides and Spike in Vehicle Accidents

December 14, 2018 Auto Accidents

In the wake of rampant forest fires, mud and debris slides throughout the region wreaked havoc in California, and are

A fire engine races to the scene of an emergency.In the wake of rampant forest fires, mud and debris slides throughout the region wreaked havoc in California, and are tied to a number of serious traffic accidents.

In just one day, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported four times the number of accident calls it usually receives, at 365 between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. Southern California was being lashed with torrential rains. The volume of water and heavy wind gusts, combined with rush hour, caused the spike.

Police noted that many Los Angel residents are not used to driving in periods of heavy rains or on wet roads, and the unfamiliarity may have contributed to the spike in crash rates.

Several CA highways were closed due to accidents, including the 101, 118 and 134.

Fire-devastated ground susceptible to mudslides

The heavy storm front occurred, of course, in the wake of the severe fires that have damaged southern California. Once a fire has occurred, the vegetation no longer holds the earth in place, and it becomes much more susceptible to mudslides if rain falls. There is also much debris left in the wake of the fires, and this can tumble if dislodged by wind, rain, or mud.

Mud and debris slides were happening throughout the Los Angeles region. Residents were endangered and a number of motorists were trapped in rising rain, blocked roadways, or slides. In Malibu, roadways were closed and orders to evacuate issued. In both Orange and Riverside counties, debris flows occurred. Schools were closed in multiple locations to ensure the safety of schoolchildren.

In San Bernardino County, mud covered several cars. As a result of the slide, CHP closed some sections of Highway 38.

Mud and debris slides can cause health and safety issues, especially if chemicals or dangerous items in the mud and debris get into the water and ground systems, rivers, or oceans. In several areas, beaches were closed.

Car accident lawyer for CA residents

If you or a loved one needs experienced legal representation from a car accident lawyer Los Angeles residents have come to trust, we invite you to reach out to Salamati Law Firm today. Please call  800-957-9898 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your rights to compensation.

Additional Resources:

  1. “365 accidents reported in 4-hour period during rain-soaked morning commute in SoCal.” ABC7. November 29, 2018. https://abc7.com/traffic/365-accidents-reported-in-4-hour-period-during-socal-storm/4794475/.
  2. “Rain triggers debris flows as storm rolls across fire-scarred regions of California.” Los Angeles Times. November 29, 2018. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-rain-flood-warning-20181129-story.html.
  3. Rice, Doyle. “It’s Raining in Los Angeles, and People Are Freaking Out!” USAToday. November 29, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/11/29/los-angeles-rain-hysteria-erupts/2150958002/.
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3 Tips for Driving in Heavy Rains

December 5, 2018 Auto Accidents

As all residents of southern California know, our region has been hit with heavy rains recently. Torrential downpours can be

blurry car windshield highwayAs all residents of southern California know, our region has been hit with heavy rains recently. Torrential downpours can be dangerous in the Los Angeles area for several reasons. First, the area is dry, and the rains can cause a high amount of water on the road and even flash flooding. River levels can rise and flood as well. Second, southern California has also experienced extreme damage from fires. Fires burn vegetation which ordinarily helps to keep soil and earth in place. Burned-over areas that are then hit with rain create an environment that can lead to mudslides. Indeed, roads have been closed throughout the Southern California region due to mudslides. Even if mudslides don’t occur, rain can bring debris from fires down to a road, causing hazards on the road.

In addition, of course, not all southern California drivers are experienced in driving in heavy rains. Rain and other inclement weather also causes some risks. Visibility can be limited. It is easier to skid, hydroplane, and lose control of your car. The risk of accidents rises – and that it itself can increase road danger to motorists not in the accident.

Safe driving tips for heavy rain conditions

Be sure to do the following to optimize your safety and that of your loved ones.

  1. Watch the weather report

Heavy rain and potential results from it, such as flash flooding, debris, and mudslides, are very dangerous. They can even be catastrophic. A flash flood or a mudslide can carry away your car and kill everyone in it, whether you are driving safely or not.

The solution is to watch weather reports very carefully. Advisories for heavy rains, flooding, mudslides, and more are carried by weather services, partly as a service to motorists. Weather reports and news will also be sources of information about road closings and detours. The more informed you are about conditions, they safer you will be.

If there are reports of extreme weather events and you don’t have to go out, it might be more prudent to stay home until conditions change. Commuters should also consider public transportation.

2. Use your lights and windshield wipers

Headlights and windshield wipers are basic safety equipment in case of heavy rains. Even if it’s in the middle of the day, you should switch on your headlights. It improves your ability to see the road and surrounding areas. It also increases your visibility to other motorists.

Use your windshield wipers to make sure you can see out your windshield, as well. This is obvious advice, but many of us in southern California don’t drive in rain often. Your wipers may need replacement to work at their best.

3. Drive slowly

Lots of water coming down in a short time increases the danger of skidding or hydroplaning. Drive slowly in the rain. Drive under the speed limit if necessary. You want to be able to stop safely, and the best way to do this is not to drive fast.

An Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Southern California

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident during the heavy rains, call Sean Salamati, an experienced car accident attorney Los Angeles trusts to fight for maximum compensation. Let him put his experience to work for you. All initial consultations are free of charge, and you owe us nothing unless we win your case.

Additional Resources:

  1. Cain, Josh. “Heavy rain comes to Southern California, flood advisories and evacuations issued.” The Daily Breeze. November 29, 2018. https://www.dailybreeze.com/2018/11/29/heavy-rain-coming-to-southern-california/.
  2. Williams, Ashley. “Soaking rain, flash floods in California could pose a risk of mudslides near wildfire-scorched areas.” AccuWeather. November 30, 2018. https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/how-heavy-rainfall-in-california-could-trigger-potentially-deadly-mudslides-following-woolsey-camp-fires/70006756.
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My Lyft Driver Crashed. Can I Sue?

November 29, 2018 Auto Accidents

Ride-sharing services like Lyft have simplified transportation questions for people in California and across the nation. However, when a Lyft

car accident sceneRide-sharing services like Lyft have simplified transportation questions for people in California and across the nation. However, when a Lyft driver is involved in a crash, the logistics of a personal injury suit can be less than simple. Here are some factors that can affect the process.

Ride-sharing liability in California

California follows a traditional negligence model when it comes to liability for auto accidents. Unlike in no-fault states, an at-fault party in CA can be held legally responsible for the monetary losses caused by his or her careless acts. However, another party, like a ride-sharing company, may be legally responsible for the at-fault driver’s actions in certain situations.

If a Lyft driver crashes and the accident is due to his or her negligence, state laws and Lyft policies hold that Lyft’s insurance will provide coverage but the amount available depends on what mode the driver was in.

Driver Status Minimum Insurance Liability Limits
Not logged into app or looking for or carrying a passenger Basic state minimum coverage – $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident/$5,000 property damage
Logged into app and waiting for a passenger $50,000 per person/$100 per accident/$30,000 property damage
Picking up or transporting a ride-sharing customer $1 million commercial liability; $1 million uninsured/underinsured coverage

Who to sue after a Lyft accident in Southern California

Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors. Even though the company insurance policy may insure your ride while the driver has the app turned on, the general understanding, from a legal standpoint, is that an injured rider’s lawsuit would be filed against the individual driver rather than the ride-share company.

In some cases, there may be reason to sue Lyft directly. For example, the company may have negligently hired a driver who it should have realized, with necessary research, was not an eligible driver. However, the company will most likely allege that claims against it cannot be filed in court, but instead must be brought in an arbitration under Lyft’s terms of service.

Understandably, there are many variables in ride-share accident cases so it is important to speak with a Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles who can help guide your case.

Speak with a Lyft accident lawyer in LA

With as popular as Lyft, Uber, and other ride-sharing apps have become, it is easy to forget that it is still a relatively new business model. This means the legal questions are undergoing evolution as lawmakers and judges adapt traditional laws to new technology. If you are involved in a Lyft accident in Southern California, speak with a car accident attorney in Los Angeles about your claim.

The Salamati Law Firm understands the complex questions that arise in ride-sharing accidents. We are dedicated to helping victims of Lyft and Uber accidents in Southern California understand and protect their rights, and fight for full and fair compensation.

Call today to schedule a free case review. We never charge a fee unless we win money on your behalf.

Additional Lyft accident resources:

  1. Inc.com, Ride Sharing Is Convenient. But What Happens If There’s an Accident?, https://www.inc.com/john-white/ride-sharing-is-convenient-but-what-happens-if-there-is-an-accident.html
  2. Lyft, Terms of Service, https://www.lyft.com/terms
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NHTSA Issues Safety Reminder Amid Bus Stop Accidents

November 15, 2018 Auto Accidents

Halloween costumes and trick or treating schedules should be the top news in late October, but this year the news

Halloween costumes and trick or treating schedules should be the top news in late October, but this year the news has been consumed with instance after instance of drivers hitting kids at bus stops. There were at least five accidents in only three days, from Florida to Indiana, with the Indiana school bus stop accident killing 6-year-old twins and their 9-year-old sister, and injuring their 11-year-old brother. In response, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a reminder and tips to keep kids safe.

According to NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King, these accidents could have been prevented if drivers had followed traffic safety laws. For example, she explains that it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing and the stop sign arm is extended. It is also important to slow down near a school bus that has its yellow lights flashing to indicate it is slowing down, and to watch for children darting across the street when a school bus is near.

California school bus company found liable

Thankfully, none of the recent bus stop accidents have taken place in California, but last year a Southern California school bus company and its driver were each found partly to blame for a young girl’s severe injuries following a 2012 bus stop crash.

Isabella Sanchez, of Highland, was 6 in October 2012, when she was struck by a car while crossing the street to get on a school bus. Isabella suffered broken bones and a brain injury, and five years later, still could not talk or walk. Her ‘round-the-clock nursing care was estimated to cost $360,000 over her lifetime. However, in September 2017, a jury awarded her nearly $19 million for medical costs and an additional $16 million for past and future pain and suffering, for a total of $36.1 million.

Take action after a school bus accident in LA

School bus safety conversations often focus on seat belts rather than bus stop safety. However, a child is almost three times as likely to suffer a fatal injury getting on or off a bus in a bus crash. Sadly, most of these accidents are preventable if only bus drivers and other motorists follow traffic safety precautions.

If your child has been injured in a school bus accident in Los Angeles or bus stop injury, you may be entitled to compensation to assist with medical bills and other expenses. At the Salamati Law Firm, we are passionate about fighting for the rights of injury victims, and we understand the complex relationships that can arise when it comes to pursuing claims against parties like school districts and bus companies. Call today to speak with a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer and find out how we can help you.

Additional bus stop injury resources:

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA Urges Motorists to Drive Safely Near School Zones and Bus Stops, https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-urges-motorists-drive-safely-near-school-zones-and-bus-stops
  2. ABC7, School bus company ruled at fault in case of Highland girl injured while crossing street, https://abc7.com/school-bus-company-ordered-to-pay-$36m-for-highland-case/2444277/
  3. Stanford Children’s Health, How Safe Is the School Bus?, https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=how-safe-is-the-school-bus-1-1133
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Cannabis and Driving: What are the Risks?

November 1, 2018 Auto Accidents

The dangers of drinking and driving are well-established, but what about using cannabis products and getting behind the wheel? Can

Marijuana leaves, cannabis The dangers of drinking and driving are well-established, but what about using cannabis products and getting behind the wheel? Can smoking marijuana impair your judgement, perception and reaction times just as much as having a few too many cocktails?

A handful of studies suggest that cannabis and driving is a perilous combination, as drugged drivers have a much higher risk of getting into accidents.

Marijuana use impairs driving ability

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana can significantly impair spacial perception, motor coordination, concentration and reaction times. The organization cites two European studies which found that drivers with elevated concentrations of THC (the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol) in their blood were twice as likely to cause a fatal car accident compared to those who had not used cannabis or alcohol.

Recreational marijuana has been legal in California for nearly a year, and despite countless accidents caused by drugged drivers, there remains a surprising disconnect in our thought process when it comes to stoned driving.

In fact, a recent report issued by the Highway Loss Data Institute suggests a causal link between legal recreational cannabis and an increase in collision rates. In Nevada, Oregon, Colorado and Washington, where recreational pot has been legalized – auto accident claim frequencies are 6 percent higher.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrates that drugs and alcohol are involved in 11 percent of all fatal traffic accidents, and 25 percent of all drivers who are tested come up positive for THC in their bloodstreams. While the connection between marijuana and car accident risks needs additional research, experts do know that marijuana affects one’s ability to perceive time and distance – two critical components when you’re driving a vehicle.

How much does cannabis impair driving?

Some argue that marijuana improves concentration skills, and thus enhances driving ability, but research suggests this only holds true for a few minutes.  THC impacts visual function, decreases reaction times and often leads to distraction. Stoned drivers are more prone to weave in and out of their lanes and find it harder to read road signs or maintain a stable following distance. All of these factors increase accident risk, but when marijuana is combined with a few beers or cocktails – as it often is—the danger of causing an accident jumps even higher. Studies show that alcohol speeds the absorption of THC in the bloodstream, causing measurable psychomotor impairment.

While there is no question that cannabis can acutely impair driving-related skills, the level of impairment between individuals varies more than they do with alcohol because of tolerance and different absorption rates of THC.

Injured by a drugged driver in California?

There is no breathalyzer test for marijuana. California law enforcement officials are trained to identify physical signs of drug-impairment and determine whether a driver is not fit to safely operate a vehicle.

If you were involved in a car accident and believe the other driver was stoned, drugged or otherwise impaired, Salamati Law can help you seek appropriate legal remedies.

Schedule a free no-obligation case review with a results-driven Los Angeles car accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources on Cannabis Effects on Driving:

  1. IIHS, Effect of recreational marijuana sales on police reported crashes in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington https://www.iihs.org/frontend/iihs/documents/masterfiledocs.ashx?id=2173
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Does marijuana use affect driving? https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/does-marijuana-use-affect-driving
  3. ca, Driving under the influence of Cannabis https://medicalmarijuana.ca/resource-center/driving-cannabis/
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Tips for Talking to Your Insurance Adjuster After a Car Crash

October 26, 2018 Auto Accidents

Insurance adjusters are trained to settle car accident claims quickly and cost-effectively. Any statement you make to an insurance adjuster

Insurance adjusters are trained to settle car accident claims quickly and cost-effectively. Any statement you make to an insurance adjuster at the accident scene or during later inquiries can make a significant impact on your financial recovery.

Words can be taken out of context or twisted and later used against you, making it all the more important to heed these tips before discussing your claim.

Do not consent to being recorded

Insurance representatives will ask all parties involved in a car accident to provide a recorded statement, either in writing or through a recorded phone conversation. It is in your best interest to politely decline this request until after you have spoken with an attorney. This recorded statement is considered vital evidence, and any vague or misleading language on your part can later be used against you.

Identify the adjuster you are speaking with

Before answering any questions, ask for the name and contact information of the adjuster you are speaking with and confirm the name, address and telephone of the insurance company they work for. Keep a folder with names, dates and details of anyone you speak to at the insurance company.

Limit the amount of personal information

When speaking to an adjuster, you are only required to provide your full name, address, telephone and contact information. It is not advisable to divulge other personal information regarding your employment, your income, or anything about your medical history.

Do not discuss your injuries

Insurance reps will always ask about the car accident injuries you sustained. The best answer is “I don’t know the full extent yet.” Some injuries like concussions and whiplash have no immediate symptoms, and you could unintentionally leave out critical information that will negatively affect your claim for damages.

Stick to the facts – keep opinions to yourself

Keep the conversation short and sweet when discussing the accident. Insurance adjusters will press for more details or ask your opinion, but it’s best to remain subjective. When and where the crash occurred, who was involved and if there were any witnesses. Be straightforward and honest. If you don’t know an answer to a question or don’t remember, just say so.

Take notes on your conversation

Try and write down as much as you can about your conversations with insurance companies. This includes questions that were asked of you, requests made, information provided and the name of the person you spoke with. These notes may contain valuable information that can advance your claim.

Avoid quick settlement traps

Insurance representatives may try and get you to settle within the first couple of phone calls. Avoid this trap and wait until you know the full extent of your injuries and have a proper medical diagnosis. With competent legal representation, you stand a much greater chance of securing a larger car accident settlement that fully accounts for your losses.

Need help dealing with an insurance adjuster?

An expert Los Angeles car accident lawyer can protect your best interests after a collision. The Salamati Law Firm offers tenacious, results-oriented representation to car crash victims throughout Southern California. We provide sound legal guidance and know how to negotiate with insurance companies to maximize accident compensation.

Request a free case evaluation today by calling 1-855-449-3546.

Additional resources:

  1. How Stuff Works, 5 Things You Should Tell Your Insurance Company Immediately After a Crash, https://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/auto-insurance/5-things-to-tell-insurance-company-after-crash.htm
  2. DMV, How Car Insurance Companies Investigate Accident Claims, https://www.dmv.org/insurance/how-car-insurance-companies-investigate-accident-claims.php
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Halloween Safety Tips for Driving and Trick or Treating

October 11, 2018 Auto Accidents, Pedestrian Accident Injuries

As kids prepare for trick or treating fun, many parents are aware of the risks like taking candy from strangers.

Little children in Halloween costumes trick or treatingAs kids prepare for trick or treating fun, many parents are aware of the risks like taking candy from strangers. Often overlooked, however, are the risks of traffic accidents. Halloween is a time when both pedestrian fatalities and DUI accidents spike. Parents and motorists alike can help keep the festivities safe by following a few Halloween tips.

Halloween pedestrian accident risks

Halloween has all the makings for a pedestrian accident – throngs of (often unaccompanied) children lingering near driveways or rushing across streets, in the dark, wearing masks that obstruct their vision. It is not surprising, then, that the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck by a car is more than twice as high on Halloween compared to other evenings throughout the year.

Parents can help protect their children by not letting them trick-or-treat alone; putting reflective tape on costumes and treat bags to increase your child’s visibility; teaching your children not to cross mid-road but instead cross at a corner or cross-walk; watching for cars moving near driveways; and making eye contact with drivers to be sure they are aware of the child’s presence.

Drivers should avoid going out during trick or treat hours if possible. Also, be on the lookout kids crossing in the middle of the road, running across driveways. Stay alert and minimize distractions.

Halloween DUI risk

Halloween is not just for kids; plenty of adults take part in the fun, and their celebration often involves alcohol. Federal statistics show that a significant number of motor vehicle accidents on Halloween involve drinking and driving. For example, in 2014, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data showed that more than 1/3 of traffic accidents on Halloween involved driving under the influence. In 2015, the number was even higher, at 46% of crashes involving DUI.

California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles police routinely set up sobriety checkpoints at times of the year when they expect an increase in drinking and driving. Therefore, expect that this Halloween, the LAPD and CHIP will set up DUI roadblocks to catch drunk drivers as they have in past years. A DUI can impact your life, even if you do not cause harm to a child or another adult.

If you will be attending an adult Halloween gathering, be aware of how much you are drinking. If you do imbibe, absolutely do not get behind the wheel – there is no such thing as “buzzed driving; it is still drunk driving. If your children will be trick or treating, do not let them go alone. Be on the lookout for erratic vehicles, and be cautious in and around driveways.

Speak with a personal injury lawyer in Southern California

Halloween can and should be a safe time for kids and adults alike. However, if you are involved in an accident, speak with experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer Sean Salamati, who has built his reputation on his commitment to helping accident victims pursue justice. Call today for a free consultation. Remember, we never charge a fee unless we win money on your behalf.

Additional Halloween traffic safety resources:

  1. National Safety Council, Halloween Safety On and Off the Road, https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween
  2. Madd, Surprising Stats Regarding the Dangers of Drunk Driving at Halloween, https://www.madd.org/tennessee/surprising-stats-regarding-the-dangers-of-drunk-driving-at-halloween/
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Is a Car Making a Left Turn Always at Fault in an Accident?

September 26, 2018 Auto Accidents

Ever wonder whether drivers who are making a left turn can be held to blame if an accident occurs with

left turn only signEver wonder whether drivers who are making a left turn can be held to blame if an accident occurs with another vehicle that is going straight through an intersection?

Right-of-Way Laws Give Precedence to a Driver Going Straight

The answer is almost always yes. California right-of-way laws, like the right-of-way laws of most states, indicate that drivers going straight have the right of way over drivers turning left.

In addition, left-turning drivers are required to make sure the intersection is completely free of other vehicles (including bicycles and motorcycles), people, and obstacles. As a result, a driver turning left can be held negligent if the driver’s vehicle collides with a vehicle, pedestrian, or other object.

The only exception to these right-of-law standards occurs if the intersection has a signal with a green arrow indicating a left turn. In that case, a left-turning driver follows the arrow when it’s green.

These right-of-way rules apply to intersections with signals, with stop signs, and in the event of there being neither signals nor stop signs.

Are There Exceptions?

There are a few specific exceptions to the right-of-way left turn rules. Under these exceptions, the driver who made a left turn may be judged either only partly at fault or completely not at fault.

The first exception is if the straight-driving vehicle was going over the speed limit significantly. The left-turning driver may have reasonably thought sufficient time existed to make a turn, with the excess speed being the variable that made the time insufficient.

The second exception is if the left-turning driver began to turn when no pedestrian, vehicle, or obstacle existed to make it unsafe, but then a circumstance occurred that meant the car had to significantly slow or stop. The left-turning car may have then been in the intersection when another car with right of way approached. This could occur, for example, if a child darted into the road the car was turning into, causing the driver to delay the completion of the turn.

The third and final exception is when the car going straight faced a stop sign or traffic signal that was red, but did not obey those signals. In that case, the straight-driving car is required to stop, and could be accused of reckless driving.

Proving Negligence

For these exceptions to either completely or partially mitigate liability of the left-turning driver, proof is needed. Motorists in these situations should try to obtain the testimony of witnesses, take multiple pictures of the accident scene and the vehicles, and call the police. The police file a report that can be used as evidence in court. It’s also a good idea to check to see if the intersection was under surveillance cameras.

In addition, of course, if the driver with the right of way was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving distractedly, it may be possible to argue that it made the driver negligent for the accident, in part.

Because all these exceptions are difficult to proof, it is a good idea to discuss any left-turning accidents with a lawyer.

Call a Seasoned Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been in an accident caused by a left-turning driver, the southern California law offices of Sean Salamati can help.

Let us put our experience to work for you by calling the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Salamati Law Firm. We will fight to see that justice is done.

Additional Resources:

  1. State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. California Driver Handbook. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc
  2. State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. California Driver Handbook. Laws and Rules of the Road. Right-of Way Rules. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/hdbk/right_of_way
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Teenage Driver Safety: What To Tell Your Kids Before They Get Behind the Wheel

September 12, 2018 Auto Accidents

Children in southern California are heading back to school for the start of a new school year. If you have

Student driver passes exam and instructor hands her car keysChildren in southern California are heading back to school for the start of a new school year. If you have teens who are just starting to drive, there’s no time like the present to give them valuable lessons on teenage driver safety.

In the last year for which statistics are available, 2,333 teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed in vehicle crashes across the country — in other words, six every day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Another 235,845 teens in this age group went to emergency departments with injuries sustained in vehicle accidents during the year. That’s an astonishing 646 teens per day.

Safe Driving Rules

Make sure your children know how to drive safely. Don’t assume that passing their driver’s test is enough. Either teach them, have an experienced adult teach them, or enroll them in safe driving courses. Focus on obeying the rules of the road, including the speed limit.

Emphasize the importance of seat belts. Forty-eight percent of teenagers who die in vehicle accidents are not wearing seat belts. If they will be driving other students to school, stress that younger children should be both in the back seat and bucked in, and everyone, of any age, needs to wear a seat belt.

If they are driving with other teenagers, be especially careful. The risk of accidents rises when teens drive with other teens in the car. In fact, the CDC recommends keeping the number of teen passengers to 0 or 1 for the first six months your child has a license.

Caution Teens About Distracted, Drowsy, and Impaired Driving

Distracted driving, or driving while texting, talking on the phone, playing a video game, or just gazing around instead of looking is a growing threat to vehicle safety across the country. In the last year for which statistics are available, almost 3,500 people (of all ages) were killed in distracted driving-related accidents, and 391,000 were injured. Teenagers are believed to be the largest group of distracted drivers.

Drowsy driving is nearly as dangerous. Make sure your teenager gets enough sleep. If they are unable to get enough sleep, consider making them take another form of transportation. Being drowsy slows reaction time and leads to a greater risk of collisions.

Fortunately, many schools have programs concerning the risk of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in high school. Reinforce the message. Don’t drink and drive. Even a single drink can raise the risk of a motor vehicle accident.

If your school doesn’t have such a program, discuss how to avoid drinking and driving with your teenager. If they are going to a party, they should either not drink or choose a designated driver.

When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in the Los Angeles Area

It’s imperative to stress the importance of safe driving to your teenager. But the sad fact is, hundreds of car accidents happen in southern California every day.

If you or a loved one is hurt or killed in a car accident, call the Salamati Law Firm today. We are experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers. Your case will be reviewed by seasoned professionals and there is no charge to you for an initial consultation.

Additional Resources:

  1. National Safety Council. Back to School Safety Checklist. https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/seasonal-safety/back-to-school.
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teen Drivers: Get the Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
  3. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers. Eight Danger Zones. https://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey/danger/index.html
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Car Accidents and Concussions: What You Need to Know

August 17, 2018 Auto Accidents, Brain Injuries

Concussions are serious head injuries that can cause multiple symptoms and deterioration in the brain. Concussions have been in the

head injury after car accident

Concussions are serious head injuries that can cause multiple symptoms and deterioration in the brain. Concussions have been in the news a lot lately, especially in regard to the danger they pose to youth and adults who play sports. But many may not realize how frequent concussions (and TBI, or traumatic brain injuries) are in car accidents.

Concussions Are a Leading Cause of Emergency Room Visits

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicle accidents were the #3 cause of emergency department visits related to TBIs. Falls were the #1 cause and being struck by an object was #2. Fourteen percent of these visits, hospitalizations, and fatalities related to TBIs stemmed from vehicle accidents.

TBIs cause approximately 50,000 deaths annually, and 17% of them arise after car accidents.

Multiple Symptoms Can Indicate Concussion

It’s also important to realize that multiple symptoms can indicate a concussion. Many people believe that you have to be knocked unconscious to have a concussion. That’s simply not true.

It helps to know how a concussion occurs. It is caused by your brain rocking back and forth within your cranium. The CDC notes that a direct head impact can certainly cause this, as can being jostled. In other words, the kind of car accident that causes you to be jostled back and forth can cause a concussion, whether you hit your head or become unconscious or not.

The symptoms of a concussion can be oriented around the head, such as headache, confusion, or disorientation. Memory or concentration may feel impacted in the wake of a concussion. Your pupils may be dilated or your vision might be blurry. You may experience ringing in your ears (tinnitus).

But some concussion symptoms are not centered around the head. Drowsiness and/or fatigue, nausea, vomiting, difficulty sleeping, light and/or noise sensitivity, and mood changes can all be signs of a concussion as well.

The symptoms of a concussion may not manifest immediately. People who have been in a car accident should be vigilant about monitoring themselves for symptoms of a concussion.

See a Doctor After an Accident

Because concussions are so frequent after a vehicle accident in southern California, it needs to be standard practice to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident occurs.

A doctor can thoroughly assess you or your loved one who has been in an accident for symptoms of a concussion. They check for pupil dilation, for example, and check for other symptoms.

These symptoms may not manifest immediately. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, being aware and monitoring possible symptoms is  crucial.

Concussion After a Car Accident in Los Angeles? Call Sean Salamati

Have you or a loved on been in a car accident in the Los Angeles area? If you need legal advice, whether it concerns a possible TBI or not, contact Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Sean Salamati today.

Our investigators will find the facts of the accident and what caused any harm done to you or a loved one. We fight for justice. An initial consultation occurs at no cost to you.

Additional “Car Accident Concussion” Resources:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heads Up. Brain Injury Basics. Recovery from Concussion. https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_recovery.html
  2. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion. Basic Information. TBI: Get the Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html
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