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San Francisco California Personal Injury Legal Blog

California ranks high in safety laws, high in fatalities

Perhaps you have never given a second thought to your safety on the highway beyond fastening your seat belt and shaking your fist at those who take dangerous chances in your path. Maybe you simply trust that state and federal laws will protect you from reckless or negligent drivers who place you in harm's way. On the other hand, you may be painfully aware of how treacherous it can be on the road because you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a traffic accident.

A new report by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety scores states from best to worst based on the number of traffic safety laws in place. You may be surprised to learn where California ranks on that list.

Why are male cyclists at risk in California?

Many people in California use their bikes for recreation, exercise or transportation. In fact, cycling is quite a popular sport in the state, despite the risks involved. While riding a bike in itself is not that dangerous, it can be quite risky for individuals who must share the road with a moving vehicle as they do so.

People on bikes have the right to share the road, but other drivers do not always respect this right. It is the responsibility of every person driving a car or truck to see bikes, give them proper space and not do anything reckless that can cause an accident. Unfortunately, cyclist accidents do happen, and interestingly, male cyclists are significantly more likely to die in this type of accident than females.

What driver behaviors risk your life most as a pedestrian?

Numerous areas here in San Francisco allow you to use your feet for transportation. This provides you a chance to get some fresh air and exercise while you walk through some of the most beautiful parts of the city. You could easily become complacent under these circumstances, however, and forget to pay attention to the vehicles whizzing past you when you come to an intersection.

Yes, your risk does increase at intersections, but the danger exists wherever you walk and vehicles move. If you suffer injuries due to the reckless or negligent actions of a driver, you will need to determine what factors led to the injuries you suffered and the monetary losses you incurred.

Tire safety: Lack of knowledge can lead to serious collisions

One of the things you might enjoy most about living in California is that driving in winter here is not as hazardous as it is in some other parts of the nation. Especially if you came to this state from the east coast or a northern state, driving during winter may feel like a walk in the park compared to what you used to go through just trying to get to work in the mornings.

There's another issue, however, that places you at risk no matter where you live, and that is this tire safety. How safe are your tires? Do you even know how to tell if they are safe? If you answered, "No," you are definitely not the only one because it is not uncommon for the average driver to know little or nothing about tire safety. Lack of tire safety or a defective tire can cause a collision that results in serious injury.

Are you at risk when walking through a parking lot?

As California readers know, pedestrians are at risk of suffering significant injuries when involved in an accident with a moving vehicle. Across the state, these types of accidents are on the rise, and it can be beneficial for people who walk for commuting purposes or to get exercise to know how to stay safe. However, you could also be at risk when simply walking to your car from a store.

When you think of pedestrian accidents, you likely think of incidents that occur when a person is crossing the street or while running along a road, but that is not always the case. Many pedestrian-involved accidents occur in parking lots. You may not think you are at risk while walking to and from your vehicle, but it is prudent to exercise caution and know your rights in the event of an accident.

Is a tired driver to blame for your car accident?

When you think of common reasons why car accidents happen, it is likely that distracted driving, speeding and drunk driving are at the top of your list. These are all dangerous behaviors, but they are not the only reason why car accidents happen in California. In fact, one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accident collisions is fatigue.

Many people underestimate the danger of driving while tired. Exhaustion can have a negative impact on a person's ability to drive a car, and it can ultimately lead to a higher chance of an accident. Like other types of negligent driving, fatigue is dangerous, and each driver is responsible for knowing when he or she is not able to safely operate a vehicle.

The danger spots for pedestrians here in San Francisco

Some would say that walking is the perfect exercise. It doesn't require any equipment; it is low impact, and it is free. In addition, walking is a great way to get around and enjoy the beauty of San Francisco. For these reasons and others, you may be one of the multitudes of people here in the city who skip the motorized vehicles and use their own two feet to get where they are going.

Unfortunately, this healthy past time also comes with certain dangers. Being on foot around the traffic in the city makes you vulnerable to serious injuries. You may be at risk anywhere, but certain spots in San Francisco appear more dangerous to pedestrians than others.

The significant risks of driving over the speed limit

As California readers know, most people likely drive their cars over the speed limit from time to time. Drivers often assume that if they are not going too fast or they are moving with the flow of traffic, they are fine. In reality, speeding is dangerous, and it can greatly increase the chance a person will cause an accident.

High-speed car collisions often result in serious injuries or even death. Increased rates of speed increase the severity of crashes and their consequences, and drivers are always responsible for maintaining reasonable rates of speed while operating vehicles. If you are a victim of an accident caused by a speeding driver, you may have options for legal recourse, allowing you to hold liable parties accountable.

The lithium batteries in vape and E-cig devices may explode

Whether you vape as a tool to help you quit smoking or just enjoy the numerous flavors, you may enjoy the experience and even recommend it to others. You wouldn't be alone since vaping has garnered quite a following of people here in California and elsewhere across the country.

This has caused a surge in aftermarket and knock-off products in the market, including the lithium-ion batteries that many of the devices use. Now, these batteries are failing -- sometimes with painful results for owners.

Who is driving distracted on California roads?

California readers understand that distracted driving is a serious and growing problem across the state. Thousands of people engage in distraction-related behaviors every day, greatly increasing the chance of causing an accident and causing harm to others. Distraction is one of the leading causes of serious car accidents across the country.

If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may feel unsure of your legal options and how you should proceed. In fact, you have the right to seek financial compensation through a civil claim. Before you proceed, it may be helpful to better understand the problem of distracted driving. It may be useful to consider a recent study from Volvo about which drivers are more prone to these dangerous behaviors.

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