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April 2014 Archives

Tech CEO Road Rage Highlights Tensions in Bay Area

In general, folks in the Bay Area try to share the road as amicably as possible. Cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cars all navigate around each other as best they can, leaving extra room where necessary and waiting their turn at stoplights and other intersections. But every now and then, someone snaps and road rage rears its ugly head. We are then forced to wonder if, in fact, there's more animosity being harbored on the road than meets the eye.

Lane Splitting May Be Legal in California, But It's Not Always Safe

In most states, "lane splitting" -- the practice of passing between vehicles on a bike or motorcycle -- is illegal, and with good reason. As a rider myself, I know that maneuvering your bike between two cars, sometimes in motion and sometimes with only inches of space on either side, is a recipe for disaster. When you're splitting lanes, sometimes it's impossible to be sure that the cars you're passing can actually see you in their rearview or side mirrors. One wrong move by a car can easily launch a lane-splitter from his or her bike and onto the road.

Ten Dead in Tragic Accident

A FedEx tractor-trailer on Interstate 5 near Orland, California, swerved across a grassy median and into oncoming traffic last week, hitting a car and a school bus and killing ten in an explosive blaze. The bus was filled with 44 high school students and several chaperones on their way to visit Humboldt State University as part of a program that brings prospective low-income and first generation students to tour the school. Both drivers died, in addition to three chaperones and five students. The California Highway Patrol has launched an investigation into the possible causes of the accident, but the results likely won't be available for months to come. For now, all we can do is ask questions and mourn this tragic loss.

GM's 'Culture of Cover-up'

In a U.S. Senate hearing last week, GM CEO Mary Barra was asked a lot of questions about her company's years-long attempt to downplay its faulty ignition switches. Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who chairs the Senate subcommittee on consumer protection and product safety, accused Barra and GM in general of fostering a "culture of cover-up," that prevented anyone from taking action to recall the millions of vehicles affected by this product defect.

Rideshare Drivers Increasingly Committing Insurance Fraud

As the Uber/Lyft/Sidecar insurance saga continues to unfold, it seems yet another issue has come to the fore. Recently, an assistant district attorney in San Francisco told state regulators that there has been an increase in insurance fraud among drivers for these rideshare companies, who seek compensation from their personal insurance carriers for damages incurred in work-related accidents.

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