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CA injury lawyerSport utility vehicles (SUVs) were once associated with ‘soccer moms’ and criticized for being gas guzzlers. Today, the industry has redesigned these vehicles to be more appealing to a larger number of people. Many now offer greater fuel efficiency, smaller overall design, and features such as automatic sliding doors, removable seats, and four-wheel drive capabilities. This makes them a popular choice among families as well as carpoolers and people who use them for hauling objects or taking on camping trips. Unfortunately, the convenience SUVs offer comes at a cost in terms of safety. Despite new advances, rollovers continue to be a problem. These types of car accidents can end up causing serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. The following highlights a recent rollover accident in the Bay Area and some of the common reasons why these accidents occur.

One Killed, Another Seriously Injured by Rollover Accident in San Jose

A rollover accident that recently occurred on State Highway 87 in San Jose has left one person dead and another suffering severe injuries. A call came into police that an SUV had overturned near Taylor Street off-ramp. Investigators report the driver was headed north when he encountered traffic. He swerved to avoid crashing into other vehicles and hit a sound wall at the interchange instead. The SUV he was driving rolled over as a result.

There were as many as five people in the vehicle. A male passenger was reportedly killed in the crash, while a woman was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries. The driver and other passengers were unharmed. There is no word yet on the contributing factors or whether the driver will face any criminal charges.

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CA injury lawyerSummertime is typically when people head out on the road for day trips, long weekends, and extended vacations. It is also the time of year when car accidents and injuries are most likely to occur. A nationwide program known as ‘The 100 Deadliest Days’ aims at raising awareness of dangerous driving behaviors among teens, but it also offers tips adult drivers need to follow to protect themselves and others on the road.

Summer Among Most Dangerous Time of Year for Car Accidents

Summer is one of the most dangerous times of year in terms of serious and potentially life-threatening car accidents. Each year, thousands of people are killed between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. Part of the problem is in the general increase in motorists. In addition to people traveling on outings and vacations, with school being out for the season there are also more inexperienced teenage drivers on the road.

Anytime there is an increase in traffic, the odds for potentially fatal car accident injuries are higher as well. More cars mean more chances for collisions and greater impacts. Among the most common types of behaviors that contribute to car crashes at this time of year include:

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CA injury lawyerIn the Bay Area, summertime often means succumbing to the urge to take a road trip. Whether you plan on heading cross-country for an extended vacation or visiting one of the many destinations that are within just a few hours of San Jose, you need to make safety your number one priority. To reduce your risks of car accidents and injuries, expect plenty of traffic as others head out on their own adventures, avoid reckless driving behaviors, and make sure your vehicle is up for the journey before you go.

Making Sure Your Car Is Road Ready

Automotive problems are an unfortunately common occurrence on extended road trips. They can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and endanger you in traffic. They can also leave you stranded on the side of the road, where you are at risk of being hit by other motorists.

Many potentially dangerous mechanical issues can be avoided by performing routine maintenance on your car before you go. The American Automobile Association (AAA) advises that a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic is always a good idea, but there are some automotive issues you can easily address on your own. These include:

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CA injury lawyerThere are many people who deal daily with the devastating effects of chronic illnesses and diseases. Even if these do not affect someone’s ability to work or enjoy other activities, it can impact their driving skills. Driving with certain types of medical conditions or under the influence of medications can increase the risk of car accidents and injuries. A recent fatal crash in San Jose highlights the potential dangers.

Medical Conditions Caused Fatal Rear End Accident

A rear end collision in Santa Clara claimed the life of a San Jose man. The man was stopped at the intersection of southbound Scott Boulevard at Jay Street just before 9:30 a.m. on a recent Friday morning when he was struck by a driver in a GMC Acadia from behind. The force of the impact caused extensive damage to the victim's vehicle and pushed him into the intersection. While he was taken to a local hospital for treatment, his injuries ended up proving fatal.

The GMC driver and a passenger in the vehicle were taken to a local hospital as well and treated for only minor injuries. Police are still investigating the matter but they claim that an undefined medical emergency suffered by the GMC driver was to blame for the crash.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

CA injury lawyerFor most parents, helping their teenager get a driver’s license is a major rite of passage. The ability to drive themselves places eliminates the need for mom and dad to act as chauffeur and opens doors for jobs, school-related events, and other opportunities. However, simply passing their exam does not guarantee that your son or daughter will be a safe driver. Teens face significant risks for car accidents and injuries. Particularly during the spring and summer months, when more teens are likely to be on the roads, it is important to discuss with them the dangers they could face.

Teen Car Accidents in California

While teenagers may be legally licensed to operate a motor vehicle, they generally lack the experience and maturity that older drivers possess. As a result, their risks for car accidents and injuries is significantly higher. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), teens are three times more likely to be involved in a crash or collision than drivers in other age groups. Among the various factors that contribute to teen car accidents include:

  • Inability to detect common hazards: As a result of their age and inexperience, they are more likely to ignore common hazards such as heavy traffic, adverse weather, and dangerous road conditions.
  • Poor judgment: A lack of judgment and foresight in considering the consequences of their actions can cause them to engage in dangerous driving behaviors. This includes racing other vehicles, a common problem in San Jose.
  • Increased risk of distraction: Teenagers are easily distracted by the outside environment (other cars and scenery) as well as things going on in the vehicle. Talking on cell phones, taking photos, changing radio stations, and even talking to other passengers all increase car accident risks.
  • Lack of skill: Due to their lack of experience behind the wheel, teens do not always respond properly to emergency situations. Sudden stops, sharp turns in the road, and unexpected events can all present significant dangers.

Teaching Teens to Be Responsible Drivers

Aside from inexperience, the DMV reports that reckless driving behaviors are a major contributing factor in the majority of teen car accidents. Among the most common violations include:

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CA injury lawyerAs self-driving vehicles become more commonplace, researchers, designers, manufacturers, and others in the automotive field continue to conduct safety testing while working towards practical innovations. The primary concern is reducing the potential for malfunctions that could result in car accidents and injuries. While one company points out the fallibility of autopilot features, another group of engineers is busy working on protecting riders who find themselves in trouble while on the road.

Researchers Set Out to Trick Tesla Autopilot Features

Tesla is at the forefront of the push towards self-driving vehicles. The company’s Enhanced Autopilot program has been heralded by those in the industry for driver assist features such as adaptive cruise control, lane centering, lane changing, and parking. However, a group of researchers recently set out to purposely ‘trick’ the Tesla into making what could be potentially fatal errors for riders in the vehicle.

Keen Security Labs revealed it was able to hack into Tesla’s autopilot feature and effectively gain control over the steering system. As a result, they could mislead the vehicle into entering the wrong lanes of traffic through the use of stickers placed on the ground at intersections. This fooled the Enhanced Autopilot system into thinking the stickers were actually an extension of the lane.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

CA injury lawyerMost of us have older adults in our lives who are either friends or family members. While many of them are still independent despite advanced years, it is natural to worry about their health and their overall safety. They are likely to require at least some assistance in completing certain types of tasks, though they may be reluctant to admit it or to ask for it. Getting to and from doctor’s appointments or running errands are among the many areas in which you can help. Driving requires a complex set of skills and as you get older, many of these tend to decline. Helping with these tasks can protect the older adults you love against car accidents and injuries, while also protecting other drivers on the road.

How Old Is Too Old to Drive?

There is no set age at which someone is ‘too old’ to drive. Instead, driving ability typically depends more on the individual’s overall health, any underlying medical conditions they suffer from, and the various mind and body changes that typically occur as we age. Common dangers that can put older drivers at risk behind the wheel include:

  • Certain types of medications they may be taking, which can cause drowsiness or confusion;
  • Vision disturbances, which can affect their depth perception and make it harder to see the road;
  • Hearing loss, which can leave them oblivious to signs of an impending crash, such as the sound of a car horn or screeching tires;
  • Delayed reaction times, which can prevent them from responding to sudden changes in traffic conditions;
  • Muscle weakness and poor coordination, which can make it harder to turn the steering wheel and operate the brakes; and
  • Decreased cognitive abilities, which can impact judgment, increasing the risk of mistakes resulting in car accidents.

Helping Older Drivers

If you have concerns about an older adult driver, it is important to bring the subject up in a way that is non-threatening. Be cautious of putting them on the defensive or implying they are no longer fit to drive. Instead, steer them toward the AAA’s driver self-rating tool and allow them to draw their own conclusions.

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CA injury lawyerAs the end of another school year fast approaches, college students throughout the area have been enjoying the chance to relax and recharge their energies. Spring Break provides an opportunity to get away from classroom lectures, studying, and endless testing in order to blow off steam before the pressure of final exams. While some use this time to travel, others enjoy having the time to explore the local area and catch up with friends. Unfortunately, the emphasis on having fun can lead young adults to make errors in judgment and to take risks they otherwise would not. As a result, Spring Break accidents resulting in serious personal injuries are common. The following highlights potential dangers and ways you can protect yourself.

College Students and Car Accident Risks

According to studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), car accidents are one of the biggest risks college students face, both at spring break and over the course of the school year. As young adults, college students tend to have less experience behind the wheel. As a result, they may not be as aware of general safety precautions or how to respond when unexpected situations occur. They are also more subject to lapses in judgment, which put them, their passengers, and others on the road at risk. Among the most common causes of car accidents among college students include:

  • Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
  • Disregarding traffic signs and signals;
  • Distracted driving, such as texting, taking pictures, using cell phones, or simply talking to other passengers in the vehicle;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications; and
  • Driving while excessively tired and falling asleep behind the wheel.

When hanging out with friends, it is important to use good judgment in assessing your own driving skills and in being cautious about who you travel with. Getting into a car with a driver who is under the influence or given to engaging in daredevil stunts could end up leaving you with serious and even life-threatening injuries.

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CA injury lawyerDespite tougher legislation and the increased efforts of law enforcement officials, distracted driving car accidents continue to wreak havoc on the roads throughout our area. These accidents can cause serious and potentially life threatening injuries for both drivers and passengers, injuries that were otherwise entirely avoidable. San Jose officials continue to be involved in statewide efforts to raise public awareness and by sharing the tragic tale of the loss of his daughter, a local fire captain hopes that he can get motorists to pay attention.

To Raise Awareness, Fire Captain Shares Details of Daughter’s Death

The Captain of the San Jose Fire Department suffered a devastating loss four years on Mother’s Day weekend when his daughter was tragically killed as the result of a distracted driving accident. The still-grieving father now shares his story in the hopes that it will raise awareness and can help save other lives.

Through a California Highway Patrol program titled ‘Impact Teen Drivers’, the captain shares the sad details of the night his 16-year-old daughter was killed. He said she was with a group of friends who were usually chauffeured by a parent, but no one was available that evening to take the girls where they wanted to go. One of the girls was a licensed driver, so with their parent’s permission, they headed out in search of fun on a Saturday evening. It was just a week before the captain’s daughter was set to graduate from her learner’s permit and obtain her own license. Her father had even worked with her in driver training and safety earlier that day.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

CA injury lawyerInterstates and highways intimidate many drivers. Between widespread lanes, multiple exit and entrance ramps, and the high rates of speed at which drivers are traveling, these are common areas for car accidents to occur and the injuries that result can be severe. Of these types of crashes, wrong way collisions are among the most potentially deadly. A recent wrong-way crash in San Francisco that left two people dead and nine others injured highlights how dangerous these accidents are and how they often occur.

San Jose Driver Responsible for Wrong-Way Crash

Recently, a tragic three-car collision on Highway 101 closed all northbound lanes. The accident occurred at roughly 2:30 a.m. when investigators believe a 21-year-old San Jose woman entered the highway going the wrong way from the Vermont Street off-ramp. As she headed southbound in the northbound lanes, she struck an Uber van driven by a 40-year-old man.

The 40-year-old man was an Afghan immigrant who had relocated to the area due to safety concerns regarding work he did with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan over the course of 2015. He was driving for Uber full time as he attended computer science classes at Diablo Valley College. Both drivers were killed immediately as a result of the accident. Six passengers in the van of the Uber driving and three other motorists involved in the crash all suffered serious injuries.

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CA injury lawyerThis winter has been a wet and rainy one for those living in the Bay area. Multiple storm fronts over the past few months have brought heavy downpours and damaging winds, making roads dangerous and wreaking havoc for drivers. While these types of conditions may seem relatively mild compared to the snow accumulations experienced in more eastern parts of Northern California, they increase motor vehicle accident risks, something all drivers need to be aware of.

Additional Heavy Rains Slam San Jose and Bay Area

While wet winter weather is nothing unusual for San Jose, the recent round of storms have been particularly potent. In early February, a harsh winter storm front brought inches of rain, high waves, and gusting winds to the local area, spurring mandatory evacuations for places recently impacted by the wildfires. All residents were warned to be alert for downed trees and power lines, as well as dangerous road conditions which could present serious hazards for drivers.

After riding out these heavy storms, the Bay Area has continued to get battered by additional adverse weather fronts. Forecasters described this as a ‘potent atmospheric river’ over Valentine’s Day weekend that was likely to lead to additional flooding, power outages, and downed trees. With soil already saturated due to previous drenching rains, this new storm could bring landslides, potentially wiping out some roads.

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CA injury lawyerCar accidents can happen to even the most experienced drivers and can result in serious personal injuries. It is not enough to simply rely on luck or your driving skill; you need to take actions to prevent collisions from impacting you and others on the road. The following are six tips to follow, designed to keep you and your loved ones safe behind the wheel:

1. Keep your car running properly.

A properly maintained car is less likely to suddenly malfunction. Consider doing simple tasks, such as checking tire pressure and oil levels on your own while taking your car into a mechanic for regular maintenance. Spending the money now to make sure your car is safe will save you in the long run.

2. Take your time getting where you are going.

Being in a rush makes you more inclined to speed, which is a leading cause of car accidents in San Jose. According to statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety, close to 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured in speed-related crashes in Santa Clara County each year. Pay attention to how fast you are going and reduce your speed on treacherous roads, in construction zones, and during adverse weather.

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CA accident lawyerNumerous factors can contribute to car accidents and there may be multiple drivers involved. The actions of one motorist can end up causing a chain reaction, eventually involving numerous other cars and potentially serious injuries. In these situations, it requires a thorough investigation to determine all those who may be responsible so that you can get the compensation you are entitled to in a claim.

San Jose Multi-Vehicle Crash Proves Fatal

On October 28, 2018, CBS SF Bay Area reported on a multi-vehicle accident which occurred in San Jose. It happened on Interstate Highway 280 at roughly 4:00 a.m., a time when traffic is not typically heavy. Involving a total of four different vehicles, it killed one of the drivers while leaving several others with potentially serious injuries.

Preliminary investigations by the California Highway Patrol show the multi-vehicle crash occurred in the following sequence:

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CA injury lawyerFor pedestrians, being struck by a motor vehicle can result in serious and potentially life-threatening personal injuries. In many cases, it is the reckless actions of drivers who are to blame in these collisions. For victims, getting compensation in a claim can help offset the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages they suffer. In the event injuries prove fatal, holding the at-fault driver accountable can help give grieving family members a sense of justice.

When these types of tragic events involve hit and run accidents, this can end up proving challenging. Witnesses to the accident are often invaluable in providing information that can lead to apprehending these suspects. In the case of a recent fatal hit and run accident in San Jose, witnesses went one step further, preventing a potential hit and run driver from fleeing the scene.

Fatal Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident in San Jose

Over the recent Thanksgiving weekend, a fatal pedestrian accident happened on the Capitol Expressway in San Jose. The collision occurred on Saturday, November 24, 2018, when an identified female was hit by a 2018 Ford truck traveling in the eastbound lanes. Investigators report that after striking the victim, the 39-year-old San Jose driver attempted to leave the scene.

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CA injury lawyerThe reckless driving behaviors of motorists, such as distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence, are a leading cause of car accidents and injuries in San Jose and throughout the country. However, there are often other, contributing factors involved, which can put drivers at risk. In San Jose, crumbling roads are not only an eyesore and hard on your vehicle, but they can also increase your risks of a crash.

San Jose Named Among 10 Worst Cities for Road Conditions

While city managers seek funding for making infrastructure improvements, residents are left to drive on roads that are often potholed, covered in gravel, and in general need for repair. Unfortunately, the situation is direr than you may think. According to a November 2018 CheatSheet report, San Jose has been named among the 10 worst cities in the nation in terms of having bad roads.

The report lists San Jose as third in the country, falling behind Los Angeles and San Francisco, in terms of having the largest percentage of crumbling roads and highways in America. Traffic and road surveys indicate that roughly six out of every 10 roadways in the area are in dire need of maintenance and repair. This has the following impacts on drivers:

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CA injury lawyerThere are numerous dangerous behaviors which most drivers try to avoid. Speeding, disregarding traffic signs and signals, and driving distracted or under the influence are all actions which are known to increase car accident risks. However, many people are unaware of the dangers involved with driving while excessively tired and fatigued. A national campaign aims at raising awareness of the problem and the potential risks.

National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

Many of us maintain busy schedules, with work, school, family, or social obligations which keep us from getting a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, few are aware of how this can impact driving ability. As part of a yearly campaign, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) aims at shedding light on this serious problem. Held annually the first full week in November, Drowsy Driving Awareness Week coordinates efforts between law enforcement and public safety officials, to make highways and roads safer across the U.S.

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CA injury lawyerCar accidents occur in a variety of situations, and they can be attributed to any number of causes. In many cases, it is the reckless driving of other motorists which are to blame, and the specific type of behavior can dictate the type of crash and the extent of the injuries you suffer. The following provides insight into the kinds of car accidents that occur, the behaviors responsible for them, and the injuries you could suffer.

Common Types of Car Accident Collisions

According to the Insurance Information Institutes, more than six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. These result in serious injuries for nearly two million drivers and their passengers, while proving fatal for over 32,000 others. Among the most common types of crashes reported include:

  • Front-end collisions: These can occur when a driver hits a telephone pole or tree, as well as when they swerve from their own lane, causing them to collide with others on the road.
  • Side-impact collisions: Otherwise knowns as ‘T-bone’ accidents, these occur when one driver directly crashes into the side of the other. They often occur in intersections and when making turns.
  • Rear-end collisions: These tend to occur in high traffic conditions when one driver hits into the rear end of the vehicle in front of them.

Car Accident Injuries Based on the Type of Crash

Risky driving behaviors put all motorists at risk and make certain types of car accidents more likely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following outlines the most common causes. It also lists the types of collisions they are often responsible for and common injuries that can occur as a result:

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California school bus accident lawyern terms of mass transit accidents, school buses are perceived to be among the safest forms of transportation. However, for parents who put their children on a bus each day, this provides little relief; neither does it make up for the fact that many of these vehicles offer little practical protection in the event an accident does occur.  

For years, efforts have been underway to make school buses safer by equipping them with seat belts. Lap and shoulder harnesses are a lifesaver in car accidents, preventing passengers from striking hard surfaces and being thrown from the vehicle. While there are states that have already implemented plans to upgrade their existing school bus fleets, California previously had no official type of plan in place. However, after a lengthy legislative battle, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill making shoulder and lap belts mandatory in school buses throughout the state by the year 2035. 

New Assembly Bill Improving School Bus Safety

Governor Brown signed California Assembly Bill 1798 on August 27, 2018. It officially requires all school districts in the state to either retrofit buses with lap belts and shoulder harnesses or to invest in new buses which are already equipped with these seat belts. Money should not be an excuse for noncompliance, as districts have nearly two decades to obtain the funding needed to make the change. 

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San Jose car accident attorney, teen car accidents, driving safety tips, reckless driving, distracted drivingFor parents, the day their teenager gets his or her driver’s license is the day they can retire from being a chauffeur—no more carpooling kids to school or waiting outside movie theaters when your child is late for the pre-arranged pick up time. Unfortunately, it can also mean the end of a good night’s sleep, as you wait for your teen to return home safely in your vehicle.

Teens are the most at risk group for car accidents, which can end up resulting in serious and potentially life threatening injuries. The following offers information to make you aware of the dangers, along with tips on communicating to your teen the importance of driver safety.

Teen Car Accidents and Injuries

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emergency vehicle accidents,  San Jose car accident attorney, car accident injuries, distracted driving,  emergency respondersMost drivers have had the experience of being on the road and suddenly hearing sirens or seeing red flashing lights. We pull over in time to see a fire truck, police cars, or other emergency vehicles go racing by. Emergency responders provide a valuable service and are generally the first on the scene when threatening and tragic events happen. However, getting caught in front or alongside of these vehicles on the road can put drivers in a potentially dangerous situation, making car accidents and injuries more likely to occur.

Emergency Vehicle Accidents

A December 2017 car accident that occurred in the Millbrae area, 30 minutes to the north of San Jose, highlights the potential dangers drivers face when dealing with emergency responders. ABC 7 News reports three suspects were arrested after a high speed car chase ended in a crash at the Green Hills Country Club. What started as a carjacking incident ended in pursuit on I-380, with vehicle speeds over 100 miles per hour. Fortunately no other motorists were involved in the collision. 

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