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Kern County Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

There are key steps to take after a motor vehicle accident

You hope that you are never part of a motor vehicle accident, but you also realize that this could happen at any time.

The more time you spend on the road, the better chance there is that something will eventually go wrong.

How driver negligence endangers motorcyclists

Among the many perks of living in California is the fact that there is rarely an “off season” when it comes to taking out your motorcycle. Around here, many riders get to enjoy the road year-round, but that also means that motorcycle accidents are an all-too-common occurrence. At McKnight, McKnight, McKnight & McKnight, we have a firm understanding of what is causing many of today’s motorcycle accidents, and we have assisted many clients who suffered injury because of another’s negligence.

According to RideApart.com, many motorcycle accidents share common factors, and sometimes, those factors include the actions of other drivers sharing the roadway. For example, the single-most common cause of modern motorcycle crashes is other motorists turning left in front of riders. This is likely due in part to the fact that driver brains are programmed to look for other cars before proceeding into an intersection, though not necessarily motorcycles. Many motorists also miscalculate the speed of motorcycles, and this, too, contributes to many accidents.

Studies disagree on the effects ride-sharing has on drunk driving

Communities across California now find ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft as common-place conveniences, and the companies like to tout their effectiveness in combatting drunk driving. However, whether or not these services are making a dent in drunk driving accidents and deaths depends upon which study is considered.

As Fortune explains, a study released in 2016 and published by the American Journal of Epidemiology found no correlation between a drop in traffic deaths related to alcohol in communities where ride-sharing is available. Researchers analyzed data in the 100 most populous metropolitan areas from both before and after the introduction of ride-sharing apps and looked at the number of road fatalities. The researchers, who were from the University of Southern California and Oxford University, found "no association" between a service's availability and a decrease in road fatalities, whether they specified alcohol-related deaths or any traffic death.

Truck driver rest requirements: boon or burden?

At least a few California truck drivers prefer to drive without mandated rest periods applying that would require them to stop and rest more. Others believe that rest requirements keep roadways safe. As reported by The Mercury News, when compared to federal laws regarding mandatory breaks, California permits truck drivers to rest more frequently. However, California law is in danger of federal preemption depending on whether new proposed federal legislation is passed. Under current law, while in California, truck drivers may take one half-hour break for meals every five hours worked, and one ten-minute break for rest every four hours worked. At present, federal law requires drivers to take one half-hour break after eight hours of driving. In other words, truck drivers passing through California have the option to take breaks more frequently if they choose.

The provisions related to rest and breaks are designed to make the roadways safer and benefit driver health. Truck drivers who favor legislation that would permit more frequent breaks refer to studies that show that fatigue is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. Other drivers say that any legislation that mandates more frequent stops for breaks may exacerbate driver fatigue in some circumstances.

Distracted driving can lead to preventable and serious crashes

Drivers who don't keep their focus on the road are a danger to everyone on the road with them. This is one of the primary reasons why many states have enacted laws against distracted driving.

For the victims of distracted driving crashes, the focus is usually healing from the injuries they suffer. This can come at a high cost to these individuals, with considerable expenses. Here are some points that everyone should remember about distracted driving.

Call for attention to deadly intersection

Residents in Bakersfield and other parts of Kern County may well appreciate the fact that they do not have to live in the craziness of Los Angeles or other highly congested areas of southern California. However, while they do not have to contend with jammed freeways, they do have to deal with rural roads that pose their own variety of danger to motorists.

Reports indicate that one intersection may be in particular need of a review and maybe even some help to prevent future accidents and deaths. Located in the northwestern area of Bakersfield is the intersection where Rosedale Highway meets Nord Avenue. This is a standard two-lane roadway that has no street lights so at night visibility for drivers is minimal at best. Over the span of a mere three weeks, five deaths occurred in or immediately near this intersection.

What are the auto insurance requirements in California?

If you live in California, you are required to be a financially responsible driver. The requirements of “financial responsibility,” or insurance, are enumerated in the California Vehicle Code and issued as regulations by the State of California. According to the DMV, a motorist may be required to provide proof of financial responsibility, as a result of an accident, if requested by a police officer or at the time a person renews registration on a vehicle. There are different types of financial responsibility that may satisfy the statutory requirement.

The most common form of financial responsibility is liability insurance. In order to satisfy the financial responsibility requirement, the liability coverage must at a minimum cover $5,000 property damage, $15,000 for in the event of injury or death to a person, and $30,000 in the event of injury or death to more than one person.

Causes for concern after a car accident

Drivers across California may be aware of the many serious issues that can arise after a car accident, but many people do not know that injuries from car crashes can take days or weeks to show their full effects. Those who have been in a car crash should pay special attention to how they feel in the time following an accident to ensure medical help is not needed.

As KTAR news explains, concussions are a major concern following a car crash, and traumatic brain injuries can be fatal. Symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, difficulty remembering things, issues with hearing and vision, or abrupt differences in a person's attitude and personality. Headaches in the days following an accident are common, but because they are a symptom of more serious issues they should be given medical attention. 

Intoxicated driver kills bicyclist

Riding a bicycle is a common form of exercise as well as transportation for many people in California. With the summer heat, it is not unusual for people to choose to ride their bikes either early in the morning or in the evening to avoid being out in the hottest part of the day. Sadly for one man, a recent bike ride on a weekday evening ended up being his last ever after a tragic accident.

Reports do not provide many details but what is known is that the man was on his bicycle when he was stuck by a driver who is said to have been intoxicated. The bicyclist died though it is unclear if he died at the scene of the accident or was first taken to a hospital and later died. The at-fault driver was placed under criminal arrest. Authorities have not indicated if the suspected intoxicated driver was believed to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both.

Possible causes of boating accidents

California's warm and sunny weather brings countless outdoor enthusiasts to its beaches every year. While surfing certainly takes the stage in regards to water activities, boating is also a popular sport and leisure activity in the state. Yet any outdoor adventure can bring potential risks, and each year a substantial number of beach goers experience injuries due to boating accidents. In more extreme situations, such accidents can prove to be fatal, but there are a number of factors to be aware of before setting off on California's dazzling blue waters.

NBC News of the Bay Area brings to attention California's previous lax boating laws, and largely blames such laws for the increase in boating accidents in the area. As late as 2013, operators could be as young as 12 years old and still drive boats. Although the law has changed that detail and raised the minimum age to 16, countless injuries have occurred and lives have been lost. Recent statistics also show that California is the second-worst in the nation in number of boating accidents. Many claim this lag in enforcing stricter driving laws has been the primary reason for the overwhelming number of accidents in the area.