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Kern County Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

Top tips for driving safely in strong winds and heavy rain

When the wind picks up and the rain begins to fall, the last place you want to find yourself is behind the wheel of your car. Unfortunately, this happens frequently because we can't stop our busy lives due to weather conditions, as much as we'd like to sometimes! As scary as it may be, there are some tips you can follow to drive safely in inclement weather.

If you don't like the idea of continuing forward when the weather turns, you can always pull off the road and wait for conditions to improve.

Motorcycle riding after a collision

When motorcyclists are involved in an accident in California, some may feel uncomfortable at the thought of getting back on their bike. It is important for bikers to know how they can prepare themselves to get back on the road.

Some motorcyclists may be afraid to bike after their accident. According to SportRider.com, bikers can usually overcome this fear by analyzing the incident. People should typically go over the events that occurred just before they crashed so they can find ways to be prepared if they are in a similar situation in the future. They may want to ask themselves if they were paying enough attention to the road or if they handled their bike a bit differently. When a motorcyclist was the only vehicle in the crash, it is a good idea to consider whether he or she may have going too fast or whether a part of the motorcycle was behind on maintenance. It is also important for bikers to make sure they are physically ready to get back on their motorcycles. People should usually wait until their injuries have fully healed before they start riding again.

Who can file a wrongful death action?

If you are a California resident whose loved one died as the result of someone’s negligence or malice, you may be thinking about filing a wrongful death suit against the person who you believe caused your loved one’s death. In order to be qualified to bring this civil action, however, FindLaw explains that you must be a surviving family member of the decedent.

California law defines a surviving family member as one of the following:

  • The decedent’s spouse or domestic partner
  • The decedent’s child
  • The decedent’s grandchild by a child of the decedent who predeceased him or her
  • Someone who would inherit from the decedent if he or she died without leaving a will
  • Someone who at the time of the decedent’s death was dependent on him or her or upon his or her spouse, child, stepchild or parents
  • A minor who at the time the decedent died had lived in his or her household for the past six months and was dependent on him or her for at least one-half of their support

Conditions that can lead to accidents

California truck drivers have a lot on their plates. Not only do they need to worry about making their deliveries on time, but they also have to keep an eye out for every other driver on the road. When combined with the long and often unusual hours they work, the distance they travel, and the size of their vehicles, it seems like a potential recipe for disaster.

There are a number of specific conditions that can worsen one's chance of getting into an accident. Many of these conditions apply to any driver. HuffPost lists common factors that can contribute to an accident, including things like reckless driving, distracted driving, and driving at night. Unfortunately for truck drivers, these common issues are even more frequent for them. They work long hours, often on little sleep. Many work through the night, as well.

How to avoid becoming another New Year’s Eve statistic

Drunk driving is a problem that endangers people any time of year, but New Year’s Eve is particularly known for festivities involving alcohol. That being said, this holiday is also known for drunk driving accidents in California, as well as across the country. It is important that those who go out to ring in the New Year make wise choices regarding their alcohol consumption and how they are getting home.

State Farm has provided numerous tips for getting home safely after a night out drinking with friends or family. It is always a good idea to choose a designated driver – someone who will not drink during the outing and serves as a sober ride home. The designated driver might also be tasked with keeping friends’ keys and helping to cut them off when they have had too much to drink. Another option for a safe ride home is to call a taxi or Uber. Parents of teens might want to talk to their children about not drinking and driving, never getting into a car with someone who has been drinking and calling them for a ride home without worrying about consequences.

Sometimes broken bones can lead to a permanent disability

Most people understand there is a lot of risk involved in getting behind the wheel of a car. Every day, people end up dead or with life-altering injuries, like traumatic brain injuries or spinal damage, as the result of a motor vehicle collision. That could lead you to think that you're lucky to only have to deal with a broken arm or leg.

In many cases, broken bones after a crash heal cleanly and with minimal issues. Other times, however, you may start experiencing worsening pain when you know your bone should be in the process of healing. That increased pain or sensitivity could be a sign of developing a serious medical condition know as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

Load is more dangerous than the truck in some truck crashes

Truck accidents cause numerous injuries and deaths each year in California and across the country. Most people might just consider the size and speed of the truck in large truck collisions. However, the load a truck is carrying might also be dangerous in an accident.

A recent crash near Goleta on Highway 101 illustrated this point. Authorities reported that a vehicle struck the center median of the highway and hit a tanker truck, which was traveling in the slow lane. The truck tipped over onto its side, spilling approximately 5,000 gallons of gasoline. A hazardous materials crew was required to clean up the mess, and portions of the roadway needed to be repaved, since the gas disintegrated the concrete in those areas.

Motorcycle helmets are important, but not a safety guarantee

Just about anyone who rides a motorcycle in California understands that helmets are necessary both to legally ride and for safety. Motorcycling can be a relatively safe activity when bikers ride responsibly and wear the proper gear, and when other drivers are aware of their presence. Regardless of experience, motorcyclists should never disregard the importance of a good helmet.

In fact, claims the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, a helmet is the most vital piece of protective equipment a biker can wear. A properly fitted, federally approved motorcycle helmet provides significant protection from traumatic brain injuries, facial injuries and eye damage in a collision. Many bikers believe helmets impede their riding experience – that they block their vision and impair their hearing, and may result in neck injuries in a crash. However, studies have debunked those claims.

Drunk driver kills child, injured other child and adult

For most people in California, the recent Thanksgiving weekend and holiday was hopefully a relaxing and joyful time spent with friends and family. Unfortunately for some residents or visitors to the state, this holiday period was marred by tragedies that could have and should have been avoided. Vehicle accidents caused by negligent drivers notoriously ruin too many celebrations for people, leaving them to grieve for their lost loved ones instead of enjoying precious time together.

A sad example of this can be seen in a drunk driving crash that happened on the afternoon after Thankgiving Day that left one dead and two others injured. To make matters worse, the fatality was a boy who was only five years old. One of the people who was injured was a little girl all of three years old. She and an adult woman had to be taken by air to a hospital for treatment.

Your guide to Holiday travel safety

One of the only ways to completely avoid a car accident this holiday season is to stay home. If your family lives several hours away, or just across town, this may not be an option. Like the majority of people in the Bakersfield area and across the country, you will probably have to climb behind the wheel and drive to your parents' or in-laws' home for the festivities.

Before you hit the road to spend time with your loved ones, there are some things you can do to keep you and your passengers safe. Read below for some tips to follow both before and while you are on the road.