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Inaction puts drivers in danger

In 2017, there were 4,102 deaths caused by large truck accidents in California and throughout the country. The rate of fatal truck crashes is about three times higher than the overall fatal crash rate. Of those who were killed in large truck accidents in 2017, 17 percent were occupants of the trucks themselves. A further 68 percent of victims were occupants of cars or other passenger vehicles while the rest were pedestrians.

However, there has been little progress in attempting to make large trucks safer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has not yet taken action related to recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, according to Road Safe America. The NTSB has recommended since the 1990s that large trucks be outfitted with crash avoidance systems, but the NHTSA has yet to propose a rule to do so.

AAA: daylight saving time raises car crash risk

Drivers in California who do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night should be careful while behind the wheel. Drowsiness becomes even more problematic with every daylight saving time since the arrival of that season means losing one hour of rest. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety thus encourages all drivers to adjust their rest schedules prior to daylight saving time.

If they do not, they could become drowsy drivers and raise their car crash risks. The National Sleep Foundation says sleeping less than two hours makes one "unfit to operate a motor vehicle." AAA goes further and says getting only five hours of sleep in the previous 24 hours will make motorists just as dangerous as drunk drivers.

3 common motorcycle injuries you should understand

Not only does your motorcycle offer transportation, but it also provides you with an effective way to clear your head. When you are on the open road, though, you must worry about a crash. After all, motorcycle accidents are likely more common than you realize. 

Because your bike does not have a steel cage to protect you, you could suffer a serious injury on your motorcycle. That is, you must worry about injuries that usually do not affect other motorists. Here are three injuries motorcycle riders commonly sustain during a slide, collision or crash.

Tesla safety questioned after series of fiery crashes

Teslas are supposed to be some of the most advanced vehicles in the world. However, a string of fiery crashes involving the luxury cars that are manufactured in California has some experts questioning their safety.

For example, a man was killed when his 2016 Tesla Model S suddenly veered off South Flamingo Road in Davie, Florida, at around 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 24. According to media reports, the vehicle was being operated in "Autopilot" mode when it swerved over three lanes of the highway, struck a median, hit a patch of trees and immediately caught fire. Once the car's wreckage was towed to an impound lot, its powerful lithium-ion battery burst into flames three more times. According to Tesla, the massive batteries required to run their electric vehicles can overheat in a crash, ignite and take up to 24 hours to extinguish. In fact, the automaker has issued an emergency response guide for firefighters and other rescuers regarding the issue.

Investigation continues into airbag shrapnel

California motorists may have heard that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began an investigation in July 2015 after reports emerged of people being injured by flying shrapnel from airbag inflators during traffic accidents. The investigation centered on ARC Automotive, which had developed the airbag inflators. In the course of the investigation, the NHTSA estimated that 8 million Hyundai, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors and Kia vehicles in the United States had the airbag inflators in question.

In 2016, a woman in Canada was killed after being hit with shrapnel from the airbag inflator while driving a Hyundai. Though the death made the investigation urgent, public records show that no conclusions were made or solutions offered. Another injury occurred in a General Motors vehicle in September 2017 due to an exploding ARC inflator. The president of the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, a California-based company, is calling out the federal investigators for taking so long in the probe.

What evidence do you need after a car accident?

Auto accidents are not always as straightforward as fender benders. One recent crash in Costa Mesa involved three vehicles and sent five people to the hospital. In a case like this, evidence showing what exactly transpired is critical. 

A lot will run through your mind after a car accident. However, it is vital you take the time to collect essential evidence that will assist you if this case ends up going to court. You will need it no matter what for your auto insurance company. 

Truck safety administration calls for hands on approach to safety

Large truck accidents are on the rise, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Statistics show a three-year rise in fatalities among truck occupants and work zone accidents involving large trucks. Though high-tech measures can make trucks safer, the administrative agency claims that truck drivers in California and elsewhere can take other immediate steps to reduce these statistics.

According to the FMCSA, there were increases in both accidents and fatalities among large trucks between 2015 and 2017. The FMCSA points out that more than one-third of all truck occupant fatalities involved victims not wearing a seatbelt. Though drivers report seat belt use at an all-time high of 86 percent, advocates say the figure should be closer to 100 percent. It could prevent nearly one-third of all deaths.

NTSB wants speed limiters, collision avoidance tech for trucks

Commercial truck safety is one of the focuses of the National Transportation Safety Board's 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. Truck fleet owners based in California should be aware of the various recommendations that the NTSB makes within it, as they could affect their operations.

The NSTB is first of all intent on eliminating distracted driving. It recommends the insertion of driver distraction codes on traffic accident investigation forms, the development of features that disable phones in moving vehicles and the nationwide banning of the use of all handheld electronic devices with the exception of navigation software.

Every motorcycle rider deserves legal protection

Anyone who has spent any time on a motorcycle should automatically have high standards for road safety. It is clear that there is a great deal of freedom from riding, but the vulnerability is also obvious.

People do what they can to use motorcycles safely. They ride in groups, maintain a good distance from other vehicles — and the list goes on. However, no amount of preparation or caution could protect a biker from the negligent or malicious actions of someone operating a much larger vehicle at high speeds. 

Unsafe speeds may be behind rise in large truck crash deaths

California saw the second highest number (after Texas) of large truck crash fatalities in 2017. In fact, all but six states saw an increase in these fatalities from 2009 to 2017, according to federal data. This is despite the fact that the same eight-year period experienced a decrease in miles driven by commercial truckers. The highway safety non-profit Road Safe America has analyzed this data and come to several conclusions.

First, it noticed that most of the states with the highest percentage increase and the highest number of fatalities in 2017 have speed limits of 70 mph or more for commercial truckers. These speeds are unsafe for any vehicle weighing 80,000 pounds or more, considering their longer stopping distance.

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