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Which states are safest for work vehicle drivers

Anyone in California who makes a living driving work vehicles like big rigs, vans or pick-ups will want to know about a study conducted by Verizon Connect. The fleet management systems provider examined the driver behavior of more than 6,200 of its fleet customers using data from October 2015 to September 2017. These customers were small and mid-size businesses with 2 to 200 work vehicles.

Verizon Connect was able to determine the safest states and the most dangerous states for work vehicle drivers. The safest are Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New York; the East Coast is the safest region in general despite well-known traffic problems along Interstate 95. The most dangerous states are Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota with the last being most prominent for speeders. The Midwest and South were discovered to be the least safe regions.

Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in California?

Whether you are a new biker, a motorcycle passenger or a biker visiting the state, you may be wondering if you have to wear a helmet while you ride. You may be the type who does not prefer to use a helmet unless necessary. Some states only require minors to do so, whereas others have requirements for adults, too.

California is in the latter category. Know what the law says before you get on your motorcycle to ensure compliance and safety on the road.

Mazda recalls 270,000 more vehicles due to air bags

More vehicles are being recalled due to defective Takata air bags. Mazda is recalling 270,000 vehicles over fears the air bag could explode during a crash, which could injure or kill the vehicle's occupants. Some California motorists may be affected by this action.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37 million U.S. vehicles have already been recalled due to the faulty air bags. A propellant used to inflate the air bags can degrade over time when subjected to climates with high humidity. As a result, the air bag can inflate with too much force and shoot metal shrapnel into the passenger cabin. The latest Mazda recall affects the 2004 MPV, the 2003 to 2008 Mazda 6 and the 2006 and 2007 Mazdaspeed 6. The 2005 and 2006 MPV is also being recalled if it was sold in one of 35 U.S. states and territories considered to have humid conditions.

Studies show that there's no single cure for distracted driving

More than 37,000 people died on America's roads in 2017, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Transportation. While the number is slightly lower than it was in 2016, it represents a 10 percent increase from 2014. Some California residents may think that distractions caused by new technology are to blame for the increase. While the link between the two has not been definitively made by public safety officials, various studies indicate that technology is a major culprit.

Nauto, a provider of smart cameras for fleet vehicles, studied severe collisions that occurred over a four-month period. Researchers discovered that 67 percent of the crashes were caused by distracted driving. Agero, a provider of vehicle safety and roadside assistance systems, found that drivers aged 17 to 22 are especially susceptible to distraction; they use their phones 12 percent of the time that they're behind the wheel.

Do pedestrians ever hold liability in car accidents?

Car accidents involving pedestrians have a far greater likelihood of ending in a fatality due to the pedestrian lacking any significant protection. Take the recent case of a California woman in her 70s who died in a Long Beach hospital following a collision. 

In the event that a pedestrian sustains a few injuries or none at all, that person will most likely want to file a lawsuit against the driver. In a majority of circumstances, the driver holds most of the liability. When a driver gets behind the wheel, he or she assumes a certain level of duty of care. This means the driver will not go over the speed limit and will remain extra vigilant when a cyclist is nearby. However, there are circumstances where a pedestrian will hold some liability for his or her own injuries. 

CVSA plans two brake inspection campaigns

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has two brake inspection campaigns planned for this year, and they are aimed exclusively at the drivers of commercial motor vehicles. CMV drivers across California and the rest of the U.S. could benefit from knowing the details, and they will want to make sure their brakes are properly installed and maintained. Functioning brakes will help trucks and buses maintain a reasonable stopping distance and keep other drivers safe.

The two campaigns are part of Operation Airbrake, a program started by the CVSA together with the U.S. DoT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The first campaign is a one-day brake inspection spree that has been set for an unannounced date, which means truck and bus drivers may be inspected when they least expect it.

Commercial drivers can expect a crackdown on driver fatigue.

Semi truck drivers in California may be facing stricter safety checks in the future. In particular, officers may be checking log books for signs of overworked drivers.

In other states such as Iowa and Kansas, officials from the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Agency are increasingly checking to determine if drivers are complying with required rest periods or 'off road" hours. Last year, there were more than 30,000 hour-of-service violations among large truck drivers across the U.S. The industry has been put on notice to comply or face the penalties of a violation.

Combining stricter laws and education for traffic safety

People in California who are texting and driving may be endangering themselves and others on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9 people die daily and around 1,000 are injured in accidents that involve distracted drivers. The five seconds it may take to receive or send a text means looking away from the road for the distance of a football field when a car is traveling at 55 mph. Around one-third of drivers have said they text while driving.

Looking at smoking cessation, increasing seat belt usage and reducing the incidence of drunk driving indicates that education is generally not enough to change behavior. Punishment followed by education tends to be more effective. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety reports that companies that have rules and enforce them with punishment are safer than those that do not.

Defective products cause workplace injuries in construction

Although you already know working in the construction industry is dangerous, you may expect the risks to come from certain sources. For example, falls from heights, strikes from objects and electrocution are common hazards, says OSHA, and construction workers have a high fatality rate.

However, another common source of accident and injury on the job is defective products. The very equipment you use, including for safety, can cause you harm. If this happens to you, you may be able to hold multiple parties liable.

Truck crashes in California and their most common injuries

There are good reasons for drivers to be wary around large commercial trucks on the road. When these collide with passenger vehicles, the passengers die in 97 percent of all fatal crashes. Should they survive, they can be left with serious physical and mental conditions. Below are just a few of the most common.

Broken bones can occur when the impact of the crash sends the body into the window, steering wheel or air bag. The legs, arms, hip and skull are most often affected, and victims may have to undergo multiple surgeries if the bones are completely shattered. The vertebrae of the spinal cord could also be compressed, fractured or dislodged. The nerves could be damaged and cause temporary or permanent paralysis.

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