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Fatal chain-reaction crash in may be trucker's fault

California residents likely know how dangerous it can be to drive around commercial trucks. On the opposite coast, Florida Highway Patrol has said in a preliminary report that a fatal chain-reaction crash on I-75 near Gainesville may have been caused by a semi-truck driver.

The accident occurred early in January. The 59-year-old driver of a semi-truck moved left out of the right lane, for reasons still unknown, and collided with a passenger vehicle, a 2007 Honda sedan, causing both vehicles to go through the median guardrail onto southbound traffic. The incident spanned both northbound and southbound lanes.

Safety exemptions for livestock haulers may lead to crash risks

Drivers in California should know that commercial truck accident rates are going up across the nation. The number of truck occupant fatalities rose from 725 to 841 between 2016 and 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When pedestrians and occupants of motor vehicles are included, the number rose from 4,369 to 4,761.

In the effort to cut down on fatigue-related accidents, which are partly to blame for the rise, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandated in December 2017 that all commercial trucks install electronic logging devices. However, livestock haulers were exempt from the mandate.

3 hidden injuries to look out for following a car accident

Car accidents occur far too frequently in the city of Costa Mesa. One resident lost his life when he sped down a street early in the morning and collided with a utility pole. 

When most people experience an auto accident, they only have to contend with minimal injuries and property damage. However, injuries can present themselves weeks after the initial incident. One of the most vital things you need to do following a collision is see a doctor. You could have one of the following injuries with hidden symptoms. 

Ford recalls trucks with risk for under-the-hood fires

In December 2018, Ford recalled more than 874,000 late-model pickup trucks across North America. Exactly 410,289 of those trucks were in the U.S., so truck owners in California should take notice. The recall covers Ford F-150 models from 2015 to 2019 as well as Super Duty and Chassis Cab models from 2017 to 2019.

The problem is with the engine-block heater allowing water and other contaminants to intrude into the splice connector. If the connector corrodes, then it could trip a circuit while plugged into a local electrical outlet. In some cases, it can spark, melt and cause an under-the-hood fire. Ford knows of at least three such fires, each on a 2017 model, that have occurred in Canada since September 2018.

Dump truck accidents on the rise

Serious accidents involving dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks are on the rise in California and across the United States according to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration. As a result, federal regulators and traffic safety experts are pushing trucking companies to take steps to reduce driver fatigue and adopt technology that monitors driver performance on the road.

The FMCA reports that dump truck accidents serious enough to require the vehicle to be towed away jumped by 9 percent to 8,206 in 2016, which is the most recent year of statistics available. In addition, injury accidents involving dump trucks accidents rose by 2.7 percent to 5,483 that year. Meanwhile, there were 838 towaway crashes involving ready-mix concrete delivery trucks in 2016, which is an increase of 9.6 percent over 2015. Injury accidents involving ready-mix concrete delivery trucks jumped by 3.8 percent. The only bright spot is that fatal dump truck crashes dipped slightly from 369 in 2015 to 367 in 2016.

What are the most common causes of car accident fatalities?

Your main goal while driving is to get to your destination safely. Unfortunately, accidents can occur when you least expect them. Some car crashes are more severe than others. The seriousness of auto wrecks depends partially on the cause. 

There is a study from the Auto Insurance Center that details the certain things that cause more deadly accidents than others. Here is an overview of the top reasons for fatal car crashes in the United States.

Bill aims to decrease number of underride fatalities

A bill that would help prevent underride crashes from occurring to drivers in California and across the United States has stalled out in Congress. The bill, which is titled the Stop Underrides Act of 2017, aims to reduce the number of underride crashes that occur each year by requiring underride guards on the front and sides of each commercial truck. The bill would also update the standard requirements for underride guards on the back of trucks and require the Department of Transportation to update its standards every five years.

Hundreds of people are injured or killed each year due to underride crashes. An underride crash occurs when a vehicle goes under the back of a tractor-trailer or semi-truck. Guards can help prevent the vehicle from going under the tractor trailer. Underride crashes have been found to have more serious consequences than read-ending crashes.

External air bags are a promising new technology

Drivers and passengers in a motor vehicle could be made safer by the presence of an external airbag. According to manufacturer ZF, this product could reduce the severity of injuries experienced in a car accident by 40 percent. Those on California roads and others in America could be kept safer because the air bag would work as an extra crumple zone. In essence, it would be like adding a pillow to the outside of the vehicle.

The product could be customized to fit on a given car or truck. It would work by using radar, lidar and cameras to gather information about its surroundings. If a collision was detected, the bag would inflate in about 15 milliseconds, which is roughly the same amount of time as a traditional air bag. The only problem for those who want an external air bag is that they won't be available for several years.

Car accidents: What to do when the other driver gets angry

Car accidents may lead to a lot of problems. One accident in which a driver knocked down a power pole in Huntington Beach resulted in people living in that area and Costa Mesa momentarily losing their power.

Following a car crash, you should exchange insurance information with the other driver and get in touch with the police. You may need to file a claim if you sustained injuries. However, before any of that can happen, you need to speak with the other driver. There are plenty of people who will flip out and scream at you following an accident, even when it was the other driver's fault. Here are the steps to take if this ever happens to you.

Major manufacturers including new truck safety technologies

Technological advances in monitoring, data and analytics are driving a surge of safety in the trucking industry. Among the new technologies that trucks are using in California are systems like automatic braking and backup alarms. According to the technology product manager for manufacturer Mack Trucks, that company has been investigating new truck safety technologies since the early 2000s, which is when it started including such features as traction control and stability control in its vehicles.

The technology product manager went on to say that changes to entertainment technology have also increased the safety of large trucks on the road. Features like Bluetooth connectivity, Apple Car Play, voice activation and satellite radio allow truck drivers to navigate entertainment options while still keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.

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