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GM to recall thousands of pickup trucks and SUVs

California residents who own four-wheel drive full-size SUVs or pickup trucks manufactured by General Motors between 2014 and 2018 may be wise to leave their vehicles in two-wheel drive for the time being. The nation's largest automaker has announced that it is recalling more than 600,000 Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Yukon and GMC Sierra models to remedy a potentially dangerous software glitch. The problem, which can cause unintended and erratic braking, only manifests itself when the vehicles' four-wheel drive systems are activated.

GM says that the problem has only been found in four-wheel drive vehicles equipped with 5.3-liter V8 engines and 3.08-ratio rear axles. These vehicles are fitted with potentially faulty wheel-speed sensors. A failure of these faulty sensors could trigger the vehicle to activate its driveline-protection system. If this happens, warning lights on the pickup truck or SUV's dashboard will illuminate and its brakes will be applied on the side opposite to the faulty sensor. This would happen when the vehicle is put into four-wheel drive and reaches speeds of between 41 and 60 mph.

The critical moments following a spinal cord injury

If your loved one was recently in an accident that caused first responders to suspect a spinal cord injury, you may have witnessed some frightening and confusing activity. In such situations, the first concern of medical responders is typically to clear the victim's airways and protect the spine from further damage. This involves stabilizing your loved one using a cervical collar and backboard.

Once your loved one reached a California trauma center, a medical team went into action. They may not have had time to explain each step along the way, but the waiting and uncertainty may have seemed more than you could bear. If you understand the important interventions your loved one's team performed, you may have a clearer idea of the type of injury with which your loved one is dealing.

U.S. car crash deaths on the decline

California motorists might remember that there was an alarming spike in U.S. car crash fatalities a couple of years ago, causing traffic safety advocates to worry. However, those numbers now appear to be trending downward, according to new statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Operation Safe Driver Week and negligent drivers

In California and across the United States, failure to wear seat belts frequently causes trucking accidents and car crashes. The CVSA's Operation Safe Driver Week took place from July 14 to July 20, 2019. The event focused on drivers who speed and commit other violations. With nearly 47,000 motor vehicle citations and approximately 88,000 warnings issued to drivers, CVSA officials stated that drivers are responsible for 95 percent of truck accidents and automobile collisions. As a result of the study, law enforcement officers plan to help drivers prevent accidents.

Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, drivers who speed are accountable for more than 25 percent of deaths caused by crashes since the year 2008. Consequently, CVSA chose speeding as Operation Safe Driver Week's main focus. Drivers who drive too fast committed thousands of violations. Risky behaviors pertaining to trucking accidents include drunk truck drivers, truck driver fatigue and distracted truck drivers.

What happens if an underinsured motorist injures you?

California differs greatly from other states in the fact it does not require drivers to carry liability insurance. However, a motorist still needs to show financial responsibility if he or she causes a car accident. This fiscal responsibility can take the form of a surety bond, a DMV-issued self-insurance certificate, a cash deposit of at least $35,000 on file at the DMV or an automobile liability insurance policy. 

Some estimates report that roughly 15.2% of drivers on California's roadways do not have any kind of insurance policy. That translates to nearly one in six drivers without insurance, which means your chances of ending up in a car crash involving an uninsured or underinsured driver are greater than you likely realized before. This means that you need to pursue adequate preparation. 

Government promoting truck safety technologies

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is teaming up with the trucking industry to encourage the use of advanced driver assistance systems in commercial fleets. The move is designed to make roadways safer in California and across the United States.

During a presentation at the American Trucking Association's Management Conference and Exhibition in San Diego on Oct. 5, the FMCSA administrator said that advanced safety technologies offer "real benefits" to trucking companies and truckers. As a result, the U.S. Department of Transportation is paying for a two-year monitoring program to measure the effectiveness of such technologies, including lane departure warning systems and automatic emergency braking systems, in real-world scenarios. Several truck manufacturers, including Daimler Trucks North America and Volvo Trucks North America, currently offer semi-automated safety features on their newest trucks.

How drivers can reduce the likelihood of accidents

Around 40,000 people died in car accidents in 2018. According to the National Safety Council, safety features on motor vehicles and a culture that encourages driving safely can make a difference. There are several steps that California drivers can take to make their time on the road safer.

People should stay alert and keep their hands on the steering wheel while driving. This includes avoiding distractions that would lead to removing their hands from the wheel, such as using a cellphone. Texting and driving causes a person's attention to leave the road and may make them let go of the steering wheel. Even using hands-free devices can be distracting and dangerous. Keeping the car well-maintained is also important. A mechanical problem that is ignored, such as problems with the brakes, could lead to a serious accident.

Emotional distress after an auto accident

There is a lot to look at following a car accident to see what kind of damages you qualify for. You may have extensive vehicle repairs to make, or you may need to go to the hospital for months on end for treatments. However, you should never overlook the impact of emotional distress following an auto accident

You can receive several forms of damages after a personal injury. Economic damages have specific, quantifiable amounts, and this would include medical bills and auto repairs. Emotional distress falls under non-economic damages because there is no way to quantify pain and suffering. Here are the basics of what to understand if you plan on pursuing a claim like this. 

Study finds number of sleep-deprived truck drivers increasing

Many truck drivers in California and across the U.S. aren't getting enough sleep, according to a new study by researchers at Ball State University. Unfortunately, the problem appears to be getting worse.

For the study, which was published in the Journal of Community Health in September, researchers analyzed the sleep patterns of over 150,000 adults working in various professions. They found that the overall percentage of workers who get seven hours or less of sleep every 24 hours increased from 30.9% in 2010 to 35.6% in 2018. However, the study found the percentage of commercial drivers who reported getting inadequate sleep increased at an even sharper rate. In 2010, 32% of drivers working in the transport industry said they didn't get enough sleep each night, but that figure jumped to 41% in 2018.

Traumatic brain injuries and kids

Driving your kids around town is a normal event for parents. You make sure they are safe in child safety restraints appropriate for their age group.

Even if you have done everything right, something can still go wrong. A collision with another vehicle can cause a wide range of damage to your car and everyone inside. Even if everyone seems to have come through the crash relatively unscathed, you must seek medical attention, especially for children. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a real possibility. When a child deals with it, things may reach critical mass quickly.

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