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The sun is out, the sand is warm and beautiful, white sailboats decorate our San Diego skyline. It’s boating season!

It goes without saying that San Diego is well-known for its year-round beaches, fair sailing conditions and enviable climate. So even though summer season hasn’t officially arrived, water-lovers and boaters are out this spring enjoying the best of San Diego.

But when it comes to boating safety, are you well-prepared? How well do you know your waters… and your boat?

This year and every year, we encourage boaters and beach-goers to take a training course in boat and water safety. For more information on boating safety including classes, visit San Diego County’s Boating Safety Website at

The advice follows on the heels of a recent deadly boating accident on the northern shores of California in far-neighboring San Francisco. According to reports at ABC News on behalf of the Associated Press, a sailing accident turned deadly when a sailboat crashed into a channel marker buoy in the San Francisco Bay.  The boat, a 42-foot-long Catalina, sustained damage as the mast snapped off the vessel.

“We’re not sure if they were struck when the mast snapped off or they were injured by the jolt of the impact from the collision,” said a city official.

One person tragically died as a result of the accident and another was treated for injuries at a local hospital.

Reports indicate the sailboat was racing non-competitively in a local yacht club’s annual “Beer Can” event. Although the name sports an alcoholic theme, one of the yacht club members told ABC News that the name is misleading as drinking while racing is discouraged by the club. In this case, alcohol was not a factor according to reports and neither were weather conditions.

The sailboat was rescued by the U.S. Geological Survey before it was brought back to port. Tragically, the individual was pronounced dead at the scene and

“At this point, it appears to be a tragic accident,” said the official.

“We’re devastated,” said the yacht member. “We’re going to just take it one day at a time.”


Do you know your San Diego waters well? How well? Did you know…

  • General Vessel Speed, Mission Bay Vessel Speed and Ocean Vessel Speed are regulated? Understand the rules that regulate your speed. As the City of San Diego states, “No person may operate a vessel in excess of five (5) miles per hour within 1,000 feet of the oceanfront coastline of the City of San Diego. Separate boating regulations apply to Mission Bay.” Speed regulations ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers and any potential swimmers around you.
  • Rules differ for beaching and anchoring depending on location? If you’re bringing your boat to shore, know the rules and regulations that govern beaching throughout the city of San Diego – and that’s true for anchoring your boat as well.
  • “Special Use Areas” exist throughout San Diego harbor? Did you know that Mission Bay has designated swimming areas, open speed areas, 5 mph areas, and special use areas? Sailors need to be cognizant of all designated areas throughout the city San Diego. If you’re unsure, brush up on your knowledge by clicking here.

For complete information on boating rules and regulations in California, visit


Unfortunately, boating accidents in San Diego happen every year. Countless injuries and even tragic deaths are attributed to unsafe boating or bad decision-making while aboard a water vessel. If you are injured as a result of a boating accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation as well as other legal rights. Call a personal injury attorney today at 1-800-655-6585 to discuss your case FREE of charge.

Michael Pines, APCAbout

Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who specializes in car accident injury. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes on how insurance companies work and how they decided to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael's inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents.

Even though we’re thousands of miles away from New York, the state’s latest auto show may prove to benefit the entire nation including our very own San Diego. That’s because the future of cars are all about to change thanks in part to the latest safety features unveiled at the New York Auto Show.

The truth is that countless car accidents occur throughout San Diego County and the rest of the country on a daily basis. But with the latest safety features, injuries and wrongful deaths could be a thing of the past – or at least heavily reduced.

According to ABC News, all kinds of vehicle types are sporting new safety features that may go miles in accident prevention. Chevy, Honda and Nissan were honorable-mentions. As for technology incorporated, the good news is that it’s all on the fly – meaning that safety features are available instantaneously when you need it most.

“You don’t have to think about it. It’s very intuitive. It gives you a quick warning that something is wrong,” said a spokesperson at according to ABC News.

The Honda Fit and Chevy Trax were honored for its Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), a camera-like device that displays blind spots on the interior screen of the vehicle. The vehicles’ Forward Collision Warning (FCW) feature can detect a potential crash just moments before it occurs – and that can help drivers react in time to stop the car accident.

Although Lane Departure Warnings (LDW) are not necessarily new to the auto safety scene, the safety feature is now included on some Honda Fit models. When coupled with other safety features, drivers can now be safer than ever when it comes to accident injury prevention in San Diego County.

It’s not just Honda or Chevy focusing on safety – according to Edmunds, safety features like these have jumped from 84 models to 170 vehicle models from 2011 to 2014. That’s a 102 percent increase in car safety features found on the most common vehicle models – and that’s good news for many consumers in the market of buying a new car.

“Manufacturers have responded and just put them all on at once, just saying, ‘hey look, safety is something the public is always shopping for. It can’t hurt,’” Edmunds’ spokesperson said.

Nissan is also leading the safety pack with its latest “smart rear view mirror” which can help prevent rollover accidents related to child injury and death.


“You are able to offer a little wider view and remove some of the area you otherwise couldn’t see,” said another safety expert at the auto show.


Consumers in the market of buying a new car should consider the following safety features – these are considered most essential according to Readers’ Digest. Thankfully, it goes without saying that airbags and seatbelts are always standard in new vehicles today.

HEAD INJURY PROTECTION. Car accidents can lead to traumatic brain injury even at medium speeds. Head injury protection can help. Any form of protection is not likely visible. Foam or other energy-absorbing materials are generally contained within the door or ceiling frames. Alternatively, vehicles may feature head airbag systems.

HEAD RESTRAINTS. Head restraints are an extension of the car seat, designed to prevent the head and neck from flinging uncontrollably in the event of a San Diego accident. While front seats are always required to have head restraints, the rear seats are not. Look out for your passengers and choose a vehicle with fully adjustable head restraints in the rear seat.

ANTI-LOCK BRAKES. Whether buying new or used, always choose a vehicle with an anti-lock braking system (ABS). ABS prevents vehicles from locking when depressing the brake pedal in panic. This safety feature can prevent sliding and loss of control. According to, some vehicles today including the 2011 Chevrolet Aveo, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Nissan Versa do not come with ABS.

TRACTION CONTROL. Even though we enjoy sunny weather here in San Diego, once rain falls, the whole city seemingly stops when it comes to traffic. Traction control can help you get a grip on the road. And because we don’t get rain very often, the roadways can be especially slippery at first fall. Traction control creates stability and disburses slip when power is applied to the vehicle wheels. All-wheel drive adds even greater control.

ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL. While there are various brand names for electronic stability control, all trade names assist drivers to maintain control. It is different from traction control because it senses when a vehicle may lose control when over-steering or under-steering. Electronic stability control automatically applies brakes in these cases.

When Accidents Occur

Even the safest vehicle equipped with the safest driver is at risk for car accident injury. When accidents occur, it goes without saying that life can be stressful thereafter. Medical bills, lost work, pain and suffering – the list goes on – can wreak havoc when it comes to leading the course of our lives. Individuals who need legal advice in the wake of a San Diego accident are encouraged to speak to a personal injury attorney today. You may be entitled to financial compensation. Give us a call for a FREE consultation at 1-800-655-6585 to confidentially discuss your case.

Michael Pines, APCAbout

Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who specializes in car accident injury. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes on how insurance companies work and how they decided to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael's inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents.

After a deadly bus accident in Northern California last Thursday, two fortunate San Diego students walk away unscathed. The fatal bus accident tragically claimed the life of 10 people including five high school students according to recent reports.

The accident occurred when a charter bus collided head-on with another large truck that reports have identified as a FedEx truck. Flames engulfed the truck as students were under massive panic. Reports say that students did whatever they could do –including kicking out windows – in order to escape the fatal inferno. One of the surviving San Diego students at Valhalla High School, recalls the tragic event.

“I heard everyone screaming. As soon as I look up, the driver slams on the brakes, pulls down the horn and then I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ I saw the FedEx truck come right at us and a split-second later after the driver slammed on the brakes we ran into the FedEx truck head-on,” recalled the teenager.

“The FedEx truck was on fire; the flames were insane. The windows were blowing up because it was so hot in there. And then, there were large explosions on the bus because it was blowing up and everything was just starting to catch fire,” he added.

The teenager told NBC San Diego that the impact caused his body to be flung forward due to the immense impact. The force caused him to bite right through his lip.

Others were scrambling to escape as conditions began to escalate.

“I was all dizzy and shaken up,” he added. “There was an emergency exit window right next to me. I pulled that lever up and kicked that thing open and everyone followed me out that window. When I jumped out I fell, scraped up my hands and stuff, and people fell on top of me.”

It goes without saying the individuals who left the accident with minor injuries are fortunate to be alive. When it comes to our safety and our lives, sometimes it remains completely out of our hands.


In cases like these, there are very few things you can do to avoid an accident given the fact that another driver is in charge of your safety. But in the event of an accident, there are steps you can take to get out alive.


As you become acquainted with your surroundings while boarding the bus, locate the nearest exit which could very well be a window. If it is a window, you’ll likely have to kick it out or find the emergency handle to remove it from the body of the bus.


Similar to instances when airplanes lose their air pressure, you want to help your child first before exiting the bus yourself. If you must exit out of an emergency window, quickly allow your children to exit then make your way out once you are sure all children have exited the bus.


Once you have safely exited the bus, be sure to remove yourself away from the collision as it could go up into flames or even explode. Walk away to a safe and secure place. Do not walk on the freeway if possible. Try to find a safe place away from traffic and away from the potentially hazardous accident scene. Do not flee the scene as you may need to be questioned by police.


If you have reached a safe and secure place, call 911 for help. Emergency crews can better assist those who may still need help. Use your discretion when helping others and don’t forget that a fiery bus has the potential to explode at any moment.


If you have been involved in a bus accident within San Diego or the greater California area, you may be entitled to legal rights including compensation for injuries. Give us a call for a completely FREE legal consultation: 1-800-655-6585. Speak to a personal injury attorney today to learn about and preserve your rights.

Michael Pines, APCAbout

Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who specializes in car accident injury. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes on how insurance companies work and how they decided to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael's inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents.

In my last blog post, I wrote about a recent pile-up accident in Pennsylvania. Just one day later, a similar type of chain-reaction car accident occurred in San Diego, reminding all of us that traffic accidents can and will happen close to home.

According to FOX5 San Diego, the multiple vehicle accident occurred just outside the Chula Vista area near Sweetwater Regional Park. Unfortunately, one man was killed at the scene of the accident. No other injuries were reported.

The accident was suspected to have occurred as a result of driving while intoxicated. The alleged drunk driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

The accident occurred when the motorist lost control over her vehicle while traveling northbound on State Route 125 in Chula Vista, careening into a center guardrail north of San Miguel Ranch Road. Soon thereafter, four other vehicles piled into each other and the stalled vehicle in an attempt to avoid the wreckage.

The northbound expressway was closed for 5 ½ hours to clear the roadway of debris.

According to reports, the accident occurred around 1:45 a.m. – one of the most dangerous times of road travel when it comes to alcohol-impairment according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


In my previous post, I discussed the 3-second rule and its effectiveness at preventing some rear-end car accidents in San Diego. Take a moment to get acquainted with the 3-second rule now – knowing what to do may prevent the next future accident in San Diego!

Let’s turn to time of day for a moment. Did you know that two-thirds of all traffic accidents between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. are the result of alcohol impairment according to a 2009 study at the NHTSA? More than half of these accidents have resulted in fatalities. When it comes to safe driving, the time of day you travel can make all the difference in the world.

Here’s what you can do to stay safe.

SKIP LATE-NIGHT TRAVELS IF POSSIBLE. It goes without saying: if you don’t have to drive, don’t do it. Try to postpone late night travel if you can. Since incidence of drunk driving spikes in after midnight and in the early hours of the morning, put off any road or freeway travel until after the morning. Your risk of DUI-related accidents goes down after 9 a.m. – only 5 percent of all DUI-related traffic accidents occur in the mid-morning hours.

USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IF POSSIBLE.  Take a bus, subway or light-rail instead of driving a vehicle if you must travel late at night or into the early morning hours.

INCREASE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU & THE VEHICLE AHEAD. In an emergency situation, you’ll need to act fast and make quick decisions on your feet. The 3-second rule is a good start but you may want to increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. You’ll have more time to react if in the event of an emergency.

IF AN ACCIDENT OCCURS… If you have been involved in a late-night or early-morning accident and suspect it was the result of an alcohol-impaired driver, you may be entitled to legal rights such as compensation for lost wages, injuries, medical bills and even pain and suffering. It’s important to speak to a qualified car accident attorney right away to ensure your rights are preserved. For a FREE consultation, call 1-800-655-6585 today.


Michael Pines, APCAbout

Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who specializes in car accident injury. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes on how insurance companies work and how they decided to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael's inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents.

The city of San Diego is no stranger to pile-up accidents. In fact, every few months, it seems we hear about traffic jams and consequent accidents due to following too closely. This time, unfortunately, Philadelphians made headlines for a massive car accident pile-up involving up to 100 cars according to some media reports although local police have reported a much smaller number.

The accident occurred just north of Philadelphia during prime morning rush hour, 8:25 a.m., according to FOX 5 San Diego.  Officials also noted that several accidents involving fewer vehicles took place just steps away from the larger pile-up.

Traffic clogged the interstate for miles and it took hours to clear the roadways.

Fortunately, no deaths were reported although three individuals sustained minor personal injuries.

While media reports say that up to 100 vehicles were involved in the accident, police officials say the actual number may be closer in to 15 – a wildly different number, and fortunately, a lot fewer accidents to boot.

“Some people are assuming it’s more because when you look at the camera views from some of the local affiliate TV station helicopters, it shows all the traffic that’s backed up behind it,” Capone said. “But many of those vehicles were not involved in the accident — they’re just stuck in traffic behind the various accident scenes.”

Officials say that freezing rain is to blame. It goes without saying that any type of moisture – much less frozen, slippery liquid – can cause massive problems for commuters when the three second (or more) rule is not followed.


When it comes to safe, predictable driving, the 3-second rule is essential. The 3-second rule means following the vehicle ahead by at least 3 seconds. It’s important to note that drivers should increase time when adverse conditions are present.

Know the 3-Second Rule

Prevent a future San Diego accident by following the 3-second rule. Here’s how.

1) Locate a stationary object such as an overpass, light-post or tree.

2) As the vehicle ahead passes the object, count to three seconds.

3) Before you pass the same stationary object, you should just be reaching the number three in your count.

Drivers should adjust the time allotted between vehicles in the presence of poor weather conditions such as fog, marine layer, rain and ice.

So just why is the 3-second rule so important? To answer in short, it simply allows for more time to react to a sudden stop, swerve or other emergency situation.

The truth is that an accident is stressful and can lead to missed work, medical bills and a lifetime of permanent injury. The 3-second rule can help you gain a little more control on the road—and when it comes to stress-free, safe driving, who can’t appreciate that?

When you head out of work today and begin your drive home, don’t forget, San Diego – follow the 3-second rule!


If you have been injured in a rear-end car accident and suspect it was the other person’s fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Right now, it’s important to speak to a personal injury attorney to ensure your rights are preserved. The consultation is completely FREE; give us a call at 1-800-655-6585 and speak to a San Diego lawyer about your car accident now.

Michael Pines, APCAbout

Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who specializes in car accident injury. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes on how insurance companies work and how they decided to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael's inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents.

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