One teen is learning that reality as she copes with a recent car accident in Rolando, San Diego – a neighborhood just slightly north of El Cajon – after she accidentally lost control over her vehicle, hitting a mother and two children.
The teen, needless to say, is distraught over the accident according to reports at NBC 7 San Diego.
Authorities say Shanisha Smith, 18, an unlicensed teen driver, was reaching for a coffee cup that fell into the foot area of the driver’s seat, ending up beneath the foot pedals of the vehicle. This nightmarish situation resulted in a pedestrian accident as the teen’s BMW careened into a sidewalk, hitting several people including a mother and two children.
Fortunately, there were no fatalities. As for injuries, one of the children – a 6-year-old female – sustained a fractured femur and was treated at a local hospital.
The teen’s uncle spoke to San Diego’s NBC 7.
“She can’t sleep this morning. She was having chest pains. She’s saddened. She’s terribly saddened,” Brian Ritchy, Smith’s uncle, told the news source.
There’s no doubt that an accident like this can truly change the teen’s perspective on safe driving.
“She’s not the bubbly little girl we know. She’s just sitting there, tearing up. She’s more scared than anything,” Ritchey said.“She feels sorry for them and wants to do something for them. At least buy them a new stroller,” he added.
Smith cooperated with officials and was cited for driving without a license.
According to Ritchey on behalf of NBC 7, “Smith didn’t take her driving test seriously, and failed the exam not once but two or three times before the accident.”
Passing the DMV driver’s test is no easy feat – but you MUST pass the test before you can drive. And even then, if you are a young driver, it’s important to stay prudent and continue to drive slowly and safely, especially in the first few years with your license.
The DMV wants you to pass your test. It is their goal to ensure all drivers are properly licensed before getting behind the wheel through driver competency.
Here are some ideas for preparing for your driver’s test – and not only for your test, but as you continue to drive. It’s also what the DMV will look for when you’re ready to take your driver’s test.
Practice with a parent or guardian. One of the main reasons people fail their test is because they haven’t practiced enough. Always practice with another licensed adult or guardian. Remember, you must complete at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel training with at least 10 hours of night driving before taking the test. It doesn’t hurt to practice even more if you can. Take practice tests with your adult supervisor. This will give you some idea of how the real test will go when you’re ready to take it.
Steer and accelerate smoothly. Practice the fine art of the accelerator pedal and the steering wheel. Drive slowly, and practice turning gently with the supervision of an adult at all times. Avoid jerking the vehicle around if at all possible. Keep fine-tuning your skills until the car ride is smooth and error-free.
Drive the posted speed limits. Don’t even think about going any faster than the posted speed limit. Your adult supervisor will ensure that you are driving at a safe speed. Don’t drive “with the flow of traffic.”
Defensive driving skills. One of the best skills to master while behind the wheel is being a defensive driver. Look ahead, scan the road, and be cognizant of other drivers. Check your mirrors frequently and always use your signals to indicate a turn or lane change.
For more information on the California DMV driver’s test, click here.
According to reports at the San Diego’s FOX6, the car accident occurred on a two-lane stretch of Valley Center Road as a 1996 Toyota Camry headed southbound near Vesper Road crossed double yellow lines and crashed into a 2007 Chrysler minivan.
The head-on car accident killed the driver in the Camry. The family in the minivan sustained personal injury according to reports at the California Highway Patrol, requiring serious medical attention. The 38-year-old male driver of the van and his wife, 40, were airlifted to Palomar Hospital. The couple’s twin sons who were passengers in the back seat were taken to Rady Children’s Hospital.
No word on their current condition.
The aerial view of the head-on accident showed a mangled scene of wrecked vehicles with shrapnel covering both lanes of the highway and the California Highway Patrol shut down traffic to investigate the accident.
Authorities say the collision was not a likely result of drugs or alcohol.
FATAL CAR ACCIDENTS: SAN DIEGO ACCIDENT STATISTICS
The unfortunate reality is that car accidents in San Diego occur on a daily basis. When it comes to statistics of collisions in our city, according to City-Data.com:
Here’s what you can do to stay safe while driving in San Diego. Reduce your risk of a head-on collision by:
Always wearing your seatbelt. Studies show that wearing your seatbelt can reduce your chances of fatality and personal injury when involved in a car accident.
Preplan your evening of festivities. Don’t even think about getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. The best way to prevent drunken driving is by preplanning ahead. Buy your taxi ride ahead of time or designate a driver prior to drinking.
Use crosswalks and designated walkways. Do not cross the street (“J-walk”) when you can stay safe and better protected by the use of a crosswalk. Never cross a freeway or other highway. Find an alternate route. When biking, always use the designate bike lane, or ride with traffic. Always wear a helmet!
WRONGFUL DEATH: WHAT IT MEANS
Wrongful death occurs when a loved one has died due to someone else’s negligence including car accidents. If your family member has died and you suspect it was someone else’s fault, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation. You may be entitled to legal compensation. Our consultation is completely free. Call us today.
Reports at San Diego Union-Tribune say that Lupe Vargas, 38, was tragically killed when a wrong-way driver collided with her vehicle on Route 78 in San Marcos. According to authorities, the other driver, Yi Liu, was committing suicide – she also died in the accident.
“She never had an easy life since she was divorced and she was taking care of three kids,” said her brother Tony Vargas in a statement at the U-T. “I have no words.”
Vargas was a newspaper delivery person for the San Diego Union-Tribune. She held two jobs and worked 16 hours a day to make ends meet for her children ages 5, 8 and 17.
Her family is coping to understand recent events that led to Vargas’ death including medical examiner reports that say Liu was likely suicidal when the accident occurred.
“I know that at some point her family didn’t have anything to do with it,” Tony Vargas said. “At the end, they’re responsible all the way because they had to be taking care of somebody like that.”
A memorial fund has been established to take care of the three children Vargas leaves behind. If you would like to make a donation, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports the following information where donations can be sent.
California Coast Credit Union
PO Box 502080
San Diego, CA 92150-2080
Account # 914826
Checks should be made payable to ‘Rick Conahan’ – memo: Guadalupe Fund
We know that head-on collisions are one of the worst types of car accidents due to the high risk of personal injury or death. Traffic statistics tell us that head-on crashes account for 2 percent of all collisions in the United States (2005).
While traffic signs and warnings work to deter wrong way traffic accidents, it goes without saying that wrong way collisions nonetheless occur, whether by mistake, intention, or drinking and driving. When an accident does occur, the stakes are high, leading to a great degree of injuries and often fatalities.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident by a wrong way driver, or if your family is coping with a wrongful death arising out of a wrong way driving accident, you may be entitled to legal rights and benefits. For more information on your case and to find out how the law can help you, call us for a FREE consultation at 1-800-655-6585.
For more info on our firm and the lawyers that can help you, click on our About Us page.
In a case out of Chula Vista, San Diegans everywhere are reminded of the devastating effects of alcohol behind the wheel. Arlene Anne Hernandez, 22, pleaded guilty to a drunken driving accident that claimed the life of her 5-year-old child and her school friend of same age after her vehicle careened into the Chula Vista Otay Reservoir last year in August. She stands to face charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and another charge for driving under the influence.
Hernandez also admitted to causing great bodily injury to the individuals affected by the DUI car accident in Chula Vista.
She will be sentenced May 31 at the South Bay Courthouse.
According to reports, the young mother lost control over her 2005 Kia Sedona on eastbound Otay Lakes Road after being allegedly under the influence of alcohol. The vehicle overturned and landed on its roof in the reservoir.
Hernandez and her passenger, Eric Figueroa, father to the 5-year-old school friend Guiliana, were able to evade the vehicle, but tragically both girls were trapped inside the car, unable to escape. While the children were both airlifted to Rady Children’s Hospital, medical staff were unable to revive the girls and they were declared dead.
Reports indicate that Figueroa bought a six pack of beer after arranging a “play date” for the girls along with Hernandez. The two finished the alcohol, then drove to another location to take a closer look at skydivers in the area – and that’s when the tragic accident occurred.
The La Mesa-Mount Helix Patch reports that “Hernandez’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.13 percent after the crash.”
This isn’t Hernandez first run in with the law. According to reports, she had previous charges of a hit-and-run car accident where two people were injured. Those charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
It goes without saying that driving under the influence of alcohol or any other kind of drug is dangerous, irresponsible and against the law. When individuals erroneously believe a few drinks won’t affect their driving, they are – literally – putting their lives and the lives of others in serious dangers.
When it comes to preventing a DUI car accident, here’s what you need to know.
Injury accidents caused by alcohol are real. They are devastating and needlessly affect innocent lives – a tragedy considering these kinds of accidents can be entirely avoided. Don’t go under the assumption that you can “handle you alcohol.” That type of poor judgment can result in an accident worth regretting for the rest of your life. Play it safe, and don’t drink and drive.
For more safety tips, log onto http://SeriousAccidents.com/blog or find me on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
The auto collision occurred in Warner Springs on Route 79 after Sgt. Gill Cortez, 46, lost control of his Crown Victoria, causing the vehicle to careen off the road, rolling over several times before landing on upright on its wheels.
Cortez, an investigative services officer, was a 23-year veteran of California’s state prison force.
According to police reports, the car accident occurred for unknown reasons. He was the lead car of five others in the process of transporting K-9 police dogs to a training center in Julian. Other police officers following the lead car ran to Cortez’ flipped vehicle after witnessing the crash, but he died at a nearby fire station just before he would have been airlifted to a hospital according to the California Highway Patrol. Cortez’ dog Mattie died at the scene of the accident.
CHP said the vehicle was traveling near the posted speed limit off 55 mph.
“All of us at CDCR mourn the tragic death of Officer Gilbert Cortez,” Jeff Beard, secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said in a statement. “He was a valued member of our department, and his untimely passing in the line of duty is a huge loss to all who worked with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gil’s family, friends and colleagues. We are also deeply saddened by the death of Gil’s K-9 partner, Mattie.”
RURAL DRIVING: WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STAY SAFE
Rural roadways like SR-79 in Warner Springs can often prove dangerous in the face of unfamiliarity and rocky surfaces. Because rural roads are less traveled, potentially hazardous conditions can present themselves including dust, rocks, potholes and other debris. If you must use a rural road to get to your destination:
Drive in daylight. Unexpected turns and unseen dangers like rocks or potholes can prove especially hazardous when traveling at night. Drive during daylight hours if at all possible.
Reduce your speed. While it’s generally safe to drive the speed limit, you may want to reasonably reduce your speed on rural routes to allow for more reaction time should an unwanted surprise present itself while driving.
Check tires before heading out. A long drive can be especially wearing on long road trips. Check your vehicle tires before heading out to ensure there aren’t any bald spots, nails or corroded rubber.
Have an emergency plan. If you are stuck on the shoulder or blow a tire, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit available including road flares, cones and cell service if possible. In case of an emergency, try to pull over safely and never attempt to use your cell phone while driving.
INJURY ACCIDENTS ON RURAL SAN DIEGO ROADS
If you have been injured in an accident on a rural San Diego road, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To understand your legal rights including filing a personal injury claim, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation.
The San Diego U-T reports that Det. Jeffrey Blackford will still remain on the police force desk duty in wake of the Allied Gardens car accident. Blackford, who faces two misdemeanor counts and a special allegation of reckless driving, entered his plea by fax and did not appear at the arraignment.
Blackford careened into a utility box when the San Diego accident occurred; fortunately, there were no reported cases of personal injury as a result of the crash.
According to the news source, the accident garnered some discourse due to a delay in entering the event into the police dispatch system. A U-T Watchdog brought the matter to light and police responded to the alleged DUI accident 6 days after the event.
“The City Attorney’s Office went to court earlier this month to force police officials to provide information about the accident, including results of an initial blood-alcohol screening done for an internal investigation,” the San Diego Union Tribune reported.
Officials recorded his blood alcohol level at 0.09, just one tenth of a point above the legal limit.
The investigation is still underway.
It happens all too often: a driver makes the decision to drive home with the impression they are not intoxicated after a drink or two. Unfortunately, you can’t play alcohol by ear. The fact is that alcohol can render various physical reactions in people of all shapes and sizes depending on what kinds of foods – if any – were consumed prior to drinking and the strength of the alcohol.
Because alcohol can have varied effects, portable breathalyzer tests were introduced about a decade ago as a DUI accident prevention tool. They are designed to give blood alcohol concentration levels upon testing by use of fuel cell technology – the same kind of technology used by law enforcement. The idea is that someone can use the breathalyzer prior to getting into a vehicle to drive to determine if it is safe.
Although breathalyzers are available for consumer use, they don’t paint the entire picture of the problem. For example, varied breathing patterns can cause an inaccurate reading. Holding your breath before breathing into the machine can increase your BAC reading by nearly 17 percent while fast-paced, shallow breathing can decrease your reading by almost 10 percent. And, when drunk, many people outright fail to use the breathalyzer entirely or use it correctly, leading drivers to believe they are in the clear to drive. In those cases, a breathalyzer does absolutely nothing to prevent drunken driving.
When it comes to preventing a DUI accident, although portable BAC machines can be helpful, they aren’t entirely accurate based on external variables that are undoubtedly present. That’s why it’s so important to be cognizant of your alcohol consumption while playing it safe.
The best rule of thumb in preventing a DUI injury accident is to preplan. You should know who the designated driver will be well ahead of time. You can prepay a taxi ride home. As a host, you can preplan your food and beverage service to include plenty of bottled water and a “last call” when alcohol is no longer served prior to wrapping up the party.
You can preplan and be responsible – but that doesn’t mean everyone else will do the same. Unfortunately, San Diego injury DUI accidents happen on a daily basis from irresponsible decision making.
If you have been injured in an accident from someone else’s suspected intoxication, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation to understand your legal rights and file your personal injury claim right away.]]>
Because the causes of ASD are not fully understood, parents everywhere and especially families affected by ASD are looking for answers now more than ever. Whether founded or not, some medical communities have found links to ASD ranging from vaccines to prenatal vitamins to environmental factors. In fact, even the farthest reaching links to ASD have been explored. Even still, the actual causation of autism is not comprehensively understood.
In a case out of Staten Island, one mother says her child’s autism was caused by a slip and fall over a manhole cover, causing her to go into premature labor. Months later, her daughter was diagnosed with autism.
The American Psychiatric Association manual of mental disorders fails to list premature birth as a cause of autism. But the personal injury firm representing the mother reiterated that by common sense and science, the little girl’s developmental delays could only be contributed to her early delivery.
The judge did not agree.
“The medical community has not established causes other than genetics or environmental factors for autism/PDD [pervasive developmental delay],” state Supreme Court Justice Joseph J. Maltese wrote according to reports.
As a result, he dismissed the case.
PREGNANCY & YOUR BABY: CAN ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS LEAD TO INJURY?
Slips and falls, physical exposures to chemicals, and other environmental factors before and after birth can lead to adverse effects in a pregnant woman and their babies. Some causes of fetal injury include:
- Vaccine Injury
- Chemical Exposure
- Prenatal environment
- Heavy metal exposure
- Phthalates, phenols
- Infectious disease
When extenuating circumstances cause a pregnant woman to have extensive exposure to unwanted environmental factors or chemicals, her health and her baby’s future health can be dramatically affected.
If you believe you have been exposed to a dangerous environment while pregnant and it has led to adverse effects in you or your baby, you may be entitled to financial compensation and a personal injury claim. For a FREE consultation, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585 today.]]>
Helene Seeman was tragically killed when Locane-Bovenizer collided into the side of her vehicle. According to reports, Fred Seeman was slowly turning into their driveway when Locane-Bovenizer T-boned their vehicle.
Authorities say the Melrose Place actress was driving three times over the legal blood alcohol limit when her SUV collided with Seeman’s car. Earlier in November, a jury convicted Locane-Bovenizer of vehicular homicide in the 2010 passing of Seeman, but this month’ sentencing was received as a shock to the victim’s family as they had hoped for a maximum sentence. The judge said the actress’s children contributed to the primary reason for a three year sentence due to one of the child’s mental and physical disabilities.
“What a travesty,” Fred Seeman shouted in the court after the sentence was read.
“This is not justice,” Seeman’s son said as he exited the courtroom.
Seeman’s family said the trial was another “punch to the gut,” referring to the defense which argued that Fred Seeman contributed to the accident as he pulled slowly into his driveway. He told the court the defense only added “salt to the wound” of his wife’s wrongful death.
Locane-Bovenizer apologized to the Seeman family, explaining, “I am truly sorry for all of the pain I have caused. My own suffering will never go away.”
Your DUI Injury and Wrongful Death Legal Rights in California
The state of California says that it is illegal to drive under the influence of any kind of drug or substance including alcohol. Pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 23152 (b), “it is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.”
So when it comes to personal injury sustained by a drunken driver, an injured person may be entitled to legal rights and financial benefits. This includes the right to hold an individual responsible for their actions while seeking damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. A family is also entitled to legal rights in a wrongful death case.
DUI car accident injury can be complicated by nature. A personal injury attorney in San Diego can help you understand your case and represent you without any out-of-pocket costs. For a FREE consultation about injuries resulting from a DUI car accident, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-800-655-6585 and talk to a DUI car accident lawyer today.
According to Cal-Fire, an average of 500 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning with an nearly 20,000 people visiting emergency rooms for injuries resulting from carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is a serious risk to all households since it can be caused by stoves, furnaces and generators – common appliances used in everyday homes across the United States. It is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that can injure or kill a person in very little time. Injuries can vary depending on length of exposure and personal resistance, but harm can range from nausea, vomiting, and headache to the more severe brain and nerve damage, and even wrongful death.
Carbon Monoxide Accident Claims Local Lives
Just north of San Diego in Fresno, Calif., two men are dead, with one woman hospitalized in critical condition due to carbon monoxide poisoning after running a generator Tuesday in an empty warehouse. According to reports, the warehouse was a safehaven for the homeless in the area.
After allowing a group of three to take shelter in the warehouse, Darrell Pretzr, landlord, said he checked on them Tuesday morning only to discover a catastrophe inside.
“I looked in back and I saw [one of the men] lying down on the ground in the back,” Pretzr said. “Went back and I touched him and shook him and he was stiff. I knew he was gone.”
Pretzr told news channel KMPH Fox 26 he instructed the group to keep the generator outside after PG&E recently turned off power supply to the warehouse building.
California Law: Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Did you know that as of January 2013, carbon monoxide detectors are required in multi-unit residences like condos and apartments? Be sure to check with your landlord or apartment manager to get a carbon monoxide detector for your unit as soon as possible.
For homeowners in California, the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill – SB 183) says you should already have a carbon monoxide detector installed. If you don’t already have a one, carbon monoxide detectors are relatively inexpensive to buy, ranging from $20 to $40. When installing your carbon monoxide detector, be sure to:
For more information on carbon monoxide safety, visit CA.gov.
If you have been injured in a carbon monoxide accident, you may be entitled to legal rights. To understand what options you may have, call us at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation.]]>
A woman driving a small, unidentified sedan was alleged speeding across the center median headed south on northbound Interstate 5 around 12:20 p.m. when she collided into a group of vehicles including a Toyota Sienna, Toyota Camry and a Toyota Highlander.
The accident caused a massive traffic delay, leading to three blocked lanes on northbound I-5 just off the San Onofre checkpoint. The California Highway Patrol responded to the accident, leading traffic away from the substantial collision. Three tow trucks were called to the scene of the crash, and a SigAlert was issued shortly thereafter.
According to San Diego 6, head-on car accidents have been an issue on this stretch of Interstate 5 as other similar accidents have been sustained in previous years.
As a responsible driver, it’s up to you to be cognizant of roadway signs and posted advisories. Of course, there are some drivers who are reckless, but if you’re like most individuals, driving safely is an important part of your everyday life.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, wrong-way driving accidents are more likely to result in serious personal injuries as opposed to other kinds of accidents, and over 80 percent of fatal wrong-way driving accidents involve high-speeds resulting in head-on collisions.
Here’s what you can do in the event you see a wrong way driver.
1. Swerve to the right. Too many wrong-way drivers get onto freeways and merge into the “fast lane” (the right side of the freeway) because they mistakenly believe it is actually the slow lane. That’s because most wrong-way drivers are under the influence of alcohol, so they choose what they believe is the “slow lane” to avoid getting a ticket when in fact it is the fast lane in the opposite direction.
2. Keep alert. Make sure to continually scan the road ahead for any sign of unusual activity, especially for white headlights, which can signify an oncoming wrong-way driver.
3. Call 911. If you see a wrong-way driver on any side of the road, call for emergency assistance immediately. Pull over to the side of the road, and safely place an emergency call to 911 to report the wrong-way driver.
If you have been injured by a wrong-way driver, you have legal options available to you including the possibility of financial compensation. Call the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE legal consultation.]]>
But as most experts can agree, these very technologies that aim to improve our lives can actually put us in danger. Car gadgets are responsible for countless car accidents in San Diego from the distractions they cause from behind the wheel.
That’s why car gadget safety was at the forefront of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where hundreds of manufacturers featured safety products aimed at reducing the risk of car accidents. Some of the best future developments in car safety included an integrated GPS dashboard system, voice-enabled commanding, self-braking and “EyeSight” technology.
ADVANCES IN CAR TECHNOLOGY
QNX, one of the main providers of vehicle safety equipment at the show, featured a built-in GPS system integrated within a vehicle’s dashboard. With this safety device, drivers could accomplish two things: understand vehicle speed in addition to mapping the route ahead – all without distraction.
Voice-activated systems were also a big hit at the show. But as many consumers already know, the in-cabin voice technologies that exist today fall short since drivers must memorize unnatural commands. Now, companies are revisiting voice-commanded equipment with a friendly nod to Siri technology found in iPhones today. Siri uses natural human language to interpret commands, diverting the user’s need to memorize complicated commands to operate the device. Vehicles are closely following suit. Hyundai is already working to introduce Siri technology in its cars.
Other notable safety vehicle features included Subaru’s “StarLink” technology which offers “smart-braking” technology that slow down the vehicle in emergency situations. Subaru also featured its up-and-coming “EyeSight” technology which uses cameras to identify road conditions, an advance in vehicle communication akin to Google’s self-driving vehicle which debuted in 2009.
WHEN DEVICES DISTRACT
While car safety continues to improve, many drivers are still at risk for causing a car accident by using distracting technology while driving. Traditional GPS devices, radios and in-cabin entertainment systems are all responsible for causing countless car accidents throughout San Diego.
If you suspect you were hit by another vehicle while they were distracted behind the wheel, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Call our firm at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation. We can help you understand your legal rights free of charge.]]>
On Dec. 30, the amusement park reported an unidentified malfunction of its stagecoach ride which tipped over as its left rear wheel came off unexpectedly, knocking 14 passengers off the ride. Three individuals were injured and required hospitalization.
The ride reopened on New Years’ Eve.
“We have five original stagecoaches and one replica,” park spokeswoman Jennifer Blazey said according to the Orange County Register. “We’ve modernized these and added safety features so that they have hydraulic brakes and rubber on the wheels.”
Despite these retrofits, some of its stagecoaches are more than 100 years old according to the news source.
This is Knott’s Berry Farm second incident in 2012 involving a ride malfunction. In September 2012, the thrill ride WindSeeker closed down temporarily after its brake froze, causing 20 people to stay suspended 300 feet in the air for nearly four hours.
For a timeline of amusement park accidents in Southern California since 1990, click here.
AMUSEMENT PARK SAFETY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Amusement parks are popular attractions here in Southern California and throughout the United States. Nearly 300 million people visit amusement parks annually, taking nearly 2 billion safe rides each year. According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the chances of being injured seriously enough to require hospitalization at an amusement park is 1 in 9 million. Here’s what you can do to keep your risk of injury low.
Read posted rules carefully before getting on board. Many accidents happen when people fail to pay attention to important aspects of the ride like buckling in or securing loose objects.
Children should be allowed on age appropriate rides only. There’s a reason an age or height limit is imposed on amusement rides. Don’t let a small child board an inappropriate ride. Always supervise your child on the ride.
Always hold onto handrails. They’re a part of the ride’s safety features. “Look, Mom – no hands!” is just for the movies. Always hold on.
Be in good health. Pregnant women shouldn’t use amusement park rides. People of excessive weight or height should always make sure the ride fits them appropriately.
AMUSEMENT PARK INJURY
If you or your children have been injured at an amusement park, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation.]]>
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 43,000 people are injured by televisions or furniture each year – and nearly 59 percent of those individuals are children.
Even more tragically, falling televisions have caused 349 deaths between 2000 and 2011, and 84 percent of these individuals were children under the age of 9. And last year, a record 41 fatalities occurred from fallen TVs — a sobering figure that reminds all parents to secure televisions and furniture properly.
“If a TV cannot be anchored or mounted on a wall properly, then it’s safer to place the TV on a low sturdy base,” said a CPSC spokesperson.
Falling TVs can cause severe injury such as traumatic brain injury, neck injury, paralysis, and abdominal trauma.
“I urge parents to anchor their TVs, furniture and appliances and protect their children,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “It takes just a few minutes to do and it can save lives.”
Keep kids safe: securing TVs and furniture from falling
When it comes to keeping kids safe, securing your TVs and furniture is the first step in preventing household injury.
Falling TVs: when injury occurs
Despite our best attempts, accidents can happen. But if your child has suffered injury from a fallen TV and you suspect it might be someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call us at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE legal consultation. You don’t pay us until we win.]]>
Driving when tired is the equivalent to drunk driving according to several studies, but now a new smartphone app aims to alert drivers when they start counting sheep.
Using the cell phone’s cameras, the app can detect signs of sleepiness like head positioning, blinking rate, and yawning. The app will alert the driver when it suspects drowsiness is a problem.
“We can determine the distance between cars in front and whether a driver is changing lanes on the outside, while detecting drowsiness and distraction inside,” said Andrew Campbell, a computer scientist at Dartmouth College and co-creator of the technology.
The app can also monitor road conditions since its programmed to work on smartphones equipped with dual cameras that face both forward and towards the driver. It can detect dangerous patterns within the vehicle and any arising concerns outside of the vehicle, alerting the driver when it suspects a problem. A blinking light or a noise alert gives drivers a “wake up call” to prevent car accidents.
The technology could provide valuable insight for car manufacturers who could use it to better improve on-board safety standards.
The currently unnamed app is slated to launch in early 2013.
Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents: #20 Drowsy Driving
In our “Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents” list, drowsy driving earns its place as the 20th most common reason people get into a car accident. And as stated in Wired Magazine, fatigued driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, and exhibits the same kinds of risks and behaviors from behind the wheel.
To avoid drowsy driving, consider the following tips to reinvigorate your mind and body behind the wheel:
Get your sleep. It goes without saying, but don’t get behind the wheel without a proper night’s sleep, especially if you have a long drive ahead.
Stay cool. A warm car can easily lull you into sleep. Keep the car at a reasonably cool temperature to avoid getting drowsy.
Avoid night driving. Our bodies are not naturally nocturnal, so keep driving during the day if possible.
Get a blast of fresh air. If you feel sleep sneaking up on you, open the window and get some fresh air. Don’t assume the blast of fresh air has awakened you, though – be sure to pull off the freeway and get some good rest before you continue your drive.
If you ever feel tired, it’s important to stop driving and get rest. A caffeinated drink or loud music is not enough to keep you awake. Don’t risk the chance of a car accident – pull over and get some sleep!
Injury accident due to a sleepy driver
Despite all of our efforts to be safe, accidents happen. If you were hit by a driver and you suspect they fell asleep behind the wheel, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation.
Although the bill has yet to make its way into California, lawmakers in the state of New Jersey have to make a decision on whether it will be illegal to ride with unsecured pets.
In an interview with ABC News 7, pet activist Lindsay Wolko explains her motivations behind pet safety.
“It was horrific the sounds that came out of her, as a consumer I was furious,” she said, referring to a car accident that caused her dog Maggie to become trapped in a so-called vehicle safety harness.
“She went sailing in the car and what I didn’t realize at the time was that the tether had wrapped around her back legs and when she went flying it stopped her and she was hogtied form the back,” Wolko said.
After the car accident, Wolko decided to take action, and she began to independently test dog safety equipment using an animal crash test dummy.
“We had a 100 percent failure rate on these products to protect both the consumer and the pet,” she said.
That’s no surprise considering that safety harnesses are completely unregulated by any government organization.
While the bill continues its circulation in New Jersey, Wolko is testing other pet products for their safety under her non-profit company, “Center for Pet Safety.”
“With my dogs, they just mean so much to me they’ve brought me so much joy that they deserve the work that we’re doing and I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile now,” she said.
Loose objects inside the car
Any loose object inside a vehicle can be dangerous – even if it’s a dog. Anything from CDs to umbrellas to purses can cause serious injury if you get into an accident because loose objects can fly into you or your passengers resulting in bodily harm.
According to a study from the University of Irvine, researchers found that of 12,513 children were injured by a loose object within the car’s cabin in a car accident, and more than 3,000 collided with loose objects, other passengers or both.
Another study in Canada found that “if you brake suddenly while traveling at [30 mph], groceries in the back seat will hit you with the same force as if they had fallen from a two-story building.”
Imagine the kind of injury that could cause to you or a child. It goes without saying that objects inside your vehicle – a pet or otherwise – can cause severe injury.
When it comes to keeping your car tidy, consider the following:
About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC
If you have been injured in a car accident, a personal injury attorney at our firm can represent you with no out-of-pocket costs required by you. We will answer all of your legal questions free of charge, so give us a call at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation today.]]>
The fact is that car accidents can happen to anyone. And not only that, but the law does not discriminate no matter how rich or famous you may be.
In a recent celebrity car accident case, Lindsay Lohan made headlines for allegedly lying about details after getting into a car accident on Pacific Coast Highway earlier this year. She faces misdemeanor charges and possible jail time if convicted.
Reports at the Los Angeles Times say the child actress faces three misdemeanor charges for obstructing an investigation, reckless driving, and giving false information to an officer. According to authorities, Lohan lied to them about driving a Porsche when it crashed into a city dump truck.
Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis confirmed with the news source that the department had proof of Lohan driving the Porsche in question. As for the actual evidence, police did not specify the details in the case.
Lohan was charged Thursday and will face arraignment once she returns to Los Angeles. The star is currently in New York sorting out alleged assault charges that are unrelated to the car accident.
This isn’t the first time the 26-year-old actress has been in the limelight for being in trouble with the law. She has already been sent to jail for violating her probation, and has been involved in several police investigations ranging from alleged shoplifting to claims that she hit a pedestrian in front of a nightclub in New York.
Real life: What to do after a car accident
Getting into a car accident can completely change your life. Whether you are injured or if it was just a close call, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that you adhere to the law and collect vital information that might be important afterward.
After you get into an accident, pull over to a safe area if you can, then:
To download the complete Car Accident Checklist, click here – it’s completely FREE. There’s no doubt that a car accident can leave many individuals panicked, stressed, and unable to remember important details that may matter later. Download the checklist now.
If you need legal help after being injured in an accident, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE legal consultation. There’s absolutely no cost to talk to a personal injury attorney about your case. We will answer all of your legal questions for free. Call today.]]>
Reports indicate Copley crashed his Aston Martin into a parked vehicle just outside his La Jolla home; he was later declared dead at Scripps Memorial Hospital. Authorities are unclear on how the collision occurred except that he was found unconscious in his vehicle at the scene of the accident after police reported hearing a loud crash. Officials believe the accident may have transpired as a result of a medical emergency.
Copley was owner and publisher of the Union-Tribune until last year when he sold his media company to a local investing firm, Platinum Equity. Its sale was the end of an 81-year-old San Diego so-called dynasty, Channel 10 reports.
“He was the kindest and most wonderful friend that anyone could ever wish for,” his friend Dr. Robert Singer said. “It’s a great loss to this community.”
The San Diego has responded to Copley’s death.
“There is no one that can replace this extraordinary person,” said one Facebook commenter. “Deeply saddened by this and deep condolences to those who knew him, and his amazing contributions to the community.”
Medical emergencies while driving
While it’s currently unclear whether Copley experienced a medical emergency, officials have suspected that it could have been the case since he had a history of heart problems.
When emergencies present themselves while driving, there’s no doubt that a mounting sense of urgency grows every minute while the situation remains unresolved. This sense of panic can translate to dangerous road habits including speeding, swerving, running red lights and more.
If you experience a medical emergency, consider the following:
Injured while driving – medical emergencies
If you have been hit by someone during their medical emergency, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE phone or in-person consultation. You don’t owe us anything to get your legal questions answered. Call us today – we may be able to help.
The good news is that with the right precautions in place, most individuals can successfully divert the dangers of winter driving. Between reduced speed and a well-maintained vehicle, many of us can avoid car accidents even during seasons of inclement weather. But when bad weather and bad decisions mix, the road becomes a dangerous place no matter what.
In a case out of Long Beach, officials have blamed speeding and slippery roads as the cause of tragic accident Saturday that killed a driver and one of two passengers on the San Diego I-405 Freeway. Police said the driver of the 2005 Dodge Ram lost control of his truck after making a lane change while he was allegedly speeding. The vehicle is suspected to have hydroplaned, later crashing into the sidewalk, striking a concrete support pillar of a freeway overpass.
It’s a sobering reminder for all San Diegans that even though we don’t have snow, our roadways can still be just as dangerous when rain hits.
Authorities say the driver died at the scene of the accident. The rear-seat passenger was tragically killed and was reported to not have been wearing a seatbelt. The driver’s front seat passenger was listed in critical condition at the time of the accident and is currently being treated at a local hospital for severe injuries.
Wet roads in Southern California
The issue most Californians have when rain hits is the rarity of the event and how to proceed on wet roads. In other words, rain doesn’t happen regularly in many parts of California, but when it does, drivers are faced with the challenge to drive safely in unusual conditions. A rainy environment presents a greater risk for car accidents since inexperience becomes a huge factor. And because we don’t drive wet roads regularly, our familiarity of driving in inclement weather suffers.
Share this article on Facebook and Twitter and ask your friends and colleagues to chime in – is it more difficult to drive in San Diego during rainy weather because of inexperience?
Remember, safe driving is up to you no matter what city you live in. These 3 tips for driving in wet weather are universal rules:
When rain causes another vehicle to crash into yours, you may be entitled to some legal rights. And when the accident is accompanied by an injury, you can also be entitled to financial compensation. To discuss your case free of charge, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585. You don’t pay anything until we win.]]>
But in the event of a car accident, most no one thinks of protecting their identity when exchanging information with the other driver. In fact, because exchanging your info after an accident is California law, many individuals not only give out their information, but often even the most sensitive data is unnecessarily exchanged.
Unfortunately, even if the thought never occurs, identity thieves are now using car accidents as a ploy to get sensitive information from unsuspecting consumers, later hijacking the individual’s identity. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego, thieves are staging car accidents intentionally, and their goal is to get away with your information.
In a July survey, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that many drivers don’t know what kind of information to provide to the other driver in the event of an accident. It’s this naivety that thieves are preying on.
“Understanding what information to share, and with whom, will help keep you safe after an accident and decrease some of the challenges of filing a claim later on,” says Kevin McCarty, NAIC president and Florida’s insurance commissioner.
The organization warns consumers to provide only the bare information needed by state law.
“No one ever needs your Social Security number after an accident,” he says. “If someone asks you for it they could be trying to scam your insurance company by pretending to be hurt or trying to steal your identity.”
In the state of California, it’s mandatory to exchange the following information:
But as experts point out, much of this information – even though legally required — can lead to a stolen identity. “If someone has your driver’s license, they can use it to make a fake ID or to give to a policeman so that your driving record ends up with a ticket it on it,” warns Sam Imandoust, a legal analyst for the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and suspect that your identity may not be safe with the individual asking for it, you can always wait until a police arrives to voice your concern. Remember, if your intuition is warning you against exchanging information, your hunch can often prove to be right. Wait until police have arrived and discuss your options at the scene of the accident.
About Michael Pines
Michael Pines is a personal injury attorney on a campaign to help end senseless car accidents in San Diego one blog at a time. He has represented injured people for over 20 years in the greater San Diego area and is recognized as a leader in Accident and Injury Prevention. If you have been injured in an accident, call our firm today at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation.]]>
On Friday, several drivers were involved in a major chain reaction accident on I-15 South in Escondido due to a rear-end car accident. Reports say a flatbed truck careened into a vehicle ahead, causing it to burst into flames.
According to The San Diego Union Tribune, the truck was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting a Chevrolet Malibu ahead. Reports say the Malibu crumpled underneath the front of the truck, causing the entire car accident to erupt into flames. The individual in the Malibu sustained serious injury and was transported to University of California San Diego Medical Center for treatment.
His condition has not been updated since the incident occurred last Friday, but according to the news source, the individual was trapped in the vehicle during the fire, so he was likely treated for major burn injury.
Two other cars, a Toyota Solara and a Pontiac, were also involved in the collision, although details of how they became ensnarled are currently unclear. The drivers were both treated for minor to moderate injuries, authorities said.
Facebookers took to internet to voice their concern over the driver’s following distance.
“Absolutely avoidable!” commented one user. “I’m a truck driver and had this driver kept a safe following distance, he could’ve stopped before hitting the car in front [of] him. I pray all are ok.”
The 3 second rule
The 3 second rule is a term used to describe the physical distance between you and the vehicle ahead. It’s the “3 seconds” of time you have to react. It works like this:
If you find that your vehicle has already passed up the stationary object, it’s time to slow down.
When we take our time on San Diego roadways, we help everyone, including ourselves, to avoid a car accident. When you head out to work tomorrow, give yourself the ample time you need to make it safely and accident-free.
About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC
Michael is a personal injury attorney with over 20 years of experience in car accidents. If you have been injured in an accident, call us at 1-800-655-6585 for a FREE consultation. You owe nothing until our firm wins your case.]]>