Car Accident Injury While Visiting California

People across the country and all over the world come to see California’s beautiful and scenic sights. Whether traveling to ski in Northern California’s Sierra snow (perhaps in Mammoth Mountain), take a trip through beautiful Southern California down the Pacific Coast Highway, or come for business, millions of people visit the Golden State each year.

Yes, most visitors get to enjoy their trips to California. Unfortunately, an unexpected and injury-inducing car accident can quickly deflate a happy romantic honeymoon in Santa Barbara, put a damper on a full plate of business meetings in L.A. or San Francisco, or ruin a family reunion in Big Bear.

What to do if you’ve been in an accident during your California vacation?

An out-of-state accident can feel overwhelming as you are out of your element in many ways; however, the basic actions you should take still apply. You should always call the police and report the accident. Make sure to call 911 if anyone involved in the crash is seriously injured.

Next, take photos of the other car as well as any damage to your vehicle (or rental car). If you’re able to collect the contact information of all parties involved in the accident; however, if you are not able to, this is the officer’s job on the scene, including obtaining everyone’s insurance information for the police report. Next, (if able) look for any eyewitnesses and get their contact information and take down notes of any details they recollect.

Next, notify your insurance company, but try not to worry about this too much. They will have the information from the police report, but a heads up can’t hurt, especially if you’re out of state or using a rental car and have additional insurance.

Should you get checked out by a medical professional or contact a law firm?

You should always go to the hospital or an urgent care following an accident to be checked out by a medical professional, even if you feel fine momentarily after the accident. Adrenaline can mask something like whiplash or a back injury and other hormones released from the stress and impact of the unexpected collision. It’s best not to wait and see in these cases and are on the side of caution.

Lastly, but particularly if you have suffered any injury (specifically a more serious one), it’s critical to contact an experienced and reputable attorney licensed in California. They can effectively manage your case (especially if you are not physically able), collect and highlight any evidence, interview potential witnesses, and review details with the insurance companies. As you aren’t local in this situation, it’s essential to have someone protecting your rights on your behalf who is.

Whether you are staying for an extended visit in California, unfortunately, stuck in the hospital, or have to travel back home, an attorney can also alleviate some of the stress associated with dealing with an out-of-state accident.

Note: California has a statute of limitations on accidents, and that clock starts ticking from the day the accident occurred — so do not hesitate to act.

Most Dangerous Times to Drive in San Francisco

San Francisco has some of the most saturated traffic in the nation. According to the 2021 Urban Mobility Report, The San Francisco Bay Area has the fourth overall worst traffic and fourth-highest excess fuel consumption due to congestion in the nation (and both numbers rose from 2019 to 2020).

If you’re one of the many drivers in the area, then you may be wondering what you can do to avoid these statistics. Interestingly, there are days and times where accidents and traffic congestion are more likely to occur.

What can make driving turn deadly?

Typically, the risk of collision is greater when driving during the heaviest hours of congestion when commuters flood the freeway to get home from work. Usually, to make matters worse, these drivers are in a rush! Add potential drunk drivers or drivers under the influence of illegal drugs into the commotion of a heavily trafficked freeway, the risk for a severe accident is even higher. These drivers are out on the freeways in droves during Friday evening’s rush hour.

The best way to protect yourself and your passengers from a terrible wreck (even a potentially fatal one) is by being aware of the risks, surroundings, and data to make smarter driving time decisions.

For example, San Francisco-Oakland, California, is fifth in the nation as of 2020 for excess truck travel time and congestion. It’s horrible to be on a packed freeway, let alone with massive 18- wheelers surrounding your sedan or minivan.

How Many Accidents Occur in the Bay Area?

Although in 2020 reports, the Bay Area saw a dip in the number of crashes, this was most likely due to fewer Californians commuting to work as many workers went remote. Additionally, Covid-19 related lockdowns were prevalent in much of the state for long stints, which also impacted traffic, so 2021 numbers may reflect much higher. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic deaths were up by 7% across the country despite, on average, 13% less congestion in 2020. Nevertheless, the Bay Area’s statistics are still staggering compared to other portions of the U.S.

Vision Zero is a city policy implemented back in 2014 in San Francisco to eliminate traffic deaths on the city’s roads by 2024. Unfortunately, the number of traffic fatalities grew from the prior year. In 2020, 30 deaths in San Francisco city limits were traffic fatalities. Of course, this does not include the entire Bay Area. Oakland’s traffic deaths spiked in 2020 by nearly 60%, and more than 20,000 people were injured in San Francisco traffic-related accidents in 2020.

What is the deadliest time of day on the road in San Francisco?

According to the City of San Francisco’s definition, the morning peak period of road congestion is 7-9 a.m., and evening peak is 4:30-6:30 p.m. During these times of day, be sure your eyes are on the road and you are not distracted by your phone or loved one in the car with you. Pay attention to traffic and speed laws, pedestrian traffic, red lights, stop signs, and yielding  —which all happen to be the city’s top five things to focus on while driving but are the leading five causes of collisions.

What to do if you’ve been injured in a California vehicle collision?

First, call the police and file a report. It’s not always easy gathering insurance and contact information after an accident, especially if you’re injured or it’s a multi-car crash. To make matters more complex, we live in a world where rideshare drivers often are speeding to pick up a fare and are involved in accidents. Everyone’s anxiety also seems to be higher in a pandemic world, and with a battered economy, some drivers may be cruising around without insurance, registration, or a valid license.

In some of the worst instances, you may be dealing with an intoxicated driver, making matters more dangerous and complicated. The police will gather everyone’s information carefully and efficiently.

Next, always get checked out at the hospital even if you feel fine, as the signs of whiplash, for example, don’t always show up instantly. Plus, the anxiety of an accident can mask symptoms and pain of injuries you may not be aware you’ve obtained.

Lastly, but just as essential as the above, it’s wise to contact an experienced and trusted California Bay Area car accident and personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will ensure you know all of your rights and collect any damages you may be entitled to receive.

When You’re Injured in an Accident Caused by a High Driver

According to The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), the higher on drugs one is, the more significant risks they take while driving. A 2018 report revealed, 42% of all drivers killed in collisions (who had been tested) tested positive for legal or illegal drugs, and the percentage has increased in each following year of data.

OTS, California law enforcement, federal agencies, and the cannabis and pharmaceutical industry representatives are all concerned and wish to bring greater awareness to the public, particularly drivers who take prescribed drugs and those using illegal ones. Bringing awareness and potentially more reform could prevent even more significant loss of life due to these severe issues in the future.

California’s Proposition 64 doesn’t negate your right to safety

First, despite California’s Proposition 64 (The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (of 2016), which made it legal for people 21 and older to use and grow marijuana for personal use, drivers still have rights and laws of the road in place to protect them in the event of a collision with a high driver.

Although using marijuana is permitted in private residences or at a business licensed for the on-site consumption of marijuana, using marijuana while driving a motor vehicle remains illegal, anywhere that prohibits smoking tobacco, and in all public spaces.

California’s drunk and drugged driving law applies to over-the-counter medications that make a motorist sleepy and now legal drugs like marijuana. The use of marijuana, therefore, is not permitted in a car, drivers cannot drive with THC in their system, and it may not be out in the open in a vehicle.

How to prove a driver was driving while high?

Testing a driver for THC isn’t simple or very straightforward (at the moment). A recent state report from The California Highway Patrol’s Impaired Driving Task Force recommends several changes to test and track California drivers impaired by marijuana and other drugs more efficiently. For now, officers have to mainly rely on monitoring a driver’s actions for symptoms of marijuana use. An officer can observe a driver’s pupils for reactions and dilation. Marijuana affects a part of the brain that controls movement, stability, and coordination, and can diminish perception and memory. Officers can check for tremors in eyelids and the body. If marijuana use is suspected, only a blood test can verify the presence of THC and its levels, but this is time-sensitive, as the level of THC reduces by a whopping 75% within only one hour.

But what if a high or stoned driver has already injured you?

A driver arrested for DUI will have their driver’s license suspended and sometimes revoked. The court ruling may not only fine the driver but require jail time.

If a driver caused a crash while high, the driver’s car insurance would pay for medical bills, lost wages, car repairs/replacement, and other expenses caused during the collision. If the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance, your insurance’s underinsured and uninsured coverage will kick in.

Your rights and options after a crash with a high driver

First, call the police immediately. It is vital to make sure the police come to the crash scene as your insurance company will need an accident report and the driver’s insurance and contact information. In the event the other driver is found to be high or stoned, your insurance company will go after that driver’s insurance to get you compensation for expenses related to the crash.

If possible, make sure to take pictures of the high driver’s car and VIN, as well as any damage to your vehicle.

Next, it is wise to reach out to an attorney right away following a crash with a high or stoned driver as again testing is tricky, and you will want as much expertise on your side as possible to make sure you get total compensation.

An experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney can ensure that you receive complete compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages (if you are out of work for any length of time), medical bills, prescriptions, therapy, and all other applicable damages.

Additionally, if the insurance settlement offer isn’t enough to cover your expenses, a personal injury attorney can aid you in filing a lawsuit.

Do not feel you don’t have ground to stand on with a stoned driver — you do but keep in mind that aspects of these cases can be time-sensitive and it is in your best interests to consult with an attorney.

California’s Dangerous Rural Roads

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that while the pandemic caused Americans to drive less in 2020, statistics show increased crash fatalities. The NHTSA also found that accidents in California occur at higher percentages than in other states.

Many of California’s car accidents happen on rural roadways and there are many reasons why these roads are dangerous. Below are some of the hazards of rural road conditions. If you take these roads, it’s essential to know this information because it will help you seek damages if you are injured.

Rural Road Dangers

City streets pose inherent dangers. The sheer amount of distractions – cyclists, pedestrians, and cars switching lanes – can contribute to car accidents. Rural roads, although not as populated, pose their own dangers.

  • Decreased Law Enforcement Presence – Some drivers may feel encouraged to speed or drive more recklessly than usual if they know the police won’t stop them.
  • Decreased Visibility – A driver’s visibility is reduced because there aren’t many streetlights. Natural conditions such as fog or dirt can also lower visibility which increases the risk for collisions.
  • Poor Road Maintenance – Rural roads present different challenges for vehicles. There may be more potholes and cracks that a driver must avoid. Road signs may also be missing, increasing the chances that a driver might stop short, reverse when they aren’t supposed to, or make quick turns.
  • Spotty Cell Phone Service – Cell phone coverage is not as strong in rural areas. That means that contacting help in the event of an emergency could be trying.
  • Longer Emergency Response Time – If you successfully contact emergency services, there may be a longer wait time for help to arrive. These rural roads can be far from populated centers, which increases the length of time emergency vehicles need to drive. Plus, low visibility and other factors may also increase travel times.

With all these aspects of rural road dangers, negligent drivers put themselves and others at risk. Some common causes of rural accidents include:

  • Speeding – More people tend to speed on rural roads due to the lack of law enforcement and posted speed limit signs. This can be dangerous as drivers may not be prepared for sharp turns that require them to slow down.
  • Reckless driving – Reckless driving is hazardous on narrow rural roads, many of which lack shoulders or guardrails and have unpredictable curves.
  • Driving While Intoxicated – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs slows response times.
  • Debris – Rural roads have more cracks and potholes than city streets. There can be tree limbs, trash, and other objects on the road that haven’t been cleared.
  • Bad weather – Rain, wind, fog, and ice all contribute to hazardous driving conditions. Recent wildfires have also created heavy smoke that can impact driving conditions.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

An experienced auto accident attorney like Dan Rose Law can help if you’ve been involved in a rural car accident. You can contact our attorneys at 415-946-8900 or at Dan Rose Law to schedule a free consultation.

Are Insurance Rates Affected in All Types of Car Accidents?

After safety, the first thought that comes after a car accident is, “Will my insurance go up?” Sometimes, this thought may even alter the way a driver handles the situation. They may opt to not get the police involved for fear that their insurance might go up.

Accidents don’t always require two moving cars to collide. Statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration show a third of collisions are caused from behind. These typically happen when a car runs into another already car stopped at a red light. Drivers also collide with stationary objects, like stop signs and parked cars.

The good news? Not all accidents will make insurance premiums rise. Insurance companies only raise premiums for what they deem “chargeable” accidents.

Chargeable Accident Defined.

In California, only chargeable accidents can lead to higher insurance premiums. A chargeable accident is when a driver is more than 50% at fault. The accident also had to cause:

  • Property damage. This can include damage to another vehicle, fence, or garage.
  • Bodily injury or death

Not All Accidents Are Chargeable

Since chargeable accidents are where the driver is more than 50% at fault, non-chargeable accidents mean the insured person was not to blame. In a non-chargeable accident, your insurance rates will not go up.

Some examples of non-chargeable accidents include:

  • A legally parked car that suffered damage
  • Stopped at a red light and rear-ended while not moving

Proof of Fault

An auto insurance company may require proof that the accident was not your fault, and therefore, not chargeable.

The following documents will be helpful to prove that the accident is not chargeable. It’s always a best practice to thoroughly read through any report or writing you intend to submit as proof. You should make sure that any information submitted correctly describes the accident.

  • Police reports. At times, the information may include the party at fault.
  • If there is a statement from the other driver admitting guilt, this should be submitted.
  • Written proof of the other driver’s insurance company accepting responsibility
  • Receipts or documents showing that you were reimbursed for damages

Can My Insurance Company Find Out About the Car Accident?

An auto insurance company will look at the motor vehicle record (MVR) when a driver applies for a new policy and t renewal times. A motor vehicle record will include accidents reported to the state.

In California, an accident must be reported to the DMV if a person is killed, harmed, or property damage is more than $1,000. The accident must also be reported within 10 days of when it occurred.

Auto Insurance Surcharges

A surcharge is defined as an increase in your insurance coverage after a chargeable accident. An auto insurer cannot start a surcharge mid-policy. They must wait until renewal.

Besides chargeable accidents, other variables can impose an insurance surcharge. These include moving violations and chargeable incidents.

Chargeable Incidents

A chargeable incident is a moving violation. Examples include speeding, leaving the scene of an accident, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Chargeable accidents and incidents can both cause insurance rates to increase for 3-to-5 years. The period will depend on whether there are subsequent chargeable accidents or incidents.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you have been the victim of a car accident and you’ve been surcharged, you will need a San Francisco auto accident lawyer to defend you. Call us at 415-946-8900 or at Dan Rose Law to schedule a free consultation.

 

Teach Your Teens What to Do When a Car Crash Happens

After years of protecting your children from danger, you now face one of the most dangerous activities: driving. Car crashes are the second leading cause of death for those between 5 and 29 years of age. In 2019, there were 36,096 motor vehicle fatalities. While the number of car crashes decreased in 2020, drivers under 20 are three times more likely to have a car accident. Statistics show that within their first year of driving, 1 in 4 teens will have an accident. Below are ways you can prepare your child if a car crash happens.

  1. Stay Calm

Speaking to your children about the range of emotions after a car crash is helpful.  Teen drivers, like adults, can feel shocked and guilty. They might think about whether their parents will be upset and whether the other driver is hurt. This may bring fear, nervousness, and even anger.

As parents, you can coach your teen children into awareness that these are normal feelings. Exercises like taking deep breaths in and out, or counting to 10 can help calm them down to face the situation. The calmer they remain, the better able they will be to handle the aftermath of a car accident.

  1. Call Home

Your teen should call home immediately. If your teen driver is crying and upset, as the parent, you can provide emotional support. The parent can also remind the teen child of what they should do if nerves and anxiousness make them forget.

Calling home also allows the parent time to get to the accident scene and act as a buffer. That way, the teen driver can get a better sense of how to handle the situation. This is important mainly because the adult parent will help with insurance claims after the accident.

  1. Call the Police

You should instruct your teen driver to call the police. They should check with everyone inside their car to see if anyone has sustained any injuries. This information can be given to the police to request emergency assistance. Usually, the dispatcher will ask the following questions:

  • The dispatcher will ask for the name and phone number of the person calling. This is necessary in case the authorities need to get in touch.
  • The dispatcher will need to know the severity of the accident. They will ask questions such as whether there is a fire, traffic hazard, and a need for medical assistance.
  • The dispatcher will need to know the precise location of the accident. Mile markers can help, in addition to the direction of travel (northbound, southbound, etc.), the name of the city or the road.

Even if there are no injuries, there may be times when it is advisable to still call the police. If there is a lot of damage to the vehicle, a police report can be beneficial for insurance purposes. The report will detail what the officer saw, statements from the drivers, and witness reports.

  1. Do Not Admit Fault

Cooperating with police during the aftermath of a car accident is essential. However, your teen driver should not admit fault. Liability is determined through investigations such as speaking with witnesses, photographs, and sometimes damage to the cars. Admitting liability or fault can complicate insurance claims and potential personal injury suits.

5. Exchange Driver Information

Requesting to exchange information with the other driver is important. You should advise your teen to take a picture with their phone of the other driver’s insurance card and driver’s license. If the other driver refuses, then your teen driver can at least write down the car’s make and model and the license plate.

It is a scary situation if your teen driver has been involved in a car accident. Consulting with a Bay Area car accident lawyer at the Dan Rose Law Firm can help you assess damages to make the right decisions for you and your family.

Consequences in San Francisco of Cell Phone Use While Driving

As smartphones get more innovative and connectivity to emails, text messages, and video messages increases, our screen time increases. Unfortunately, many drivers still lack the restraint needed to put their phones down and just drive. Using a cell phone while driving has contributed to a rise in car accidents in the San Francisco area.

To keep drivers safer, California has many laws restricting the use of cell phones.

CALIFORNIA’S LAWS ABOUT CELL PHONES AND DRIVING

California has two different laws about cell phones and driving. One covers the use of speaking on a cell phone without a hands-free device. The other, referred to as distracted driving, covers the use of text messages while driving.

California law prohibits all motorists from using a cellphone while driving unless it is a hands-free device. California Vehicle Code 23123 states that:

“A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking and is used in that manner while driving.”

There are four exceptions. These include drivers calling to report an emergency, cell phone use on private property, bus drivers, or emergency service personal operating an authorized emergency vehicle.

In San Francisco, if a driver is caught talking on a handheld device, they are breaking the law. Drivers must use an earpiece, speakerphone, Bluetooth device, or other hands-free device to speak on their mobile phone.

California’s distracted driving laws prohibit texting while driving. California Vehicle Code 23123.5 states that:

“A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device unless the wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in that manner while driving.”

Electronic wireless communications devices are defined as a broadband personal communication device, a handheld device or laptop computer, and a pager.

Text message while driving is illegal. It is also illegal to use other cellphone features, including web browsing and GPS, while driving.

CONSEQUENCES OF USING YOUR CELL PHONE

California’s cellphone and distracted driving laws are “primary” offenses. That means that a law enforcement officer can stop your vehicle if you talk or text on your smartphone.

If you are stopped for using a cellphone while driving, you can be fined up to a $20 base fine for your first violation. The second offense is a $50 base fine. However, the amount you may pay will be higher based on assessments.

You also risk points on your license for talking on a cellphone. For violations that occurred on or after July 1, 2021, the DMV will assess one point for repeat offenders. However, the current violation had to be within 36 months of a prior conviction.

Violating California’s district driving laws is an infraction. If convicted, a motorist faces a $20 base fine for the first offense and a $50 base fine for the second. If the distracted driving violation happened within 36 months of a previous one, it would also result in one point.

A police officer cannot stop an underage driver for talking or texting. But, if the minor is pulled over for a legitimate reason, such as speeding, they could be given a citation for violating the hands-free law or for distracted driving. If you have any questions about San Fransico’s cellphone or distracted driving laws, contact our attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose

Types of Pregnancy Injuries Due to Car Accidents

Vehicle collisions can lead to severe injuries for all the occupants involved. However, a pregnant woman involved in a car crash has a greater risk of unique injuries. That’s because pregnant occupants have a different relationship between the steering wheel and seatbelts than non-pregnant occupants. This can lead to uncommon injuries not only for the pregnant woman but also to their growing fetus.
It is always advisable to seek immediate medical attention if you are pregnant and were involved in a car crash as a precautionary measure to ensure your fetus’s health.
Below is a list of injuries unique to expecting mothers.

PLACENTAL ABRUPTION

Placental abruption is a common cause of fetal loss in an automobile crash. It happens when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, disrupting oxygen supply and nutrients to the fetus. This type of injury can occur even when pregnant women are correctly using a seatbelt. However, the risk of placental abruption increases with women who are in the later stages of their pregnancy.

UTERINE INJURY

Uterine rupture and lacerations are rare during pregnancy. Injury to the uterus in car accidents almost exclusively happens during pregnancy. That’s because a woman’s uterus is much larger at that time. When a uterine rupture occurs, the likelihood of fetal death is nearly 100%. The mother may also face complications, such as internal bleeding.

DIRECT FETAL INJURY

Direct fetal injury (DFI) doesn’t occur often. During the first three months of pregnancy, the pelvis still protects the uterus. However, as the baby grows bigger, the uterus begins to protrude from the abdomen. During this stage of pregnancy, the fetus can suffer a direct injury in a car accident. Usually, the skull is the most common direct fetal injury. It can lead to severe injuries for the fetus, including miscarriage.

MISCARRIAGE

A fetus is protected by the uterus and the amniotic fluid, which acts as a shock absorber. If a pregnant woman hits the steering wheel or another part of the car, the impact can puncture the fluid. When the amniotic fluid is low, it can lead to miscarriage. Also, suppose the expecting mother loses oxygen as a result of the car accident. In that case, it can also lead to a miscarriage.

PREMATURE BIRTH

Premature birth happens when a woman delivers her baby before the fetus is considered “full term”— before 37 weeks. Premature babies can have a myriad of health issues. The stress of a car accident can cause a woman to deliver her child prematurely.

Pregnant women face many unique injuries to themselves and their fetuses when involved in a car accident. Aside from the safety concerns, expecting mothers will face more financial damages than other car crash victims. Not only will the mother need medical attention and monitoring, but so will the fetus.

The time after an automobile collision may be particularly stressful. If you were involved in a car accident while pregnant, you might have the right to financial compensation. However, it is vital to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose to protect your rights.

How to Secure Surveillance Footage of your Car Accident in California

Car accidents are unexpected. Most happen quickly, and those involved think about their safety first.
However, after a car crash, people will try to reconstruct the events. There may be police or paramedics on the scene who will ask you to recount the events leading up to the accident. Often, there may be a better way to obtain the details of an accident. With highway cameras and local business surveillance, video footage may be an excellent way to get non-biased evidence of what actually occurred.
Obtaining video surveillance footage immediately after an accident can help demonstrate who was the negligent party. However, these digital records must be promptly obtained before they are erased. Coordinating with personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose is the best way to request and review any wrongdoing caught on camera.

Types of Camera Footage

In every personal injury case, the person who brings the claim is responsible for proving that another driver was negligent. Many types of evidence can contribute to this. However, video evidence is the most powerful. It can show how the car crash happened. Video can accurately recount the events that transpired, showing the at-fault party and the seriousness of the impact.

If you’ve been involved in a car crash, there are several sources you can check for video footage.

  • Red-Light Cameras

While red-light camera evidence can raise legal issues, it can also be valuable in an intersection collision. In California, it is common for local governments to use cameras at intersections to enforce traffic violations such as running a red light. California law allows photographic evidence obtained from red-light cameras to be held for six months from the date it was captured or until the final disposition of a citation, whichever is later. After that, it is destroyed. Therefore, if you were the victim of a car accident at an intersection, you may have a limited time to recover any footage.

  • Business Surveillance

Many businesses in California have a commercial-grade security system, referred to as CCTV. It monitors and safeguards the business premise to keep unauthorized individuals out. If the car accident happened outside a gas station, large chain store, or other business, it’s best to verify if that particular business had a surveillance system. The footage obtained can identify the other party involved by showing a license plate number. This visual component can be beneficial in hit-and-run accidents. Having this information can help you recover damages from the driver responsible.

  • Dashcams

Dash cams are increasing in popularity as they become more affordable. A dashcam records what happens outside of the car. Depending on the type of dash cam, some can even detect a driver’s speed and whether they were wearing a seat belt.

If you have a dashcam inside your vehicle, it could show how the crash happened. Under California law, the data a dashcam stores are the property of the driver. So, if a witness to the accident had a dashcam, they could share it with you.

  • Cellphone Video

Today, most people turn to record incidents they witness. If you were involved in a car accident, finding a witness who recorded the incident could be helpful to your personal injury case.

After a car accident, obtaining video footage of your accident could help your case. However, it requires an investigation to determine what types of video may be available. Our experienced attorneys can help, especially in circumstances where a business may not willing to turn over video without a court subpoena.

10 Leading Causes of Car Accidents in California

Each year, thousands of car accidents are recorded all over the United States. The number has decreased over the years, but tens of thousands of car crashes are registered in California yearly.  In 2017, the California Highway Patrol recorded 193,564 crashes and 3,582 fatalities.

While not every car accident can be avoided, you can certainly lessen your chances by knowing the most common reasons for car crashes. Many accidents in California result from reckless or negligent behavior, such as driving while impaired, speeding, and distracted driving.

Driving While Impaired

Driving while impaired with drugs and/or alcohol isn’t the leading cause of collisions, but it is the deadliest. Motorists under the influence of alcohol or drugs have slowed reaction times. This is true even with some prescription medications. If you are unsure whether you have reached the legal limit under California’s laws, it’s best to play it safe and allow someone else to drive.

Distracted Driving

The exact number of distracted driving accidents is unknown in California; however, it is a leading cause of car crashes. Distracted driving can range from texting or talking on the phone to more innocent conduct, like eating, reaching over for an object, talking to other passengers in the vehicle, and even smoking.

Speeding

You may be tempted to accelerate speed when pressed for time, but speeding is the third leading cause of car accidents. Speeding increases the chance of collision because drivers have less reaction time to respond.  Speed-related crashes are also more likely to have catastrophic outcomes, given the large amount of energy that must be released during the crash.

Rain

Car accidents often happen when it rains. That’s because driving on wet roads can create slick and dangerous conditions. Rain also lessens visibility, making it more likely for a collision.

Driving at Night

Road visibility becomes more difficult once it’s dark outside. As a driver, you may not be able to see signs or a person crossing the road. It’s essential to be even more alert if you’re driving at night and use high beams if you’re on a desolate road with no streetlights.

Running Through Yellow or Red Lights

Blowing through a red light or speeding through a yellow one is extremely dangerous. Often, these types of accidents cause a side-impact collision at higher speeds, making them deadly.

Running Stop Signs

Each year, thousands of car crashes occur when a driver fails to stop at a stop sign.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving, such as speeding, excessive lane changes, and other aggressive driving behavior, can cause serious accidents. It is also a traffic violation. You risk being held responsible in large part for causing an accident while violating traffic laws.

Tailgating

Following another car too closely is tailgating. When the motorist ahead of you in the lane of traffic stops abruptly, you risk slamming into their vehicle because you have restricted your reaction time to any sudden changes by reducing your proximity.

Unsafe Lane Changes

When drivers don’t properly check their mirrors, especially their blind spots, they may collide with another motorist.

When an accident occurs due to negligent behavior, legal recourse may be available to victims or their surviving family members. Our car accident attorneys at the Dan Rose Law firm can help.