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Manhattan Beach Personal Injury Law Blog

Crosswalk rules drivers must follow

Crosswalks are a critical part of the road system, designed to help keep pedestrians safe. Drivers need to know how to operate their vehicles around them and what laws to follow in California. A simple mistake can put a pedestrian in serious danger.

First and foremost, if a pedestrian is legally in a crosswalk, a driver needs to stop and yield the right of way. This is important at all times but especially when drivers are turning. They may have the legal right to turn while the pedestrians on the other street are crossing. They must wait for those pedestrians before turning.

Drivers often blame visibility when they crash into motorcycles

For several decades, it seems like the average size of enclosed passenger vehicles in the United States has drastically increased. Extended cab trucks, SUVs and spacious crossovers dominate the lineups for many of the major automakers, both domestic and foreign. Larger vehicles aren't inherently negative, but they can give the people inside them an unearned sense of security.

The person driving that massive SUV probably doesn't worry about how badly they might get hurt in a crash with another vehicle, especially a smaller vehicle like a motorcycle. That sense of safety can lead to drivers failing to adequately monitor their surroundings, substantially increasing the risk to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle drivers.

Members of your medical care team after a spinal cord injury

Spinal cord injuries can considerably change a person's life. Not only do victims have to deal with the daunting information they receive about the injury, they also have to handle the influx of people who are working with them. This is difficult and can be downright confusing.

Each part of the medical care team is equally important. Always remember that you are an integral member of the team and have a say in making each decision regarding your care. Anyone who isn't able to advocate for themselves should execute a power of attorney for medical care so that person can make those decisions for them.

Los Angeles sheriff's detective dies in auto-pedestrian crash

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is mourning the loss of one of its own who died from injuries when she was struck by a car while off duty.

The 41-year-old detective was stopped at a red light when she saw an elderly woman fall to the ground while in a crosswalk in the community of Valley Village. The detective put her car in park, safely exited her vehicle and helped the woman across the street.

Remember that driving on medications can lead to accidents

If you have a cough or a cold, and you decide to take some over-the-counter medication for it, you probably won't think twice about driving. You barely even think of these medications as drugs. You're just trying to get through another day of feeling sick. You should be fine to drive, right?

Possibly, but it depends on what you took and what symptoms it produces for you. Definitely take the time to read the warning label. When in doubt, do not drive. Some common symptoms that various medications produce, which could impact your abilities behind the wheel, include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed movements
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble focusing
  • An inability to pay attention
  • Unexpected fainting
  • Excitability
  • Nausea

How serious of a factor is sleep apnea for truck drivers?

While many individuals who cohabitate with someone who has sleep apnea (SA) often complain about that person's snoring, this disorder is far more serious than it appears on the surface. This condition affects an individual's ability to breathe while sleeping. An individual may not enjoy restful sleep and thus wake up more fatigued than others if they suffer from SA. Data compiled by Freight Waves (FW) shows that some 35% of truckers have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. This is a very scary statistic.

FW's data shows that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is most common among truckers. This condition makes tractor-trailer operators feel less alert than they otherwise would if they didn't have OSA. Individuals with this type of SA receive less oxygen flow to their brains. This affects both their mood and alertness. Heart disease and hypertension are also common among individuals with OSA.

Are traumatic brain injuries something to be concerned about?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most serious medical conditions that can result from an incident such as an assault, contact sports incident or a motorcycle, truck or car crash. This type of injury is quite common too. Most individuals who are diagnosed with TBIs only suffer mild concussions. They can recover from these with little medical intervention in a matter of weeks. Others are left with more life-threatening or altering injuries that result in surgery and a lifetime of challenges.

The symptoms that individual experiences after suffering a TBI are often the same no matter how mild or severe their injury is. A person may initially lose consciousness in the immediate aftermath of an injuring incident. That individual may feel disoriented or confused, fatigued and suffer memory lapses once they come to.

How to safely drive a motorcycle on the highway

Even if you're not the type of person who regularly drives their motorcycle on the highway, you could still find yourself doing so every now and again.

When compared to driving in a city setting, operating your motorcycle on the highway is a different beast entirely. Here are some of the many steps you can take to maintain your safety:

  • Merge carefully: As a smaller vehicle with the potential to drive very fast, you need to take extra caution at merge points. Use your turn signal, match the speed of the vehicles that are already established in traffic and quickly check your blind spot before making your move.
  • Obey the speed limit: When driving a motorcycle, you have the potential to go faster than almost every vehicle on the road. And due to the size of your motorcycle, you're also nimbler. However, if you want to maintain your safety, you need to follow the speed limit at all times.
  • Keep your distance: Don't drive too closely to the vehicle in front of yours, as you need to leave enough space to stop in an emergency. For example, when driving at 70 miles per hour, you should leave a minimum of two to three seconds between vehicles.
  • Adjust for traffic conditions: In heavy traffic, take more caution in regard to your speed and how often you change lanes. For example, traffic during rush hour can quickly come to a stop, so you need to maintain a safe speed and following distance.
  • Adjust for weather conditions: If the weather quickly changes, adjust your approach on the fly to avoid trouble. Maybe it was bright and sunny when you left home, but now it's dark and rainy. Changing your approach to the road is a must.

You can't teach everyone to be a good driver

Some people just are not good drivers. When we think about the reasons, we often focus on ways to fix this. Maybe the person is young and inexperienced, for instance, and they'll get better with time. Maybe they are reckless, and they simply need to learn how to slow down and understand the real risks.

This isn't the wrong mindset. We should seek ways to turn people into safe drivers. However, it is also important to recognize that some people will never be good drivers. You cannot teach everyone to improve.

Pedestrian killed in Bay Area bus crash

Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities in California are not particularly noted as havens for walkers and hikers beyond certain scenic districts. The Golden State has a big car culture, which is only recently changing to accept more pedestrian and mass transit options as priorities and realities change to require them.

But even a bigger reliance on mass transit can pose hazards. A public bus was part of an accident in Redwood City which claimed the life of a 70-year-old woman on a recent morning. The crash happened directly next to a high school.

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