Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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AMBER Alert highway sign alerting motorists to...

AMBER Alert highway sign alerting motorists to a suspected child abduction in Northern California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hit-and-run accidents are a major problem in California and nationwide, and oftentimes tips from the public help authorities apprehend the drivers who cause them. Now one lawmaker representing Los Angeles-a city notorious for hit-and-run crashes-is proposing to use the statewide Emergency Alert System to keep the public informed about when and where these accidents occur and the vehicles involved in them.

Proposed by Assemblyman Mike Gatto earlier this month, Assembly Bill 47 calls for a ‘yellow alert’ system modeled after Amber Alerts. The hope is that when the public is promptly given descriptions of the vehicles involved in hit-and-run accidents, they can help authorities catch the drivers before they’re able to flee and hide evidence. This is not Gatto’s first attempt to alleviate the problem. A bill he introduced last fall that would extend the statute of limitations for hit-and-run offenses from three to six years will take effect this July.

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Seat belt plug

Seat belt plug (Photo credit: goodgerster)

If you’ll be joining the more than 30 million Americans expected to be on the roads this Memorial Day weekend then you should buckle up or risk paying steep fines. Until June 1, the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in full force looking for drivers and passengers who are unbelted as part of their Click It or Ticket campaign.

Those who choose not to wear seatbelts are risking more than the expense of a ticket: they’re increasing their chances of losing their lives in a crash by 50 percent. In 2012 alone, over 10,000 passenger vehicle occupants were not wearing seatbelts when they were killed in collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Seatbelts were estimated to have saved nearly 63,000 lives from 2008 to 2012.

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Shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, 2014, a 28-year-old man shot a 22-year-old woman in the eye with a BB gun in an apparent road-rage incident in Stevenson Ranch, reported the Los Angeles Times. The suspect, Cory Flenory, a parolee, attempted to ram the car in which the woman was riding in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart. Flenory then followed the vehicle to the intersection of the Old Road and Pico Canyon Road, where he shot at the vehicle with his BB gun. The woman was shot in the right eye and underwent seven hours of surgery. Authorities arrested him shortly before 8 a.m. on Monday on suspicion of mayhem.


Every year in the United States, an average of at least 1,500 people are injured or killed as a result of ‘aggressive driving,’ according to a study published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Since 2005, the number of people who say they’ve felt ‘uncontrollable anger’ toward another driver has doubled to more than 1 in 10 drivers on the road, reported The Washington Post. Among younger drivers, 1 in 6, or 18 percent, reported feeling road rage often.

Under California law, drivers who engage in road rage will face penalties for assault, the suspension of their licenses, and a court-approved anger management course on road rage. In addition to criminal charges, overly-aggressive drivers could also face civil actions, such as personal injury claims, from those who they harm for recovery-related expenses, such as medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

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Result of a serious automobile accident

Result of a serious automobile accident (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you often hear cars screeching to a halt down the road from your house? Some intersections are worse than others when it comes to crashes. Today, the Orange County Register revealed the eight most dangerous intersections in the county. Read on to find out if the one near you is among them.

1. Chapman Avenue at Jamboree Road in Orange was the location of 5 fatal crashes between 2008 and 2012. The “complex section of road” where Santiago Canyon Road crosses Jamboree Road and turns into Chapman Avenue-where “rural meets city”-is considered Orange County’s most dangerous.

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Police car emergency lighting fixtures switche...

Police car emergency lighting fixtures switched on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As people celebrated Cinco de Mayo over the weekend, authorities arrested 466 motorists for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Los Angeles County, reported the Los Angeles Times. The holiday DUI crackdown, which included authorities from 100 law enforcement agencies and involved DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints, began on Friday and ended Monday night. DUI saturation patrols were also planned for Orange County over the weekend; however, the sheriff’s department here has yet to release information concerning how many arrests were made.

In 2012, fatalities in collisions involving drunk drivers increased 4.6 percent, claiming 10,322 lives compared to 9,865 in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher, nearly twice the legal limit, were responsible for the majority of those accidents. Alcohol was a contributing factor to 6,562 of the accidents that caused injury or death in Los Angeles County that year.

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Biking in the driveway

Biking in the driveway (Photo credit: quinn.anya)

Accidentally harming their children is many parents’ worst nightmare. One night in October 2002, Greg Gulbransen, a loving father and pediatrician, checked on his sleeping, two-year-old son Cameron after returning from an evening out with his wife. He then went to move the family’s SUV into their driveway. As he backed in, he felt a small bump with the front wheel. When he jumped out of the vehicle, he found the most devastating scene of his life: his son lying down with his blanket in his hand while bleeding profusely from his head. The boy had followed his father out to the car. Had Greg’s SUV come equipped with a backup camera, he may have seen him.

Since the tragic accident, Greg and other parents who’ve suffered similar fates have campaigned to have the government require all automakers to install this crucial safety technology in their vehicles. Despite passing the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act in 2008, which required the Department of Transportation to issue a standard for rear visibility to car manufacturers by 2011, the DOT and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration failed to act until now. After filing four extensions and facing a lawsuit for its delayed action, the DOT and the NHTSA announced yesterday that backup cameras must be standard equipment in all vehicles under 10,000 pounds built in and after May 2018.

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Shortly after midnight on Thursday, March 13, 2014, a crash at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas killed two people and injured at least 23 others, reported the Los Angeles Times.


Police officers suspected a motorist was driving while intoxicated. When they attempted to stop him, he sped away, broke through a barricade, and drove the wrong way on a one-way street packed with festivalgoers, crashing into a crowd standing near the Mohawk nightclub. Two people who were riding a motorized scooter were struck and died at the scene. Emergency responders transported 10 others to the hospital, five to receive treatment for major trauma. The driver has been arrested and faces potential charges of capital murder, manslaughter, and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.

Across the country, impaired driving claims thousands of lives and injures tens of thousands of others every year. Deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers increased 4.6 percent from 9,865 in 2011 to 10,322 in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In many cases, the victims of these accidents are not the drunk drivers, with unimpaired drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists accounting for 3,371 of those killed in DUI crashes in 2011.

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Result of a serious automobile accident

Result of a serious automobile accident (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you think about it, driving to work or around town is one of the most dangerous things we do every day. While we can’t predict when and if we’ll be in an accident, many of us take some comfort in the fact that cars are safer now than they used to be. They have seat belts and airbags and a host of other innovations to increase our chances of surviving a crash. Imagine, however, that one of these features, the airbags, failed to deploy, possibly turning the serious accident our kids were in into a fatal one and that the automaker knew of the defect and did nothing about it for years as more and more lives were lost. That’s exactly what happened at General Motors, and many people-parents, officials, and safety advocates-are, understandably, outraged.

Last month, GM recalled 1.6 million vehicles due to a defect in the ignition switches that caused some of its cars that were manufactured between 2003 and 2007 to stall or fail to deploy their airbags. Despite documenting the problem as early as 2004, a year prior to the first of thirteen deaths in crashes in which the vehicle’s airbags failed to deploy, and communications with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the issue, GM stalled to recall its defective cars.

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English: The whole scene of a car crash, and r...

English: The whole scene of a car crash, and rescue teams in action in Maracaibo, by the year 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine that your husband went for a bike ride around the park one Sunday morning and a van struck and dragged him nearly 600 feet, shearing off parts of his feet, wearing down large patches of his skin, and grinding off some of his fingertips as he grabbed the pavement in an attempt to free himself; or that your daughter was leaving a museum and was struck by a BMW with such force that her teeth were knocked out, her jaw snapped apart, and her kneecaps shattered; or your father tried to cross a busy intersection in his wheelchair and was hit and killed. Like the rest of us, you’d be shocked, worried, and upset, but you’d also be outraged when you discovered that the driver cared so little for human life that he or she fled the scene, leaving your loved one to suffer in the street.

These three stories are real and represent only a fraction of the tragedies suffered on our streets and sidewalks. The reality in Orange County, where hit-and-run drivers killed or injured 935 people in 2011, is grim, but it’s much worse in Los Angeles.

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Shortly before 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 23, 2014, Salma Hayek’s brother, 40-year-old Sami Hayek, was involved in a fatal crash in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles, reported the Los Angeles Times.


While traveling eastbound on Sunset Boulevard in a 2006 Ford GT, Hayek lost control of the vehicle, veered into westbound lanes, and crashed into a 2011 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. His male passenger, a 43-year-old resident of Mexico, was pronounced dead at the scene. Emergency responders transported Hayek and the driver of the truck, 20-year-old Alvin Gomez, to an area hospital to receive treatment for their injuries. Authorities are investigating the accident.

After six consecutive years of declining, motor vehicle crashes and deaths increased in 2012 on our nation’s roads and highways. We lost 33,561 people to collisions that year, 3.3 percent more than in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The California Office of Traffic Safety indicates that crash fatalities in the state increased 2.6 percent in California and decreased slightly in Los Angeles, from 568 in 2010 to 542 in 2011.

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