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Insurance survey reveals worrying distracted driving trends

A recent study from an auto insurer suggests that cellphone use by drivers is becoming an epidemic road safety problem in California and around the country. The poll of American drivers conducted by a Virginia-based research company on behalf of Root Insurance found that motorists spend about 13 minutes every day looking at smartphone screens instead of watching the traffic around them. Almost two in five drivers surveyed told researchers that they do not put their cellphones down even when they see a police car.

Why pedestrian deaths are increasing

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were 6,227 pedestrian deaths in 2018. That was an increase of 250 from 2017, and it was the highest level since 1990. The report states that smartphone usage as well as an increase in larger vehicles are partially to blame for this increase. Pedestrian deaths account for 16 percent of all annual traffic fatalities in California and throughout the country.

Opioid abuse may be a cause of some traffic fatalities

More insight is being given into the prescription opioid epidemic in California and around the country as a new study indicates that the drugs may play a role in fatal car accidents. The study, which was published in the JAMA Network Open, found that drivers who were under the influence of opioids were twice as likely to be at fault in fatal two-car accidents compared to the other driver not using the drugs. The most common error found in the accidents studied was drivers veering out of their lanes into other traffic.

Understanding why car accidents happen

Accidents happen quickly. California drivers who are involved in an automobile accident may find themselves wondering what caused the accident. Identifying what was behind an automobile accident is of interest to insurance companies as well as law enforcement agents. Insurance companies are interested in knowing what caused an accident and who was at fault to determine the type of compensation that is due and how much compensation is due. Law enforcement officials are interested in identifying who is legally liable and whether the individual should be issued a ticket.

Sleep deprivation an issue in ride-sharing industry

Ride-sharing drivers in California are often endangering themselves and others by working during extended periods of wakefulness. Drowsy driving, according to estimates from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, contribute to an average of 328,000 car crashes every year in this country. Of those, 109,000 result in injuries and 6,400 in at least one death.

Preparing for the challenges of winter driving

Drivers in California will want to be prepared for the storms and the snowy, icy or wet roads that they encounter during winter. This means ensuring that their vehicles are ready and equipped. The first thing that drivers should do is have a mechanic check the components, such as the battery, brakes and ignition; ensure the right tire pressure; and ensure the right antifreeze levels.

How drivers and pedestrians can contribute to safety

In 2016, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths. This was an increase from 2015, meaning that a pedestrian died in a traffic accident roughly every 90 minutes that year. However, there are several steps that pedestrians in California can take to stay safe and that drivers can follow to keep roads safer for them.

Car accidents could rise along with cannabis legalization

Recreational cannabis is legal in California, but many people may wonder about the impact of legalization on roadway safety. There's little evidence on how cannabis can affect a person's driving abilities, and there has only been limited research to find a legal limit for cannabis consumption before driving that's similar to the blood alcohol concentration used to regulate drunk driving. However, some studies indicate that concerns are legitimate when it comes to the potential for increased car accidents due to cannabis intoxication.

The safety concerns connected to stretch limos

There are many for-hire vehicle options here in the Los Angeles area. One such option that people sometimes chose in connection to parties, celebrations or other special events is a stretch limo. However, there are some safety concerns that come up in relation to such vehicles.

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