Red Light Violation Blamed for Fatal Metro Bus-Truck Accident

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A speeding truck driver, who also ran a red light, is being blamed for a fatal Metro accident recently. According to reports, the Metropolitan Transition Authority employee was driving a bus in the early hours of the morning, when it was hit by a tow truck. The tow truck was allegedly being operated at excessive speeds, and ran a red light just before the accident.

Police reports say that the impact of the accident was tremendous, and both of the vehicles were completely destroyed. Both of the drivers had to be extricated from their vehicles using life-saving equipment. The deceased driver is a 37-year-old woman. Even the tow truck driver sustained serious injuries, and was taken to the hospital in a serious condition.

This has been one of the more horrific accidents involving Metro buses recently, and understandably, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been devastated by the death of its employee.

The accident is likely to once again focus on the accidents risks involving red light violations in the state of California. It's also likely to trigger a debate on red light camera systems and their effectiveness in helping reduce the number of red light violations that contribute to accidents.

There has been plenty of opposition in California to red light camera systems, and critics have charged that the systems are installed not to help reduce accident risks, but to fatten state coffers. This is in spite of the fact that there is plenty of research indicating that red light camera systems are quite effective in helping reduce the number of these potentially deadly violations. Another analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently also made similar conclusions.

Troubling Increase in Dog Bite Claim Values

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

While the numbers of dog bite claims that have been filed over the years have remained more or less constant with slight fluctuations, the value of these claims has increased substantially.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, over the past decade, the value of dog bite claims has skyrocketed, accounting for $489.7 million in value in 2012 alone. According to the data, which was released to time with National Dog Bite Prevention Week in May, over the past 10 years, the number of dog bite insurance claims has gone from 16,695 in 2011 from 16,459 in 2001. That is hardly a statistically significant difference. However, the picture is markedly different when you consider the value of the claims.

In 2012, the value of dog bite claims accounted for approximately $489.7 million, accounting for more than one third of all homeowner’s liability insurance claims that were paid out in 2012. In contrast, in 2003 the value of dog bite claims was approximately $324.2 million. This is in spite of the fact that in 2003, there were actually a few hundred more dog bite claims than in 2012.

The average claim payout increased from $19,162 in 2003 to a $29,752 in 2012. That is an increase of 55%.

The Insurance Information Institute advises dog owners to be responsible with their dogs to avoid claims. Don’t assume that small dogs don't bite, and may not be involved in a vicious incident, resulting in a claim against you. Even dogs that are normally docile can bite when they are disturbed, when they feel threatened or when they feel hungry. Many owners of dog unfortunately get pets without bothering to understand responsible ownership practices. This often has devastating consequences.

Many Parents Distracted While Driving with Children

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A disturbing new study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics finds that distracted driving and the use of cell phones while driving is not only rampant among American adults, but also that many American adults are distracted by these devices, while they're driving with their children in the car.

The American Academy of Pediatrics study focused on 618 parents. Almost 90% of these parents admitted to several distracting activities while they were driving with their children in the car. The parents were given an option of 10 distracting activities, and were asked whether they performed these while they were driving, and most parents admitted to performing at least four of these activities.

These activities include using a hand-held cell phone while driving for a conversation, texting while driving, e-mailing, using a GPS device for directions, changing a CD, eating, grooming, and taking care of their child.

The most common distracting activity that parents admitted to indulging in was talking on a cell phone while driving. This is one of the most distracting activities you could perform, because it involves using your hand to hold a cell phone in the case of a hand-held cell phone, while the mind is completely focused on the conversation that you're having with the person on the other end.

The least common distracting activity was texting while driving, and that finding is not surprising to Los Angeles car accident lawyers, because there has been a lot of effort to educate people about the dangers of texting while driving in recent years. Those efforts seem to have had some success in reaching out to parents.

However, the fact that an overwhelming majority of parents admit to all kinds of distractions while driving, even when they're driving with the most precious cargo in their car, is very worrisome.

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