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Brake failure a frequent cause of commercial truck crashes

These days, sharing the road with commercial trucks is an unavoidable reality for motorists across California and the United States. When the people sitting behind the wheels of those trucks lack adequate training, they endanger you and everyone else they encounter. Because commercial trucks are so massive and heavy, it is more critical than ever that their brakes work. Truckers who depend on their brake performance alone compromise the safety of everyone on the roadway.

How? For starters, safely maneuvering a massive truck downhill takes more than just functioning brakes – it takes sound judgment and careful, rigorous training. Otherwise, truck drivers may, whether intentionally or not, endanger everyone they pass on the way down those hills, because their actions may ultimately lead to brake failure.

Your eye may not see a motorcycle

A driver pulls up to a stop sign and looks both ways. He does not see any traffic on the cross street, so he pulls out into the road.

And right into the path of a motorcycle. The bike slams into the side of the car. The rider sails over the hood and lands on the pavement, rolling to a stop.

100 Deadliest Days of Summer affect teenagers

We are entering the time known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer - the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day - and that's especially true for teen drivers in California.

Think about some of these facts, provided by the advocacy group We Save Lives :

  • Car crashes cause the most deaths for teens.
  • Teenagers have the highest crash rate of any drivers.
  • During the summer, an average of 260 teens each month die in car crashes - 26 percent more than during other months of the year.
  • Distracted driving causes 60 percent of teen crashes. The leading distraction for teens is other passengers, causing 25 percent of crashes.
  • Teenagers have the highest rate of crash involvement that results in the death of others, such as passengers, occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians.

Don't text while crossing the street

You hear a lot about distracted driving and the dangers of texting behind the wheel, but what about texting while walking? Is it dangerous for pedestrians to use their phones while walking near the road?

It certainly can increase the odds of an accident and an injury. In fact, in some places -- like Honolulu -- crossing the street while you have your eyes on your phone is actually illegal. People keep getting hit in the street, so lawmakers put this law into effect to get them to keep their eyes up and on the traffic around them. Like seat belt laws, this is a law made distinctly to keep people safe and to essentially protect them from themselves.

Do workers take risks to keep their jobs?

Technically speaking, workers should be afraid of many of the risks that wind up leading to serious on-the-job injuries. If they still take those risks, does it mean there is something they fear more?

That could be the case. The reality is that many workers fear that they will get fired if they don't do what they're told, even if that means breaking safety regulations and putting themselves at risk. That may be illegal, but they still worry about it. They have families to support, after all. This career is important to them.

The phenomenon of delayed injuries in car accidents

Following any kind of automobile accident, it is not uncommon for the persons involved to insist that they are fine. Although a natural aversion to doctors may be partially responsible, there is something else at play in these situations.

The reason many people claim to be OK is they are not actually in any pain. Within a few days, however, the aches set in, as does the realization that something might be wrong. Why does this happen?

Tips for drivers as they share the streets with motorcycles

Drivers and motorcyclists do not always see eye-to-eye, but they do need to share the roads in California. It's important for drivers to understand the differences when driving around bikes instead of other cars and trucks.

After all, motorcyclists face far more danger in a collision. One simple mistake by a careless driver can turn deadly. Below are some tips to help drivers share the roads and traffic lanes safely:

  • When passing, be careful and give motorcycles plenty of space. They may not take up the whole lane, but give them as much space as you would give a car.
  • Always look carefully in the vehicle's blind spot to see if there's a bike hidden just out of sight. Never assume it's clear.
  • Use your turn signals. Make sure that motorcyclists know your intentions. Miscommunication can cause an accident that puts them at risk.
  • Likewise, be very careful at intersections. Make sure the way is really clear before turning or proceeding through. Many accidents happen when drivers cut off motorcyclists accidentally.
  • The biggest danger lies in turning left in front of a motorcycle. If you ever have to turn left, take extra time to double-check that you have space to do so.

Working in the trenches: How dangerous is it?

Construction workers may find themselves working in or around trenches on the job site. For them, it might be just another day at work, but trench work and excavation can be some of the deadliest operations on a construction site.

The greatest risk is cave-ins, which lead to the most deaths involving excavations and trenching. Every year, hundreds of construction workers are injured in trench collapses and dozens more die.

What to tell children about road safety

The road is certainly a dangerous place for children. While life in general has gotten much safer for kids over the last two hundred years, the invention of the car really put them at risk. Many kids get hit every year and suffer serious injuries. Some pass away.

These accidents can be prevented, and it starts with parents. Here are some things to tell kids about being safe near the road.

  • If an adult ever tells them to stop, they must stop right away, even if they think it is safe to cross.
  • They always need to look both ways. Really, they should look three times, ending by looking back in the initial direction.
  • Young kids should never go into the street unless they are with an adult.
  • Some areas are safer for crossing than others, including crosswalks, pedestrian bridges and light-controlled intersections.
  • Kids should wear bright, reflective clothes if they'll be spending a lot of time near the road. Visibility makes a difference.
  • Kids need to listen as well as look. This means they should not be talking to friends or listening to headphones when crossing.
  • Children need to refrain from running into the road for any reason. They should always slow down, look both ways, and walk into the street. Even a lost toy -- a ball bouncing into the road -- is no reason to run.

Man suffers critical injuries after getting hit in a crosswalk

One of the first things people will tell you about safely walking near traffic is that you should always use the crosswalks. Jaywalking puts you in danger. As long as you cross where drivers expect you to be, you are safer.

This is good advice, but it doesn't prevent all accidents. To illustrate this point, a man in California was recently hit by a car while he was apparently in the crosswalk.

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Law Offices of Patricia Turnage
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