Labor Day Weekend Means Increased Traffic Activity; Vehicle Accidents Likely

Labor Day Weekend Means Increased Traffic Activity; Vehicle Accidents Likely

September 1 is Labor Day. Since it falls on a Monday, it is expected that a lot of Americans would be taking advantage of the extended vacation over the weekend. Also, the federal holiday is the unofficial end to the summer season, ushering the advent of fall and welcoming students back to school. Given the circumstances, people all over the nation are likely to spend the short holiday weekend to organize last-minute summer trips or parties at either bars or at the comfort of their own neighborhood. That would only mean one thing: motor vehicles are expected to fill up major thoroughfares over the weekend.

Unlike the upcoming Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the Christmas seasons, traveling within Labor Day weekend tends to be less costly, thus the anticipated influx of vehicles on highways throughout those three days. In fact, according to the projections of the Automobile Club of Southern California, more Southern California residents will be hitting the roads this weekend than any other Labor Day weekend since six years ago, at nearly 4 million travelers all over the state, with 3.19 million of them expected to drive their vehicles.

One main concern about all this, though, is the fact that vehicle accidents increase during this time of the year. Based on the National Safety Council (NSC) statistics, traffic fatalities from 2006 to 2011 ranged from more than 300 to less than 500.

Among the culprits are the intoxicated drivers. Basically a lot of people are expected to have drinks at house parties or at bars over the weekend as a last hurrah for this year’s summer season. Some of them, however, would be driving themselves back home drunk; putting themselves in danger of getting caught by law enforcement or getting injured or killed, likewise putting other motorists’ lives at risk.

This is why the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and all the other traffic and law enforcement agencies in every state in the U.S. are anticipating the influx of vehicles this upcoming long weekend to control the situation of the streets. First order of business is, of course, to track down drivers under the influence of alcohol.

Meanwhile, expert attorneys such as a car accident attorney in Los Angeles, as well as other road safety advocates, remind every single individual planning to do the following:

  • Avoid any distractions such as the use of cellphones and other devices;
  • Buckle up using the seat belt;
  • Buckle children up at the back seat of the vehicle using car safety seats;
  • Exercise caution by driving defensively, especially when amidst inclement weather or any tough traffic situation; and
  • Designate a non-drinking driver when going out to drink alcohol.

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California Raises Concerns over Google’s Self-driving Car

Google's Self-driving car. Photo obtained from Google's official blog site.

Google’s Self-driving car. Photo obtained from Google’s official blog site.

As Google’s driverless car makes its way to hit the California roadways by decade’s end, the Golden state raises several concerns in an aim to properly regulate said vehicle.

According to news reports, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) held an initial public hearing last March 11, where it raised several concerns over the search engine giant’s self-driving car or often called as the autonomous car.

Obviously, since Google car’s technology is young and new, DMV is still in the process of figuring out how to regulate the public’s use of autonomous vehicles.

The Self-driving Car

Before we proceed, let us have a quick introduction of the driverless car.

A self-driving car is packed with the newest technologies, which include radar and laser sensors, video cameras, and artificial-intelligence software. Google is the first visible company to put the concept into reality while several automakers are also on the verge of producing such vehicles.

In fact, after Google launched its fleet of Prius and Lexus cars fitted with an array of the automated technology for road test, several major automakers also have sent their own models for roadway testing.

Now, let us move on to the concerns raised by the DMV and other automakers during the meeting:

Safety

Literally, self-driving car requires no driver to operate the car but the DMV isn’t apparently confident with the idea. Thus, in a previous bill approved by the state back in 2012, it requires a human driver to be behind the wheel to take charge in case something went wrong. So far, the agency is yet to decide whether the vehicle really needs to have a human driver behind the wheel when in motion.

Also, Google’s safety director for its autonomous vehicle project, Rod Medford, has suggested other manufacturers to self-certify that their cars are safe.

Liability

DMV wants to determine who would ensure that owners are quite familiar on how to operate the new technology. However, manufacturers refused to take the responsibility as they suggested that they shouldn’t be asked to guaranty the capability of owners. One, manufacturer representative suggested DMV to conduct a test to owners on basics in operating the technology.

Privacy

Since current California law requires autonomous vehicles to log records of operation so the data could be used to reconstruct an accident, a representative from a non-profit consumer watchdog voiced out his concern about the owners being tracked in their daily lives.

Incidentally, in a legislation passed back in 2012, privacy issues weren’t pushed. Even during the meeting, Google’s representative still keeps mum over the data privacy issue.

Integration

Since the advent of self-driving cars is fast approaching, DMV wants to decide on how to integrate the high-technology cars with the other vehicles onto public roadways.

Regulation

Automakers also didn’t help but to raise concerns about regulations. They worry that other states could pass regulations that were far different from California but the DMV confirmed that other states have already contacted them and were closely observing California’s rule-making process.

Moreover, manufacturers and Google have argued that development of the technology would be restrained if regulations are too oppressive, but DMV claimed that it has remained firm in balancing public safety and private sector innovation when it drafted its rules.

Insurance Rate

The big question about the car insurance rates on autonomous vehicles’ insurance rates is that whether car insurance companies can base its insurance on how the car is driven.

Michael Lohan’s Baby Mama Busted for Drunk Driving

 

Image gives credit to Getty Images.

Image gives credit to Getty Images.

Michael Lohan must be tired of bailing for his daughter, Lindsay Lohan, but this time it’s not Lilo who needs to be rescued. It’s Michael’s baby mama, Kate Major, who has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).

However, we are not sure if Michael would be flashing some cash out of his pocket for the freedom of his baby mama because media sources have it that moments before Major was arrested, she and Michael had a domestic fight or should we call it a rematch.

According to a recent news report, Micheal claims that they were in a crazy argument at home when Major hit him multiple times in his face before fleeing to her car.

Michael managed to call 911 but Major was already leaving in her car when the cops arrived.

Not long after she left the house, she crashed into some bushes, which eventually lead to her arrest.

Sources claimed that she is still in police custody and booked for DUI and most probably domestic battery.

Just a month ago, Michael and Major had a nasty fight and cops were also called to the scene. No one was arrested that time.

As we all know, driving under the influence is very dangerous as it leads to fatal vehicle accidents and severe injuries. Thus, it is strictly prohibited under the law and anyone who violates it will likely face various legal charges and penalties. Of course, nobody wants to be sued. So, avoid drinking and driving, reminded by ourcar accident attorney in Los Angeles.

 

Discovery Channel Sued Over Fatal Helicopter Crash

Image gives credit to ABC7.

Image gives credit to ABC7.

A year after a helicopter that was filming for a Discovery Channel program crashed and killed at least three people in California, the spouse of one of the victims has eventually decided to come out to file a wrongful death claim against said network-giant in behalf of her 15-year-old daughter.

According to recent news reports, Sonya Joubert, mother of the 15-year-old Sofia Donatelli, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Discovery Channel for the loss of her daughter’s father.

Under the said lawsuit, Joubert claims that the helicopter accident that killed Sofia’s father, Michael Donatelli, was as a result of the network’s shocking negligence for allowing a very dangerous flight plan.

Joubert further asserts that aside from the erroneous flight plan, the network also allowed the chopper to fly at low altitudes, over hilly terrain, low lights, poor visibility and in frost condition.

UntitledIt could be remembered that the incident reportedly occurred at around 3:40 in the morning of February last year at Polsa Rosa Ranch in Los Angeles.

Also, Joubert added that the network should have known that the pilot, who was likewise killed from the incident, was unfit to operate the helicopter.

Previous news reports have it that all people on board were killed, including Michael Donatelli, who was 45 on the time of his death. All victims were part of the production team of an untitled military-themed reality TV show that was supposed to be launched by the Discovery, reports said.

Reports added that the crew was actually filming when the accident happened.

Polsa Rosa has been a favorite venue for most film crews due to the different terrains and airstrips it offers. In fact, the place is sometimes referred to as a “movie ranch”.

Unfortunately, records revealed that a similar incident also happened back in 1982. Few miles away from the ranch, Vic Monroe and two children were likewise killed in an accident during a movie filming.

As of this writing, the Discovery Channel is not yet giving comments regarding the matter according to reports.

 

Man Behind Usher’s Step Son’s Death Found Guilty

Usher with stepson, Kile (on the left) and ex-wife, Tameka (on the right).

Usher with stepson, Kile (on the left) and ex-wife, Tameka (on the right). Image gives credit to Getty Images.

More than a year after Usher’s stepson, Kile Glover, died from severe head injury following a jet ski accident, the court has finally deemed the man accused responsible for the kid’s death guilty.

According to recent news reports, a Hall County jury has finally released its verdict on Jeffrey Hubbard who is accused of causing the death of music artist Usher’s step son from his former spouse, Tameka.

In the said ruling, the jury reportedly found Hubbard guilty of serious injury by vessel, reckless operation of a vessel, a boat traffic violation and unlawful operation of a personal watercraft.

It was back in July 2012 when news that Usher’s stepson was declared brain dead as a result of severe head injury, which he incurred after being struck in the head by a man in jet ski, had surfaced.

Kile and his 15-year old companion were in an inner tube that was being pulled by a speed boat in Lake Lanier when the incident occurred. At the time when the young boy was being pulled out of the water, he was unresponsive until he was transported at the hospital where he was declared brain dead days later. On the sixth day, the boy succumbed to death.

He was only 11-year old during the time of his death. Reports said he was on a vacation with his biological father when the incident occurred.

Following the said incident, Usher was said to be torn according to his representatives. Although things went south between him and his estranged wife, Tameka, Usher had maintained a close relationship with the young boy during his lifetime, according to reports.

Hopefully, the R&B singer somehow feels at ease now that the jury has finally laid down its judgment on his late son’s death.

 

Icy Road Safety Driving Tips from Our Los Angeles Car Crash Attorneys

As the icy weather condition in some parts of the country continues, Americans are being advised to stay indoors until the snow plows and the sanding trucks are done with their work.

However, if you can’t avoid driving in bad winter weather, make sure that your vehicle is well-prepared for the bad weather and that you absolutely know how to handle icy road conditions.

Icy Road

Image gives credit to © Tim Graham/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis

Here are few safety driving tips from our Los Angeles car crash attorneys for those who really can’t avoid going outdoor:

•    It is better to drive slowly than going in a maximum speed on an icy road. Also, avoid tailgating. Always leave enough space to stop. A space that is three times than the usual between your car and the other car ahead of your vehicle is recommended.

•    Brake slowly to prevent the wheels from skidding. Once the wheels have started to lock up, then you could ease off the brake.

•    Turn the lights on so that the other motorists can clearly see you. Be sure that your lights and windshield are clean and not covered with snow.

•    Keep driving in low gear to keep traction, particularly when driving on hills.

•    Don’t use cruise control system to maintain constant driving speed on icy roads.

•    Be extra careful on bridges, over passes and frequently traveled roads since they always freeze first even during above-freezing temperature.

•    Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks since such vehicles have lots of blind spots. Also, you might encounter worse road condition in front of them than the road behind.

•    The most important thing here is that don’t assume that your vehicle can handle all kinds of weather conditions. Even four-wheel drive vehicles can encounter troubles along the way.

Traffic Accident Still among the Top 10 Causes of Death in US

Unfortunately, despite the existing traffic laws, vehicle accidents are still among the leading causes of death in the U.S.

The info-graphic below is a representation prepared by one of our best personal injury lawyer herein Los Angeles. The information shown below is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 statistics report. The data are based on the deaths in 2007.

Causes of Death in US

Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Lawsuit Request for Retrial Finally Over

final verdictAfter tentatively denying Michael Jackson’s wrongful death retrial, the judge presiding the case has already given her final verdict.

Recent news reports have confirmed that the Los Angeles County Judge, Yvette Palazuelo, issued last January 13 a final rejection of the Jackson family’s request for a re-trial.

Consistent to her previous decision earlier this month, where she tentatively denied the family’s request for a new trial, she once again rejected the request for the last time, affirming that she did not err in her decisions on the case’s verdict form or with the dismissal of a separate negligence claim.

Katherine Jackson along with the King of Pop’s children had filed the said motion for a new trial last December after losing their bid to hold MJ’s concert promoter, AEG Live, liable for the singer’s death last October.

Under their motion for a new trial, the family had argued that the presiding judge used a faulty verdict. They further claimed that the judge likewise erred by refusing them to pursue a separate negligence claim. In addition, they had also cited several other alleged mistakes committed by the presiding judge during the six-month long trial.

Now that the family once again lost their battle, the family’s group of Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys claimed that they will appeal the recent verdict.

Apparently, although it might be over for the presiding judge, but for the Jackson family, it is not definitely over.