Archive for February, 2015

Feb 2015

Could Your Cell Phone Records Provide Evidence After an Irvine Rear-End Accident?

Accidents happen every day in Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, and Riverside, but many are just passing news stories that go unnoticed. When a celebrity is involved in a collision, however, it becomes major news. Just recently, for example, former Olympian and reality television star Bruce Jenner was involved in a serious motor vehicle collision that involved four vehicles and one fatality. According got ABC News, the accident was a chain-reaction collision that began after a rear-end collisioncrash-1-1406893-m

When a rear-end accident occurs, the driver in the rear vehicle is usually the one who is held responsible for causing the crash because drivers are expected to always maintain a safe distance between their car and the vehicle in front of them. Maintaining a safe distance means the driver in the rear should have time to react and stop before striking the front vehicle. However, even through the rear driver is often to blame, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be an investigation.

Phone Records Are Commonly Investigated in Rear-end Crashes

When an investigation into an accident happens, law enforcement officers generally look for many clues into the behavior of the drivers leading up to the crash. This is especially true in fatal accidents when someone is killed.

The accident involving Jenner is no exception. The Claims Journal reports that law enforcement officers have requested that all drivers involved in the accident turn over their cellphone records to the sheriff’s office. If the drivers do not cooperate and voluntarily turn over their records, then it is likely that police will subpoena them.

The goal of obtaining the records is to look at whether the phone was being used at the time when the accident happened. If the driver is found to have been on a call at the time of the crash, this can raise questions about whether the motorist was using a hands-free kit or was holding the phone. It can also raise questions about whether the driver was behaving in a responsible and safe way, or was focused on the call and not on his or her driving.

Obtaining phone records after rear-end accidents is also a very common investigatory tool in order to determine if the driver was texting at the time when the accident occurred. A driver who is texting may not see when the car in front of him has stopped, and thus may be more likely to cause a rear-end crash.

Determining if someone is texting at the time of a collision can be more difficult because there isn’t a record of all of the times the driver was looking down at the phone or typing as there is when the motorist is actually speaking on a call. However, police typically look at whether there are multiple texts spanning a period of time immediately surrounding the crash. If so, this can suggest a driver was texting at the time of the rear and accident and should perhaps be held accountable for crash losses.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Irvine, CA.  Serving Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside and surrounding areas.

Feb 2015

Irvine Motorists at Risk Despite Decline in Traffic Fatalities

In 2013, fewer people died in motor vehicle collisions in the United States. This is great news for people in Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside and throughout the rest of the country, but it is not necessarily as much of an accomplishment as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has claimed. The overall decline in traffic deaths also obscures the fact that there have been big increases in the number of people in certain vulnerable populations losing their lives. 

A personal injury lawyer knows that bicycle riders are now facing the greatest risk of being killed in a crash than they have for almost a decade. Further, while there was a decline in truck accident deaths and a decline in fatalities among motorcyclists, the number of people killed by trucks and killed on motorcycles still remains stubbornly high. Drivers need to be aware that even as they are hearing all about how safe the roads are, things are still far from good when it comes to crash risks.

A Closer Look at Traffic Accident Statistics

The NHTSA reports that there was a 3.1 percent reduction in the number of deadly motor vehicle accidents in 2013. A total of 32,719 people lost their lives in traffic crashes over the course of this year. The number of people injured in car crashes also declined by 2.1 percent.

Much of this decline comes from the fact that vehicle safety technology has improved. This means that lots of crashes are still happening, but technologies in cars has helped to reduce the impact that these crashes have and thus more people are able to survive them.

USA Today reports that other countries, which have focused more on improving driver behaviors rather than just making cars safer, have had far greater success than the US in bringing down their death rates.

In the Netherlands and Germany, for example, there has been an 81 percent reduction in traffic deaths since the 1970s while there has only been a 41 percent reduction in fatalities in the United States. A total of 25 other countries did a better job than the U.S. in bringing down the car accident death toll.

Bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians don’t benefit from the fact that cars have better crash protection. Unfortunately, bicyclists and walkers thus still face very high accident rates. In 2013, the number of bicycles who died in car crashes rose by 1.2 percent. 2013 saw the highest rate of bike accident fatalities since 2006. While pedestrian deaths declined in 2013, there were still 4,735 people killed while walking. This is 15 percent more pedestrian deaths than occurred in 2009. The number of motorcycle fatalities did fall this year finally. However, this was the first decline in the number of motorcyclists killed since 2009.

Until drivers actually learn to make smart decisions and be safer while operating their vehicles, thousands of fatalities will continue to occur every year across the country. No amount of technological improvements are going to prevent this.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Irvine, CA.  Serving Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside.