On Thursday afternoon, a motorcyclist was injured in a collision that occurred near the Vista del Monte senior community. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, the crash happened sometime before 3:00 p.m., in the 3700 block of Modoc.
The motorcyclist was headed eastbound when his bike collided with a westbound vehicle turning left. The motorcycle rider, a man in his 20’s, was swiftly taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of injuries. At this time, we don’t know his current condition or the extent of his injuries. The female driver involved was not injured in the crash, but her vehicle was damaged. This incident is still under investigation with local law enforcement authorities.
On Thursday night, a pedestrian was struck and injured by a car in San Diego. According to NBC San Diego Channel Seven News, the incident happened just after 8:00 p.m., at College Avenue and Streamview Drive. Apparently, the 60-year-old female pedestrian was crossing Streamview Drive, when a male driver in his 20’s struck her.
Although the pedestrian’s injuries were not considered life threatening by first responders, she did suffer from compound fractures to both of her legs. At this time, the driver has not been cited. He reportedly had a green light in the southbound lane at the time of the crash.
The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. wishes a full and swift recovery for the injured pedestrian.
#1 Killer of Teens is Preventable
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has recently issued a press release regarding the number-one killer of teens, reckless and distracted driving. Although texting while driving has become an epidemic in California and across the country, deaths associated with distracted driving are 100 percent preventable. The CHP is hoping to raise awareness about the very-preventable number one killer of teens during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and California’s Teen Safe Driving Week (April 1-7, 2015).
Impact Teen Drivers
The CHP is also participating in the Impact Teen Drivers program, which is aimed at increasing education and enforcement efforts associated with teen driving habits. Teens and young adults drivers are some of the most likely drivers to engage in distracted driving on the roadways, even though drivers of all ages engage in distracted driving behaviors behind the wheel. The CHP is emphasizing the importance good decision making for teens drivers and passengers to improve safety.
Distracted Driving in California
• In 2013, 50 people were killed in distracted driving crashes across the state.
• In California, an estimated 4,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted driving in 2013.
• In 2013, 45 percent of Californians surveyed said they made a driving mistake while talking on a cell phone.
• Nearly 70 percent of California drivers surveyed said they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver talking or texting on a cell phone.
• Nearly half of all Californians surveyed said that texting while driving is the most serious distraction for drivers.
Hands-Free Versus Handheld Devices
Although hands-free use of cell phones has been touted as the ‘safer’ alternative to manually manipulating electronic devices, the research just doesn’t back that theory up. When it comes down to it, hands-free devices aren’t necessarily safer than handheld devices. It’s the cognitive distraction that makes texting and talking on phones so dangerous. When you’re behind the wheel, you need to devote your full attention to the task of driving. This is especially important for new and inexperienced drivers who need every bit of attention they can muster to make safe decisions behind the wheel.
Multi-Car Injury Crash on 101
On Saturday afternoon, four people were injured in a multi-car crash on Highway 101, in Goleta. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, the incident happened at about 1:40 p.m., in the northbound lanes. First responders and crews worked the scene and cleared wreckage at the crash site, just north of Fairview Avenue. At this time, there’s no word on the cause of the crash, which is likely still under investigation with authorities.
At least two of the injured victims had to be transported to the hospital for treatment. There is no word on the extent of their injuries, but they were initially described as minor. The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. wishes all of the injured victims speedy and full recoveries.
Fatal One-Car Crash in Rancho Bernardo
On Monday, a man was killed in a one-car crash in Rancho Bernardo. According to ABC News Channel 10, the incident happened sometime before 3:00 p.m., on Bernardo Heights Parkway, near Avenida Venusto. For currently unknown reasons, the driver’s sedan overturned in the roadway and crashed in to a tree.
The driver was the only occupant in the vehicle at the time of the wreck, and he was pronounced on the scene. A portion of the roadway was closed into the evening hours as first responders and crews worked the scene. At this time, very few details have been released, and this wreck is likely still under investigation.
The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the deceased driver.
Elder Driver Safety in California
Having a senior driver in your family doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take the keys away. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a Drive Well Toolkit for elder drivers and their families. It’s not just about taking the keys away. It’s about promoting older driver safety, independence and mobility.
Older Driver Facts and Statistics
• In 2011, there were 35 million licensed older drivers.
• In 2012, 17 percent of all traffic fatalities across the U.S. were among people ages 65 and older.
• In 2012, seniors made up 9 percent of all the people injured in crashes.
• From 2003 to 2012, crash fatalities involving older drivers declined by 13 percent.
• For older pedestrians, 68 percent of fatalities in 2012 occurred at non-intersection locations.
Having “The Talk”
If you’re concerned about your older driver’s safety or the safety of others, it’s time to have the conversation. Prepare yourself to be met with at least some amount of friction or defensiveness. Driving is essentially independence and freedom for drivers of any age, so talking about limiting one’s driving or even quitting all together can be emotional. If you feel unsure about whether or not it’s time to talk to your loved one about safe driving and aging, the NHTSA has a variety of questions that may help. If you answer yes to any of the questions below, it’s time to talk to the older driver in your life.
Is it Time to Have The Talk?
• Does he get lost on familiar routes?
• Are there new dents or scratches in the vehicle?
• Has she experienced any near-miss crashes or crashes recently?
• Do signs, signals or road markings overwhelm him?
• Has the doctor advised limiting or stopping driving due to health issues?
• Does she take any medications that might impact her ability to drive?
It’s important to remember that seniors have been on this Earth, taking care of themselves and others for years. It’s not easy to give up driving or to even set limits on driving, which can essentially mean a loss of independence and freedom for an otherwise independent senior citizen. Providing alternatives and the means and ability to get from one place to another will help the transition go smoothly.
Drunk Hit-and-Run Driver in Santa Barbara
A drunk driver is being blamed for a number of hit-and-run collisions that occurred last Saturday night in Santa Barbara. The 60-year-old drunk driver, Timothy Joseph Siemann, sustained serious injuries after the crashes. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, the drunken joy ride included at least four separate vehicle crashes, and ended when the driver’s car crashed into a ravine sometime after 6:30 p.m.
He was responsible for four separate hit-and-run crashes within about 20 minutes. He fled the crime scenes and eventually made his way up Highway 154, towards the Santa Ynez Valley, before driving off of the roadway.
At this time, Siemann has not been arrested or booked due to his extensive injuries, but will likely be facing four felony counts of DUI and driving on a suspended license. He also has three prior DUI arrests.
Suspected Drunk Driving Crash Injures Passenger
Earlier this week, at least one person was injured in a crash involving a suspected drunk driver. According to ABC Channel 10 News, the incident happened near Benjamin Hold Road and Paradise Valley Road, in the Bay Terraces area. Apparently, the suspected drunk driver crashed the car into a wall and left the scene on foot.
An injured passenger was left behind at the crash scene, and she was transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries. Prior to the crash, CHP officers were pursuing the vehicle. The lost sight of the car briefly before it crashed into a concrete wall. The driver was able to escape, and there’s no word on whether or not there have been any investigative developments in the case. There is also no word on the injured woman’s current condition.
U Drive. U Text. U Pay
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is getting ready to publicize their annual Distracted Driving Awareness safety campaign. After all, April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The NHTSA’s U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign will focus on the financial consequences and expenses of texting behind the wheel. The U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign has been funded by grants totaling up to $8.4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This year’s slogan is “If you’re texting, you’re not driving.” Paid advertising and public service announcements will run from April 6-15, 2015.
If You’re Texting, You’re Not Driving
Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. If you’re going 55 miles per hour, that’s the same as driving the length of a football field blindfolded. The slogan is simple and accurate. “If you’re texting, you’re not driving.” You can’t do both. You’re either driving or you’re texting. Even just reading a text is enough to cause an injury causing or fatal accident.
Distracted Driving Facts
• In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.
• An estimated 424,000 people were injured in wrecks involving distracted drivers in 2013.
• In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.
• Drivers in their 20’s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
The Distracted Driving Epidemic
Texting behind the wheel has become an epidemic in California and across the nation. Drivers of all ages are engaging in distracted driving behaviors behind the wheel. Thankfully, most states now have distracted driving laws. In addition publicizing the costs and dangers associated with distracted driving, law enforcement agencies will be enhancing enforcement efforts across the country this month.
After a Distracted Driving Crash
After any kind of crash caused by another driver’s dangerous behaviors, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your options. Sometimes, it takes additional investigative efforts to determine if a driver was distracted at the time of the crash.
Teen Pedestrian Killed in Santa Ynez Valley
Last Thursday evening, a Santa Ynez Valley Union High School student was struck and killed by a minivan. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, the incident happened sometime around 6:50 p.m. on Highway 246, west of Refugio Road. An elderly driver in a minivan hit the teen. She was on her way home from an FFA event at school at the time of the crash. She only lived a few blocks away.
Carina Velazquez, a 15-year-old freshman, passed away at the hospital on Thursday night. Although alcohol and drugs were not believed to be factors in this crash, the CHP is still investigating the collision. They’re asking any witnesses to contact the Buellton CHP office.
The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. sends their deepest condolences to the family members, friends, loved ones and classmates of Carina Velazquez.
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