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Regulators, Public Struggle with Distracted Driving Regulation

By Kelly Balamuth on May 3, 2012

Northern California Distracted Driving AccidentDistracted driving is a recognized problem on U.S. roads. Ninety-four percent of drivers on the road consider texting while driving a “serious threat” and 87 percent support some kind of law that restricts or bans the practice, according to The Detroit Free Press. However, over one-third of those surveyed also admitted to texting while driving within the past 30 days, and over two-thirds admitted that they used their cell phones to talk while driving.

Meanwhile, automakers, phone companies, and government officials disagree as to whether distracted driving merits the kind of attention it’s been getting – and, if it does, which is the best way to fix it. Some auto and phone companies have banded together to create integrated hands-free systems that allow a driver to make a call simply by speaking a command to the vehicle itself. Other officials and researchers say that this kind of technology doesn’t solve the problem of distracted driving and may even encourage it.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is attempting to solve problems on both fronts. The NHTSA has pushed for stronger bans on hand-held device use and less distracting in-vehicle systems, but it is also encouraging the use of technologies like braking assistance that would help drivers avoid crashes no matter what triggers the dangerous situation.

Distracted driving of any kind takes the driver’s attention from the road and increases the risk of a serious accident. If you’ve been hurt by a distracted driver, the experienced Oakland car accident attorneys at Balamuth Law can help. Call us today at (888) 254-1234 for a free consultation about your distracted driving injuries.

San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Takes Life of San Bruno Man

By Kelly Balamuth on April 24, 2012

A motorcycle accident in San Francisco recently cost a San Bruno motorcyclist his life, according to The San Jose Mercury News.

The motorcyclist was riding his Suzuki motorcycle along Highway 101 near the ramps to South Van Ness Avenue, according to investigators. As he approached the interchange with Interstate 80, he seemed to lose control of his motorcycle. The bike veered to the right and crashed into the catwalk. Rescue workers were unable to save the life of the motorcyclist, who was thrown from his bike during the crash.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the motorcycle to veer into the catwalk and have not yet ruled out many common causes of loss of control, such as defective parts or botched repairs. The conditions of the roadway or bad placement of the catwalk may also have contributed to the fatal motorcycle crash.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), about 680 motorcyclists lose their lives on California roads each year, a significant increase over the last decade. The CHP urges motorists to watch carefully for motorcyclists, and urges both new and experienced bikers to take safety training classes and other courses that will help them build their skills and prevent a crash from turning deadly.

At Balamuth Law, our experienced northern California wrongful death attorneys have helped many injured people and their families seek the compensation they need after a motorcycle accident causes serious injury or even death. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a motorcycle crash, call us today at (888) 254-1234 for a free and confidential consultation.

New Traffic Camera Keeps an Eye on Red Light Runners

By Kelly Balamuth on January 9, 2012

A new traffic camera installed at the corner of Fell Street and Masonic Avenue in San Francisco will be keeping an eye on drivers who run the red light at this intersection, according to a recent article in The San Francisco Examiner. The camera will provide evidence of illegal turns and other traffic violations at the intersection, making it easier for law enforcement to ticket those who break the rules and put others’ lives at risk.

The intersection has been the site of many pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents in recent years. One accident, in December 2010, sent a bicyclist to the hospital.

Both Fell Street and Masonic Avenue are busy thoroughfares, making it difficult for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the streets. Drivers who run the red light at this intersection are frequent, as are drivers who make an illegal left turn from Fell onto Masonic. Both situations increase the chances of a bicycle or pedestrian accident.

The intersection was revamped in 2008 to make signals clearer for pedestrians and bicyclists, but many drivers still pay only casual attention to those who aren’t in cars. The city hopes that the new camera will remind drivers to think twice before making any risky or illegal maneuvers.

When a car hits a pedestrian or bicyclist, serious injuries can result. If you’ve been in a pedestrian accident or bicycle accident, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced San Francisco car accident injury attorneys at Balamuth Harrington to learn more about your legal rights and options. Our number is (888) 254-1234, and your call is free and confidential.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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